I love the Wii-U and I’m super excited as to which direction Nintendo and game developers will take future games utilising the Gamepad in all sorts of different ways and maximising the capabilities of the actual machine.
They have done a superb job in introducing us to some of the different ways the Gamepad can be used thanks to the launch titles and Warner Bros Interactive have shown us how it can be a fun feature in sports with their game Game Party Champions which is the fifth Game Party title in the series.
Taking advantage of the Gamepads’ unique features, players can discover their inner sports person from the palm of their hand... sort of.
Game Party Champions does have a story mode but it’s a feeble useless one.
You choose a generic avatar that then begins the game, rudely awakened by an overly enthusiastic, also generic, friend who encourages you to participate in a tournament held in a local arcade.
The arcade is filled with arcade systems but unfortunately you can only play games such as Air Hockey, Mini Golf, Basketball, Table Tennis and more which is a bit of a downer.
The story is cliché and poorly executed, forcing the player to participate in set games aiming to hit certain score quotas and beat their opponent which get steadily more difficult.
The voice acting is cringe worthy and you feel thankful that your character doesn’t speak.
The story feels more of a single player spin off and I would have rather preferred a tournament mode or something else other than a silly story.
The gameplay is hit and miss in the respect that some games are more of a chore to play than others, with the best being Air Hockey, and the worst being Table Tennis or better known as Ping Pong.
Players use the stylus or finger to simulate actual gestures used in the real respective sports.
For example, controlling the Air Hockey paddle, throwing a basketball, batting back the ball in Ping Pong, controlling a golf club etc. and in some games aiming is required by tilting the Gamepad itself.
Nearly all of the games feel like a chore and don’t feel fun at all.
However, as mentioned earlier, Air Hockey is the only game that provides a fraction of fun, the only annoying thing about Air Hockey is the opponent always places their paddle on the puck to position it for them to hit it.
It gets annoying FAST.
Games like Mini Golf and Baseball (which might as well have been called Home Run mode) depends on pure luck to hit that perfect shot and you will more than likely find yourself just swiping the Gamepads screen randomly.
The visuals are mediocre at best, all the different sports and their environments certainly look the part, however they are paired with generic bland backgrounds which are lightly populated by randomers throwing out over dramatic raves which is a serious eye sore.
The illustrations on the Gamepad are simple 2D graphics but this wasn’t important as your looking at the TV screen mostly anyway.
The only multiplayer mode is party mode which is just a basic game board set up populated with different coloured spaces. Each space corresponds to a different sport and players have to shake the Gamepad lightly to roll an on screen dice, the players token then automatically moves whatever the dice landed on and that player has to participate in whatever sport it is.
The sport starts up and that player alone has to beat a score, pass and you stay on that space, fail and it’s back to the start. Two or more players cannot participate in a single sport to verse each other which is nothing but blasphemy!
Warner Bros Interactive have clearly rushed to get this atrocity of a game out for the Wii-U launch without taking much care in making this game any fun to play. The gameplay is hit and miss with some games being better than others and the visuals are bland and unexciting... and then there’s the silly story mode which is not worth your time. It’s an interesting take on using the Gamepad in different ways but even these ways lack anything to keep players playing.
A shockingly overpriced launch title that should be overlooked.
Game party Champions
Developers: Warner brothers Interactive
Publishers: Warner Brothers Interactive
Genre: Sports/ Party Interactive
Release date: 18th November 2012
Story – 1/5
Graphics – 3/5
Gameplay – 3/5
Overall – 2.5/5