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Celebrity Sports Showdown Review - Wii

2
Gameplay: 2 stars 2
Graphics: 3 stars 3
Audio: 3 stars 3
Multiplayer: 2 stars 2
Innovation: 2 stars 2
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Introduction

You should already have an idea of what this game is like. I mean, just look at the name. Then look at the platform. I mean, really, it speaks for itself. This introduction is over.

Gameplay

Remember that minigame back in the original Mario Party on N64 where you had to rotate your palm on a joystick really quickly in order to steer a raft? And remember how that was a two minute distraction in a deeper board game experience, with forty-nine other minigames to play? And remember how that was 1999? Well, guess what, folks?! It’s been ten years, and EA Canada have decided to get retarded (Fergie in-joke) and bring it back, minus the board game experience, thirty-eight more minigames, and substituting palm blisters for aching arms.

The aforementioned game is wild water canoeing, but Celebrity Sports Showdown has eleven other “sports”, ten “celebrities” and hours of mind-numbing repetition. The biggest draw of the game is clearly being able to play as Keith Urban, Avril Lavigne, LeAnn Rimes, Nelly Furtado, Kristi Yamaguchi and five other famous to not-so-famous people. The other games on the disc are, in order of increasing unsportiness: archery, skiing, badminton, beach volleyball, horse racing, rock climbing, ‘Gladiators’-style jousting, dodgeball, curling, inner-tubing and, rather inexplicably, air racing. This review is going to be short, so I may as well try in vain to pad it out with a bit of a description of each game. They all last for roughly two minutes, and are clearly designed with the casual audience in mind.

Archery is one of the better games. You point at your target, hold B and pull back with the Wii remote to draw your bow, and then release to fire an arrow. Hitting the moving targets nets you points, but since you can see the path of your arrow in advance, the only real challenge comes in timing the shot given the time it takes for the arrow to reach its destination. Skiing is also decent. For some reason you hold the controller like a joystick and tilt left and right to slalom through gates for boosts. It’s a race, but if you miss a gate you get penalised, so finishing first is not necessarily going to get you gold if you’ve skipped a few flags on the way down.

Badminton and volleyball are quite similar. You waggle the controller when the ball/shuttlecock lights up green to hit the shot. It doesn’t seem to matter how hard you hit it, or in what direction. It just bounces over the net or to your partner as appropriate. Volleyball has variations in control depending on how you want to set the ball up for a spike, but they’re both pretty similar. Like Wii Sports' tennis, you control both players on your team.

Horse racing is like the cow racing in Wii Play, but with one infuriating addition: waggle. Holding the Wiimote sideways you tilt to steer and press ‘2’ to jump over hurdles. The only problem is that rather than accelerating ...

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