Like many people who own the system, I absolutely love the way the Nintendo Wii’s motion controls create a truly immersive experience. Swinging the Wii Remote to return a serve in Wii Sports Resort is much more fun than simply hitting a button to do so would be. At times, it’s like I can actually feel the ping pong paddle or golf club in my hand while I play.
You’d think that the ability to imagine actually holding the on-screen object you’re interacting with would be enough to satisfy most people. Apparently, for some people, it isn’t. There are many great, must-have accessories out there for the Wii, but it seems like the number of completely ridiculous and unnecessary addons for the console are multiplying every day.
Let’s take a look at some of our least-favorite examples.
Bowling Ball for Wii
A bowling ball controller? Really? I have to admit when I first saw pictures of this thing, I thought it was a late April Fools joke. Who in their right mind would want such a thing? This big blue plastic ball actually requires you to place your Wii Remote inside for “ultra-realistic” bowling action. It also includes a heavy-duty wrist strap to keep you from accidentally chucking the enormous blue ball through your television or at a household pet after you fail to pick up yet another spare due to the unnecessary bulk you’ve added to your controller.
Bowling in Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort is one of the most popular activities on the console, and I get the thought that some people might want a more authentic experience, but this thing is just ridiculous. It seems more like something uninformed grandparents buy for their unsuspecting grandchildren than an accessory anyone would actually consider using.
Football for Wii
This one’s a classic. A plastic football that, like the bowling ball, you actually place your Wii Remote inside of (you shouldn’t be surprised to learn they’re made by the same company). The best part here is that it actually comes with not one, but two safety straps to keep you from flinging it about your house. There’s the standard wrist strap and a second elastic band that actually goes over the top of your hand when you’re holding the thing.
Are these things so prone to errant flight that they had to incorporate a redundant safety system? Are wannabe John Elways accidentally sending these things through windows left and right?
The football controller enables you to use the Wii Remote buttons by pressing the “stitching” on the ball, and the instructional video claims that the B button is “conveniently” located on the back of the ball.
Is it really that hard to just use the Wii Remote by itself to play Madden?
Nerf Wii Sports Pack
Kudos to Nerf for finding a way to jump on the Wii bandwagon. This purveyor of childhood toys that enabled us to beat upon one another without fear of permanent injury has created a pack of Wii Remote addons specifically designed for Wii Sports play. The Wii Sports Pack comes with three addons: a baseball bat, tennis racket, and golf club. All are available in a multitude of colors, and each one is approximately 14 inches long.
If you’re looking for a more immersive Wii Sports experience, something closer to actually playing baseball or tennis, then why would you want an accessory that is so tiny it makes you feel like the Incredible Hulk when you use it? How realistic is a foot-long tennis racket, anyway? What possible good could these things do?
My favorite part of this kit’s brilliant design is the fact that the racket, bat, and club actually block the controller’s IR receiver when you attach them. So, not only do they fail to deliver a more realistic and worthwhile experience, they actually render your Wii Remote inoperative for navigating menus at the same time. Brilliant!
Wii Combat Pack
The Combat Pack is a sword attachment for your Wii Remote and a separate shield that serves no actual gameplay purpose beyond making you look like a complete tool. Like the Nerf sports accessories, the sword in this pack is so tiny that wielding the thing is actually downright embarrassing. Flailing the Wii Remote around to attack on-screen enemies is silly enough, do you really want your friends to see you gesticulating wildly while wielding a tiny plastic sword to boot?
Also like the Nerf sports accessories, the sword attachment blocks the receiver on your controller. So, it honestly serves no actual useful purpose, since you can’t even play Twilight Princess with the thing attached.
Glo Sword for Nintendo Wii
Since the Wii was introduced gamers have been clamoring for an honest-to-goodness lightsaber duel game for the system. The lack of said game, however, has in no way deterred opportunistic accessory manufacturers from delivering unnecessary peripherals designed to fool gamers into thinking the experience can be replicated.
The Glo Sword, for example, lights up and comes with interchangeable hand guards. You know, just so that if your on-screen opponent somehow gets in a lucky strike, you are in no danger of receiving a rap on the knuckles. This thing might be fun for a few minutes, it does light up after all, but like so many of the other accessories on this list it serves no actual gameplay purpose.
It’s also yet another addon that blocks the Wii Remote’s IR receiver. I don’t understand how nobody has discovered this flaw yet, but you can’t cover the top of the Wii Remote and have the controller remain functional.
Unfortunately, these are just a few examples of the malignant multitude of ridiculous controller addons and other accessories that are flooding the Wii market. When a system becomes as popular as the Wii has, it’s inevitable that some people will try to cash in by selling substandard addons. Do yourself a favor and avoid these completely unnecessary addons for the system.