Reviewed: December 7, 2008
Released: November 11, 2008
I had high hopes for Big League Sports when I popped it into my Wii. After all, it had the Activision logo in the corner and the cover design was nearly a spot-on match for the Wii Sports package that comes with every Wii system. I did have a few concerns about the actual sports chosen to be part of this collection. After all, who really plays lacrosse? Certainly not the same people who play video games.
Big League Sports contains six sports; Football, Hockey, Basketball, Lacrosse, Tennis, and Soccer, but it wonít take you long to realize that you canít play any of these sports; at least in the way you might expect. Instead, you get a variety of mini-games and events based on these sports. This was a devastating turn of events as I headed to the basketball game with a friend in tow ready for some one-on-one hoops only to find we could only play HORSE or Slam Dunk or play a 3-point Challenge. It only got worse from thereÖ
Football has challenges like throwing the ball at targets, much like what you can do in Carnival Games, or kicking field goals or trying to complete a pass to the WR under pressure. Hockey has you trying to hit targets around the four corners of the net, or you can play as goalie and try to block shots, or even try to trip and check your opponents.
Lacrosse has a shooting challenge, passing challenge, and a breakaway challenge for a running attack on the goal. Even if you like lacrosse you probably wonít like these mindless challenges. All three mini-games involve you throwing the ball using the same motion so there is little to no difference among the games. Play one and youíve played them all.
Tennis offers the same games you can find in just about any other AAA tennis title. You can try to return the ball and hit the moving bullseye, knock over milk bottles, serve up a series of aces, or turn the court into a pinball table. Soccer mimics hockey with a free kick game, a corner kick, or you can play as the goalie to block shots. None of these games are terribly exciting and the twitchy controls make them even less fun.
I have nothing against mini-games but seriously, all of this stuff has been done before and done better, usually as training or mini-games in part of a AAA sports title, and in those games you can actually play the real sports. Iíd also be more inclined to forgive this title if it had some decent controls, but even the simplest motions are unreliable. Trying to shoot a basketball takes 2-3 attempts on the backswing motion just to raise the ball to shoot. Doing the slam-dunk contest is a motion-pattern exercise that seems more like DDR than basketball.
After a somewhat impressive opening movie you arrive at a fairly boring menu system that lists the sports and the events available within each genre. The graphics are merely acceptable. You can create a character that is visually more impressive than the Miiís used in Wii Sports but they are still cartoons that donít have very fluid or realistic movement.
Sound effects and music are also definitely budget with frequently looping music and token sound effects for each sport. You really canít expect a lot from a game like this when it comes to sound and music but this game screams minimal effort.
The game supports up to four players, which is good because the AI is non-existent in Big League Sports and you will seldom interact with the computer players in any of the game modes. But even sharing your misery with other players won't ease the pain of playing this game in versus or team modes.
Published by Activision Value, I was surprised this game is selling for $40 right alongside other top-quality games. Iím guessing not for long. This title will certainly find its way into the $20 bargain bin at your local Wal-Mart, and even then it would be a tough recommendation.
Chances are, if you enjoy sports enough to be interested in this title you already have other games that do the same thing better. Big League Sports is a miserable game that should have been released as a $10 Wii Ware title than an actual retail offering. Avoid this game at all costs. Itís neither fun nor original and has no place in your Wii game collection.