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Sports Connection review

A mini-game masterpiece for the ages... or not? Clue: it's the latter

Ubisoft has been a stalwart partner of Nintendo's for quite some time now, always turning up at the launch of a new console with a clutch of games to demonstrate its support for the big N. Unfortunately, outside quality efforts such as ZombiU and, to a lesser extent, Assassin's Creed 3, it's not always the kind of support you would really welcome.

Imagine a celebrity turning up to a premiere, gritting their teeth as they pose awkwardly on the red carpet with their drunken mother-in-law who got dressed in the dark and is wearing odd flip-flops. See that mother-in-law? That's Sports Connection, that is.

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The box promises to let you "play six of your favourite sports in a whole new way", which is probably accurate if you take "whole new" to mean "clumsy and badly made". It's true that none of these sports has ever felt quite so uncomfortable to play, nor so devoid of entertainment value. So at least the blurb is reasonably honest. That is until it gets to the "thrilling mini-games" part, though perhaps that's a misprint and they meant "chilling", referring to the blank-eyed, wonky-mouthed avatars you choose from.

Connect Bore

So what do we have? Well, for starters there's a dreadful Mario Kart clone, which at least has the decency to be fast-paced, but it runs about as smoothly as a four-frame flipnote.

Then there's football, where players like to jog over to the side of the pitch for a rest every few seconds, or, alternatively, dry-hump the goalposts.

Tennis adopts a curious, stylus-led control scheme that might be an interesting idea if it wasn't seemingly your opponent's first encounter with the sport, or if they weren't apparently suffering from chronic arthritis.

Baseball is perhaps the pick of the bunch, being tolerably mundane, rather than abject. It pinches Nintendo's idea of moving the GamePad to catch the ball in your gloved mitt and you pitch by drawing a line. The path of your throw isn't a particularly close match, mind: we know because we attempted to spell "dull" with the ball's trajectory.

Either way, it's certainly better than American Football, which features the most cack-handed implementation of throwing a ball it's possible to imagine. And that's when it works. When defending you're given the option to move players to block routes to the offensive team's receivers, which would be fine if your men didn't ignore your instructions to move wherever they please.

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Sporting Tragedy

Golf, meanwhile, merely has to copy Wii Sports to win the dubious honour of Best Game in Sports Connection, but it can't even manage that. Jerkier than a strip of dry-cured beef, it asks you to sync the remote between every single hole. In mitigation, as with the rest of Sports Connection, it's primarily a multiplayer game, but good luck roping in any other poor saps.

As if Sports Connection wasn't bad enough, it also suffers from bafflingly long load times, while the game's font is so dull even his friend Times New Roman secretly hates him. If you're looking for a present for your mortal enemy, you've come to the right place. Everyone else? Avoid as you would burying your head in a nest of angry fire ants.

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  1. Slinkington Monday 7th Jan 2013 at 12:59

    "Dry-hump"? I thought this was a family friendly magazine... :(

  2. Argenthor Monday 7th Jan 2013 at 16:26

    "Dry-hump"? I thought this was a family friendly magazine... :(


    That's not really that bad now is it! Dog's dry-hump the furniture? And families own dogs? Ergo it's all good.

    What's more offensive it seems is this game. *snap*

  3. Riverlution Monday 7th Jan 2013 at 18:43

    Who buys this junk?

  4. 5OUNDWAVE Monday 7th Jan 2013 at 22:43

    Who buys this junk?

    the clueless !

  5. imbusydoctorwho Tuesday 8th Jan 2013 at 14:26

    Definitely not worthy of Nintendo's seal of quality.

  6. TheSlenderman Monday 14th Jan 2013 at 16:20

    The people developing this sort of rubbish must know that it is terrible, as must the publishers. Why bother releasing something that is clearly dreadful and sure to attract negative attention, just to make a bit of cash off families who don't know their Marios from their onions?

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