Wii Sports (2006)
They always manage to get you, do advertisers. We think of advertisers as snake oil salesmen, wearing suits that almost shine. A lot of them tend to look incredibly young, perhaps on a Patrick Bateman morning routing, except their demeanour is almost impossibly sleazy. Still, some of them prove incredibly adept at delving into your psyche and, crucially, making away with your hard earned cash. Think of a younger, much less foul-mouthed Ricky Roma and you’ll get near to the stereotype.
Ricky, or some other con artist like him, was out in force in 2006 when I attended a local trade fair show called toys for Bigger Boys. I had already said that the gamecube would probably be my last games console and it was time for me, the typical 15 year old who plays the mature young adult role and thinks the world is on his shoulder, to finally grow out of gaming. It’s probably therefore worth noting then that in 2017! As I went into to buy the switch the only console i’ve ever walked into a shop to physically buy for myself I said the exact same thing. If ever there was a marketers dream, it’s me. I’m too lazy to install any kind of adblock, which means YouTube and all manner of other websites has its wicked 4Ps way with my delicate bum. This was all just before FAcebook and the like became really big, and thanked you for your hata being harvested by listening to you – and I’ll take no argument that that’s not exactly what they are doing. You know about once being happenstance, twice being coincidence? What about seventy times?
Second is the surprise package, the wii golf. This automatically outstrips any other golf game in the world,cif only because you can’t play as tiger Woods or some 9ther naff jumper wearer and that can only ever be a good thing. You’ve also got some spiffing motion controls, which do bring you a little bit uncomfortably close to actually being out there onca course- but the force ten gales that seem to crop up on every second hole will bring you right back to your living room reality. You might be wishing to bring up Mario golf at this point as an antidote to my wii sports golf poison. But 8i imagine in those games you’d have thwomps flattening the courses at regular intervals and all- leave It out.
Tennis, I’d say this is the best chance of getting whacked in the head, or smacking someone yourself, and I’d speculate that this game is responsible for more broken televisions than any other game or televisual event in history. Still, this is the one that famously got your sister, your mother, your father, even your grany interested in a game or two. It’s comical swinging with all your might espeically if you play doubles against an opponent but it really was a stroke of genius – no tricky buttons or combinations required, just take the Wii Remote in hnd, thrun your ball up in the air and then whack it, as intuitive and natural as the game itself and with nowhere near any of the running, the white getups or the nasty sounding tennis elbow. Of course, it didn’t take altogether long to realise how limited the wii remote was in what it could do, and how casual games were going to be a bit of a norm, leading for us to hail No More Heroes or all things as some sort of hardcore saviour. But anywy, what do your grandparents know about console wars anyway?
Boxing – more difficult to play this two player as you’ll need a bit more hardware – probably available for buttons now but I could never being myself to spend a score on what was essentially a stick and two buttons in days gone by. Anyway you get a proper rush out of this when you land some good blows on your opponents, although you come at your opponent really like some sort of starfish, points and appendages everywhere, trying to bypass their guard. Keep winning bouts and increasing your score to a 1000 and you can take on the infamous matt, champion of wii boxing. Scoring these pointscthenviscwhaycrepr3eentscprogression for Wii plsprots, although 8nv mates case I fear you’ll have your progress very rapidly halted as he downs you in three punches.
Baseball can be a surprisingly good laugh, even if you don’t fully know the rules. You’ll het the greatest laugh from the camera scene at the beginning that pans through the players, all miis on your console, meaning that nearly every game will feature at least one Adolf Hitler pitching the ball. Desperately offensive i know, but it was an unwritten rule that every wii has to have a Hitler mii as a means to breaking in the console. What does get annoying about baseball is how often you players (and only your players) will suddenly develop a bad case of pilchard hands and zoidberg keeps dropping the ball.
If tennis hasn’t finished off your TV, then bowling will smash it and any other glass surface in a 300 yard mile radius. I’m sure there’s a technique to wii sports bowling, spin and fully and turkey and all the rest of it but I could never figure it out I just flung the yoke as hard as possible (and still sit mercifully on zero smashed tvs) and hoped that would get em all. The bowling game is legendary, and the training game that eventually puts you up against x pins even more so legendary. It’ll prevent you form having to wear those godawful shoes that are always ghastly and uncomforatlbe, and I’m awful at bowling anyway without the childlike gullies, so with Wii Sports I can thro wa few balls and not worry about being the only one who looks a right pilchard, and you can’t say fairer than that.
Wii Sports may have set a dangerous precedent and is casual Nintendo personified but as a pack-in title, as a marketing device, as a short burst of fun, it is legendary – and also legendarily ludicrous is the Wii U’s attempt to make you pay for the same game a few years later. The advertisers probably won the war, but Wii Sports was a battle won by the consumer – a free piece of ambrosia, nectar to the gaming masses, that is now so nostalgic it almost hurts.