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Wii Sports (Wii) artwork

Wii Sports (Wii) review


"Nintendoís number one priority with the Wii has been to make gaming accessible to the masses, including those who have never played a game before. To accomplish that, Nintendo introduced Wii Sports, a bundle of very simplistic games, as a pack-in with the system. While the game is most certainly accessible, it is also a meritless compilation of dreck. "



Nintendoís number one priority with the Wii has been to make gaming accessible to the masses, including those who have never played a game before. To accomplish that, Nintendo introduced Wii Sports, a bundle of very simplistic games, as a pack-in with the system. While the game is most certainly accessible, it is also a meritless compilation of dreck.

Wii Sports actually includes five different games: Tennis, Baseball, Bowling, Golf, and Boxing. Tennis is the game that Nintendo used to showcase the Wiiís controls and Wii Sports at E3 2006, and thereís a very good reason for it. It's easily the most competent of the five games included, though that doesnít necessarily mean that Tennis is imbued with anything resembling quality. The game is very simple Ė itís doubles tennis, and if you are playing the single player mode, you control both of the players on your team at once. The term, ďcontrol,Ē is a bit misleading, though. In reality, you only swing the Wii controller in order to make the players swing their rackets, and that's it. The players actually do all of the running on their own, so your input is extremely limited. This might sound very simplistic and boring, because it is. The only elements resembling depth are the ability to add spin to the ball or perform a power serve when starting a point. Matches can go on for a very, very long time since neither side has the necessary control to take the lead forcibly. The single player mode is worth playing for about one match, but after that, youíll inevitably realized how bored youíve become and quit. As a multiplayer game, you can probably get through two matches before becoming bored, unless alcohol is involved. In that situation, the game can be the most fun youíve had in a while, so long as youíre inebriated to the point where you donít even know where you are. The tragedy is that this is the best the compilation has to offer.

Next on the list of Wii-Sports' throwaway mini-games is Baseball. If you can make it past a single inning, chances are that you are the reincarnation of Buddha, because it is impossible to retain interest in this for any length of time. This game consists of swinging your arm horizontally to bat and swinging your arm vertically to throw. There is literally no gameplay apart from this. Unlike Tennis, the introduction of alcohol cannot trick you into enjoying this game, which is truly unfortunate.

Bowling is the second best game on the disc, but thatís not saying very much. This game is the closest to being a fully-fledged title, but considering how simplistic and boring commercial bowling games were back when people bought that sort of nonsense, thatís not impressive in the least. The game does try and factor in how you swing the Wii controller when you throw the bowling ball, but it doesnít register movements accurately. It is near impossible to throw the ball straight down the lane, no matter how you swing the Wii controller. You could feasibly bowl an entire game just trying to get the controller to read your movements even once, but after finishing that game and realizing that Bowling is broken, youíll be finished with it forever. Alcohol can enhance this game, but can never make it enjoyable.

Playing a game of golf using the Wii controller initially sounded interesting, and it would have been if any effort had gone into the game. Unfortunately, the game fails to read your movements, so you have almost no control over your golf swing. Whatís worse, if you swing too fast, your character will shank the shot and the ball will fly off to the left or right. This would be reasonable if you had a reliable way of measuring how much power needs to be put into a swing, but you donít. Instead, Wii Golf turns into a guessing game of how to swing the controller and offers you no accuracy or legitimate attempt at gameplay. The developers did craft a course for the game rather than simply setting Golf at a driving range, which is surprising given the hack-job that is the rest of the game. Even so, the game just isnít fun regardless of your interest in golf. Alcohol has no effect on this game, because nobody in their right mind would play this game in the first place.

Lastly, Nintendo saw fit to include a boxing simulator. Boxing is the absolute worst this compilation has to offer, and itís difficult to believe that Nintendo would develop something this insipid. The game is played by holding the Wii remote in one hand and the nunchuck in the other, and then flailing your arms as wildly as you possibly can. Technically, the game allows you to use hooks, straights, and uppercuts, but the game has but one fatal flaw: It doesnít work. The only way to describe this trash is by referencing the anime, Texhnolyze. The main character of that anime is fitted with prosthetic limbs, and for a while, he canít move or control his limbs with any reliability whatsoever. Heís extremely frustrated and wishes he could die. Those same feelings are elicited by Boxing. No matter what motion you make with the controller, your character will either stand still and do nothing, or perform something you didnít want to do. The game supposedly allows you to block as well, but like everything else, that didnít work. The fact that Nintendo developed the fantastic Super Punch-Out and have lowered themselves to this level actually makes the human condition look worse.

The gameís graphics are competent, despite the rest of the game. Everything has a very simplistic look with no emphasis on detail, but it works well enough and doesnít look particularly bad. If youíve created a Mii on your Wii, the game will let you play as one of them, which is a nice touch. The audio side of things is similarly minimalist. Thereís a few utterly forgettable tunes, standard crowd noises, and little else. Itís not particularly disappointing considering that this is a sports game, but itís also nothing remotely special.

It may seem particularly unfair to review a game like Wii Sports so harshly considering that itís aimed at casual audiences and a free pack-in with the Wii. However, the game is absolutely devoid of depth or entertainment value for anybody who has played a decent game before or who is anywhere near sober. If somebody has never played a game before and has no quality standards, they may very well enjoy Wii Sports, but anybody else is likely to be bored senseless by it. While Wii Sports doubles as a tech demo for what the Wiiís controls are capable of, it certainly isnít very encouraging as none of the games work flawlessly with the controller and no game showcases anything that couldnít be done with a standard control scheme. Worse yet are the games like Boxing which show just how incredibly bad a game can be if the controls are botched. While Wii Sports is a free pack-in game that comes with the Wii, it is a complete and utter waste of time and serves only to show how unreliable and rudimentary a game can be by relying entirely on the Wiiís controls.

Rating: 3/10

Chacranajxy's avatar
Community review by Chacranajxy (September 08, 2007)

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