Sports Champions

Sports Champions Review for PS3

On: PS3

A collection of sports including Table Tennis and Gladiator Duel.

Review Verdict Read Review
7Out of 10
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Sports Champions screenshot
Sports Champions screenshot

Wii Sports must be the Holy Grail as far as developers of casual video games are concerned. That one Nintendo title has been more or less responsible for the success of the Wii, so a sports package as a launch title for PlayStation Move was a dead certainty. Of all the new controller's compatible titles, this one carries the most weight on its shoulders - but is it actually any good?

To get right to the answer, Sports Champions is good, but nothing more than that. Whereas Wii Sports defined a console and its follow-up introduced a new level of precision in motion control, Sony's effort merely exists as a decent game to play with your new toy. Its selection of sports is somewhat odd, but those that work the best are decent fun and showcase the Move technology better than any of the other launch titles.

The six sports on offer can be split into three groups: the excellent, the playable and the questionable. Starting with the best, Disc Golf, Archery and Bocce are all extremely fun and work very well with the Move technology. Disc Golf is similar to what we've seen in Tiger Woods on Wii, but features 18 holes set across three different environments. With three discs for use when driving, approaching the hole and 'putting', and plenty of depth in the way the discs move through the air, this sport has far more going for it than you might think.

Archery is similar to its Wii Sports Resort appearance and is best when played using two Move controllers. When using both arms it really feels very intuitive, and you'll be targeting objects in no time at all. The way you use the Move controller in your primary hand to pick an arrow from your quiver is really cool, then you tap the two sticks together to load the bow. From here the front Move controller aims while the rear controls power. It's a neat system and one that comes incredibly naturally.

Bocce is Sports Champions' ball game and most resembles Wii Sports' bowling, but it's actually a very different game, and a deceptively tricky one to boot. Essentially it's lawn bowls, with a jack and bigger balls that you need to get as close to it as possible. The difference is that you lob these balls in the air, applying spin with your wrist rather than using the weight of the ball itself, as you do with lawn bowls. Instead of simply rolling along the ground, you can throw a ball over a string of others blocking your path, or aim to the side and add spin to bring your orb back towards the jack.

Next up are the playable but far from perfect Gladiator Duel and Table Tennis. Gladiator Duel is definitely best when played with two Move controllers, with the front stick acting as a shield and the rear as your weapon. Each can be moved independently, meaning you can block an attack from any angle and strike your opponent however you wish. The game struggles if you start moving your weapon faster than it can process - if you spam attacks the hardware won't register all your movements - but on the whole it's a nice demo of Move tied into a simple one-on-one brawler.

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RebelRose32's Avatar

RebelRose32

I got the move bundle plus a controller and I do have to admit it is easier with 2 controllers with some of the games in the Sports Champion game, playing this game in multiplayer mode is just alot of fun and you can play for hours I have a family of 5 and the only reason we stopped is because we were tired! I have played the Wii before and I would have to say that I am sorry but this blows the Wii away graphics for 1 by far way better, and with this there is no just moving your hand around and your "character" does what you want, with the move you acually have to "move" your character does exactly what you do. I do have to agree with you Tom on the best game on Sports Champion is the Disk Golf after we sent our kids to bed my husband and I stayed up for hours playing the games again and kept going back to the Disk golf. I think Sony did a great job with this and in my opionion I give it thumbs up :)
Posted 23:32 on 20 September 2010
MJTH's Avatar

MJTH

Great review Tom, but from what you are making out to me I get the feeling that out of the 6 sports, 5 are like or even 5 in wii sports/ resort and the only one that isn't is unlikable. Still this isn't really a problem if thay are fun but on thing confused me...

.... If many of the sports needed two move-remotes to play, those that mean you need four for 2 player?
Posted 20:17 on 01 September 2010
SexyJams's Avatar

SexyJams

Yay, a good Move game.
I suppose Start The Party or whatever was technically a good game, but after reading this review and watching that one, this looks a hell of a lot better.
Posted 19:28 on 01 September 2010
Karlius's Avatar

Karlius

I've been hearing good things about this game! Nice review and this could be the best move launch party game.
Posted 15:28 on 01 September 2010
Rickitis's Avatar

Rickitis

Good review, I think I might pick this up later this year in the starter pack with the camera and one controller. I don’t think I’ll end up playing it much but should be fun with other people.
Posted 15:16 on 01 September 2010

Game Stats

Sports Champions
7
Out of 10
Sports Champions
  • Archery
  • Disc golf
  • Bocce
  • Volleyball
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Release Date: 17/09/2010
Platform: PS3
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Genre: Sports
No. Players: 1-2
Rating: PEGI 12+
Site Rank: 2,530 338
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