Another in the line of games to celebrate the summer Olympics has been released and it’s called Summer Stars 2012. Last year Deep Silver released a game called Winter Stars and this is pretty much a similar game but with summer events. The graphics for the Wii are bright and look decent, however they are not pushing the boat out. The Wii controls for most of the events are fine and actually are ok to use. The mutilplayer is fun and will give you some enjoyment.
The story is pretty generic you choose from lots of different countries to represent and lead a team of nobodies to international stardom, along the way picking up lots of medals. The main mode is the career mode which progress in a honeycomb formation, this means only a few events are unlocked first. You must pass the requirement for the event and the adjacent ones are unlocked. In this mode there are 5 different event types: training, contest, cup, special challenge and one on one. Training is self explanatory, contest is where you take on 7 athletes in a cup system whilst one on one gives you just one opponent, but they are tough to beat. Special challenges are just that, you are asked to perform a task. All the above are similar game modes in truth but do give some variation. After each victory or success you gain XP points, which you use to level up and buy equipment to improve your athletes performances. This is also a nice touch as it gives you something to play for. Other options include the free play mode, this allows you to play all the events and practice everything to get the controls down and get those world records. You can also create your very own custom cups and put whatever events you want in. This allows you to pick the evens you can control the best and get the full enjoyment out of this game. You can also play multilayer with up to 4 players in this game. It is actually fun and gives you a real sense of achievement.
Moving on to the controls; for the most part these are simple to do and intuitive. The running events require you to use the nunchuk to charge up you’re start and the swing the Wiimote and nunchuk up and down to gain speed and run. This is good but the 400m and hurdles are especially tricky and painful on the wrists. The javelin and hammer throw are similar, you build up speed and then release the B button when prompted. These work and the animations are fluid and responsive. The jumping events require you to build up speed by using the running controls and then perform movements of both the Wiimote and nunchuck to get the right jump and elevation. The problem for me was during the jumping events the controls are not well matched and actually the sensor doesn’t pick the up the movements sometimes.
The swimming was for me the worst event as the controls don’t work at all and your basically just swinging the controllers widely to make your athlete swim. My favourite event was the archery, easy to do and very satisfying when you get a bullseye. The diving and trampoling are similar in that once in the air you have to perform movements shown on screen and again these are judged well and straightforward to execute, if a little clumsy. The mountain biking event reminds me of an old school racing game, you steer the bike around and do tricks with simple motions, here the graphics suffer as the speed causes everything to be a brown blur. The game has a nice feel to it and the sounds are also well done, the commentators can get annoying after a while but the sound effects are simple enough.
Deep Silver have given us a simple game that will give you some fun and entertainment whilst you wait for the Olympics to begin. It’s not a classic but I suspect it’s not meant to be. I can see this being a good budget title and one for the family, not very complicated. The controls for most of the events are simple enough and work ok, the swimming events will frustrate you and the running may lead to wrist strain. Summer Stars 2012 is a fair game and if you want a game to fuel that inner athlete this maybe that game. Not amazing but ok.
- Graphics are nice and bright, looks nice on the Wii
- Career mode has a nice progression system
- Controls for some events are a strain on the wrists
A decent effort to
bring some of the summer
events to our homes.
Worth a try.
- Format: Nintendo Wii,
- Publisher: Deep Silver,
- Developer: 49 Games,
Summer Stars 2012 – Review,