Wii Sports Wii
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Wii Sports Product Details
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- Tennis (1-4 players): Players grab the Wii Remote like a racket and swing – the game registers forehands, backhands, volleys, lobs, slices, spin and power depending on how fast the user swings and at what angle. Don’t worry about moving around the court to get to the ball – the game automatically moves players into position.
- Baseball (1-2 players): Players grip the Wii Remote like a bat and swat fastballs out of the park, or fire a fastball over the plate with a flick of their wrist. Timing and bat speed will make all the difference between going yard and whiffing, so keep an eye on the ball and swing for the fences. In the two-player game, one player pitches and the other bats – all fielding and running is automatic, so that players can focus on the action.
- Golf (1-4 players): Step up to the tee, hold the Wii Remote like a golf club and swing naturally to smack the ball onto the green. The harder players swing the club, the farther the ball will fly. Be careful, though – if players swing too hard, their ball will fly out of control, so they should be sure to take some practice swings before going for the pin. After reaching the green, line up putts carefully, practice the stroke and try to hole out.
- Bowling (1-4 players): Players raise the Wii Remote in their hand just like a bowling ball, and then swing their arms to roll the ball. The speed of the swing and the angle at which they release the ball affects the ball’s spin, so it will take some practice to master control over the ball and knock down the pins.
- Boxing (1-2 players): Using the Nunchuk controller as one glove and the Wii Remote as the other, players dodge, weave and punch their opponents. Players hold their hands high to guard their faces or low to block their torsos. They punch high to hit their opponents’ faces or low to get under their guard for a body blow. Swing both arms left or right to sidestep oncoming blows and move into position for a devastating knockout.
Respected American journal, Time, has ventured into digital waters to list what it considers to be the top hundred video games ever made. The result is a suitably eclectic mix, presented in chronological order stretching from the 1970s all the way up to the 2010s.
All the retro arcade classics you'd expect are in there - Space Invaders, Frogger, Pac-Man and more - while Nintendo's core franchises dominate the 1980s as consoles made their way into US homes. Mario and Zelda are among the only games to appear in more than one guise. The original Super Mario Bros and Mario 64 both make the grade, as does the original Metroid and its 2002 first-person sequel Metroid Prime.
More recognisable names also pop up as the list draws closer to 2012. Bioshock, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Guitar Hero, Wii Sports, Portal, Gears of War and The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion are all held up as examples of classic modern gaming.
Just two games from the last few years have been deemed worthy of a place. Mass Effect 3 and Batman: Arkham City are the lucky pair. Notable by their absence are current big hitters such as Assassin's Creed, Borderlands and Uncharted.
Is Time placing too much importance on the past? Would you pick any of these for your top 100?
The popular image of video games is that of a pastime requiring no more physical effort than a sofa slouch and nimble thumbs - along with a carb-heavy diet of pizza and sugary soda. The fast-track to a slow death from obesity, in other words.
Fitness games fly in the face of that assumption, but they're not the recent invention many think they are. Even as far back as 1982, companies like Atari were looking at ways of connecting exercise bikes to a virtual reality under the codename Project Puffer. In 1986, Bandai released a control mat for the Nintendo Entertainment System which came with Family Fun Fitness, a suite of exercise games. Nintendo was so impressed, it bought the product and repackaged it as the more exciting sounding Power Pad.
This, of course, led to games like Konami's seminal Dance Dance Revolution, which ushered in the age of the dance-mat as a legitimate and popular game controller. 2005 brought EyeToy: Kinetic to the market - the first modern motion tracking exercise game - while 2006 saw the short-lived and rather naffly titled Gamercize system wire actual exercise equipment up to games consoles.
The Rise of the Wii
It was the Wii that really pulled all these ideas together to create the fitness game genre though. Indeed, it almost had to be Nintendo who would finally crack the nut and make gaming and exercise feel like natural bedfellows. The Wii was a friendly machine, and with titles like Wii Sports it had already made jumping around part of the gameplay experience. Here was a console where the all important mums and dads might buy into the idea of gaming to get healthy.
With Wii Fit's balance board Nintendo finally had the peripheral to make it work, while the software cannily combined solid fitness goals with more accessible video game mechanics. Motivation is the key to any exercise regime, and video games are nothing if not efficient effort-to-reward systems. What better approach than to tap into our natural desire to beat our last score, to reach the next level, and to be congratulated for doing well?
In the years following Wii Fit's 2007 release, the floodgates opened. Celebrity endorsed fitness packages aped Wii Fit's style, but without adding much to the genre. It was only when SONY and Microsoft got involved, with Move and Kinect, that there was enough competition to drive the development of even more advanced fitness games.
Which brings us to today, and the chart-topping success of Zumba Fitness. Based on the popular fitness franchise, it ditches the squats and thrusts in favour of more fun dance-based exercise. With its Latin rhythms and have-a-go simplicity, it's no surprise that it's selling so well - this is a fitness game disguised as a dancing game, which is then dressed up as a bloody good laugh. Perfect for people who might otherwise feel intimidated by the genre.
EA Sports Active 2 goes in the complete opposite direction, with its wireless heart-rate monitor and resistance band accessory. This is the game for serious fitness nuts who really want to push themselves further with each new workout, with loads of stats and options to tweak your experience for maximum calorie-crushing impact.
Similar in style, but slightly less ferocious in approach, is Your Shape: Fitness Evolved. This also concentrates on scalable aerobic workouts with an emphasis on personalised training routines and lots of encouragement to keep the pace up. For players who have taken Wii Fit as far as they can, both titles represent the obvious next step.
Workouts Are For Wimps
But what if this is all still a little too much like leotards and headbands? What if you're worried that doing star jumps in front of your console won't impress your hard mates? Well, that's why there's UFC Trainer. This manly fitness game for manly men offers much the same workout results as other fitness titles - but in a style that makes you feel like you could kick a man's head through a wall. Heavy on the cardio and sparring, it offers an experience as tough as its name suggests. Unless you actually do fight in the UFC, we suggest you don't go steaming in, ready to show off with the hardest settings.
It's doubtful that motion control is going anywhere soon, what with Wii U around the corner and the next Xbox likely to incorporate Kinect, so it seems that far from being a passing fad the fitness game is here to stay. Maybe the stereotype of the lardy wheezing gamer is finally coming to an end. Pass the leg-warmers.
Time magazine picks the 100 best game… (16/11/2012)
Respected American journal, Time, has ventured into digital waters to list what it considers to be the top hundred video games ever made. The result is a suitably eclectic mix, presented in chronologi…
Get off the couch - GAME looks at fit… (10/08/2012)
The popular image of video games is that of a pastime requiring no more physical effort than a sofa slouch and nimble thumbs. Fitness games fly in the face of that assumption, but they're not the rece…
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