Saturday, 11 June 2011

Game of the Week: Sports Island 3D [3DS]

The Sports Island game franchise  has burst its way onto the 3DS, making it one of the very first Sports Compendium titles to be played on Nintendo's new handheld system.

 For those of you who have not yet tried the Wii or DS versions of this game,  just imagine a handheld version of Wii Sports but with awesome 3D graphics.

Sports Island 3D boasts an impressive collection of ten sports - Sumo Wrestling, Tennis, Ice Hockey, Soccer, Basketball, Snow Mobile Racing, Trampolining, Bowling, Target Shooting and  - rather bizarrely - Snowball Fighting.

Players can pick a team and then battle against the computer to win first place in the various sporting events, and can even take part in a random three-event championship. The game controls vary for each sport, which can take a bit of getting used to, but the game is very easy to pick up and play overall.

A few subtle game mechanics help to keep things interesting. For example, the various Power Balls found in each sporting arena can be collected to provide your chosen team players with a much needed power boost, which works especially well in Sumo Wrestling and Snow Mobile Racing.

Winning an event also unlocks special character abilities for the various sports, which can be activated during gameplay by pressing the L button. New character faces and styles can also be unlocked by winning championships and tournaments.

The single-player mode is immersive enough, but this game also boasts two rather impressive Multiplayer options as well. The first is a  Local Play Match mode, which allows you to game with friends via your wireless settings, and Download Play Match multiplayer mode for playing with a single game cartridge across two or more 3DS systems.

However, the 'Dowload Play Match' option presented us with a rather annoying problem: Although you can choose to play any of the ten sports on offer at the beginning of your match, there is no way to select a different sport at the end of your match, which meant us having to terminate the wireless connection in order to go back to the Main Menu selection screen. This got frustrating very quickly.

Nevertheless, the game itself is impressive. Mini Gamers loved the collection of sports on offer and found the game very addictive from the start.  Our favourite games were:

  •  Tennis: Play either Singles or Doubles matches. 

  •  Sumo Wrestling: Use the X, Y or B buttons to attack your opponent and push them out of the ring,

  • Snow Mobile Racing:  Race around a three-lap track and stay ahead of your competitors to win.

  • Bowling: Use the stylus to throw the ball down the alley and try and get those Strikes.

  • Soccer: Use the B button to pass the football along to your teamates, the A button to perform sliding tackles and the X button to aim at the goal.
Sports Island 3D UK Trailer

This title is truly amazing. The 3D graphics really help to add a greater sense of depth and the cartoon-style characters make the game bright and appealing for all. If you like varied sports, then this is the perfect game for you. Overall rating: 9/10.

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