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Jul 16, 2008

Review: Deca Sports

Deca Sports
Konami, Hudson
Available for the Nintendo Wii

For all the sports fans out there, Hudson Entertainment has a brand new game for the Nintendo Wii that’s going to get your Wii remote swinging. Deca Sports, the newest contender in Nintendo’s sport games market features 10 new sporting events you won’t find in Nintendo’s Wii Sports or together on any other Wii sporting game out on the market right now.

With the Olympic Games coming up in Beijing soon, Deca Sports has the best select of sporting events to get gamers into an athletic frame of mind. You can choose from beach volleyball, kart racing, super cross racing, figure skating, archery, soccer, basketball, curling, badminton, and snowboarding cross. Each event can be played in different games modes: open match, tournament mode, Deca league and Deca challenge. Each of these modes allows you to complete against computer or play multiplayer with up to 4 friends. You can choose to compete in one sport or all of them, and you can even tweak each game’s options to fit each player’s level of skill.

Running through each of the sporting events, you’ll find some games probably easier than others. I personally liked figure skating and archery as the controls were easy to handle which made playing and winning fun and easy. Other games while easy to play weren’t exactly fun. While playing badminton and beach volleyball, it always seemed like the computer was controlling the movements of my character more than I was. No matter how I swung the controller, my character would perform the correct move 50% of the time and this really hindered my chances of winning the game.

Kart racing, super cross racing and snowboarding cross probably would have been better if their use of the Wii remote motion detection to control jumps and direction weren’t so sensitive. Tipping the control just a bit to the left or right moved the vehicle right off the track and into a wall. I tried to work through the rough controls in practice mode for the sake of this review and found smaller movements with the remote seemed to make getting through the events a little easier, but all in all, the developers should have made the controls with heavy-handed children in mind.

Finally playing through matches in the basketball, soccer and curling events were just down right confusing and frustrating. Each game utilized the Wii remote’s motion detection feature and while it makes sense for a game like curling, it didn’t fit for games like basketball or soccer. The controls were more complicated than they needed to be and took away from the fun of the games, rather than add to them. The curling controls would have been perfect with the motion detection, if the game designers had just kept things simple, but instead they put in too many steps to release the stone and things became too complex.

I was quite impressed with the layout of the game graphically. Everything was nice and big for everyone to see, which would make it easier for kids or seniors to play. All the characters, while not actually Mii creations from your console, do in fact look a lot like the Nintendo avatars, just with a bit more detailed in their clothes and accessories. The audio wasn’t stellar; there weren’t any crowds cheering when you won the tournament or stuck the bull’s-eye dead center and there wasn’t any cool music playing with you drove around the go kart track.

While usually 10 games for the price of 1 would make for an excellent deal, I wouldn’t suggest running out to Walmart tomorrow to buy Deca Sports. Wii Sports still reigns supreme as the king of sports mini games, while Deca Sports earns its place as just another sports mini game title.

Rating: 4 out of 10
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