Wii Sports was a successful title that attracted many casual and prospective gamers to buy the Nintendo Wii during its immediate launch. The game allowed you to engage in various matches of tennis, bowling, golf, boxing and baseball as it spurred healthy competition amongst family and friends. As more titles have graced the system since then, developer Hudson Soft has been hard at work and has once again revisited the sports genre with Deca Sports.
Deca Sports is by no means, a replica of Wii Play or Wii Sports as Hudson has included figure skating, beach volleyball, badminton and supercross in the game’s roster. Badminton plays like tennis from Wii Sports with an added emphasis on timing. How hard and how quickly you swing your remote marks the difference between a regular hit and a direct slam on the birdie from your racket. As it approaches you, the birdie will glow red in mid-air for a mere second that gives you a short opportunity to unleash a perfect slam on your opponent.
The supercross event pits you against all a group of riders in a friendly race on a relatively small dirt-course. Just as many would expect, you control your rider by tilting the remote sideways to make tight turns while holding down the 1 and 2 buttons to accelerate and brake. The controls are extremely sensitive as tilting the remote slightly to turn causes your rider to drastically swing from one wall directly to the other making the game frustrating to play.
Volleyball, on the other hand, is a lot more fun as you can play volleyball on your own, with a friend, or an accompanying A.I. The A.I. is surprisingly good and your partner will often save and patiently wait for you to volley or setup the ball to unleash a good spike on the opposing team. Serving the ball to the opposing team can be a hit or miss affair as you swing your remote to begin each play.
Finally, figure skating proved to be the most satisfying sport. You glide your skater across the ice along a linear path of dots as you carefully perform jumps, spins and other special maneuvers. Once again, timing is critical as you must flick the Wii remote when approaching a large dot to perform a special move. Missing the mark causes your skater to slip or fall hard on their bottoms as staying within the linear path coupled with the speed of the song requires a fair amount of practice.
Deca Sports is a fun and light-hearted game to play. As this is an early version demo disc, we’re hoping the control issues with Supercross will be addressed accordingly. With more sports like archery, basketball, curling and soccer to be included, Hudson Soft just might have another winner on their hands.