Sports Champions is one of the few launch titles for the PlayStation Move. It has 6 sports available which are Disc Golf, Gladiator Duel, Archery, Beach Volleyball, Bocce, and Table Tennis. The game has multiplayer and single player modes and can be used with either one or two Moves per person.
So let’s tee and serve off Sports Champions’ HOTs and NOTs
Sports Champions looks great for a game which is all focused on real world actions and movements being put into the sports game. Shadows fall naturally along the floor, stretching shadows of the tree shapes occur only if the sun is low in the sky and there is a noticeable shadow and lighting system in the game whether inside at night playing table tennis or outside on the beach playing volleyball.
The water is something that really proves to me the level of graphics in the game. Many games cannot nail water but Sports Champions manages it and manages it well, perfectly rounding off the environmental graphics.
Sports Champions has a vast range of characters, each have their own unique appearance and personality. While they have a realistic style, all seem to be larger than life characters; my personal favourite, named Tatupu, does a sort of cheering mini Haka if he wins a game. Like Tatupu all characters has a victory pose or dance, with all being very different it really makes each character individual. Animations also change depending on the chosen character, for example some spin around when throwing a disc in the disc golf mode and some of the females enjoy a quick wiggle before throwing the ball in Bocce, this all aids the game from having a repetitive feeling between characters.
Sports Champions is a very easy game to play. Champions Cup has got plenty to keep players entertained; each event has got a bronze, silver and then gold cups to play. To unlock the next cup which is a higher difficulty, players must complete all the matches in the previous section; this causes players to really get stuck in against some of the harder opponents being drawn into the challenge.
The PlayStation Move motion controller means players get a real sense of being in the game, due to the realistic real world motions they have to make in order to play. In events such as Gladiator Duel and Archery players are able to use two Move controllers to add even more realism into the game. Holding the bow in Archery with one Move and the arrow with the other truly engrosses the player into the game thus enjoying it even more.
What makes the game so playable is the PlayStation Move; the games controls are amazing even with only one Move and overall just make Sports Champions entertaining and enjoyable.
As with Wii sports, Sports Champions is a game I can see coming out time and time again especially when you have family or friends round. The games are all simple but very satisfying, and can be played for a handful of minutes or even a good few hours. This means it can just be picked up and played whenever, majorly adding to its replayability.
Sports Champions has a 3 star system, the more points you get during the game by for example serving an ace in table tennis, means player can aim to collect all 3 as players get a reward for it. If you get all 3 players can unlock equipment and clothing, gives reasons to both play through Champions Cup and replay it for all 3 stars: who wouldn’t want to unlock the happy face beach ball?
Multiplayer comes in the form of Free Play on Sports Champions and is for 1 to 2/4 players depending on the event. Multiplayer is great fun to play, whether you have been playing for weeks or minutes you feel at the same level. With the motion controls players have to do the exact real world actions and with the precision of the Move putting them so well into in game animations, as long as you understand how to play in real life, anyone can pick up and play. With the controls allowing anyone to play, not having to worry about learning and remembering complicated controls, it means more people will give Sports Champions a go letting you have even more opponents to play against.
Variety In Events
There are 6 events in Sports Champions: Disc Golf, Gladiator Duel, Archery, Beach Volleyball, Bocce, and Table Tennis. The events all have their own way of becoming addictive whether it’s through their simplicity or the challenge. While it is personal choice I found all of the events to be great fun, in all of the modes.
Disc Golf is a different take on golf where players aim to get the Frisbee in the bucket. With either match or stroke games which change the scoring system the game can be set up to play as players want it. The best feature of Disc Golf is the fact players can throw the Frisbee in any way they want: left, right, underarm or even just rolling it along the floor.
Gladiator Duel is quite possibly the best way to release any anger you have stocked up. Hack and slash without button mashing is engaging whether players use one or two moves but to fully enjoy the Gladiator Duel experience try it with two Moves.
Archery has some great mini-games from Quickfire, where it’s all about the reactions of hitting turning targets, to Tic-Tac-Toe in archery form; it may sound odd but it’s exhilarating. The normal firing at targets is also has twists targets move and sometimes are fruit or even bags of money, this all helps keep the event fresh and not repetitive.
Beach Volleyball is a pleasant event with a very warming feel. The animations and moves are all realistic and while players don’t have to physically jump or dive across the floor with 2 players the room can get quite hectic. Al team mates seem fair, basically being at the same level as the opponent AI, this means if they lose the team a point you don’t feel hard done by.
Bocce is the simple game (otherwise known as boules) where players must be closest to the pallino (jack). Where usually the course it’s played on is rather flat Sports Champions has some rather interesting course in various locations. The best has to be the course with 2 loop the loops something a bit different.
And finally Table Tennis, if there was ever going to be a pick up and play game it was this. Whether the player is using a standard table tennis racket or a lollypop they know how to play table tennis. It’s due to this, that the precision of the Move is highlighted. Hitting the ball with a small change in angle of the bat, means a slightly different direction for the ball to travel and with the ability to add spin on the ball gives an amazing sense of realism to Sports Champions, which is second to none experience.
Lack Of Online
While online isn’t need for the title to be great, to make it that bit better it would have been great to be able to take on other players, be them friends or anyone from around the world, online on Sports Champions. Playing with or against friends is done so well in the multiplayer sections it’s a shame there’s no online to extend that multiplayer experience even further.
If You Have Only One Move
By no means is Sports Champions a bad title with only one Move, but you do get the feeling you are missing out on some of the experience. Some of the games such as the Gladiator Duel or Archery have the option to use two Move controllers, with the second Move it adds further realism into the game as players use even less buttons and only use the real world motions to play the event. This is highlighted in Gladiator Duel, where to use the shield players must hold the T button with a second Move the shield is always under the player’s control.
Multiplayer can be played on some of the events with just one Move controller but without two players won’t be able to play multiplayer on the non turn based games such as table tennis. While it’s a shame about multiplayer, overall only owning one Move doesn’t limit the player too much.
Sports Champions is clearly Sony’s attempt at a PlayStation Move version of Wii sports and they have pulled it off very well indeed. While with a solid online mode it would make Sports Champions a guaranteed must have, what the game has to offer means it is by far the best Move exclusive title so far. Due to the preciseness of the Move it means everyone is on the same playing field when it comes to playing which allows for both entertainment and enjoyment. With only one Move controller you should definitely look into Sports Champions and if you’re lucky enough to own two Moves it really should be in your games collection.
Sports Champions (PlayStation Move) Review,