[REVISITED] The Wiimote and Me: An Onerous Ode

Image by yum9me: http://www.flickr.com/photos/yum9me/2252122910/
Image by Flickr user yum9me (CC)

Following up on my most recent Twilight Princess update and the issues I’m having with the Wiimote and the Lakebed Temple boss Morpheel, I decided this week to re-share an article I wrote (from April 25, 2013) that’s all about this dastardly controller. (Actually, it was, and can be a pretty fun controller…when it works. And mine’s just not working grumble grumble…)

I hate the Wiimote.

I know people have been saying it for several years, but now I’m saying it. I hate the Wiimote. I don’t hate the Wii, just the stupid remote and nunchuck controllers. I can’t stand them. And only just recently, I caved. Finally. I bought a Classic Controller. And it is good. Oh, so, very good. Now, I still have and will regularly use my favorite, purple Gamecube controller, but not all games accept it. Heck, not all games accept the Classic Controller, but many do, and it has drastically changed my feelings about our poor, neglected Wii.

I didn’t always feel this way, about the Wiimote that is.

When the Wii first came out, we were super skeptical about it. It was small and cute, with the funny “magic wand” that you waved at the screen to make stuff happen. It was novel. Though we weren’t early adopters, we were still very curious about its motion sensing technology and how that affected gameplay. I remember trying out the Wii every chance I got once it started appearing in stores. When the system worked, it was actually pretty great. I recall waiting with a small crowd at Circuit City to “hit” a few Wii Sports baseballs during the time when Wii was very scarce. And once our skepticism had eroded, we eventually bought one.

And it was fun. No, I mean it. Really fun!

We had a tiny apartment back then, with barely 3 feet between the TV and the couch. We didn’t think much about not having enough space. After hooking up the console, it took a bit for us to find just the right spot for the sensor bar. But once we did, it was like magic. We played lots of rounds of Wii bowling and tennis (my favorites of the Wii Sports games), only managing to whack each other occasionally as we flailed about. (It was only a matter of time, though, before we figured out that you didn’t have to flail in order to use the Wiimote). Still, a good time was had by all. I even remember showing it to my parents and playing a few futile games of boxing before they concluded the Wii was quite a “marvelous device.”

But then, we started using the system to play real games, namely Super Mario Galaxy and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. For the record, I never finished either of them. I blame the Wiimote. Okay, and I also blame the wonky set-up we did with the Wii after we moved into a different apartment. We just really didn’t have the proper space. The TV was up on a dresser, making the sensor bar very high compared to us players down on the ground, and it never properly detected the Wiimote. The set-up was made worse by outside glare and uncomfortable seating. Add to that my discovery of Mass Effect, and that was that. Our little Wii fell into disuse. And I didn’t think twice about those Wiimotes while I was off saving the galaxy.

It was couple years before I began using the Wii regularly with the release of Epic Mickey. And I was back in love…


This time round, in yet a different apartment, our set-up was as good as it got. There was plenty of space between us and the TV, and the sensor bar was in a perfectly reasonable location. I really enjoyed using the Wiimote to paint the town green and blue, but at times, it was really inaccurate. I mean, like, I’d point at the right side of the screen and see the cursor on the screen, but for some reason the paint ended up everywhere except where the cursor appeared.  It was annoying and frustrating and just plain silly. Oh, I stuck with it through the whole game, but there was certainly more than one time that I wanted to fling that Wiimote and stupid nunchuck down the stairs. After Epic Mickey, the Wii sat, once again, for a long time unused.

We then moved once more, our last move for awhile assuredly. And in our new house we found the perfect spot for the Wii. A few tests proved that the set-up was the most perfect ever. So then the motion gaming happily commenced, right? Nope. Tainted by my prior experiences with the Wiimote, I instead purchased a bunch of old games through the Wii Shop. I pulled out my trusty, purple, Gamecube controller, and I was in heaven. Until one day I decided that it was about time to give the Wii and the Wiimote another chance, their final chance as far as I was concerned. So I rented The Last Story. Using the Wiimote with that game was not the worst thing in the world. The controls were pretty simple though they took some getting used to. In retrospect however, how I wish I had bought the Classic Controller earlier — it would have save me several button-related headaches throughout the game.

Then I moved onto other games; the two in my sites were Lego Batman 2 and Epic Mickey 2, both of which were (and still are) available on all systems. But I gave the Wii and its motes and its nunchucks the benefit of the doubt. Results? No and almost no. I found Lego Batman 2 to be my worst Wiimote experience yet, and I’m about the throw in the towel in Epic Mickey 2. “It can’t be that bad,” you say? Oh my friends, it is bad in the worse kind of way. Part of my extreme unhappiness is due to the game itself, its controls and mechanics; but a sizable amount of frowns can be chalked up to the Wiimote. It’s mainly due to the button layout, which never seemed to bother me before, but I now despise with Epic Mickey 2. I have to finish the game, I really do — but every time I pass the docile Wiimote sitting smugly in its charger, I just want to bury in deep in the backyard and hope it grows into something useful.

That didn’t make a lick of sense, I know, but that’s how mad the Wiimote makes me right now. In fact, now I’m so angry I need to take a nap.

Do you harbor ill feelings about a controller that are so strong it wears you out just thinking about it?


  1. Pam says:

    I’m right there with you on the Wiimote. I also hate the giant Wii U gamepad. I know there are a number of great games on the system, but I shouldn’t have to go out and spend $70 on a Pro controller to play them. A proper controller should be included with the system.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. cary says:

      Exactly. I mean, they released that pro controller anyway, so why not bundle it? I don’t mind the Wii U gamepad as much, but it’s not great. And at least it doesn’t rely on crappy motion control!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Actually you and I have almost the exact same wiimote experiences minus the Last Story. Epic Mickey 2 was the final straw for me and put me off of motion controllers permanently as a silly and worthless gimmick. The Wii doesn’t truly deserve the hate it gets today when only a few years ago it was everywhere in people’s homes but I always thought the wiimote was a terrible and non-intuitive design. Great for games like Metroid Prime but awful for everything else. Don’t even get me started on the Wii Call of Duty and Epic Mickey 2 was an existential nightmare. Thanks for the fun read!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. cary says:

      Well, thank you for reading. 🙂 I got all my Epic Mickey 2 demons out in a post here…it was terrible. (The game…maybe the post, haha.) Soooooo terrible! Makes my stomach churn just thinking about it, so I’m gonna stop. I can’t even imagine trying to play a game like Call of Duty on the Wii. Poor aiming would be enough to drive one into a fit of blinding rage, surely.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah aiming was impossible, like an arthritic sniper. Wii COD took the blue ribbon for being the game I owned for the least amount of time. 2 hours and back to GameStop. Here’s hoping the NX is their redemption.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Jake Stewart says:

    You’re writing style reminds me of the character Juno from the movie Juno. A refreshing take on something familiar. You’ve gained a follower.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. cary says:

      Thanks for the compliment, and for the follow! 🙂


  4. Imtiaz Ahmed says:

    I love the wiimote, I never had any issues without. I agree it wasn’t the most accurate device out there, but for the way the games that i played were designed for it, it worked very well


    1. duckofindeed says:

      The Wiimote was perfectly good for what it was designed for, though I always found it to be a rather strange controller, considering you could plug these other controllers into it. It definitely allowed for some unique game mechanics, though.

      Liked by 1 person

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