Well it is finally here; the Wii has been released by Nintendo and with it comes my very first review of a Wii title. As most of you surely know Wii Sports is included in the package with every system and it showcases some of the Wii Remote’s impressive capabilities. Beyond its apparent simplistic look its offers more depth than originally expected. Initially thought as a mere technology demo, Wii Sports turns out to be a game in itself.
Nintendo has stated time and time again that the Wii will not be a console that will excel at creating realistic graphics like that Xbox 360 or Playstation 3. I will take this opportunity to mention that not now nor in the future am I going to base my graphical reviews in comparison to the previously mentioned systems, instead I will base them on what the Wii is capable of. Keeping that in mind, I must say that I enjoyed the look of Wii Sports. It is simple but has a unique and interesting look. For those of you with component cables you will be happy to hear that Wii Sports supports 480p 16:9 Widescreen, which does in fact make a considerable difference.
It’s apparent that Nintendo wasn’t trying to make a Gears of War graphical powerhouse game, but rather a fun, and for a lack of a better word “cartoonish” style game. They executed that look terrifically; the detail in the grass on the tennis courts is surprisingly impressive, as is the reflection on the hardwood lanes of the bowling ally. My only graphical criticism is the overall simplicity, albeit intentional. There are no crowds for the most part, just patches of colours and no character details. Overall I like the look as it suits the game, and it shouldn’t detour anyone from what the Wii is actually capable of graphically.
Basically, everything sounds realistic. The crashing of bowling pins, the tennis ball hitting the racket, a baseball hitting a bat, a stroke in golf, and the sound of a boxing glove hitting your opponents face. The addition of the sound coming from the speaker in the Wii Remote is a great addition, as it gives the sound more depth. Certain noises can only be heard in the remote, and as you follow through with your motion the sound transfers into the speakers on your television. For example in tennis when you hit a ball you can hear the thump of the ball hitting your racket from the remote, and the sound of it flying through the air as it transfers into the television. This adds a sense of realisms and a whole new level of immersion into the game. Beyond the realism of these sounds, the game is lacking any music or speech besides the odd commentary.
This is where Nintendo strives, innovation of game play. The selling point of the Wii is the whole new level of interactivity that immerses you into the game, and physically let’s control your motions. Wii Sports is a great title to get you familiar with the whole new way to play video games. What I found most appealing is the fact that from the moment I picked up the controller, I felt as if though I was a master of it. I think it’s a safe bet to say my Grandma could pick this game up and play. It’s simple, if you can swing your arm as though swinging a racket, or a golf club, or a fist, etc. then you can become a master of Wii Sports.
- TennisPlayable for up to 4 players simultaneously, Tennis turns out to be a whole lot of fun. It’s simple, the player moves around automatically so all you have to do is swing the racket when the ball comes near. Keep in mind that the way you hold the remote will affect the way ball is returned, as in real life. If you want to deliver a backhand do so as you would in the real world, same goes for a forehand. The twisting of your wrist downward will result in a back spin of the ball, and vice versa for a top spin. Very simplistic controls, yet utterly realistic, Wii Tennis is a great time and offers amazing interactivity.
Playable for up to 4 players turn based, once again, if you have ever bowled in real life or ever seen anyone bowl, you know the motions. Wii Bowling is just that, you lift the controller up while holding the “B” Button then follow through and release. You can add a curve to the ball by the direction of your follow through, or can take the time to aim your shot horizontally and diagonally before you make your motions. Wii Bowling is another fine example of the interactivity of the Wii Remote.
Playable for up to 2 players, this is a condensed version of baseball. You have three innings to score the most runs, minus any fielding or base running controls. It’s simple, defensively you pitch and the computer controls the infield and outfield. Offensively you bat, and based on the distance of your hit you move to a corresponding base. For pitching you choose between a fastball, splitter, curveball, and screwball by pressing A,B or a varying combination of the two, and then you simply make a throwing motion as if you were throwing a ball in real life. The speed of the ball changes depending on how quickly you throw. When you’re up to bat, you can hold the Wii Remote as if holding a baseball bat. Your every motion is captured on screen, whether you twirl it around, hold still, or get ready for a bunt. Swinging is simple, when the ball is over the plate, you swing. Wii Baseball once again makes good for showcasing some more capabilities of the Wii Remote but lacks actual depth as far as a baseball game is concerned.
Playable for up to 4 players turn based, golf offers 9 unique holes. It plays out as a game of golf would, you hold the Wii Remote as if though holding a golf club and swing with as much power as you deem necessary. Before you take you actual shot you can practice swinging and gage how much power is going to be required on your actual stroke. When your ready to swing away, press the “A” Button and proceed with the motions, the same goes for putting. Wii Golf is a great time, and a must play for any golfer, especially in the winter.
Playable for up to 2 players at times boxing seems like a day at the gym not a video game, in a good way. Wii Boxing is the only game on the disc that requires both the Wii Remote and the Nunchuck. Basically you hold each in your fist and you mimic such moves as punching, blocking, swaying, and shifting your position. I find the game to be very interactive; you can throw jabs, uppercuts, and hooks. It’s like you’re actually in the ring, and after the three rounds I defy you to not have to sit down and take a breather. Wii Boxing is an excellent showcase of the capability of both the Wii Remote and Nunchuck.
I’ve been playing this game on a daily basis since launch over two weeks ago, and it has yet to loose its initial appeal. With 5 different and equally addictive games to play it’s hard to put the Remote down. The addition of seeing your Mii characters in game is a definite bonus. For those of you who don’t know what a Mii is I’ll educate you. On the Wii Menu you have the option to click the Mii Menu. From here you can create characters to your likeness or anyone else for that matter, personally I like boxing the cartoon likeness of Michael Jackson or Sudam Hussein. Beyond playing around with the addictive Mii’s, Wii Sports offers a bit of depth with different training scenarios for each sport and a fitness test that you can access daily for each of your Miis. The fitness tests rates you on your skill, based on the criteria of balance, speed, and stamina. After the test it gives you an age at which level you play at ranging from 20-80. Overall Wii Sports has a great replay value; I don’t anticipate I’ll be putting my Remote down anytime soon.
I really enjoy Wii Sports. As a free title, I don’t think anyone can complain. It is easy to pick up and most importantly fun to play. Although it may lack depth and lifelike graphics, Wii Sports will keep you coming back for more.