Water Sports

It’s after playing games like this that you a) want to hang yourself with the cord from the Wii-mote and b) wonder why on Earth Nintendo don’t have some form of quality control on their Wii console releases. If it wasn’t bad enough that this game is total trash, the publishers of the game have gone out of their way to try and confuse buyers by making the box art look identical to Wii Sports Resort. Comparing these two games is like comparing a Rolex gold watch with a piece of paper with “fifteen past eight” scribbled on it. Water Sports is the bit of paper by the way.

In order to sum up this abomination of a game, we should study the box-art that states boldly, “Water Sports gives players the opportunity to go Kite Surfing, Wake Boarding, Wind Surfing and Jet Skiing all without having to get wet or leave your living room!” It should also mention “without having any fun” as well.

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In fact, after putting the disc in, simply trying to enter my name into the New Player screen gave me a headache. The designer obviously decided that the only way to make the menus look good was to use around sixteen different types of font – each one beautifully contrasted to the next. But at least the presentation at the start sets you up nicely for the PlayStation One quality graphics that leap out and slap you in the face for the next hour.

Basically I gave this game a 1.5 for graphics simply because it HAS graphics. Anything less than this would have to be made out of two coloured boxes that move around the screen. Water Sports has around twice that many boxes, although you wouldn’t be able to tell due to a jerkylicious framerate and a physics engine that could only work on the face of the Moon.

It is true, Water Sports does offer Kite Surfing, Wake Boarding, Wind Surfing and Jet Skiing. Except, according to the developers, all of these sports are exactly the same and require the same controls. Stand on the balance board and hold down accelerate… and then start crying as you see yourself splashing around all over the place without rhyme or reason. The game manual even goes to the extent of listing dozens of tricks that you can execute by pressing directions on the D-Pad when in mid-air. Shame that all the tricks look the freaking same and that it’s impossible to fail a trick as your player stays suspended in mid-air until he or she has finished their set animation routine.

The only slight variation appears to be the Wind Surfing game that, believe it or not, seems to require wind. The only problem is, the wind dynamics make no sense whatsoever and seem completely arbitrary. One minute you’ll be crawling along, wondering why that dolphin in the distance only has one frame of animation on it and then next you’ll be going warp-speed (usually in the wrong direction).

The “gameplay” (if we can call it that) is basically navigating through a course filled with jumps, obstacles and check-points. If you hit an obstacle, you can expect to see the exact same “flying into the air” animation over and over, complete with an out of sync “splash” sound that triggers about 4 seconds AFTER you hit the water.

The computer AI is basically just for show, with other racers appearing and disappearing around you at random. They’ll even jump the gun and take off before your countdown has even started, making you sit there like a lemon for three seconds. But it doesn’t matter, as even after going the wrong way for half the course we still managed to come second. We can only imagine that even the computer players gave up and went home after trying to play the game.

Water Sports felt completely broken using the Wii balance board. Leaning left and right requires players to literally stand right on the edge of the board in order to register any real turning motion. After a while we gave up and tried normal Wii-motes and to be fair, the game was certainly more playable without the balance board. The only explanation could be that the balance board support was tacked on as a last minute addition without proper testing. Even the controls weren’t altered for a balance board, with the 2 button being used for accelerate no matter which controls you used. When holding the Wii-mote and tilting it to steer, the 2 button felt perfect; just like a Mario Kart game. But on the balance board, using the 2 button felt completely mental. Surely the B trigger would be a better option?

Finally, in one last “up yours” to the buyer, the game mentions multiplayer support. Which isn’t a lie, but instead of two players racing against each other in an exciting split-screen show-down, you’ll take turns with one player going first before the second. Didn’t we get past this sort of “racing multiplayer” about eight years ago? The other claim in multiplayer is that the game has “co-operative gameplay”. Thankfully, two players can simultaneously partake in the Wake Boarding event as one controls the boat and the other controls the boarder being pulled behind it. The problem here though is that due to a horrific drawing distance and low frame-rate, it’s almost impossible for the boat to aim at jumps without ploughing your team-mate into a pole. Even once mastered this game is quite possibly worse than the other type of “water sports” – avoid at all costs unless you hate your children and want them to burn their Wii console.

"The horror."
- Water Sports
Follow Own it? Rating: G   Difficulty: Insane   Learning Curve: 5 Min


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Comments Comments (13)

Posted by Syn-Ryn
On Saturday 24 Apr 2010 10:19 AM
Don't you think at 1.0 is a bit generous?
Posted by Srassy
On Saturday 24 Apr 2010 12:33 PM
That's quite possibly one of the lowest scores I've seen you guys give. It almost makes me want to get the game just to see how crappy it is. :) Anyone got it cheap?
Posted by acedumbunny
On Saturday 24 Apr 2010 12:45 PM
It's here http://www.trademe.co.nz/Gaming/Nintendo-Wii/Games/auction-285689332.htm for $45 if you consider that cheap.
Posted by Srassy
On Saturday 24 Apr 2010 1:16 PM
Yeah, I saw that. But for this, that's not even close to worth it.
Posted by Soyerz
On Saturday 24 Apr 2010 1:31 PM
Bwahahaha, awesome. The screen shots look a bit better than Super Mario 64.
Posted by Oliver
On Saturday 24 Apr 2010 9:32 PM
Holy crap. Is that Comic Sans?
Posted by ChatterboxZombie
On Saturday 24 Apr 2010 10:04 PM
I'm sure there's some people who'd like it.
people who like mortification for instance.
Posted by Cazallum
On Sunday 25 Apr 2010 11:55 AM
Bad reviews are very fun to read. It sounds like you enjoy writing them as well ;)
Posted by SpawnSeekSlay
On Sunday 25 Apr 2010 10:02 PM
Lol nice review, gave me a few sh*ts and giggles..
Wanna try this out for a laugh now lol
Posted by emetic
On Monday 26 Apr 2010 1:14 AM
THis sounds awesome :D!!
The Host of Chaos
Posted by The Host of Chaos
On Monday 26 Apr 2010 7:08 PM
Great review. Can't wait to buy this one!
Posted by ryanrayx2
On Tuesday 27 Apr 2010 10:01 PM
Are they expecting to make money off this?
Posted by emetic
On Thursday 29 Apr 2010 5:16 AM
If the game cost nothing to develop and nothing to advertise but sells plenty of copies to game-illiterate moms who think the box art looks just as appealing as wii sports resort (and who perhaps have a latent water sports fetish?) they'll make plenty of moneys.