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Wii U sports goes varsity

Last updated: August 27. 2014 7:52AM - 338 Views
By Robbie Vanderveken | Weekender Correspondent



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System: Wii U

ESRB Rating: E for Everyone

Genre: Sports

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Nintendo

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In the last generation of consoles the Nintendo Wii became the fastest selling console on the market thanks to its innovative motion control technology.


The first game to highlight this technology was “Wii Sports” and it showed the world exactly what Wii could do. “Wii Sports” got people up and moving, playing sports in their living room.


“Wii Sports Club” on Wii U is an upgrade to the new generation. All the sports are the same, bowling, tennis, baseball, boxing and golf, however the graphics, motion controls, and gameplay have been drastically improved. In 2009 there was a sequel to “Wii Sports” called “Wii Sports Resort.” This came packaged with a new piece of hardware that plugged into your Wii Remote called Wii Motion-Plus, this upgraded the controllers to be more accurate.


The new Wii U system has that technology built right into the newer controllers. Although the new game doesn’t have the mini games of sequel, it does have completely overhauled versions of the first game that are better in every way.


“Sports Club” is not just an HD remake, the graphics were upgraded but it isn’t a huge difference, the real upgrade is the controls. The motion-plus tech has really increased how well these sports mini games play.


When a player bowls, it will recognize the slightest flick of the wrist. In tennis you can add spin to the ball and in boxing it will register all sorts of angles you can swing your fists. The motion controls have also made some new game play mechanics possible, in baseball there are new pitching and fielding options like adjusting your speed, you can even use the gamepad to catch fly balls. It feels like a simplified version of baseball but it is the best motion baseball game on the market.


Golf received the biggest upgrade. The closest thing to a real golf simulator around, you place your Wii U touchpad on the floor. You can see the ball on the tee, there you can line up your shot, see shot powers, and wind directions. You hold the Wii remote as you normally would and use it as your driver, combined with motion plus you can hook the ball making it like a full simulation.


If you’re lousy at real golf like me though, you might have a hard time getting used to the realism.


Boxing hasn’t changed much, the only thing that is different is you can attack from different angles and because of the accelerometer in the control it measures speed and power you put behind your strike, it’s not super accurate but it is still fun and a great workout.


The newest feature to “Wii Sports Club” is the addition of online gameplay. The online play works pretty well with only a little bit of slow down, there is no voice chat however so you can’t have a conversation with people you are playing with which is a little odd, especially in a slow moving game like golf. Also, there is no time limit so you have no idea how long it will take for them to finish their turn or if they are even in front of their TV.


Another weird thing about playing online is you can’t quit from an online match so you have to wait till the end which at times can be a long while. If you are playing online you can also join clubs of other players, some are very competitive, and some are more casual so you can join a club that fits your play style and this will give you a community to play with or you can just play with your friends. If you want to be the best though you can challenge people and become the best player in your region if you want to put forth the effort.


You can buy the full retail release on a disk or if you want you can download the sports individually as a subscription on the Nintendo E-shop which is $10 per mini game.


I loved the original “Wii Sports”, it was a blast to play with friend and family, and “Wii Sports Club” improves on it in every way and lets you play online with friends who can’t be in your living room. If you need an excuse to get up and moving or are looking for a fun party game you will love “Wii Sports Club”. The original started the trend of motion controls which spread like wildfire in the video game industry and once you play “Sports Club” you will see why, it is a whole lot of fun.


Robbie Vanderveken is the digital operations specialist at The Times Leader. E-mail at rvanderveken@timesleader.com.


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