|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Digital Embryo||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Destineer||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Apr. 15, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Mini-golf offers nine different holes that are nicely laid out with multiple paths and hazards. The touchy controls and lack of holes (the same nine get repetitive very quickly) makes this one of the weakest selections. Croquet has three different course layouts, but doesn't allow you to play with a rover or hit-away. Like mini-golf, the controls are a letdown. Badminton will have you flailing around furiously with the Wii Remote and is most similar to Wii Sports tennis. Volleyball is a bit deeper as it places a premium on timing and actually does a decent job of recognizing your movements. Lawn darts and horse shoes are the best entries as far as I'm concerned. Having said that, they're almost identical to each other. A mild difference is the inclusion of wind effect for lawn darts does up the complexity some. Otherwise, they're pretty much the same game.
Basketball is the most distinct and most detailed game. Players can choose between two locales: a full court in a park or a paved driveway, and three different game types: Horse, Around-the-World, and Free Play. These games are all strictly based on set shots and never actually have you playing a full game. That's probably a blessing as I'm sure 2-v-2 games would surely be poorly executed. Consequently, shooting baskets is easy as long as you make a fluid stroke. I found this game to be fairly complete, but it quickly lost its magic after just a few times through.
The presentation, including graphic quality and sounds, is fairly well done. The visuals are everything they need to be but nothing more. The various stages and settings are nicely fashioned and bring the feel of the tropics home. The game is full of jaggies, but every good looking Wii title has its fair share of those. The sounds and music are representative of an island getaway, but are simplistic and repetitive. The use of steel drums for the menu selections was a nice touch, however.
Summer Sports: Paradise Island is a passable Wii sporting title that brings a few backyard favorites to your living room. Unfortunately, the imprecise controls don't let the game achieve its full potential. Consequently, the title is nothing more than a bit more fodder for Sony and Microsoft fanboys to point their fingers and laugh at. That being said, the gameplay experience is similar to that found in Wii Sports. I expect fans of Wii Sports and other casual players to enjoy this title, but core gamers will be bored in a matter of minutes.
CCC Lead Contributor / News Director