Montréal, if it were any other day, I’d hate to set foot in the city. Between its legendary bad traffic/drivers and the fact I have Ontario plates, it’s not a place I like to be.
But today is special. Today is a day where I’m willing to brave the suicidal highway system and its emergency road signs I can’t understand. For today is the beginning of Festival Arcadia and the Canadian debut of the Wii.
By starting early and flying down the highway at 140 km/h (about 90 mph), we made it to Montréal just before traffic got really bad. With an hour and a half to kill before the show's 9 AM start time, we figured we’d have plenty of time to get to the event. But because Google Maps directed us to drive across a Parc, we arrived at the event with only 20 minutes to spare.
We quickly grabbed our tickets (about $13 a piece) as fast as we could and quickly took our place in line. The line was fairly short for the first day, but seeing as it was a Friday, I figured most of the kids were still in school.
9:30 AM, 30 minutes after we were supposed to be let in, the doors finally opened. We quickly dashed through the coat check and made our way to the real attraction, the Nintendo booth.
I was a little giddy as I approached the Twilight Princess demo, eager to get my first taste of the Wii. The giddiness quickly faded. Maybe it was because the demo was too early in the game for me to get a real sense of what the Wii can do, but it honestly felt like the motion controls were just tacked on.
Granted, I didn’t have much to go on, but the game felt like it was built for a normal controller. Movement was also a little awkward since the Wii has notches around the analog stick just like every other Nintendo controller since the N64.
Visually, the title didn’t look much better than a late-gen GameCube title, but that may be due to the incompetence of the staff. I inquired about how the system was connected, and why the image looks stretched, but the staff didn’t have much to say.
After some investigating (and being yelled at by PR), I managed to discover the game was running in 4:3 480i over a composite connection on a large 16:9 LCD display. So I guess despite their failures, it looked pretty good.