The Nintendo Wii console is definitely designed for playing with friends more than any other gaming platform, thanks to the Wiimote, Nunchuk and other interesting controllers. Still, how well different Wii games work with multiple players varies widely. Many of these games are fun even played alone, but are at their best in social gatherings. Some even offer an amusing “spectator sport”.
Wii Sports which is bundled with the Wii console is very simple, but simple games often make the best party games. Especially the bowling is almost as fun as the real thing when a group of people is involved. Multiplayer boxing is nice too, if there are at least two Nunchuk controllers.
There is a new version of Wii Sports known as Wii Sports Resort with a dozen beach-themed sports games. Sadly the party game factor isn’t that much improved from the original despite the new activities. As many of the games are geared towards children, Wii Sports Resort may be more suitable for family get-togethers than actual parties.
Wii Fit makes a nice party game for small groups of people (2-4 players), especially with the new Wii Fit Plus that adds many new games to it. There is no real multiplayer mode, because the Wii balance board can only be used by one person at once, but players can take turns. Wii Fit Plus also offers good time to those spectators who don’t wish to participate.
EA Sports Active: Personal Trainer is more of a personal trainer than a sports game, but still it can be a lot of fun when played in company. Many exercises can be done with a friend, though some of them require a second pouch for the Nunchuk controller that has to be purchased separately.
More Traditional Party Games
WarioWare games with their dozens of mini games have been traditional party games for many different consoles. Somehow the Wii version WarioWare: Smooth Moves is still a bit of a letdown despite the highly creative use of the Wiimote, serving as anything from a vacuum cleaner to an elephant’s trunk.
Most games in Warioware: Smooth Moves only last for a few seconds. At first it is entertaining both to play and to watch, but with the shortness of the games and the speed the player is flooded with them, fatigue and boredom can quickly set in.
Another game containing a variety of mini games is Rayman Raving Rabbids. It is story-based, but practically serves as a collection of mini games, just longer ones than Warioware. Some of them are a lot of fun while others are too easy or too hard. Rayman Raving Rabbids is a an enjoyable party game at first, but also quickly gets tiring.
Super Smash Bros Brawl is a fighting game with influences from just about all Nintendo titles starting from the 1980s. There are numerous Nintendo characters to play with from Pokémons to Zelda characters, and many of the game levels are also familiar. While Super Smash Bros Brawl can be played alone, it really shines in good company, providing endless hours of fun.
Rampage: Total Destruction is a classical mindless party game. It can be played alone, but it is only really fun with multiple players. The players tear down buildings and other city scenery and the most destructive one wins. Fine coordination or quick reflexes are not really required – one just has to keep busy with the Wiimote. Rampage: Total Destruction can be enjoyed by adults and older children alike.
Why Do Men Like Video Games So Much?
A Look at Gears of War 2
In the Annex mode of the wildly popular Gears of War 2 game, the concept is simple: capture territory and defend it from the other team by using any number of destructive weapons such as the gnasher shotgun, the boom shot, or the chainsaw bayonet.
Of course, it’s generally accepted that guys just like this kind of stuff. However, a new study from Stanford gives insight into exactly why a 2005 survey found that men are two to three times more likely to feel addicted to these types of video games.
Men are Territorial
Allan Reiss, MD and his colleagues at Stanford University created a game similar to Gears of War 2 in the sense that the object of the game was to capture as much territory as possible. It was found that while both sexes quickly figured out the concept, men generally gained a significantly greater amount of territory than women.
Reiss is quick to point out that this doesn’t mean that the men were more skilled than the women. An examination of the participants’ neural activity revealed that men were simply more “motivated to succeed at the game.”
It’s All about the Rewards
An analysis of the brain imaging data accumulated in the study shows that a specific region of the brain, known as the mesocorticolimbic center and often associated with reward and addiction, was activated in all the participants. However, there was much more activity in the males’ brains. Interestingly, activity increased in the men as more territory was gained, yet this was not the case with the women.
While Reiss concedes that the notion that men have historically been the “conquerors and tyrants of our species” is not new, the study does shed some light on the physical processes associated with this phenomenon: “It makes sense that males are more prone to getting hooked on video games than females,” says Reiss.
So the next time you find your husband or boyfriend playing video games instead of cutting the grass or shoveling the snow, it may help to know that he seems to be naturally hard-wired for this type of behavior. If this offers little consolation, readers may wish to read about some of the positive effects 0that video games may have on gamers.