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Although Conduit 2 obviously isn't designed for me, I appreciated how accessible a version of these games my son enjoys it is. Even I could cope with the controls and pull off the odd head-shot (as I understand it is called).
We've had a Wii in the lounge for a number of years now. When I asked my son why he didn't play it very much these days and he told me "it doesn't have the games I like on it". With this as my challenge I set about trying to find some games that he would want to play, and that I could join in with -- with a little practice.
After suggesting some titles that he didn't like the sound of, I came across Conduit 2. Now, I know this isn't the sort of game that mums are supposed to be playing on the Wii but actually I quite liked the idea of shooting various aliens, particularly if I could do it with my son.
Once I had convinced him I really did want to play the game with him, and for more than a few minutes, we made some popcorn and drinks and settled in for an evening of shooting strange space creatures.
What I wasn't expecting was that I actually quite enjoyed it. I may not have had the same level of enthusiasm as my son, but the experience was actually quite infectious. It took me a while to get used to controlling how to look around the place and lining up the right guns for the right enemies, but a couple of hours in and I realised this was probably the most fun I'd had on the Wii.
What I wasn't expecting was that I actually quite enjoyed it.
While we played my son would point out some actually quite interesting things about what was happening. Together we came up with tactics to outfox various enemy characters who would hide behind furniture and pop out at inopportune moments. He would tell me how this compared to the first game, or characters he had met before. It was like suddenly being allowed into his world -- I think he forgot who he was playing with sometimes.
As he was keen to tell me, Conduit 2 was a bigger game that the first one and had a lot of extra missions and secrets you could find if you spent time investigating each area. I actually got a little distracted here and slightly obsessed over finding all the collectible items, much to my son's impatience.
It's all pretty over the top stuff, trans-dimensional portals, alien lifeforms, ridiculous guns and plenty of masculine men charging about the place shouting. But it didn't seem to take itself too seriously, and got us both laughing at some of the story's antics.
After finishing the game with him (it took a good few evenings of hard work) I had a quick go at the first Conduit game. I was surprised to find it much more difficult, particularly the aiming. The new game uses the MotionPlus add-on and feels much easier to keep your pointer on the screen.
Having decided that this wasn't the best thing to play next, I had a stream of different game suggestions but nothing quite hit the same mark. Even some of what my son thought were classic shooting games on the Wii (Metroid Prime, Disaster Day of Crisis and House of the Dead) didn't feel as engaging as Conduit 2. I think there is a lot to be said for the MotionPlus enhancement here, something I previously suspected to just be a money making gimmick.
I think I'll check out how violent it is first.
I'm planning to play through Conduit 2 again with my son, something he still sounds like he is up for. But more than the game itself, I think the real discovery here was that by playing something that he wanted to play I found an enjoyable way to spend time with him. The surprise was that I'm also a little addicted to these games myself now.
He's suggested we get the PS3 Move controllers next (Sony's version of the Wii I'm told) and a game called Kill Zone 3. I think I'll check out how violent it is first (and what the suggested age rating it), but I must admit I'm quite curious to find out how it compares.
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