Remember that revolutionary game that came out in 2006 that literally one-third of Americans owned? You know, the one that you were playing against your grandma with (and lost)? Yes, that is right: I’m referring to the Wii launch title Wii Sports. With Wii Sports Club, Nintendo hopes to recapture that same glory, just with a few additional features this time. Unfortunately, Nintendo forgot that, although Wii Tennis was a hit at parties all over the country during the holiday season of 2006, come 2007, nobody really cared anymore. As a result of that ignorance, Nintendo decided to release Wii Sports Club, a game that proves how out of touch the company really is with its diminishing fanbase.
What is the biggest issue with Wii Sports Club? The fact that the game is not free, plain and simple. Wii Sports came bundled with the original Wii absolutely free. Sure, the game was lacking a few features that Wii Sports Club now contains, but in reality, the second a price is added to a game, people are automatically turned off. The price itself doesn’t help the game much, either. Maybe a three- or four-dollar price would have been acceptable, but a ten-dollar price is laughable.
So what does a player get when he overpays $10 for Wii Sports Club? The most obvious upgrade would be the new HD support. Unfortunately, though, given the incredibly basic art style of Wii Sports, the Wii U version does not really look like a major step up from the Wii version. In fact, I would argue that most people would not even tell the difference.
The more noticeable feature within Wii Sports Club is the fact that sports now utilize the WiiMote Plus whereas before, Wii Sports only used a normal Wii remote. Surprisingly, this adds a little bit of variation to the normal Wii Tennis gameplay. In fact, it may take veteran players a few matches to get used to the new controls, as the game now can actually tell which way the player hit the ball (blasphemy, I know).
The last major addition to Wii Sports Club is the inclusion of an online mode. The online play itself is definitely nothing to write home about; significant lag is present at least a third of the time, growing more noticeable the farther the opponent is located from you geographically. It definitely does not help when so few people are online at any given moment. Players can be matched up with the same opponent multiple times in a row before finally being paired up with a new one.
The one aspect where Wii Sports Club shines in the online realm is in regards to the way that communities are structured. For every state and country, there is a club (Miiverse community). Each club competes against all the other clubs for the best spot on the leaderboard. They can coordinate and talk on their own Miiverse community, giving players the opportunity to meet other gamers who may not live too far away. The whole idea of pairing up gamers into teams based on their geographic location is quite interesting and I hope that Nintendo learns from this system when planning multi-player for future Wii U releases.
Overall, Tennis as a part of Wii Sports Club is way too expensive. The HD is insignificant, Wii MotionPlus doesn’t add all that much, and online can often be nonfunctional. Instead of spending $10 to re-download a game that you already own, I recommend digging out and dusting off a Wii Sports disc instead. I can assure you, at a party, it will make absolutely no difference.