Deca Sports Extreme
Jack of ten trades, master of none.
With an impressive four million units sold worldwide, it made sense for Konami and Hudson to bring the Deca Sports franchise to Nintendo's 3DS. The result, Deca Sports Extreme, offers snapshots of ten different sports. We say snapshots, because each of these activities feels like a demo, with a conspicuous lack of rules and missing periods/quarters. Ultimately, the game begs the question, is that it? Sadly, yes.
To be fair, Deca Sports Extreme includes some highlights, such as the ability to create and customize a team of four, as well as the addition of super moves that give you an edge against the computer. There's also offline multiplayer support for up to four people, even using a single copy of the game.
As for the sports, some are better than others. We like Hudson's interpretation of Blowgun, where players physically maneuver the system to line up targets and then blow into the 3DS microphone to fire.
Tennis is another standout, where gamers exchange intense volleys before catching their opponents off guard with a well-placed shot. Unfortunately, it's a best two out of three games, instead of a full three out five set match.
Then we have decent versions of Bowling, Soccer, Trampoline and Sumo Wrestling, which is entertaining for a little while, particularly against another person.
Other sports don't fair nearly as well. Basketball slowly plods along with too many steals at mid court and easily missed lay-ups.
The camera in Ice Hockey, meanwhile, has trouble following the action. This proves critical, as the A.I. takes shots on goal the player cannot see and, as a result, cannot defend against.
Finally, there's the big oddball of the bunch, Snowball Fight, a capture the flag style mini-game where two squads compete to hold a flagpole the longest while dodging projectiles. We played it once. Once.
Hudson attempted to add value with in-game challenges and Tournament/Championship modes, but none of these things save Deca Sports Extreme from being a largely shallow experience. You'll play all ten games, probably find two to three favorites and grow tired of them about an hour later. Multiplayer is the best reason to own this title, but finding three other willing participants may take a while.
Bottom line, there's little reason to fork over $29.99 for a product that feels like it belongs on the iPhone for $1.99.
What's Hot: Ten sports, Blowgun, creating a team, single card multiplayer.
What's Not: Serious lack of depth, no online leaderboards, 3D adds little to the experience.