NEW YORK--We'll admit it: We weren't too stoked initially when we heard that Twilight Princess, the long-awaited Zelda sequel, would be receiving a control overhaul to make it take greater advantage of the motion-sensing Wii controller. Swing the remote to swing your sword? Well, that just sounded like work. Sometimes you just want to mash on a button, right?
It turns out that the new controls aren't so bad after all. In fact, we found them to work quite well when we tried a new demo of the game at Nintendo's press event today. (The demo contained exactly the same levels we played back at E3, just with the new controls added). You don't have to make large, sweeping movements to make Link attack with his sword. To the contrary, the game will easily register a simple flick of the wrist and make Link swing accordingly, and if you've got your sword sheathed, moving the controller in this fashion will simply draw the sword, if no enemies are directly in front of you. So you'll be able to shake or wiggle the controller back and forth rapidly to attack, rather than having to swing your arm in a big arc. We could even pull off a couple of different sword combos by playing like this.
Even better was the fishing minigame, which was also available back at E3. But this time, the controls were even more like the actual sport, and we had perhaps too much fun casting our line in realistic fashion and lazily reeling it back in by making a reeling motion with the nunchaku. We were also able to flick our rod (read: remote) back and forth subtly or grossly to create the corresponding lure movement, and we had to flick the rod back sharply to hook the fish once we had a bite. Gee, just like real fishing!
The short version is, if you were planning on picking up Twilight Princess along with your shiny new Wii but were worried about the new controls, stop worrying. We think they'll be perfectly manageable based on what we played today, and frankly, we kind of want that fishing minigame broken out into a full-fledged Wii game in its own right. An afternoon in our boat (er, on our couch) with a six-pack and our trusty rod and reel sounds like good fun to us. How about it, Nintendo?