Review by Veggie22

"Pretty Fun"

One of the first games Nintendo showcased for the Wii was Wii Sports. A fun little game that includes tennis, baseball, bowling, golf and boxing. I'm sure you all remember the Nintendo big wigs up on stage flailing their arms about, showing us how the Wii worked. Lucky for us Nintendo fans, it ended up being a pack-in with the Wii. A first in many years. But how does this fancy little pack in play? Surprisingly well. I'll divide this up by game, and bring it all together in the end. So let's jump in, and take a look at tennis.

Tennis - 8/10

The flagship game of Wii Sports, tennis seemed like a perfect fit for the Wii. All you do is swing the racket when the ball comes at you. You don't need to control the character or anything, just swing. I went into tennis expecting it to be my favourite sport in Wii Sports, and I think that still holds true. It's pretty simplistic gameplay wise. You choose a single game, best out of 3, or best out of 5. There isn't much depth as that goes. It controls very well, allowing you to put spin on the ball by actually jerking your hands to create it. It adds a sense of realism that you just don't get in other tennis games. The trick to the game is to actually swing as the ball is coming at you, not normally when it's beside you. The Wiimote can't really sense the distance you're arms are moving when you swing, so even a flick of the wrist will suffice, and in some cases, work better. Which brings us to baseball.

Baseball - 7/10

One of the better games of the five in Wii Sports, baseball is another simplistic game that is a ton of fun. Touching on what I said before, the controls in baseball allow for a little bit of cheating. Flicking your wrist to swing or pitch actually works better than doing the full out motion. When you swing, the Wiimote typically goes from behind your head to the other side of your body. When you connect with the ball, the bat thinks you're going relatively slow even if you swing fast. That won't hold true for all cases, but that's what happened with me. There's two sides to baseball; batting and pitching. While pitching adds a little bit of technique, allowing you to throw a screwball, fastball or other types of throws, it's generally boring unless you're playing against a friend. Batting is the meat and potatoes of it, and it works pretty well. As for the out and in field, you don't control them at all. They'll automatically move to the ball and pick it up. Depending on how long it takes for them to get to it, you'll hit a single, double, triple, or be out. The AI is a little on the dumb side in the outfield, as they will sort of run around the ball before actually catching it. A little annoyance, but works to your advantage when you're the batter

Bowling - 9/10

Ah, bowling. The sport no one is sure is a sport. Regardless of that, bowling offers the most solid experience you'll find in Wii Sports. Being one of the sports (well I guess I answered my statement there) you can do multiplayer with only one controller, it adds a better experience almost immediately. To bowl, all you do is hold the “B” button, and perform the bowling motion. Release “B” when you'd release the bowling ball in real life and off it goes. You're able to control the side and angles at which you want the ball to roll into the pins by pressing “A” before you throw it. Adding spin on the ball is something I've had difficulty doing, but you can do it. Bowling is pretty simple in the terms of what you can do however. Basically, a frame, with two chances at each set of 10 pins

Golf - 5/10

Of all the sports, golf is my least favourite. You'll find a more deep game of golf in Mario Golf. All you do is hold “A” and swing the controller like a golf club. There's a meter on the left that judges how fast you swing. I've found that it's pretty erratic, as in I could never seem to swing at a steady pace. Putting is even worse. I resort to just flicking the controller forward when I need to do a short putt, as the controls just aren't that responsive. Being one of the original three Wii Sports games, I expected golf to be a little more refined than it is. It's a good first step for a golf game on the Wii, but I am truly hoping Super Swing Golf is able to show us what the Wii can really do.

Boxing - 6/10

Last, and almost least is boxing. It's the only Wii Sports game to utilize the nunchuk attachment. Basically you hold the Wiimote and nunchuk like boxing gloves, and punch at the opponent who's trying to pummel you into the ground. With arguably the least responsive controls in Wii Sports, boxing makes up for it with its sheer hilarity. You'll find yourself getting pulled into boxing more emotionally than the other sports, something I found out as I watched my sister play it. You'll cheer when you knock your opponent over and be angry when you fall to the mat. On top of that, it's the most fun multiplayer game to boot. It uses some pretty cool looking effects when you dodge a fist or land a powerful punch. Reviewers will most often put boxing down as the worst of the five sports on this collection, but I don't think boxing deserves that spot

Overall Wii Sports is a great introduction to anyone who picks up a Wii. It's value is seen immediately, as it's free. It's a pretty solid game for one you never had to pay for, and it provides hours of fun with multiplayer. The graphics are in no way up to par with say, Gears of War, but that doesn't mean the game is ugly. It looks pretty decent for what it is. Nintendo's choice to incorporate Mii's into it (little avatars of yourself) adds a lot more flavour and personality to the game. Mii's you've made will play the sports, as well as your friend's Mii's that are brought in through their controllers. Gradually you'll be playing with more and more Mii's you recognize, making it pretty cool when you see a buddy show up and hit one out of the park.

Online would have been a welcome bonus to Wii Sports, but seeing as Nintendo doesn't have their online running quite yet it's out of the question. A training and work out option have been added to the game, designed to keep you in shape and let you tone your skills. A welcome addition, but it doesn't really do much to extend the life of the game. A tournament mode for each sport would have fit in quite nicely as well, giving you a little more single player involvement. We can't complain though, it was free after all.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 11/25/06

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