Review by Dbzmaniax
"Who said learning couldn’t be fun?"
The controller of the Wii is something new to the gaming industry. Never before has such a controller been part of the home console landscape. Wii Sports is a game designed to show off the ability of the motion-sensing controller to the masses. The purpose of Wii Play is to introduce players to the plethora of ways the controller can utilized.
Wii Play sets out to achieve its goal by including 9 separate mini-games which require different ways of using the controller. Wii Play is somewhat of a learning guide in the shape of mini-games as opposed to a stand-alone game. This is emphasized by Nintendo shipping the game with new controllers worldwide.
The game features a rather solid line-up of 9 mini-games. The games vary somewhat in play-style. All the mini-games, with the exception of Tanks!, make use of only the main remote-shaped controller. Tanks! gives users the option of playing solely with the controller or using the nunchuck in conjunction with the controller.
Shooting Range, a throw-back to Duck Hunt of the NES, is a nostalgic experience at first. The game is separated into a few levels which require the player to shoot at aim at different objects including balloons, soda cans and UFOs. The pointing capabilities of the controller are used to point and pick-off the individual targets.
Find Mii is a simple game that requires players to pick out certain Mii characters out of a crowd. A timer is used to increase the difficulty of the game. Each level in the game has an objective that may range from finding lookalikes, picking the fast Mii or spotting the Odd Mii Out. Winning a level will add seconds to the timer as well as up the difficultly.
Table Tennis is basically a 3D version of Pong in which you can only rally the ball back and forth. The objective of the game is to rally the ball 100 times against an unstoppable computer opponent. Moving the paddle is simply a matter of pointing to where you project the ball to land. The speed picks up dramatically as the game progresses.
Pose Mii is a strange game designed to improve the player's ability to twist the Wii controller. The game includes 3 poses (assigned as the pointer cursor) which can be strolled through using the A and B buttons on the controller. The game consists of falling bubbles. Each bubble has a silhouette of one of the poses, the player is required to change the cursor to the right pose and fit it into the bubble. To add to the difficultly of the game, the poses are not angled vertically. The poses are be offset at different angles, it is the responsibility of the player to twist the controller to the right angle so that the pose can fit snugly into the silhouette. If a bubble drops to the bottom of the playing area three times the game is over.
Laser Hockey is in many aspects an air hockey clone. Players control a paddle that can be tilted by the Wii controller. The aim of the game is to hit the puck into your opponent's goal.
The game also includes a 3D (9-Ball) Billiards simulator. The B trigger or D-Pad is used to change the direction in which you wish to hit the ball. After lining up behind the ball, the Wii controller is used as a virtual cue. The pointing capabilities allow you to choose exactly where you want to hit the ball. It's possible to add spin depending on where you hit the ball. To hit the ball you move you arm back and then thrust it forward. The strength of the hit depends on the distance you pulled the controller back. Having a 3D Billiards sim sounds like a great idea however this game suffers from some lack-luster motion-sensing. At times, it can be somewhat difficult to get the game to sense you pulling back on the controller.
The seventh game included in the package is Fishing. In Fishing players take hold of a fishing rod and use it to hook fish swimming a small, shallow pond. The rod is control by use of the controllers pointing capabilities and controls rather well. However it can be difficult at time to sink the hook into the water. When a fish bites onto the rod you simply flick up the controller to take hold of the fish. You get (or lose) points depending on the fish that you catch.
Charge! is one of the more interesting titles included in Wii Play. The game basically places your Mii on top of a cow and has you running around a dirt track trying to knock down scarecrows and jump over hurdles. Knocking down scarecrows will earn you points, knocking down an entire row will earn you bonus points. There is also the occasional scarecrow that roams around the track, knocking it over earns 10 points. The game is played by holding the controller horizontally. No buttons are utilized. To control the cow you simply tilt the controller. Tilting the controller forward speeds up the cow while tilting it backwards decreases speed. Tilting it to the left or right turns the cow. This game is somewhat enjoyable although it's difficult to make tight turn (you're riding a cow).
The final game included is Tanks! which is somewhat of a Combat (Atari 2600 title) clone. The objective of the game is to aim the tank in an overhead view and destroy the other tanks. In playing with the remote-shaped controller, movement is executed via the d-pad. However, as aforementioned, the game allows you to control the movement of the tank via the nunchuck attachment. Using the nunchuck feels much more natural and makes it easier to aim using the controller. The game includes a variety of tanks. Destroying all the tanks progresses the player to the next mission, of which there is a fair number.
Many of the games follow a similar art style to that seen in Wii Sports. The mini-games that don't feature any Mii characters, such as Fishing, Tanks! and Laser Hockey all sport a unique art style. Fishing has a bare-bones basic, cartoonish, cut-off graphical style while the objects in Laser Hockey are nothing more than bright bars of neon-like lights. As with the gameplay, there isn't really anything special in the graphical department. However given the nature of the title this doesn't really come as a surprise and one would be silly to demand much more. The games do run smoothly and the graphics are very clean although this is expected with graphics as basic as these.
The music delivers its purpose and suits Wii Play perfectly. The tunes are lighthearted and somewhat catchy. The sound effects, as in Wii Sports, are implemented well. Each game features a set of impressive sound effects. For instance, the effect played when the cue hits the ball is actually rather convincing.
All nine mini-games included have some merit. However each and every game included is shallow to some extent and doesn't offer much in the replayability factor. Granted, one may wish to play Billiards or Charge! with a friend every now and again but other than that there isn't much substance and the will end up forgotten. Unless you're a perfectionist and want to achieve everything there is in a game, there just isn't enough of a fun factor to justify getting every medal in the game.
Although most people will get bored of the title before too long, I suggest that you pick it up if you're in need of a new Wiimote. The game is a set at a bargain price however if you have four Wiimotes or don't have anyone to play multiplayer with, it'd probably be best if you steer clear of the title.
Overall (not an average): 7.0
Reviewer's Score: 7/10
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