Every so often, I like to use my blog for what I’m currently playing. So forgive the fact that this blog’s not exactly MMO related. I promise it’s a rare diversion from the norm.
I’m a big fan of Sid Meier’s classic Pirates!, and have spent many days with the updated PC version that came out a few years ago from 2K games. Well, apparently the publisher hasn’t forgotten about the IP and has seen fit to have the title updated for the Wii. Sure with games like Dead Rising 2, Halo: Reach, and soon Fallout: New Vegas I should be thinking of other pursuits, but a good game is a good game and that’s exactly what Pirates! for the Wii is… even if it is a little lacking in new additions.
All the stuff I loved about the PC version is there, and they even saw fit to throw in some new features. Like a Wii-mote controlled shooting volley game, and the fact that a 2nd player (IE: my fiancée) can pick up another Wii-mote and join in on some of the mini-games like dancing and sword fights. During the latter the 2nd player acts as your parrot to help take down the rival captains.
The visuals are largely the same as the PC version and translate well to the Wii, except for the fact that stretching them out to a 42” HDTV winds up making the title look more dated than it really is. The music doesn’t help matters either. Though evocative of the era, it also sounds really low-budget as if someone made the tracks on their keyboard in a basement. It’s one of those things that could have been updated when porting the game to the Wii, but was obviously not a necessity. I find myself turning on Flogging Molly when playing, and turning down the music in the game.
The only real qualms I have with the Wii version so far is that it seems to me like they didn’t put enough effort into taking advantage of the Wii’s motion capabilities. You turn your ship with the d-pad, when instead you should be able to twist your wrist. You control the sails with the press of a button, when perhaps a wrist jerk up or down would work better. You also don’t have any control over the distance of your cannon shots, when the obvious use of the pointing with the Wii-mote is totally missed.
In short, Pirates! on the Wii is a perfectly capable port of the classic PC game. All the depth and fun of the original is there. Just don’t expect much more than that. If you’ve already loved it to death elsewhere, then it’s probably best as a rental for the Wii. It is good however to get my future bride playing as my subservient parrot. Just don’t tell her I said that.