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    Wii Play for the Nintendo Wii


    First off, and this is VERY important, Wii Play comes out to about ten dollars because it comes packaged with a Wii remote. The game itself is actually nine separate mini games. There is no real story behind the game, instead there is a medal system. The better you do at any given mini game, the higher grade medal that you are awarded. This doesn't really cut it for a story, so I'm not going to rate it on a story. Instead of looking at the story or the controller setup as a whole, I will take a look at each seperate mini game's control setup.

    The first mini game is the Shooting Range. Just like the name suggests, you shoot stuff. Objects zoom around and you try to blast everything you see to smitherines, except of course for your own Mii which pops up from time to time. In fact, the Mii serves the same purpose as civilians in shooting arcades throughout history. You have to make sure that the thing you're shooting at is the enemy - including balloons, targets, cans (which you try to keep airborne by shooting over and over), ducks, flying discs, and even UFO's attempting to abduct Mii's. This part of the game gets an above-average 7.

    Next is Find Mii, which reminds me a lot of Where's Waldo? Instead of looking for one specific Mii, you try to find matching Miis, or even just the Mii that is going the fastest. It starts out easy - then the Miis start running all around the place making it hard to be sure the Mii you match isn't the same Mii over again. Fun for some people maybe, but for me it only gets a 5.

    Table Tennis is one of the games that was shown in the E3 footage. I've looked forward to it a lot, and filled the hours of waiting with games of Wii Sports Tennis. In this game, you point the remote at the place where you want the paddle to be. The goal is to return the ball multiple times in order to store up your rally points. You don't have to swing the remote to hit the ping pong, but that doesn't make it any easier. In multiplayer, the player that is first to score eight seperate times is the winner. This game gets a very solid 8 on the fun factor.

    Pose Mii frustrated me beyond belief. Maybe I'm just not coordinated very well-which explains all the bruises-but this game requires a lot of quick concentration and hand-eye coordination to pull off. Basically, there are three seperate poses you can chose between for your Mii, and you select the correct pose and twist the controller to match a silhouette on the screen. It's simple enough, but then there are dozens of little silhouettes falling down your screen and it becomes harder and harder to match the correct pose, much less twist the controller to match the direction. This one may provide fun for those fans of DDR, however, I am not one of those fans. I give this game a 5 along with Find Mii.

    Laser Hockey looks quite a bit like Pong in the beginning. However, once you actually play it for any real length of time, it becomes apparent that this rendition of a classic is very much improved. Pointing your controller at the screen changes the location of a bar on the screen. You can move it to any location on your half of the screen. You can even twist the controller to angle the bar, and move it to swipe at the moving puck. In fact, it plays quite a bit like an actual game of air hockey. This game gets a solid 8.

    Billiards was a game that I very much looked forward to when it was announced. Now that the game has come out, I have mixed feelings on it. You point the controller to determine where you hit the ball, and pull the controller back and push it forward to hit the ball. Very much like actually shooting pool. The only problem becomes which ball you hit. In fact, the game decides which ball you are going to try to hit next, and if there is another ball in the way that you hit first, you get a "foul." No joke, you are penalized for hitting a different ball in. Just for that, this game is dialed down to a 6. Still fun, but I just can't get over the order in which you have to hit the balls.

    Now we come to Fishing. Fishing plays much like the name implies. You dip your fishing rod's hook into the water to entice different fish to bite. If you have the fish that flashes on the screen take a bite and nab it, you get a bonus. The game is much more simple than the fishing engine built into this system's version of Zelda, but it is certainly more fun than actually going out to a frozen lake and fishing. One shouldn't expect too much out of this game, but it should at least be as fun and interesting as the fishing already included within Zelda. For not meeting that bar, in fact for not even looking at that bar, it only gets a 6.

    Charge! is one of those games that need very little explanation. Cow racing. Yeah, that's right, I said cow racing. You tilt the controller forward to run, you pull it up quickly to jump, and you tilt to steer. The whole time you try to hit as many scarecrows as you can. Even so, the game is actually a bit of fun, and deserves a 6 at least.

    Tanks! is the last game included in Wii Play, and only the second to have an exclamation mark in the title. You move your on-screen tank with the directional pad, and lay mines with your A button. You aim at enemy tanks with the Wii remote, and fire bullets that can ricochet off walls and other obstacles once with the B trigger. Oh yeah, it's very fun to shoot a barrage of bullets around a corner to decimate enemy tanks. A very wonderful game deserving one of those nice, pretty 8 scores.

    In the graphics department, Wii Play suffers the fate of many Wii games. The system just doesn't produce stunningly realistic graphics that leave you unable to distinguish reality from fantasy. Still, the cartoony look of this game is actually very appealing. Nintendo has pretty much proven that what feels real doesn't have to look real. If it's fun, play it. If you go by looks alone, then look elsewhere because this game only manages a 6 on graphics. And that's because I'm nice.

    Sound for this game is difficult to assign a number. Imagine elevator music, without the elevator or other people listening to it with you. It's pretty much designed not to annoy anyone, but not to get any hearts racing, either. Rating the sound of this game has to take into account the game's audience. And that audience is pretty much every Wii owner out there. Nothing flashy, but anything too flashy would take away from the game's fun and addictive gameplay. So I'm giving it a 7 just for the fun of it. And because I can.

    The final judgement? If you are in the market for a Wii remote anyway, then just go ahead and shell out the extra ten bucks to get this very solid 7 game. You never know when that annoying friend (we all have at least one) will show up. Wii Play with that extra controller will go a long way toward silencing them. Not to mention that you get to enjoy the thrill of wiping the floor with them and seeing the look of disappointment as you crush them. Oh yeah, that's more than worth it.

    - Written by MT


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