Triple Jumping Sports Review
Posted by Philip J Reed
Jumping? In a video game?! Now we've seen everything!
Wading in to review this third entry in an already less than impressive series, it's fair to say that our expectations were not very high. Therefore it could be seen as some kind of accomplishment that Triple Jumping Sports still managed to not live up to them.
If you've played either of the previous games, then we feel terrible for you. Wait, sorry... what we meant to say was that if you've played either of the previous games, then you know pretty much what to expect from this package in terms of presentation: forgettable library-style background music, the worst menu arrangement known to man, and characters that look like action figures rescued from the microwave halfway through a cooking cycle.
At this point you may be expecting us to list the good points about this game. Well, hold on to your hats, folks, because we just did.
Predictably, there are only three mini-games in this collection, and they all involve jumping. (One thing nobody can accuse this series of is misrepresentation.) You can choose from the Long Jump, the High Jump, and the Pole Vault. You can also choose to power down the Wii and strut brazenly into heavy traffic, but that doesn't mean any of these things are a good idea.
Each of the three games will see you shaking the Wii Remote and Nunchuk as spastically as possible in the vague hopes that your character will eventually meander forward. If he does, you'll be able to launch him into the air with either a push of a button or more waggling, depending upon the event. If you're unlucky, you'll miss your cue to do so and foul out. If you're very lucky, you'll decide not to download this and instead take up a hobby.
In none of the events is your motion read reliably, but the Long Jump, for whatever reason, seemed to read them passably enough to actually qualify as a game (as opposed to a random generated outcome). Not content to leave passable-enough alone, however, the Long Jump event also seemed to be the buggiest in detecting whether or not the Nunchuk was plugged into the Wii Remote. While waggling our hearts out (and our dignity away), the event would keep getting interrupted by entreaties to re-connect the Nunchuk. These pleas would disappear on their own, less than a second after they appeared, but each time they did appear, the action came to a stop. While we hope this is an occurrence that will only affect the rarest gamer, we feel obligated to point it out, especially since other games (and other events within this game!) had no such confusion about the whereabouts of our peripherals.
In fairness to the game, these events wouldn't be fun even if they did read your gestures properly, which does, we suppose, somewhat soften the blow of their unreliability. After all, it's not as though we're missing out on much.
The three events come with three difficulty settings each, but the difference between them only seems to be the score you need to beat in order to come in first place. This means that if you try your best in the Long Jump on the easiest mode and earn a distance of 7.25, and then do the same thing in the Long Jump on the most difficult mode, you will still earn a distance of 7.25; it's just that the computer players that you never see will have higher scores. In other words, if you play on easy, a number that has no bearing on anything is generated, and if you play on difficult, another, higher number that has no bearing on anything is generated. Imagine the fun you can have with that. (No, really, imagine it. It'll save you 500 points.)
There's really no replay value in this game, either, which can be expected, as there's hardly any initial-play value to begin with. You can view the trophy case, which is essentially just a list of events that you cleared in first, second or third place, and you can marvel at the inefficiency of the menu screens as you search in vain for some setting that will disable the mandatory training screens before each event, but beyond that, the most fun you will have with Triple Jumping Sports is deleting it to make room for whatever it is that you spend your next 500 points on.
Only one of the three events can be called playable, and that's stretching the definition of at least two words in this sentence. This game is not likely to be played beyond the initial ten minutes of attempted self-delusion that always accompanies the unfortunate purchase of a dud, and, really, we can't say that it deserves any more of a chance than that anyway. If there were other games on the WiiWare service that allowed you to jump awkwardly in three different ways, we'd recommend them here. As it stands, Triple Jumping Sports is just the third iteration of a game we never asked for in the first place.