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.