|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Data Design Interactive||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Bold Games (Destineer)||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Jan.2, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The controls are simple to use, but they don't work well at all. The Nunchuk attachment will move your players with the analog stick, the A button will switch from player to player defensively, and the Z and B buttons held down together will activate special moves. These special moves can be performed if you've built up enough skill points to activate the move. Everything else is controlled via extremely inaccurate motion-sensitive controls by flicking and waiving the remotes around. In theory, the gamer holds both controllers in either hand parallel to the floor and then brings them up to their chest, and then back down to the starting position in one fluid motion to make a shot. In order to perform a steal, the gamer is to wave the controllers inward. This control scheme seems fun, but it's actually broken. In fact, shooting is so imprecise that the developers actually had to do away with the travel violation. More than half of all my shot attempts failed to leave the avatar's fingertips, and I had to retry it a second and even a third time. This is inexcusable even for a $20 game.
The graphics and music are again simple. The graphics are a grainy collection of cute cartoons. I actually really enjoyed the venues and thought the developers did a good job with the environments. However, the visuals are pixelated and blurry. The music is upbeat, but strikingly similar to a rhythm you'd find on a low-end keyboard. "What is that Latin, Jazz, or Techno?" The commentary is also poor, but acceptable for this kind of title. It's repetitive and not particularly insightful, and it's painfully obvious that the game was made in the UK as the commentator calls for a throw-in every time the ball goes out of bounds.
When Bold Games publishes a budget title, they're not joking. Kidz Sports: Basketball doesn't cut the mustard. It's not even mediocre. I can only hope the other titles in the Popcorn Arcade series are better. If you are anyone over the age of 11, you will be very sorry you purchased this title. If you're buying it for your child, then it's not a complete waste. The characters and environments are cute, and the simple menu navigation means that youngsters should have no problem setting up their own game without having to bother you. All in all, this is a poor game that probably should have been released as Wii ware rather than a published media release. You've got to avoid this one unless you're a little guy thrilled just to be holding a Wii remote.
CCC Freelance Writer