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Triple Jumping Sports - WiiWare Review

Game Info
Triple Jumping Sports

WiiWare | The Code Monkeys | 1 Player /
 2 Players (local multiplayer) | Out Now (North America) | 500 Nintendo Points
Controller Compatibility: Wii Remote and Nunchuk
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Review
10th November 2010; By KnucklesSonic8

With two releases in the bag, The Code Monkeys are now focusing their attention on the final two games in the Triple Sports series. And given the treatment they've given the initial releases, I'm not too optimistic that they'll be able to pull out something worthwhile. But as I was playing Triple Running Sports for this review, I kept hoping this would at least do better than the last game. Thankfully it did, but not enough to bring this whole series out of the hole it's dug for itself.

    Triple Jumping Sports is essentially a copy-and-paste job from what was seen before. There are maybe only one or two differences in structure when compared with the other titles in this series. The customization aspect is unchanged, meaning that you'll still get to scroll through a limited list of options such as hair and skin colour, and assign yourself a patriotic jersey. Once again, you don't have the ability to change genders if you don't fancy your masculine character.

    Unlike the last game where the name was undermined with a fourth unlockable event, Triple Jumping Sports has exactly three events for you to try: Long Jump, High Jump and Pole Vault. As if the title of the game wasn't enough of an indication, because all three events make use of similar concepts and execution methods, there's not much variety to be had. And this is an immediate concern that has plagued all of the releases in this series. But how do they play out?

    
When playing the Long Jump event, players will run down a straight path and make a huge leap as they approach the foul line. You have three rounds to jump as far away from that line as possible. The key to getting a good score lies in the controls. Running is executed through alternating shakes of the Wii Remote and Nunchuk, and once you've reached a certain point, it will lock. As you get close to the white line, hold the A Button to bring up the angle meter, and release it when you feel you're ready. As the jump takes place, a second gauge will appear, requiring you to press the B Button once the needle reaches the yellow area so you can stick the landing. 

    Is it a realistic re-creation of the Olympic event? For the most part, yes. But at the same time, it's not exactly fun. The main source of motivation will likely be the World Record, since the Gold Medals don't really feel like much of an accomplishment. Again, this has been the case for the entire Triple Sports series. This isn't something you'll want to return to again and again on your own. Thankfully, multiplayer does open up more possibilities for competition, but this too is short-lived. Either way, it's not long before you'll want to move onto the next event.

    
Next up for consideration is Pole Vault where players will try to soar above a bar without knocking it down. Once again, you have three shots at aiming for the best overall score. Each time you can set the bar at a different height, depending on what your confidence levels are at. It's important to pay attention to the scores of the competition to know what height you should be aiming towards on a given run. 

    When the bar has been set, players will build up energy in the gauge at the bottom of the screen by shaking the two controllers rapidly. Once the pole is securely fixed on the track, a needle will appear to determine the amount of strength you use to push yourself off the pole. When it's reached close to the white line, that's when you should quickly thrust both controllers downwards. As you approach the bar in mid-air, the game will go in slow-mo as a meter appears to determine the degree of bend. When it reaches the ideal zone, raise both controllers quickly, and watch as the results are then finalized. 

    Surprisingly enough, Pole Vault didn't feel like it had needlessly-complicated controls. Everything that's required to execute motions for the run makes sense, which isn't something you can say about even half of the events in the entire series. This event wasn't bad at all to play, but of course, you eventually realize that it's boring to play on your own. I also found that there was more motivation to aim for a high-score here than there was in Long Jump, even if the competition was still on the safe side.

    
High Jump, the final event in the package, is much like Pole Vault, except for the fact that you're not using a Pole to launch you up in the air. Thankfully, rather than having dead-similar execution, the controls here were slightly different. Rather than shaking rapidly to build up momentum, the game has you shaking the Wii Remote and Nunchuk to a certain pace. When you make your first shake, pictures of footprints will fall from top-to-bottom inside a panel, and players will need to hit these markers when they reach the footprint silhouette. The amount of energy that's added to the gauge will depend on your timing, indicated by red, green or yellow outlines on the markers.

    Pretty soon, these markers will fade away and a white line will approach where the silhouette was. When this gets close to the arrows off to the side of the panel, you'll need to pull up the angle meter by holding the A Button. If you don't do it in time, you'll run right into the mat. Just like in Long Jump, when it's reached a height that you're pleased with, then release the A Button. This will bring up a final gauge where you'll need to press the B Button at the right time to apply bend to your character's body. The controls aren't bad, albeit it may take a few tries to get the hang of at first. But this change of pace with the running was hugely appreciated considering what players have already been exposed to in this game, and in the series in general.

    
The look and feel of the Triple Sports games has never been pleasing, and that carries through here as well. The character models are still ugly-looking, and I have no doubt that this will remain unchanged moving into the next game. Very awkward animations occur when you recover after a round is complete in any of the events, where your character looks like a drunken fool. I did appreciate that in Long Jump, the camera angles weren't always fixed in one spot. There were two or three different tracking positions that would follow you, so that was kind of nice, as was seeing replays of your performance.

    The lack of replay value in Jumping Sports is consistent with the rest of the series, where there isn't a whole lot of reason to play the game in the first place. That being said, I think multiplayer is a bit stronger here than it was in Throwing Sports where players would find the lack of enjoyment to be absolutely draining. At least here, it isn't so bad, but even then, multiplayer still isn't enough to suddenly make it worth getting.

    The fact of the matter is that although Triple Jumping Sports may have one or two redeeming qualities about it, it's still not a very good game. It's of no surprise to see that it's boring to play, and there's very little motivation to keep you playing. It's worth mentioning that multiplayer works a little better here than it did the last time. But overall, I still say you'd be far better off sticking to one of the Mario & Sonic games instead. Really, there's no reason why you should feel even remotely compelled to give this a try.


13/30 - Very Poor

Gameplay 6/10 - Controls work for the most part, aren't always needlessly complicated like in previous games, different approach in High Jump
Presentation 4/10 - Poor presentation, awkward character animations, alternating camera angles in Long Jump
Enjoyment 1/5 - Even when playing with a second player, this gets boring really quickly, not nearly as fun as other successful Olympic games
Extra Content 2/5 - Low replay value or bang for your buck, Gold Medals offer no motivation while World Records offer some, multiplayer

Equivalent to a score of 43% (percentage score is approximate and based solely on the previously stated rating)

Review by KnucklesSonic8
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