Game Review: Sports Champions (PS3)
The point of a motion based controller is to get players off of the couch and more involved in the games we are playing. Sports titles are the most natural way to get a person to do exactly that, which is most likely the reason every motion system to launch with one.
The PlayStation 3 is no exception to this and Sports Champions is perhaps the best Move title available at the time of it’s release. It showcases just how precise the Move controller can be when the software is developed correctly for it from the ground up.
Sports Champions offers a unique set of games within it, you won’t find bowling, baseball or even a golf game in it’s lineup. I think this was a good idea because games like Tiger Woods, MLB 11 and High Velocity Bowling have these categories pretty well covered. Instead you have Archery, Gladiator Duel, Disc Golf, Bocce, and Table Tennis included. These are interesting choices but make sense as you play them and give you a nice idea of the different ways that the system can be used in various games types and how well it tracks the player.
Archery – This can be played with one or two Motion controllers. With the two controller setup, you hold one up like a bow and the other you simulate pulling an arrow out of your quiver (holding the trigger to grab it), notching the arrow by placing the two controllers together, drawing back and releasing the trigger to release the arrow. This is the most realistic way to play and a lot of fun, it will wear your shoulders out with long play sessions though. With one controller you simulate grabbing an arrow but as you point towards the screen it draws back for you, you simply aim and release.
Gladiator Duel – This is the game that most people seem to gravitate towards first. Again this one can be played with one or two Motion controllers. One hand controls your shield arm and the other one controls your weapon arm. Pretty basic controls, swing your arm and it attacks, again the one to one ratio is very impressive. Damage takes in account velocity and where you hit the individual. You can dodge, left and right using buttons on the controller and you also have jumping attacks that you can perform when you have an opponent on the ground. With the one controller setup, you hold down the trigger to change which hand you are controlling.
Disc Golf – You have probably heard of disc golf before. If not, simply put, you throw a disc down a golf course and into a net. Standard golf scoring . Angle, pitch and snap of release are all accounted for when throwing.
Bocce – In Bocce, you throw a marker ball into a course then each player takes turns throwing their Bocce balls towards the marker ball. The player that is closest to the marker ball scores a point for each ball closer than their opponent (kind of like horseshoes). Spin and release of the ball is accounted for (think of bowling)
Beach Volleyball – It’s beach volleyball, not much more to say. Other than when you are serving the ball, you don’t worry about movement and focus more on bumps, spikes and dives. It can be played with one or two Motion controllers. It is two vs two so you have a few commands to call your AI team mate to the net.
Table Tennis – or Ping Pong if you will. This is a very accurate representation of the game and is perhaps my favorite or all game types. The paddle is one to one and spin and velocity are taken in account. The camera tracks where you are and your movement. This correlates with where you character is on the screen.
Overall, besides a couple of wonky moments with Beach Volleyball, I only have a couple of complaints with the game. I wish you could create a custom character to play with and I wish it had online multi-player. I really had a blast playing Sports Champions (Even got my Platinum Trophy) and if you have a Move, this should be in your collection.