IGN Review of Kidz Sports Basketball
As part of the huge blitz of shovelware games on Wii, Data Design Interactive has created a budget set of kids sports titles called, as you would have guessed, Kidz Sports. As with the rest of the quick-production games on the system, this series uses Data Design's template of the same interface and gameplay mechanics, simply subbing in new characters and animations to make subtle differences for each game. We've reviewed Kidz Sports Ice Hockey, and now it's on to its clone, Kidz Sports Basketball.
Since each of the Kidz Sports titles use the same exact template for 90% of the content, we already knew what to expect going in. The interface features a working IR pointer that actually feels pretty smooth, but is used to navigate extremely low-res art that could be passed off as DS assets with little to no problem. The game features a main arcade mode and tournament mode, as well as a "how to play" section. Like Hockey, the game can be played entirely without buttons at its most basic core mechanic, and while it s a novel idea for younger Wii users, it is done in a very sloppy way.
Once outside of the main menu and into the gameplay it's instantly obvious that Kidz Sports Basketball is nothing more than a quick-ship title. General control is glitchy, characters move slowly around the screen, AI actually attempts to play from out of bounds (making passing a chore), models clip on each other and flutter in broken animation, and the motion recognition adds to the constant mash of broken gameplay. Since all actions are done via motion, each action is constantly being confused with others, so while it'll take a two-handed shot motion to shoot, lifting up the nunchuk causes the player to jump, and the Wii-mote to pass, so the result is a huge misunderstanding between the player and the game. Players will jump or pass when trying to shoot, and it becomes an instantly frustrating experience.
And while the gameplay can't get any slower than Kidz Sports Ice Hockey, Basketball certainly has more broken elements than the already-simplistic game of puck. There's no penalty for jumping and holding the ball, the free-throw system is clunky and unresponsive, and the dynamic camera covers the basket constantly, so there's no way to tell if you made your shot or should be jumping for a rebound (a pipe dream though it is). It's simply a broken experience.
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