Wii Sports review ushers a new era in gaming

Wii Sport is included with the Nintendo WiiWii Sports gives you the choice between five different sports experiences, each using the Wii Remote controller (and some the Nunchuk add-on) to provide a natural, intuitive and realistic feel. To play the Wii Sports games Tennis, Baseball, Golf, Bowling and Boxing, all you need to do is pick up a controller and get ready for the pitch, serve or that right hook. If you’ve played any of these sports before, you’re ready for fun!

Update: To no surprise by the end of 2007, Wii Sports sold 17.85 million copies worldwide (it’s bundled with the Wii everywhere except Japan).

System: Wii
Genre: Sports, Party
Release dates: November 19th 2006 (USA), December 7th 2006 (AUS), December 8th 2006 (EURO)
Players: single player, 2-4 (alternating) multiplayer
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Origin: Japan

Wii Sports screenshotsWii Sports is a showpiece pack-in game with each Nintendo Wii console.

What follows are the five games included in Wii Sports and a gameplay descriptions for each of them.

Tennis (1-4 players): Players grab the controller like a racket and swing – the game will register forehands, backhands, volleys, lobs, slices, spin and power depending on how fast the user swings and at what angle. Don’t worry about moving around the court to get to the ball – the game automatically moves players into position.

Baseball (1-2 players): Grip the controller like a bat and swat fastballs out of the park in a home run derby. Timing and bat speed will make all the difference between going yard and whiffing, so keep an eye on the ball and swing for the fences. In the two-player game, one player pitches and the other bats.

Golf (1 player): Step up to the tee, hold the controller like a golf club and swing naturally to smack the ball onto the green. The harder players swing the club, the farther the ball will fly, so be sure to take some practice swings before going for the pin. After reaching the green, line up putts carefully, practice the stroke and try to hole out.

Bowling (1-4 players): Players raise the Wii Remote in their hand just like a bowling ball, and then swing their arms to roll the ball. The speed of the swing and the angle at which they release the ball affects the ball’s spin, so it will take some practice to master control over the ball and knock down the pins.

Boxing (1-2 players): Using the Nunchuk controller as one glove and the Wii Remote as the other, players dodge, weave and punch their opponents. Players hold their hands high to guard their faces or low to block their torsos. They punch high to hit their opponents’ faces or low to get under their guard for a body blow. Swing both arms left or right to sidestep oncoming blows and move into position for a devastating knockout.

Watch the Wii Sports launch trailer.

So what are the main features of Wii Sports?

* Play Tennis, Baseball, Golf, Bowling and Boxing in the comfort of one’s living room. No ball boys scurrying about, no oil from the alleys to get players dirty and no rain to keep anyone from a day at the court, park or course. Use the Wii Remote controller to mimic the actions of swinging a racket, bat or club, roll a ball down an alley or bring the left jab.

* Players can use their own look-alike Mii caricatures in the game and play them against their friends’ Miis for a more personalized experience. As players improve, their Miis’ skill levels will increase, so that they can see exactly how much better they’ve become.

* People of all skill levels can pick up and play any of the games in the unprecedented Wii Sports package, making this truly a title for everyone!

See more of the Wii Sports gaming fun.

Now let’s see how much fun the Wii pack-in game Wii Sports is on a scale from 1 to 10?

To my own surprise I’m admitting that this is exactly what I want from games, for them to be fun for everyone! Wii Sports gives you five different sports experiences: Tennis, Golf, Baseball, Bowling and Boxing. There’s something for everyone, because while you can choose to just train, the fun factor exponentially grows in the play mode as more family and friends join. You can play this game whether you’re 7 or 107 years old, if you’re a non-gamer or die-hard gamer, it’s literally for everyone who can hold the Wii Remote controller thanks to the motion sensor technology that reenacts your every move on-screen. More often than not you’ll find the game put a smile on your face. This will change the face of gaming, a true Revolution (the Wii’s codename) in every sense of the word, the simple controls will draw millions of non-gamers into the (casual) gamers fold. I only have this to say: Welcome all!

Graphics – 7.0
This is a tough one, the graphics and animations are laughably minimalistic. But the colorful cartoony style of the game (with your Mii caricature integrated) was meant to look clean and simple on purpose, it makes the game uncomplicated and accessible for anyone. It’s charming and puts the focus on the easy gameplay.

Audio – 7.0
Crisp sound effects that hit the ball at every serve so-to-speak. There’s always a fun variation of elevator music that plays in the background, it’s got a very catchy soundtrack!

Ingenuity – 9.0
While the gameplay rules are simplified for each game to make them more accessible to new players, the Wii Remote does an excellent job mimicking the actions performed in real life sports. For example swinging a tennis racket not only delivers a fitting blow to the ball depending on how much force you put behind your swing, it works right down to giving a spin to your serve. The five different sports games all use the Wii Remote’s capabilities in various different ways, which is a great way to keep the gameplay diverse and fun. It also means there’s something in it for everyone. The key element to the Wii’s success is Wii Sports’ intuitive controls showing it can be fun for everyone.

Replay Value – 9.0
Since the game comes for free with each Wii, you can’t really go wrong with it. Looking at it from a single player perspective would be an error, since it’s only fun for a few weeks that way, although you could use it for fitness practice. However, this is by any measure a multiplayer party sports game. So naturally this is where Wii Sports shines. If you get two to four people together in a room, you might end up playing the games for an hour a day for many months! Tennis and Bowling are definitely the favorites in my house as they remain fun in short bursts. It will remain the perfect introduction to gaming for non-gamers for years to come, so Wii Sports definitely has a long shelf-life ahead of it.

Fans of the game should be glad to know Wii Sports 2 is planned by Nintendo.