Casual sport's action on the beachPut your tongues back in, you won’t find any the semi-naked ladies in Big Beach Sports. This family-friendly title from THQ is solely aimed at keeping youngsters out of the sunshine and indoors over the summer with a series of casual sport-simulation games on Wii.
Utilising the Wii-mote’s motion-sensing capability, the strange list of six sporting disciplines on offer, which seem to cater for a European and US audience, are: American football, football, volleyball, boules, cricket and disc golf.
There are very limited options in terms of game modes. Quick play mode is where you jump straight into any of the six disciplines and choose a few parameters, such as how many sets you want to play in Volleyball or how many holes you want to play in golf, before you compete purely for fun against AI controlled opponents or up to three friends.
There’s also tournament mode, where you compete for points and trophies and it's also the mode where you can open up plenty of unlockables, such as special moves like ‘Palms of Steel’ which gives you a super-powered volleyball strike or a variety of quirky costumes such as a monkey suit, which you can force your character to wear.
The basic customisation editor, which allows you to play around with your beach wear and adapt your cutesy character to your very own style (I managed to make one that looked like Ali G) may appeal to young children and there’s also DS to Wii connectivity, which allows you to download a simple paint shop editor so you can draw a face and put it onto your newly-made character’s body.
It’s a really basic paint shop editor, but you can give yourself big ears perhaps, or a huge nose, or maybe get a bit more creative with various face parts (I know what you’re thinking) and within a few seconds of creating a face on the DS it’s uploaded to the Wii console. It’s certainly a nice idea, which the kids will probably enjoy, but it’s also the first indication that the developer has chosen style over substance.
Nevertheless, even as simulations of the sports they represent, some of the six disciplines are still good fun, especially when playing against family or friends.
In the same vein as the way tennis worked in Wii Sports you never actually control the movement of your character, but instead you control his actions, like when he hits, throws or kicks. The Nunchuck isn’t used at all in any of the games, but instead the Wii-mote is used to flick, swing or spin your way to victory.
Continue overleaf for opinions on each of the six sports