Swords comes to the Wii, slinging sword-fighting action in tow. Swords features a gameplay set-up similar to the highly-loved Nintendo franchise Punch-Out!! in that a single player takes control of a character working through a series of one-on-one battles between the player and a colorful on-screen character.
Like Punch-Out!!, the viewpoint of the game is behind the player's transparent on-screen character as they fight a CPU opponent head-on. Also like Punch-Out!!, the gameplay is set up in a block-counter-attack-block format. Essentially, the focus of the sword-fighting action encourages the player to watch the opponents movements carefully so as to successfully block the attacks.
General gameplay is performed entirely using the Wii Remote with Wii Motion Plus for one-to-one sword-fighting motion. However, the attacks are only recorded by the Wii through seven directions--up, left, right, and the four diagonal positions around them. Holding the A button charges a Chi special attack and holding the Button performs a block move that must be targeted to the incoming attack of the opponent. A correctly angled block results in a "Perfect Block" leaving the opponent open to a counter-attack. These are typically the most successful strikes against opponents.
Through the basic Campaign mode, the player portrays a single character named Hiro--again, like in Punch-Out!! with Little Mac--and works through a series of battles all guided by a personal Sensei who gives tips and new weapons. Between every Campaign battle, there are also a series of mini-game challenges such as defeating a bunch of zombies, cutting thrown objects, carving shapes from a log, or attacking a suit of armor in a series of strikes that play out like the old Simon electronic game. The Sensei (Sensei Musashi) also trains the player on how to play the game and provides details on the story arc.
There are eight characters to face in the single-player campaign with themes familiar to many video games, including a Viking, a pirate, a knight, an Arabian (princess no less) and so forth.
Besides the single-player Campaign mode, there are three other gameplay modes: Versus mode has two players hacking and slashing at each other with the main character (Hiro) and another named Jake that are roughly doppelgangers--again, very similar to the Wii revamp of Punch-Out!! (except there, it's just two Little Macs). Quick-Match mode allows the player to play single bouts against any unlocked opponent in the game. Quick-Minigame allows a single player to replay any of the between-match mini-games found during the main Campaign.