Sports Champions 2 is here! The sequel to the PlayStation Move launch title, Sports Champions, boasts a bunch of new features including party play mode, character customization, and more. With all the lackluster releases in the Move library, will this one be a Move title to remember or yet another that falls under the radar?
I have to admit that when the PlayStation Move peripheral came out, I was instantly excited with the possibilities and tech demos and yet years later, I think I can count the number of times I’ve played it on two hands. There just realistically haven’t been many decent games to come out based solely for the Move.
Zindagi Games along with San Diego Studio were responsible for this one. You might remember Zindagi from their other Move title, Medieval Moves: Deadmund’s Quest and the first Sports Champions. Zindagi has been the one developer that seems to get the very best out of the Move controller and that continues with Sports Champions 2.
Archery carries over from Sports Champions and it’s just as good as it was before. To me, this is the most true to life sport on the disc. There’s nothing like taking the arrow out of your satchel with one fluid motion and lining up your shot with the greatest precision. It’s obvious that Zindagi has really perfected this with this being the third different game that they’ve made featuring archery.
Bowling is a very casual experience and doesn’t require a whole lot of thought process. The sport plays much the same as its real life counterpart and is equally as satisfying when you make a nice curve shot for a strike. It’s simplistic but, it’s a nice thing to play with a couple friends over if you have the extra Move controllers.
Golf was a decent attempt at re-creating the sport however, it had one shortcoming in the form of the power. No matter how I seem to swing, I end up using too much power which is quite a big deal when you consider how precise of a sport that golf is. Regardless of that problem, the controller is fairly adequate and the power could have just been a mishap on my but, judging from what others have said, it seems to be a widespread issue.
Boxing was instantly very similar to Wii Sports in my opinion and that’s something I wasn’t exactly thrilled about. I’m a gamer who likes realism more than a fantasy aspect and this felt more arcade-like than I would have liked. That being said, there’s actually a lot of depth there. There are different blocks you can do and a lot of different types of punches you can land as well as super attacks to take down your opponent quickly. The strategy behind this is quickly destroyed by flailing the Move controller like a maniac to get the cheap victory. The one problem with Boxing is that you simply have to have a second Move controller to get the full experience. If you don’t have the second Move controller, you have to use the face buttons to punch which just doesn’t translate well and just isn’t something I recommend trying.
Tennis could have been a great addition to the series but, ended up being a frustrating experience due to the fact that the Eye kept losing the Move controller whenever I would try for a more aggressive approach. This is one of the Move’s real shortcomings, the realism is lost as soon as the Eye loses sight of the Move controller and that makes some types of games (like tennis) a real chore to play through. Skiing was an utter disappointment as well and felt really out of place with all of the other sports. With two motion controllers it is slightly better but, like Boxing, one really limits the experience.
Obviously if you’re playing this as a single player, you’ll spend the bulk of your time in Cup Mode playing against CPU players who are progressively more difficult. Cups are split into three categories, Bronze, Silver and Gold and players must obtain stars that act as a score that gets your closer and closer to the cup of choice. Obtaining all of these stars is actually quite challenging and definitely give Sports Champions 2 some replay value.
If you want to play with friends, Free Play Mode and the new Party Play Mode offer some great options for you. The problem with those options is that you have to have a bunch of Move controllers for each friend (up to 4) that you want to play with. This is a substantial investment for a game that comes in at $39.99 unless your friends have their own. There’s also some character customization although it’s not the deepest that I’ve even seen and the lack of online play is completely puzzling to me.
For my money I honestly can’t recommend Sports Champions 2. Zindagi Games did an okay job on some of the games and a less than stellar job on others. The fact that you need a second Move controller to play a lot of the games to their full potential is a big problem. At $39.99, if you feel like taking a chance on this title, you may get some enjoyment out of it but, unless you have dual Move controllers and want a mostly single player experience you should probably leave it on the shelf.
*A copy of this game was provided to FYIG by the publisher for review puposes*