When the Wii was finally unveiled to the public back at E3 in 2006 some of the tech demonstrations that they were using to showcase what the system could do were what is included in Wii Play. So, before really going into a full review of Wii Play I want to make it known that also included with the game is a Wii remote which when you factor in the price for one of those (MSRP $39.99) and subtract that from the total price of the bundle (MSRP $49.99) you come up with a game that costs you all of $10. Keep that in mind because if you consider $50 for a game to be too much you’re going to be absolutely disappointed with Wii Play.
If you’re waiting to see what the Wii is capable of in terms of graphics, don’t look here. This looks a lot like Wii Sports, nothing too graphically intensive. Nothing that might make those non-gamers either be put off or completely overwhelmed by the power of the Wii. The best word to describe both the look and the feel of this game is “simple”. It’s easy to learn to play and it’s simple in terms of what it looks like. Expect to see your Mii involved in some of these mini games, but don’t go in expecting anything fancy, you’ll only be disappointed.
Simple also helps to describe the audio. Again, there’s just nothing too fancy and again whatever you’ve come to expect from Wii Sports you’re only going to get more of with Wii Play. That is to say the music is light and fun and probably meant to be talked over with a friend rather than blasted through your surround sound system. You’ll find the music to be catchy and though you may feel like you’re stuck inside an elevator that never goes anywhere, I don’t think you’ll mind it all that much. You’re just going to have to come to the realization that you may get caught humming the music every time someone says the words, “we”, “Wii”, or even “me” or “Mii”. That’s the power of audio, you may eventually forget what these games look like, but somewhere inside the simple tunes of Wii Play will always be there.
What Wii Play does better than some of the other games available for the Wii is provide a unique and innovative experience that can’t be had on any other console. Simulating a light gun game is one of the cooler things in Wii Play. Can it be done on other consoles? Yes, but it’ll cost you. The fishing game is cool, too. You drop your Wii remote to simulate lowering the pole into the water, and pull it back to yank out the fish. Games that have you simply turning your wrist to match the outline of your Wii in different poses shows you that games can be about a lot more than killing zombies or beating up people on the street for no reason. Games can be fun again. However, the lack of depth that Wii Play provides brings the fun experience to an abrupt end. It’s a nice little package that could have been better and potentially would’ve been better if this came with the Wii along with Wii Sports, but it’s a pretty fun little game. Had they at least doubled the amount of mini games in Wii Play there’s no doubt that this would be a better game, but the ten included just fall a little short of greatness, though when you factor in that the game essentially cost you $10 you may find it to be an acceptable purchase.
Like I said, this is basically a series of tech demos consisting of ten mini games that showcase a lot of the possibilities that the Wii and Wii remote are capable of doing. This is not a deep experience by any stretch of the imagination. Even the multiplayer can’t really extend your playing time that much more. You can breeze through the entire series of mini games in about an hour. They vary from a Ping Pong rally to a target practice mini game to an updated clone of the Atari classic Combat and others in between. The gist of this being that there’s not much of a game here, but if you’re looking to show someone what the Wii is all about Wii Play is a great choice. The mini games are short bursts of fun wrapped in a package that shouldn’t make you entirely regret your purchase. If you’re still having trouble finding the Wii remote where you live then this should be an easy decision.
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