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Mortal Kombat: Armageddon

Preview: Ed Boon gives us the Wii Remote

"Right, so move the controller like this". Ed Boon, Mortal Kombat's creator, is showing us how the Wii Remote is used to execute Scorpion's spear attack in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon on Wii.

I'm in the game's tutorial mode (clap eyes on a tutorial video - and new gameplay trailer - here) and I've got to hold down the trigger button and quickly flick the Remote right-left. But I'm buggered if I can get it to work.

"Try more exaggerated movements", Ed fumes, standing right next to me. I'm concerned that I might smack him in the face if I start waving my arms round too vigorously. Bashing an industry legend on the nose, even by accident, probably isn't the best of career moves.

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Still, it's all about perseverance right, and after several botched attempts I pull off a move. But it's the wrong one. I pull off Scorpion's teleport attack instead, which is a left-right flick on the Remote. FFS!

Silence falls across the demonstration room as I let the side down. The red heat of embarrassment starts to creep up my ears. You could probably fry sausages on them now.

Ed Boon, industry legend, and creator of Mortal Kombat, is standing right next to me... surely thinking I'm some sort of complete n00b.

Despite my failures, Ed encourages me to continue with the tutorial mode, which has been specifically designed for the Wii version to teach you the Remote control ropes. Next, it's Scorpion's Hellfire move, done with a down-up flick. And, oh yes! Hallelujah! Semi success! It's the same result with the character's ranged fire attack, which is executed by holding down the trigger and performing a half-circle motion with the Remote.

Obviously, I'm more an uppy-downy, half-circley person than lefty-righty. Well, that's the way I figure it.

Anyway, a Midway PR chap present at the demonstration suggests that I might actually pick the whole Wii Remote angle up better if I'm fighting in a real bout rather than in the training mode. While the switch is being made to Versus mode for toe-to-toe battles, Boon explains that the Wii Remote is used for attacking and the Nunchuk for defense, jumping and moving.

Eight basic motions have been designed for the Wii Remote. These are combined together to perform signature moves. Essentially, the way it works is - hold down the trigger button on the Remote and then perform the motion. The D-pad is used for standard punches and kicks. Ed assures me that after a bit of practice the controls "become very intuitive". But the game supports GameCube and Classic controllers just in case you're as bad as me.

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He explains that the idea behind the use of motion control is to make signature moves more accessible. I wonder what that means about my struggle with Scorpion's spear attack. The result of my ineptitude? Or the Wii Remote ironically making things more difficult? I hope the boss isn't reading this...

By now, the Versus mode has been hanging around and polishing its nails for a bit, so any pondering is brought to an abrupt halt as me and Mr Midway PR pick our characters from a roster of 64 combatants (every character that's ever been in a Mortal Kombat game, no less).

I pick Scorpion - naturally - while my opponent selects Goro, the four-armed, muscle-bound freak of nature snarls in anticipation of ripping my head off.

Fight! The bout begins, and Mr Midway PR very graciously throws a few attacks and walks around a bit - essentially a mobile punch bag. I, meanwhile, am still having issues with the Wii Remote and am whipping my arms about and concentrating on getting the damn signature moves to work. "Don't forget your standard attacks", Ed Boon prompts in my ear. Oh yeah!

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