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Bullseye- Sports Champions Review

Between Nintendo’s Wii Sports pack-in, The Playstation Move’s Sports Champions, and the impending release of Kinect Sports, it seems that an athletically-oriented mini-game collection is essential to show off the capabilities of new motion-sensing hardware. In concept, it’s a wickedly clever concept. Not only are newcomers ushered into these games with body mechanics used by familiar recreations, but there’s also the indirect notion that all this arm flailing is compare to good old-fashioned, boring exercise.

Although recent release Sports Champions never got my heart racing like a succession of Wii Sports Boxing matches did, it also eliminated much of the sporadic inaccuracy and wild appendage thrashing associated with the diversion. Developer Zindagi Games has crafted a skillful successor to Nintendo’s popular collection, one that illustrates the precision and finesse of the Move controller, while offering players high-definition visuals beyond the capabilities of the Wii.

Of the six titles on the disk, Archery and Disc Golf are Sport Champions uncontested hits. The former works best with a Move controller in each hand, as players test their skills on a variety of ranges. With a backward motion, players pull an arrow from their quiver then notch the projectile by move this controller toward their other outstretched arm. As players pull the controllers apart to simulation bow tension, a cursor appears on-screen, along with a faint target to indicate trajectory. Aiming for a single stationary bulls-eye would undoubtedly induce tedium; smartly, the players are tasked with shooting fruiting, floating targets, tic-tac-toe boards, and even power-ups which can stymie another player.

The key to Disc Golf’s success is the range of moves available to players. Participants can curve disks around trees, fling a quick sidearm toss, and even roll their disk toward each hole’s marker. By expanding a participant’s repertoire, the game feels more organic. After a few matches, I was confident that my newfound skills would translate onto a real-world course experience. Whether that could actually happen is irrelevant- the Disc Golf carefully cultivates the sensation.



Sports Champions
‘ remaining recreations-Bocce, Table Tennis, Beach Volleyball, and Gladiator Duel  all display varying degrees of competency. Bocce is accurate and simple, elevated by a selection of fanciful courts, while the game’s interpretation of ping-pong  allows for a surprising amount of accuracy when returning shots. Volleyball is the most pedestrian of the disk’s events, requiring players to mimic the sport’s mimic bumps, sets and spikes as the game automatically move players around the court. Like Archery, Gladiator Duel is best enjoying with two Move controllers, one acting as a shield, while the other controls a melee weapon. Contests are move about taking advantage of openings, rather than all-out waggle fests. As such, the mini-game begs for extension into a full-fledged action RPG.

Visually, Sport Champions is surprisingly meticulous, with well-detailed character models, environments, an animation. While this type of game has undeniable draw for multiplayer competitions,  sole gamers can enjoy each sports variety of challenges, which reward gamers with a steady string of unlockables. Sadly, the title lacks any online matches, having to rely on leaderboards to foster a sense of rivalry.

Sports Champions‘ selection of events is definitely satisfying, with most of the game’s diversions showing off not only an unexpected amount of depth, but also the accuracy of the Move controller. Add online matches, a few more sports, and unify the package with an Olympic-style multi-game contest and the inevitable sequel could be an exemplar for future motion-controlled compilations. Wii Sports, it’s time to step aside.

About Robert Allen

With over 35 years of gaming experience, Robert 'DesertEagle' Allen is Tech-Gaming's resident worrier/warrior who spends his days teaching at three colleges and his nights devoted to JRPGs.

40 comments

  1. I told you guys- this is the game to get. Really liking bocce ball when the ladies came over this weekend.

  2. Better than Kung-Fu Rider then? 😉

  3. I didn’t get the bundle (because I had the eye already) now I’m regretting it.

  4. Keep the Move reviews, coming, Deagle!

    Move it, Move it, Move it!

  5. Six games seem a bit stingy after Wii Sports Resort. I guess the fact that its $40 helps things.

  6. Other than no online MP, this is a great game. I got hooked after I played the demo. Archery is the best, IMO.

  7. Thanks, I was thinking about buying this.

  8. Probably the best Move game out right now, Is what I’m hearing.

    But I also heard the characters are all stereotypes. And bad ones at that.

  9. good review. If I ever pick up a Move I’ll get this one.

  10. no tournaments with 3 or 4 players. These kind of games need this!

  11. Gladiator duels are cool, but not what I’d consider a normal sport.

  12. Yeah, online would have been nice. I’m sure they’ll fix that for the next game.

  13. Great review. I’m loving this game right now.

  14. Glad this turned out good. This is the one game I really want to get.

  15. I guess 6 games for $40 isn’t too bad. 10 would Have been a must have.

  16. Actually its a cool idea, that’s the one minigame that interests me.

  17. I bought this with the bundle and really like it so far. My only wish is for some kind of baseball game.

  18. I’m going out on a limn and saying Kinect Sports will be better than this game.

  19. I don’t really want to play any game my grandfather does. Bocce I’m looking at you.

  20. I love Bocce and Frisbee Golf, but found the controls for the following to be pretty broken: Table Tennis (it frequently read hits at the wrong time, with the wrong side of the paddle); Archery (not with the aiming, but pulling the arrow out of the quiver–many times I’d reach back and it wouldn’t register me picking anything up); Gladiator–no where near 1:1.

    And you’re right–the Volleyball is terrible.

  21. Are you using one or two controllers with Archery? With one it doesn’t seem to work as well.

    For the pull motion to work, The PS eye can’t see the bulb- maybe you’ve not reaching far enough back.

    Desert, did you have any problems?

  22. Except for a few missed arrow notches (which was probably due to excitement), I didn’t have any problems with unrecognized commands with Sports Champions (Kung Fu Rider was a different story)

    Gladiator Duel surprised me at first, because the had mandatory cool-downs- you can’t just swing away wildly and hope to connect with your opponent. Instead it’s a bit more tactical, as you wait for the right moment to strike.

    BTW- I played both with the two controller set-up and a single Move. It’s clear that they were designed for two controllers.

  23. I concur no real problems besides the ball hitting my paddle sideways in table tennis.

  24. Good review, Deagle. You da man!

  25. Yeah that would be awesome.

  26. cool review. I might get this if I ever get a move.

  27. seems interesting. So far the Move doesn’t have enough games for me, but maybe soon.

  28. I didn’t expect this one to review so good.

  29. not quite a bullseye but pretty damn close.

  30. yeah, I’m having some calibration problems too.

    Mainly with Table Tennis just acting weird and giving me the occasional miss, even though I swing on time.

  31. good review, desert. I wish it had more than 6 events.

  32. So is the bundle worth $100?!?

  33. I bet the head start on the move is going to help. I dont see the Kinect catching up.

  34. Yeah, that’s the only thing holding me back.

  35. no problems with the move controls as far as I can tell. Table Tennis works perfectly for me.

  36. This accuracy is so much better than the Wii its not even comparable. It’s also noce not having to look at Gamecube graphics 😉

  37. I wasn’t expect to buy a move, but after seeing this, I just might have to.

  38. I’m hearing this is the move game to get.

  39. I’m going to try and find a Move bundle today.

  40. В ЖЖ за такой пост какашками закидают.