Passive vs. Active gameplay

Those who still associate in-game movements with simple flicks of the Wiimote, and believe these movements are just gimmicky replacements of what we have perceieved as gameplay for the past decade are missing the point, I think. Believe it or not, I too had some quiet reservations about the Wii, but all it took was a newly released Twilight Princess trailer to quell those concerns. After viewing this trailer, I wanted to be IN THAT WORLD. I wanted to be swinging and dodging and participating in Link’s story.

And that’s why — and this will come as no surprise to some — when a majority of Wii games get to the levels TP apparently has reached, and then go beyond them, I believe the system will become unstoppable. The graphics for TP are great for sure, but I still keep coming back the controller. Previous games had you passively interacting with the game world. Push a button here, and a pre-scripted event happened on screen. Mash a button there, and something different happened. Your interaction with that world was tied to a Circle button, or a very large A button, or a trigger. The interaction was limited. With 3D space now part of the equation, the interaction with the game world is unlimited.

Surely, with games like TP, you are more in control of that world that ever before, no? Your physical actions start to become represented onscreen and you become immersed in a world that was once gated off by instruction manuals that told you, “push A to jump.” Now, you want to jump, the potential exists where you can “just jump.”

To be sure however, there are certainly portions of Twilight Princess that border on gimiicky and tacked on. Fishing and bowmanship are two examples that could go either way, and jumping looks to be controlled with the A button — but my point is this great launch game will only open new doors for gaming, and not just for Nintendo.