Wii Play - A review (by me, no stupid off site links)

It’s been a while since I did a full-on review, but I felt like this one evoked so many emotional “reactions” that I just had to share.

Sharing is caring.

First off, the game costs $50 new, and it includes a Wiimote. So, the breakdown of product value is $40 for the Wiimote, and $10 for the game (and it comes in a DVD case no less! Unlike Wii Sports crappy cardboard sleeve.)

There’s serious value there…$10 for 9 Wiimote sensitive mini games isn’t bad at all (not that all the games are great, or have serious replay value, but I’ll get to that in a second.)

Okay, here’s the breakdown of the game and the individual mini games.

It’s a 2 player maximum game, which, kind of stinks, but, again (and I’ll probably reference this a few more times in this review … it’s a ten dollar game.)

It uses your Mii in almost every single mini game, but it totally disregards the color scheme that you set the shirt to. Go figure.

The games -

Shooting Gallery - It’s an update of “Duck Hunt” … sort of. It features the same game play style as duck hunt / skeet shooting / trick shooting … but it has a decidedly more “Point Blank” feel to the pacing of the games … it’s 10 rounds of target shooting games, they’re pretty fun, and after a while with it, it makes me come to these conclusions -

  • The Wiimote makes a VERY accurate light-gun substitution
  • Namco NEEDS to make a Point Blank anthology for the Wii (and apologize for that AWFUL DS port)
  • Duck Hunt would have been a LOT more fun if it had a set # of rounds per game and not an “endless” play style.

Find Mii - it’s like Where’s Waldo, except with Miis … and not as fun as flipping open a Where’s Waldo book and finding him. This is easily the EASIEST game on the compilation, and other than it’s skill in making humorous looking randomized Miis … it’s mind-numbing and has progressive and “endless” rounds. I don’t think I’ll ever play it again. Seriously

Table Tennis - I CAN’T BELIEVE that Nintendo DROPPED the freaking BALL on this one SO HARD. Do NOT be fooled by the inclusion of a ping pong ball, a table tennis table, two hands, two table tennis paddles, and the words “table tennis”. This is NOT a table tennis game. You can’t “beat” the computer, there’s no scoring, and you don’t use the Wiimote to “hit” the ball like in Tennis in Wii Sports … you just move the paddle left-right forward-backward and VOLLEY. That’s it. For every 10 volleys you make another Mii gathers around the match … to watch a creepy disembodied hand play another creepy disembodied hand in an endless match of … volleying. Awful. I love ping pong, and this mini game takes the “worst” award for the lot simply for being SO FAR from what it claims to be.

Pose Mii - The only pure “puzzle” game on the collection … and not a bad one. Your Mii can be posed in 3 positions, and each position “fits” inside different falling bubbles. If a bubble reaches the end of the screen and you haven’t “popped” it by posing your Mii in the right position and fitting it in said bubble, you lose a life. It gets faster and harder, and it’s not bad at all. One of the good ones that I’ll likely challenge myself with again.

Laser Hockey - A basic “air hockey” game with either flat or round paddles and a table that looks like something out of TRON … or a neon beer sign at a bar. You can “tilt” the paddles with a tilt of the Wiimote, and move them around by pointing movement. Pretty great stuff, unlike Table Tennis this IS exactly what it claims to be. The CPU is decently difficult, and the 2 player game rocks.

Billiards - Another case of a game being what it is and what it should be. It’s American Billiards. 9 ball only, but a great game of 9 ball. You can pretty much do everything you’d expect to be able to do in a pool game … and you “shoot” the cue (which has your Mii plastered on it) using your Wiimote like a Pool Stick. Great graphics, great controls, and while there aren’t any “surprises” … it might be “worth” the whole price of the $10 disc.

Fishing - I guess this is what fishing would be like in Paper Mario World. There’s no “casting” ala Zelda TP … you simply dip your hook into the pond and catch flat fish by enticing them with a wiggle of the bait-less hook. The bigger the fish, the harder it is to catch … and the more points you get. There are bonus fish and what not … but, if you’re not interested by now, you likely won’t be any more sold on this one. Not bad, not “insulting” by any stretch of the imagination. Cute and well made.

Charge - Okay … time for things to get BIZARRE. Your Mii rides a sock-monkey like COW down a yellow-brick-road, while smashing scarecrows for points and hopping fences. It’s a straight line race (like ExciteTruck) and it controls much the same as that (except you tilt FORWARDS on the Wiimote for acceleration, and pull UP really fast to jump.) the cow doesn’t corner very well, and that can make the race a bit frustrating…it looks like they put some work into this one graphically … but the physics don’t quite work the way they should. (But how well SHOULD the physics work in a $10 game?)

Tanks … you’re welcome… AHEM. Seriously. It’s like Combat for Atari 2600 (single screen tank battles) with a bit better graphics, optional Nunchuck controls, and a progressive series of obstacles and enemy tank power. Not bad…but it’s about as slow and methodical as Combat was. And if you don’t remember how slow and methodical Combat was … it was slow…and…methodical. This one is pretty okay as a 2 player affair … if you’re both old enough to have played Combat and reminisce about how slow and methodical that game was…did I mention it was slow and … nevermind.

So, yeah, that’s about it.

Is it worth it?

Do you only have ONE Wiimote?

Would you like a really nice, basic game of 9-ball pool?

Do you have a lot of friends that like “party game” type video games?

These are the things you should ask yourself before dropping $50 on this one.

I’ll score the GAME at an overall of 6.5 out of 10 with MAJOR points taken off for the HUGE mistake that is Table Tennis, and a point or two off for general mediocrity. But, again, the overall VALUE of the product for a SINGLE Wiimote owner is truly excellent.

I’ll keep waiting with my fingers crossed for a Point Blank Anthology in the meantime.

Wii Sports had a proper DVD case for me >_>

Nice review, I hear Wii Play and Wario Ware are the center of attention of many household parties <_<

I like the Billiards and the cow racing. The rest are pretty dull, but for a tenner you can’t go wrong.

And Aussies got Wii SPorts in a proper DVD case, so woo for me

I bought FF 8 for two tenners so yes, you can go wrong with a tenner as FF 8 is shite

I stand corrected.

Back to Wii Play, how common do you people expect Nintendo to release these mini game compilations. Right now they prove to be appealing through demonstrating the possibilities of the remote, but what about in a few months time?

Could you see yourself buying a product like Wii Play/Wii Sports in the future when there are going to be fully developed games that explore the remote out anyway?

How much of their appeal is tied to the bundling with hardware/accessories? I know I bought Wii Play just to have another remote. Can these kind of games be sold on their own?

How about Wii Music? Will it offer more than Wii Sports/Wii Play? What are the odds its release will coincide with different coloured remotes (and be bundled with them)?

They will be sold on their own in more developed forms like Rayman, Mario Party and Wario Ware. Casual gamers will keep enjoying them as long as they offer new things, else they’ll be content with the already released games.

I just want them to release simulations though, not every non-gamer can enjoy mini games with no depth. I’m sure many people’s fathers for example would maybe try once the fishing mini game in Wii Play (or not at all), but they would be more interested in a fishing simulation… Similar for things like bowling. Being a non gamer doesn’t mean you aren’t looking for a deeper, more mature and involving experience, while the unique control scheme means you can have sims that are hard to master but not overly difficult to get to grips with as some may have been in the past.