You've probably played it. So you'll remember that, upon first arriving at Vietnam in 1968, protagonist Mason remarks that his friend Woods looks like "hammered shit". Coincidentally, so does the Wii port of Call of Duty: Black Ops.
Skimming away most of the aesthetic prowess of Black Ops is noticeably jarring, and the effect is severely worsened by the fact you can't turn your head without seeing the HD version of the game prominently displayed in internet adverts, shop windows or everybody else's living rooms. The fact Treyarch has managed to release a fairly competent cut-down version of the game isn't the point: playing Black Ops on Wii would be tantamount to watching a pirate copy of Inception on VHS while someone rubbed Peri-Peri sauce into your willy.
Even the most devout supporter of the Wii would be hard-pressed to not complain about the shonky visual effects, like the screen just awkwardly cutting straight to white when you die - apart from the level when you're trotting around Khe Sanh, where it inexplicably fades to black. Bang. White. Or black, of course. None of that technically stressful fading or blurring: only (mostly) white. That's Treyarch deciding to respond to a problem - the lo-fi Wii can't handle the post-processing effects of the death screens - by just ignoring it entirely.
Or have a little peek at the game's third level, where you take a car trip with Robert McNamara to the Pentagon and subsequently get ordered by President Kennedy to assassinate Russian antagonist Nikita Dragovich. On the Wii that's just an abridged movie sequence - the first instance of many, too - with Treyarch taking footage from the HD version and riddling it with poor compression and glaring artifacts. Watching the high-poly models strut around in movie form is also like coming second on a daytime TV game show - here's what you could have won!
In converting the splendid Black Ops to the Wii, Treyarch has completely forgotten to compensate for how the Wii is an absolutely terrible home for Black Ops. The enemy AI feels far more basic than in the HD consoles, and they were hardly rocket scientists on the bigger boys' consoles, though the wonkier snap-to aiming helps keep you from steamrolling all opposition. Thanks to the Wii's diminutive resolution, too, attempting to fire an assault rifle long distance is like trying to accurately throw breadcrumbs at a pixelated grey pea on the other side of a park without wearing your glasses.
Standard pointer controls are included, which get the job done (after a bit of fiddling in the options screen to get the right sensitivity) while losing almost all the speed and grace of the analogue sticks. Using the Zapper is absolutely hilarious, though: reloading is handled by shaking the Nunchuk, so doing that when connected to the Wii Remote via Zapper causes the on-screen gun to flail around like someone having an epileptic fit at a rave. Bung a Classic Controller Pro into the Wii Remote and it's like playing a Fisher Price version of Black Ops - something to wean the 10-year-olds on before they hit their teenage years, get an Xbox LIVE Gold account and start throwing offensive racial epithets around like they're candy.
Still, neutered versions of all the levels are there. Some might see that as an accomplishment in itself - probably the kind of people who try and see the good in everyone, and the type of character that uses the term "it's pretty good for a Wii game" when discussing the relative inabilities of Nintendo's console. You might not be able to ride the attack boat up the rivers of Laos to the Rolling Stones' Sympathy for the Devil, for instance, but you can sort of do the bit afterwards. Or not, as the case will more likely be if you've got any sense.
Elsewhere, all 14 multiplayer maps smoothly transition to the Wii, and Call of Duty's standard system of perks, challenges and XP ensures that, despite a lacking online experience, you can still find yourself quickly invested in the outcome of games.
If you can set it up, that is. It took me most of an afternoon to correctly sort out the network settings and, after hitting a never ending 'please wait' screen, a Google search result instructed me that I needed to make a new profile from the Black Ops main menu and then switch back. Baffling.
When you're finally getting into games (the Wii version had about 2,000 active players at time of review; a far cry from the 360's 500,000) it's quite a familiar sight, albeit with grubby textures, blocky graphics and a majority of users opting for the slow Wii Remote controls. Use the two sticks on a Classic Controller and you'll basically be able to move with the proportional unfairness of Neo in the Matrix. But what's with the 10 seconds of black screen (and no killcam, of course) between respawning?
Say goodbye to Chopper Gunner, Valkyrie Rockets and the Gunship, too, because they've all been cut. You like the look of the Pentagon map from Zombies mode? Unlucky; all that's here is Kino Der Toten. Oh, and there's no local multiplayer.
As much as I want to commend Treyarch for essentially reducing Black Ops to fit on the Wii, it's impossible to engage with the game when so much of what's been lost is absolutely crucial to the overall experience. If you've only got a Wii, then you might think this version of Black Ops will do the job. If that's true, though, heed my advice: buy an Xbox instead.