Copyright Adam Schlosser
Contact:
aschloss@gmail.com


Copyright 2005 Adam Schlosser


Posted by Pip

MRL28- VirtueAlly Everybody Loves Her

It's totally all Balance's fault! She's such a... a... Arg! I can't stay mad at her, she's too adorable! Even Chast's gruff exterior melts away to give Balance a hand. I can be frustrated at Marlowe though. Now you're getting kisses from Lust? How do you have so much game for a little kid!?
Greed exits rifts like a champ. Face first or you don't go through!


Don't forget that the TWC rankings reset every month so votes for Sins early help push us up ranks more if we can get them in before the slackers do! Balance would vote for us if she wasn't a fictional character!


http://topwebcomics.com/vote/4549/default.aspx


Far Too Long Review: Sports Champions- Not to be left out of the burgeoning field of flailing sports, the PlayStation finally has a game where you can wave your arms, pretend you're getting exercise, and try to keep the thoughts that you'd probably have more fun if you actually went outside and played these events at bay. As a bonus, the PS Eye camera doesn't handle bright light well so I had to close my curtains to play, making me feel even more like a shut-in nerd. This introduction is getting depressing, so on to the games.
Frolf- This isn't the best showing to put as the first option on the main menu. The motion controls are unresponsive so you'll find yourself making a nice throw one turn and then watching your Frisbee sail off into the sunset on the next when it feels like you did the exact same thing on both throws. On the very first match on the lowest difficulty, the AI opponent keeps getting birdies so there's no “getting you used to playing” leeway. The Move brings its Frolf game and it brings it hard. Saying “Frolf” is far more fun than actually playing it here.
Gladiator- Here's where you should probably come first to try out the Move. It's akin to the Wii Sports boxing game but you have far more control and can actually use some strategy in how you attack and use your special moves. The motion controls are responsive but the game does have trouble turning that motion into the move you wanted to do or attacking where you intended. It's a pretty good workout to boot (if you swing like a madman as I wound up doing...), but it seriously needs the ability to set options like round length or time. As you progress in the matches, the computer starts pulling off some more than lucky hits and can seemingly dodge or block anything and everything, so frustration sets in quickly.
Archery- Archery became my favorite event in the bundle. The various challenges it gives you are fun, the controls are responsive and quick, it's a decent test of your aiming skills, and the actions to mock real archery get you into the game. You have to reach behind your back to grab an arrow, pull it up and over your head, aim straight to nock your arrow, and adjust for distance as you fire. Compared to the other events, the computer doesn't put up much of a fight for the first cup. You'll have rounds where the computer doesn't even score, so advancing to at least the silver cup is a must for any kind of challenge.
Volleyball- Volleyball is pure middle of the road. There's nothing horrible but nothing really great to stand out either. It has a lot of promise in how you have to perform the real motions to play but every once in a while the shot just goes completely nuts and flies off the screen. Scoring is dependent on luck more than skill because your AI partner is hardly reliable and will flub easy shots one minute and then perform a diving save from mid-court the next. The CPU team also fluctuates wildly in skill so most of your points come from waiting until they mess up rather than you doing something great.
Bocce- Bocce gets some points because it's different than the typical motion controlled bowling games but while it may be fun to play in real life at parties, virtual bocce is mind numbingly boring.
Table Tennis- It's table tennis with motion controls. Expect nothing more out of it and you might be pleased. Personally, I played a few rounds and then never looked its way again.
When you unlock the higher difficulties, the game doesn't require more skill, the computer just gets godly/cheaper. It doesn't feel fair and it most certainly isn't fun. If this game was designed to get new players using the PlayStation, they completely botched this aspect. The game does almost everything it can to make you feel like you suck even on the lowest difficulty thanks to unreliable controls, strict movement requirements, and the computer's abilities. Also, compared to how much fun it was to make and see your Mii for the first time when you hooked up your Wii, the lack of character customization is a letdown. Granted, given how hideous the soulless characters in Home are, maybe it's a blessing in disguise, but I probably would have stuck around longer or cared a little more if I could make my own player. You can earn new outfits by getting the highest rank on each match, but the game is crazy strict about the scoring requirements and given the elements of luck and chance many of the events boil down to, it doesn't seem like the effort is worth the payout of a different colored shirt.
I picked up the Move during a good sale so I basically got the game for free, but the fact that they sell it as a normal retail release is kind of a rip-off. It's a decent pack-in to show people the Move controller if they're new to it, but it is not a worthy stand-alone game or one you'll come back to outside of having friends over that won't mock you for playing virtual bocce.