How to Wii bowl in 2020
December 5, 2020 8:45 AM   Subscribe

I have never owned any type of gaming console but pandemic winter life in my small apartment has gotten a little too sedentary. I had a great time playing Wii tennis and bowling (as well as Guitar Hero and Rock Band) back in the day. I've been thinking it would be fun to get either a newer Wii-type console or a used Wii but I have absolutely no clue how to go about filling the Wii bowling-shaped hole in my heart.

Possibly relevant details:

- I have never owned a gaming console so I probably need very "explain like I'm five" level of detail in responses.

- What is a good place to buy used consoles and games? Just ebay or would something more specific like GameStop be a better option?

- I am mostly interested in games like Wii Sports (although I'm open to suggestions for games that are fun for "non-gamers" like Guitar Hero). There are all kinds of other fitness games and add-ons, did you find any to be worthwhile, fun, and motivating?

- I am in an apartment with downstairs neighbors, so games like DDR are probably out for me.
posted by forkisbetter to Grab Bag (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I think Ring Fit Adventure is 2020's Wii Bowling.
posted by pullayup at 9:04 AM on December 5, 2020 [3 favorites]

It's not a wii, but for the best of motion-tracked controllers, the Oculus Quest 2 ($300) will not disappoint. It's essentially a VR console. You only need wifi to download games (some games require wifi for online play), a facebook account and a smart phone (android or apple) to do the initial setup. The Quest 2 comes with controllers. Likely you'll be fine with the 64GB version; most games are in the 1-2 GB size range. And one can re-download one's purchased games if space issues require you to delete something.

There are only 2 places to get games for the Quest, but for the ELI5 situation, I'll just say that you only by games (download only) at the Oculus store. (the other source, SideQuest is mainly indie games not accepted on the main store and/or demos.) The quest doesn't come with any games. There are a few free experiences (think 3d movies), and free demos. But the demos are very limited.

A number of people have compared the game Sports Scramble somewhat to Wii sports. There's also bowling, golf games, and two really well liked ping pong games (Eleven, and Racket NX).

I really like the Rhythm games; Synth Riders is my favourite, but others to look at are Audica (rhythm with guns), Beat Saber (the most popular one) and OhShape (Y M C A).

This makes me feel like I'm 5 and experiencing the Atari again. Except every time that I play. I just can't play flat 2d games any more; I don't have enough time to waste on something I don't find as magic filled.

You don't require it to test, but most people find the strap that comes with the headset not comfortable for long term use. There are 3rd party headstraps on amazon, but I just received a halo strap I ordered and it is much more comfortable than the Oculus Elite Strap that I'd previously been using.

I don't do a lot (any?) jumping around. Most of the games I find I either sit, or stand mostly in one place. When playing In Death Unchained I find myself standing in one spot turning in a lot of circles. I play standing on a yoga mat which helps with fatigue, centering, and would help eliminate noise.
posted by nobeagle at 9:07 AM on December 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

The newest wii-style console is a VR Headset - an Oculus Rift 2 - it runs $300.

The "killer apps" for it is Beat Saber (Slicing blocks with lightsabers to music, like DDR but noticably less stomping and less difficult), and tons of other interesting experiences out there. There's Job Simulator, Racket NX a racketball in VR, and Echo Arena, a enders-game style zero gravity game.

Ha- on preview... Jinx!
posted by bbqturtle at 9:07 AM on December 5, 2020

I’m not really a gamer either, and I bought a Quest 2 and I love it. Mostly for Beat Saber, true. (I use the side load technique to get extra songs on it).

But it’s also good for flying/climbing games, puzzle games, and Wander, which lets you explore Google Earth/Street View in VR.
posted by itesser at 9:21 AM on December 5, 2020

If you buy a used Wii, don't forget that it probably won't come with cables to connect to a modern TV with HDMI. You can get an adapter for about $10-$15 on Amazon; I won't link to a particular one because I don't have one to recommend over another. I suspect they're all made by one company and just rebranded, anyway.
posted by bcwinters at 9:35 AM on December 5, 2020

I also used to love games like Wii sports, and I also now love playing Beat Saber on the Oculus Quest 2. It’s pushing the same “again! again!” buttons for me as playing Wii games used to.
posted by somedaycatlady at 9:46 AM on December 5, 2020

I'd recommend against Quest (or any other Oculus product) because of the mandatory connection to your Facebook account. Sucks, because by all accounts it's a good product in many other ways, but that's so customer hostile that it's an insta-no for me. There alternatives from HP, Valve, HTC, etc. Most are tethered to a computer, but aren't as evil.
posted by Alterscape at 11:00 AM on December 5, 2020 [4 favorites]

Rock Band is still around, but you need an Xbox or PS4, and all the controllers are sold separately. FWIW, I see them at just about every thrift store (darn that pandemic though!) no idea how to check for compatibility though. There's probably a YouTube about how to pick them out. But Guitar Hero was discontinued and taken offline, so I wouldn't invest too much effort into Rock Band which also probably has an uncertain future. Similarly, Nintendo took Wii's wi-fi service offline, so online features won't work anymore for those games.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 12:05 PM on December 5, 2020

If you live in a decent-sized city, you should have a local game store that sells used Wii’s and probably repairs them as well. I got one recently for $40 and games are $4.
posted by The_Vegetables at 5:55 PM on December 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

If you go the Wii route with an eye toward bowling, tennis, or golf, I'd highly recommend getting Wii MotionPlus adapters or WiiU controllers (they are backwards compatible and have MotionPlus built-in). Then spring for Wii Sports Resort to get started.

Grand Slam Tennis was a pretty good workout too. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 has been really fun for me and hasn't gotten old yet. Versions 10 and 12 also use WiiMotion Plus. I haven't been a golfer IRL and am not much for watching it on TV for what it's worth.

My public library has some Wii games for checkout, so that's been one affordable way to try games out. I got my Wii as a hand-me-down last Christmas and it is still working fine many years after it was originally bought new. I've been buying extra controllers and games via eBay, and it's worked out okay. I have been buying things actually made by Nintendo (aka OEM) and not generic items.

My TV's inputs worked fine with the Wii's cable, but my TV is from 2009.

This used Wii is my first console since an Atari 2600 and it has been AMAZING.
posted by eelgrassman at 8:31 PM on December 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

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