I had originally planned to review Wii Sports Club: Baseball and Boxing separately, but they are currently sold together as a single Club Pass for $9.99. There isn’t an option to purchase one without the other. In contrast, the other 3 Wii Sports Club games (Tennis, Bowling, and Golf) were all sold at $9.99. I’ll be reviewing the unique aspects of each sport but scoring them as a single experience.

For those who remember the original Wii U launch trailer back in 2011, Wii Sports Club: Baseball was one of the few games that were shown. It’s been 3 years, but fans finally have the newest versions of Wii Sports Baseball and Boxing. One of my favorite sports is baseball, so let’s start there first.

Wii Sports Club: Baseball has added a few new features that set it apart from its Wii predecessor. The first big addition is the ability to pitch using the Wii U GamePad’s motion controls and screen. Players will need to hold the GamePad up in front of the screen and move the GamePad around to direct where they want each pitch to go. Once a spot is selected, players press and hold A/B/X/Y for various pitches and speeds. The longer a button is held, the faster the pitch and potentially the more accurate. The more you play, the more you’ll recognize that the fastest pitch isn’t always the best. Sometimes the best strategy is to change your pitches both in terms of how they break and also their speed. Sometimes the best pitch is the slowest Splitter that you can throw. Then you can throw a really fast pitch right after it to mess with the hitter’s timing. There’s quite a bit of depth to the pitching which makes it a lot more enjoyable than the original.

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The other major change is the ability to play defense. The original Wii Sports Baseball only allowed the computer controlled NPC’s to field balls and throw to the bases. In Wii Sports Club: Baseball, players now have to catch fly balls or line drives to get an out. The NPC’s still throw the balls to the bases but you have a little more at stake having to field. When a ball is hit high in the air, the player must move the Wii U GamePad up over their head as if they were looking for the fly ball. There are 2 circles that players have to line up while the ball is traveling in the air. If the circles don’t line up till the very end, the ball will be dropped. It works really well and even allowed me to catch fly balls in foul territory. There are a few new training modes for baseball but arguably the most fun is the simple Home Run Derby.  The biggest let-down with this version of Baseball is the continued limitation to 3 inning games.  I’m sure it’s that way to prevent fatigue but it would be nice to at least have the option to do more innings.

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Also new to Wii Sports Club: Baseball is online play. I had a blast playing online the majority of the time. Occasionally there would be a bad connection and the game would run in slow-mo (those who played Smash Bros. Brawl on the Wii will know what I’m talking about). Overall, the online play adds a lot of replayability to an already deep sport.

Wii Sports Club: Boxing has added a few new features but not quite as much as Baseball. The big new element in boxing is the ability to use two Wii Remote Plus Controllers for each hand. This should allow for more control in theory, but I never felt I had any more control than the original Boxing on the Wii. There is more variety in the way punches are thrown but the benefit of doing those motions didn’t feel rewarding. If you can pummel a character more easily by swinging away than carefully planning your movements, then it doesn’t really add much to the gameplay. There are a few new modes in training but not much to write home about. I honestly feel that Nintendo bundled both games together for $9.99 because the value proposition wasn’t there for Boxing by itself. I honestly think Baseball is worth the $9.99 by itself and Nintendo felt it would be the best way to sell Boxing. Boxing also doesn’t take advantage of the Wii U GamePad (there probably weren’t a whole lot of things they could do with it to be honest), and there isn’t a lot that differentiates itself from its predecessor.

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Overall, I think the Baseball + Boxing Club Pass is worth a download even if it’s only for Baseball. The sport itself is as good, if not better, than the other $9.99 sports in the Wii Sports Club package. Having Boxing as a throw-in to sweeten the deal doesn’t hurt either.