i’ve had a copy of wii play, the best-selling video game of all time, for a while but hadn’t really spent any time with it. the game was designed to be a sort of tutorial on the various ways to use the wii remote, and i was curious to see how well it worked as such for newbies. so of course i tested it out with my favorite guinea pig, my SO, who, despite the motion-based controls (or perhaps because of them), still found the mini-games to be a bit hard to master. (as a side note, i would think that warioware: smooth moves would be another good intro to wii’s motion controls, although its fast pace might make the whole experience a bit too manic for a newbie.)
anyway, although that experiment wasn’t much of a success, i ended up enjoying the collection as a whole and am somewhat surprised at how much the game is maligned. it was originally bundled with a wii remote so it’s essentially a $10 game, and for that price i found very little to complain about. one complaint some people seem to have is that the mini-games are almost all quite short, but when the focus is on achieving medals via high scores i much prefer timed games such as these as opposed to an arcade-type experience where you have to slog through the easy parts of the game over and over again until you get to the harder stages. (the one game in this collection that is like that is “tanks!”, which is the only game i couldn’t be bothered to get a gold medal in because of that exact reason, that is, i got bored doing all the easy stages again and again.)
the games certainly aren’t deep, but, as you’d expect, they have nintendo’s trademark level of polish so that even the ones that sound like they would be completely inane (e.g. “find mii” and “pose mii”) actually end up being quite fun. the visuals are simple but clean and effective, and the music, sound effects, and controls are all nicely done. some of the games are actually surprisingly addictive and i found myself playing them much longer than i would’ve thought. in terms of the gameplay the collection as a whole certainly beats others in its category, like rayman raving rabbids and carnival games, by a long shot. each mini-game also has a 2-player version that look like they would be good, clean fun although i didn’t get to try that mode out much.
all in all this was a much more enjoyable game than i had originally thought it would be, so much so that i’m now much more interested in getting wii play: motion, which was coincidentally just released last week. still have other wii games to get through, though, including wii fit and wii sports resort.
play with some wii play links!
– random thread at wiichat.com that lists all the medal requirements
– good FAQ at gamefaqs.com
– you can download a replacement copy of the manual at nintendo.com
– official site at nintendo.com: has some basic descriptions and tips
– typical review at wii.nintendolife.com, although the reviewer completely missed the way the fishing game works
– some stats from the nintendo channel compiled at coffeewithgames.com
– entry at wikipedia