You get Wii Sports free with the system, so it can’t be any good, right?
Wii Sports is the perfect introduction to the workings of the Wii Remote. It also happens to be a damn good party game, much more so than most video games meant for that purpose. Sure, we’ve all got that group of friends who plays Halo every once in a while, but it’s not exactly easy for a non-gamer to pick up the controller and jump right in. Wii Sports is the opposite ’cause if you know how to swing a bat, you can play this game. Anyone can jump into this without knowing thing one about the controller, because there’s hardly any buttons to push. It’s all in the movements.
It emulates the sports pretty perfectly (with the exception of one) and really is intuitive. It plays just like you’d want it to and for anyone who’s been following the launch, you know those videos of people trying the Wii for the first time and making goofy faces? Well, it happens to everyone. Yes, you’ll look like an idiot playing this thing, but unless you’re extremely self conscious in front of your friends for some reason, it won’t bother you.
Bowling is by far the favorite at my house. It controls perfectly, giving you the feeling of really chucking a bowling ball down the lane. You’ll start to appreciate the sensitivity of the remote when you realize that you can put english on your throw and send the ball into a spin to knock out those hard to reach pins.
Tennis is another favorite, you don’t actually control your player in this, just the motion of the racket but like the others, while it’s simplistic it’s damn entertaining. These matches get a little frantic.
Baseball is a fun two player game, one person pitches and the other swings for the bleachers but you don’t control anything else about the game. It’s more of a home run derby than anything, because any little hit is automatically an out unless it reaches the outfield. The controls are great here, and the faster you swing the faster your pitch, or hit.
Golf surprised me, ’cause I was never one for golf games. This one’s very easy to get into although I still can’t sink a putt to save my life. There’s a nice choice of 3 and 9 hole courses, with lots of difficulty levels.
Boxing should have been the most fun to play, but isn’t due to shoddy controls. One of the culprits is the fact that you use the nunchuck attachment for the movement of your left hand. It’s just not as responsive as the Remote, and you’ll soon figure that out when you’re trying to jab and it’s throwing crosses. Shame, because this was one of the games people were most looking forward to.
So with 5 games as a single player experience, Wii Sports gets old very quick. Fortunately there are some interesting modes to it, such as training excercises and a fitness program. A fitness program? Yeah, but not like what you’d think. It gives you programs from the training section to complete and somehow grades you on them- giving you a fitness age similar to the Brain Age you get on the DS game. The downside to this is that you get an older score if you’re bad at a particular game. I’m 55 right now, damn you tennis!
The training games are really fun, especially the bowling ones. You unlock them as you go along, and can rack up medals for doing well. The second bowling excercise has you trying to knock over literally dozens of pins at a time. It’s really satisfying. There’s a golf game where you have to hit a bulls-eye, a tennis game where you have to get targets, and some other fun types.
Unfortunately, there’s not much meat to this bad boy. Where it does pick up points though is in multiplayer. Just make sure you have the room, because remember you’re going to be swinging these things like wild animals. I got a wicked hit from a controller while I was playing a tennis match yesterday… and I’m actually sore from all the games I’ve played. Still, add a few friends and a few drinks and you’ve got an instant party on your hands. Adding to the fun of things is the fact that you can import your Miis from the Mii Channel on your system. What that means is that you can play as yourself, or anyone else you can think of.
All in all, this is the perfect pack-in. I can see it getting tiresome after a while if you don’t have anyone to play with- and sure, the graphics are shit but this is the kind of game you’re going to pull out time and time again to give people an example of what the Wii can do. And to sucker more people into playing videogames, of course.