Written by Brock Poulsen, brockst4r Friday, 19 August 2011 05:00
Motion controls are here to stay. Let GoozerNation be your guide to the best uses of your motion control dollars. This time we take a look at Sports Champions, the game collection bundled with Sony's PlayStation Move.
The first thing that struck me about Sports Champions was the variety in the design of the selectable characters. Female characters are disappointingly predictable stereotypes, but they do actually explore some brave new stereotypes for the male characters. There is the former Marine from Texas who dresses like how the new Linkin Park sounds, the hip-hop loving basketball player, and a frightening Tongan man-mountain. My favorite is Connor, who on the surface looks like a violent frat-boy, but is in fact, a violent Irish frat-boy. He is a squat rugby player with a perpetual scowl and limbs that look like they're built from mature oaks. I literally laughed out loud the first time I saw his calves.
The character design was a surprising touch that helps it feel more like a full-strength game as opposed to a tech demo. They also add quite a bit of strategy to the Gladiator Duels, as each character moves differently and wields a different weapon.
Gladiator Duel is likely the best of the events, and really shows off the Move's technology. Weapon tracking is 1:1 and responds beautifully to every gesture. There is a deep satisfaction that comes from physically blocking and parrying enemy attacks and launching your own counter attack. A full-size gladiator game could be built quite successfully from this technology. Or, dare I say it, an HD Bushido Blade?! One can only dream.
The other events control quite well. The Move tracks even the slightest movement from changes in depth to wrist rotation. This means you can angle your disc golf throws for curves and skips, or move up close for a slam in table tennis. It's all pretty impressive stuff. I actually waited about four months after I bought the Move before I tried Sports Champions, thinking it was nothing more than a Wii Sports clone. I'm disappointed in myself for waiting so long (and playing rubbish like Kung Fu Rider instead).
I realize it's weird to review a game that comes bundled with the peripheral, but the quality here is such that if you're considering picking up the Move, Sports Champions is a great jumping-off point for a technology with a great deal of potential.