One of the best technology purchases I made was the Nintendo Wii, which was a family present two Chanukahs ago. It is a fantastic gaming platform, especially for younger children, and the motion sensitive controls are nothing short of amazing.
The only problem I found, though, was that the Wii remote can get in the way of the illusion of some games. I initially found this when I was playing Star Wars on the Wii. The Wii remote just did not approximate a sword or light saber very well. Fortunately, at that time, DreamGear contacted me with a Wii lightsaber, which connected to the Wii remote, significantly enhancing the illusion.
Not long ago, I found I had the same problem, to an even higher degree, with shooting games. The Wii remote is simply not an adequate surrogate for the trigger on a gun. The illusion was getting shattered, which significantly affected my enjoyment of this genre. Fortunately, I happened to have been emailing with my friends at DreamGear, who offered to help solve this problem by sending along the DreamGear Rumble Blaster for my Wii. Keep reading to see how it worked.
So, I can already tell what you are thinking. OK, so it is a Wii gun. There are lots of gun shaped attachments for the Wii remote, and they all increase the realism and experience of my gameplay. So what is so different about this one? Well, I am glad you asked that.
The first thing I like is the tactile and visual feedback. Many of the Wii gun attachments I have used to not give you much in the way of feedback when you pull the trigger. Those of you who have fired a real gun know that you get an incredible amount of feedback. The Rumble Blaster may not approximate the real feedback you get from firing a gun, but it does a good job of working with you. Not only will the blue light glow underneath the barrel, but you will also feel the rumble as the gun vibrates in your hand. This is great. I love a controller which gives you this kind of tactile feedback while in use. It may not approximate a real gun, but it does add to the illusion of the game.
The second thing that sets this blaster apart is the breakaway design. This is essentially three accessories in one. For standard play, all you need to do is insert your Wii remote into the top of the gun. Now, get ready to play. The cool thing here is the double trigger design. The main trigger controls your “B” button, which is the usual trigger. The second trigger controls the “A” button, which often has a significant impact on many games as well. I really liked this design — though it did take a bit of time to familiarize yourself with these controls — which puts right where you naturally hold the gun. This means you do not need to stop the action or even move your hand to reach the “A” button.’
Then again, sometimes, a single “six shooter” is just not enough. Some games demand that double fisted action. For that, you have a second gun. This one is not quite as fancy. it does not rumble or light up. Just slide the nunckuk controller into this second gun, and you are ready to rumble, The only problem I had with this was the the main unit is significantly heavier (especially since it holds the 2 AAA batteries) than the nunchuk gun. This made the units feel a bit lopsided to me. this lopsidedness, in turn, can make one or the other a bit clumsy to control.
Finally, like a Transformer, the two guns can combine to become an even more powerful weapon…The Rumble Blaster. When combined, you will find a multi-trigger, two-handed blaster. This is perfect for those first-person shooter games that involve multiple weapons or controls (such as Doom or Quake).
I absolutely love accessories like this. They allow you to use your regular Wii remote, while simultaneously adding a whole new level of realism. This significantly enhances the illusion of the game. The Rumble Blaster delivered on this illusion remarkably well; gunning down the opposition with its unique 3-in-1 design, multiple triggers, and tactile feedback. And besides all of that…it is just plain fun to use.
What I Like: 3-in-1 design, tactile feedback
What Needs Improvement: weight disparity between the two units
Where To Buy: DreamGear