Tech News on G4

Wii Sports Deathmatch

Dec 4, 2008

By John Powell - G4 Canada

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With its intuitive controllers, is it no wonder that the Wii is well-suited to so many sports games. From pro-wrestling to tennis, the Wii not only mimics many of the actions to perfection but also gets players off the couch, off their butts and moving. Who says all gamers are couch potatoes? This week, three sports games duke it out to see who comes out on top in the Gaming Deathmatch.

Mario Super SluggersMario Super Sluggers

Format: Nintendo Wii
Publisher: Nintendo.
Developer: Namco Bandai
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Official Site: http://www.mariosupersluggers.com/

Overview

Mario, Donkey Kong and all of their famous pals return in another fun and quirky sports-themed game flying high under the Nintendo banner. What ‘Super Mario Strikers’ did for soccer is what ‘Mario Super Sluggers’ does for baseball. It is the traditional bat and glove game with all the zany gameplay twists.

Gameplay

Mario Super Sluggers‘Super Sluggers’ is all about variety and that variety extends the replayability. In dusting off the plate, gamers have three control styles to choose from. You can use Wiimote held upright, the Wiimote and the Nunchuck or the Wiimote held sideways. Each way has its advantages or disadvantages but at least you have a choice to tailor the gameplay to your desired style. For example, if you select the Wiimote held sideways, you cannot swing the Wiimote like a real baseball bat instead you press the 1 and 2 buttons to swipe at the ball. That’s life. You gotta take the good with the bad.

Using the Wii Sports baseball concept as a foundation, ‘Sluggers’ improves upon things by permitting players to control all of their own fielding and the base running.   

 ‘Super Sluggers’ wouldn’t be a true ‘Mario’ game unless there were some gameplay features that were completely out of the ordinary. As you might expect, players can “charge” their pitches and swings. That is a given in a ‘Mario’ sports game. In ‘Sluggers’ though players can throw specialized pitches to keep opponents off their balance. When at the plate, Bowser throws weaving bullet missiles while Mario can lob red hot fireballs. It wouldn’t be fair if the pitchers have all the fun so the batters can use their special abilities too as well as use “error items” that confuse the fielders.

Celebrity Sports ShowdownCelebrity Sports Showdown

Format: Nintendo Wii
Publisher: Electronic Arts.
Developer: EA Canada.
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Official Site: http://www.easports.com/celebrity

Overview

Ever want to bash Avril Lavine’s head in with a foam bat? How about bean Fergie with a beach volleyball or tag Keith Urban with a dodge ball to the gut? Well, now you can with Electronic Arts’ ‘Celebrity Sports Showdown’. A Wii party game that brings back memories of those Battle of the Network Stars shows from the seventies, ‘Celebrity Sports Showdown’ lets you be and play against celebrities in events like canoeing, badminton, curling, archery and dodge ball.

Celebrity Sports ShowdownGameplay

EA and Electronic Arts Canada has borrowed heavily from last year’s  ‘Playground’ to create ‘Showdown’ as it contains many of the same games. Although they have added some new ones, they are mini games you might have played before in other incarnations or other collections like the ‘American Gladiator’ type jousting which is comical the first few times but like everything else in ‘Showdown’, it loses its charm real fast. The title would have been better suited if more attention was paid to the actual game rather than which celebrities they could draw into the game. A very hollow title offering very little.

WWE Smackdown Versus Raw 2009WWE Smackdown Versus Raw 2009

Format: Nintendo Wii
Publisher: THQ.
Developer: Yuke's.
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
Official Site: http://www.smackdownvsraw.com/

Overview

The premiere wrestling game returns with yet another annual instalment. While the washed out graphics remain much the same, THQ and xxx have reassembled the package and finally dealt with many of the irritating minor glitches that had haunted the series for so long such as the targeting system and the crippling recovery time after you’ve been knocked to the mat.

WWE Smackdown Versus Raw 2009Gameplay

The Wii controllers add a new dimension to the game making it more interactive than the other console versions. Twisting, turning and slamming the controllers up and down as per the moves really does enhance the experience. The DX chop never grows old. The trade off though is that your arsenal is much smaller than on the other consoles. The return to the story driven scenarios brings the series full circle back to its humble beginnings where simple always worked better and still does. The only thing putting a figure four on this Wii franchise are the murky graphics which aren`t even PS2 worthy.

Conclusion

The lousy `Celebrity Sports Showdown` is not even in the running so the field is narrowed substantially. Can the WWE smell what Nintendo is cooking? Although the quirky gameplay of both ‘Mario’ and ‘WWE’ are entertaining in their own right, this Deathmatch comes down to one minor deciding factor and that is the graphics. There is just no comparison. ‘Mario’ is crisp, clean and vivid while ‘WWE’ is gloomy and bland. ‘Mario’ gets the pinfall and the win.

Final Scoring

Mario Super Sluggers: 7.5 / 10
Celebrity Sports Showdown : 3 / 10
WWE Smackdown Versus Raw 2009: 7 / 10

Winner: Mario Super Sluggers

 

 
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About G4 in Canada
G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see www.g4tv.ca.