Wii Play
wii_play_cover

Available at launch in Australia, this is actually a two pack - in the one package, for a little more than the price of a Wiimote by itself - both a Wiimote and the game Wii Play. Wii Play is a series of minigames, essentially strung together to form a tutorial on how to use the Wiimote. The games increase in complexity of control as you progress, getting you used to moving on the different axes (forward, backward, up, down, tilting, rotating) and the different styles of play.

The minigames include:

1. a mini-Point Blank clone in a setting reminiscent of the NES classic Duck Hunt, where you use the Wiimote like a light gun, moving the onscreen cursor to shoot targets, including the occasional duck that flies by.
2. Find Mii, a "Where's Waldo?" type game where you're presented with various groups of Miis and have to pick two identical ones, or the odd ones out, or.. well, you get the idea.
3. Pose Mii - various Mii poses drop from the top of the screen, and you have to rotate the Mii you're controlling to fit the shape of the pose. Sounds odd, is odd, but it's amusing the first few times.
4. A laser hockey game - pong with sexy neon graphics and a high level of paddle control using the Wiimote. Strangely fun, and even more so with two players.
5. Table tennis - try and make 100 volleys. It's not exactly rocket science, all you have to do is move the paddle to the right place, but it's hypnotic and it's challenging. I've yet to get past about 40 or so returns.
6. A completely crazed and not overly fun cow racing thing where you have to knock down scarecrows. If nothing else, it teaches you how to use the Wiimote on its side for racing controls - tilting it up or down for acceleration/braking, etc.
7. A tank game strongly reminiscent of Atari 2600 Combat, but difficult to control with a Wiimote by itself. I suppose that's the point, really, as if you can get good at this, you should be able to successfully handle just about any Wiimote control scheme for any game. You can also play it with a nunchuck attached, but, well, I can't be bothered.
8. A billiards game where you aim the cue at the ball with the Wiimote, then move the Wiimote back and forward towards the screen as if you were using an actual cue. It's not bad, but it's too simplistic to be worth playing more than a few times. Also, I found myself forgetting to release the trigger too often and mistiming shot power.

If this was released as a full price, or even half price, title by itself, it'd be rather disgustingly low value, but as it stands, it's awesome if you wanted an extra Wiimote anyway. I'm surprised this wasn't the pack-in and Wii Sports made a separate title, or packaged with a Wiimote instead, but then in Japan, Wii Sports wasn't packed in with the console either, and Wii Sports probably wouldn't really hold up as a full price game by itself either. As far as longevity goes, I'm finding myself coming back to it to play the light gun minigame, and the occasional bout of table tennis or laser hockey. Roll on a Point Blank conversion to Wii, I say.

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