Celebrity Sports Showdown Wii Review

Celebrity Sports Showdown is a terrible concept for a game. It’s essentially a minigame collection, with ten playable famous people. On paper it sounds like nothing more than a quick fire way of making money from the mass market that makes purchases just based on the fact that there’s celebrities on the cover. In reality (that being outside of your head) however, it’s not as bad as one might think.

The game, being what it is, is predominantly multiplayer focussed, though there’s still a fairly sizable single player points based tournament mode, where new characters can be unlocked. It can’t, of course, match the hilarity and intensity of playing with living and breathing people, but it admirably serves its purpose nevertheless.

The multiplayer has a satisfying amount of variation for up to four players. Big Points Tourney is all about amassing as many points as possible, whilst Super Dash Tourney sees the winner of any event move forward a space on a race grid, with the victor, of course, being the one who crosses the finish line first, and finally the Team Rivals Tourney is obviously team based.

The character selection is a combination of genuine celebrities and washed up types. It consists of singers: Keith Urban, Fergie, Avril Lavigne, Nelly Furtado and LeAnn Rimes. Sport stars: Sugar Ray Leonard, Kristi Yamaguchi, Paul Pierce, Reggie Bush and Mia Hamm. If you just can’t stand these smug stars though, there’s also a healthy selection of non-celeb characters, some of which are familiar faces from other EA games.

In total there are twelve games of varying quality, none of which are what I’d call awful and most of which are fun, but of the more throwaway variety than anything else.

There’s skiing, horse riding, volleyball, rock climbing, dodge ball, canoeing, curling, joust duels, air races, inner tubing, archery and badminton: all of which are perfectly adequate, but never anything more than that.

The controls for each of the events are kept simple, which is just as it should be for a casual focussed game. Everything works as it should, with simple motions required to perform most actions.

Visually, it’s simple and hardly shows the Wii’s capabilities in the best light. But with its bright colours and comical art style, Celebrity Sports Showdown still manages to appeal. Fans of any of the celebrities featured will particularly get a great deal of amusement by seeing the shrunken caricatures of their heroes, heroines and whatnot.

Awful concept aside, Celebrity Sports Showdown isn’t a bad game to spend a few hours with from time to time. The growing casual market could find that there’s plenty to enjoy here, but it’s hardly going to appease core gamers who have a diet of more substantial offerings. So as a part of the latter group it’s a six, but if you’re one of the former, perhaps add two points to the overall score. So a solid six it is from me then.