With its successor around the corner and a six year anniversary just a few weeks away, we've shown some love for Wii this week. Despite its modest graphical power and SD output, it's outsold its rivals, made motion gaming a mainstream pastime and given us some terrific games. We've already looked back at six years of Wii and listed our top 20 games for the little white box, but now we want to get a bit more personal.
Some of our staff decided to share their best memories of the system, mainly with a quirky vibe. Let's face it, with all of the Wii Remote swinging, waggling and pointing, alongside some of this generation's most creative games, all Wii gamers have a host of memories that make them laugh, cringe, or a bit of both. Below are some of ours.
Anthony Dickens — Reviewing Ninjabread Man
One of the most intriguing and ingenious character names with screenshots that promised at least a half decent game, Ninjabread Man was not just bad, it was awkwardly bad, awful in fact. The game is broken in almost every way; it proved extremely difficult to put into words for the review, an experience that can only be witnessed first hand (shudders).
Mike Mason — Feeling the beat
I've got some great multiplayer memories on Wii: making an idiot of myself playing WarioWare: Smooth Moves, flapping frantically at cardboard boxes in Let's Tap, the obligatory Christmas Day Wii Sports sessions. But one of my favourite experiences with Wii was fairly recent — the first time I played Beat the Beat: Rhythm Paradise — also known as Rhythm Heaven Fever — earlier this year. Over the course of a few hours my girlfriend and I passed a Wii Remote back and forth, giggling like idiots and battling back tears at the adventures of ridiculous pink birds, singing shrimp and bi-plane-flying cats.
We repeated the event with friends, siblings and parents, each time to the exact same effect: grins all around and laughter rattling off the walls. It's just another example of that pure magic that only Nintendo can bring into the living room – and with Wii there were plenty of those little moments, whether it was in working out the timing of a particularly tough song in Beat the Beat, unravelling the joyous threads of Kirby's Epic Yarn or racing through the utter lunacy of Excitebots: Trick Racing.
Tom Whitehead — That shot's impossible, right?
My main quirky memory, rather typically, is from playing Wii Sports; specifically from playing golf with my dad. In the early days (late 2007 in my case) we'd play every single weekend, to the point where it became a ritual. As the "gamer" I always wanted to win and played safe, while my dad took the role of the reckless, adventurous golfer. I was nicknamed Paddy, after the rather stoic Padraig Harrington, while my dad was Rory McIlroy, at the time a little-known but gifted young player who hadn't won anything, with a habit of trying over-ambitious shots. There's one hole in the original game, meanwhile, with a dogleg around some trees, though my dad was convinced that he could hit through them and get onto the green in one shot. I played the "experienced gamer" card and said there was no way he could get through; the game was programmed to make it impossible, I insisted.
He kept trying, and trying, and then one day it worked. The ball sailed through the trees and landed on the green. We both started whooping and high-fiving, and the family dog, at that time a puppy, didn't have a scooby-doo what was going on.
Orla Madden — Need more space
I'll keep it short, because this has happened to a lot of us. Playing Wii Sports for the first time on the day of buying my Wii, playing Tennis with my sister and as a result of me swinging the remote a little too violently, the poor girl had a black eye. She shouldn't have been that close to me anyway!
Ron DelVillano — Not just marching, but muscle marching
My favourite quirky memory involving the Wii would probably the hours that my cousin and I spent playing Muscle March. I know that the game wasn't very well-received, and most people are terrified of the premise, but we absolutely loved the game. In fact, it's probably the game that we spent the most time playing together on my Wii. I know it sounds absurd, but we'd play until we laughed, and we'd laugh until we couldn't breathe. In my opinion, that's how you know when a game is reaching its players and helping to bring people closer together.
It also has the best trailer, ever.
Gaz Plant — A home run
Picture the scene. It’s Christmas 2006. I’ve bought a brand new Wii on launch day and have rarely stopped playing it since then, and we’re having the family round ahead of Christmas to exchange presents. Seems like a sensible time to bring the Wii into the living room for some Wii Sports fun right? Wrong. No sooner was the Christmas tree up and decorated, it was back down on the floor again, thanks to it being on the receiving end of an optimistic baseball swing. Add to that a few dents in the wall thanks to a lack of spatial awareness and I think it’s clear why the Wii never made it back to the living room!
Morgan Sleeper — All about the Remote
I definitely have wonderful memories of some of the 'classic' Wii moments — playing Wii Sports with my non-gaming friends, watching in terrified slow-motion as an errant Wii Remote flew towards our brand new HDTV and missed it by a millimeter, getting lost in extended jam sessions on Wii Music with my family - but for me the surprise stand-out of the console has been the stunning simplicity of its controller. As much as I love the WaveBird and the DualShock designs, there's something so gloriously uncomplicated about the sideways Wii Remote configuration. It was a perfect fit for the 'back to basics' approach to gameplay that defined some of the Wii's best games for me; Kirby's Epic Yarn and Return to Dreamland, Klonoa, Donkey Kong Country Returns and New Super Mario Bros. Wii proved that the era of two buttons and a D-pad didn't end with the NES. The Wii U may be bringing a bevy of new options with its GamePad, but I'm glad the Wii Remotes aren't going away just yet - they're a perfect embodiment of the blend of old and new that made the Wii so unique!
Greg Giddens — I'm a Wii Psychic
Back when the Wii came out it was ridiculously hard to get hold of. They were sold out everywhere, and when some did come into a store they were only small batches of units and most were to fill pre-orders, so very few hit the shelves. But you see, I had a dream, and I don't mean that metaphorically, I literally had a dream of going into a store and picking up a Wii console. It was an odd dream for sure; I could tell because it didn't fit the template for all my other dreams (steady on now! - ed). Anyway, I awoke from this strange dream and immediately called the same store I'd dreamt of, and low and behold they had just, and only just, received a batch of five Wiis. I asked them to keep one by for me, shot into town and picked it up. I lost my psychic powers after that, but I feel they were spent on a good thing.
So those are some of our team's quirky memories of Wii. What about you? We'd love to hear about funny, embarrassing or strange Wii moments in the comments below.