When it comes to comparing what the HD-consoles can do that the Wii cannot, “physics” is one of the always used buzz words. But it is exactly that: A mere buzz word.
“It´s got better AI, physics and more enemies on screen” is your daily standard-reply you get from those oh so brave HD-warriors. You know, to defend against the evil that is called “Wii“. Let´s keep the rest for a later article and focus on one word for now: Physics. What does that even mean when people use it? What is the important context that makes me, the gamer, care about it so much?
To me, when talk is about physics, i think of how it improves gameplay. Because that´s what´s important to me whenever i think of a new generation of video game systems: WHAT can be done NOW to improve the gameplay, that couldn´t be done before?
Now, to be honest, there are two, in numbers 2, games i remember for their physics-based gameplay. And one of them isn´t even a from-the-ground Wii-game. First is Halflife 2. Where you had to put stones on one side of a balance board so that the other side goes up and you can reach higher ground. Another scene was, where you had to put air-filled barrels below a ramp, to be able to jump over fence with your hovercraft. There´s at least one more such scenes. The second game is The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, yes, a, basically, Game Cube-game. In the temple of time you had to put some of these small statues on one side of a balance-construction, so that the other side goes up and can hold Link´s weight, too. All so that you could further proceed within the dungeon.
That makes it two games. I´m sure there are more games that copied these style of puzzles, but at least the big, popular games didn´t use it at all. So just WHAT is it that makes so many HD-system owners go mad, turning them into anti-Wii trolls oh so often?
Of course, i know what “they” mean when they´re talking about physics. And to be honest, it makes me sick. What they mean isn´t any different from the wish for better visuals. Because it´s part of the visuals. “They” mean objects flying through the air. Dead enemies falling to the ground. Or in other words: “Their” physics are nothing more than eye candy. Mere eye candy that doesn´t sport any kind of advantage for the game´s gameplay.
Now, that is okay. It is ok to want that. What is not ok, though, is using the term “physics” as a seperate feature of the HD-systems, when you´re not even meaning the real thing, but just a small part of an already established department of the HD-system´s features: Superior visuals. That´s as if i´d say “The Wii has Nintendo-games. And it has Zelda.” No sh*t, Sherlock! One is already part of the other one. Just like eye candy-physics are already part of the visual-department.
But i guess that´s part of that thing called “console war“, eh? Let me tell you: Mentioning “physics” as part of the HD-system´s superiority makes your e-penis shrink. Now that´s a good argument against that term´s usage, isn´t it!