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We Are The (Sports) Champions

This Move minigame collection is a good place to start.

The game will have a cast of characters that seem to appear in multiple events. 
When Nintendo introduced the Wii, it tossed a copy of Wii Sports into every box. The collection of sports-themed minigames is a huge hit, and still one of the best things going on the platform. Part of what makes it so perfect is that it lets you explore a range of different activities and motions with the Wii Remote. It gave players a crash course in how to properly use the controls, which helps down the line, when playing more complicated stuff. Sony's sports-themed minigame collection, which currently has a working title of Sports Champions, feels like it could fill the same space in the PlayStation Move library.

Or maybe I just feel that way because it has table tennis and archery, two events that also appear in Wii Sports Resort. It'll also have events like bocce, disc golf, and a sword-and-shield-style gladiator battle game. Here at GDC 2010, Sony's only showing off table tennis and the gladiator combat game. They both do an excellent job of letting you know what the PlayStation Move is all about. The games themselves also give a good first impression.

Table tennis is the most immediately familiar of the two I played. The Move controller feels very accurate, and--much like Wii Sports Resort--it's easy to put spin on the ball by tilting the controller in different ways. It was also very easy to keep the ball on the table, as the game was running with its highest level of assistance enabled. As you progress through the game and face tougher opponents, the game will stop fudging as many of the angles and stop swinging things in your favor. Moving the paddle and transitioning from forehand to backhand feels very natural, and the Move controller seems good at translating your faster, harder motions onto the table with stronger swings.

The battle game gives Sports Champions' different characters weapons and shields. This one will be playable with one Move controller, but it seems to be better suited for two, as you'll have a weapon in one hand and a shield in the other. Again, the movement works about how you'd expect, and it's easy to properly position the shield to block incoming strikes. If you thrust your shield arm at the screen, you'll thrust forward for a shield bash, which will briefly stun your opponent if it lands. The basic idea is to swing your weapon around the opponent's shield to do damage, and the faster you swing, the harder your strike. You can swing upward to launch an opponent into the air, setting him or her up for juggle attacks or a vicious jumping attack, which is done by lifting both arms into the air.

None of it felt especially complex, but then, that's sort of the point, right? After quick training sessions, both of the available games started to feel like second nature. While it'll be hard for Sports Champions to shake comparisons to Nintendo's Wii Sports franchise, Sony's game feels like it's totally capable on the technical side, and it could be a great deal of fun when it's released later this year. Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
25 Comments
Posted by Jeff
The game will have a cast of characters that seem to appear in multiple events. 
When Nintendo introduced the Wii, it tossed a copy of Wii Sports into every box. The collection of sports-themed minigames is a huge hit, and still one of the best things going on the platform. Part of what makes it so perfect is that it lets you explore a range of different activities and motions with the Wii Remote. It gave players a crash course in how to properly use the controls, which helps down the line, when playing more complicated stuff. Sony's sports-themed minigame collection, which currently has a working title of Sports Champions, feels like it could fill the same space in the PlayStation Move library.

Or maybe I just feel that way because it has table tennis and archery, two events that also appear in Wii Sports Resort. It'll also have events like bocce, disc golf, and a sword-and-shield-style gladiator battle game. Here at GDC 2010, Sony's only showing off table tennis and the gladiator combat game. They both do an excellent job of letting you know what the PlayStation Move is all about. The games themselves also give a good first impression.

Table tennis is the most immediately familiar of the two I played. The Move controller feels very accurate, and--much like Wii Sports Resort--it's easy to put spin on the ball by tilting the controller in different ways. It was also very easy to keep the ball on the table, as the game was running with its highest level of assistance enabled. As you progress through the game and face tougher opponents, the game will stop fudging as many of the angles and stop swinging things in your favor. Moving the paddle and transitioning from forehand to backhand feels very natural, and the Move controller seems good at translating your faster, harder motions onto the table with stronger swings.

The battle game gives Sports Champions' different characters weapons and shields. This one will be playable with one Move controller, but it seems to be better suited for two, as you'll have a weapon in one hand and a shield in the other. Again, the movement works about how you'd expect, and it's easy to properly position the shield to block incoming strikes. If you thrust your shield arm at the screen, you'll thrust forward for a shield bash, which will briefly stun your opponent if it lands. The basic idea is to swing your weapon around the opponent's shield to do damage, and the faster you swing, the harder your strike. You can swing upward to launch an opponent into the air, setting him or her up for juggle attacks or a vicious jumping attack, which is done by lifting both arms into the air.

None of it felt especially complex, but then, that's sort of the point, right? After quick training sessions, both of the available games started to feel like second nature. While it'll be hard for Sports Champions to shake comparisons to Nintendo's Wii Sports franchise, Sony's game feels like it's totally capable on the technical side, and it could be a great deal of fun when it's released later this year.
Posted by Milkman

So, is this going to be bundled with Move because that would seem like the pretty smart thing to do.

Posted by TheJollyRajah

Many people say shit about Sony copying Nintendo, but hey, it's business. Also, I'm interested to see if this advanced version of Wii controls can deliver what Nintendo promised to deliver in 2006.

Posted by OmegaPirate

good to hear, if the basics get nailed down then hopefully devs will be able to 'move' onto bigger better things - as long as it doesnt get forcibly pigeon-holed into games for the sake of it (a la six axis) this motion stuff could find its target

Posted by Belonpopo

Minigame collection= YES!

Posted by Jimbo

Yo, Jeff!  Does the content in the Gladiator game seem family friendly?  On the face of it there seems to be a disconnect between the simplicity of the game/s and the mature (?) content of some of them.  I'm having trouble figuring out who they're aiming this compilation -and Move in general - at.

Edited by SuperSecretAgenda
@Jimbo said:

" Yo, Jeff!  Does the content in the Gladiator game seem family friendly?  On the face of it there seems to be a disconnect between the simplicity of the game/s and the mature (?) content of some of them.  I'm having trouble figuring out who they're aiming this compilation -and Move in general - at. "

I'm pretty sure there is absolutely no gore in it. They might as well be foam swords. 
 
SOURCE: Saw a video of the gameplay.
Posted by PLWolf

I'm digging what I'm seeing up to this point. I look forward to seeing what they bring to E3.

Posted by ZanzibarBreeze
@Milkman said:
" So, is this going to be bundled with Move because that would seem like the pretty smart thing to do. "
I would say yes. Sony might have done some stupid things in the past, but I don't think they could miss that opportunity.
Posted by Keeng
@Jimbo said:
" Yo, Jeff!  Does the content in the Gladiator game seem family friendly?  On the face of it there seems to be a disconnect between the simplicity of the game/s and the mature (?) content of some of them.  I'm having trouble figuring out who they're aiming this compilation -and Move in general - at. "
I think the whole thing will wind up being rated E for Everyone. There's no gore in the gladiator game. Also, Move is kind of aimed at everyone. I read an article that I wish I could cite here in which someone interviewed one the heads at Sony. The dude basically said they think the Wii crowd will enjoy it but they're also intentionally giving people the option to play games they're already in to--games that aren't family focused--and maybe decide the Move play style is better. That sounds like the right way to go.
Posted by Katajero

Well this Sony version of Wii Sports + Resorts seems to be good, so long as they add the decent games into it instead of stuff like that Wave Race like one in Resorts, for me that didn't click well, wasn't a lot of fun, either that or I was just doing it wrong. 
 
I wonder how they're going to sell this, the thought of a "Wii Sports" like game being sold on the shelves along with other games feels... odd... unless they provide a lot of content/depth :)

Posted by Jimbo
@Keeng said:
" @Jimbo said:
" Yo, Jeff!  Does the content in the Gladiator game seem family friendly?  On the face of it there seems to be a disconnect between the simplicity of the game/s and the mature (?) content of some of them.  I'm having trouble figuring out who they're aiming this compilation -and Move in general - at. "
I think the whole thing will wind up being rated E for Everyone. There's no gore in the gladiator game. Also, Move is kind of aimed at everyone. I read an article that I wish I could cite here in which someone interviewed one the heads at Sony. The dude basically said they think the Wii crowd will enjoy it but they're also intentionally giving people the option to play games they're already in to--games that aren't family focused--and maybe decide the Move play style is better. That sounds like the right way to go. "
It sounds like indecision and compromise to me.  They're trying to please both and run the risk of pleasing neither.
Edited by hitdog867

3 games i want for the PSmove. 
1. God of War 
2. Demon souls 
3. MLB the Show
Posted by Claude

If it comes bundled sure why not, otherwise, not really sure.

Posted by Hef

Sony said the PSeye, Move bundle comes with a game too.  So i assume it's going to be this.  I mean what would be better than a game than this?  Nintendo thought it was a good idea to pack in with the wii because of how it showed off the new tech.  Sony would probably do the same.

Edited by geirr

PS Move games I want: 
 
1.
2.
3.
 
.. yeah.
 
Actually Shatter might be cool with Move, so let's say Shatter!

Posted by Evilsbane
@Jimbo said:
" @Keeng said:
" @Jimbo said:
" Yo, Jeff!  Does the content in the Gladiator game seem family friendly?  On the face of it there seems to be a disconnect between the simplicity of the game/s and the mature (?) content of some of them.  I'm having trouble figuring out who they're aiming this compilation -and Move in general - at. "
I think the whole thing will wind up being rated E for Everyone. There's no gore in the gladiator game. Also, Move is kind of aimed at everyone. I read an article that I wish I could cite here in which someone interviewed one the heads at Sony. The dude basically said they think the Wii crowd will enjoy it but they're also intentionally giving people the option to play games they're already in to--games that aren't family focused--and maybe decide the Move play style is better. That sounds like the right way to go. "
It sounds like indecision and compromise to me.  They're trying to please both and run the risk of pleasing neither. "
 Oh no risk my friend they have done that in spades.
Posted by raikoh05

maybe rockstar can port table tennis to ps3 now

Posted by Keeng
@Evilsbane said:
" @Jimbo said:
" @Keeng said:
" @Jimbo said:
" Yo, Jeff!  Does the content in the Gladiator game seem family friendly?  On the face of it there seems to be a disconnect between the simplicity of the game/s and the mature (?) content of some of them.  I'm having trouble figuring out who they're aiming this compilation -and Move in general - at. "
I think the whole thing will wind up being rated E for Everyone. There's no gore in the gladiator game. Also, Move is kind of aimed at everyone. I read an article that I wish I could cite here in which someone interviewed one the heads at Sony. The dude basically said they think the Wii crowd will enjoy it but they're also intentionally giving people the option to play games they're already in to--games that aren't family focused--and maybe decide the Move play style is better. That sounds like the right way to go. "
It sounds like indecision and compromise to me.  They're trying to please both and run the risk of pleasing neither. "
 Oh no risk my friend they have done that in spades. "
I dunno, I think everyone's being more negative than they should. In all honesty, every major move Sony's made in like the last two years has turned out damn good. Seems to me like they've reached a point where they know their market and what it takes to appeal to it. Not to mention all the people who've actually played the thing at GDC have positive things to say about it.
Posted by Eric_Buck

I'm actually kind of excited about this...

Posted by Scooper

I think it looks good and who cares if it's a "Mii Too!", if the tech's there and the games are fun and look good then what's the problem.

Posted by get2sammyb

I think this game looks cool but it could do with a graphical overhaul. Neat to hear it's playing well at this early age, but I really don't like the visual style. I know the gameplay is most important (of course), but I'd love to see this game get more of a personality.
 
I think if they sort out the visuals this could be a great Playstation alternative for Wii Sports, and I absolutely have my fingers crossed for online leaderboards, and online multiplayer.

Edited by TwoOneFive

god its such a breath of fresh air to have a totally fair judgement on the playstation Move by you and brad, since the forums here are full of douchebags pretending to be clever and intelligent by citing the obvious similarites to the wii over and over again 
 
i always thought this was a great idea for ps3.  
so what if its like Sony is sayin "ME TOO!" to the Wii? 
 Because the Wii can't say "ME TOO!" to the PS3.

Edited by TwoOneFive
@hitdog867 said:

" 3 games i want for the PSmove. 1. God of War 2. Demon souls 3. MLB the Show "

mlb the show, couldn't agree more.  
in 2011 it will support 3D and the Move, i can only imagine how awesome it will be. 
Edited by Hawkins1701

A cynic might be tempted to call this product the Playstation Blatantly Rip Off the Wii. .
 
Good thing I'm not a cynic.