E3 2007: Wii Zapper less cool than you might be hoping

It was hot and sexy to see Nintendo announcing new goodies right and left at yesterday’s press event, and the new peripherals announced looked like they could be a lot of fun to use. As I am a fan of shooting games and Resident Evil, the Wii Zapper seemed like it would make the game experience totally awesome. I headed over to Barker Hangar a few hours later with the intention of tracking it down to see what the feel was like.

To sum up in a word: awkward. One of my favorite things about titles like House of the Dead is precision; without it, you’re likely to have your flesh feasted on in a matter of seconds. The peripheral feels clunky in how movement translates to screen, which is even more confusing considering it is lightweight and easy to hold. It SHOULD work well, so why doesn’t it? I had the distinct desire to rip the Wiimote and nunchuk out of the holder and just use them normally, as it seemed it would make things a thousand times easier. When you want to get a peripheral out of your way as soon as possible, it’s just not a good sign.

Maybe I wasn’t patient enough, but the most intuitive of controls should be easy and immediate to adjust to, the Wiimote itself being the most obvious of these. When I played Super Mario Galaxy on the Barker Hangar show floor earlier, I found myself marvelling at how much fun it was to make Mario jump and twist with barely even a flick of my wrist. This is what a peripheral should do. I’m sorry to say I’ve got to give the Wii Zapper a thumbs down, although I still have hopes that the Wii steering wheel will be more of a success. 

Colette Bennett