Late last week I received a phone call telling me that I won a competition with Nintendo Australia to be one of the first in Australia to play the Wii at a special Wii Party hosted by Nintendo. There were 40-45 of us in total about about 8 wii stations, you only had to wait at most 4 people in the line to play. It was simply awesome, anyway here are the impressions. --- I arrived back from Brisbane today, all Wii Partied out The reps were great, very friendly and actually genuinely excited to be there and to see what we thought of the Wii. Upon arriving at the venue I entered the foyer to see about 10 people all sitting on the sofas, each with a DS out. Hmm somehow I think I'm at the right place... I hosted a 8 player Mario Kart match while we all waited in the foyer, this was my DS Lite's virgin 8 player experience. I've only ever played 2 player in local wifi and 4 player online. 8 player mario kart was hectic, a lot of fun but I ended up 7th haha. I met up with a guy from Vooks.net (an aus Nintendo site I frequent) in the foyer, it was great to meet him. He regaled me with stories of experiences he had of electroplankton hooked up to his hi-fi system at a party while they were all considerably 'out of it'. Resulting in them all crowded around electroplankton the entire night I know how awesome that is Then it was time to go inside. They made us sign pieces of paper that signed over our souls and trust funds, but it's all for a good cause, Wii! We entered the room, being told to keep to this side of the room, the wii stations on the other side glaring at us. There was a big wall projecter set up rolling clips of wii games. Party food on tables scattered here and there. Bottles of drinks in ice buckets. We were then welcomed enthusiastically by the Nintendo crew. And then it started... Oh man it was very cool. I played: Tennis Bowling Zelda Excite Truck Wario Ware Wii play - duck hunt, air hockey and billiards They were all amazing to play. The Wiimote is really comfortable, it fits just right in your hand. In the Aussie events we got to see never before seen Zelda footage, but I wasn't really a Zelda fan so I jumped straight into Wii Sports Tennis. I played a 2 player game of it with the guy I met up with from Vooks.net. It was probably the best game I played all night, just so much fun The controller is very intuitive and plays just how you expect it to. I made all the exaggerated tennis motions and had a lot of fun in doing so. It's horrible going back to a normal controller after that... Bowling was great too, I could put spin on the ball by simply twisting the Wiimote when releasing it. It felt like the real thing. This will definitely be a good time waster game. Although not a Zelda fan by nature, I loved the sword fighting and fishing. Bow and arrow was also very simple and intuitive but there was a slight learning curve as it is more sensitive than you realise. Zelda was also the only game that used the Wiimote speaker. The sword fighting was very satisfying. Lock on to an enemy with the Z button on the nunchuck then flick the wiimote to make sword swipes. Also shake the nunchuck left and right to do a spin attack or thrust it forward to do a thrust attack. It just worked so well! Fishing was equally as fun, cast off then waggle the wiimote to attract the fish then once you got a bite pull the wiimote back and start winding. When the fish leaps out of the water you need to lower the wiimote again so it doesn't get loose. Then once it's back in the water you pull back again and keep winding. When the fish is near the boat press A + B together to collect it. I caught a 19" Hyrulian Bass. The guy before me got 20" Excite Truck was also fun but the controls were very sensitive. I'm sure some more playtime with it and it would work real well. I kept on running into trees though heh. Press 2 on the controller for accelerate, steering with tilt and right on the d-pad for boost. I came 2nd when I played, so I wasn't too bad. The full game will be great I'm sure, they just need to make sure there's some meat to the game. Game modes, unlocks etc. Wario Ware was just how you'd expect a Wario Ware game to be. It was zany and used basically all the wiimote's functions. It was fun doing the hula, high fiving a nintendog, and driving a car, but all said and done I can see this game getting old very fast just like Wario Ware Touched. Good for parties I dare say but not much other than that. Wii Play I was sceptical about at first but after playing it I found it was well worth a day one purchase with a wiimote. The duck hunt game was fun but since you're not actually pointing at the screen like a light gun it will take some getting used to. It was also the only game I played sitting down (the only one that had seats at that!). Everyone else stood up but I wanted to see what sitting down on a couch in my living room would feel like while playing. I can safely say that it works just fine. You can rest you arm on your leg and just make small motions if you want it works equally well. Great stuff Air Hockey was touchy but fun too. You move the wiimote around to move the paddle around and also if you tilt the wiimote left or right your paddle will tilt too. It takes some getting used to but I can see this becoming a big party game. Billiards was the best Wii Play game, it was just so intuitive. Hold in the B button on the bottom of the wiimote and drag to line up your shot. Then when you were ready press B on the ball and your cue will appear. Keep holding in B and pull your cue back then release and thrust the wiimote forward. It feels like you really are playing billiards. Also if you hold in the A button a half transparent map of the table appears on the screen so it'll help you line up your shot. Very nice. And that was all I played, although I'll make a few notes on the wiimote and nunchuck: - I was playing the final Wiimote and nunchuck and they weren't tethered, they ran on batteries. - It's small and comfortable - The battery cover was kind of loose though (probably from all the playtime at Nintendo HQ haha, the nintendo reps sure love the wii) - The B button on the bottom is not a trigger but a button (it works well as a button so I'm not complaining) - It is comfortable to hold the wiimote on the side during racers - The 1/2 buttons are the same as the DS Lite's Y/A buttons. Probably the same spacing as well. They're nice. - The D-pad is the same as the DS Lite (hold your DS Lite with thumbs on the d-pad and Y/A buttons and you have a Wiimote ) - The Wiimote rumble is kinda weak, which is both good and bad. Good that it doesn't stuff up your aiming bad as there isn't as much feedback. That said it is definitely appreciated in the wiimote, if it didn't have rumble it'd be only half as good as you need feedback for thinks like hitting the ball in tennis - The Nunchuck is comfortable too, fairly light as well. - I didn't like the C/Z buttons on the nunchuck. My fingers kinda just fell off them. They should have designed them like the shoulder buttons on the GC controller. Moulded to your fingers. I think that's about it. I will say this last thing though. Once you go Wii you'll never go back Seriously the controller is awesome. If you have any questions at all feel free to ask. Unfortunately, no photography allowed. Nintendo took pics themselves though so I'm sure they'll turn up on their website.