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Wii Sports review

Great
AT A GLANCE
  • As fun as the real thing
  • Awesome as a party game
  • Wii Fitness keeps you playing
  • Very little depth
  • Not much fun for one player
  • Inevitable tennis elbow

When you're introducing people to something radically different from what they're used to, it's a good idea to start off slow and simple. With that in mind, Wii Sports is the perfect pack-in for Nintendo's Wii console; not only are its simple minigames fun and ultra-accessible for casual gamers, but you couldn't ask for a better tutorial on using the motion-sensitive Wii remote.

The title might sound intimidating or even boring to non-sports-fans, but Wii Sports tosses out stuff like stat tracking and professional teams in favor of five simple minigames that play almost exactly like the activities they're based on. Baseball, for example, is all about one player swinging the remote like a bat, while the other mimes pitching it like a ball. Bowling, golf and tennis are similarly simple, while boxing is the most complex - but only because you need to hook up the motion-sensitive Nunchuk add-on so that you can "punch" with both hands.



That simplicity doesn't make the games much easier than their real-world counterparts, even though you don't have to worry about things like proper stance or form (lazy players can even do well using relatively slight movements of the remote). Winning at golf, for example, takes exact control over the speed and force of your swing, while in bowling, holding the remote at even a slight angle affects your ball's spin. Meanwhile, the tennis game can reportedly recognize around 100 different kinds of swings (although we only noticed a handful while playing).

That stuff is all pretty easy to adjust to, though; this is, after all, a game meant for everyone. And none of it stops the games from being fast, easy to get into and fun, especially if you can get together four people to swing virtual racquets or take turns at golf or bowling. So long as you've got a big enough room and a big enough TV, this is really how Wii Sports was meant to be played: with a group of people hopping around and screaming at each other.



It's not bad with two people, either; that's the only way to box, after all, and for those who crave a little ultraviolence with their games, boxing is as near as they'll get to it here. It's a lot of fun, too; holding the remote in your right hand and the Nunchuk in your left, just pantomime punches (or flick the controllers) at your onscreen opponent and try to knock him/her out in three rounds or fewer.

Even those playing alone aren't completely left out. Wii Sports doesn't feature any real progression or depth, so its single-player fun wanes after a while, but 15 different training modes and daily Brain Age-style Wii Fitness tests are enough to keep things interesting for lonely types.

It'd be easy to criticize Wii Sports for its stripped-down simplicity, but that's kind of the point. The game's meant to be a no-frills, no-pressure entry point into the Wii and its bizarre new way of playing videogames, and it's impressive that it manages to be a lot of fun at the same time. It's no Zelda, of course, but it's free, and it's hard to imagine a better first game for Nintendo's new console.

More Info

Release date: Nov 19 2006 - Wii (US)
Available Platforms: Wii
Genre: Sports
Published by: Nintendo
Developed by: Nintendo
ESRB Rating:
Everyone: Mild Violence

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3 comments

  • dottzdog74 - July 30, 2011 1:09 p.m.

    I have this game and i like it but basically all you have to do in baseball is swing the remote to pitch and the cpu or someone who's playing with you might not hit it. It usually works for me
  • Metroidhunter32 - December 25, 2009 9:52 p.m.

    @ DNAndy11 And this site is fun. Fun...until you meet a fanboy
  • DNAndy11 - November 29, 2008 7:21 p.m.

    This is a good show of craftsmanship. Good.....until you get an xbox

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