Review | 101-in-1 Sports Party Megamix
Quantity over quality
Format: Wii | Genre: Mini game compilation | Publisher: Nordcurrent | Developer: Nordcurrent | Release date: 19/11/2010 | Price: £19.99
Jennifer Allen learns just how many sub par mini games you can fit onto one Wii disc with 101-in-1 SPORTS PARTY MEGAMIX.
THERE’S ONE specific phrase that rolls around your head time and time again while playing 101-in-1 Sports Party Megamix: quality over quantity. It’s not in the good way though. Instead I’m thinking of it and then thinking ’so why on earth has this game focused on quantity instead?!’ While there are a precious few quite enjoyable mini games in this collection, the overwhelming majority are obtusely difficult or confusingly explained. And ugly. Mustn’t forget the ugliness. While I had to play through as much of the game as possible, I’ve no doubt that the average person who plays games purely for fun (you lucky sods you) will cast 101-in-1 Sports Party Megamix aside faster than you can say, well, the title of the game.
Mini game collections as a genre tend to be rather patchy admittedly. Even the hugely enjoyable WarioWare: Smooth Moves suffers from the odd damp squib; it’s just to be expected. In the case of 101-in-1 Sports Party Megamix, it’s almost all damp squibs and very little fun to be had.
Upon first playing the game, 12 different mini games are available with a couple of new ones unlocked after completing each game. In itself this is a slight problem as for the average family of non-gamers, they might never actually see all 101 minigames. They’re also a very, very mixed bag. Each event has a tenuous link to a sport from archery contests to rock climbing and sumo wrestling. Almost none of them are as exciting as they sound. An early rock climbing game feels almost impossible to win at thanks to ridiculously good CPU AI. In juxtaposition to that however are games that are extremely easy to win at such as where you have to rugby tackle the opposition or bounce them out of the ring, bizarre Sumo wrestling style (assuming all Sumo wrestlers wrestle on ice). It’s all a bit odd just how much the game swings wildly from easy to frustratingly hard. This isn’t helped by the frequently unresponsive controls but at least many of the games simply require shaking the nunchuk or remote. Ones that require accurate clicks are a tad more annoying though.
One particular game involved throwing axes at a swaying bullseye. Maybe I’m just rubbish but no matter how carefully I lined up the shot, I missed every single time. Maybe it was just that I was missing a necessary instruction, 101-in-1 Sports Party Megamix isn’t a game overly fussed about explaining everything to each mini game. Instead you’ll find yourself coming across situations that you’re not prepared for. Basic instructions are there but in some stages you’ll come across bars or other HUD elements that don’t make as much sense as they think they do. Other games such as the sack race provide overcomplicated instructions when in reality you can get by simply through waggling the nunchuk and Wii remote as fast as possible.
There’s also the fact that you have to not only beat your opponents but also score over 2000 points in most games, something that’s often much harder to do than you’d think. Kids in particular will find the constant moving of goal posts infuriating. They’ll quickly question why you have to complete both objectives not just the typical ‘defeat player x’ method.
Crucially this all doesn’t make for a very entertaining experience in a party environment which is surely the most important place for any mini game collection to shine. This is accentuated by the multiplayer frequently feeling chaotically messy with cursors flying all over the place. Throw in a very ugly frontend and minimalist structure overall (no ability to play as your own Mii, really Nordcurrent?), there just doesn’t feel any real need to play this. Sure it’s a budget release but when you factor in price variations online, it’s not such a great deal. At the time of writing you can buy the Rabbids Triple Pack for £10 on Amazon or you can buy this for £13. It’s not hard to know what game you should be buying.