Thursday, June 07, 2007

Could a MMO be made for the Wii?

Sometime during the summer the popular Dance Dance Revolution will be released for the Wii and will probably be a smash hit with most of the console owners. DDR makes use of a dance pad which bears remarkable resemblance to the track and field mat first pioneered on the classic Nintendo. Unlike the overpriced gimmick of the 80s though this game has actually skyrocketed in popularity among all age groups. And this appeal is only expected to increase on the Wii since hand motions will be added to the game to correspond with the tricky foot maneuvers.

What's exciting is that if DDR does become popular enough on the Wii then other studios will probably start including the dance pad in their game design. Picture a fighting game where your footsteps actually control how your character dodges and attacks. From there its not a far step to have your footsteps replace the standard W, A, S, D keys used for movement in most MMORPGs. Such a MMO would have to be slightly different to avoid exhausting its players but could present a very unique feel especially in a first person perspective.

The newest version of Zelda released on the Wii already proved that basic adventure/rpg actions can be done with the Wii remote. The most common mechanic in modern MMOs is the hot bar which could easily be manipulated by the nunchuk controller. The main remote controller could then be used for sword swinging or targeting a player's spells. The major block would be communication but this could be bypassed by including voice chat in the game. With World of Warcraft eventually planning to add voice chat capabilities you can expect it to quickly become standard in MMOs.

The first MMO released for the Wii might be a bit basic but could still be quite fun since players would interact more realistically with the virtual world using hand and foot controls. This limited control method might discourage some but then again games like Guild Wars and Diablo 2 have allowed rich gameplay without the complexity of a million UI buttons. Still for such a game to be published there has to be demand for a more "virtual reality" experience inside a MMO. The popularity of the .Hack series might convince publishers that there is such market but it might take awhile for one of them to take the first step.


free mmorpg said...

looks a cool idea