101-in-1 Megamix Sports (Nintendo DS) Review

By Shane Jury 12.12.2010

Review for 101-in-1 Megamix Sports on Nintendo DS

If there is one term to strike fear into the most hardened of gamers’ hearts, it is 'mini-games'. Traditionally used by many publishers as a means of establishing a presence in a console's launch period before bringing stronger software later on, this generation in particular has seen these kinds of games become notably popular, with seemingly every game maker under the sun having a go. Yet, despite the number of poor games that feature them, mini-games can have a beneficial effect when used correctly, such as deviating from the norm with WarioWare's micro games, or tucked inside a game like Resident Evil 4 or Zelda to provide a quick break from the action, for example. Nordcurrent have gone for a purely mini-game approach, however, with a super-sized DS compilation game with over 100 sports-themed mini-bites; does it provide a number of entertainment hours to equal the title, or is it a mere marketing ploy?

101-in-1 Megamix Sports wastes no time in getting you playing; upon creation of a profile, you're taken straight to a game selection menu, where you can swipe left and right to scroll through the half-a-dozen sports initially open to you. It’s not the most efficient of methods, as getting to a certain sport you want to play can take a fair bit of swiping, and since none are in alphabetical - or in any kind of obvious - order, you'll have to spend a bit of time searching.

On the bottom of the touch screen is a key-shaped icon that lets you unlock more sports after accumulating enough points from playing the other games, something that is quick and easy to do with the generous amount you are awarded per game.
On the other side of the screen is another icon that shows which way to hold your DS, be it normally or in book mode, a useful indicator that also shows up a key problem with the game. Book mode here has players holding the DS with the touch-screen to the left, and there is no option to flip the screens, meaning that it is left-handed players that are accounted for and the vast audience of right-handers have to struggle for once. Buttons aren't a problem for this hindsight, as the entire package uses touch control only, save for the pause menu that lets you exit, but the result is nonetheless uncomfortable for a large percentage of target players.

Lastly, to the right of the indicator that shows the way your DS must be held, is a question mark icon that provides an explanation for the game you've highlighted, both in rules and control. In-game motion-indicators help with learning how to play each sport, so there is no absolute need to use this icon, but it is handy as a reference.

There is - as you would expect given the title - a wide range and variety of sport choices, from boxing to surfing, diving to acrobatics. Yet, despite such wide choice, the single thing all the games share in common is how basic they are, both in their visual style and presentation, and the inevitable restriction that comes with that simplicity. For games like tennis and badminton, all you can do is move your small assigned character or racket, and hit the ball or shuttle back. No selectable characters or venues, no adjustable rule sets, no doubles option, nada. Other games you'd expect to at least be able to move your character in, like boxing or diving, relegate your options to touchable icons, or the most basic of touch gestures.

Screenshot for 101-in-1 Megamix Sports on Nintendo DS

A wide range of stylus motions are adopted for many for the sports, so only a few feel overly similar, like Gymnastics Hoops, Clubs and Ball, which all share a juggling requirement, though these kinds of games tend to be grouped together more often than not. Touch control is very reliable in every single game, even if the implementation is decidedly less complex than you would think in certain scenarios, like those that require icon input.

The restricted feel of the games is alleviated slightly by the multiplayer feature 101-in-1 Megamix Sports offers, though this too faces a drawback: each player needs their own cartridge, which for a game with barebone individual offerings such as this, is rather perplexing. A good range of sports are open to play, and connection between DS systems works well enough. An online option would have greatly helped replayability; even the most basic attempt, a scores leaderboard, would have been useful.

As it is, 101-in-1 Megamix Sports presents itself as trying to ease in players with easy-to-grasp mechanics, but chooses the fatal mistake of quantity over quality; focusing on the 50-or-so better games and giving them far more options for replayability would have benefited Nordcurrent much more with respectable word of mouth, than bundling such a large number of basic games together for the marketing angle and leaving no incentive for players to return to many of the individual sports.

Screenshot for 101-in-1 Megamix Sports on Nintendo DS

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

An ambitious sporting effort from Nordcurrent, but one that trips over its shoelaces halfway around the track. The extremely basic, yet accessible sports on offer may suit younger minds or those completely new to videogames, but those in search of depth or value for their hard-earned dosh, keep looking.

Developer

Nordcurrent

Publisher

Nordcurrent

Genre

Party

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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