Wii Play Motion Review
You suddenly get a craving for the craziest indulgences: Packing ice cream scoops until their bigger than skyscrapers, catching silly ghosts, and shooting treacherous ninjas. If you're not high, and you're not drunk, then it could only mean that you have a craving to play Wii Play Motion, the new Wii game that will have your Mii engaging in various mini-games that showcases the new Wii motion plus controller.
For fanatics of the mini-game genre, especially those who love the Mario Party games, this game is right up their ally. The game features twelve vastly different mini-games that is sure to cause a riot at parties. However, not all of the games are as polished as others, and many may find themselves only playing less than half of the twelve mini-games that Wii Plus Motion offers.
The first mini-game involves the player trying to keep their balance as the game stacks ice cream scoops onto a single ice cream cone. As the stack grows, it becomes more difficult to maintain your balance, and harder to resist going to Coldstone Creamery. This mini-game was surprisingly addicting. It's much more simple than most of the other mini-games, but that's what makes it fun. The responsiveness of the controls are appropriately sensitive, never being too jerky.
The veggi garden mini-game is essentially “wack-a-mole.” While it is definitely one of the more challenging mini-games, it's mechanics keeps the players from ever being truly immersed. The responsiveness of the motion controls are messy at times, especially as the mini-game becomes more chaotic in your objective, and are overly sensitive. There was one point where the mallet was so unresponsive to the controller, that it was basically useless. The mallet wouldn't turn with the controller, and couldn't keep up with the actions of the stage.
Although “wack-a-mole” may seem like an uninspiring choice for a Wii mini-game, it's lack of uniqueness is trumped by the very unexciting rock skipping game. Apparently, Nintendo thinks that skipping rocks is fun enough to adapt into a game. Still waiting for EA to make it into a franchise... The mini-game featured some of the most curiously confusing mechanics. I am still not clear about how exactly the number of skips are determined, despite playing this particular mini-game numerous times. I'm always surprised to see what direction my rock goes, even when I am properly aiming the controller. Not only are the controls not that responsive, but could also use a button re-hauling. I kept feeling like releasing the “B” button when I was ready to throw the rock, only for an annoying message to interrupt me, reminding me to keep holding the button. My guess is that the flick of the controller is what launches the rock, but it's hard to accurately flick when you need to move your arm in the same direction just to pump up the throwing bar. Who knew that skipping rocks could be harder to do in a video game than in real life.
Wii pose will have you navigating your Mii into certain poses so that they can fit through specific shaped holes, averting your Mii from crashing. This mini-game was challenging, but the difficulty made it more enjoyable. The controls felt responsive, though some of the poses can be unfairly hard to figure out in such a limited time. It's a bit addicting, but won't make gamers crave another match.
Teeter target is a lot like a mini-pinball game. Gamers must try to ping the ball to hit the designated target, using only a flat horizontal stick. This was one of the meatier mini-games that is featured, having ten stages that are challenging and very addicting. Using your brain is rarely a requirements for many of these mini-games, which is why teeter target was a refreshing change of pace. The puzzles in the later stages actually take a considerable amount of thought to complete. The controls may be too sensitive to be considered fair, but they only add to the challenge, rather than becoming frustrating. When adding two players into the mix, it is the closest thing to a pong remake old school gamers are ever going to get.
One of my favorite mini-games that was featured was trigger twist, a seemingly simple point and shoot mini-game that appropriately demonstrated the responsiveness that a Wii motion plus controller is capable of. The targets will run off screen, and the player must swing the controller with the off-screen subject in order to attack them. It was a unique experience that made it feel like you are playing a game that is on a 360 degree-plane. The addicting controls are simple to use, and more responsive then most of the other mini-games.
Jump park has your Miis jumping to collect gems. You don't actually jump with the controller, just control the direction as to where you want your Mii to jump. I could argue that the controls are too simple, to the point of being cheap and not really showcasing the Wii motion plus controls accurately, but the simplicity does help make the mini-game more enjoyable. The only frustrating part comes from trying to predict the direction of your Mii, but that adds to the challenge of the stage.
Another innovative mini-game was spooky search. It's a search and find mini-game that has players becoming their own ghostbuster, and capturing ghost. The game utilizes the Wii motion plus controller even better than the trigger twist mini-game, with the ghost hiding off-screen, sometimes even behind the player, giving this sense of false expansiveness. Finding the ghost can be very fun and addicting, and is a unique change from the other mini-games that mostly rely on reflexes instead of careful thinking.
Wind runner was one of the mini-games that was more headache-inducing than fun. Players are supposed to use the Wii controller as an umbrella, and ride the wind to collect gems. The controls are frustratingly lackluster. Flicking the controller to jump is never as responsive as it should be, and the wind mechanics are cheap and unstructured. Jumping into the wind should allow your Mii to gain heights that would even impress Mary Poppins in order to collect some of the higher placed gems, but that is near impossible to do. It even feels like there is an invisible ceiling on some of the stages, prohibiting players from reaching a certain height.
Treasure twirl has players diving under water to acquire treasure chests. The controls for this mini-game are very unique and intriguing. Players twist the controller away and towards them to navigate their diving, while turning the controller left or right will dictate the diving Mii's direction. The gameplay is simple enough to get the hang of it quickly, but is challenging enough to make players feel like they are playing a puzzle match instead of a cheap mini-game.
Using the Wii controller as a leaf, players have to flap the leaf hard enough to navigate balloons in the flutter fly mini-game. Just as in real life, navigating balloons with a single leaf is frustrating and impossible. The controls are too simple, very sloppy, and extremely unresponsive. There were many times when the game couldn't keep up with where I was flapping the controller, and directing the balloons quickly became more frustrating than fun.
The last mini-game to be featured was star shuttle. Star shuttle will have players helping to build a galactic shuttle by using the Wii remote to navigate the parts into the ship. The controller's navigation can be too sensitive at times, making it frustrating to properly guide the ship into it's destination. The controls often work against the player, and the learning curve for it is higher than most other mini-games. While the gameplay mechanics could have been better polished, the mini-game contains the most available stages, and the challenge can occasionally be engaging.
While the mini-games can be an amusing distraction for gamers playing solo, this game shines best when playing in a crowd. It's Mario Party without all of the rules. If you're the type of person to always have a party, then you should consider checking this game out. Although, there are other more engaging party games that have a great multi-player to compliment it's single player, such as Guitar Hero.
This game hardly seems like a true video game at all. None of the mini-games stand out enough to warrant a purchase, and even the addicting ones can get old pretty fast. Not to mention, for a game that is suppose to demonstrate the power of the Wii motion plus controller, some of the games would actually give the controller a bad reputation. The controls for a majority of them are too simplistic to showcase any proper motion controls, while the others are not adequately responsive. After experiencing everything this game has to offer, it seems like the type of game that comes free when you buy a new controller, rather than the opposite. The party game fanatic may want to check it out, but for all other gamers their time would be better spent elsewhere for their mini-game fix.