The first title we actually purchased for the Playstation Move was Sports Champions. It seems like these sports titles are the preferred introductory experience for these kinds of motion controls. It makes sense really – since sports are often inherently familiar to people and their movements are somewhat easily tracked and translated to video games. The Wii made use of this a couple of times over, first with the system itself and then the introduction of the Wii Plus.
Here are the sports you get:
– Table Tennis
– Disc Golf
– Gladiator combat
– Bocce Ball
Graphics – 7:
The attempt here is to come up with a more realistic sports entry than the Wii’s charming if simplistic sports titles offer. This is both a good and a bad thing as this game looks nice overall, but sometimes animates just a bit stiffly and you see odd graphic pop-in and overlap. I know a lot of people prefer the Wii method, but I can at least appreciate the direction they went in here with Sports Champions and personally prefer the more realistic appearance
Sounds & Music – 6:
The music is nice enough, simple and completely forgettable. It doesn’t take anything away from the experience, but it adds almost nothing as well. The sounds are very simple, with appreciate thuds, whacks and player noises where needed, but like the music, these sound effects are very simple and do nothing particularly well, if not particularly badly either.
Gameplay – 8:
The controls generally respond well, and that is the key with a game like this, right? Show off what you can do with familiar controls? I think archery was probably my favorite, tennis my least favorite. My son really liked the gladiator combat, and my daughters were all amused by different sports, if only for a short time.
There is a very nice option to do some of the games like archery and gladiator combat with two motion controllers. It is not required, which is great for families with only one Move controller, but I won two in the contest and was able to sample out both methods and did find that two controllers was better.
Intangibles – 7:
There are not a ton of sports to be had here, but there is a fair amount of depth in trying to master them. There are also quite a few different types of rounds and to unlock everything would take an incredible amount of time. With different sports, everyone’s interests and mileage will vary. We also benefited from having two Move controllers, because we could take part in multiplayer, which made things a bit more fun.
These types of sports games with motion controls often feel like dressed up tech demos, and honestly Sports Champions does very little to change my opinion on this. That said, it feels like a fairly polished and successful demonstration that entertains, if not for a terribly long time. The events are probably not all going to be for everyone, but for the most part they are well enough done that you should find at least a few different types of sports to keep you busy for awhile.