Top positive review
74 people found this helpful
Should be required playing for all Wii game developers
on June 17, 2011
The Wii MotionPlus came out almost exactly two years ago as an attachment to the old Wii Remote. While the original Wii remote could detect basic movements, the MotionPlus has built-in gyroscopes which can detect rotational movement and more fine movement.
Nowadays for new Wii units, the MotionPlus is built into all new Wii remotes, which are now called "Wii Remote Plus". Just to be clear, there is no functional difference between an old Wii remote with MotionPlus attachment and the new "Wii Remote Plus" other than aesthetics (while the old Wii remote measures 7 1/2 inches with the attachment, the new Wii Remote Plus is six inches, the same size as the old Wii remote). Out of habit, I'll continue to call it MotionPlus throughout this review.
In the last two years, it seems that not many game developers have really taken advantage of the MotionPlus; in fact, to date only three (Wii Sports Resort, FlingSmash, and Red Steel 2) actually require it. For most other games where the MotionPlus is optional, you can hardly notice the difference. A shame, because at its best, the MotionPlus can produce fine motor control that rivals the Playstation Move and the Xbox Kinect. I'm guessing that Wii Play Motion is Nintendo's attempt to get more people to adopt it and thus encourage more developers to develop for it (just as the original Wii Play got many people to purchase a second Wii remote).
Wii Play Motion in many ways feels like a game that should have come out two years ago. It feels more like a collection of games designed to show off the capabilities of the MotionPlus than actual games that you'll take off the shelf and play over and over. Having said that, they do this very, very well. Nintendo's developers have really pushed the envelope of what its controller is capable of and have come up with a set of 12 mini-games which use it in different ways.
As with most Nintendo titles, the games themselves are a ton of fun, and all your Miis are perfectly incorporated throughout the games in lots of fun ways.
Here are the games and my take on them:
1) Cone Zone
This is a game reminiscent of the "present balancing" game Shifty Gifts in Wii Party, where you have to balance your Wii remote to keep ice cream on a cone. Fun to play in a group, but we've seen this before. I'd rate it 3 of 5 for fun.
2) Veggie Garden
This is a version of whack-a-mole where you beat cute little moles into their holes before they steal your fruit. You control your Wii remote like a hammer, and the precision is very, very good. 4 of 5.
3) Skip Skimmer
This is a neat little game where you skip stones across a lake. You first pick a stone you want to skip (as in real life, you look for a round and flat one), and you flick your wrist gently to skip, keeping your wrist angled as flat as possible and the "B" button pressed. As cute little twists, you can pick up rocks with different pictures on it (such as dogs and chickens), and your rock will make those sounds as it skips. 5 of 5.
4) Pose Mii Plus
This game is pretty much the same as Pose Mii in the original Wii Play, with a twist (literally). Your Mii will strike a pose, and you'll rotate your remote and the character in all three dimensions with great precision to match the shape of a "keyhole" in a particular shape. 3 of 5 for fun.
5) Trigger Twist
This is the follow-up to "Shooting Range" from the original Wii Play, but you get much more expansive play; as you move your Wii remote off-screen up and to the left and right, the camera will follow you. As with Wii Play, this game pays homage to the original Duck Hunt, and once again you'll be saving screaming Miis from UFOs. Still a lot of fun, 5 out of 5.
6) Jump Park
In this vertical scroller, you tilt your Mii at a certain angle, and then your Mii will jump off a floor made up of trampolines and jump up at the angle you want. Your goal is to pick up gems and eventually jump your way to a big target. This one takes a little getting used to, and is not the funnest of the games. I'd give it 2 of 5.
7) Teeter Targets
This mini-game really shows off the creativity and imagination of the developers. You hold the Wii remote sideways to control a wooden teeter totter to bounce a wooden ball around the screen. It's a simple game, but the graphics and sounds really evokes an "old school" feel of playing with wood blocks and an old school pinball-type game. 4 of 5.
8) Spooky Search
This game is by far one of the most innovative games I've seen on the Wii, yet the concept is incredibly simple. You start out in a spooky library with a crowd of Miis watching you. Some ghosts fly towards you and "out of your TV". You need to then point your Wii remote all around your room, listening to the sounds that come out of the remote. You'll hear a beeping noise as you get "warmer", and you'll hear an alarm when you've targeted the "ghost". Press B when that happens, point your remote back at the TV, and you'll be able to put the ghost back into a containment unit straight out of "Ghostbusters". Some of the ghosts get feisty, and you'll need to fight it just like you're trying to reel in a fish. I give this one a 5 of 5 for fun, especially when you're playing with others.
9) Wind Runner
In this game, you hold your Wii remote like it's an umbrella handle. Your Mii runs with the umbrella open, and tilts it to either catch the wind to move faster, or to jump up, all in the name of catching gems. The physics on this one is spot-on, but the fun is only 2 of 5, as it takes some getting used to.
10) Treasure Twirl
This one also has great innovative use of the MotionPlus. In it, you lower your Mii as a deep-sea diver by continuously twirling the remote (as if you're unspooling a line). You can swing your Mii left and right as you're descending to pick up oxygen and avoid stringing jellyfish. On the bottom, you'll find treasure chests to pick up. 5 of 5 for fun.
11) Flutter Fly
This game also makes innovative use of the Wii Remote Plus. You hold the remote straight up like a fan, and fan some balloons through an obstacle course. This one is a little frustrating at times when you need to point to the screen to shoo off some crows, and you lose control of the fan. Still, it's a pretty innovative game which I give 3 of 5 stars for fun.
12) Star Shuttile
In the game, you control a spaceship to dock with a space station. If you're old enough like me, this is similar to the 1979 arcade game "Lunar Lander", but in glorious three dimensions. As with the dogfight game in Wii Sports Resort, you literally hold and tilt your Wii Remote Plus as if you're holding the spaceship, and you use the A, B, and directional arrows to control six thrusters on your spaceship. This one also takes getting used to but is a solid 4 of 5.
There aren't really too many annoyances with this game. Obviously, the motion sensing issues with so many other Wii games aren't present in this one (This really should be required playing for all future Wii game developers).
I did find annoying the need to play games to unlock new ones--this is annoying when you want to bring the game to a friend's house and just dive into playing.
But happily, all the games are extremely easy to learn and the controls are extremely intuitive to pick up and play. I wouldn't say it's as fun a party game as Wii Sports and Wii Party, but it certainly is a nice change for when you need a break from those games. And of course, it showcases the best of what the Wii MotionPlus / Remote Plus offers.