First Impressions: ‘Deca Sports 2’ for the Nintendo Wii Preview

deca-sports-2-coverComing at the end of this month, Hudson releases its follow up to last year’s commercial success with Deca Sports 2 for the Nintendo Wii. With ten all different games from the original Deca Sports, Hudson hopes to offer a different experience than that of Wii Sports or Wii Sports Plus. Like Wii Sports, the Deca Sports franchise is geared as a casual pickup and play game featuring a variety of gameplay options. It does, however, put a focus on full game experiences as opposed to the mini-game or made-up sports style of products like Wii Play.

Deca Sports 2 will not feature use of the Nintendo first party peripherals like the Balance Board from Wii Fit or the WiiMotion Plus controller add-on. When asked about it, Hudson representatives told us that WiiMotion Plus had not been announced at the time in development of Deca Sports 2 where they could insert it into the game. Instead, they have already begun discussing using it should they do another Deca Sports in the future.

Deca Sports 2 will feature:

  • Downhill Skiing
  • Petank (Bocce Ball)
  • Tennis
  • Ice Hockey
  • Kendo
  • Darts
  • Dodge Ball
  • Speed Skating
  • Synchronized Swimming
  • Motorcycle Racing
Synchronized Swimming

Synchronized Swimming

Included for the first time in Deca Sports will be online multiplayer for the games where it made the most sense: Hockey, Dodge Ball and Tennis. Also a new addition to this year’s iteration will be the ability for players to make their own teams. This was added as a response to fans who were disappointed they could not use their Mii’s in the game like they could in Wii Sports due to Nintendo. Hudson hopes this allows for that same level of player customization that players miss from not having their Mii available to them. Players are able to compose teams out of three types of athletes: Small (fast but weak), Medium (balanced) and Large (strong but slow)

We got to take a look at a few games when we sat down with Deca Sports 2. The first was Dodge Ball. Unlike the Vince Vaughn movie, this version of Dodge Ball is played under international rules where eliminated players take positions behind the opposing team and a catch doesn’t eliminate a player. Once getting over this minor change in rules, it was easy to pick up Dodge Ball’s simple controls (which were displayed before the start of the game). A simple swipe of the Wiimote would either dodge the ball or throw it depending on which side of the battle the player was on while button presses allowed for players to catch the ball being thrown at them. One thing that stood out was the amount of passing strategy that went in to the game instead of just chucking the ball as hard as you could at the opponent’s face like many of us had when growing up.

Dodge Ball

Dodge Ball

Another fun game we got to try out also with simple controls but with a retro flare was Ice Hockey which was very reminiscent in style of the original NES Ice Hockey that so many people look back at fondly with its tight control and fast pace. Like much of the rest of Deca Sports 2, there is a lot of waggle control in Ice Hockey but it also has some advanced moves built in to it. A perfect example of this added layer of depth comes from pulling off a One-Timer (when one player’s pass is immediately hit with a slap shot from his teammate to score a goal).

The surprise game came from Deca Sports 2‘s artistic choice in Synchronized Swimming which took the place of the previous iteration’s Figure Skating. Players choose from three classic songs, “Piano Concerto #1”, “Ride of the Valkyries” and “Rhapsody in Blue” and perform a routine to it with their co-ed group of swimmers. This rhythm game plays out similar in style to the Nintendo DS hit Elite Beat Agents where a group of ever closing circles close in on directions for the player to hit the Wiimote in a direction, synching up with the music chosen.

Ice Hockey

Ice Hockey

It will be interesting to see how Deca Sports 2 fairs against the more functionally accurate Wii Sports Plus and their different choice of sports. From what we have seen, it does look like a fun game and we plan on a full review of the game as it gets closer to its release date.

Deca Sports 2 is set to come out on September 29th for the Nintendo Wii.

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