Versus! Wii FPS Controls: Deadly Accurate or Dreadfully Awkward

James L. doesn’t believe it’s worth playing a FPS on Wii. Evan disagrees. Lots of words follow.

By Nintendojo Staff. Posted 11/12/2010 10:30 1 Comment     ShareThis

The Grinder Screenshot

Remember the Wii teaser video with the guy leaping from behind his couch, firing off shots with Wii Remote in hand? Yeah, that’s not exactly how things work on Nintendo’s home console.

In fact, James believes the Wii Remote and Nunchuk barely work at all for first-person shooters. Evan counters with his undying love for the control setup, preferring it to the traditional dual-analog system. And below, you can see the fight blow-for-blow. Is Wii best for FPS, or worst?

Wii + FPS = Sad

James Labalokie

Wii Is Best for First

Evan Campbell

James LabalokieDespite how much I want the Wii to reign as the top first-person shooter console, it really isn’t designed to do it.

At first, I believed that the similarity to a light gun would work so well for FPSs, but that isn’t the case here. Sure, it’s great for rail shooters-– arcade-type games-– but the lack of control really hurts the Wii in the long run. Unlike the 360 or PS3, Wii lacks a second analog stick, so looking about as you move proves a difficult function to map onto a controller. The freedom to look in one direction and move in another is vital to the FPS genre. You need it, and with only one analog stick, it just isn’t possible. Sure, aiming the remote at the edge of the screen can work, but it’s slow and breaks flow, and that is in the best of circumstances (come on, you know it’s obnoxious when the sensors don’t respond in the way that you want or expect them to).

Resident Evil Darkside Chronicles Artwork

That aside, there’s so little benefit to the ability to point the remote at the screen as you would a light gun. Sure, it’s cool at first, and it can end up having a slightly higher accuracy, but it necessitates an unrelaxed position to reside in while playing. See, that’s kind of a problem, since a video game, as entertainment, is typically a relaxing sort of thing. You know, something you can sit around playing in boxers while sprawled on a couch. I certainly don’t like sitting uncomfortably upright to play a game. It’s not worth sacrificing my comfort in order to play a game to the best of my ability. So, as I’ve noticed, I’ll let my body slacken on the couch, and then my sensor won’t see the remote at a key moment… and then I am enraged. Well, in all fairness, it’s a first person shooter; if I wasn’t already enraged, I probably wasn’t doing it right.

All I see with the Wii is a list of negatives with a very tiny positive. It certainly isn’t worth playing an FPS on Wii when I could just as easily play one on another console. Or on the PC for that matter, but that really isn’t fair at all.

At. All.

Evan CampbellNintendo Wii is my favorite first-person shooter system of all time. Yes, you read that correctly.

While James laments the controls of Wii, I welcome the remote and nunchuk with arms wide open. Ticking a second analog stick to slowly aim at an enemy is awkward and imprecise, at least for me. Pointing the Wii remote at the screen, however, allows for more precision and speed. You can easily snap to different places, horizontally and/or vertically, as well as run circles around enemies while locked onto their heads. This fluidity in controls has made Wii online shooters– the Call of Duty franchise, GoldenEye 007, and The Conduit — highly competitive and fun, and one of the best places for FPS action anywhere. (And I cannot say enough kind words about the amazing single-player campaign for GoldenEye.)

I also must address the misconceived notion that the Wii setup is awkward and uncomfortable. You don’t hold the Wii remote with your arm straight out in front of you. You rest your hands in your lap, with small movements from your wrist controlling the reticule. This is the same thing as playing with a regular remote. But if you do need something to stabilize you, just grab a small throw pillow. Boom. Problem solved.

GoldenEye 007 (Wii) Screenshot

The only shortcoming for Wii first-person shooters revolves around the visual prowess. At the same time, almost any genre on Nintendo’s platform deals with the same graphical shortcomings. So, basically, the question arises whether visuals are more important for you, or controls? There is no right-or-wrong answer, as all consoles have their positives and negatives, but Wii really does provide a new and fun way to tackle the shooter genre. Not only that, but it’s deadly accurate.


Be sure to let your voice be heard below in the comments. Tell us whom you agree with and why, or spit in both of the staffers’ faces with your own opinion.

One Response to “Versus! Wii FPS Controls: Deadly Accurate or Dreadfully Awkward”

  • 255 points
    Joshua A. Johnston says...

    If this was about system infrastructure (graphics, online, HDD) as it relates to the FPS, I think James might deserve some consideration. Even within the scope of controls only, I might have still sided with James… if this was 2006. We’ve come a long way from Red Steel (and even COD3), though, and having played (and reviewed) The Conduit and COD: Reflex and then gone back to dual analog on other systems, Wii remains the best thing out there, save perhaps the tried-and-true mouse and keyboard.

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