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A Fun Though Short Pack-in - Wii Sports Review
Wii Sports is one those games that’s pretty fun and that you can get some good mileage out of, but it is for all intents and purposes very thin in terms of content. With a number of different sports to play, some extra modes, and multiplayer support, the fun is there. It just isn’t very deep.
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Gameplay - Tennis and Baseball
The first sport included in the game is Tennis. Playing using the Wii Remote is fun, but the game does little to emulate real-life tennis. You’ll hit the ball with a simple flick of the wrist as your character runs automatically toward the ball. And while you can add a touch of spin to your hits, it would have been really cool if the game required at least minimal swings to give this version of tennis a more lifelike feel.
Baseball is next on the list, and while there’s some fun to be had here, there are a couple of annoying mechanics to deal with. Like in Tennis, swinging is done with a flick of the wrist, and your ball’s distance will be determined by the timing of your shot. Once you hit the ball, however, the game is out of your hands. Depending on just how far you hit the ball, your Mii Characters will run automatically to whichever base they can make it to.
Pitching is probably the deepest aspect of the game. You can pitch at different speeds depending on how fast you swing the Wii Remote, and pressing the A button, B button, or both on the controller will result in different types of throws such as screwballs, splitters, and so on. Unfortunately, your fielders are also AI-controlled, so once the other player hits the ball, it’s all up to them to try and catch it. The biggest problem with this isn’t that the AI is poor, because the computer-controlled characters actually play well. The problem here is that you’ll feel like a spectator during these moments rather than an active participant.
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Gameplay - Bowling, Golf, and Boxing
Bowling has some pretty cool mechanics that offer a bit more realism than most of the other games. You can control the speed and direction of your ball depending on how much you twist your wrist when you swing the Wii Remote, and you can move your character around the lane to get that necessary position essential for bowling a strike.
Golf is easily the most accurate sport in the game, and it’s probably the only one where you actually need to stand to play at your best. You have to really control your swing here, and through some trial and error, you’ll see what works and what doesn’t. You can set the direction you want to hit in using the D-Pad, but you must also take into account the wind speed and direction as well as the terrain.
The one sport included in the game that requires use of both the Wii Remote and Nunchuk is Boxing. You’ll hold both of these up to your face to block, shift from side to side to dodge, and swing to throw a punch. The motion controls here are decent, but they’re not always responsive. Still, Boxing makes for some frantic fun even despite this rather big flaw.
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Graphics and Sound
Wii Sports features a clean and simple look. The visuals are polished and clear, but there’s little in the way of textures and detail. The sound department is also similarly functional and simple. You’ll hear interesting things like crowd reactions, but overall the sound design is pretty standard. You’ll hear a few sounds coming through the Wii Remote’s speaker, and while this is cool, it’s easily forgotten.
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You’ll spend a good deal of time getting familiar with each of the games included in Wii Sports, and once you master them, you may feel compelled to increase your rank and reach Pro status. There are also a few training minigames which are fun and challenging, and mastering these as you try to go for the medal is always satisfying and engaging. Overall, however, you’ll pretty much see everything Wii Sports has to offer rather quickly.
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Wii Sports Overall Score
Wii Sports is a fun collection of sports games that can be really engrossing. Unfortunately, the lack of variety and overly simplistic mechanics make it hard to enjoy the package for long. There’s not much realism here, with the two main exceptions being Bowling and Golf, so it’s tough to stay entertained for too long. Ultimately, Wii Sports is a good free pack-in, but it never feels like a game of its own.