I know it's been a crazy long while since I've gotten around to another VS. Battle, but at the time I write this, I've been very low on my contributions. So, I thought I'd make this a special weekend and give you another battle!

This time around, I wanted to test two games that I though went hand-in-hand, ones that defined the console they were released for and that have been there since the beginning. After some thought about it, I decided that the two would be Wii Sports and Wii Play!

To restate the rules I go by, what I do is I pick some random yet relevant categories that amount to an odd number, and then whichever game takes the most categories is the winner! These categories will most likely be of equal importance, and there will be no ties. Let's do this!

Category #1: Practicality

I'm sure many people will go against my decision here, but the way I see it, Wii Sports is not the more helpful game of the two. The major purpose of Wii Sports is to help Wii users get used to the console's unconventional control mechanic and just generally learn what it has to offer. However, in terms of helping people get used to the game, it covers relatively little territory.

Wii Play has nine minigames, all of which have their focus in different styles of gameplay; Shooting Range and Find Mii are point-and-click games that help with quick observation, Table Tennis helps with side-to-side cursor movement, Laser Hockey helps cursor movement and twisting, Fishing helps with shaking the Wiimote, Billiards helps with thrusting the Wiimote, Charge! helps with NES controller-style gameplay, and Tanks helps with use of the Wiimote and Nunchuk. All of these did help me with my Wii early on, and I probably wouldn't be quite as good a player without them.

So, for newer Wii owners, I think Wii Play is the more practical.

Winner: Wii Play

Category #2: Multiplayer

This category is an entirely different story from the first. Wii Play is one of those games that has little to no multiplayer options, which is a disappointment considering the fact that multiplayer would have improved it by a huge amount. Wii Sports, on the other hand, has full 4-player multiplayer in all five main sports (with Training excluded), making it fun to play with others and great as a party game. And so, Wii Sports takes this category hands-down.

Winner: Wii Sports

Category #3: Replayability

This one is tough to decide, because the minigames in both titles have varied rewards for playing. The major thing that detracts from Wii Sports, however, is the Skill Level. For me, the Skill Level discourages you from going back over and over again to play a game because it doesn't consider the possibility that you might have very good rounds and very bad rounds. If you have a single bad round of playing, your skill level can potentially plummet, and you may even lose your "Pro" status. In Wii Play, however, you can gain personal bests and medals in all nine games, and the worst thing that can happen as a result of a lackluster round is that it doesn't make your Top 5 scores. In this way, Wii Play is more welcoming to all types of players as far as striving for the best goes, and it just manages to take this one.

Winner: Wii Play

Category #4: Innovation

The level of innovation brought to the table by these games are both pretty large considering that they're both staples of the Wii's controls. Still, Wii Sports is much more groundbreaking in the way that it makes an amazing (especially considering the era of the console) use of motion controls. I can remember that the first time I played this game, I was astonished by how completely responsive the game was to my movements; I don't even think it's very far behind Wii Sports Resort.

Now, I'm not saying that Wii Play doesn't have innovative control. In fact, they're pretty good as far as the skill set goes. It's just that many people, myself included, are more and pleasantly surprised by how realistic and enjoyable Wii Sports is as far as controls go.

Winner: Wii Sports

Category #5: Interactivity

There's not all that much of a difference between these two games as far as interativity goes. I mean, for both of them, the movement requested reliably seems to respond to what happens. However, I think the true test of this is how much the movements make you feel like you're really there. Under these circumstances, I'd definitely say that Wii Sports is the more interactive, because it takes studied movements from all of the five sports and makes them the key to gameplay as a whole.

Winner: Wii Sports

Category #6: Originality and Variety

This may seem like a peculiar category to use, but one thing that I, and I'm sure plenty of people use to ponder the greatness of a game is the new content it brings to the table. Wii Sports is artfully executed, but besides the Training exercises, its gameplay is just the same as the five sports it's based on. That's not at all a bad thing, but you can't honestly say that the game added anything to the content of the sports themselves.

Granted, some of the games in Wii Play, like Billiards and Fishing, are clones of existing games. However, the rest of the games are either completely original, or so different from the ideas that they come from that they can be viewed as separate. Take "Charge!" for example; at that point, I hadn't personally seen the use of a cow to bowl over scarecrows and get to the end of a track as fast as possible in any games before. Laser Hockey and Shooting Range are also pretty "out there" too. Sure, they seem a lot like other games, but you have to admit that there are some ways in which they're different. As such, I think Wii Play is the game to catch you more by surprise in terms of content.

Winner: Wii Play

Category #7: Significance

You guys are probably really confused as to what this category means. Up until this point, I couldn't think of another category that I could use to make the number odd. But then it hit me: what could be more important with such old games than what they meant to people who had them? Which is the more significant to people as long-time Wii owners who view their value as being equal?

Well, in this instance, Wii Sports has an advantage that Wii Play doesn't: it's reality in a game. For those people who love sports like Baseball, Golf, or even Boxing, but who never get the opportunity to go out and play them, Wii Sports brings an almost 100% accurate interpretation of those sports right into the home. Wii Play has a fantastic method of getting you used to working with your Wii, but as far as true nostalgia, revolution, and wholehearted impact go, it just doesn't quite match up to the nature of Wii Sports.

Winner: Wii Sports

Final Score

Wii Sports

Wii Sports took a total of: 4 Points

Wii Play

Wii Play took a total of: 3 Points


And the winner is: Wii Sports with a score of 4 to 3!

This battle came very, very close to a draw. For a few minutes, I didn't know which was going to win. When you take everything into account, both game are truly fantastic in their own right, but when put through the trials of those things that gamers hold dear, Wii Sports, poetically the first real game for the Wii, just manages to come out on top.

Thanks everyone for taking the time to witness this battle, and be sure to keep an eye out for the next one!