System: Nintendo Wii
Players: Up to 4
Release Date: November 19, 2006
Forget any uncertainties you may have about this game. Once you do that, you could have a clearer vision of what Wii Sports game is about. This is one of the first free game pack-ins there have been in ages. If you only take 5 minutes to play, especially with friends, you can begin to understand the brilliance behind Wii Sports.
The heart of Wii Sports is the collection of five different sports – Tennis, baseball, bowling, golf, and boxing. Each of these games are straightforward. They mimic real life motions you’d expect such as swinging a racket and swinging a bat. All of the games are simplified, which seems to coincide with Nintendo’s overall goal of introducing everyone to video games.
In each of the sports, your main motivation for playing is to reach pro status. When this is accomplished, a message will be posted on the Wii message board to congratulate you on your feat. However, that’s not the main benefit. With this unique system, points will be added or subtracted based on your performance in each game. Your opponents are kept fresh in tennis by toughening the AI when you’ve gained more points. Though, if you lose points, the bots will obviously become less challenging.
In tennis, there are absolutely no buttons required to press. The only thing you have to do is swing the remote to mimic the motions of playing actual tennis. Your character will also run to the ball so you only need to focus on hitting the ball. There seems to be a variety of ways to hit it however, to make the gameplay seem less redundant.
Swing that racket!
Likewise, baseball is the same as well. You only need to swing the remote like you would a baseball bat. The base you “land” on is predetermined based on your swing. If you hit a short little roller, you’re going to automatically be out. On the other hand, pitching requires a bit more thought, but is still simple nonetheless. By pressing certain buttons, you can carry out a specific pitch such as a curveball.
Bowling seems to have much more depth than the other games. If you hold down the “B” button, your Mii will ready itself to let the ball goal. Move the controller like you would a real bowling ball, and then let go of the button. You can add spin to the ball, throw it into other lanes, or even throw it backward to see other Miis panic as the ball comes near them (if you’ve created 5 or so Miis, they’ll replace the game-made ones with the other Miis you’ve created).
Although golf is fun, it’s pretty difficult. It’s hard to estimate how hard the golf ball will fly, though you can test out your swings prior to taking a shot. By holding down the “A” button, and swaying the controller back and then forward (as in real life of course), your swing will be executed.
Boxing is the most controversial of the 5. It’s the only sport that requires the nunchuck attachment, and a lot of physical effort. When you move the controller to the left or right, your character will move itself to that location. Then, you can also block and dish out punches by, you guessed it, manipulating the controller to execute real life actions. At points, the controls seem to be unresponsive and sloppy, however.
Wii Sports really stands out in the multiplayer field. You can play with up to four friends, depending on which game you’re playing. Wii Sports seriously drives out the competitive nature in you when you compete with a friend. It’s easy to get into the game, and it goes to show how simplicity can go a long way. Personally, my family and I have obtained a lot of laughs and entertaining sessions.
At this rate, I’ll be ready for MLB.
A common misconception is the fact Wii Sports only contains 5 sports. However, mini-games and a fitness test are also included. All of the sports have 3 mini-games each, which is a grand total of 15. The mini-games are quite short, but they contribute to help you to get better in the particular sport. Tennis, for instance, has you return tennis balls. Another mini-game tests to see how many out of 30 baseballs you can hit. It’s fun to play the mini-games, and it’s a nice addition to the package instead of only including sports.
Besides the actual sports, Wii Sports has a fitness test, the equivalent of Brain Age for the Nintendo DS. While it is a neat feature to include, it isn’t always the most accurate. The fitness test calculates your age by assessing the following: stamina, balance, and speed. These are logical factors to weigh your age on, but it is not executed perfectly. Since your physical age is calculated by 3 mini-games, depending on how much you practice, you’ll either master of flunk the test. So, if you’re horrible at 2/3 mini-games, chances are your physical age will soar. Or, if you’ve perfected them, you’ll easily get a lower age.
The graphics are blatantly sub par, as to not intimidate those who are fresh off video games. Wii Sports seems to maintain Nintendo’s “policy” of simplicity and the importance of gameplay over graphics. The characters aren’t too detailed, and neither are the environments. However, a sleek look is presented.
Although the graphics aren’t mind-blowing, this is the debut of featuring Mii characters in an actual game. Miis are character representations you can create in the Wii channel. You can personalize a considerable amount of body parts to change the appearance of each creation. It’s pretty hilarious to see George Bush, Miyamoto, or even yourself right in the game.
Surprisingly, Wii Sports features a fair amount of good music. Right from the start, there is an upbeat tune that can easily get stuck in your head. The only time where music seems to cease, is during in-game action to provide concentration. Tons of sounds are emitted from the Wiimote speaker. You can hear everything from sounds that let you know if it’s your turn in a particular sport, the swing of a bat, or the punches you throw in boxing.
Despite its lack of graphical prowess, Wii Sports is a superb game. Who can argue with a freebie anyway? Wii Sports stands out in the multiplayer field. You’ll laugh, you’ll enjoy it, and even your family will most likely have a blast. The Wii is about bringing families together. In my case, it definitely did. So pop in that disc, give it a shot, and swing away!