I've gamed on more systems than most average Americans. I played Combat and Adventure on my 2600 when I was a kid; I was an Archon champion and flew a Gunship on my Commodore 64. I took a little break from consoles for a few years until I had children of my own, and since our house has been home to a PlayStation, a PlayStation Portable, every variant of GameBoy / DS that has come out, a Dreamcast, a GameCube, an Xbox, an Xbox 360, and more recently, a Nintendo Wii.
I consider myself an open-minded gamer. The only games I really can't be bothered to play are sports games because I just don't like sports in general. The idea of millionaires playing children's playground games in front of crowds who pay ridiculous sums of money for the privilege of watching them seems ludicrous to me.
I play all kinds of other genres, though, including just about everything that comes out on PC and Xbox 360. I love first person shooters, real-time strategy games, more traditional strategy games, stealth games, MMOs (although I can't play those very often because I get so sucked into them I tend to forget little things like my family, my work, eating, etc.), oddball variants like Overlord, and so on. I consider myself a well-rounded gamer.
At least, I did, until I tried to come to terms with the Wii.
I didn't really have much interest in my son's Wii games. Mario and Sonic require a level of reflexes that I haven't had since I was about 12. Anime in general creeps me out, unless it's, like, exquisite anime like Akira or Spirited Away. Looking through the Wii catalog, I saw lots of platformers, anime stuff, and games that seemed to be aimed squarely at children.
But I was determined. I wouldn't consider myself a real gamer unless I experienced the Wii mania sweeping the nation. With just a tiny bit of trepidation, I picked up the little remote wand thingy and attached the nunchuck, and popped in Wii Sports.
It wasn't so bad, but the games seemed too simplistic for me. Plus, I reiterate, I'm not much for sports games. Thus, I searched long and hard for a grown-up Wii game in which to envelop myself; I needed the full experience.
On recommendations from Web friends, I picked up something called No More Heroes. Apparently the developer, who calls himself "Suda 51," has an excellent track record. The game involves running around as a guy named Travis Touchdown who wields a lightsaber—er, a Beam Katana, or something, to chop up bad guys into incredible tsunamis of blood splashing everywhere except onto Travis' stylish clothes.
Without going into a review of the game, and focusing more on the Wii experience, here are my observations.
Waving the controllers around was certainly something different. As a diehard PC gamer, I have it in my will to be buried alongside my mouse and keyboard, but slashing enemies into pieces with the Wii remote was entertaining.
I don't know if it's a limitation of the Wii, whose graphics don't appear to be as "next-gen" as those of an Xbox 360 or a decent PC, but it seems like the collision detection when I would zoom around town on Travis' crotch rocket was off. I bounced off cars simply by coming within a foot or two of them, which took some getting used to. There were also some graphical slowdowns during busier, polygon-heavy scenes that I don't expect or forgive on consoles; I mean, for Heaven's sake, you have a fixed platform to work with; get it right or port your work to something more powerful!
In the end, however, I tended not to care much for No More Heroes. It was too inaccessibly weird for someone used to Gears of War and Call of Duty 4. I don't consider mowing lawns for cash compelling gaming. I can see the appeal of the Wii's unique control system, but I don't think it's currently being used for a decent crop of games. I can't see the appeal of Super Mario Galaxy (it's just another 3D platformer to me) or Sonic Riders Zero Gravity (you have to have the reflexes of a transistor to succeed at that game) and the more grown-up fare, like No More Heroes and Manhunt 2 are, well, just not all that.
Let me know when something comes out for the Wii that might appeal to an adult who wasn't raised on anime and twitch gaming.
I'll be here at my PC, with my mouse and keyboard, waiting for Sins of a Solar Empire to grace my display.