ESPN may be the worldwide leader in broadcasting sports, but they can still make a just okay game. In this game, you get six mini games – Tennis, Golf, Baseball, Soccer, Kart Racing, and Football. A few of the games work well, but others fail miserably
The best of the bunch is the Kart Racing. Here, you can race against up to four other players on 12 tracks. The controls work well if you are playing either with the Game Pad or the Wiimote.
Tennis is okay – but it’s nothing more than wave the Wiimote at the right time – which means volleys can go on for a very long time.
Golf is also fine, but it doesn’t quite stack up with Tiger Woods game. The controls work well, but the putting can be problematic because the putt always comes up short (like this game).
Soccer is easy to play, but the players are very slow (they walk up and down the field), and putting the passing and shooting to the same button can cause problems in both aspects.
Baseball is odd. The pitching can easily be done by drawing a line from the pitcher to the catcher’s mitt. Hitting the ball is done by swinging the Wiimote.
But the problems occur during the fielding – far too many errors occur by players dropping a routine fly ball.
But the worst of the bunch is the football. The controls are not intuitive, there’s no running game, and the passes you (or your opponent) make are completed solely on luck – not skill.
To make matters worse, the tackling segment is nothing more than a guessing game where you and your opponent pick buttons, then see if the receiver is tackled. This is far, far from what I expected from a football game.
Yet, the biggest problem I had with the game is the extras. There are a bunch of achievements and points to score, but all you get for those points are several bad looking decals which you can’t use at all.
ESPN Sports Connection may thrill young fans of sports, but the bland decals and the god awful football mini game sink what should be a fun compilation.
I'll be honest, I was skeptical of ESPN Sports Connection from the outset. Anything that relies on a branding or license for sales is already off on a bad foot in my mind, but nonetheless, I decided to give it a shot.
To my surprise, ESPN Sports Connection is a lot of fun if not nearly as enjoyable as Wii Sports or Wii Sports Resort.
Controls are buggy at times and can be infuriating when you perform poorly in-game simply due to imprecise control schemes. The game shines, however, in its use of the Wii U Gamepad.
In Football, players use the Gamepad on defense to draw routes for your defenders. These routes can be updated to account for the movement of the receivers. In Baseball, the Gamepad is used when pitching to trace a path for your pitch. The pitches are outlandish, but that's what ESPN is at times; a casually enjoyable sports game.
This is not a game for diehard sports fans, who enjoy games like Madden or FIFA. This is a game for casual gamers, looking for a fun solo or multiplayer experience for parties or social functions (or to show off your sweet new Wii U Gamepad).
A full complement of in-game achievements are nice, since the Wii U doesn't support these by default.
Ultimately, however, ESPN Sports Connection is worth a rent on Gamefly but probably not a buy, unless you have some money burning a hole in your pocket. The control scheme is simply too buggy at times to recommend a long-term acquisition but it's worth it to play for a week before moving on to something better.