by William Thompson
reviewed on PC
Three in One
When the Wii was originally released back in 2006, it was geared towards (among other things), family friendly play. Most of the early games contained the cute cartoon visuals that Nintendo are famous for. One such game that many of the consoles shipped with was Wii Sports, allowing gamers of all abilities to use the console’s motion abilities in a range of fun sports activities. Super Sports Blast allows gamers a similarly fun experience, but with Soccer, Volleyball and Tennis with a visual experience similar to that of Wii Sports.
The visual style is about the only thing the two games have in common though. Super Sports Blast is basically three fully fleshed out games in one, one game for each sport. And although they have a more arcade-like nature than similar full-priced titles such as FIFA or AO Tennis, they are reasonably deep when it comes to gameplay options.
Hitting the tennis court
After configuring your cartoon avatar, gamers are tasked with working their way up the rankings in the career mode. Players start out with limited skills, having a small number of points with which to assign to the various skills when they begin their tennis journey. But with some training and by winning matches in the available tournaments, players can boost their attributes. Tournaments are played out in a week-by-week schedule, and players are given the option of entering a competition (starting at lowly challenger-type tournaments), completing some training, or resting. Resting becomes important in helping to regain stamina used in matches. But winning matches in the career mode, grants an increase in the player’s rank and they will be invited to more tournaments, and particularly those with greater rewards. Of course, as your rank improves, so does the quality of opponent.
But it is not just the career mode that is available in the tennis game. Players can take on friends in local matches and can even make some adjustments to the rules, such as having a court that changes size, to making multiple balls in play at once. These little additions liven up the gameplay somewhat, and add to the cartoony, arcade feel of the game.
And for those who like bigger balls
Volleyball has gamers playing through a charming little story mode. As you and your partner progress, you will run into some hilarious opponents, as the game is full of pop-culture icons. Like Tennis, there are several game modes to play, allowing gamers to play either single player or with up to three friends. After a couple of quick tutorials, players will be digging, setting, and then spiking the ball over the net. Timing a jump to that you smash the volleyball into an opponent’s court can be difficult at first, but it is satisfying when it comes off.
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Like both Tennis and Volleyball, the soccer (or football) game allows players to play a number of modes. Gamers can customize their teams and then play their way through a varying array of tournaments. If you’re a fan of the FIFA series, this game may feel a little amateurish, but with the simple controls and cartoon style visuals, Super Sports Blast is not really trying to complete with the fully fleshed annually released games. The simplified game enables it to be a tad more accessible to the casual gamers and helps to make the soccer portion more of a couch party title.
Indeed. the controls for each of the sports are reasonably simple, enabling gamers to jump right into their game of choice with relative ease. Of course, each of the sports have nuances to the controls, which when learned, will grant that extra boost to how your player/team competes. In a way, it is like learning the controls for a beat’em-up where you can win just by pressing the punch and kick, but you’ll do better if you know how to pull off counters and combos as well. That said, if you regularly play FIFA, the football section of the controls may feel somewhat strange.
A three-legged race
Individually, each of the three games does just enough to make them playable for all, but enjoyable for those looking for a deeper experience. There is not the same level of depth as you would get of you bought the latest FIFA iteration, the latest version of AO Tennis, or Spike Volleyball, but each do an admirable job. The controls are simple to learn, visuals have a cheerful nature to them, and each of the three sports adds something different for gamers to play. And with each of the games having a local multiplayer option, there is always the choice to have friends over for a casual sports game party.
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Three fun games to play, simple controls to learn
Lacking the depth of a single sport game