By bundling this free with US and European Wiis, Nintendo arenâ€™t just showing their generous side – theyâ€™re showing their intelligent side as well. Itâ€™s a genuine people magnet – the sort of game thatâ€™s ideal to flaunt your new play thing. As such, we reckon that Nintendoâ€™s theory is that you give your mates a go then they get hooked and rush out and buy a Wii. Then they show their mates, and so the circle continues and Nintendo laugh all the way to the bank.
Thereâ€™s a reason that the characters look like pre-school toys, and thatâ€™s because theyâ€™re actually you. Well, your custom made Mii avatars at least. You wonâ€™t even notice that they arenâ€™t hyper detailed characters as this is as intuitive and as fun as gaming gets. If youâ€™re expecting things to be as comprehensive as an EA or 2K effort though, then youâ€™re going to be disappointed. Possibly even an idiot. But thatâ€™s not to say that there isnâ€™t depth or replay value, because youâ€™ll doubtless come back for more, trying to get better scores and new medals.
Tennis is the most fluid and engaging of the five games on offer, thanks to the ease of getting a decent rally going. All that’s required from you is to swing the Wii remote when the ball approaches, with Mr Central Processing Unit moving the players around automatically. It would have been nice to have the option to use the nunchuck to move the players around yourself, but certainly this would complicate things for less experienced players and detract from the pleasing simplicity of it all. Doubles matches are all thatâ€™s on offer, with either a clone of your Mii avatar, a randomly created character or a second human player filling in as a team mate.
If youâ€™re after a good work out then boxing is the game to go for. Itâ€™s also the only game to use the nunchuk. The two controllers represent your fists; move the left controller to jab left, move the right one to jab right. Itâ€™s also possible to duck and weave, while blocking is done by holding the two remotes up to your face. Itâ€™s exhausting but frantic – you really canâ€™t afford to let your guard down.
10 Pin Bowling is the hardest to get to grips with, but really comes into its own in multiplayer once everyone’s used to the controls. Here the remote has to be moved in an underarm bowling motion with the B button held down and then released to let go of the ball. Failure to do so will result in an explanation of the controls appearing on the screen, which quickly gets annoying. Itâ€™s quite easy to get a strike once youâ€™ve managed to position yourself in front of the TV properly, much like baseball becomes easier when you sit or stand on your side.
By far the most pointless and boring part of the package is the pitching in baseball: the remote merely has to be swung forward. We really like the actual hitting the ball bit though – the â€˜clunkâ€™ sound from the Wii remote speaker when contact with the ball is made is really satisfying. Even more so if you manage to hit a homerun.
Golf is the best looking game, with semi-realistic grass, lens fare and a good draw distance. It plays just how you’d expect it to, with a swing meter showing how hard youâ€™ve hit the ball and a choice of clubs. Putting takes a few goes to get used to, but there are all sorts of training modes if youâ€™re struggling. If you apply too much force to a swing the ball will start to stray, so getting used to your own swing takes a while too. You can play a three hole round or a tougher nine hole round, which includes such hazards as a huge river flowing through the middle of a course.
The aforementioned training modes should be called challenge modes, really. The bowling training involves knocking down one pin with one shot, then two pins and so forth, while in baseball you have to hit the ball in certain directions. A fitness mode rounds it all off nicely, with your fitness age shown after each dayâ€™s training. The idea is that over time your fitness age will come tumbling down, not unlike Brain Training / Brain Age.