I am not ashamed to admit I own a Wii. I bought one after playing countless hours of Wii Sports with my brother and his two little kids. The problem with the Wii is there is very little lasting appeal after the novelty wears off. With Sony’s motion controller coming out soon, many wonder if the Move will encounter the same ‘play it once and forget it’ fate.
Only time will tell how well Move and Microsoft’s Kinnect will do, but there is one thing that became very clear to me after playing around with Sony’s motion controller: Sports Champions is the perfect introduction to Move.
On the surface, it may seem like Sports Champions is the Move’s equivalent of Wii Sports (there are plenty of similarities), but if you dig a bit deeper you’ll find that the game is quite engaging and has that PS3 flair we all love. Sports Champions introduces you to the power, precision, and unique abilities of Move through a series of mini-sports games. Those mini-games include Table Tennis, Archery, Disc Golf, Beach Volleyball, Gladiator Duel, and Bocce.
The graphics are clean and crisp, just as you’d imagine on the PS3, and the ambient audio is very realistic. Developed by Zindagi Games and published by Sony Computer Entertainment, this will without a doubt be the first game many will own for their new Move controllers. For the most part, they’ll own the game because it comes bundled with a Move pack and a PS3 move and console bundle. Beyond the obvious bundled options, Sports Champions is the quickest, easiest, and best first experience you will likely find with Move.
As you likely know, Move offers a precise take on motion controls. Instead of only tracking the controller’s movement from left to right, up or down, the PlayStation Eye can tell if you move the controller closer to the TV, or you move further away. This feature is implemented quite well with games like Archery, and there were only a few occasions (mostly with Table Tennis, sadly) that the depth sensitivity felt a little too sensitive. Overall, the PS Eye tracks the Move controller so well that the slightest tilt in your wrist is picked up—that’s for better or worse, especially in Disc Golf.
The Move’s ultra-sensitive motion detection is utilized perfectly in Sports Champions. Even if there are times it feels too precise, the game itself makes up for any of your small mistakes, meaning you won’t spend a lot of time frustrated that you moved your hands too high to block a spike in a match of Beach Volleyball. It’s not a perfect game or design, but it is a perfect introduction for new Move owners.
I’ve played through all the different mini-sports games, and there are definitely some great games, and some fair games. Everyone will have an opinion on what the best mini-game is in Sports Champions, and while I personally have to side with Beach Volleyball (I never thought I’d say that), all the other games (with the exception of Archery, maybe) are extremely fun to play and easy to learn.
The game is, without a doubt, a casual game, a family-friendly game, and will likely sell accordingly. But since the game will cost about $40 USD, even real hardcore gamers may spend their hard-earned cash to see what all the fun is about. This is not the kind of game you will want to spend an entire Saturday afternoon playing non-stop, but it is the kind of game you’ll want to play on a Friday night after school with your friends, or at a party. I can’t say I tried playing while inebriated, but I could see Sports Champions as the center attraction at a party with some friends a few brews deep.
Look for a full review of Sports Champions soon, and look for some additional video demonstrations.