2006 – Wii Sports

 

Wii Sports

 wii tennis
Developer(s) Nintendo EAD Group No. 2
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Designer(s) Keizo Ohta, Takayuki Shimamura, Yoshikazu Yamashita
Composer(s) Kazumi Totaka
Series Wii
Platform(s) Wii
Release date(s)  December 8, 2006
Genre(s) Sports
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Distribution Wii Optical Disc

Joel: Well, here we are. The “home stretch” if you will. We have reached the 7th Generation of consoles and, after this we will also have reached 24 hours. I am genuinely concerned that we won’t be able to even stand to play these games. That point actually brings me nicely to where I wanted to start writing about the actual game, so here goes:

If you aren’t familiar with this game you’re probably wondering what makes it so special. Well it’s the fact that it actually gets you off your backside, forcing you to mime the actions of the players in order to properly control the action. I’ve managed to cripple myself a few times playing the baseball “homerun challenge” just to name one example.

However, If you don’t live in Japan and you bought a new Wii, you will have at least initially, owned a copy of Wii Sports. It was the launch game bundled with the Wii and what an introduction to the one truly original console of the past few generations it was! Everyone I’ve persuaded to play this from 5 year-olds to 65 year-olds have had a whale of a time with one sport or another on this wonder of a game. Simple to learn and difficult to master, there is a game or a mode for every level of player- Whether you want to idly knock a ball back and forth whilst pretending you’re Andy Murray and crying into your Cheetos or you think you’d give Rory McIlroy a swift kicking in the back nine, there’s something in it for you.

In case you somehow missed this phenomenon, I’ll give you a brief overview of the game – You (or rather your painstakingly crafted in-game avatar) can choose to compete in any of the following games (listed alphabetically as I’m a little OCD at times)  – baseball, bowling, boxing, golf or tennis. When you start out, you play against appropriately inexperienced AI players, but as your aptitude increases, so does that of your opponents. If you reach a “level” of 1000 at a particular sport, you become a “Pro” and are rewarded with something shiny – a glittery bowling ball, golden bat and whathaveyou. There are other play modes as well – the fitness test thing is pretty good – you are randomly given three different games (and modes of them) to play and based on your performance given an apparently arbitrarily determined “Age.” This is always a fun way to compete with your co-habitants.

Sadly, we aren’t going to have enough time to play each game mode really, so we have decided ahead of time which games and formats we’ll be using – Standard rules baseball, 3-set singles tennis and 9 holes of golf. That, golf that is, is going to be hilarious. I can’t make par on a good day, never mind the state we’ll be in on the night.

I suppose it’s time for a prediction then. We’ll be reaching new levels of staying power for either us by this point and it’s going to messy, whoever wins. But I have decided I will win. Just because I really can’t even begin to fathom how this is going to play out.

 

Liam:  Did you know Wii Sports is the biggest selling video game of all time with over 82 million copies sold? That’s roughly the total number of record sales of the Red Hot Chili Peppers over their 30 year career. Mind blowing stuff. This does however take into account the fact that the game was bundled with consoles in all places but Japan

Wii sports was a launch game for the Nintendo Wii, a console which has changed modern gaming a great deal and threw console gaming back into the front rooms of the casual gamer. Everyone knows someone who owns a Wii and this game was the perfect launch game for the console and worked out as being the quintessential ‘Killer App’. The fun of motion gaming cannot be explained in trailers or described in articles, instead Nintendo released a series of mini-games all of which use the Wii’s motion control in a manner so intuitive that this game is truly pick up and play. It was exactly what Nintendo needed for their new console and soon people had in their room a gaming system which could involve the whole family from young children to pensioners.

The game represented five games: Bowling, Boxing, Tennis, Golf and Baseball. Over the hour we are looking to play all but bowling and boxing, with bowling sadly taking too long to complete a game and boxing being far too much bloody effort. All of these games are a very simple representation of the game and controlled by swinging, waggling or flailing the ‘wiimote’ at the screen. None of the games require a great deal of skill and compared to modern motion games feel a bit clunky and imprecise, to the point where you realise that a quick wrist flick of the ‘wiimote’ while lying on the sofa is just as effective as getting up and prancing about like an idiot in front of your television. After 23 hours solid awake staring at a computer screen I will be very grateful for the opportunity to stretch out.

Quick predictions based on the three games. I think Tennis will be fairly even, I have the advantage with the Golf and Joel is probably just ahead of me on the Baseball so we are looking at a pretty tight contest. It might just come down to who is the least stiff and retains the most flexibility leading into the matches; I think this may be my secret weapon. If we spy someone surreptitiously limbering up during Need for Speed at least we know why.

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