Wii Sports: Golf
I think we saw a brief glimpse of the Korean super hit golf game, PangYa, during the press conference, didn't we? Well, indeed. This isn't a sickeningly cute MMORPG golf game with a revenue stream entirely built from buying digital clothes for your avatar (almost certainly a little girl with gigantic eyes) but we've got no idea what Nintendo could develop this Golf title into, really, so maybe it will be!
How does it play? I'm beginning to realize that for the whole Wii Sports series that these questions are mostly ridiculous, like asking 'hey, does swinging that golf club feel like swinging a golf club?' Because it feels like... Swinging a golf club. But with that helper of a power bar.
You're allowed to take as many practice shots as you like in the demo, and you learn exactly how much force is required to hit certain points on the bar, so though you'll know that if you swing with all your might it'll go as far as it can, but you might not learn for a few shots just how light a tap you require to putt well. I actually thought, if I was really trying to putt a ball 14ft away from me, how would I hit it? And you know? Playing the game exactly like actual golf, with a little help from the power bar, is perfect. One interesting thing about the title is that though it registers your swings power, it doesn't recognize anything else. So, while you may slice the ball at full power, if you haven't selected anything but 'straight ahead' using the d-pad, you'll still get a nice clean shot. I'm pretty sure that's why I got a hole in one on my first try. And yes I am boasting anyway.
Wii Sports: Baseball
Now here's a game I shouldn't really know much about, being a Brit, and all, but I did actually play softball during high school, and, you know, its father rounders during primary, so it's just as intuitive for me to pick up a 'bat' as it were.
But Wii Sports: Baseball has the most intriguing flaw of any of the titles. Swinging the bat is perfect, you can even wave it in the air while you prepare to bat (just like the pros do!), but what you are doing when you play the game is judging the distance from you a 2-dimensional object is. One that is flying straight at you. This terrifically unnatural, so your cues mostly rely on 'how big is it? Big enough?' to judge the point where you should strike. This is why one-eyed people hate sports so much they usually turn become pirates, as the only sport you can successfully play on a boat is shuffleboard, and that's rubbish. The game does seem quite forgiving, however, possibly to it's detriment, allowing me many home runs (the demo really just a batting cage simulator, really) and I didn't actually notice if it gave you the ability to move your character with the d-pad or not. I expect not, however.
The Wii Sports titles are an interesting bunch... Oh wait, one more.
Wii Music: Orchestra
This wasn't actually listed as a sports title, and was given a single, living room styled demo pod that wasn't really obvious. I did spot it, though. And this title is identical in styling to the Sports games, so I'll include it anyway.
Now, I suppose we all saw the press conference opening, right? When Shiggy, the Shigsta, Shub-Shiggurath, or whatever the rest of the people in the Kodak theatre would call him, came out, all dressed like a conductor (orchestra, not bus) and proceeded to very badly conduct the Zelda theme? Gosh, it looked really good, didn't it? He was waving his hands all about; it looked like he was really conducting an orchestra!
Well, no. It was really all for show, because with Wii Music: Orchestra, all you do is wave your hands in time. That's it. UP DOWN UP DOWN UP DOWN. But shh, that's a super secret cheat code.
Out of all the games I played on the Wii, this is the only one to have made me feel truly mortified to be standing in front of a group of people waving my hands about like David James being Tazared. My hand movements just didn't mean anything.
This may surprise you, but on the second day I was actually in the hall with a real conductor (again, not bus) and was chatting to him about it. A conductor, you see, conducts by specifically hitting points in space with his little wandy thing (that's the technical term for it) in time with the music. So he hits off to the left to get the horns, or something. He doesn't just wave his hands in time with the music and dribble slightly.
Playing Wii Music: Orchestra, I felt genuinely sad for Shigeru Miyamoto. He gets dragged out each E3 like a caricature to embarrass himself in front of screaming fans who don't even know how to say his name properly.
This title would need some severe redesigning (to be something a bit more like Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan, which is now called Elite Beat Agents in the west) to be even considered playable, I think.
It looks kinda cute, like all the other Wii Sports titles, though.
The Actual Conclusion
The Wii Sports titles really are an interesting bunch. Every single one is an incredibly fun, playable experience, and every single one cries out to be expanded to its absolute fullest, as the core mechanics are superb, with the system consistently responding to the controller the way you expect it to. Indeed, in a wildly insane occurrence, they're so individually lovely that I demand that Nintendo spend ages turning each one into full sports titles instead of leaving them as is (which is very under featured, but with bags of potential) and selling them in a single pack. Like the Wii itself, these titles have so much potential that is in danger of just not being realized correctly. Let's just cross our fingers and hope it is.
There's pretty much no concrete information about Wii Sports, but the first release will probably be a pack of Golf, Tennis and Baseball, and be released around about the time of the console launch.