kindrik's Wii Play (Wii) review

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  • kindrik has written a total of 6 reviews. The last one was for Portal 2

Want a Remote and a $10 Game?

Originally written July 5, 2007. I don't even think they're still selling Wii Play, but my review is here just for the sake of putting my stuff on Giant Bomb. I haven't made any big adjustments to the text in the review, but I have put in some italicized comments.
 I'm sure you've heard everyone telling you things like "Wii Play is only worth it because of the free Wii remote". Well, you aren't going to hear any different here. Wii Play is the little cousin to the console pack-in, Wii Sports, offering a wide variety of easy to pick up and play mini-games.

Wii Play's many mini-games include:

Shooting Range - Nothing more than a watered down Duck Hunt. You can play alone, or compete against your friends to see who can shoot the most targets that appear on screen. Fun at first, you will soon realize after a few games that the targets follow similar, if not identical patterns each time. Duck Hunt style ducks do fly around in the background at times and you can gain bonus points for shooting them. Sadly, the laughing dog does not make an appearance.

Find Mii - A crowd of Mii avatars from your Mii Channel will appear on screen as you search to find one or more specific Miis amongst the group. The game gets boring very quickly as you do nothing more than point at the screen and press A. Maybe your grandmother will find this exciting, but you however will probably just stop after a few short rounds.

Table Tennis - Table Tennis was a disappointment. I was expecting something similar to Wii Sports tennis, yet what we get is nothing but a pointing game, reminiscent of the internet flash game Curveball (only without the curving). At first, all you have to do is complete a 100 hit rally with the computer by simply pointing the remote at the screen to move your paddle. After you accomplish this, you can then start over and go past 100 to try and set a new record. The game provides a bit of a challenge once the computer starts speeding up but all together it's far too simple and you'll find yourself moving on to something else.
Pose Mii - You control your Mii character by pointing the Wii remote at the screen, then twisting your wrist and pushing A or B to adjust your pose. Your objective is to match your Mii's pose and direction to that which is inside of a bubble slowly floating down to the bottom of the screen. But don't let any of the bubbles hit the bottom, otherwise it's game over. Although the game is a bit more challenging than Find Mii the staying power and fun factor just isn't there.

Laser Hockey - Oh goody! Another pointing game. Now your pointing controls a little on-screen paddle much as you would in a game of air hockey. Another simple game that can actually be kind of fun to play with a friend. For a couple games at least. Not much more to say here, so moving on...

Billiards - Although it isn't perfect, I liked playing this game. You play standard 9 Ball Billiards, however there is a different scoring system in play. You are given the amount points that matches the number of the ball you've just sunk. But be careful, you can be docked points for things such as making contact with the wrong ball first, or scratching (putting in the cue ball). A friend of mine and I were able to play for 7 or 8 games straight without getting bored of it, but the same cannot be said when playing alone.

Fishing - Just when things seemed to be getting good, we're given another pointing game. In fishing you hold onto a make shift fishing rod and move it around the screen to land (wait for it) paper fish. Once you've got a bite, swing your Wii remote upwards to reel it in. The paper fish don't put up much of a fight. I don't think I ever had fun playing this game, so avoid it as much you can.

Charge! - For a game where you ride a cow, this isn't half bad. Players hold their Wii remote sideways to steer a charging cow and can thrust the remote upwards to make their cow jump. Similar to Sonic and the Secret Rings, only without the speed and crappy dialog. Players must then attempt to run over poor, defenseless scarecrows to gain points. Perhaps the second best game in this steaming pile. Which is the best you ask...?

Tanks - The only game to make use of the nunchuk, and the only game worth playing. The player moves their tank using the nunchuk's control stick, while controlling where they are aiming by pointing at the screen with the Wii remote. Essentially like a dual stick shooter. Players can shoot bullets at enemies with the A button and set mines with the B button. With varying types of enemies and 100 different levels this game alone will keep you from regretting your Wii Play purchase. In the later levels things get can get pretty hard as you'll have rocket propelled missiles bouncing off walls, with pin point precision. A lot of fun to play alone, and even more fun to play with friends.

As a game, Wii Play is awful. I wouldn't buy it alone even at a budget price, however, the inclusion of a "free" Wii remote really sweetens the deal. Extra remotes are hard to find (at the time at least) so if you couldn't find just a remote alone there was no reason for you to pass up on Wii Play. The visual look is very simplistic and you know that it's the look Nintendo was aiming for. The repetitive sounds in the game can get quite annoying eventually, and there isn't much in the way of good background music to soften the blow.
 But now here's what you all came here to read. "Should I buy Wii Play or not?" Well, this is where things get tricky. The game is a good value at $49.99 USD when bundled with a Wii remote. Yet if the only reason you are considering this game is for the remote, then pay close attention to this first. If you have the opportunity, buy simply a Wii remote by itself if you can. If there happens to be a shortage around you, then go ahead and get the game. Unless you really want to play Tanks or the other craptacular games, save your $10 and try to find a Nunchuk to pair up with your remote first. You'll be better off that way.
If you're able to find Wii Play somewhere now for under $10, I'd suggest you get it. The Tanks game would certainly be worth it. I wish Nintendo would release an updated WiiWare version of the game at some point.

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