Nintendo Wiimote Controller Impressions

So much has been said and written about Nintendo's Wiimote control scheme. In fact, you can pretty much pin the entire strategy of the Wii on this new method of playing games, since Nintendo's said that the Wii is pretty much just Gamecube hardware in a new shell. Our thoughts? They've got a winner on their hands.

In both gaming and menu navigation, the Wiimote performs admirably. Find out how after the jump.

Navigating menus and typing in info were all straightforward. Point the Wiimote at the are of the screen you're aiming for, like a laser pointer, and you're set. Typing your name on the on-screen QWERTY with this system is actually faster than using a D-pad. Nice.

How about the games? Wii Sports is supposed to show off all the various Wiimote uses, which it does quite well.

•Tennis: We thought this was going to be the most fun, but it actually turned out to be kind of awkward. Swinging forehands and backhands sometimes got mixed up, so on occasion you'll miss of no fault of your own.
•Bowling: Lots of fun. You raise up the Wiimote like a ball, then go through the entire bowling motion to launch.
•Baseball: Not bad, as you swing and pitch with the Wiimote. You may end up just using wrist action or some sort of fake pitch/swing motion as a shortcut.
•Golf: Like bowling, a golf swing works pretty well with the Wiimote. The only problem is swinging too hard/fast, which causes the ball to go wobbly. But still fun.
•Boxing: A bit of a hit and miss here, as you use both the Wiimote and the Nunchuk to control your fists. This could have been good, but could use for a bit more control tightening.

•Excite Truck: Not bad, but not as fun without the steering wheel attachment. Steering is pretty straightforward, but a little loosey goosey.

•Zelda: Twilight Princess: Although a Gamecube game at heart, the Wiimote controls don't feel tacked on at all. You swing your sword with the Wiimote, which unfortunately isn't freeform, but just executes one of a few pre-set sword animations. You aim your bow and arrows and boomerang with the Wiimote, which needs to be pointed at the screen (the game will remind you of this if you aim off your TV). This is fine if you have a decent sized TV, but if you're going at 20 inches or less it may be hard to get a nice aim from across the room.

We're looking forward to more experimentation with the Wiimote and seeing different types of Wiimote functionality, but so far it looks like Nintendo's taken not just a step, but a big leap in the right direction.