previews\ Jul 28, 2009 at 8:00 pm

Deca Sports 2 - WII - Preview 2

Following the success of the original Deca Sports title on the Wii, the fine folks at Hudson are back for a second round in Deca Sports 2. If we were truly honest with ourselves (and we rarely are), we might realize that the primary reason the first game seemed so desirable was that it scratched a certain gaming itch – more specifically, that which was set upon us by Wii Sports. For all its simplistic beauty and accessible fun, Wii Sports lacked the depth that many sports gamers wished to burrow themselves in. The Deca Sports franchise seems to present itself as a similarly accessible sports title, even so much as imitating the Wii Sports visual aesthetic in many areas. However, where Wii Sports demonstrated the plausibility of sports on the Wii, Deca Sports hopes to make such games feel perfectly natural.

Granted, Deca Sports 2 is still very family-friendly, and is simply enough to function as a casual party game. This is certainly understandable, given the wide appeal the platform holds for casual gamers. However, Deca Sports 2 extends itself to an even wider array of demographics. Most of the available titles, such as hockey and tennis, are instantly recognizable and easy for newcomers to understand without getting bogged down in needless complications. However, Deca Sports 2 also includes a mode for petanque, a sort of risk-versus-reward ball game similar to bocce. European audiences might appreciation the addition, while US players will get to try their hand at something new. Just imagine how worldly you’ll sound, explaining the rules of petanque over at the water cooler!

The total variety of sport modes gives Deca Sports a rather impressive resume. While some will obviously be more grueling than others, the contrast is generally welcome; you can always find something to suit your mood. In addition to the conventional games like racing and dodge ball, you’ll get to experiment with a few rarer treats, such and darts and kendo. Alright, so maybe darts won’t be the main attraction, but the important thing is each mode offers its own flavor of fun. The simple yet strangely addictive dodge ball mode functions as essentially a reflex game. Not all modes were playable in this preview build, but this is the one I found myself spending the most time with. The nearly hypnotic repetition of throwing and dodging airborne spheres awakens ancient memories of elementary school, though sadly, without the taste of blood on the tongue. Unfortunately, I did seem to have a good bit of success with this mode simply by mindlessly shaking the Wii-Mote about, since this controls both actions of throwing and dodging. Hopefully, this will be adjusted in the final build.

The level of character customization in Deca Sports 2 seems minimal when compared to Wii Sports; with so many people spending countless hours constructing their digital Mii counterparts, this will indubitably disappoint some players. Still, this would be a silly, shallow complaint when weighed with the bulk of the game. The variety and accessibility of Deca Sports 2 will surely make it an appealing option for casual sports gamers of all ages.

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