So my bundle arrived today, and I played 18 holes of the new Tiger Woods with the Wii Motion Plus. This post is going to focus on what the Motion Plus brings to the table.
First the hardware. You’ve no doubt seen it by now. It’s a module that adds about 1.25″ to the length of the Wii Remote (WiiMote). It comes semi-permanently attached to a WiiMote Sleeve. You stick the front end of the WiiMote into the sleeve, thread the strap through a slit in the back of the sleeve (the strap stays attached to the main WiiMote, not the Motion Plus) and then kind of pull on the sleeve to stretch it a little in order to get the Motion Plus to slide into the Nunchuk port. There’re buttons on either side that you need to press in order for it to engage, and there’s a lock on the back of the thing for once you get it attached. And of course there’s a passthrough Nunchuk port on the bottom, with a ‘cap’ to seal the port. The cap attaches to the Motion Plus with a cord, and you thread that into the Nunchuk cable for security (since the main cable is no longer close to the Nunchuk).
Attaching/detaching the Motion Plus just takes a minute, which is good since the WiiMote won’t fit into a charging station with the Plus attached (I’m assuming most regular Wii owners have broken down and bought a charging station by now…if not, then I see no reason why you wouldn’t leave the Plus attached all the time).
OK so how does it work with Tiger Woods? Well, the game plays MUCH more like real golf. You don’t pick a shot type (full, chip, etc) from a menu. Instead the way you swing the WiiMote determines what kind of shot you make. If you turn your wrist while you swing, you’ll hit a fade or a draw shot. There’s no way to put top or backspin on the ball via motion controls, though. You still need to use buttons for that.
In order to swing, you have to point the WiiMote at the floor and hold down the B button (this is true with or without the Plus). This means you more or less have to be standing to play. I tried sitting in a chair and dangling my hand over the side, and I could swing (awkwardly) by making a short fast arc; this is a tad disappointing — I was hoping the game would require a full swing, but we’re not that far yet. The game plays better using a full swing, and for the most authentic experience, hold the WiiMote in a more-or-less proper golf grip and swing that way (the extra length of the Plus actually helps with that, giving you a bit more to grab onto).
Playing that way, Tiger Woods is tough on the most ‘realistic’ settings! I was hitting 8′s and 9′s on par 4′s in my first round. It’s been a few decades since I played real golf, but when I did I had trouble with a persistent slice. And the same was true here. I found doing a full swing with one arm was a nice balance of emulating real golf and having better control. Serious golfers might do better with a two hand swing, though.
And then there’s Disc Golf (guess they didn’t want to pay for the rights to the name Frisbee). Picking up the Frisbee and throwing it feels very, very natural. (You can play without the Plus but it feels stiff and kind of limited.) I really wish I could just turn the golf aspect off and run around the course flinging the Frisbee around for a while. It controls just like a real Frisbee. Tilt it left or right to curve, a bit up for more loft, etc.
Overall, I’m pretty impressed with the Wii Motion Plus. It really does enhance the Wii experience, and I’m looking forward to seeing what developers do with it.