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World Championship Games: Better Late than Never: The Olympics Arrive in 2009

Company: The Game Factory

I recently was able to get a hands-on look at the newest track and field game to grace the stylus of the Nintendo DS, The Game Factory's World Championship Games. Even though this title still has some bugs and other issues to work out, I have to say that things are shaping up for this to be one of the best Olympics-style titles in handheld form.

World Championship Games has a nice variety of 14 summer events and includes the ability to play single events or take your turn at either a Tournament or Decathlon. There are also three difficulty levels to choose from, although veterans of these button-mashing (or in this case, stylus-sliding) games may find themselves immediately on the highest setting in order to deliver a challenge, unless something changes between now and release time.

The graphics displayed in World Championship Games are a bit on the basic side, and unfortunately resemble a lot of DS games on the market with their extremely-low polygon characters and environments. However, being that you will be looking at the bottom touch screen more often than the top 3D screen, other than in replays, it isn't all that disturbing.

World Championship Games' control system is a bit strange at first glance, but after actually playing through a few times, becomes second nature on most events. The track events typically feature rubbing the stylus or touching footsteps to time your running. There are also some more methodical controls rather than looking for speed, which help break the action up nicely. The shooting events also work well with aiming done using the stylus.

One of the best features to look forward to in World Championship Games is that it supports multiple levels of multiplayer events. Up to four players can compete either using a single cart in limited events, multiple carts for unlimited access, or even on a single DS by taking turns. The only downside is that there really isn't a way for multiple players to get involved in the Decathlon or Tournament, covering multiple events. Instead, the build that I played only allowed for Quick Events in multiplayer mode, unless the users are all taking turns on a single DS system... in which case the Decathlon is available. You'll also be able to take on opponents via Nintendo Wi-Fi, although this feature was not up and running for this hands-on preview.

I, for one, am excited for the final release of World Championship Games. The number of events is worthy and the quality of the events is even more worth mentioning. In the build that I played, the following events were included:

  • Track Events
    • 100m Sprint
    • 400m Sprint
    • 110m Hurdles
    • 1500m
  • Jumping Events
    • Long Jump
    • High Jump
    • Pole Vault
  • Throwing Events
    • Shot Put
    • Discus
    • Javelin
    • Hammer
  • Targeting Events
    • Archery
    • Rapid Fire Pistol
    • Running Target

Stay tuned for our full review when World Championship Games releases later this year.

-Woody, GameVortex Communications
AKA Shane Wodele

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