Last month we had Deca Sports (Sports Island in the UK), this month it’s Big Beach Sports. Curious. It’s almost as if third-party publishers are trying to cash in on some hugely popular sports game collection that Nintendo bundles with the Wii. This time around the collection features six sports - cricket, soccer, bocce, volleyball, frisbee golf and football – and they’re all played on the beach, would you believe. The simple controls and cutesy characters means this is very much aimed at the younger audience, although sportsmen dressed in monkey costumes or wearing a shark’s head for a hat surely has universal appeal. As with Deca Sports, there’s no Mii support, but there is a neat option to create your own character. There are a bunch of preset clothes and accessories but you can also download a painting application to your DS and then upload your creation back to the game.
Each sport can be played by four players, with two teams of two where appropriate, or everyone for themselves in bocce and frisbee golf. There’s a single-player Tournament mode with three degrees of difficulty for each sport, and there are various achievements to unlock and trophies to bag. And that’s pretty much your lot as far as options go, aside from the ability to adjust game length. As for the quality of the games on offer, they’re all playable, they’re all easy to get to grips with and they’re all thoroughly average. Soccer only involves passing, shooting and tackling, not moving the players around, which is a bit lame. Football is played two-a-side, frisbee golf is a decent enough take on Wii Sports golf, while beach volleyball and bocce speak for themselves.
It’s the cricket that’s got us really excited, though. Not the cricket here (although it’s probably the best of the games on offer) but because if it functions adequately in this game, both for bowling and batting, then EA or Codemasters should be able to make a more in-depth, realistic and Wii-friendly version of the sport in a dedicated cricket game.
Jun 24, 2008