101 sports themed mini-games for DS.
101-in-1 Megamix Sports, or Sports Megamix depending which side of the pond you are on, is the latest mini-game compilation Nordcurrent. In a similar way to the recent 101-in-1 Megamix game on the PSP, this title offers 101 games offering quick hit entertainment for DS owners. But there are a few differences between the titles.
The most important difference is that all of the mini-games found in Megamix Sports are , as you may have guessed, sports themed. Each mini-game is based on either a well known, or sometimes slightly obscure, sport. But don’t panic if you are not into sports games, these mini-games are less sport and more fun based.
The player begins with only a few of the games actually available and may choose to start with whichever one they want. Succeeding in the mini-games will award the player points that can then be used to unlock further games, and thus earn further points for unlocking more games, and so on. As you can imagine, with 101 games all revolving around sports, there is quite a variety of different styles of play. Games like table tennis, badminton or volleyball will revolve around playing the game to a certain number of points by returning the ball/shuttlecock and trying to out play the opponent. Aiming games such as darts, clay pigeon shooting or bowls require the player to show some precision and achieve a certain score. Racing games such as swimming or horse racing use the classic button mashing method, except with a DS twist, with the player generally tapping or swiping the stylus at high speed.
Of course,with 101 games in total, there are a lot more game types than that little taster. Some of the games are quite quick and simple to do well in, whereas others seem to be devilishly hard or quite drawn out. This is another way that the game differs from Megamix on the PSP. Although some of the games are of the quick-hit category, there are a lot that last longer than would be expected. Games such as Bowling, for example, have the gamer work through an entire game of bowls which, let’s face it, has been the sole focus of full games before. I am not saying that the Bowling game in Megamix Sports is anywhere near as involved as a full retail game, but it is much more than a mini-game.
I am not sure if this works in the games favor or not. When playing Megamix on PSP, many comparisons were made to Wario Wares and that style of “micro-gaming”. The longer games move Megamix Sports away from that genre and into the party game genre, which obviously gives the game a lot more competition.
Besides the value of 101 games in one package, when comparing Megamix Sports to the various party games out there, it comes up short. This is mostly to do with the lack of anything tying the games together. Progress is measured by earning enough points to unlock another mini-game, which is just not as compelling as working around a game board for example. Even Megamix on PSP offered the concept of TV channels to unlock, with each containing a variety of different mini-games.
Also, when you unlocked new games on Megamix PSP, it was always a surprise and the players were compelled to keep playing just to find out what weirdness awaited them in the next game. With all of the games being sports themed and being able to see what sport they involve before choosing to unlock them, that surprise is just not present, and neither is the compulsion to keep playing.
Then there are the visuals. Don’t get me wrong, the games look good for what they are portraying. It is just that they are not bright or colourful and, dare I say it, not fun. There is a seriousness about the visuals that reduces the fun factor. There would have been nothing stopping the devs from going down the cute and colourful route which would have given a more enjoyable experience.
Whichever way you look at it, 101 games is good value for money and is enough to keep the gamer busy for a good while. When compared to the most recent Megamix release, 101-in-1 Megamix on PSP, Megamix Sports comes up short. But that does not mean it is not a good game, just not as good. If you are looking for a compilation which offers variety and challenge for your DS, Megamix Sports is your best choice at the moment.