When the first DECA Sports game was released, I wondered what was the point of another sports themed mini-game collection. Not only does one come packaged with the Wii system, but there have been several similar type games released. However the original DECA Sports not only did well, it did very well, outselling a majority of other Wii third party titles. With the proven demand for the first game, a sequel was destined to happen.
The newest DECA Sports game may have some rough competition this time around though. Recently Nintendo released a sequel of sorts to Wii Sports with the Wii Sports Resort and packaged their newest peripheral with the game. DECA Sports doesn’t have the benefit of being compatible with the Wii MotionPlus. Even though that seems like it will have an uphill battle to compete with the latest Wii Sports game, the developers seem ready for the challenge. DECA Sports 2 has something that it’s competitors lack, more customization along with online play.
Recently Diehard Gamefan was able to get some hands on time with a couple of the different sports games that will be included in the final package. While it doesn’t give a complete picture of the final game, it was a good impression of what to expect.
First off I tried out Ice Hockey. Since I live in frozen tundra for six months out of the year I love hockey and was glad to see it included. While the Ice Hockey game that is included in DECA Sports doesn’t hold a candle to full hockey games such as NHL 09, it is still a blast to play. It’s full five on five hockey, boiled down to a simple arcade style of play. The motions used with the control are simple swipes of the Wii remote. You just wave the remote at the face off to get the puck and wave it to pass to another player. Press B and wave the remote for a wrist shot, hold B, aim with the control stick on the nunchuck and swing for a slap shot. Movement is done with the nunchuck joystick. To steal the puck on the defensive side requires just crossing in front of the player in control of the puck. To body check the other player you have to again swing the remote.
It’s very simple but also very easy to get into. I played with someone who doesn’t play video games very often and she was able to grasp the controls almost immediately. Soon we had members of both teams racing across the ice trying to score.
After that I tried out another game with multiple teammates, Dodgeball. Each team has five members that are controlled with the joystick on the nunchuck. In fact this is the strangest part of this particular mini-game…all of the members of the team move in-synch like some odd line dancing routine. It works for the game but it’s strange to see. Anyway, throwing is done with the remote. Small gestures translate to quick throws while harsh gestures translate in the game to hard throws. Dodging is done with a quick flick of the remote and to catch a thrown ball you have to press Z and B together at the moment the ball is about to hit a character on your team.
Like the hockey game, this is a pretty fun, easy to pick up game. The only issue is that there are times when you are trying to throw the ball at a character and instead you throw it out of bounds. Sadly the online multiplayer does not support ten players, because playing against nine other people would be more fun than controlling all of the characters on your team at once.
a href=”http://media.insidepulse.com/zones/diehardgamefan/uploads/2009/07/Decapent.jpg”> > After that I tried Petanque. Petanque is a game with two teams, one team throws a small wooden ball onto a field and then the two teams take turns trying to land a larger ball next to it. At the end of the round the team with the ball closest to the original wooden marker wins, and gains points for how many balls where closer than the other teams. The game goes until one team reaches nine points.
This is one of those recreational style games that is perfectly suited to the Wii that it’s amazing that it hasn’t been included in any previous sport game collection. Using just the remote you use the D-pad to select the angle and whether you want to crouch or stand. Then you can swing the Wii remote and a meter at the side of the screen will let you know how far that swing would’ve thrown the ball. Once you are comfortable with the power of your swing you press a button and swing to actually throw the ball. It works great and it’s always satisfying to knock one of the opponent’s balls away from the marker.
The final game that I tried out was Darts. Of all the games that I had the chance to play, this was the weakest addition. This is a type of game that has already been done in other mini-game collections, and the only difference with this version is that it actually controls worse than some other versions. Nothing against the developers because the problem with the controls is the fact that they attempted to make it feel like you were playing darts. You hold the Wii remote sideways and when you are ready to aim you press the B and A buttons together, much like you would if you were holding an actual dart.
Unlike a real dart the Wii remote is bulky and uncomfortable to hold in this position. This effects aiming in turn because it makes it a lot harder to steady your aim when your hand starts to feel cramped.
One common thing about all of the games is the fact that there appear to be plenty of different options to choose from within the mini-games. Options such as what type of field you play Petanque on, different types of dart games such as 301 and Cricket, etc. There are different teams to choose from, including I believe the option to create your own. It’s hard to tell since the options and team selection within the demo are limited.
If the rest of the mini-games maintain the quality, contain different options to select from, and if the online multiplayer is well implemented then DECA Sports 2 has a legitimate shot at one-upping Nintendo at the casual sports game genre on the Wii. I can’t admit to being very impressed by the original game, but so far the sequel is promising.