Itâ€™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 donâ€™t have some form of quality control on their Wii console releases. If it wasnâ€™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 â€śfifteen past eightâ€ť 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, â€śWater 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!â€ť It should also mention â€świthout having any funâ€ť as well.
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 â€“ 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 wouldnâ€™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 accelerateâ€¦ 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 itâ€™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 youâ€™ll be crawling along, wondering why that dolphin in the distance only has one frame of animation on it and then next youâ€™ll be going warp-speed (usually in the wrong direction).
The â€śgameplayâ€ť (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 â€śflying into the airâ€ť animation over and over, complete with an out of sync â€śsplashâ€ť 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. Theyâ€™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 doesnâ€™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 werenâ€™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 â€śup yoursâ€ť to the buyer, the game mentions multiplayer support. Which isnâ€™t a lie, but instead of two players racing against each other in an exciting split-screen show-down, youâ€™ll take turns with one player going first before the second. Didnâ€™t we get past this sort of â€śracing multiplayerâ€ť about eight years ago? The other claim in multiplayer is that the game has â€śco-operative gameplayâ€ť. 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, itâ€™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 â€śwater sportsâ€ť â€“ avoid at all costs unless you hate your children and want them to burn their Wii console.