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'Sports Champions 2' an also-ran

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Photo - gamespress.com
"Sports Champions 2"
gamespress.com "Sports Champions 2"
Entertainment,Ryan Vogt

How is it that six years and numerous technological leaps later, there hasn't been a motion-controlled game more fun than "Wii Sports"?

"Sports Champions 2," powered by the PlayStation 3's Move controllers, doesn't have anything as good as Wii Tennis or Wii Bowling; it doesn't even have anything more fun than its own version of bocce, the lawn game that saved the first "Sports Champions" from being another "Wii Sports" clone.

Which is what "Sports Champions 2" is. With versions of bowling, tennis and golf, it's a remedy for Wii envy that comes too late and just isn't the real thing.

Bowling, golf and archery are pale imitations of their Wii predecessors, with tons of tiny annoyances and others not so tiny -- like how it's nearly impossible to not get a strike in bowling.

'Sports Champions 2'
» System: PS3
» Price: $39.99
» Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

At the top of the heap are boxing, the best showcase for the Move's technological superiority over the Wii, and skiing, which has better tracks and feels more realistic than the "Wii Fit" version.

In the middle of it all is tennis. The Move controllers vibrate with a resonance pleasingly similar to that of a tennis racquet, but the game leaves you with a question familiar to motion-game connoisseurs: Why are you so much better at this than the real thing? It's fashionable for "real" game developers to look down on how arcadey Wii Tennis is, but when given technology to make a realistic tennis game, they don't have the guts to do so. What we get is yet another racquet game than kind of helps you, kind of doesn't, and isn't as fun as Wii Tennis. Six years and numerous technological leaps later.

rvogt@washingtonexaminer.com

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