Say WHAT? I actually review something from a current console (at the time of this writing, in early 2010), rather than something that's over 20 years old?
Yep, as the following should explain it...
Scene: my parents' house. My mom opens the door.
Me: Hi mom! I heard you got a Wii! Funny, I never used to be interested in those, but wi--
(mom shuts the door in my face)
Me: You know, that actually HIT me! Ow (rubs nose in pain)...
Ok, so it didn't go down quite like that, but yes, the family got a Wii. But I won't waste any time on it being cool that I listened to the negativity about it at first -- it being the least powerful out of all the current consoles, supposedly being gimmicky, etc. -- and then got sold on it in late 2009, so I'll just skip that story and go to the games that make up this package then!
Billiards--having the best graphics of the lot, this is a pool game following the rules of 9 Ball. You must sink as many balls as possible without sinking in your cue ball, which can be tricky doing at times. I actually don't like this that much, as it seems to be plodding and long. Yes I know, pool games aren't supposed to be fast-paced and have explosions and all, but this one doesn't cut it for me, for some reason. Yes, I've not only played pool before, but my family had a pool table for several years too, so it's not like I can't "get" this game. Maybe it's because I want the real thing? 'Cuz with the force feedback controllers feeling like you're really smacking balls around and having realistic physics, it's fairly close to the real thing, and I've seen rave reviews of it elsewhere, so maybe it's just me...
Charge!--hah, a bit of a different one here: your Mii character rides a cow (!) and knocks over as many scarecrows as possible for maximum points; occasionally a special bouncing scarecrow will appear for even more points. This is a bit of fun, although only having the one level over and over (and then it's game over if you make it to the end in time? Say what?) doesn't lead to anything else (why couldn't there be several more levels after it?). And is that the sound effect when you pick an object from the Atari 2600 game Adventure included here? Yeah, it sounds nearly exactly like it!
Find Mii--oh my ("myy"?), it's Where's Waldo? on your Wii! Here it's a race against the clock to find two Miis that look alike; choose the wrong ones and lose points. This has a few new twists in it though, like with Miis being shrouded by darkness (if you make it far enough into the game) to having to pick them out riding on escalators to having their heads bobbing in and out of a swimming pool (ack!) and such. However, that didn't really make the game a lot of fun though, plus I found another player made it annoying as they kept on rapidly clicking on the wrong Miis (but they kept on losing points as they did so though, hah!), but you might have better luck with a sane opponent. I just don't understand the "find the two odd out Miis" part though; say what?
Fishing--eh. Obviously you use a fishing pole to entice, and hopefully catch as many fish as possible for a high score. The feedback on your controller feels a bit real as fish nibble on your line (that apparently doesn't have any bait), but there isn't much going on here, especially with the horrid graphics that look like they were drawn from an elementary school kid's art project and used here (with no offense to whatever kid that drew this). Having a second player doesn't really help, since they could use THEIR line to get in the way; hopefully they'll either go after some other fish, smacking them on the head might do it, or you could cough on their controller, or maybe all three would help. Catching the bonus fish for big points before it goes away or catching the smallest fish by accident to subtract points from your score doesn't really help matters much, so it won't be too hard to fish around for a better game that would "lure" you in, sinker! (Errr, I meant 'sucker'...ok, I'm done now...)
Laser Hockey--don't be fooled by what sounds like a really cool game, this is just a boring hockey-/Pong-type game, just with neon graphics and the ability to move all over your playfield area, rather than just up and down like most of the old Pong games allowed. It's dull, doesn't speed up, or have any variations to it to improve it, which is ridiculous, since we had one of those old Magnavox units back in the late 70s that was better than this, as it had six games included in it, this just has ONE (or two, if you count the two player one as an "option"). And what the heck ARE you, a glowing paper clip?! Dull and boring. Having a second player doesn't really help either, unless you find it amusing when (hopefully) they accidentally knock the ball into their own goal.
Pose Mii--hmmm, I've played SOME game before that had to do with popping bubbles (don't think it was Bubble Bobble either), which this reminds me of it a little, but I can't for the life of me remember what it was. Well anyway, that's what you do here, you just have to turn your controller at various angles to move your Mii into a bubble and use various buttons to pose your Mii to match the patterns in the bubbles to pop them. An odd, ok game, and not really any better with two players, since it doesn't really become a button masher there, but more like a "bubble masher", I guess, as you try to zap as many bubbles as possible in a race against the clock. Odd and not that great, my bubble was burst on this one before the game even started...
Shooting Range--well here it is, NES Duck Hunt for a current console! I don't know why a bunch of balloons are released in a grassy field for you to rack up points by shooting as many as possible before they float offscreen, but yeah, that's what you do here, along with blowing clay pigeons, floating bullseye targets, cans, and even flying saucers to pieces that beam up your Miis and attempt to fly off with them! This is good fun for a few minutes for one player, two gets kind of annoying with each player attempting to shoot as much as possible and getting their sites on each others' targets and all; bleah.
Table Tennis--pretty much a 3-D version (sorta) of Pong this time, along with the controller feedback adding a touch of realism, making it feel like you're actually smacking a ball around. Unfortunately the controls are VERY touchy, and you're going to end up overshooting (i. e. missing) the ball fairly often, which kills the game. And it'd be nice if you had an option that could turn off the damn Miis that start filing in and watching you play, that distracts me (I'll get to the no options part at the end).
Tanks!--so good, they had to put an exclamation point after the title! This is like one of the variations of the 2600 game Combat where tanks' shots bounce around a maze as you seek out to destroy enemy tanks. However, there's more than just one other tank on any screen, plus there's a variety of tanks, like ones that lay mines (and shooting them can speed up the detonation), ones that move and/or shoot faster, etc. There's also obstacles like holes in the playfield that players can't pass through and wall segments that can be destroyed (again, by utilizing a mine) to hopefully add a new line of fire at enemy tanks. The added nunchuk controller is a must-have, though, since I think it's easier to use it to move your tank and the regular controller to aim, and yes, having a second player to divide and conquer the enemy is a good idea too. Just watch out for those ricocheting shots though!
To summarize, it really is strange in this day and age to play such a "bare bones" release such as this. No, I don't mean due to the graphics -- I already knew that going in that they wouldn't be too great -- I mean with the lack of options, from not being able to turn off music if so desired, having the same games every time you start a new one (Shooting Range, Tanks! would be good if you could start out on a higher level), and especially with nothing to improve or change gaming conditions with Laser Hockey, unlike how you could ABOUT THIRTY YEARS BEFORE with that Magnavox unit I mentioned earlier, that's pretty inexcusable here. And I found none of the two player games to be much fun either, except for Tanks!
Granted, most of these games are probably best for the 12 and under crowd -- I only turn this on for a game of Tanks!, Shooting Range and Charge! myself, and that's it -- or even the older crowd that didn't play any games growing up and they're only just now getting into them (your grandparents that bought into this Wii thing), as I'd say this is fine to rent, but not necessarily buy for everyone else in general. The sounds are the best and controls work well for the most part, but not necessarily the replay value, which, once you start finding Wii discs at your local resale store, I wouldn't pay any more than five, maybe 10 bucks for this one, as long as it isn't all scratched to hell and might not work in the first place. Because years from now there's no way in hell you're going to get it with it's included controller, which is the going deal for it right now, although that still makes it worth it for paying it's full price (even though that sounds contradictory, it's actually a good deal), as it was one of the top 10 selling games of all of 2009.
Not a bad one though, just a bit unbalanced...about what you might expect from riding a cow, for example. 6/10