Wii Play

Here's the box art for Wii Play, a classic Wii title.

Wii Play was one of the earliest titles ever released for the Wii, and it was the second in the series of Wii games played with Miis. The game consists of 9 minigames: Shooting Range, Table Tennis, Find Mii, Pose Mii, Laser Hockey, Fishing, Billiards, Charge!, and Tanks. Each of these games requires a different format of the Wii to play, and this made it varying and fun.

There's a reason why I decided to do this one early on in the game: I was inspired by the Wiiviewer, and he remains my biggest game reviewing hero. However, I disagree pretty completely with his opinions on Wii Play. He believes that the game is stupid, unfun, forgettable, and a waste of money.

First let me address the matter of unfun; I find the game to be quite enjoyable. I especially like Laser Hockey, Tanks, and Shooting Range. I found the controls of all the games great, and I found myself playing each of them over and over to get better medals every time. Given that there are 9 games and pretty much all of them at least a little good, I think his judgment of them being bad is completely ungrounded.

Let me address each of his judgments one by one: He said Shooting Range was a stupid idea because he'd already played Duck Hunt, and didn't want to play a more substandard version of it. However, teh game is challenging and takes real skill. It's more fast-paced and reflexive than Duck Hunt by a mile, and the formatting of the game is anything but bad, but rather whimsical and fun.

He said Table Tennis was a boring game because it didn't utilize the motion controls, but rather just had you move a paddle from side-to-side. This is a pretty valid evaluation, but the game is challenging, because for every 10 rallies you do, they get faster and faster. So, this is a reasonably good gam.

He said that Find Mii was "a copy of Where's Waldo, and just as boring." However, he only told half the story. As you progress through the round, the stages get harder and harder, and you often had to have peak observational skills along with quick reflexes. Meaning, the statement of this game as being boring is just false.

He said that Pose Mii is by far the stupidest and worst game in the title because the concept is completely ridiculous. I agree that it is pretty dumb, but the game requries rapid reflexes and good hand-eye co-ordination. This game isn't completely worthless.

He said that Laser Hockey is just the same thing as Pong, but this is not entirely true, because while the idea is the same, the method of control isn't. In Laser Hockey, you can move your paddle around the stage and turn it around. This means greater freedom of movement and different angles. It's a tremedounsly fun game to play, and good for playing with another person.

He said that Fishing was an unbelievably boring game that you would never come back to. I think that while it is pretty dull, it's an interesting game, and I did come back to it multiple times to see how many points in fish I could rack up before time ran out.

He did have a good opinion of Billiards, because it controlled well, and I agree that the game is pretty good, but I had some control issues, so I guess we're in agreement there.

He said Charge! is a highly forgettable and weird game that you will play once and then never again. However, I think the game is fun! It's wild, crazy, and funny, and you'll come back at least a few times not only for the hilarity of the gameplay, but to get a better score and a better time.

Finally, he said Tanks was an unfair game that pitted you against unreasonable odds; but this is my dad's favorite title in the game, and one of my favorites, with good reason. I mean, of course you're against stupid odds! That's the fun of it! It's a game of tactics and strategy, to see if you have what it takes to win out under such circumstances. This is why I think Tanks could be the best game in the title.

Even if the Wiiviewer was right, and the games themselves were ridiculous and forgettable, you have to realize that that's not what Wii Play is all about. Remember, the Wii U isn't out yet. It won't be for a pretty decent while. Thusly, people are still buying Wiis, and the Wii is a huge culture shock for any gamer the first time it's used. That's what makes Wii Play such a valuable investment. Each game covers a different use of the Wii Remote, giving you practice in everything from pointing, to button use, to operation of the Nunchuk, to holding it sideways. As such, it's a real gem if you are not used to the Wii's controls, and it helps, because the controls operate fantastically almost every single time. The price on Wii Play is universally supremely low, always below $10, and renting it would therefore cost maybe $4 or less. As such, if you just bought a Wii and are unfamiliar with the controls, you should absolutely rent and maybe even buy this game. Even if you understand the controls well, I still think it's worth a rent, because it's a big part of the Wii's history, and it should have a nod from users even years later.