Sports Champions 2: review

  • Format: PS3
  • Unleashed: Out Now
  • Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
  • Developer: Zindagi Games / San Diego Studio
  • Players: 1-4
  • Site:

PlayStation Move has fallen off the radar recently, with Sony giving it almost as much ‘love’ as they have the Vita. Most of the latest Move titles have been cheap mini game collections, and Sports Champions 2 is another selection of simplistic bite sized games to play with the family on Christmas morn. The question is will you still be playing them come Boxing Day?

The original Sports Champions is widely regarded as one of the Move’s best titles, and this new collection once again contains Archery, which was a favourite from the original game, as one of the events. The other sports are Bowling, Boxing, Skiing, Golf and Tennis. This selection of events will be very familiar to anyone who has played Wii Sports, although Sports Champions 2 has little of the charm of Nintendo’s massive hit.

Archery makes a very welcome return from the original game.

Sports Champions 2 has three main modes of play that involve the six sports. The single player mode is called Cup Play, that has the player trying to win Bronze, Silver and Gold trophies by completing various tasks and defeating boss characters in each sport. While trying to win these cups, you earn stars, which act as the game’s scoring system – and it can get quite addictive trying to collect all the stars of each event. Free Play mode lets players choose any event and play against up to three friends, while Party Play dishes out a random selection of events to play on your own or with your friends. Having large groups of people waving Move controllers around like drunken Jedis in your living room could get messy unless you have a cavernous living room, and we can’t help but feel that the omission of online competition is a missed opportunity. That’s not to say that the game doesn’t have an online component, as there are online leaderboards, which do make you quite competitive as you try to improve your score. There’s also integration with Facebook, which lets you post embarrassing photos of yourself celebrating after you win an event.

Archery was a highlight in the original Sports Champions, and is undeniably good fun in this sequel. The game throws a variety of targets at you, and you need to react quickly to pull an arrow from your quiver, take aim and try to rack up as many points as possible.

Bowling works much the same as Wii Sports, with players able to line up shots, and add spin to the shot by twisting your wrist. It all works really well, and it feels very intuitive to play. It really shows the accuracy of Move, and it won’t be long before you rack up the strikes.

There are some stunning views to discover while out on the golf course.

Golf feels equally intuitive to play, and the accuracy of the Move controller makes hooking and slicing shots a joy to pull off, and the power of your swing is accurately portrayed. It actually feels like the real sport of golf, and with some stunning scenery as a backdrop, this virtual golf tour is as relaxing to play as the sport itself.

Boxing has a surprisingly deep control scheme, with a variety of blocks and punches at your disposal, as well as super punches, and it feels a lot more strategic than its Wii Sports counterpart. However we did find that we could defeat most foes by wildly flailing our arms around like Disney’s Taz. We have to say this is the most physically demanding event in the package, that left us sweaty and out of puff. Perhaps we need to go to the gym more often?

You would think Tennis would be a perfect fit for Sports Champions 2, and while it works reasonably well, unfortunately the controls aren’t as accurate as the other events. Sometimes your player attempts a ridiculous shot or swings at the wrong time, which makes playing frustrating at times. Also you don’t control your player’s movement, with the PS3 taking control. While this helps let you concentrate on your shots, it does dilute the experience somewhat.

The final event of Skiing is an odd choice, which doesn’t sit well with the other sports, and it also doesn’t work very well. Using the Move controller as ski sticks to increase your speed just doesn’t seem to register with the game, and your skier plods along doing his own thing. The courses are also pretty boring, and don’t convey the adrenaline rush that the sport is known for. It also crashed a few times while we played it, which never happened while playing the other events.

Mini games help break up the gameplay.

The main problem Sports Champions 2 has is that it uses too many of the events from Wii Sports, that most people have already played to death, and we can’t imagine that many will be excited to play them yet again. Sports Champions 2 is by no means a poor game, in fact some of the events are really enjoyable. It just lacks that sparkle of Nintendo magic that Wii Sports has, and feels slightly sterile in comparison. The character models for instance are drab and uninteresting. However if you are looking to dust down your Move controllers, then Sports Champions 2 is definitely worth a look; just don’t let your gran try the boxing after Christmas dinner!

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Written by Kevin M

I've been addicted to gaming since my parents bought an Atari console way back in the 70's. I progressed to the iconic Speccy, Amiga, and all the Playstation platforms. Having seen games evolve from single pixel bat and ball, to HD constructed environments, gaming has changed much from my early years. Having defeated the rock hard R-Type on the Speccy, the biggest challenge I've faced so far is putting up with the hordes of American teens spouting abuse in the current generation of consoles, noob indeed!

One comment

  1. I don’t have a Wii but a Ps3, so i will have to be satisfied with this Sports Champions 2 game, i guess 🙂

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