The two newest games in the compilation could be the best.
It has become obvious that Nintendo is trying their hardest to move the Wii Sports package away from the tech demo feel it had at E3. Each of the original games has been polished and the two latest additions may be the most complete of them all. I was able to play both Bowling and Boxing for quite a while at the press event.
After three rounds of Boxing I had actually broken a slight sweat. Maybe I'm a little out of shape, but Boxing definitely takes the cake as far as frantic arm motions are concerned. The game itself controls using the nunchuck attachment in the left hand and the remote in the right. When you put your hands up in a boxing stance, the character on screen does as well. If you juke to the left or the right (with your arms) the character on the screen does the same. If you lower your arms, your character's face is opened up for a pummeling. Punching motions with either hand translate to a similar motion on screen. I was able to create jabs, hooks, and upper cuts at one point or another, though not consistently.
A match plays out over three rounds. I never actually witnessed a knockout. Every match I played and watched went to a decision in which each round was awarded to a player. Whoever won the most rounds won the match. The game has a lot of potential but I was left slightly confused. There was a large sense of randomness when it came to which punches actually landed. At one point, it felt like I wasn’t even facing my opponent and I didn’t know how to rectify the situation. Was this lack of knowledge of the controls or an actual game issue? I’m not sure. I am anxious to play the game more though to find out.
It doesn’t take many frames to realize that Bowling may be the most realistic bowling video game of all time. Nintendo got this one right in virtually every way. Making a shot breaks down into a series of steps. Firstly, you use the d-pad to slide your character left or right in the lane. You can then switch and use the d-pad to rotate your character in case you want to start the ball out at an angle. After you are happy with this you begin your stroke. Holding down the B button is equated to gripping your ball. You must then swing your arm in the standard bowling motion, releasing the B button when you want your character to release the ball. Releasing too late results in the comical launching of the ball high in the air and then having it bounce on its way down the lane. It felt very realistic. On top of that, the remote also senses any slight movements in your wrist during your motion. Trying to roll your wrist over so that you achieve the perfect amount of spin on the ball is a challenging ordeal. Even more challenging is trying to throw the ball without any spin at all. Playing was a very satisfying experience.
As with many Wii games (like Wario Ware) there is a certain amount of honesty that a person has to have when playing this game. There are several ways you can trick the game into thinking you did a perfect stroke, such as quickly flicking the remote over a short distance. This isn’t a major downfall though because if you play it the way it was meant to be played, it can be a ton of fun.
Overall, Wii Sports has improved a lot since E3. If they continue to tweak it before release it could prove to be an entertaining party game for years to come.