Monday, September 28, 2009

Wii Learning Curve

Browsing my Nintendo RSS feed today I came across a new WiiWare game for download that peaked my interest. Driift Mania (I suppose the double "i" means it's a Wii game) is an old school driving game that is very similar to the classic Off Road. Once I saw the screenshots for this game and the price ($8) I knew I had to get it. Off Road was one of the best games for the NES and I remember taking advantage of the revolutionary (for its time) 4-player mode in playing it non-stop with my brother and friends in our old Manor neighborhood. I've already gone back to the future with Bubble Bobble, Super Mario, Sonic and other WiiWare classics, why not give an Off Road spin-off a try. I thought for sure that Josh and I could continue our epic Mario Kart battles in this new game.

I downloaded it earlier this evening and it's just as I remembered Off Road. Top-view road race action where you just have to move left and right on the controller pad and use the 2 (B) button to accelerate. Very simple controls that I easily picked up from Off Road muscle memory. Unfortunately, Josh is unable to grasp the concept of top-view racing. He has become VERY good at Mario Kart and has actually beaten me in a couple of cup races lately. The controls for Driift Mania completely perplex him though. I took time to try to explain that you need to turn left and right only as if you were driving the car. After a few practice sessions he got so frustrated that he broke down crying that the game is too hard. I started playing one-player and he had fun watching me race but I really misjudged his ability to pick up the controls. It really is more intuitive for kids to tilt the Wii remote rather than press right or left on the D-pad. It didn't help that Josh hasn't completely mastered the directional definitions of right and left. Alas I will have to go it alone with this game (as if I have time to play Wii on my own these days). I do recommend it to those of you Wii owners who enjoyed the classic thrills of Off Road.

Looks like we'll need to go back and continue our Mario Kart battles for now. Alex has recently shown interest in Mario Kart but he just wants to "play" and by play I mean he has a remote, the race starts and he drives straight left into a wall, sits there for a bit and then puts down his remote and starts to draw on some paper for the rest of the race. We keep passing him and at the end he says "I beat you JOOOSSSHH!" He's much better at "autry" (archery on Wii Sports Resort).

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