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Sports Story Review – Vooks

Sports Story Review – Vooks

#Sports #Story #Review #Vooks Welcome to Alaska Green Light Blog, here is the new story we have for you today:

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Golf Story was a surprise gem. Blending solid golf mechanics, satisfying RPG elements, and a quirky narrative, it made for a fantastic little game that could proudly stand alongside heavyweights like Mario and Zelda in the Switch year one lineup. Fast forward five years and we finally have the long-awaited sequel in Sports Story. This lengthy development period has resulted in a cluttered but undercooked sequel that’s not quite worthy of its predecessor’s adoration, but still has a lot to offer to those willing to overlook its shortcomings.

The story sees the return of your main character and his companions from the first game. What follows is a somewhat disjointed series of events involving gangs, a devious mega-corporation, dungeons, espionage, pirates, kings, ghosts and many different sports. It’s all pretty nonsensical and struggles to paint a particularly coherent narrative, but the beats along the way are great fun nonetheless and undoubtedly remain the highlight of the pack. With sharp writing and witty humor and excellent use of text speed, size and movement used to great effect to convey emotion, there is no shortage of laughs. An option to slightly increase the text speed would have been nice, but apart from that you will surely smile at the fantastic adventure and its characters.

You venture across a large Overworld map, stopping regularly at new locations full of colorful characters and tons of things to do. Unfortunately, this game relies heavily on tedious fetch quests to fill out each area. Several times I had to find item A to bring to person B, who would then give me item C to give to person D, sometimes repeating this process nearly a dozen times. In a way it encourages exploration, but not everything is tracked through the menus and there’s no map or waypoints to show where people are, so larger areas can make for fairly aimless wandering when trying to find the next one person to find in the chain of things to do.

Obscure mission design and objectives permeate the experience, and the UI often feels like an added burden. The menus are chaotic and a far cry from Golf Story’s crisp, intuitive interface. Used disposables are unnecessarily hanging out in your bag with dozens of other items that can’t be sorted. It can be frustrating having a face that’s just a handful of pixels and the only memory is who gave you a quest. Having to go back to an area’s entrance with no way to quickly return to the overworld will stall extra time as you search for your next objective. None of these are overly outrageous on their own, but they combine to create an adventure that can feel a bit clumsy and unnecessarily tedious.

When you’re not on pointless fetch hunts or chatting with the locals, play sports. Mostly golf, sometimes tennis, and the occasional try your hand at fishing, cricket, BMX riding, soccer, volleyball, baseball and even remote control car racing. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Golf is the meatiest of the bunch, largely unlike what came before it. There have been some button function changes that I’m not a fan of, with the ability to easily survey the area when the right stick is away, and the overall golfing interface is less clean and intuitive than before. That being said, the core golf gameplay is still a lot of fun, and landing the perfect shot remains as satisfying as ever. Golf is also incorporated into the story in creative ways, from competing in miniature golf and 9-hole tournaments to ringing bells and throwing explosives at debris to clear a path. The addition of different types of golf balls, such as Things like vector balls that deflect onto the hole, skimmer balls that bounce off the water, or steel balls that sacrifice distance to reduce the effects of the wind add an extra layer of strategy to the game that’s fun to master.

Tennis is the other big addition, with a lengthy Tennis Academy side story taking up a large portion of the game. You have access to the expected range of shot types, but it never feels good to play. Try as I might, it seemed impossible to get a shot past the thirty degree radius directly in front of you. Playing at net never seemed to work either, as even opponent’s flat shots seemed to sail over your head until they hit their rebound point. The matches were still easy enough to win as the AI ​​opponents weren’t generally very good, but the tennis mechanics felt underwhelming overall.

Other sports fare even worse. Cricket, volleyball, and soccer only make a couple of appearances each, mostly reduced to small challenges from NPCs, and none of them are particularly deep. BMX races come up a few times and are decent fun for a diversion, but no more. Fishing is the other activity that has the most to offer, tasking you with using different lines, lures and attachments to catch the fish you need, but it’s only limited to one section of the game. Unfortunately, there isn’t a quickplay option for any of the sports outside of story mode either, not even golf.

The variety on offer is appreciated, and the lack of depth to each activity is forgivable given their short stints in the limelight, but the developers’ desire to include a little bit of everything leaves all the bits that made it to feel half-baked feel. There’s also a confusing decision in the game’s finale to have a round-robin sporting event, but each activity is then just golf, but with different balls. Why let me hit a volleyball with a golf club instead of let me play volleyball? It’s almost as if they don’t want to bring those other sports back for one last run. It’s a bloated feature list, and perhaps there wasn’t enough development time to do justice to every sport. Just adding tennis and maybe one other sport to this sequel and giving them the attention they deserve would undoubtedly have made for a better experience.

A smaller feature list may have also helped iron out Sports Story’s biggest problem – bugs. I played most of this game in the version available at launch, and the following is a non-exhaustive list of issues I encountered during my time *deep breath*:

A golf ball flying through the air and getting stuck in a bunker 80 feet below. Throw a ball into a trash can and freeze the game. Go beyond the bounds and across the empty void. Getting stuck on a dirt patch and unable to move. Decreased performance during golf swings that lead to missed shots. Tennis points are not correctly evaluated. My remote control car does not appear during a minigame. Somehow completing the mission requirements when I hadn’t, and vice versa. A challenge will be completed automatically once I start it. The on-screen wind indicator is striking. My bike gets stuck and cannot move during a race. Being able to get infinite copies of a coupon item. The camera randomly zooms in when entering a new area. Multiple hard crashes. And most frustrating was a mission sequence bug that stopped my progress in tennis academy and made me unable to finish the game for about a week until the new patch was released.

Luckily, the aforementioned patch seems to have fixed the worst of the above issues, specifically the golf swing performance issues, performance while exploring, and the progression bug. However, I can’t conclusively say that the other issues are gone altogether, and I still had at least one severe crash post-patch. I realize this is a game developed by a small team, but it was released in an unfinished state that undeniably spoiled my enjoyment of the game.

This review may seem harsh, and that’s because you have such high hopes after being such a big fan of the original. The Golf is the same or probably weaker than Golf Story. Tennis is mediocre and the other sports are superficial. There are too many fetch quests, and bugs and glitches consistently plague it.

But….

…I still had a good time!

It’s a game that’s more than the sum of its shaky parts. It’s a charming, satisfying little adventure game that has enough moment-by-minute action to make it entertaining, and the flaws are fleeting enough not to completely dampen the experience. It looks wonderful and alive (aside from some questionable UI changes), has a bobbing soundtrack, hilarious lyrics, solid golfing, and a variety of challenges. Here’s enough for me to offer a cautious recommendation for those willing to forgive its flaws, perhaps with the caveat that it might be worth waiting for another patch to iron out the final kinks.

Rating: 3.5/5

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