Wii Sports manages to excite anyone and everyone that owns a Nintendo Wii regardless of taste or preferences. That is, unless the player hates sports or any family fun. Nintendo’s Wii Sports is essentially collection of 5 simple games based on the sports of tennis, baseball, bowling, golf, and boxing. While the action can be overly simplistic and lose depth at times, the realistic renditions of these sports and the ingenius learning curve provides a level of fun to create an unbelievable experience on the Wii for families around the world.
The gameplay design of Wii Sports features a heavily fermented idea with the ease of usability. Each of the games shaves its respective sport down to a few essential elements and then has you pantomime these basic activities with the Wii Remote, while the boxing makes use of the nunchucks. For tennis, players will be swinging the Remote as though it were a tennis racket. At the start of the match players simply flick the remote up to toss the ball in the air, and then with a quick swing serve the ball. Depending on your handedness, swinging to the right or to the left will produce a forehand or backhand swing, while the game itself will move your player about the court. It generally does a good job of putting you in front of the ball, allowing you to focus entirely on your return, something that’s determined by the shape and speed of your swing.
Baseball reduces itself to the essential elements: batting and pitching, with all of the fielding handled on your behalf by the game. The motion controls are pretty comparable to the actual practice, so players will swing with the remote as if it were the bat itself – a genius yet simple idea. The pitching itself can be slightly complicated, which relies on an over-the-shoulder, down-and-forward motion to emulate your standard big-league overhand pitch, and the speed of this gesture will determine the speed of your pitch. Players can affect the direction of the ball using the D pad before the pitch, though the game does not give great feedback as to how high, low, inside, or out the pitch will be within the playing field.
Bowling the most focused and subtly degreed game in Wii Sports and contains a precise mechanic and technical finesse required of the real sport. Using the remote in the palm of the hands pointing straight up, players will move it down, back, and forward again all whilst holding the B button as a releasing apparatus for difficulty. Like with a real bowling ball, any twist in your wrist as you swing will give your ball some spin. And, like with a real bowling ball, you can counteract spin by moving your player’s starting position to the left or right, as well as your angle of attack, before you throw. Up to four players can play a full 10 frames here, and the fact that your success is not governed by interacting directly with others somehow makes bowling especially accessible.
Golf is all about timing, precision, but most of all patience, something which Wii Sports takes full advantage. Swinging the remote as though it were a golf club emulates the old rising power meter that was once standard in all golf video games. An onscreen power meter goes higher the harder the swing and the dots at regular intervals correspond with dots on the balls projected path in an onscreen minimap, making it easier to determine the accuracy of the projectile and enabling for a more varied swing. Natural conditions such as winds in mph and fine detail on the green land will make the stroke more challenging up the fairway. Putting takes a fine amount of patience and a steady hand and a subdued motion though. In this case, while the swinging feels natural it can end up feeling a bit artificial as there is the issue of giving the power of an underpowered shot a boost by raising the controller slightly up after the ball has been shot. With nine different tracks for golf, there are limitless possibilities for fun.
Boxing for WiiSports is the only title to utilize the nunchucks. While the WiiSports Boxing is the most intense, it does have a critical issue that effects the realism of the game. The fighter’s stance, blocking, and punches are used by holding the remote and the Nunchuk and moving them accordingly. Holding them right in front of you will block, and you can also dodge punches by swaying forward, back, and side-to-side. Boxing can be the most physically exhausting game of the five, since swinging your fists causes your fighter to do the same. Players need to aim high and low with your actual swings if you want to hit your opponent specifically in the head or body. Since only the Wii Remote interacts directly with the movements onscreen, the position of your off hand is at least loosely tied to it, making it difficult to distract your opponent with an uppercut with one hand while you try to sneak in a body blow with the other, just a slight deterrent in the realistic technicality of the game.
Regardless of any slight problems and simplicity, Wii Sports realizes the 5 sports of Golf, Boxing, Baseball, Bowling, and Tennis to a whole new level in any console with motion sensitive controls that shows this console is well on its way to not only attracting families around the world, but also players that have ever doubted the Wii’s motion abilities in the past.