Impressions: Go Play City Sports

As you may have garnered from my previous Go Play reviews, I have not enjoyed entries to the franchise so much. I feel that they have absolutely not gotten better with subsequent attempts, with each one being worse than the last and blatant attempts at robbing the pockets of mindless “family-oriented gamers” everywhere. Then I was offered Go Play City Sports. While it obviously isn’t going to be aggregating any fantastic scores, I did not absolutely abhor my time with it as I have with previous titles such as Lumberjacks.
The premise is quite simple: compete with fellow children on your block in order to determine who’s the best athlete, both for bragging rights and the sake of a loose plot to unify this collection of mini games — were you expecting something else? This mini game smorgasboard is really a lot more lacking than others on the Wii, however, with only six games under its belt. Since the game is titled ‘City Sports,’ you can play mostly games that are considered the type that inner city children play such as street hockey, stickball, kickball, jumprope, shootout soccer, and handball. I’d say it’s a rather motley assortment of games, but you typically don’t see such activities in minigame compilations — I’ll give it that.
Much like the previous Go Play games, you can create your own character, a boy or a girl, though the amount of customization is quite limited. Since this game employs an even cartoonier style than you may be used to, with an abundance of cel-shading and bright colors, this fact is almost forgivable. I suppose you can’t ask for much seeing as this line of games caters only to families and gamers who, frankly, could care less about graphics, quality, or longevity in a game. After you create your character, you can compete in any of the six games (to make it more accessible.)
If you were thinking you’d be relying heavily on motion control, you’d be absolutely correct. Still, there are instances within where the motion control actually (and shockingly) is executed correctly. Stickball plays much like a standard baseball game or one that you would find in Wii Sports, and the swing of the bat works beautifully. As stickball is played within the heart of a city, small touches such as the ball’s bouncing off of surrounding buildings and manholes serving as home base really make this mini game stand out from the droves of others we will inevitably see in the future. It’s a very fun little game of baseball with a few rule tweaks that still allow it to be genuinely fun. Other sports, such as jumping rope and street hockey, were nowhere near as intuitive, with jump rope requiring arbitrary timed button presses of different buttons on the Wii remote or  nunchuk, and handball with its already-boring set of rules really can’t be improved upon too much. Kickball and stickball were arguably too similar for my tastes, and it seems like pure laziness to incorporate some of the exact same types of sports with minor changes rather than introducing different, more interactive activities.
The game has a great sense of humor, though it doesn’t shine too often without much voice acting to go around. The city aesthetic is a bit overplayed, what with the cans of spray paint decorating on-screen scores and the “funky” attitude coming off a bit too “hip” for what is essentially a throwaway game that will inevitably tossed into the closet after a few hours of play. And that’s what you can sum up Go Play: City Sports as. It’s basically unchanged from its predecessors, though there are a few shining spots within. I loved playing stickball, but the blatantly low production values, fiddly motion controls, and overall silliness is just not worth the purchase for me. If you’re a gamer in a family where quality is ignored and the only objective is fun, this might be suitable. For anyone out there like me who just wants a decent Wii experience to last beyond a few hours, you can go ahead and ignore this installment too. Why not just release a Go Play hub, Majesco?

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