Mii and Wii

I’ve been hobbling around like a geriatric today after my long sesh on Wii sports. Sad to say, I don’t suppose I’ve burnt many calories – just strained a bunch of muscles that normally get to lie around slothlike. Perhaps that should be hang around slothlike. Anyway, I played The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess instead, the latest installment in what is probably the greatest video game series of all time.

I’ve only played three or four hours so far, so I can’t offer a final conclusion as to its place in the pantheon, but here’s a good sign: normally in these games the plot exposition is a tiresome interruption when you really want to get on with solving puzzles and killing monsers, but I found the story so engaging in this that I was almost sorry to get to the first dungeon. It feels like being in a real narrative, a novel or a film. Even if it doesn’t manage to sustain that feeling for the whole game, it’s made an impressive start.

I’m stuck at the moment. Not surprisingly, since the basic dynamic of video games is that you are stuck most of the time. If I wasn’t stuck I’d no doubt still be playing, tiredness be damned. Hopefully a night’s sleep will help me see how to get past the current impasse.

6 Comments

  1. 10 December 2006 at 2:17 am | Permalink

    For the first time since I was about 12 I really want to get this console. I just quite fancy the idea of toning my arms up playing video games.

    And actually miming stabbing people with swords rather than just clicking the button.

    Good luck with Zelda, I haven’t played that since the one on the Super Nintendo.

    Eloise

  2. Harry
    10 December 2006 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Much as I’ve been enjoying it, I think the jury is still out on whether the remote is an idea with real lasting appeal or just a gimmick. But then I would have been sorely tempted to buy a Wii just for Zelda. I’ve played the SNES one on the Game Boy Advance, and it’s still really enjoyable. But as you can imagine, they’ve moved on a bit since then.

  3. Jill
    12 December 2006 at 2:55 am | Permalink

    I’ve been tremendously enjoying the various Wii sports at a friend’s place, but have been wondering if I’ll like it as much when my own (finally) arrives and I want to have fake sword fights for hours on end. It’s one thing to play xbox RPGs until my eyes bleed and I can’t quite straighten my fingers. I’m not sure if I’m physically capable of Wii-ing all that long.
    Do you actually stand up and swing the remote around, or are you able to sit still and make the small gestures that supposedly work just as well?
    (also: Big Book of Meat has arrived. Most excellent, except for some arguments about Mexican cooking via England. Sugar in guacamole? Why, except possibly to ruin it?)

  4. Harry
    12 December 2006 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    You can play Zelda sitting down and just twitching the remote. It just registers one movement as a sword strike – no different to pressing a button. In fact the remote mainly comes into play when you’re aiming at things.

    Sugar in guacamole does seem a bt odd, I agree.

  5. 13 December 2006 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Peterb cites A.S. Byatt, of all people, in his interesting side comments on Zelda: Twilight Princess: http://www.tleaves.com/weblog/archives/000721.html

    (His actual review of the game in this month’s Played to Death isn’t as much fun, though: http://todeath.com/issues/Dec06_PTD.pdf)

  6. Harry
    15 December 2006 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    His point is interesting and may be right. I agree that the cel-shaded animation of Wind Waker was gorgeous; for me, that game fell down because you had to spend too much time doing repetitive tasks and similar dungeons. So much as I liked the visual style, I felt the game was just a bit weak.

    Twilight Princess, on the other hand, I’ve found to be unusually strong in terms of narrative. Too often, the plotting elements seem to just be a distraction from the gameplay; with this game, I haven’t felt cheated when I get a wodge of pre-animated plot-explicaion, because it’s done well enough that I feel part of it. It’s atmospheric, the characterisation is well done, the landscapes are well-designed.

    It’s interesting because part of the appeal of Zelda games is generally that sense of being free-roaming; you aren’t constantly being hijacked by the plot. But I think it’s been done well here. I did find myself complaining to my sister that I wanted a low-key side quest because it felt a bit relentless, but generally I’ve been enjoying it. I’ve certainly spent a rather unhealthy amount of time playing it.

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