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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developed By: Zindagi Games
Genre: Sports Action
Players: 1-2
Rated: E10+ (Everyone 10 and Up)
Release Date: September 19, 2010
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written By: Marcus Prunty

September 30, 2010 - You're the best around… nothing's gonna ever keep ya down. You’re the best around… nothing's gonna ever keep ya down!!! Hope I don’t get sued by Joe Ventoso or the Karate Kid guys for my bad singing. This is the feeling I got when I originally saw the demo at E3 2009 of the PlayStation MOVE in its initial tech demos. When Sony showed the hacking and slashing demo with a sword using the MOVE I instantly thought I could own people and that this was awesome. Flash forward a little over a year with the official release of the PlayStation MOVE and its initial salvo in the motion control arena. Bursting through the gates on launch day is Sports Champions.

Sports Champions is a collection of mini-games from six different sports that was created to showcase the PlayStation MOVE controller. The six sports in Sports Champions are archery, disc golf, bocce, gladiator duel, volleyball, & table tennis. My favorite game is table tennis simply because I thought it made Wii Tennis seem very awkward to play. The accuracy of the PlayStation Eye tracking your Move controller (paddle location) and the ability to play the game as if you were really playing table tennis is awesome. I found this title to resemble actual table tennis pretty well, though you can experience a few problems hitting some balls back to your opponent. However, a slight adjustment of the PlayStation Eye and your positioning in relation to the camera can minimize this issue. The simple visual design of 2 characters and a table is ok, but isn’t as inspiring and grandiose as it would have been if you had an enormous crowd in the back cheering you on or booing you. The game needs to be more interactive that way.

Archery is a pretty solid choice and a fan favorite in demonstrating what the MOVE can do as far as motion controlling. The ability to hold a bow steady with one hand and fire an arrow a la Robin Hood is a cool thing to behold. However this game is best played with 2 PlayStation MOVE controllers that way one controller acts as you holding the bow, while the other controller will be the arrow as you pull it back to shoot. The game doesn’t just consist of you shooting a bullseye but has other mini-games with in it like the tic-tac-toe board game that I love to play.

Another game that benefits from having 2 MOVE controllers is gladiator duel. One of the MOVE controllers acts as your shield and the other one is your sword. You slash with one hand while you defend with another. This is a more natural way of playing this game, then playing with one MOVE controller which is possible. The downfall of this game I believe is that it doesn’t look anywhere as good as the tech demo they showed at E3. The character you control feels blocky and stiff and the slashing motions aren’t as fluid as I would have hope.

Bocce ball game is ok. Its play style is kind of like bowling, though not as fun. This is one the games that’s pretty simplistic and doesn’t do much in the way of variations. It’s just a game of tossing the ball over and over again. You could get more fun out of High Velocity Bowling which now has MOVE support. Disc golf is another one of the titles that sounded great and is fun, but its lacks course variations so you play the same courses over and over. It’s this repetition that can get boring and would have been cool if it had more variety like rings of fire and you throw the disc through or something else that can make it more enjoyable.

The last game in Sports Champions is volleyball; I think this game can make you more active than some of the other ones. This is also another game that can be played with either one or 2 MOVE controllers. And like the other games, the experience is greater when you use 2 MOVE controllers over the one as you get a better sense of playing a real game of volleyball. The ability to spike the ball, set and do all the other motion that you would in a volleyball game can be done here. Most people don’t like this game as it seems too simple with you merely swinging the controller when a green circle appears. There is a greater need for interactivity in this game. It’s a good start but they could have gone further.

In all of these games you pick a character and work your way through the game and challenges, or you can play with your friends. Playing with your friends is where the real enjoyment is because beating someone you know is a lot more enjoyable then beating up on the computer. The drawbacks that I see with Sports Champions are the graphics as they are pretty basic and the character models are more cliché’s than anything else. Like in table tennis, the addition of a crowd would have been a better back drop then a table and 4 walls. There is not much about the game that makes you say “WOW”. And at a price tag of $39.99 new you should be getting a lot more “WOW” for your money. So my suggestion is buy the PlayStation MOVE Starter Bundle which comes with a PlayStation MOVE ($49.99), a PlayStation Eye ($29.99) and the game Sports Champions for $99.99. This way the game really only costs 20 bucks and you save. While this game doesn’t have a wow factor per se this is a good initial salvo for Sony that shows what the MOVE is capable of. I am sure in the future through first party titles from Sony and 3rd party support for other games that the MOVE will expand upon what we see in Sports Champions. You may not feel like a champion after tackling this game, but you will have a greater respect for what the MOVE can and will do as well as how to use it.


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