So the Wii comes with a free game. The question is, is it any good? Or is it like those free tissue packs people in front of grocery stores give out, rough around the edges and non-reusable? The answer is that Wii Sports is not only the best free thing youíve ever gotten, itís actually a good game in and of itself that is a worthy addition to your Wii collection.The Control
Of course, thatís the big thing here, right? Being the opening game for the Wii, itís the question on everyoneís mind. Fortunately, with one exception, Wii Sports does not disappoint. Not only are the controls responsive, varied, and fun to use, but they actually mimic the real games very nicely. So what are those games? Wii Sports comes with five games, which Iíll go over in detail now. All of these games, by the way, are meant to be played standing up. You can potentially play them sitting down, but that officially makes you a tool (or disabled). Also, it utilizes the Miiís (the Wiiís personalized avatars) so you can make cartoony versions of yourself and your friends and further the illusion that youíre actually playing sports. Now video game geeks can be jocks, too!
First on the menu is Tennis. Tennis can be played with up to four people in a doubles game. Gameplay wise, it has been brought down to the basics. You donít move your character around the screen, it automatically runs to where the ball is. You only have to focus on swinging. The swing is accurately tracked by the Wii, so it knows on what side of your body youíre swinging. Itís possible to swing just using small quick wrist motions, but itís easier and much more entertaining to perform the full follow through. Like in real tennis, timing is everything. Hitting the ball at different times can send it in different directions. Mastering the timing is central to mastering this game, but you donít have to be a pro tennis player to jump right in and have fun. Because you donít have to focus on controlling your characterís movements, volleys are easy to set up and maintain. I assure you, however, youíll find yourself jumping across your living room to try and hit that ball. The game really sucks you in.
Next up is Baseball. Baseball is the simplest of all the games. Like Tennis, you swing your controller, only here the mapping is more precise. You have to get both your timing and your swing speed down to be a pro at this one. The game knows how hard youíre swinging that controller, and youíve got to swing hard to get those homerruns. The game will map your movements with the bat nicely, so you can wind up or tap the plate to psych out your friends. The swing always goes to the same place, meaning you can focus on swinging and timing and not on aiming, which is nice, because it makes the game simple and fun. Even so, the game retains its difficulty. The game also lets you pitch, which consists of performing a throwing motion with your controller (thank Nintendo for those wrist straps). Pressing one of the controllerís buttons as you throw can curve, screw, or split your pitch. Baseball can be played with two people, taking turns between batting and pitching. The game gives bases based on how your ball lands, so you donít actually have to control the catchers or the running.
Golf is the third game offered, and I personally count it as their best in terms of overall fun.
There are nine holes, and you can either play all nine or play a group of three for a shorter game. It very closely simulates actual golf. You can choose your club, which changes the potential distance, which is shown you on a handy mini map that stays open throughout gameplay. Hitting the ball too hard causes it to splice to the left or right. You also have to deal with wind direction (again, it is kindly shown to you) and, for putting, the slope of the land. This game, as you might imagine, is all about the swing. You can take practice swings before each shot. When youíre ready to actually do the real thing, you hold down the A button while swinging. The swing uses very precise controls. Changing your speed just a little bit will affect how hard the ball is hit. Putting is very difficult in this respect, as it is in real life. Golf is a hard game, but loads of fun. The environments are pretty and serene, and best of all, you donít have a bunch of other golfers milling around the course, making you wait for hours to finish a hole and talking about the Ďgood old daysí when everyone wore plaid.