Sports Champions: Move PlayStation 3
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Released on 17/09/2010
Get ready to compete in a series of fun, exotic sports as top athletes from around the world come together to find out who is the greatest champion of them all.
- Feel part of the action, work up a sweat and use real skill as PlayStation®Move brings every event to life with amazing accuracy.
- Try your hand at Disc Golf, Gladiator Duels, Beach Volleyball, Archery, Table Tennis and Bocce.
- Compete with friends and family as you strive for the top spot in the Champions Cup.
Get a Move on
Is it fair to judge a new piece of hardware by the first wave of games released for it? That's a hard question to answer. Games inevitably get better as developers get used to working with the new technology, but it's important the first titles stand up well enough to make sure gamers are interested enough to buy the technology in the first place.
The good news for anyone considering a purchase of the PlayStation Move motion controller is that the launch line-up features some very solid titles. Such as Sports Champions, a demo of which comes with the Move starter pack. It's not the best-looking game ever, and not based on the most original premise, but a title which shows off the Move's capabilities and is good fun into the bargain.
Sports Champions features six mini-games based on real life sports. They're all played with the Move, and some give you the option to use two controllers - in Archery, for example, you can aim with one Move while using the other to draw back the string of your bow.
Archery is a real highlight, even if you're just using the one controller. The arrows behave just as you'd expect them to, thanks to a tip top physics engine, and it's hard not to feel a bit like Robin Hood as you raise your arm to pluck another arrow from your virtual quiver. You get to shoot fruit, bags of coins and ordinary bullseyes, and moving targets provide an extra level of challenge.
It's in the games
Next up is Disc Golf - think regular golf, but with frisbees instead of clubs and balls. You flick the Move to throw your virtual frisbee, attempting to negotiate open-plan courses as you work your way towards the target. Once again your movements are recreated accurately on screen, and there's real skill involved.
Table Tennis is another excellent mini-game. Using the Move like a table tennis bat you can perform all the shots you would in a real life match, putting spin on the ball and pulling off smashes with ease. Be sure to play through the tutorials for a full look at just how much depth there is to the game.
For a more relaxing experience, try Bocce. You might never have heard of it, but if you've ever played boules you'll be familiar with how it works. You take it in turns to throw large balls at a smaller ball at the end of a short pitch, the aim of the game being to get as close to the small ball as possible. As with the other mini-games the physics is just right and Bocce is highly enjoyable as a result.
The same can't be said for Beach Volleyball, unfortunately. Here your character's position on the court is determined by the AI, so all you have to do is wave your arms about in an imitation of volleyball moves. It feels silly and it's rather dull.
The final game is Gladiator Duel, where you use a sword and shield to battle it out in a big arena. If you're just using the one controller you have to press the tiny buttons on it to block, which can be a pain. And getting the game to recognise your different movements can be tricky. Not a highlight, then, but decent enough if you just want to relieve some frustration by battering someone with a virtual weapon.
As you'd expect, all the above games are more fun in multiplayer. Some, like Disc Golf, are turn-based, while others can be played with two move controllers at the same time. Archery shines again here, as does good old Table Tennis.
So then - a good, varied collection of mini-games, most of which are enjoyable in single-player and even more so with a friend. But what lets Sports Champions down is the presentation. The graphics look dated and unfinished, the avatars you play as are cliched stereotypes and even the soundtrack is a bit naff. It seems a shame that the high-tech shininess of the PlayStation Move isn't reflected in what the game looks and sounds like.
However, it would also be a shame to overlook Sports Champions entirely because of these issues. This is a decent, fun title, one which demonstrates what the Move can do well and extensively. And it is, after all, one of the very first Move titles.With Sports Champions as a starting point, the future looks bright.
+ Good, varied selection of games.
+ Great for multiplayer sessions.
+ Shows off what the Move can do.
- A couple of duds in there.
- Dated presentation.
- Cliche character types.
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