Monday, September 20, 2010

Sports Champions | The Non-Demo Events | VERDICT

Aside from table tennis and disc golf - the two demo events I touched on before - there are 4 other events.

Gladiator, Archery, Bocce Ball and Volley Ball

In case you haven't played or seen much on these I'll touch on them briefly.

The gladiator arena mode is a straightforward brawler where you use one or two motion controllers to block with your shield and attack with your weapon.  It's engaging and enjoyable, and it's surprisingly satisfying to pound your enemy into the dust.

Archery is very much what one would expect.  This and the gladiator modes are better used with two controllers, it feels far more authentic that way.  On the Bronze difficulty level - which I played on to experience the gameplay first.  I'll move to more difficult levels as time progresses - there is a small guideline that shows how the arrow will drop.  Physics and gravity matter in this game, and you have to account for how the arrow will drop over time.  It's fun, plain and simple.

Bocce Ball was a pleasant surprise.  I played it years ago [IRL] and haven't for a long time since, but it was nice to recall how fun it was in many ways.  If you're not familiar with it, the game is pretty simple.  One player throws a small, light-colored ball (white or yellow, usually) from a defined starting line and both players take turns throwing larger, heavier balls to get them as close as possible to the small ball.  The closest player wins points, and additional points are granted for additional winning-players' balls within a certain radius of the small ball.

Volley Ball... heck, it works pretty well.  It's basically the game we all know and love/hate.  It's also one I need more practice with as I KNOW I was playing badly because I wasn't understanding something in the control scheme.  User error if you will.  I'll come back to this event at some point.

The other two events
Table Tennis and disc golf are both pretty fun.  Adding a good bit of spin on the ball in table tennis is fun and works pretty well, and between bocce and this my arm is sore.  Ow.

Pre-VERDICT Thoughts:  If you're not picking it up as part of the Move/Camera/Game bundle I'd say give it a little time before you do.  It's a good title, really... but I really wanted to be able to make my own participant and as far as I've seen and read elsewhere you're stuck using one of the stock characters.  A nice, simple character creator would have gone a LONG way to customizing and personalizing the first-impression experience for me.  Any other nitpicks about controller weirdness is really due to my being in a too-low-light-without-enough-room-to-Move [see what I did there?  Oh, hush!  No groaning!] setting.

VERDICT:  BUY as part of the bundle as it offsets the cost considerably.  Otherwise RENT or borrow from a friend if you want the full experience of the 4 non-demo games.  It's worth owning, but I'm not sure if it's worth the $40 price tag for something that does a good job at showing off some of the Move's capabilities but is essentially what Wii Sports was for the Wii... but without the captivating bowling game.

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