'Wii Sports' - Good, bad and really ugly

December 12, 2006|by BRAD SMITH


"Wii Sports" was included with the Nintendo Wii, the spiffy new electronic game platform that came out Nov. 19.

"Wii Sports" is the first pack-in with any console since 1985, I might add, and being the awesome guy that I am, getting my hands on the Wii (pronounced "wee") also meant getting a copy of this little piece of software.

To clear things up for any of you who don't understand, "Wii Sports" is nothing more than a compilation of, well, sports games - tennis, baseball, bowling, golf and boxing - all played by utilizing the motion-sensitive Wii-mote as a tennis racket, baseball bat, bowler's hand (to throw the bowling ball with), golf club and, with the help of the nunchuck expansion controller (that's the thing with the little joystick on it), boxing gloves.

Now on the surface, the games look dull. With rather unimpressive graphics, most regular gamers will be turned off immediately. But if you look at the fact that you feel as though you're actually playing the sports (baseball excluded, for lack of running ability), you might just see the beauty in its simplicity.


"Wii Sports" is the first game to utilize the Mii caricatures created in the Mii channel of the Wii. So when you're playing tennis, you're not playing as some famous person who gets paid to hit a ball, you're playing as yourself in a funny Nintendo-esque sort of way.

The game play is innovative, just as you would think on the Wii. The best part by far is the fact that anyone can pick up a Wii-mote and play this game. Seriously, I took this thing with me on my Thanksgiving vacation and played with my grandma. And, to tell you the truth, I think she liked it. (It's kinda like a "welcome to the dark side" moment.)

Bowling is the easiest to pick up, and it's almost exactly like taking the family out to the old Dual Lanes for a game night. Tennis is fun, but the lack of ability of movement bumped it out of first. Boxing is also very fun but it just takes too much energy to go through a three-round fight. You really get a workout!

Golf is alright, but even a three-hole course took about a half an hour. The whole game is a "pick up and play for a minute or two" and golf just doesn't satisfy that easiness.

And baseball, poor, poor baseball. "Wii Sports" would be better off if baseball had never even been thought of for the console. The whole game is really only good when there are lots of people to play with. And even with people to play with, it just seems to come off as more of a tech demo.

With everything considered, I give "Wii Sports" 6.75 tennis rackets/bowling balls/golf clubs/baseball bats/boxing gloves out of 10.

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