If you love the idea of motion control, but find the Wii to be a little too childish, then PlayStation Move should cure what ails ya! This week I’ve been getting to grips with Sports Champions on the PlayStation 3, and while it may have caused me excessive wrist ache, it’s been well worth it!
Yes, people will inevitably compare this title to Wii Sports Resort, and upon doing so come to the following conclusions; Sports Champions looks better, plays better and the controller is a damn sight more responsive. For instance, if you genuinely couldn’t get past the cutesy Mii characters used throughout WSR, then you’ll be extremely pleased to hear that Sports Champions has taken a more realistic route with it’s Avatars. In terms of looks, this game has the raw power of the PlayStation 3 backing it up, so it really can’t fail in the aesthetics department and as for the gameplay itself, Sony really have pulled out all the stops. The only thing some of you may notice, is the massive lack of any musical backing, but there’s a very good reason for that. You can select tracks from your own personal library, and blast them out during the game instead!
You have six extremely varied games on offer here; Bocce, Table Tennis, Beach Volleyball, Archery, Disc Golf and Gladiator Duel. Sure, I’ve always wanted to try my hand at some Archery, or a Gladiator Duel, but I’d never even heard of Bocce so let’s start there.
Bocce I instantly recognised, but for some reason never knew the name of! A small ball is thrown out into the range, and players take it in turns to throw out larger balls in an attempt to match the smaller balls destination as closely as possible. Closest ball wins. You’re seriously going to need the wrist strap for this one, it’s a TV killer.
Table Tennis, c’mon who doesn’t know what this is, plays exactly how you’d expect. The one exception here though when compared to other versions, on other consoles, is the fact that the PlayStation Eye will pick up your distance from the virtual table. If you want to step in a little closer to catch that drop shot, or volley the ball from the back of the room, then you’re going to need to kick that cat out of the way and make some space.
Beach Volleyball, you’ve always wanted to try it, but don’t like finding surprise sand deposits everywhere (EVERYWHERE!) for the rest of your life? Then this might be right up your street. Serve the ball over the net towards the opposition, and wait for them to send it back. Rinse and repeat. I have to say, that while playing this I was in absolute awe at the sensitivity of the Motion Controller. It’s not just sensitive, it’s practically reading your movements with it’s Sharingan. Yet again the wrist strap is a must here, or there are going to be more than a few dents in your ceiling, and concussion and games don’t mix.
Nobody in their right mind would trust me with real arrows, so the Archery on offer with Sports Champions is as close as I’ll ever get. Remove an arrow from your trusty quiver, aim at a poor defenceless, succulent Melon and kill it mercilessly. Don’t panic though Melon enthusiasts, there’s loads of weird targets available on this one. Sadly no Uruk-hai, but what can you do? The main gimmick that amuses me with this one, is that you have to physically reach over your shoulder to be able to string up an arrow and doing so adds a bit more realism.
I can hear what you’re thinking, what the heck is Disc Golf? Well let Auntie AJ tell you. It’s Golf with a Frisbee. Oh yes, you read it correctly, Golf with a Frisbee. Throw said Frisbee towards the goal, or whatever it is, using fewer throws than your opponent and congratulations, you win. Your prize? The sudden urge to hit eBay and buy Frisbees. They are now cool again. Enjoy your inevitable broken windows and damaged teeth.
Finally, Gladiator Duels! Everybody loves swords, right? Ever had a sword injury? No? I have and it ain’t pretty, so I highly recommend you keep things virtual. Plus the ramifications of attacking other people with swords in the real World can be harsh, and who can be bothered to physically go outside, or interact with actual Humans? It’s so overrated. Besides, nobody will want to be near you if they’ve seen you playing this. You’ll be jumping around and swinging your limbs everywhere like an absolute maniac. Of course you could employ strike tactics here, but for beginners with bloodlust, swinging the Motion Controller around like an idiot works just fine, I should know, and once you’ve landed enough successful hits on your opponent they’re KO’d.
The only minor issue I have with this game is the lack of Online Multiplayer, but the AI provided is adequate enough, and still manages to provide a subtle challenge. Also, for Family and Friends all living under one roof, it’s an ideal way to settle the age old argument of “Who’s going to wash the dishes?”
Everything that Sports Champions has to offer is flawlessly executed and the Motion Controller itself is immensely sensitive. Also, because it utilises a camera instead of a sensor bar, it reacts to your movements a lot more competently than other products. PlayStation Move could easily convert a person away from their Wii, but mainly because the controller lights up, am I right? You Magpies!
– 5 Stars!
Editor’s Notes: AJRoworth our Sports Champions reviewer is well known to be a girl. However, if she has ever had a pony we are pretty sure she used it to ride into battle against Orks leaving it highly traumatised. AJ owns all the consoles ever invented and plays more games in a day than I do in a week. Her interests are : Gaming, sleeping, eating sandwiches and ordering pizza…in that order. If you frequent our forum you will know AJRoworth as the person that probably banned you.