Perfect launch sidedish.
Review written by
Joseph the Squirrel
The Wii was born to succeed from the first moment that it was revealed. Well, except for the name. But that was a long time ago. All penis jokes aside, the system is making a great impression on American households already, and what better to widen the demographic than with Wii sports?
The game is meant to introduce the actual "game" emphasis with the wiimote and quite frankly, it does it well. Even though this title is just a small sample of the wiimote capabilities, it still packs a wallop.
The five sports that can be played are tennis, baseball, bowling, golf and boxing. The first four are played just with the wiimote, while boxing is played with both the wiimote and the nunchuk. The games are actually very fun, especially when played in a group. One of the most innovative aspects of the game is the ability to input your Mii (a little version of you that you can create in the Mii channel section) into the game and play with it. The skill level and looks are saved into each individual Mii, so you can keep your skill apart from your grandma's.
Tennis is the most energetic game and plays well. At first when you start the game, the skill will be set on retard level so you can learn the ropes. But once you start playing, it really gets fun. The wiimote takes a little bit to get used to, but then once you learn the rhythm the game will last for quite a while. Multiplayer is just as fun, but the only downside is if you have a tight space; it's not as fun when your friends smack the ball AND your face.
Baseball is another good sport and really pulls the feel of baseball off right down to the mark. At least, at the two positions you play in. You play only as the batter (each batter of your team) and the pitcher. Every other player on the outfield is played by the computer. Batting takes some practice, especially when your opponent gets smarter and pitching takes some swing out of your arm. The batting system is VERY intuitive, allowing you to put some thought and skill into how you bat so you can swing into left field if you do it just right. Pitching gives you four pitches to choose from upon button combinations, it also calculates your different pitching speeds. The entire system is very well done. Two player mode is always viewed from behind the current batter, but the pitcher can see his view up on the big screen (although you really don't need it).
Bowling is a little dull. The sport plays pretty well, but you might find the annoying message on how to bowl properly a bit too often. By holding the wiimote in front of you and holding the B button, which is followed by a swing, you can roll down the lane and strike, spare, or gutter your way to victory. Or loss. You can pretty much grasp bowling very quickly, so much so that it can get hard to not get at least a spare every turn. Up to four players can play in this game, so some competition actually spurs up some fun.
Golf is one of the harder sports to grasp, but it's a nice quiet game. Swinging at various speeds with the wiimote sends your tiny little ball zooming across the course. It can actually take much practice, especially for putting. The play on this sport isn't fool-proof, as you will most likely either over-putt or won't even putt at all; the sensitivity is just a bit fickle. There are only nine courses in all to play on, so after you play until you get good, there won't be anything new to play. Multiplayer is fun when you laugh at your friends as they fail, or want to hurt them when they somehow clink that ball right in.
Boxing gives a mixed feeling. The game is the only one to use the nunchuk, it's used as your other hand to box. The game's wiimote sensitivity will drive you insane at first as always, but it can be very fulfilling once you sucker punch your opponent to the ground. Multiplayer is actually very fun since you play your friend, so when you nail or get nailed, the tension's much bigger.
The game also allows for training in various ways of each sport and a fitness workout, but they aren't that much. While the training mode is very helpful in the end, workout mode is pretty useless when you would most likely want to beat an opponent, not judge how well you can hit a ball.
The graphics on the Wii look great, the best of them emerge on the golf course which shows pure crisp greens, lakes and bunkers. The main focus is always on the gameplay with Nintendo, so it sort of balances out. The attention to detail on the sports is very well-tuned, from when the crowd oohs and ahhs from your golf swings, to the little jumping crowds on the sidelines of your tennis match.
The sound is very well tuned on every game. The sounds of batting, golfing, smacking and the such can all be heard from your wiimote so it really feels immersive. The music is actually scarce, you can only hear a tune play while bowling; otherwise you'll only hear the sound of your various doings.
Overall, the game is the perfect choice to show the powers of the Wii and deserves its spot of packaged title. Wii Sports will engage new members of your family into gaming. The design doesn't scream gamer and it doesn't look too low-brow, so it's the perfect family game. The Wii is realizing its potential and Wii Sports is the perfect introducer.
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