After PC, are shooters better on Wii?


metroid prime 3 wii screenshotThat’s the question IGN asked this week. And despite being a much more popular genre on HD consoles, columnist Michael Thomsen thinks shooters are better on Wii.

The simple act of moving in a Wii shooter has a slow gravitas suggestive of being in control of an actual human body and not a camera tripod on greased wheels… What [Wii shooters] lack in technical stature and one-sided nuance, they make up for with creative potential, and a richer palate of core mechanics that are so often totally ignored in dual analog shooters.

While I agree with what he’s saying, and I think Metroid Prime 3 controls like a dream, I’m not sure the overall experience is far more superior on Wii than dual thumb waggles. It’s just different. No?


  1. I can play with the dual-thumbstick setup, and it works. But I find shooting with the Wii Remote is a lot faster and more accurate (literally, as it’s doing exactly what my arm/hand is doing and not relying on the compromise of my thumbs). You don’t know how many times I got shot down in a virtual rock/paper/scissors meetup with other players online while playing Modern Warfare 2 on 360. They pop up and while I’m too busy fiddling with my aim, I’m dead in seconds.

    If I had a wiimote to play that with, the outcome would be different. I just know it.

  2. The Wii is my first console since I turned my Atari 800 in for a PC. After playing shooters with a mouse and keyboard from Wolf 3D through Half Life 2 (when keeping the kids fed stopped me from upgrading the computer just for games) I simply can’t take dual thumbsticks. Hate them completely.

    I tried to play Metroid Prime with the GameBoy controller (which is not the same as dual sticks on a 360, I know. See the first sentence above.) and I couldn’t take it. I dropped it before reaching the first boss. I have since played in Metroid Trilogy with the pointer controls, and I love it.

    So for me, an old time mouse and keyboard guy, the pointer controls are definitely a close second best.

  3. You know what I really like about Prime on Wii, the way the view naturally moves around. A thumb stick shooter has a very unnatural, robotic feel to the camera movement.

    Mouse > Wii Pointer
    Nunchuck Thumbstick >>>> WASD

    Therefore Wii wins for me personally. If I can figure out how to play TF2 with my Wii Nunchuck, I will be indeed a happy, happy man.

  4. After playing prime 3 and a few other wii shooters, it was hard playing gears of war. I forgot how to aim with a stick, felt like i was fumbling with ancient technolgy. i read the ign article, i agree with it, the very first comment was funny, guy was so angry!

  5. I hate many shooters on the Wii. My problem is I have bad eyesight and have to sit closer to the TV. The closer you are to the TV, the less accurate the sensor bar gets and the more likely it is to loose connection with the controller.

    I had to stop playing Conduit when you get to that first fight in the open area where the enemies are all around you. If I turned around too quickly, my character would freeze because the sensor bar lost connection. Of course the enemies would not freeze and I’d be dead before the sensor bar could reconnect.

    I find that in any game that uses the sensor bar, I am playing against the controller more than the enemies on the screen, which takes you out of the game.

    Does Red Steel 2 use the sensor bar or the MotionPlus for its FPS controls? I found that the archery and flying games in Wii Sports Resort (which are basically simple first person shooters) were a joy to play, much better than their sensor bar equivalents in WiiPlay.

  6. I agree with TargetBoy on hating the dual thumbsticks completely. I also agree with Blake that Metroid Prime 3 controls like a dream.

  7. I can’t go back to the dual-thumbstick setup after playing with the Wii for all this time.

    I bought a 360 about a year ago because of FPS cravings my girlfriend and I had. Let’s say we tried about half a dozen title and we put them all down after less than 5-10 minutes play time. We couldn’t go back!

  8. i alway sfound that despite being the only console in the current generation that dosnt deem to be bassed on fps yet the wii does them well because of the pointer

  9. Mouse/Keyboard are my first love and are the best by far. But Nunchuk/Wiimote come in second. Can’t play with thumbsticks at all.

  10. mouse and keyboard are the best.
    wiimote is second best if done right.
    dual analog stick are just plain terrible for first person shooters.

  11. Yeah, shooters are by far better on the wii, I can’t even imaging going back from point to shoot. The entire Prime Trilogy was so well done, it really felt like I was inside that helmet. The HD makes no difference at all. The only difference is a lot of Wii shooters like RS1 and Conduit are crappy game to begin with.

  12. I hate dual analog control. anything is better than that. I dont play console first person shooters for this reason. Im so used to PC controls that I cant even put up with crappy dual analog controls.

  13. Try Dead Space: Extraction on Wii vs. Dead Space on the 360… The experience on Wii draws you in and is far scarier than on the 360, never mind the HD graphics! And we are talking a shooter-on-rails vs. a regular FPS here.

  14. It depends. The Conduit, Medal of Honor, Ghost Squad and House of the Dead Overkill are fantastic on the Wii. However, I find Call of Duty World at War does not work so well because of the graphics. I like to snipe a lot and find this difficult. I finished Call of Duty 2 on xbox 360 and the high-res graphics helped very much with sniping and sniper missions.

    The best of both worlds will hopefully be the PS3 with motion controls and pointer. However, there is the large back catalog of FPSs that probably won’t work.

  15. I believe FPS is best on Wii as well. The article explains it beautifully. It is not as quick, easy-to-control and precise as, say, a mouse of dual analogs, but it is the only controller where you actually feel like you are holding a gun, firing at bad guys. It actually FEELS like you are shooting, not clacking buttons, moving mice and twiddling joysticks.

  16. I never played keyboard and mouse untill recently. I played the pc halo. The learning cure wasnt as steep as i thought it would be. Playin fps’s on the ds almost like keyboard n mouse, but your hands get cramped quick on the ds 😀

  17. Good call InvisibleMan! More people need to play Extraction.

  18. I never liked the PC control style and liked analog stick controls since the N64… but nowadays after playing FPS games with the Wiimote controls it’s hard to go back to dual analog since it feels… restrictive and clunky.

  19. @Relden: I never had a problem with the Conduit and I’ve actually NEVER had the sensor bar loose track of the pointer. Maybe it’s too bright were you’re playing and light is picked up by the sensor bar? Have you tried configuring turn speed and aim box on the Conduit?

  20. I’d argue that quality Wii shooters are better than pc shooters (from just the core gameplay standpoint). We finally have ergonomic controls that are as involving as the content in the shooters themselves. The only thing that can rival a wiimote and nun chuck combo would be a Ben Heck 360 controller that has the face buttons on the botton and a track ball in place of the second analog stick.

  21. The controller feels so natural for FPS games but it’s still a shame that many developers still aren’t taking it seriously and just shoving crappy FPS games on the console.

  22. IGN…
    This is clearly the start of the marketing push for Sony motion control line-up.
    6 weeks from now, we will get “The 5 reasons why Move goes beyond Wii motion”
    After E3, they’ll publish “The Move to shooters, why Sony rules the new games”.
    I have not heard or read anything from them genuinely positive about the Wii the past 8 months. Just listen to their podcasts, they are lost and only now mesmerizing what was so evidently inevitable: the sinking of the HD consoles. But still they will keep their mouth where the marketing money is… and Nintendo is not pouring much in their mug.

  23. i saw the ps3 move for killzone 3 and they should take notes from the wii if u know what im saying

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