Life at the Dawn of Waggle: The Embarrassing Optimism

Ethos when he was young and (even more) naive.

It’s true, folks.

Before my current and upheld standing of objective arbitrator, before my respected status of critical game journalist, before the great wonder that you all know as Riddlethos, I was a drooling, slobbering Nintendo fanboy.

I am currently 3 years sober, but the building hype and release of the Nintendo Revolution turned Nintendo Wii unfortunately took place 4 years ago.

For you, dear readers, I am swallowing my pride – more than usual – and revealing some pretty embarrassing things I typed up on the internet before my Riddlethos days. Before my days. Hell, even before my RPGamer days.

Perhaps I was finally trying my hand with the Playstation, but that didn’t stop me from thinking that Nintendo could do no wrong. Back in those days, I only had an eleven inch Commodore 64 monitor to play games on, and so my Gamecube was plenty to keep me happy for the most part. I was fully caught up in Nintendo’s “Revolution” bullshit and was prepared to defend anything the company revealed.

In the first of my embarrassing quotes, let me direct you to this mild gem the day the name “Wii” was released.

Jokes = people asking about the origin = people finding out about the system = people realizing it’s an awesome system.

Note my willingness to call it an “awesome system” the day it was officially revealed? I know with all the current shovelware, it’s easy to forget the days before we had actually tried the Wii. I remember believing that the controller would be capable of operating perfectly in 3D space. I don’t know why I thought this was a good thing for gaming, but back then, this was a new prospect. It felt like technology was progressing and the sci-fi images of gaming helmets and full-body immersion was slowly coming to fruition. And plus, who was Nintendo to abandon the hardcore gamer?

Anyway, with nothing but fanboy imagination to go off of, hype built to an insane level. Just take this awful quote from an old online journal entry.

Give. Me. Wii. Now.
Now. Please.
Oh god.

Pretty much a picture of me back then.

There’s a bunch of other – less embarrassing – rambles interspersed within that blush-worthy mess, but it’s all boring stuff about how I don’t know where I should go to line up and how I hope Twilight Princess is good.

But it wasn’t just the hype that caused myself and others to think the Wii was the shit. Take this quote from after the launch.

All my friends love the system. They have a blast with Wii Sports.

Thinking back, this was true. People were excited about the Wii. It wasn’t just a mini-game machine in people’s minds. Not only that, but Wii Sports did an excellent job at tricking the user into thinking that the Wiimote was more accurate than it was.

In fact, most people (myself included) thought that Wii Sports would be a jumping point and that software would only get more accurate and involved after that. Little did we know that Wii Sports would sadly still be the best use of the controller all the way up to the release of Wii MotionPlus.

Unfortunately, this next quote proves that even blatant waggle had me sold at the beginning. This is probably the most embarrassing one because I didn’t have the defense of not having played the system before…

It’s becoming increasingly obvious that Twilight Princess might still take a backseat to Ocarina…
THAT aside it is still the most ridiculously fun and incredible experience.

The Wiimote just adds to the brilliance and the MIDI soundtrack is actually giving more nostalgia than it is giving me annoyance at lack of orchestration.

So go, friend. Get a Wii and get it now. Reserve your unit. Love it forever. Realize the Revolution.
Remember, the Nintendo Wii IS the Nintendo Revolution.

You better thank me for this, readers. I know Riddles will never let me live it down. I was actually defending and praising the use of waggle for Link’s sword. Not only that, but I tried to come up with a reason why MIDI was better than orchestrated music.

I think we all forget how quickly the Wii has made us all bitter about motion gaming. Sure, I was an extreme example of a supporter, but the general mood was more optimistic back then. People were excited for involved and unique gaming experiences. Now that Nintendo has very quickly dumped on the waggle crap, the Move and Kinect launches garner nothing but disdain from the hardcore crowd.

I expect nothing else, but it’s interesting to look back and come to terms with the fact that the launch of mainstream motion controls in today’s gaming landscape wasn’t met with exactly the same negativity across the board. There was excitement about the possibilities of a new input device in the once exclusive gaming community we all held so dear.

But I’m beginning to talk about the sad present state of motion controls. The state that caused that same drooling fanboy above to not play his Wii for a year and groan with everybody else at Sony and Microsoft’s “me too” motion releases. And that is for our resident pessimist, Riddles, to handle. Look forward to that depressing mess soon.

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4 Responses to “Life at the Dawn of Waggle: The Embarrassing Optimism”

  1. SiliconNooB says:

    -You are a braver man than I, Ethan.

    -In many cases I prefer MIDIs to orchestrated tracks.

  2. Ethos says:

    -Thanks! It took guts. I feel queasy reading those.

    -Definitely a case to be made and I would agree in some cases. I don’t think Zelda is one of those cases. Not when the score attempts to be epic and emulate an orchestra.

  3. SiliconNooB says:

    There are some tracks where only an orchestra will suffice. More broadly however I think that the MIDI format actually forced composers to make pleasant and catchy tunes, rather than having the ability to utilize an orchestra to make a bloated, pompous arrangement which sounds like a LotR OST B-side. They did not allow for lazy composition, either your tracks were good, or they were seen to be bad, there was no way to cover up your laziness or lack of talent with glossy production values.

    I also really did the clear, simple and ultimately very pleasant sound.

  4. SiliconNooB says:


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