Wii Play Motion is, at it’s best, a fun diversion for small parties or a group of friends who have tired of racing, brawling and 2D platforming on the Wii. At worst, it’s a minor disaster. Which end it leans to for you depends on your patience and your company.
Some of the 12 games are genuinely fun to play, at least for a while. Spooky Search, seen to the left, is almost a foray into augmented reality (albeit a rather primitive one) as you point your remote around your general area to find ghosts via your remote’s speaker. They may be above you, behind, or anywhere else. This can be a blast to play with multiple people.
Others, like Trigger Twist is a pain in the ass to play multiplayer. It relies on using your remote to pan your view around to shoot things. This is hard enough by yourself, but once you add another player you no longer can stay front and center with the sensor bar and you lose what little accuracy you had.
I personally have serious disdain for whoever designed the controls for Treasure Twirl and Star Shuttle (seen above). You’re instructed while launching the former to strap on your Wii remote, but then you have to twist it round and round to play. Guess what happens then: your stupid wrist strap gets twisted all to hell. You the hake off your strap and it proceeds to impede twisting of the remote by screwing with your grip. Star Shuttle is cool in theory. You’re docking a space craft on a base of some sort, and you use boosters on all sides of your ship to aim you correctly. The left and right boosters are mapped to the left and right arrows on the d-dad, so where do they put the up and down boosters? Nope, not on the up and down arrows – they’re mapped to the A and B buttons. Thrust is mapped to the d-pad. If they just reversed thrust and up and down the whole tying would feel much more intuitive As it is, it’s cumbersome.
If you’ve got a few friends or family around, Wii Play Motion could be fun to play just for the laughs. It’s still funny after all these years to see your Miis running around in the game and some of the games are fun to play (I like the ghost game, skipping stones on a pond in Skip Skimmer, the bouncy Jumpy Park, and the puzzle/pinball hybrid Teeter Targets) but the controls aren’t precise enough to be real intuitive.
If you’ve got non-gamers over, stick with Wii Sports. It’s not that this is too hard for rookies, but this isn’t a good example of the Wii’s control scheme and gaming in general. You don’t want to give a bad impression, after all.
If you need another Motion Plus enabled controller (Wii Play Motion ships with one) you could do worse then picking this up. It’s like a B-movie to me – it’s got it’s enjoyable parts and it can be fun to pick apart what it does wrong with a group. If that sounds like fun to you, then go ahead and rent this. If not, steer clear. There’s nothing here to hold anyone’s attention for any length of time