Wii Play Wii Review
Wii Play, just like Wii Sports and most likely just like the many Wii *insert name here* titles coming out over the next few years, is all about multiplayer fun. Sure, you can have some fun on your own with one Wiimote but to get the best out of the game you’ll need a mate ’round. Like Wii Sports the game makes use of your Miis, which you will mostly likely now have created at least one of in the Mii channel on the Wii dashboard.
Once you get into the main menu, noticeably the only game available to play is called Shooting Range… from there the game forces you to play through each of the games in order, letting you play them as little or as much as you like to unlock the next. Shooting Range should be familiar to any NES owners who have played the old light-gun game Duck Hunt – even going as far as to include a small remix of one of the game’s trademark tunes. This was easily my favourite looking game of the bunch with lots to see and, minus that nagging dog, brought loads of nostalgia flooding back as I played through it. There is much more to the game than the simple duck and clay shooting of Duck Hunt though as a huge selection of targets, balloons and even aliens pop up on screen to be shot down. A few ducks and clay pigeons of old even make an appearance if you are quick enough to hit them. All in all Shooting Range is a great opener for the package and is fun to play, albeit slightly limited when compared to other light-gun shooters out today.
Find Mii is up next and is a basic game where you are given the task of finding similar Miis on a screen. The first level usually tasks you with finding two versions of your own Mii in a bunch of six but from there on it gets harder. Later levels make the Miis start moving around and wearing different clothes while still asking you to match up similar versions. I remember Nintendo including a similar game on the DS version of Mario 64 where you had to find Yoshi, Mario, Wario or Luigi in a pile of other faces and I honestly liked that version of the game much more than this.
Table Tennis is the third game of the nine and is also very basic. It makes use of the pointing portion of the Wiimote to direct a Table Tennis paddle on screen. Through this control method you move the paddle around and try to position it in the ball’s trajectory to knock it back to the other end of the table. The game is basically a test of your reaction speed to get the paddle into the correct position to return the ball. A nice extra is that you can put a small bit of extra speed on the returning ball if you push the Wiimote forward at the moment of contact… I personally found this too easy to mess up and lost a long rally trying to do so. Overall it is one of the most fun games of the package, especially in two player mode.
Pose Mii does exactly what it say on the tin as it asks you, by twisting and turning your Mii in various directions, to match up with a silhouette in a bubble. The bubble with the silhouette starts at the top of the screen and then falls down, waiting for you to twist the Wiimote in the right direction to match up with what’s inside. Some of the silhouettes show Miis with their arms held out or their legs twisted in different ways and you must change yours to match this by pressing “A”. All in all, along with Find Mii this is another one of the most forgettable games of the bunch with a quest for high scores being its only salvation.
Next up is a game titled Laser Hockey which, upon seeing it, a friend of mine fondly labelled ‘Pong on acid‘. He was not wrong in his assertion though as the game does have more than a passing resemblance to the now almost archaic retro title. It is the most basic game of the bunch using only the Wiimote’s ability to point to move your luminous paddle around. You then have to defend your own goal while trying to score against your opponent playing the air hockey style game. It is fun but only when played in multiplayer.
Next up is my favourite game of the bunch – Billiards! This is probably the most intuitive game on show as everything about the game resembles just what you would expect a real pool/snooker type game to be. The game uses many aspect of the console’s unique controls, first letting you choose what direction to hit the ball with the pointer. After this you can then choose where to hit the cue ball with the pointer to get loads of topspin and back spin by hitting it in different places to try and get a good angle for your next shot. Finally, once everything is set you hold A and pull back the Wiimote to pull back the on-screen cue and thrust it forward – depending on how hard you thrust forward, you get a hard or soft shot. Once again, it all looks and plays very basically but is a great example of what the Wii is capable of if used in the right way. Whatever publisher has their hands on the big snooker and pool licenses should rip this game off as quickly as possible… spruce up the graphics and presentation and they should have a winner on their hands!
Fishing is next… I found this to be very boring and even when playing with two players the enjoyment level did not rise much higher. The game uses the ‘3D space’ part of the Wiimote to let you place your on screen fishing rod into the water and move it around. Once a fish grabs on you then pull back with Wiimote like you would with a fishing rod to try and reel it in you then keep doing this catching loads of fish for a set amount of time to get a high score.
Charge is up next… it’s a racing game where your Mii mounts a cow and starts to run down a winding road filled with scarecrows and fences. As with all the other games this is not about finishing quickly but getting a high score on the way to the finish line. The points come from hitting scarecrows with your cow. The game is controlled by turning the Wiimote on it side and tilting it left and right to guide you cow in the right direction. There are a few more controls as well such as pushing the Wiimote forward to speed up and pulling back to slow down. A quick swing of the Wiimote upwards is also included to make you cow leap fences. As with most of games in the package this is great fun the first few time – as it is something new and exciting you never did before – but due to a lack of depth boredom creeps in quickly and all the zany cows in the world can’t seduce you into play it again.
The last game on show is an old school title with a birds-eye view called Tanks… and initially upon playing this title I was saying thanks right back at Nintendo as it seemed a hell of a lot of fun. The game is the only one of the bunch that allows use of the Nunchuck and when combined with the Wiimote it is used to move around and fire at other on screen enemy tanks. Sadly after a few minutes play I was getting very bored as the levels did not evolve enough as the game went on. Each level in the game is the size of the screen and offers a selection of tanks to destroy… when firing with the Wiimote you bullets can bounce off walls once offering some small semblance tactics to games. As stated above the levels sadly don’t change enough to keep things interesting as they just add a few extra walls and more tanks into each play area as you advance. It is fun though but it lacks that ‘one more go’ appeal it needed to make it a great game.
Wii Play’s overall lasting appeal will centre around trying to beat you mates high score or visa-versa as all the games are based around the ‘keep going as long as you can’ gameplay of yore but ultimately as the game is lacking in any form of depth it will gather a whole load of dust over the coming months. It is only fun to play in the shortest of short bursts and even then can get boring rather quickly. The old adage that you get what you pay for probably sums up Wii Play better than my 1000 words can. It is basically a game that cost £5 and it is nothing more than that it was never going to set the world alight but that is not something it ever set out to do. There is no way you could call the game an essential addition to anyone library of Wii games but for the asking price when packed in with an extra Wiimote it is a very smart addition as value for money is what Wii Play is all about.
Confucius says: Probably the worst game that is a good idea to buy *Confucius falls down*
5.8 out of 10