Sports Champions 2, You're a Lovely Relic

Sports Champions 2 was set up in the corner of a recent Sony showcase, and, honestly, I felt bad for it.

No piece of game code needs sympathy and there's nothing ostensibly wrong with Sports Champions 2 to merit such pity.

It's just that it feels like a byproduct of a bygone era already, as out of step with what's next as all those guitar games that still get made in an attempt to carry on what was.

Do people still want sports mini-game collections for their consoles? To the extent that they do, do they want to play them with motion-control wands?

The PlayStation Move, which is genuinely marvelous tech that at least matches the more advanced MotionPlus version of the Wii Remote, is once again required for Sports Champions. This year's edition includes bowling, boxing, skiing, tennis, golf and archery. Skiing, which I tried, involves the kind of leaning and imaginary pulling of your ski poles you'd expect. Boxing is the familiar mix of punch-throwing, dodging and blocking we've seen in rival games.

The best and worst I can say about this game is that it works as expected. And by that, I mean it works more like the old Wii Sports games with tighter controls and is much more precise and responsive than the flailing-friendly Kinect games that now get all the motion-control attention over on the Xbox 360.

Oh, and there's one smart novelty: players can hop right into a Sports Champions 2 contest without doing the three-point calibration required before each event in the first game of the series. The developers figured out how to enable a cruder quick-calibration that will be accurate enough for the average player and allows anyone to instantly be playing.