When I started playing video games, I never though I'd be talking about how I have to rest between sessions to recuperate my strength and relax my shoulders. Alas, here we are. Wii Sports offers up five different events (baseball, tennis, golf, boxing, and bowling), each using the Wii remote and nunchuck in a variety of interesting ways. The gameplay for each of the events is pretty simple, but where they lack in depth, they make up in sheer fun, especially with a group of friends.
Each of the events in Wii Sports has their own unique controls for the Wiimote. In baseball, for example, you swing the remote as you would if you were standing at the plate, while in bowling you have to mimic tossing a bowling ball, complete with the flick of the wrist to get the ball to curve in a certain direction. Boxing involves pumping your arms while holding both the remote and nunchuk to pummel your opponent, dodge, and block; tennis has you swing your remote to hit the ball; and golf uses the speed of your golf swing to gauge the power levels.
For the most part, the games have been simplified from their real-world counterparts to the extreme, bowling being one of the few exceptions. In the tennis game, for example, no movement around the court is required: the game moves your Miis for you. You just have to swing the racket at the right time. This is either a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you look at it. Either you get to concentrate more on the actual swinging, as well as not needing to focus as much on the game (it's a fairly social experience), or it makes the game overly simple, it all depends on what you're expecting.
What seems the most problematic is the sensitivity of the controls and occasional strange behaviour exhibited. For example, when golfing, putting is really hit-or-miss, sometimes requiring barely a flick of the controller to knock your ball across the green, other times requiring a full swing just to get any recognition from the game at all. The bowling also seems like it has a few problems with the remote, since the ball almost always curves to the left or right, depending on the hand you use to throw. Boxing, while exhausting, seems very much hit or miss, you can get pummelled consistently unable to block as the controller doesn't respond as you'd expect, or beat your opponent senseless not letting them get a shot in otherwise. It's difficult to say whether the control issues are a limitation of the hardware or simply quirky code within the game, regardless it's the only real downside to Wii Sports.
Wii Sports is by no means intended as a single player experience. To get the most fun out of it you'll need at least two players (although four is best). The benefit is for most of the games, you don't actually need four Wiimotes, you can just pass them around the group. In the case that you're lacking in friends, or just want to brush up), Wii Sports offers up a training mode to fine tune those skills. For each sport, you can take on three unique challenges that will test how well you can handle that event. These might involve a home-run derby in Baseball, or perhaps beating the stuffing out of punching bags in Boxing. Wii Sports also offers up a Fitness mode, which, based on your performance in a series of random training sessions, will calculate your fitness age. Do poorly, and you might find yourself being called an old man. Then again, after a few rounds of boxing you'll probably feel like one.
Despite these two solo modes, Wii Sports is really all about getting some friends together and playing a few matches of tennis or bowling. The game isn't designed to be a true authentic sports simulation, it's all about the sheer entertainment value, and this is where Wii Sports really shines. Instead of worrying about the accuracy of your golf shot, you'll likely spend more time trash-talking your opponent. Playing alone is a satisfying experience, but the multiplayer is where the game really earns it replay value.