Hudson was cool enough to send us a pre-release demo of their upcoming “Wii” Sports-alike sequel “Deca Sports 2.” How does it hold up in this post-MotionPlus/”Wii Sports Resort” world? Not too well, I’m afraid.
Four games were included in the demo disc we received: ice hockey, dodge ball, darts, and pétanque. It has a very “Wii Sports” aesthetic to the whole package, including the art in the menus and some creepily implemented Mii-style avatars. On all the team games, you can choose which positions your teammates play, but the only difference seemed to be how large they were, and I couldn’t really figure out any way that affected gameplay. Anyway, the four games:
Ice hockey. It’s hockey! Five on five including the goalie. Move around with the nunchuck. Hold a button and waggle to pass, and hold and release a button to shoot. At one point, I managed to knock one of the guys on the other team down, but I am not sure how, and the controls screen didn’t say how.
In the end, this is ice hockey’s downfall. It’s not terrible, but it’s way too simple to be engaging for more than a few minutes total. I don’t expect a hockey sim, but there needs to be a bit more to it than this to be compelling. Overall rating: .
Dodge ball. I was looking forward to dodge ball. I mean, Super Dodge Ball was really awesome! Unfortunately, this dodge ball game is not. You have a team of four, and move them around in one cohesive unit, like synchronized swimmers or perhaps a line of foosball men. It’s pretty silly.
Throwing is not very good either. All of the buttons are just throw, from what I can tell, and it randomly decides if it’s going to throw the ball at the opposing team or just to another teammate on the other side of the court. Catching is the sole bright spot in this entire game. You have to press Z and B simultaneously as the ball hits your character, which vaguely recalls the feeling of grabbing a dodge ball as it hits you in real life. Unfortunately, not enough to save this minigame. Overall rating: .
Darts. Instead of darts, they should call this game “trying to move the Wii remote forward steadily while holding A and B simultaneously.” It’s nearly impossible to aim for the small multiplier spaces on the dartboard, and sometimes you can’t even hit the larger targets. MotionPlus might’ve helped, but it’s more likely it would’ve just made it that much harder. The darts minigame in “WarioWare” was better. Overall rating: .
Pétanque. The savior of this demo disc. I had no idea what pétanque was before this, so let me give you the basics: Try to land big metal balls next to a small rubber ball. Up to four players alternate throws based on who is closest. It’s basically all about swinging the Wii Remote a certain distance in a straight line (think vanilla “Wii Sports” golf), but the fun really comes from the ability to knock the target ball and the other player’s balls around with yours. This is the only game I’d consider playing again. Overall rating: .
“Deca Sports 2” releases Sept. 29.