Wii Sports (Wii) Review

By James Temperton 04.12.2006 16

A game coming bundled with the console and not being available for retail might somewhat remove the point of it needing a review, but that hasn't stopped anyone else so far. Wii Sports, a lot like Wii Play, is a game that Nintendo think encompasses the Wii philosophy. It isn't conventional, it adds a great new spin on conventional gameplay experiences and it is remarkably easy to pick up. Unlike Wii Play, this game has depth, it will last you longer than five minutes and it doesn't cost you a bleeding penny! Need we say more? Well, yes, because we've got to fill up this review, so read on as we justify our positive gushiness..

Wii Sports is made up of: tennis, boxing, bowling, golf and baseball, a delightfully international mix of favourite sports, all of which have one thing in common: arms. Every single game involves you hitting something with an attachment placed on your arm, or in the case of boxing a glove on your hand. Ergo, all you have to do is swing the Wii remote about a bit and you'll do fine. Right?

Wrong. Wii Play has a remarkable amount of depth for something that looks like it is made up from characters out of Playmobil. In tennis the slightest change of angle of shot or flick of the wrist will make a huge difference to what shot is played on the screen and your movements are recreated in the virtual world with remarkable accuracy. In blowing, if you bowl with a slight spin or angle, that will happen in the game and the complexities of golf will have you tearing your eyebrows clean off your face.

Screenshot for Wii Sports on Wii

The best place to start is probably tennis, which in our view is the finest of all the Wii Sports games. Select up to four players to take part, pick whether you are left or right handed and then get ready to start. Serving is pretty damn simple, throw up the ball by raising the Wii remote and hit it by slamming down. You can do it with flicks of the wrist or do it like 'them off-telly' and wave your arms about like an idiot. In all honesty, it doesn't actually make any difference, but for us smaller movements result in more powerful, more accurate and better shots. Everything is really easy to execute and if you think about what you are doing you can play some excellent shots and get some very cool rallies going.

Our second favourite title in the Wii Sports range is golf, simply because we are determined to beat it. This game is uncompromisingly difficult. You have to be so precise, so accurate and really think about what you are doing otherwise your shot will go out of bounds, into a bunker or go flying miles away from anything that even looks like a fairway. Simply put, this game is hardcore. But at the same time it is such brilliant fun and so rewarding when you do get it right that it is a bit of a stroke of genius. Get it? Stroke...

Screenshot for Wii Sports on Wii

Moving swiftly on and we have boxing to contend with. Everyone wants a bit of the punching action, and this has proven to be one of the most popular games on our Wii so far. It must be that violent streak inside us. Shove the nun-chuck attachment into the end of your Wii controller, imagine you are now a crazed boxer and lay into your opponent like a punch bag. You can dodge and lean away from oncoming punches by leaning yourself and unleash various different types of punches by simply doing the punch in real life. Its fast, its frantic and it is hugely violent and competitive. However, it is hugely flawed. You'll do an upper-cut, try to slam a punch into your opponents torso or try to swing in a punch right into their temple and your Mii character on the screen will just punch straight forward. It doesn't pick up your motions properly.

We could go on about baseball and bowling, but we won't. They really do work on the same premise as everything else in this game, you do the action as you would imagine it in real life, there is nothing else to it. Whilst bowling is excellent fun and has loads of replay value, we do have some major gripes about baseball though, easily the worst game in the package. First problem, if you sit down and waft your hand forward whilst pitching it will register at 80mph, put everything behind it and nearly dislocate your shoulder in the process and it will register at 82mph. Also, why when you have a very expensive piece of motion sensing technology in your hand do you do curveballs and splitters by pressing A and B? It's totally nonsensical. Batting is a bit of a lottery too, you either hit it or you miss it. If you hit it, how well you hit it or in what direction is pretty much down to pure luck. One time it might go out the ground, next time it might fly straight to the man in the deep or a short fielder. It doesn't make any sense, it isn't a whole hog of fun. All in all, baseball is fun for about ten minutes, by which time you will have decided you hate it.

Screenshot for Wii Sports on Wii

Two nice little features worth a mention are Fitness and Training. Fitness acts a bit like Brain Training and gives you an 'age' for each day of training you complete. Tasks are pretty simple and you will notice a big improvement the more you play. We went from 45 on day one to 33 on day two, which is a pretty big improvement we think! It is great fun to play and you'll come back every day to try and get better and better. Training gives you various tasks for each sport, from punching bags to hitting targets and bowling over certain pins. All in all, a great addition to the title.

Screenshot for Wii Sports on Wii

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

We love it. We love Wii. A cracking game that will have you smiling from ear to ear for hours on end as you, your friends, your family and confused bystanders enjoy what is one of the best multiplayer titles in recent years. A canny move by Nintendo to bundle this in with the system and one that will no doubt pay dividends as more and more people are won over by the Wii experience. Make sure it is the first thing you play when you turn on your Wii this Friday.









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   


Looking forward to Wii Sports so much, can't wait to play Tennis and Bowling! :-D

Great review Mr.T

I can't wait for some Wii Boxing

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."

ITV News Hands on with the Wii now!!!

If anyone is interested

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."

It's free!!! Thank god...I doubt it would sell too much if it wasn't.

looks ok I suppose.

Enoch Powell was right, and you know it.

Seriously, it is GREAT fun, not OK, this game is superb. Sure, it might not be an huge sprawling adventure title, but if you want to play with some mates or your family this is a top title. Works perfectly alongside playing games like Zelda and Red Steel :Smilie

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

It is such a fun game. My only gripe is for the left handed WSBowling players. It doesn't like you. The calibration between your hand and the actual angle is a bit off because you are judging from a left handed perspective but actually the ball is thrown from the right and it messes up. Hey, I guess that is what they call a "learning curve"


I got them to put on Wii boxing for me and my friend, when we went to one the roadshows. It was fun, and It did actually do a few of the different punches for us. I got my friend with a good few hook punches, and body shots. He on the other hand knocked me out with a few more of the same.

What I did like was the dodging, how leaning and dodging a punch as you would really do was picked up by the controller and the Mii dodged to the side.

Roll on Friday.
My local GAME shop will not be doing a midnight launch, their going to open a bit early 7am on the Friday.

the golf courses look pretty nice
Understatement of the MILLENIUM? Why yes. Yes it is...

Still a proud member of the 'omfg amazing water in games' society

Two nice little features worth a mention are Fitness and Training

I must be being dopey, but I hadn't seen anything about these features - just another good thing about the free game :Smilie

The game looks really fun....great review!

Shame about the baseball...but that still leaves 4 sports:D

Avoid Games Like the Plague, productivity++

I can see what you mean, but there are some pretty damn funky textures and the like hidden away in there. I personally love the look of Wii Sports, I just think it could do with a bit of polishing and refinement. I'm not mad keen on the look of the Mii characters (limbless in some games...odd)

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


Change your Mii's handedness! My brother is a lefty and has no trouble. His Mii bowls left handed.

so can you change the handedness of the mii in all of the sports as I am left handed and feared problems with this.

When i buy a wii this game should still be free!

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I would like to mention that reviewers seriously need to take into account other factors then their "old standards". When you look at this review this game would have probably gotten a "9" or higher if it would not have been for graphics. Nintendo has said over and over again that they are not compeating against Sony and Microsoft on graphics. Nintendo is focusing on gameplay and this video game is a prime example of gameplay at it's finest.

Lets forget graphics for 2 flippin seconds and look at this game from a broder more intelligent point of view. This game has reached virtually every person. My Father, Grandfater, Brothers, Sisters, Wife and son all play it. There hasn't been a video game EVER that has done that. Not only is it simple enough for EVERYONE to play it, it's got enough value even for the hardcore games. This game should receive a "20" in my opionion. This video game will reach an entirely new gamers. It's time for an entirely new way to rate video games.

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