(WiiWare)

Game Review

Triple Running Sports Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Philip J Reed

Run! No, seriously. RUN.

Every once in a great while, an already great series gets a new entry that not only renews the enthusiasm of fans worldwide, it reinvents and reinvigorates a classic formula. It raises the bar not only for its own series, but for gaming in general. It's the sort of event that has even non-gamers talking, nodding in appreciation and singing its praises. It brings families together and unites peers in a brilliant, unforgettable experience that reminds us all of why we fell in love with video games in the first place.

We're talking, of course, of Donkey Kong Country Returns. Unfortunately, we should be speaking about Triple Running Sports.

By this point, we've shot, thrown, and jumped in triplicate. These were three collections of embarrassingly simplistic events that still managed to get everything about their respective experiences wrong. So, for the literally zeroes of people who clamoured so vocally for more, the Code Monkeys have emerged from their habitat just long enough to sling more feces in our faces.

Triple Running Sports is about as simplistic as a video game is ever likely to get. It's only moderately more engaging than falling asleep on the couch, or accidentally swallowing a fly. If you thought the "run and then press a button to jump" approach from Triple Jumping Sports was far too complicated, then you're in luck. Because now, all you have to do is run.

To the bank.

To cancel your credit card, so that you don't accidentally buy this.

Since the music, graphics and overall presentation haven't changed from the previous releases, read those reviews to see what we thought of them. Or just look at the screenshots yourself, and see if you can think of anything more positive to say about them than, "at least they're not pornographic."

As far as this game goes, it's another collection of three events, centred around a specific theme. In this case it's running, and the events are the 100m Sprint, the 1500m whatever (the game doesn't say), and the 110m Hurdles. The hurdle event does involve jumping, but we'll get to that in a moment.

On the positive side of things, this game does actually improve upon Triple Jumping Sports in some ways. Most noticeably, the waggle recognition is improved. Of course, improved controls in a game like this is an achievement along the lines of being the world's most soulful vuvuzela player; it doesn't matter if nobody wants to experience it.

The events themselves also feel more varied, which isn't a bad thing. It at least means that the three events feel somewhat different, and that's a step in the right direction.

The 100m Sprint, for example, is your standard waggle-thon, but the 1500m plays more like a rhythm game in which you need to shake to the falling prompts. The problem here though is that the prompts never change, or speed up, or slow down. It's a simple left-right-left-right that loops endlessly for the far-too-long duration of the event. And perhaps the oddest thing is that your avatar keeps running, even if you stop shaking the Wii Remote and Nunchuk. You won't win that way, of course, but it contributes to the feeling that what happens on the screen is going to happen regardless of what you do in your living room, and that's not a good feeling for a game to instill.

Also, once you complete that event, you will actually have to wait for all of the computer players (yes, all of them) to finish before you can collect your trophy and move on. So if you come in first place, which is not difficult, you will have to sit and wait for a full minute or more for the others to finish. It's unskippable, and that's inexcusable. If you pause the game you'll have the option of quitting, but doing so means you'll miss out on your medal, which is kind of cruel, since a medal is the least you deserve for playing through this thing.

The 110m Hurdles controls identically to the 100m Sprint, except that now you press A to jump. For a while we weren't even sure if we were clearing the hurdles, as your avatar barely leaps at all, making a sound like he's in pain even when he does clear them. The visual feedback is awful, and it looks more like your little runner is cramping up from severe gas pain as he runs unimpeded through a hurdle rather than jumping over it.

As a test we intentionally let our runner hit the next few hurdles and hurt himself, which was much funnier, and turned out to be a far better way to enjoy the race.

The experience of Triple Running Sports can be summed up with one word. Actually, it can be summed up with one letter: zzzzzzzzzz.

Conclusion

Triple Running Sports seems to improve somewhat on the waggle-recognition issues that plagued Triple Jumping Sports, but that doesn't make the waggling any more fun. The presentation is flat and without heart, and the gameplay, if you can call it that, is insulting. Code Monkeys squandered any goodwill it might have earned with Manic Monkey Mayhem by following it up with the Triple ______ Sports series at all, but spreading the experience over four (and counting!) pointless and unpolished releases is definitely a slap in the face to consumers.

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User Comments (25)

warioswoods

#2

warioswoods said:

Given a group of monkeys sitting at keyboards for an infinite length of time, one of them will eventually code this game. But it'll probably only take 5 minutes.

Philip_J_ReedStaff

#5

Philip_J_Reed said:

Apologies for the lateness of this one, folks. My fault entirely...chalk it up to very poor time management skills.

Porky

#6

Porky said:

Chicken, we don't blame you! Such an awful game, I congratulate you for playing it for a review. Also, 13 paragraph that starts off as 'The 1500m hurdles' theres a word that says paim. Is it suppose to be pain?

ueI

#8

ueI said:

This is the funniest review I've ever read. Much better than the game!

XCWarrior

#9

XCWarrior said:

Awesome review, very entertaining. At least that we got some value out of the game.

SilverBaretta

#10

SilverBaretta said:

Awesome review, Chicken. Very funny, especially the intro and the part about the 110m Hurdles. :D When I read the part about looking at the other reviews for impression, I thought you weren't even gonna do the rest!

Sean_Aaron

#12

Sean_Aaron said:

I'm pretty sure these games started out as a retail release that may have been canned, so splitting it up for WiiWare is an attempt to make back that investment. A shame, it most certainly is.

Although Europeans might think they'll get a pass on this one, Code Monkeys is a UK-based developer so you can expect it to hit our Wii Shops eventually.

DarkEdi

#13

DarkEdi said:

why does nintendo aproves this junk? it can be undestood if there was 9 games each week, but nooo.. there are only 2 launches each monday in "shop channel".

KnucklesSonic8

#14

KnucklesSonic8 said:

A thank you would've been nice for the typo I pointed out earlier too. Just sayin'.

@Sean: Yep, it's a port of a retail release.

Philip_J_ReedStaff

#15

Philip_J_Reed said:

I didn't/don't see you pointing out a typo...? What are you referring to?

Whether or not anyone gets singled out for a thanks, any corrected information is always appreciated. Feel free to drop us a line on the contact page for anything you feel is particularly egregious.

theblackdragonAdmin

#17

theblackdragon said:

@CB: chances are whoever took care of the typo also deleted the comment in question in order to not take away from the review, if the typo was all they commented to bring up. i've seen it go both ways, i guess it depends on who takes care of it. :3

James

#18

James said:

@Sean This won't ever see the light of day in the UK as Ghostlight still owns the distribution rights to the game on which this is based, International Athletics.

jayo

#19

jayo said:

"Or just look at the screenshots yourself, and see if you can think of anything more positive to say about them than, "at least they're not pornographic.""
-That's actually a negative thing to say! If they were, the game might be slightly more worthwhile!

LuWiiGi

#20

LuWiiGi said:

Thank you, Code Monkeys, for providing us with such fantastic and worthwhile entertainment! This review wouldn't have been possible without you!

Sean_Aaron

#21

Sean_Aaron said:

Thanks for the good news James! I couldn't remember if I reviewed Triple Shot Sports on the NA or the PAL Wii.

StarDust4Ever

#22

StarDust4Ever said:

Looks even more pathetic than those kiosks that you find in bars which are loaded with boatloads of shovelware :O

May we please see a video of the hurdler in question getting injured? I believe that would be entertaining to watch, thanks.

MrB4

#23

MrB4 said:

You would think after a number of failed attempts on the service that the developers would stop putting out stuff like this. Oh well, guess common sense is a thing of the past.

trackrunr800m

#24

trackrunr800m said:

to the reviewer..I'm sure this game is horrible, it looks horrible but some of the critisisims you made are wrong, for instance, complaining that the athlete doesn't leap high enough in the 110 hurdles....that's exactly how it should be, watch even a good junior college race and only focus on their shoulders,their shoulders doesn't raise at all because they're not jumping. so it's good the game at least hit that. But im sure the game is boring as hell, we need a legit track game to come out.

Philip_J_ReedStaff

#25

Philip_J_Reed said:

@24: The criticism that you cite has nothing to do with proper, real-life hurdling...it has to do with the video game (a visual medium) not providing the player with a clear enough visual cue as to what's happening.

If realism was what they were going for (and I'm not sure why they'd go for it there and only there) then the could have given us an aural cue, like a chime or something, instead. It's a video game, and it's not out of line to criticise it for not making it clear what's happening on screen.

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