by Reggie Goudeau
[originally published April 22, 2022]
What’s good, everyone? Ya boi is back for another edition of Reggie’s Ridiculous Reviews. Today imma be ranking each game in Wii Sports based on their controls, depth, and enjoyment. Each one finna get a score between one and five Miis. I ain’t covering training mode or the Fitness Gauge here, but I might make a follow-up piece about those modes if this is popular. With allat bein said, let’s begin with number five.
5. Ion think any part of Wii Sports is objectively bad, but boxing is still this game’s weakest link. This mode is perfect for releasing stress after a long day of classes and work. The dodging mechanic works well and is a satisfying move to pull off against friends or CPUs. The punches also be relatively accurate, even if blocking em ain’t as easy. Besides these factors, though, this mode is kind of a mess.
The worst aspect of this game gotta be the knockout system. You can see your health throughout the match, but you only got 10 seconds to get cho ass up if it goes down completely. Whether you get up or not ain’t consistent, and I’m not sure if moving the Wii Remote and Nunchuck helps. I can’t help but feel robbed if I lost after one knockdown while my opponent gets up three fuckin times. Don’t even get me started on the resident menace of this game; Matt. Those who know this man rarely live to tell the tale, but I refuse to take those many Ls without a fight. What was I talking about again? Oh yeah; Boxing’s issues bring the sport down to two hooks to the jaw outta five.
4. Spot number four goes to Baseball and is admittedly the game I’m the worst at in the collection. I can pitch well enough, but scoring points here is harder than this semester. Imma talk about both perspectives, but I gotta start with how I be smokin niggas as the pitcher. You can throw four kinds of balls at your foe in that position; a screwball, curveball, splitter, and fastball. The splitter is the hardest to hit, but it also don’t count as a strike if the batter ain’t swingin. The game also makes em turn into fastballs more often if you spam, so use the trick with caution.
The splitters I mentioned earlier be the hardest to manage when you batting, but seeing enough of em helps out. Eventually, you’ll be able to not swing by force and get a “ball” instead. Getting four of deez gives you a free walk to first base. Technicalities aside, my main problem with batting is how little control you have over scoring. Unless you can hit consistent home runs, it’s up to chance whether the other team’s AI players play like first graders or professionals. This gets really annoying when you’re getting decent hits, but the opps be jumping or sliding all over the place to ruin yo greatness. I could’ve sworn I saw Matt catch a ball right by the stands just to fuckin spite too. Anyways deez niggas also rarely be hitting those moves whenever I’m pitching, which only frustrates me more. Despite its flaws, Baseball is a fun game with a lil more to offer than Boxing. Imma give this one three strikes outta five.
3. Third place goes to Golf, and it’s my pick for the most underrated game outta the five available. If real golf is anything like this, maybe I need to take my ass to putt-putt and practice. Golf has some of the most exciting mechanics compared to other games in Wii Sports, and these additions give the game a surprising amount of longevity. I like the wind not only for accuracy but also since it adds one more factor for you to consider when making a shot besides your club. Speaking of clubs, you can pick between three during your session.
The driver hits the ball the farthest but usually isn’t great for closer shots. If I gotta hit the ball real far, I just pretend it's Matt’s chrome dome. The iron club is my personal favorite since it works well while not sacrificing control as much. The putter is good for shots close to the hole but also is finicky as fuck when it comes to how much power you use. I could tap the ball by barely moving the remote, and it would still go past the hole almost every time. Thankfully, the game lets you take as many practice swings as needed before holding down the A button to confirm your actual one. I might not be ranking this so high if that weren’t the case, but regardless, it's an entertaining game. I give Golf 3 swings outta five, along with a free plastic putter from Family Dollar.
2. In second place, imma have to go with Bowling since it is a classic game well-known by many. The number of times I’ve played this with friends, siblings, and myself exceeds how long I’ve bowled on actual teams. The game ain’t got the most depth in the world, but sometimes simple is effective. All you do in this mode is trying to hit as many pins as possible in 10 frames. Even, in reality, throwing a ball down a lane ain’t complicated, and the game still makes it more accessible. Not feeling the weight of an actual bowling ball makes this a lot easier by default, and the red sight line your character sees when you’re aiming helps too. You only got arrows, dots, and vibes to line up yo shot in real bowling, whereas this game primes you to get higher scores than average. If I had this sorta magic in real life, I’d be throwing strikes left and right.
Anyways, you can adjust your shot’s speed, foot placement, and the angle you throw it at in Wii Bowling. You can also curve the ball slightly or heavily depending on how much you twist the Wii Remote left or right during your backswing. These options are great independently, and each adds more depth to the game when combined. I always have fun showing my niggas the trick shots I’ve perfected here, and I’m glad to find new angles and shots even today. Replaying it makes me wanna go bowling again down at the lanes and reminisce about simpler times. Nostalgia aside, this game is genuinely really compelling and entertaining. Matt chose not to invade my safe space during this game, and that was a wise decision. I would’ve hit a strike by throwing him down the lane if he popped out. My unhinged behavior aside, I’m giving this one four strikes outta five.
1. Finally, I think Tennis is the best game on Wii Sports. Tennis and Bowling were closely matched, but the intensity of Tennis, combined with how the AI grows with time, gives it the edge for me. Tennis has you controlling 2 Miis at once (unless you get a CPU player or friends) to fight off your opponents. Every aspect of this game requires quick thinking and good reflexes. Even Bowling and Baseball couldn’t pull that off consistently. Bowling was slightly too clunky, and although dodging punches like Neo is fun, it ain’t this. Baseball gives you a taste of this when batting, but pitching is so much easier in comparison; it's equivalent to a break.
In Tennis, you can’t get caught lacking at any moment; otherwise, you finna lose the volley. I played Tennis for two years, and the tension I felt when playing out a point with lots of back and forth is eerily similar to what I’d experience in actual matches. The AI gets very tough after you turn pro and will consistently ace you (give you a fast serve) even with all the prep in the world. Even with these challenges, I rarely felt cheated except during a few points. The only major issue I’d say this mode has is that you can’t control your Mii’s running speed. I’ve lost too many rounds to my team member (myself) being a damn slowpoke. I need my niggas to be in sync so I can aim for Matt’s left eye more consistently. Still, this is the most fantastic game in Wii Sports and earns 4.5 Miis outta five and a Gold Medal.
Even if not every mini-game here is perfect, Wii Sports is still a classic up there with the likes of Mario 64 or Crash Bandicoot. It seems simple, but the fact that many friends I’ve invited to the crib love to boot this up every time proves how this shit got longevity. Even the enemies I made in my playthrough keep me coming back. I don’t have to beat that bastard Matt anytime soon, and maybe having an unbeatable opponent will keep me on my toes. If I ever see someone that looks like that nigga on the street tho, I can’t guarantee boxing will stay virtual for long.