E3 2012: Sports Champions 2

I have to apologize for the lack of posts recently. I kinda slowed down, then went out of town, and then got brutally sick (still kinda am, in fact).

However, E3 2012 is here. THE big time for gaming press to churn out article after article and I may as well join in. Problem is though, I’m not AT E3 as I’m not a “real” game journalist (yet) and just reposting the same announcements as every other site is…dumb. So I’m going to instead focus on the games no one really cares about and give them a deeper look at their trailers; and there’s no game no one really cares about more than Sports Champions 2!

It’s no secret that I love the PlayStation Move. Much as I hate Sony and loathe turning on my PS3, the Move delivers. It’s everything I ever wanted in a motion controller and is arguably the “right” way to do one. There is absolutely no argument that, from a functionality standpoint, the Move utterly destroys all of it’s competition!

Problem is, the darn thing is kinda lacking in actual games.

Enter Sports Champions, the tech demo set turned launch title that at first glance appears to be little more than a Wii Sports clone. However, there is a difference. While Wii Sports provided little gimped mini-game renditions of it’s assorted sports and had us wishing someone would develop a bigger, deeper game with the same controls; Sports Champions actually provided a more fleshed out gaming experience. With fully featured sports, multiple difficulty levels, opponents, cups, bonus rounds, and even bosses!

Problem was, the presentation was insanely bland. You could basically only enjoy the games if you were either hardcore into one of the sports or were a complete motion control nerd.

There was also one other difference between Sports Champions and Wii Sports: the sports themselves! Sports Champions went out of it’s way to try and avoid just copying the same Bowling/Boxing/Tennis/Golf collection that has been trotted out since before the Wii. As such we got a…rather eclectic array of sports with Bocce instead of Bowling, Table Tennis instead of Tennis, Frisbee Golf instead of Golf, and Gladiator Duel instead of Boxing. The result? People asking for Bowling as DLC.

Well ask no more as with Sports Champions 2 they throw that whole concept to the wind!

As you can see, Sports Champions 2 features Bowling/Boxing/Tennis/Golf as well as Skiing and…more Archery.

At first this sounds like a negative, until you remember that the Move is a much better motion controller and as such these should be superior gaming experiences to what we’ve seen in the past.

Bowling looks well presented and will no doubt be a crowd pleaser, considering it’s the game many people were demanding.

Boxing is always a treat to less sports-savvy gamers (myself included) as it involves punching things. The Fight proved the Move can do some impressive one to one punch tracking and was an alright game, but it had some flaws in the game design department. Namely, moving was a mess. It worked but it was too slow to make any sort of a difference. The boxing here looks like a much cleaner experience and appears to be using Gladiator Duel’s quick dodging movement and thus should provide a vastly superior experience.

Tennis, of course, has me asking if it will support the Navigation controller. With automatic movement it will undoubtably be kinda disappointing; not much better than existing motion based tennis games and noteably inferior to the fully featured table tennis of it’s predecessor. Put in optional navigation controller support though, and we’re in business.

Skiing is an odd choice, but it looks to have a good sense of speed. This one will basically be either great or lame with very little chance of middleground.

Archery looks to deliver more of the same, which is odd as this will make it Zindagi’s third Archery game (it was a primary focus of Medieval Moves: Deadmund’s Quest). I guess they really like archery. Admittedly it was pretty darn fun in the original.

Golf…looks like Golf. I can’t really say much beyond that from the trailer.

One thing I did notice, however, was that the character models look slightly worse and have (somehow) even less character than their predecessors…but bear a striking resemblance to the people playing. Either the new character designs are awful and they hired actors that look like them, or this game has custom characters! Hopefully it’s the latter as having your own character is always more fun than picking a premade one (even if I did get kinda attatched to Boomer).

Of course there are still a few questions to be asked. Does this one have online play? I know it seems doubtful as the previous one didn’t, but The Fight shows it’s completely possible.

The other question being how important a second Move will be in this game. In the previous one it was completely optional in all sports and the games worked pretty well without one. Here though, I can’t imagine Boxing or Skiing without that second controller.

Regardless, there’s more Move-based sports on the way and I can’t wait to get my hands on them (especially boxing)!

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