Sports Champions 2 Review

Sports Champions 2 (Available exclusively on PlayStation 3)
ESRB Rating: E10+
Number of Players: 1 to 4
Genre: Sports
Publisher: SCEA
Developer: Zindagi Games
Release Date: October 30th, 2012

Parent Talk: Skiing, tennis, boxing, bowling, golf and archery are all popular sports played by millions of people around the globe, and while some might be a little more intense than others, it goes without saying that children show interest in sports at a very young age. Being ten and up is just about the perfect age to start getting involved in some of these sports, which is perfect because you’re getting all of them in Sports Champions 2.

Plays Like: Naturally the sequel to 2010’s hit Move game, Sports Champions, plays very much like the original, which in itself was very similar in design and scope as Wii Sports Resort. This is a much more mature and realistic version of that extremely popular Wii franchise. Use the Move controller to replace a racket in tennis, or the bowling ball, for more precise gameplay.

Review Basis: Played through all the different sports, and gameplay modes.

The original Sports Champions was a really fun game, and showed the power of the PlayStation Move controller. Sure it was compared to Wii Sports, which obviously inspired it. That said, the title also showed great promise with 1:1 gameplay. Not all of the featured games were hits, but those that worked, were fun. Now Zandagi Games is back with Sports Champions 2, and there’s no question this is one of the better Move games currently on the market. Normally that’s the start of a glowing review, but in this case there simply aren’t very many Move games being made these days.

The Great:

Archery returns. This was one of my favorite modes from the original game, alongside the simplistic but super fun Gladiator Duel. Archery remains largely unchanged. You make all the motions you would as in real life, and Zandagi has perfected this down to an art. Zandagi’s Medieval Moves: Deadmund’s Quest used the same mechanic and it was great. If you have two Move controllers it works even better.

The Good:

+ Bowling is fun, period. If you know how to bowl, you’ll know exactly what to do here. Of all the games, this is the one you can get your grandmother to try.

+ While a good friend of mine had tons of issues with golf, I found it worked just as well as bowling. You naturally swing the Move controller as you would a golf club and away the ball goes. Simple as that.

+ Lot of gameplay options no matter what you play. You can either solo the game, or grab up to three of your friends and play competitively. There are many different gameplay modes available within the different sports to keep you nice and busy.

The So-So:

+/- Boxing is the official competitive gameplay mode that replaced Gladiator Duel, and while it’s fun and certainly deeper than most motion boxing games, the skill required to defeat your opponent is questionable at best. If you swing the move controllers like a lunatic, odds are you’ll win the match, or at least this is exactly what happened to me on more than one occasion. Results may vary.

+/- Tennis should have been the best game included this year, but sadly the limitations of the PlayStation Eye keep it from achieving greatness. Whenever the Eye loses sight of the Move controller your swing gets interrupted. This isn’t the game’s fault, it’s strictly a technical limitation. I tried several times to position my body differently to prevent this from happening, but no matter what I did eventually my swings wouldn’t come off as intended.

The Bad:

– Skiing never feels as cohesive or simple as all the other games in the package. I think a little refinement could have gone a long way in delivering a much more simplistic skiing experience.

The Ugly:

This was something I mentioned last time around that was overlooked again, no online play. What’s up with that Zandagi? Are there that few Move owners out there?

The Lowdown:

The PlayStation Move motion controller may not be the most popular peripheral ever invented, but it sure has some fun games available for it. They might not be epics or the greatest games of all time, but they’re fun and engaging. Sports Champions 2 is indeed fun. It’s biggest fault is that it doesn’t do anything particularly new or daring. It’s simply more of the same. Zandagi took the best elements of their previous games and combined them together to bring players a sports game worthy of the Move controller. In order to get the gold medal though, they’ll need to really push the boundaries next time around.

Final Score: 7.5/10

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