By now it’s fair to assume we’ve all been exposed to the Wii, Nintendo’s rival to the Xbox 360 and PS3, with there clever Wii-mote control, that’s shown a whole new way to gaming. Though many of us will likely be looking at it as a gimmick that’s yet to fulfil the undoubted potential that the idea has, the idea has shown it’s uses.
With every Wii sold, there was a free disk of 5 games, Wii Sports, which featured a Tennis game, a Bowling game, a Golf Game, a Baseball game and a Boxing game. This was almost a demo disk, showing some ideas of how the control could be used and almost an introduction into playing with your Wii, a clever touch of marketing by nintendo who could claim they were giving away 5 free games.
Though for a freebie it’s actually quite decent and it was a year later that my sister got Mario Kart, that finally Wii Sports was displaced as the game of choice in the house. Something about the games simplicity and driven competitive spirit of a sibling rivalry was apparent with in the domestic environment, and yet the nerd in both of us loved it as much as the sports freak in us.
So to start you pick a game (sport) you want to play, then you select the players (most games are 1-4, but boxing and baseball are 1-2), then you select your Mii (your virtual mini me) then the games are ready to begin. The games also have a training mode, but as I’ve not really played with that, I won’t go into too much detail about them, and may only make passing references. Sorry about that but I’ve only really played the multiplayer functions.
We’ll start with the Golf game (as it’s my least favourite), there is an option screen to select difficulty of easy, medium and hard, each a 3 hole course, or the selection to play the whole 9 holes. To play your shot, you aim the top of the wand/remote/wii-mote at the floor, hold the A button and swing. Sounds simple, yet there is something annoying about the fact I still don’t get it, I still seem to Bogey more often than I Par and overall the game annoys me thoroughly as I’m that bad at it.
One of the training modes see’s you trying to hit targets from a Tee shot, to earn points, a relatively more fun mini game than the proper thing.
Bowling, one that many people like would be my second worst, mainly because…well…again I’m terrible at it, and Kayleigh (my sister) manages to beat me at it way to convincingly. The game is another that should be simple, hold a button, swing the control vertically, let go of button, hit the pins. I seem to hit the people behind me rather than the pins, and as funny as it is once or twice, after the 10 shot in a row, it loses it’s humour. The game is just a 10 end game of 10 pin bowling, that many seem to actually really like.
One of the training mini games involves bowling at ever increasing pin counts, where an extra row is added to the 10 (making 15, then 21, 28, 36 etc) for about 10 progressive goes until you have some stupidly large amount of pins on your aisle. Again a fun mini game.
Baseball, is actually one of the 3 games I really enjoy, though I know most despise it, I like it as I find I can beat most of my family. The game is 3 innings, with differing controls for either player. To pitch you effectively make a throwing action then press a variation of the buttons (A, B and A+B) to throw different types of pitches. Whilst the batter swings the Wii-mote to hit the pitch, whilst running and fielding is done automatically. Despite it being a 3 innings game, the mercy rule does apply if the match is totally one sided. The game actually is one of the more skilful ones (I would say that wouldn’t I), as the first 3 or 4 times you play, you’ll be lucky to hit anything, but after a while, you’ll hit most pitches apart from splitters.
The most memorable training game involves trying to score as many home runes from 20 pitches as possible, though to be honest, their all brilliant.
The Boxing game, by far the most tiring and the only one to make use of the nunchuk accessory is one of the best games on there (so says a big time boxing fan). Each player uses a Nunchuk and a Wii-mote and selects there handedness (oddly I actually play this lefty/southpaw), with their handedness deciding what should go in which hand. The game picks up the nunchuk as one hand and the wii-mote as the other hand and then off you go, trying to do what siblings do best and fight. The technique, is relatively simple, throw the “punch” straight and you’ll through a jab or a straight, through with a horizontally curving arc and you’ll throw a hook, throw it vertically and you’ll through and uppercut, hold both controls horizontal and you’ll put up your “guard”.
The games best kept secret is the counter, if you sway both controls to the side, you lean out the way, if the opponent throws you weave out the way, then through your own punch, it inflicts extra damage.
I’ve not played any training games for this one.
Tennis, the game where I am family champion, the king of swing, is by far the best game on the disk. You control your Mii (oddly you can control 4 of your Mii’s at once, playing yourself at doubles…), or team of Mii’s against the opponents (be it a friend, family member or computer) and just keep hitting the ball back and forth until you win the point. This game revolves around timing of your return, and a little bit of placement and even grip of the control (a fact my sister seems not to have realised is slice can be added). The game is fun, fast, frantic and can be competitive, especially against the expect level computer.
Can’t remember any of the training games here either sorry, though I know there done on a blue court, that can be accessed to play the normal games one if the player holds the “2” button when selecting the Tennis game. The court is an indoor surface court as opposed to the grass court.
Overall a good selection of games, that are easy enough to pick up and play, though on the whole are demo type games. They are not a reason to miss out on games like Top Spin, Tiger Woods or the Fight Night games (though sadly it’d seem EA aren’t interested in taking this to the Wii format, so an alternate console may be needed for us boxing fans).