Monday, March 05, 2007

Loose Ends

So I've reviewed the five main Wii Sports: tennis, baseball, bowling, golf, and boxing. What else could there be? Well, there could be the most entertaining parts of the game, for starters.

The Training Mode provides three different mini-games for each sport, each focusing on a different skill or combination of skills that will benefit your gameplay in the main attractions. Then there's the matter of the Wii Sports Fitness Test.

Tennis Training is, much like the actual game, an awful lot of fun. The first training mission is to return serves. Sounds simple, and it is. However, the intensity ramps up with each passing serve. As soon as you miss one, the mission is over. The second is also returning serves, but accuracy is also a factor. You have to hit the ball into a zone that is ever in motion. One miss and you're done. Finally, there's the accuracy exercise, which places targets on a brick wall. You need to hit as many targets as possible, which is made difficult when the brick wall falls apart with every missed hit. It's extremely frustrating to make a mistake and have to start over from scratch. Still, it's fun.

Baseball Training. There are a couple of simple batting and accuracy exercises (thirty pitches for batting, ten for accuracy), but the most important is the Home Run Derby. Face off against your friends. It's easier to hit home runs than you'd think (especially because it's fairly difficult in-game). Still, it's fun to see who can receive the top score.

Bowling Training is frustrating for me because I suck at bowling. In one, you can pick up spares. You have something like three chances to miss, and each round gets harder. Obstacles even pop up within the lane. There's also one where you rack up points on a progressive number of pins and another one that is even less thrilling. Ho hum.

Golf Training tests your accuracy at three different levels--driving, chipping, and putting. Putting is especially interesting for me, because it gives me a taste of what my fantasized Wii Mini Golf would be like. Otherwise, you'd probably be better off playing one of the actual, well-designed golf courses.

Finally, Boxing Training tests three different skills. Punch power is measured by smacking the hell out of punching bags. Punch accuracy is measured by sparring with a trainer who holds up pads. Finally, you get a sort-of-fun dodgeball game, where you need to lean away from the trainer's barrages. Punch accuracy is infuriating for the reasons detailed in my review of Boxing, but the dodgeball one is well worth it.

The Fitness Test is a modified combination of all of the above mini-games. Every day, you're allowed to test yourself once. Three training missions are selected at random, and the quality of your performance gives you a "Fitness Age" of somewhere between 20 and a billion. Or something. I've fallen into the 40's on a bad day, but I tend to stick right around 27 or 28. It's a good five years older than I am, but I can find solace in the fact that it's not really testing my fitness, but rather my coordination. And if you've ever seen me in real life, you'd know how uncoordinated I am. 28 Fitness Years is a victory.

Anyway, here's the thrilling conclusion. Usually, I take the last paragraph of a review to say whether I think something is worth buying or not. However, this game comes for free with the system. Some of it is better than the rest, that's for sure. Still, Wii Sports is a fantastic testament of what the new controller can do, and the game is worth playing. You'll probably find yourself gravitating to some favorites on a daily basis. Next, I put the Wii to the test: how does it function with real games?

1 comment:

j o l i said...

do you have the green st.paddys peeps? i'm sure you do, but i saw them in the grocery store and thought of you :)