NERF Sports Pack - Wii Accessory Review

Make Wii Sports Feel a Little More Real with These Add-ons

Nerf Sports Pack
The safe rubber will keep your children from killing each other. Pelican

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With the Wii, players can make believe that their remote is a baseball bat or a tennis racquet, but ultimately what they have in their hand is still just a short electronic gizmo. To help players suspend their disbelief, game accessory makers have created facsimiles of sports equipment to attach to your Wii remote. I tried out a couple of these “sports packs” recently, starting out with the NERF Sports Pack, manufactured by Pelican.

The Basics: Soft Faux Sports Equipment

The Sports Pack consists of a tennis racquet, baseball bat, and golf club. These are not full-sized; you have perhaps the top third of a baseball bat, the bottom third of a golf club and a half-sized (if that) tennis racquet, all made of soft rubber. The Wii remote inserts into a handle that can attach to any of the three. While in real sports you would be holding a cylinder, with the Sports Pack you’re actually holding a partial cylinder with a Wii stuck into it, which is less comfortable.

The Up/Downside: Better Baseball, Troubling Tennis

There is little practical use for these items, but they do make you feel a bit more like you're really playing a sport. Trying them all with Wii Sports, the game that comes with the Wii and that is the main reason sports packs exist, I found the baseball bat was the most fun. Its heft, though slight, gives more momentum to your swing, and makes you feel more like you’re swinging a real bat.

The main annoyance is you have to take the remote out of the handle when it’s time to pitch.

The golf club had less of that momentum effect, but it did encourage me to hold my hands properly; I’ve had problems in the past twisting my shoulder when swinging the remote in two-handed golf swing; somehow using the faux golf club helped.

Tennis is a whole other story. For some reason, when I was using the racquet, Wii Sports would not recognize my swing, and the ball would just fly past. I tried various grips, and sometimes I would manage to get my virtual player to swing, but it was very spotty.

While I couldn’t usually return tennis balls, I could serve, but my serve was terrible. In Wii Sports, I can, using just the remote, blast my serve past the other player almost every time. With the racquet attached, the ball barely made it over the net.

This is really an issue with Wii Sports more than with the NERF racquet. When I played New Play Control! Mario Power Tennis, I had no trouble getting the game to recognize my swings. But I did discover another issue. I have a small apartment, and when I stand in front the couch I’m only about 3 and a half feet away from my TV. This is fine, except in the heat of the game I would tend to lean forward in a tennis posture from which I could hit my TV. Fortunately, that soft rubber was no match for my TV, which survived several whaps, but it was quite annoying.

Conclusion: Well Made if You Like Sports Packs

The Nerf Sports Pack is attractive and solidly built and does generally add a little something to sports games, as long as you’re not playing Wii Sports tennis game.

And the soft rubber makes it a little safer to wave around; you're less likely to break your TV and children are less likely to harm one another if they use the baseball bat Grand Theft Auto-style. The only real flaw in the design is the button used to unlock the handle from the various sports items; it’s hard to push in, and I would expect young children to find it impossible to switch from one sport to another on their own. But overall, if you want a sports pack, this is a pretty solid one.

 

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Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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