Big Beach SportsESRB:
Platform: Nintendo Wii
Developer: HB Studios
Motion Sensing Controls
Everyone who owns a Wii most likely owns a copy of Wii Sports. This game put a simplistic touch on the sports genre by offering up Wii Remote centric games to demo what the special controller can do. Well since then companies have been jumping on the band wagon to repeat this magic. THQ has recently released their compilation of sports games that use the motion sensing capabilities of the Wii Remote. Big Beach Sports offers up six games for up to four players to play. So does it have what it takes to make this a buyer for your home library? Read on...
As with a lot of games on the Wii, Big Beach Sports is a bright and cheerful game. And this is a good thing as it helps reinforce that it is a supposed to take place on a tropical beach where the colors are usually quite vibrant. I like the fact that the colors manage to punch off the screen as it gives it a little more liveliness to the on-screen action. I guess if there is any down point to the visuals in the game it is the fact that they are somewhat simple and the environments are not that lively. That being said though, the game does get the job done as there are lots of trees, sand and even some dancing fans adorned in what seems to be tropical masks. I guess what people need to know is that this game is not a visual powerhouse, yet I have definitely seen worse looking games, even on the Wii.
Like the visuals, the audio in Big Beach Sports gets the job done. Don't expect any over the top sound effects as the game manages to do what it just needs to in an effort to provide a non-irritating acoustic experience. You will know you are hitting a volley ball, striking a cricket ball, or throwing a Frisbee. As for the music, it may not be particularly catchy, and some may even dislike it, but regardless it does seem quite suited to the games 'fun in the sun' nature and I found that I didn't mind it at all.
Big Beach Sports offers up a selection of six different games for one's enjoyment. And as the title would indicate, they all have a bit of a beach theme to them. You can choose from Frisbee golf, cricket, volleyball, boules, soccer and football (American). Yeah I know, not all of these sounds like your typical beach game, but hey when you play them you'll discover how they are adapted for such.
All of the games included on the disc utilize the Wii Remote's motion sensing capabilities in one form or another. And as Wii Sports was meant to do, the use of the Wii Remote for Big Beach Sports is the main attraction of the compilation of games as it shows off non-traditional control. For example, when playing cricket you swing the Wii Remote to hit the ball, and when it is your turn to pitch (bowl) you actually perform an overhand bowling gesture just like they do in a real life game of cricket. When playing Frisbee golf you actually imitate throwing a Frisbee by using a side-on throwing stance. All in all the six available games utilize the Wii Remotes abilities pretty well.
Out of the six games that are offered, I found that most of them were quite enjoyable. Frisbee golf offered some great challenges, especially later on as you have to start navigating holes full of hazards such as water, trees and greater distances. Boule is kind of like bowling or bocce. Here you have to throw ball at a target further down the field from you. All in all the games offered made sense. If there was any weakness in the selection I would have to say that it was soccer. Here I found that the motion sensing abilities of the Wii Remote didn't translate too well in Big Beach Sports’ adaptation of the game, especially given that you didn't even control your teammates, or yourself for that matter, as your only concern was to flick the Wii Remote to kick the ball at the net.
In terms Big longevity, I would have to say that this game is best played in short spurts, or brought out when guests are over and you are looking for a bit of a break from whatever you are doing. The game itself really does suffer from its inability to really captivate your for long periods of time. And as a single player experience, the game does not have the legs to last. There is no incentive to keep playing and the game can become somewhat boring when just playing it by yourself. That being said, the game is really geared towards playing in a group, and really, isn't that more fun the just sitting in front of the screen and playing the game alone?
I should also mention that Big Beach Sports has a 'create your own character' mode as well. Here you can chose your name, clothing and even custom design your face if you have a DS. This is done by connecting the DS to your Wii via the WiFi abilities of both. You may not have an overly extensive menu of options, but the ability to give your in-game character a bit of uniqueness is much appreciated in a game like this.
At the end of the day, Big Beach Sports can be fun, but as long as you take it for what it is. With average graphics, upbeat music, and motion sensitive control that can be somewhat fun, this game is really what you make it. But be forewarned though, this game is best played with more then one person. Bottomline, throw on your tackiest Hawaiian shirt that you have, invite a group of friends or family over, whip up some margaritas (virgin one’s for the young ones), and enjoy what the game has to offer.