There And Back Again
It is hard to believe that it has been more than 4 years since the original Wii Play made its debut. While most people probably bought it for the additional controller (which was bundled with the game), the minigames it came with proved to be fun little diversions. There is definitely a certain underlying charm in seeing your Mii in action in the different minigames and also seeing them interact with your friend's Miis. But most of all, the games were simple fun, especially when played in tandem with another person. So where exactly does Wii Play: Motion fit in among the rest of Nintendo's Wii-themed minigame compilations nowadays?
Wii Sports, the first game in the line, existed to showcase the system's potential through a series of sports minigames, and Wii Play furthered that idea by including additional fun albeit brief minigames and was paired with an additional Wiimote as well. Then in 2009, Wii Sports Resort continued the trend that Wii Sports set by showcasing the potential of the new Wii Motion Plus attachment and its enhanced sensitivity to tilt control. Wii Play: Motion attempts to further support and showcase the hardware's abilities this time around by adding Wii Motion Plus support to the 12 minigames. And like the original before it, the game also comes bundled with an additional controller, but this time the Wiimote comes incorporated with Wii Motion Plus technology instead of simply being an attachment.
So What's New?
When you start up the game, you are greeted by a fairly simple and barren title screen bearing the game's title and a few Miis hopping, walking, and doing other activities in the background. The main menu is incredibly straightfoward, presenting the twelve minigames on a blank background with your Miis walking around (once again). This time around, however, the first four minigames are available to play from the start (Wii Play started with just one). To unlock the others, you will have to play through and complete the minigames four at a time, and then another four will be unlocked and so forth. Though it does not take long to unlock all of the games, it is actually quite refreshing that Nintendo chose to implement this format as it ensures people will play through all of the games instead of just picking and choosing to play a select few.
The most notable of changes from the first Wii Play is that each minigame includes additional gameplay modes and challenges, adding to the replayability factor. Also, medals have been added this time around, so if you get a high enough score on a minigame, you will score anywhere from a bronze to a gold medal. The medals do not really do anything as far as I know (except serve as bragging rights), but it is nice to see that the games were not just slapped onto the disc as is and rushed out the door without any features.
So How Do the Games Measure Up?
It may not be evident at first, but there is actually a lot more to Wii Play: Motion than initially meets the eye. One of the games, "Skip Skimmer", is not terribly interesting in its initial mode where the objective is simply to skip a rock on the water and get as many skips as you can. However, you will eventually unlock a secondary mode that adds quite a bit more (such as rings, ramps, and a target goal), turning it more of a skeeball-like experience.
Another great game is "Teeter Targets", in which you use the Wiimote to simulate a teeter-totter to flip a ball into targets. It might sound easy from the description, but as you progress through the levels it gradually becomes more challenging with obstacles placed in such a way that you will need to add just enough (or just a little) pressure to get the correct angle you need to hit each target.
Additional modes and levels have been added for each minigame; the acquisition of medals contributes to replay value; some of the games are quite entertaining, especially when played with others
Interface and menus are simplistic and dull, some games incorporate confusing control; not all games have as much replay value