Wii Sports (Hands On) (Wii) Preview

By James Temperton 06.10.2006 17

Wii Sports is the game that Nintendo are pushing over all others as the title for the Wii. At every press conference, in every media pack, in every press release Wii Sports is being heralded as the game of all games for the innovative new system. It is an interesting move to make your key title one that graphically looks like a load of deformed LEGO characters running around, but Nintendo seem pretty adamant that it is what they want to do. Having played it extensively at the recent London event, we only have good things to report.

Well, almost only good things. The sheer simplicity of Wii Sports will undoubtedly make it an instant hit, but there are subtle depths to this title that will make it the sort of game you come back to time and time again. The five sports included in the package are: Golf, Tennis, Baseball, Boxing and Bowling; the sort of mix that will appeal to people of all ages, all cultures and all tastes. What we love about each of the games is the simplicity in which they can be played.

In Wii Tennis for example, all you have to do to hit the ball is physically swing your arm (holding the main Wii controller like a tennis racket) and off flies the ball. You can add top spin by hitting over the ball, backspin by hitting under the ball and slice and sidespin by hitting the ball at different angles. You can hit lob shots, drop shots, passing shots, power shots, smash shots, volleys...whatever you like. And nothing feels awkward or difficult to do. If you want to hit a power shot you simply swing your arm faster, if you want to hit a lob you simply swing your arm up a bit. It is just like playing tennis, only here you don't have to run, which will be good news for the obese amongst the gaming populous.

Screenshot for Wii Sports (Hands On) on Wii

And all the games follow a similar premise. In baseball, the faster you swing your arm the harder you will hit the ball. You also have to get the direction and the timing right, so there is also a lot of skill involved and the same can be said for all the Wii Sports titles. In golf you have to get the power just right or the ball will travel too far or not far enough. This is a lot more difficult than it sounds as you literally do have to get the power exactly right or the ball will go way off target. This can cause some rather considerable problems when trying to putt or attempting an approach shot onto the green. However, with a certain amount of practice we did start to get the hang of things and the game was a lot more enjoyable as a result.

Screenshot for Wii Sports (Hands On) on Wii

Problems with motion sensitivity did arise however. In Wii Sports Boxing, if you move around too much the sensor bar doesn't pick up your movements and sometimes if you do things too quickly the game simply gets confused. In the baseball title, when batting if you don't assume a particular position (with the Wii controller behind your head ready to swing) quickly enough the character on screen has a frantic spasm and you get a strike against you because you can't hit the ball. The same can be said for tennis as well. A worrying trend, but one that we hope will be ironed out in the final versions of the software and hardware.

Boxing is once again great fun, thanks mainly to the subtlety of movement that the Wii controller will pick up. You can do all sorts of punches and blocks and by using the main controller and the nun-chuck in combination it makes for a great example of all the different ways in which the unique control system can be used. Unlike in some Wii titles, all the Wii Sports games allow for really nice big movements, and boxing is perhaps the one game to benefit from this the most. Swinging around your arms like a madman whilst trying to knock out your best mate is going to be great fun and no doubt a good method of settling arguments in a unique and amusing way.

Screenshot for Wii Sports (Hands On) on Wii

And all the movements are intuitive and simple to pick up, but like with all good games, there is a lot of skill involved in mastering them. In the bowling game (as you might imagine), all you have to do is swing your arm backwards to swing the ball back and forwards to throw and release it. The angle and speed of your movements determines the direction and pace of the ball respectively allowing you to really manipulate the in-game action in exactly the way you want.

Screenshot for Wii Sports (Hands On) on Wii

Final Thoughts

It looks simple, it plays simple and it is simply fantastic. Wii Sports is a great example of what can be achieved on the Wii in the simplest of forms. Nintendo will be hoping that this is the title that everyone is talking about and playing for the first few weeks of the Wii's lifespan right through into 2007. The fact that it is bundled with the Wii for free in Europe, America and Australia will surely only help matters. I play, you play, Wii all play. Get used to it; Wii Sports is the Nintendo's vision for the future of home console entertainment. We couldn't be happier...









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (60 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


Damn, if this was online, Wii boxing, no more losing online at fight night round 3 in my bro's house

'Tis a fun set of games...and for free in the US, Aus and Europe! Nice write-up James :Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Ta muchly. The fact that it is free really shows how essential Nintendo feel it is for people's understanding and enjoyment of the Wii. I can't wait to play it some more :-D

Trying to think of a witty signature after 'Hacker-gate'...

Good stuff, I really enjoyed playing this in the other Wii event I went too. Great preview mate!

Was a bit difficult to play some games, but Tennis was good and golf was surprisingly good too!

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer

It shows what Wii is all about. Good move to include it in the package imho...

Hey, it doesn't matter, that Baseball is a bit strange to control, as there is an old joke: No one knows how to play baseball anyway outside the USA...

I find your lack of faith disturbing!

Honestly Wii Sports & Wario Ware equal mulitplayer madness, which you gotta love, personally can't wait for Wii Boxing, gonna nail ya with my south paw

Mike Gee of iZINE said, "...The Verve, as he [Richard Ashcroft] promised, had become the greatest band in the world. Most of the critics agreed with him. Most paid due homage. The Verve were no longer the question mark or the clich. They were the statement and the definition."

Can't wait!

Tennis is the thing me and my sister are fucking dying to play!

And yeah! Imagine if it's online! Tennis online!! AHH!

This looks great what, and what makes it even better is that is is free when you buy the wii :Smilie

My Ways are far to advanced for you to comprehend!

I think the online versions will be either beefed up versions of mario sports titles or maybe a continuation of Nintendo's Touch and Sports series.

Personally can't wait for Mario Footy and PES online.

Just realising Fight Night or Ready to Rumble would rock for the Wii

Mike Gee of iZINE said, "...The Verve, as he [Richard Ashcroft] promised, had become the greatest band in the world. Most of the critics agreed with him. Most paid due homage. The Verve were no longer the question mark or the clich. They were the statement and the definition."

Brilliant write-up James.

Being an old cynic with games, and typically hard to please, I'm left looking forward to Wii Sports properly. Boxing sounds ace :D

Barry Lewis [ nin10do :: General Writer :: Feature Writer :: Fountain of Industry Statistics ]
"We're mentalist psychic Scots, which means we can read your mind. If you're lying, your head explodes and we laugh."

I can't wait for this game. But what is up with one guy on the Bowling screen shot having legs, while the other one doesn't?

Looks to be a decent packin, we'll see if it's worth the console being $50 too much...

Gods in His Heaven. Alls right in the World.

Wii Sports looks like an excellent multiplayer game. If only complete controllers cost less than

60 EUR doesn't sound like a cheap price either, Ifrit...

I just checked the picture of Wii-Sports Golf. It does not look that horrible after all, don't you think?
But I don't give a fricking damn about any fancy-pantsy-graphics. All I care is a great time playing any of these five games. I still have fun playing Monkey Island 1 for heaven's sake... *wink*

I find your lack of faith disturbing!

Not very concerned about how it turns out since it comes bundled with the console... but I am looking forward to watching my Mii smash a baseball out of the stadium!

Please add my Wii-code and tell me yours.

I wonder how many people will create a Mii that looks like our dear President and get into a friendly match of Wii Boxing with it?

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