Sports Champions 2 Review

Gaming

Sports Champions 2
Developer: Zindagi Games
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment America
Platform: Playstation 3 (Playstation Move required)
Release Date: 1/22/2012 (AU); 30/10/2012 (US)
Price: USD$39.96 (Available Here)

Overview
Zindagi Games are back with another collection of sports for the Playstation Move to try out with Sports Champions 2. Instead of sports such as Bocce or Disk Golf, Zindagi brings in sports such as Boxing, Golf, Bowling, Tennis and Skiing, with Archery the only sport from the first game to transition to the second. Will these sports show what the Playstation Move is all about or will it be a bad collection of sports? Here is the review for Sports Champions 2.

Gameplay
Sports Champions 2 has three game modes to try out the six sports: Cup Play, Free Play and Party. Cup Play is the single player tournament mode, vying for three cups (which represents the difficulty) in each sport: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Free Play is self explanatory. Up to two players can just have some fun with the sports. It is also good for practicing and learning each sport. Party is the local multiplayer mode where players match up against each other. This is where the fun is at as the player and their friends or family battle each other for sports supremacy. Outside of the sports, there is the ability to create one’s own avatar. At first, the player will notice that most of the items are in fact locked. The only way to unlock extra items, such as new clothing or hair styles, is going through Cup Play and obtaining all of the stars in each challenge. There are three stars in each challenge and are based on performance. The items unlocked are random, meaning you do not know which items will be unlocked.

The translation of Bowling from real life to Sports Champion 2 is second to none. The Move controller is very accurate when it comes to the bowling motion. Twisting the wrist adds spin to the ball. However, the motion may be too accurate. Strikes came quite easily for me, despite using the same motion I use when I go bowling. During cup mode, there are different challenges, like getting a certain amount of pins in a certain amount of frames. Still, it is solid and fun. Golf is golf. All the player does is to aim their shot, raise their Move controller above their head and swing it down to hit it down the fairway. Of course, there are environmental elements the player must consider, mainly the wind direction and wind speed. Golf is a game that requires patience and pure accuracy and Sports Champions 2 recreates that feeling. One wrong swing and expect a water hazard penalty or a tough time in the sandpits.

Just like golf, tennis is nothing too special, but it is realistic in terms of movement. The ball will react to power, racquet pitch and the type of shot the player executes. Swinging the Move controller down executes a slice shot while moving the Move controller upwards executes a top spin shot. Moving the Move controller behind the player executes a flaming power shot. Tennis is still fun and exciting as nothing beats the actual motion of hitting the ball of the racquet. Archery was excellent, but it would be beneficial if one had two Playstation Move controllers to use rather than the one. The Move controller is placed behind the player’s back, as if one is retrieving an arrow out of the quiver. Placing the Move controller in front of the player loads the arrow. Pulling back pulls the string. The realism for the motion is excellent and it is very accurate, but it feels awkward without the second Move controller.

Skiing is also another sport that would benefit a second Move controller. The Move controller acts as the ski poles. The movement of the Move controller is only necessary to turn, lean forward (for some extra speed) or pull back (to slow down when necessary). Players can expect some jumps along the way to perform tricks for extra points. Once again, using a second Move controller brings more of the realistic approach Zindagi Games is bringing to the game. While Archery and Skiing can get away with a single use of a Move controller, Boxing does not feel right at all without a second Move controller. This does not mean Boxing is not a poorly implemented sport; it has solid gameplay. But it feels awkward to be swinging away with one hand. The other arm is delegated to the action buttons. Blocking is assigned to the T button at the back while holding the Move over the head or body of the player. While it feels awkward, it is better than having no control of the other arm.

Visuals and Audio
The visuals are nothing special. Zindagi Games brings back the cartoonish style that they used in the first Sports Champions game. The venues look bright and colourful, as well as sharp. Character models are well done with no significant texture faults. Menus are clean as well. The audio is also nothing special, just about average. It is a soundtrack to inspire the inner athlete within the player, but it is quite cliché music. Avatars do not have voices, except for the occasional grunt or something similar. The crowd, though, responds appropriately to the situation, whether it is cheering on when something special happens or shock when something terrible happens.

Overall
This deserves to be on everyone’s must have Move titles. The realistic capturing of every motion involved in every sport selected is excellent, proving how accurate the Playstation Move can be. Adding great local multiplayer and replay value, Sports Champions 2 is one for the Playstation move library. It is too bad that some of the sports are much better with two Playstation Move controllers. Some of the sports, like Boxing, fell too awkward without that second Move controller. It should not, however, deter from picking up this game, as it proves to be excellent with one Move controller.

8-5-capsules-out-of-10

Josh is the name, writing is my game... well my degree will say that. But, when uni gets me down (and it does), there is no better way that to grab a chair, sit back and slicing up some Darkspawn I started my gaming interest back in the good old 16 bit era with the Sega Mega Drive and Sonic The Hedgehog 2. I was roughly five years old. To this day I still try to fire up the dusty companion and speed through the wacky and bright levels, jumping on some Badniks, collecting those damn Chaos Emeralds. Then I moved onto Sony's disk based console the Playstation (thanks to my uncle). Since then I have picked up each of Sony's consoles from the 5th to current generation that has been released in Australia (with more to come). In terms of writing about games, I am quite new to the field. I started out late last year with my own blog before deciding to move to greener pastures. I have written a few reviews for the Playstation 3 and Playstation Portable. Features as well. I hope I can flex my muscles while writing with Capsule Computers. If I'm not gaming, however, I'm writing narratives. I am currently trying to kickstart a high fantasy novel (which, hopefully, turns into a complex RPG) that I want done in five years or so. My passion of writing has been there for a long time and has flourished as I grew. I'm into the fantasy genre, both games and novels, and thoroughly enjoy a deep and complex RPG, whether it comes from the East or West. Oh and anime is awesome!

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