Developers: San Diego Studio, Zindagi Games
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Sports Champions is the seemingly obligatory sports title for the Move motion controller which includes 6 different events: Disc Golf, Gladiator Duel, Archery, Volleyball, Bocce and Table Tennis. Each of the events include the Champions Cup mode, where you try to beat 10 other AI opponents to win either the bronze, silver or gold cup, with the difficulty increasing with the cup value. There is also Free Play mode in which you can challenge any of the AI opponents or a friend (with nothing but pride at stake) as well as a challenge mode which tests your accuracy on all of the events to gain a high score.
This event is one of the few events that truly shows the capabilities of the PlayStation Move controller, as the 1:1 tracking of your hand is perfect. You can throw the disc at any angle, direction and power that you can physically do yourself. The game has a varied selection of holes of different difficulties which have you pulling off some complex throws. Curving the disc around a big tree and getting it near the basket, though, is really satisfying. When playing the Champions Cup you will see a lot of holes over and over again, but it can be relieving to see a familiar hole when getting to the harder stages of the cup. One of the better events.
This event does a decent job at tracking real life movements and swings of the controller. Your opponent only has 5 hit zones: head, left torso, right torso, left leg and right leg. This can lead to some swings to the head registering as body hits, which can be frustrating as hit location is relevant to how much damage you deal. Speed is also a factor in damage, making the extra excursion of swinging hard worthwhile as your opponent will lose more energy. This event will definitely get you working up a sweat.
Not much to say about Archery, it is what it is. It is probably the best event to have 2 Move controllers for, if you want it to feel closer the the real thing. There are several different game types in Archery, like tic-tac-toe, which is basic tic-tac-toe played with arrows where you don’t have to wait your turn to shoot, making it a frantic contest for points. Most of the game types get crazy on the harder difficulties, where winning or losing is a matter of just a few points.
Like flapping your arms about and then saying you’re playing Volleyball? Well you’re in for a treat. This event really is disappointing, it just seems like all you need to do is swing your arms at the right time and eventually you’ll win. You can control where the ball goes but it seems like you only have 3 different outcomes: left, right or centre. Not much else to say; wave your arms, win, rinse and repeat.
Before playing Sports Champions I had no idea what Bocce was, I now know that it is rather good fun! You throw your bocces (balls) at the pallino (a smaller ball) and whoever’s bocce is closes at the end of the round wins points. This event shows the Move hardware off quite nicely as it judges your power and angle well and can even register any back or side spin you apply. The courts that you play on have various obstacles which can be used to hinder your opponent.
From a technical point of view Table Tennis is the best event on Sports Champions, as it feels as real as is possible with a video game. Power, direction and spin are all applied to the ball perfectly and smash shots feel really nice. Table Tennis is another event, along with Disc Golf and Bocce, that do a really good job at showing what the PlayStation Move can do.
Sports Champions is a good game (probably the best that is currently available for the Move) but falls down with the events. There’s only two that have huge replayability once you’ve completed the Champions Cup: Disc Golf and Table Tennis. It’s also let down by the fact Table Tennis is the best event, as this is probably the most accessible sport to go out and physically play yourself. The compatible events don’t do enough to warrant the purchase of a second Move controller, and the whole game is all together a bit disappointing, with little moments of fun thrown in for good measure.
- A couple of great events.
- Fun with friends.
- Some poor events.
- Low replayability after Champions Cup.