I've started reading game manuals purely as light entertaining reading once again. I'm not sure that's healthy...
Inkscape Tutorial Comments and Suggestions Still Welcome!
I've put a link to the Inkscape tutorial at the top of my journal. Although I'll be posting about other things here I'm still happy to receive any feedback or suggestions as comments.
Wii are not amused - part 2
I was thinking of posting this yesterday, but the Inkscape tutorial deserved a day all on its own free of my mad console rantings.
I've noticed an increase in the general excitement over the imminent release of both Nintendo and Sony's offerings in the next generation of consoles. Media services have been spewing out heaps of new interesting details, and even though I haven't been actively seeking them out they've trickled down through the internet. For example the religious fanboy wars seem to be on the rise in the Lounge.
As an aside from my main argument - why exactly is there such a argument between fans of various consoles? I suppose I fall under the Nintendo camp as presently the only console I have is a Gamecube, but it's not like I don't recognise that the PS2 and Xbox are fun too. I certainly don't have a grudge against Microsoft - maybe a little against Sony due to their scrapping of the AIBO that I played around with for Robocup a few years back, and their arrogant stance in marketing. And it's not like I think Nintendo are flawless - hence the point of this post.
Back to the point: I am a fan of Nintendo, and despite the stupid name the Wii is the console I'm most looking forward to. I would be interested purely on the strength of Nintendo's first party titles alone, but the new interface seems extremely interesting and offers the potential for whole new ways to play games. As such, I was debating with myself whether I should buy a Wii on release with a copy of the latest Zelda game (one of my favourite Nintendo series!), or whether I should wait to see if the Wii holds up to its potential.
However yesterday (just before I posted my Inkscape tutorial) I was glancing through the Slashdot headlines and I saw something that has made me start to doubt the strength of the Wii. Apparently in the Wii version of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Link will be right-handed Travesty! Apparently the developers noticed at E3 that most people were using the Wii controller in the right hand, so they decided to make a mirror version of the game to make Link a righty. I sure as hell hope this is optional, because I don't like the sound of right-handed Link one bit.
Now you might think I'm overreacting a little (well, I am a bit for dramatic effect [smile]), but as a lefty myself Link's handedness has been part of what I liked about the hero. It was part of who he was. Link - pointy ears, likes weary green, has a silly floppy hat and is left-handed. Making him right-handed just seems -wrong. It's like giving Mario a clean shave.
It's also made me question their ability to port The Legend of Zelda to the Wii. Previously I was assured by my opinion of Nintendo's reputation in control systems - they've been pioneers in both the hardware and software side of control, and it's not like they'd screw up the control system of one of their flagship titles. But this fix just seems a little - hackerish to me. Mirroring the entire world to make Link right-handed based on reactions at E3? Surely they'd have noticed a problem of that nature in their internal testing?
More importantly though, it's also made me question the whole suitablity of the Wii for left-handed players such as myself. Part of the whole power of the Wii controller system, at least from what I've read, is to allow players to mimic the actions of hand held items. I'm quite strongly left handed, and prefer to use my left hand for writing, throwing and holding racquets and bats in sports. But if Nintendo is prepared to turn their famously left handed Link into a right hander, that suggests there's a strong element to handedness inherent in their controller. If righties find it unnatural to control a left hander with their right hand, then presumably lefties will likewise find in unnatural to control a right hander. And if Nintendo, famed for their control systems, decides to go with favouring right hands for Zelda it doesn't bode well for the left-handed features in other games too. I don't want to have to use my right hand to hold the remote in a sports game, for example, as it feels entirely bizarre to me. It would totally negate the benefit of designing the Wii controller to mimic natural actions.
So given all that, now I doubt I'll buy a Wii until I have a chance to properly play with it myself. Or at the least, until left handed reviewers that I trust to give an unbiased account gets his or her left hands on it. It's a pity though, because from the pictures I've seen it looked like the Wii controller was pretty lefty friendly (at least compared to ergonomic joysticks and mice - damn stupid right handed things). But that doesn't matter a jot if the software is biased towards right handedness.
To look on the positive side of things though, if I did have to use my right hand to control Wii games, at least I'd become more ambidexturous, which might come in handy if I lose my left arm to a wheat thresher or to a Viking raid.
Oh yeah, reminder that you can comment on the Inkscape tutorial as well as my Wii rant. Wouldn't want to distract all y'all.