Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Wii review: Wii Sports: Bowling (7/10), Boxing (2/10)

It's here! So it did turn out to be two-day shipping, but only if you count Saturday. It was somewhat easy to set up (although I had to put the sensor bar on the TV stand below the TV; my TV has an angled top and it wouldn't sit properly). I'm cheap (and on GameFly too, hell yeah that's a link to refer you, I'm a revenue whore, I admit it), so I didn't get any extra games, so I'm just playing Wii Sports.

Well, there may not be a lot to it, but I'll tell you what, Bowling is pretty much spot-on. My best so far was a 165 with a turkey; it took me a few games to figure out how to get my hook right (and throw it straight, ha ha, haven't mastered that yet) and how to abort a bad throw (at the line, slowly let your arm point toward the floor, then release B to drop the ball, you start over), but after that, it didn't take long for my real-life bowling demons to resurface. It'll just be a matter of time before I start leaving the 7-pin. Beer frame!

Hurray! You can play each sport left- or right-handed. I just tried bowling, tennis practice, and the "fitness test", kind of like the Brain Age test, except this one is for returning balls in tennis, hitting homers in baseball, and picking up spares in bowling. I can hit okay, so that must not be realistic. :)

The one thing I couldn't do is get the wireless set up. It's mostly because my setup is just outside my realm of knowledge, so I know what I did to get my laptop connected, but can't quite figure out the trick to get the Wii connected. (My 360 uses a wired connection, no help there.)

There isn't anything else to it so far, just bowling, although I haven't tried the practice yet. After each game, you get points toward a skill rating. The first level to achieve (I assume there are many) is Pro, at 1000. I'm about 800 or so, I think.

So far, it's definitely got potential as a great party game. I need to check out the other aspects of the game (and the other included sports), but for now, we'll give it a 7.

11/21 update: practice consists of little minigames, and if you do well enough at them, you get medals - I have a silver and a bronze overall. For bowling, the minigames are spare practice, hook practice (think of the skill shot contests on the PBA Tour, only without the stupid throw-it-over-the-chair shot that no bowling alley likes to see), and power practice (bowling at a rack from 4 rows deep up to 13 rows deep). The first two baseball ones are home-run hitting and contact hitting (pull, opposite-field, straightaway). Let's just say that I've got good power (633 ft? whatever), but can't go the other way. I keep pulling the ball, except when I'm supposed to. Very cool.

Also, your skill rating seems to be the number of pins above your average that you bowled, so your first game will set your skill rating. I got to the point where I don't always get points after a game. :(

But I did pick up the 5-6-7-10! I love being able to put a right-handed hook on the ball.

11/22 update: Your skill rating also drops if you miss your average, I think (too bad they don't display your average). Mine's leveled off ...

Boxing is dumb. Bowling seems to work well because it doesn't involve interaction, it's just action (the ball's in your hand, it just rolls when you move your hand). But with the boxing minigames, the problem I had was that I couldn't tell where I was supposed to be jabbing; I thought it was just a matter of swinging, but apparently not. The dodging didn't work very well either.

I'm getting better at the tennis minigames. Didn't think much of the golf ones, though. I saw they only gave you a generic iron and a generic wedge for chipping. I hope you get a full set of clubs when you play for real ...

The 633-foot home run happened because I hit it out of the stadium, so yeah, that's more realistic: they measure the distance the ball travels until it stops moving. If you think about it, once you clear the stadium wall, the ball has to fall all the way down to the ground (as opposed to a shot into the seats, which hits the "ground" several feet in the air), and then it'll roll a ways.

It's too bad you can't see what medals you have when you're picking which minigame to play. You know, the other consoles have all these buttons for a reason ...

The fitness test is exactly like Brain Age in that it picks three minigames at random. Last night, it was two boxing games (boo) and the tennis hit-the-target game.

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