1. I don’t like chocolate. Perhaps that makes me weird. I don’t care.
3. When I get Wii and DSi games to review….I give them to my kids, so they can figure out how they work and tell me all about them. Because the truth is, no matter how hard I try, I stink at video games. All of ’em. I stink at Wii Fit, which tells me, even though I am a three-time a week yogi,that I can’t do Yoga. I stink at Fossil Fighters, one of my son’s favorite games. (he gives the graphics big thumbs up) mostly because I have absolutely NO idea how to play it, no matter how hard I try. I stink at all the Mario stuff, because I can never remember what I’ve learned in earlier levels, so when I have to start from the beginning…I’m really starting from the beginning.
But now, my kids are away at sleepaway camp, and while they both played Atari’s new Sandlot Sluggers DS game, they are not here to tell me all about it, and somehow I think that the camp directors would frown upon me calling them up and asking them to clue me in.
But I got my (full disclosure) free copy of the game from my friend Beth at Role Mommy, and I wanted to write about it. So there was only one solution: I played the game myself.
First a little background: Backyard Sports: Sandlot Slugger, the latest title in the Backyard Sports series, includes not only the typical pickup games and season modes, but adds to the experience with a bunch of mini games – including a home run competition you can play against others – and a full-fledged story mode.
Stories? This, the English Major in me can do.
In the story, a bunch of bullies has taken over the sandlot, forcing all the other kids in town to stay inside playing video games ( kudos to the makers of this game as portraying that as a bad thing!). And that’s where you (or in this case I) come in: you’re the new kid in town who forms a new team to show those other guys who rules the diamond. But since the town is already filled with teams, so you must defeat each of them in their own neighborhoods to show them you’ve got what it takes, and win their best players over to your team.
So where was I in all of this? Loving it. There was reading to do (a story has words!), there were great, fun graphics that didn’t try to look realistic. (My son called the graphics awesome.) And so far, nothing for me to suck at.
Then I tried my first game. I picked my team name. Easy. I picked my location. Also easy. Then the game began. I had no idea what to do. And here it is, the biggest confession of them all: for the first three batters I had no idea whether I was pitching or hitting. Yeah. Scary.
I did like the scenery. And I thought the commentators were hilarious. And I appreciate that this isn’t one of those games that’s striving for realism. (I often wonder what’s next: a secret door into the steroid room?) These players are cartoony, the commentary is too. So it seemed like a good match, this game and me. I mean, I like a good game of let’s pretend as much as the next girl. There’s nothing like escaping from reality.
But as for the playing. Well, I guess it was realistic. Because I sucked.
Atari’s Backyard Sports: Sandlot Sluggers game is available in Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi, Nintendo Wii, Windows, and Xbox 360.