|System: Wii U|
|Dev: Namco Bandai|
|Release: November 7, 2013|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
Nintendo has spouted praise about the HD graphics overhaul with Wii Sports Club, but it's certainly not the title they would put on display for their argument that the Wii U is a next-gen console. Yes, the lines are clean and smooth, the draw distance (for golf at least) gives a nice grandeur to the vistas, and the lighting effects are nicely updated, but the franchise has always prided itself on being simple and inviting to a mass audience, and it is no different this time around. The sound follows suit, being pleasant and unintrusive throughout, with a mild digital audience cheering you on. You'll never annoy family member in the house with Wii Sports Club playing in the background.
The most substantial gripe I have with Wii Sports Club is the price point. After the twenty-four hour trial period, you have two options: a day pass or a club pass. The day pass is ideal for the casual crowd who may have a gathering planned (either locally, online, or both) and want a little light gaming. For a day you can play all the sports for $1.99. The club pass gives you unlimited play for $9.99. But wait, that's only for a single sport. So after baseball and boxing are released, Wii Sports Club will set you back fifty dollars to access everything. There are plenty of things wrong with this. First, none of the new features, not even the online matches, merit that kind of monetary donation. Second, chances are you already have Wii Sports in your library, and since the Wii U is backwards compatible, you can simply load up your Wii copy and get your fix if you don't care about the online features. Since casual gamers (to whom this game caters) could care less about online leaderboards, it seems like a feature that is contradictory to the game's emphasis. The club pass should be three dollars per sport, making a total of fifteen smackers for the whole kit and caboodle. I think that is a satisfactory price point for a rudimentary upgrade to a seven-year-old title.
Although only an opinion, I believe Wii Sports Club is an attempt by Nintendo to rake in a few extra holiday dollars at a minimal production cost. The Wii Sports franchise still has appeal to the casual gamer, but I don't feel the online features will entice many of them to purchase Wii Sports Club, nor do I think the price point is low enough to have the rest of us digging into our already cash-strapped wallets and purses just to post our victories in the Miiverse. Drop the price-per-sport, and add some of the more enjoyable events from Wii Sports Resort, and I may be persuaded to give Wii Sports Club another glance.
Date: January 3, 2014