Back to the Future for Wii
A new game for the Wii comes with what looks like an old-fashioned controller.
By: Sean Gallagher

My son kidnapped our Wii today to take it to his friend's house. He also took a TV with him.The reason? A new networked game for the Wii, called Monster Hunter Tri. The game lets you play online, but it's single-player. So each player needs to be at a console.

Monster Hunter is also notable in that it comes bundled with a brand-new controller for the Wii, the Classic Controller Pro. It's not really so much a 'new' controller as it is a visit back to an old one. You can buy the Classic Controller Pro seperately for around $20--and if you've played any of the game consoles from Nintendo's past, you might want to.

The standard Wii controller is designed to be grown-up friendly--that is, its pointing and clicking are designed to be familiar to the less nimble-fingered. But the Classic Controller Pro is based on the same controller that Nintendo used for its GameCube.

That means it's meant for people with more flexible thumbs--like your kids. But the controller is much easier on the hands than the original GameCube controller, so it might make it easier for you to play along. And the Classic Pro will make playing the "classic" games originally designed for the Nintendo GameCube and Nintendo 640 (which you can purchase and download through the Wii over the Internet) easier to play. It may also stage a comeback with some new games, like Monster Hunter Tri.

Like the Wii Classic Controller, the Classic Pro needs to be plugged into the standard Wii controller to work wirelessly. But it has extra "shoulder" buttons on the front of the controller. These put it nearly on par with the XBox and Playstation controllers for button saturation.

Of course, you could always just plug an old GameCube controller into the Wii and play without the fancy-pants wirelessness. It's essentially the same thing

The one thing that Monster Hunter Tri should have come with, and didn't, is a headset. The game supports the Wii's voice chat for cooperative play over the Internet. Then, my son wouldn't have had to tote the television five blocks.