Newest Review: ... securely fastened to your wrist to stop you from dropping it or throwing it towards the TV. I've seen plenty of pictures of smashed TV's c... more
My Wii remote spoke to me!
Nintendo Wii Controller (Wii)
Member Name: Vialdana
Nintendo Wii Controller (Wii)
Advantages: Well designed, and very necessary for playing on any Wii Console
Disadvantages: If you don't wear the wrist strap you could be in big trouble!
The Wii Remote is something which you need to play on the Wii console. The reason it's reviewed separately is because when you buy the Wii console, you generally only get one remote with it, but it's much more useful to have 2 or even 4 depending on how many of you generally play, so it's possible to buy extra remotes separately.
The Wii Remote is called a remote because well, it looks a bit like a regular remote control - the sort you might get for a TV or Stereo. This one's a bit different however, as it's the main controller for the Wii Console, and it's the bit that lets you play all those fab games. It's quite a bit heavier than most remotes though. Generally, remotes are white, but you can get black ones, and you can get skins to cover your white/black one as well. Some skins are protective, some are just for pretty. All remotes however, look the same in terms of the buttons on them.
On the remote you have 8 buttons on the front, and a trigger style button on the back. The first button at the very top left is the on/off button - this simply controls the Wii Console and turns it on and off.
The second button is in the shape of a cross, when you press any one of its ends (up, down, left, right), it will do a different function. It will depend very much on what game you're playing as to what these functions perform, in golf they let you scroll through the clubs by using the up and down parts of it, and in other games the different directions let you do different things again.
The next button is the A button. This is largish and has an 'A' printed on it. This is one of the two primary buttons that you get asked to use a lot when controlling games, and in golf for example, holding it down moves you in to position to hit the ball, so that you can take your go.
The next buttons are the + and - ones, and the home button which are in a line across the middle of the remote. These + and - are again used for different functions within various games. For example, the + button is often used as the pause feature during games. The home button allows you to reach the home screen from where ever you are. It's sort of like a quick button really, and can be quite useful.
Down at the bottom of the remote are buttons 1 and 2. Again, these are used for various functions within games.
On the back is the B button - this is a sort of trigger button, and is often used in games in combination with the A button, as well as on it's own for various functions.
Right... that's the buttons dealt with, but there's a bit more to this remote than there is to most remotes, as this one comes with sound and vibration too! A tiny speaker on the remote allows beeps and even words to be made by the remote, for example in Big Brain Academy, the remote actually talks to you. It made me jump out of my skin the first time it did it, I just sooo wasn't expecting it at all. It's a really nice touch though, and something rather different that you don't expect from a games controller. As well as this speaker, there's also something within the remote that allows it to vibrate. This is used in different ways in different games, but it kind of gives you feedback on some things that you've made your hit with a sword or fist in some games. In others it tells you other things, but again because you hold the remote in your hand at all times, it's great because it gives you real time feedback without being reliant on noise.
The remote has three more features I should mention. One is 4 little blue lights across the very bottom, depending on which is lit up, these tell you whether the remote you're holding is number 1, 2, 3 or 4 or in other words, whether you are player 1, 2, 3 or 4. For most games it makes no difference except for the order you play in, but in the Wii Control panel stuff it's generally player 1 who has control of set up and things.
The next feature is the wrist strap. This is kinda crucial even though if you're an adult you might assume it's just for over enthusiastic kids - trust me, it's not! A friend of mine on buying a brand new Wii for the family, set in stone that everyone MUST use the wrist strap at all times, because if they're (also brand new) 40" TV got broken whoever did it would be moving out. Unfortunately, it was he who flung the remote in mid game and broke the TV! Oops! The kids teased him for weeks bless em! Seriously though, because of the way you use the remote and move it around while playing, swinging it, wiggling it from side to side, hitting things with it (pretend things obviously), and jabbing with it for punches or jousts etc., its very easy to let go of it inadvertently, and if you're wearing a wrist strap you're safe because it will just drop and harmlessly dangle from your wrist. Without it, you could be joining my friend in feeling real silly about the broken TV! ;)
Finally, theres a hole on the bottom end of the remote. This is where you plug other things in. The main one is the Nunchuck which is another part of the whole gaming concept for the Wii, but also things like the Wii motion plus which is a small box that enhances the range of motion that is detected.
There are various accessories available for the Wii which enhance game play - steering wheel, gun, golf club, tennis racquet etc. but all of these are basically cleverly designed pieces of plastic. The bit of equipment that does the job is this remote, and you slot it into these plastic sleeves to change it's shape really.
Overall, the design of the remote is pretty good. It feels easy to hold it and all the buttons that you're asked to use are well positioned to be easy to use when you need to whether you're holding it in the normal remote control style position or tipped on its side as you do for other games. Either way, you're not trying to contort your wrist or hands to reach things or anything. I do think that a silicone skin is quite a good idea for it however, it sort of rounds the corners making it fit just a little more comfortably in your hand, and it also makes it slightly more grippy too. I think Nintendo really did get things pretty much bang on when they designed this, as it's so easy to use for large and small hands alike.
Summary: A really cleverly designed controller which is quite different to any other controller on the market
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