Walk into any game shop, and the odds are you'll come across several mini-game collections for the Wii - and it's into this already over-saturated area of the market that 101-in-1 Sports Party Megamix tries to fit. Needless to say, although these minigame collections are often a lot of fun, any new game needs to do something pretty spectacular to set itself out from the crowds - and Lithuanian developer Nordcurrent decided the best way to do this would be to shove as many games as they possibly could onto one disc, turning the old adage 'quality over quantity' on it's head. Or at least they would be, if the game was any good.
Initially, you have a choice between 12 different mini-games, all vaguely sport related (although I reckon they've made of half of them up), and by playing and completing each of these mini-games, you'll unlock 2 more. Completing a game involves getting over 2000 points and beating any computer players, which is often easier said than done, as the difficulty spikes all over the place - sometimes you'll be lucky to get 40 points, and in others you'll get 4000. Soon you'll find that there are more games that you can't complete for one reason or another than those you can - I managed to get to mini-game 30 before I couldn't actually get any further.
You'll find the computer players can easily out-run you in the American Football game
Because there's not just the absurd difficulties working against you. Often, you won't have a clue what you're meant to be doing as the (presumably) translated instructions aren't all that helpful - if anyone has worked out how on earth you're supposed to play the 'Jammin' Judo' game, they deserve a medal... And then there's the dodgy controls to contend with, which don't seem to pick you up half the time - in the 'Dignified Dressage' mini-game I couldn't actually get my horse to do anything other than run round in circles, because seemingly, no matter what direction I pressed, he would not walk in a straight line, let alone jump over the fences, and even when I thought I'd lined up the perfect shot in the Discus mini-game, it would somehow land out of the area. Most of the mini-games just seem badly designed - the 'Archery Anarchy' one has so much going on, that it's pretty much impossible to keep track of your cursor, let alone shoot the targets, and 'Pendulum Axe Throw' has you throwing axes at a swaying bullseye - but no matter when you throw your axe - even if it's well before the target reaches you - it never ever seems to hit the target. The many racing mini-games often end up making you feel dizzy from the constantly rotating camera, and will drop you out if you lag too far behind - something you'll end up doing, because of the bizarre and awkward controls most of the games employ. To make everything even more confusing, you often won't even realise you've gone, as the game doesn't tell you you've been dropped out. Either that, or you'll be respawned behind some obstacle in the road, in a vain attempt to make it so that no-one's left behind - but in the time it takes you to reverse and then drive round the obstacle, you'll be reset to behind another obstacle a bit further round the track. And the scoring system often seems more than a bit wonky - when we played the horse racing game, the person in first and forth place both got the same score, somehow, so be prepared for some arguments.
Horse racing, an equal opportunities sport.
101-in-1 Sports Party Megamix didn't seem to like me saying all these bad things about it though, seeing as it caused my Wii to completely lock up twice (where I had to pull the power cable out the back to turn it off), as well as the one time in the 'Sandy Haste' racing mini-game, where the camera rotated crazily, skipped two laps on in the race, and decided to show us the same computer-controlled car driving into the same tire and being respawned, only to drive into it over and over again - until we had to reset the Wii. Although, we probably had more fun laughing at that bug than we did playing the rest of the game.
Not all the mini-games are terrible though - there are a few that are half-decent ones in with the mounds of rubbish ones. For example, the 'Sumo Showdown' one, where your character is dressed in a fat sumo suit and has to slam into the other players to knock them off the platform raised quite a few laughs, especially as the sumos seemed to slide as if the platform was covered in ice.
In the end, though, minigames like that are very much the metaphorical roses amongst a bed of thorns, as there's just too much rubbish - that you'll *have* to play through - in the game for its own good. Perhaps next time, 50-in-1 would be a more realistic target to aim for.
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