Big Beach Sports - hands-on

Understandably, we were a bit cynical when we heard about yet another casual sports minigame fest for Wii, but it looks like Big Beach Sports is actually set to deliver a few fresh twists on the genre. We were told the game is aimed at the "European audience," which explains the inclusion of cricket and soccer (football) in a beach game. Rounding out the six total games in Big Beach are volleyball, American football, disc golf (Frisbee golf) and bocce.Bocce!We're feeling morecultural already.

Like Wii Sports, all the motion controls in Big Beach roughly mimic the real-life movements involved in each game, which is a welcome relief in a sea of games with tacked-on, waggly Wii controls. Volleyball has players mimicking the motions of bumping, setting and spiking the ball, and bocce is quite similiar to Wii Sports Bowling. In disc golf, there are actually three ways to throw the Frisbee that mimic real (professional!) Frisbee throws: backhand, forehand and hammer. Hammer is the coolest one, obviously, but whichever you way you decide to flick the Remote, your avatar will mimic your motion and it'll all affect where the Frisbee goes.

One feature that separates Big Beach from the rest of the Wii sports minigames crowd is the ability to design your avatar's face via a downloadable face editor on the DS. Select Download Play on your DS, like you would for cart-sharing multiplayer, and Big Beach Sports will send a program, similar to MS Paint, to your DS so you can draw a face with your stylus. There are templates for eyes, nose, mouth, etc., so even if you're not a skilled artist you can still create a decent-looking mug.

The European-style games will hopefully be a fresh change for US audiences, and the DS integration is a nice touch that sets Big Beach Sports apart from the crowd a bit. Look for a full review when the game is released in June, but until then, have a look at thescreenshere and gameplay video below to see Big Beach in action.