Posted 2 years ago By - Marko Djordjevic
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that Sony’s banking on sports games to show off the capabilities of its new PS Move peripheral. Time and time again, it is that genre that has proven to be the staple of properly showing off what motion controlled gaming can be. Sony’s San Diego Studio are the minds behind the PS Move launch title Sports Champions and chances are, if you plan on picking up the new controller, you will also get a copy of the game. Thankfully, this collection of sports-action events does a great job of presenting exactly what the PS Move can do and can be enjoyed regardless of your love of sports (or lack thereof.)
Sports Champions features six different action-sports: Disc Golf, Gladiator Duel, Archery, Bocce, Beach Volleyball and Table Tennis. Each feels and plays completely different, but all six use the PS Move’s functionality to surprising results.
Enjoyment with the six will vary depending on the player’s familiarity of each sport. Fortunately, each is introduced at a nice gradual pace with tutorials that teach the basics. Most people will be able to pick up and play Disc Golf and Table Tennis without really needing to go through the tutorials, but those unfamiliar with the concept of Bocce or who need a better understanding of the gestures for Volleyball will appreciate the short briefings before starting to play.
Of the six, most can be played using a single controller but half of them do have the feature of using two Motion controllers to get a more immersive experience. Beach Volleyball, Archery and Gladiator Duel all have this option and there are definite advantages if you have the two controllers. In volleyball, the two motion controllers act as each hand while in Gladiator Duel, the second controller acts as a shield. For the latter, all the actions can be performed with one hand, but with not having to hold the trigger on a single Move wand to initiate the shield makes playing the role of a true gladiator significantly easier.
In terms of motion-controls, all six perform well and exactly how you’d expect them to. While playing Disc Golf, the camera tracks the motion controller so well that the intended shots are pulled off ease and the accuracy is stunning. If too much power is applied or add too much curve to the throw, you will see it. The same response holds true with Table Tennis; the way the controller is held will result in some interesting spin shots. Even back-hand and unorthodox paddle swings will cause some very different end results. In other words, victory will not be achieved by simply flailing your arm aimlessly.
Archery was the only one that actually felt uncomfortable at times. When playing, it’s necessary to make the motion of grabbing the arrow from the quiver and setting it up on the bow. This constant reaching behind your back was a bit annoying at times as the game didn’t always recognize the action. Another problem is holding your arm out while aiming. Those with weak or shaky arms may have some problems keeping in that position for prolonged periods of time. It doesn’t become painful but there is enough discomfort that it is recommended you take a small break after playing.
Of six, the one that may surprise most will be Bocce. Also known as lawn-bowling, Bocce is typically played by older-people at your local park. In it, the first throw is a Pallino, which acts as marker. Once the Pallino is set, Bocce Balls are thrown and the one closest to the Pallino wins the point at the end of the round. What makes it so fun in Sports Champion is that it is extremely easy to learn and it only takes one game before you start feeling like a pro. A nice touch is that it offers a nice variety of courses in lieu of playing the same single standard one as is found in most sports compilation packages. Courses include a modified F-shaped one and even take place on a pier with debris that factors into your play. The variety offers an added amount of challenge and Bocce will be the game you’ll lean towards when playing with friends.
Bocce isn’t the only one that offers plenty of variety though. The Disc Golf portion has a lot of different courses as well, including winter and cave locales and the Archery has quite a few different game types to tackle including Tic-Tac-Toe and even a Zombie mini-game.
If you’re going to be playing Sports Champions alone, the game does have a nice progressive difficulty level that ramps at a fair pace. Each of the sports have their own different cup levels and as progress is made, the challenge faced will definitely have you trying different strategies in order to progress. Also, in the single-player, stats are tracked and uploaded onto a leaderboard. Lastly, each one has a star system based on performance which unlocks additional content including courses to play in free-play and clothing for the in-game avatars.
Chances are you will want to play with friends and while there is no online option, the local enjoyment will only be limited to your own restrictions. Bocce and Disc Golf are the best suited if you only have one Motion controller available as everyone can take turns with the single Move wand while the other games all require at least an additional one for the multiplayer portions. This restriction does put more pressure on buying additional Move wands. Although, playing competitive games with a house full of buddies can quickly transform a dull evening into a highly aggressive one.
On the graphic and visual side of things, Sports Champions won’t wow anyone, but both still turn out positive results. The course designs are well done with a lot of variety. The characters themselves aren’t anything worth noting; there is a sizable, if not heavily-stereotypical, cast including a bulky Samoan, a "Hip-Hopper" and a very acrobatic Asian just to name a few. It would have been nice to create your own character or even use your Home Avatar, but there is no benefit to using one character over another in any of the events. On the music end, the generic soundtrack does its part but thankfully, there is the option to use custom soundtracks.
As the core PS Move title, Sports Champions delivers on what it intended to deliver: offering fun and easy sports games that everyone can pick up, play and enjoy from the start. Gamers will quickly develop their favorite and least favorite of the events and involving others is only limited to the amount of motion controllers you have.
+ Great course variety
+ Fantastic tutorials that ease you into each sport
+ Difficulty ramps up at a steady pace
- Requires an additional motion controller to fully enjoy all events on your own
- An additional Move wand is needed to play most of the multiplayer events
- Some discomfort from playing Archery
4 weeks ago :: (PSN) Fuel Overdose
4 weeks ago :: (PSN) Darkstalkers Resurrection
1 month ago :: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
1 month ago :: (PSN) Alien Breed
6 months ago :: Assassin's Creed III
6 months ago :: FIFA Soccer 13
7 months ago :: Resident Evil 6
7 months ago :: NHL 13
8 months ago :: (PSN) The Expendables 2
Download us here!
Game Junkies podcast and audio interviews
Release Date : 2010/09/17
System : PlayStation 3
Publisher : Sony Computer Entertainment America
Developer : Zindagi Games
Category : Action-Adventure
ESRB : E
7.0 / 10
8.5 / 10
8.0 / 10
8.7 / 10