Wii Play Motion • Page 2

All yesterday’s parties.

Moving from the bottom of the ocean to the surface, you’ll find Skip Skimmer, a bucolic twist on Wii Sports Resort’s Frisbee game, in which you bounce a pebble across a pond. I struggle to carry out this activity in real life, so Skip Skimmer gave me the brief novelty of being physically co-ordinated, but it’s very basic, and success can feel a little random at first.

There’s a score attack mode that sees you skimming through rings, and novelty stones to select from, including a frog pebble and a UFO that obligingly blasts back into space afterwards. But when you finally come to write your biography, I suspect you’re unlikely to remember your first encounter with Skip Skimmer as a pivotal moment in your life - unless you go on to accidentally kill a loved one as you wave the controller around.

After the rough sketch of Skip Skimmer, Jump Park is one of the more fully-realised games on offer, turning your Mii into the ball bearing in a pinball machine. Bounce off the walls, position yourself to control the angle of rebound, and collect gems before making it to the exit: it’s fast, colourful, and filled with the prospect of hilarious Mii injury. Teeter Targets, meanwhile, is another take on the same basic idea, except you control the wooden flipper rather than the ball itself: it’s precise enough but rather clinical.

Onto the home stretch, and Wind Runner’s worth a look, if only because it combines F-Zero track designs with Mary Poppins. Use your brolly to catch the wind as you’re blown around levels filled with ramps and collectables: it’s not bad, and there are some nice alternate modes to unlock.

It’s a decent companion to Flutter Fly, too, a faintly knackering assault course challenge that has you flapping the controller to fan some balloons through hoops. Flutter Fly has plenty of levels for you to gust past, but it’s mainly notable for the moments when you have to quickly point your remote at the screen to zap baddies: MotionPlus can still struggle awkwardly with swift movements.

Rounding things out are two sure-fire hits that turn out to be surprise stinkers. Veggie Guardin’ is a clever reworking of whack-a-mole, which is great until you discover that the hectic speed of your hammering will often throw the controller into that weird fit where it reverses its sense of left and right, while Trigger Twist may sound like an early Soft Cell track, but is actually a shockingly naff shooting gallery.

UFOs, ninjas and dinosaurs are all provided for your blasting pleasure, but horrible aiming lag makes it feel like your cursor is sliding through thick paint, and there’s no reward for accuracy, meaning that it’s tempting to just spam the screen. Equally, while shooting at bonus ducks might be a neat throwback to Nintendo’s illustrious history, if you really like ducks - and you do, right? - it’s kind of hard to blow them to pieces.

Wii Play Motion’s not a bad package, then, but it’s one that I went through with a slight sense of melancholy - and not just because my next-door neighbour decided to play some of the more tragic moments of the Ring Cycle through the wall while I was trying it out.

The MotionPlus feels like an artefact from a future that never quite turned up: an alternate reality in which we were given plenty of extremely precise Wii games to play with it. That, in case you’ve just emerged from cryogenic stasis, didn’t exactly happen, and so a sense of missed opportunity - along with an instruction booklet so unreasonably thick that I’ll be showing it to my grandchildren when they ask me why there are no polar bears anymore - is what really stands out from this collection.

There are some decent games here, in other words, but not enough to make this something you simply have to try. As for the Wii, it’s on towards Zelda - and beyond that lies sunset.

6 /10

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About the author

Christian Donlan

Christian Donlan

Features Editor

Christian Donlan is a features editor for Eurogamer. He is the author of The Unmapped Mind, published as The Inward Empire in the US.


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