In Gamespot's review of recent Wii release Cooking Mama: Cook Off
, they make a complaint that is becoming an all-too-common refrain among Wii fans: "The motion controls just aren't reliable. Some are overly sensitive... and some aren't sensitive enough."
There are bigger stakes here than the occasional botched omelette. Over the months since launch, the unpredictable Wii Remote has led to a maddening dichotomy. Some games are too easy, while others are too hard -- for all the wrong reasons.
The easy games, like Wii Sports Bowling
, let the most feeble grandma instantly taste sweet victory. But the player's actions don't seem to have that much impact on the results. Swing the remote more-or-less the right way, and you're almost guaranteed a strike.
Gamers who crave a deeper challenge have to settle for battling incomprehensible controls. Wii Sports Boxing
is certainly "difficult," but that's because the best strategy is "Flail your arms like a Muppet on PCP." In Wii Sports Golf,
you can take the exact same swing five times in a row and get wildly different results each time. And then there's Cooking Mama.
Here's a tip: go into your real-world kitchen, and cook some actual food. It'll be about 9,000 times less frustrating, and might result in you eating something healthier than your regular diet of Slim Jims and Funyuns.
So far, the revolutionary controller that was supposed to be universally accessible is confusing, finicky, and imprecise. Maybe over time, developers will learn how to create challenging games that also have intuitive controls, not just one or the other. Until then, the Wii Remote is breaking more than just TV screens
... it's breaking hearts.