When I was younger, the Official Nintendo Seal of Quality meant the world to me. That little gold emblem ensured that whatever I was about to play – was certified by the same people who brought me games like Super Mario Bros, Mike Tyson’s punch-out and F-Zero.
Something strange has happened to the seal over the last few console generations though. Sure, it’s still there – on every product that Nintendo licenses for use on or for its systems, but the Seal of Quality has become known as merely the “Nintendo Seal.” Catch that? The keyword – quality has mysteriously vanished.
Now, we can all agree that the Wii is one fun little system. Everyone from average gamers to grandma and children can all find something to love on the system. Sadly though, the Wii has also become a seemingly fertile breeding ground for crap games. For every Zelda and Mario – there seems to be a million Ninja Gingerbread man or chicken shoots.
Case in point – Showtime Championship Boxing by repeat offender DSI Games. Everything, from the presentation, design and gameplay mechanics is so sub par, it’s quite laughable – until you realize just how much potential this game could have had if released under a different developer.
Showtime Sports has become synonymous with boxing. It’s become one of the premier places to both break new talent and see new stars get their start. Names like Holyfield, Lewis, and De La Hoya have all graced Showtime’s ring from some of the worlds most famous arenas. Too bad you won’t get any of that in the game. There are no licensed elements in the game – at all. Instead we get brawlers with such uninspired names as “Lazy Lorenzo,” Psycho Sarge and “Punching Bag Pat.” Why use the Showtime name if were not even going to get realistic characters?
Sadly, the arenas aren’t much better, but at least there seemed to be an attempt on behalf of the developers to make them familiar. Instead of immortal buildings rich in history, we get bland, buildings named after cities that are supposed to represent actual buildings. For instance, the New York arena is supposed to be Madison Square Garden, Los Angles the Staples Center and Vegas would be Caesar’s Palace. These similarities are in name only as each one looks like a run down bingo hall, with no more than 200 fans in the stands.
You know when you’re grocery shopping and there’s the brand names, then the cheaper, crappier brand Xs of every product? Showtime Championship Boxing feels like the Brand X Boxing title to the great Fight Night series and even the small boxing mini game on Wii Sports. Sure, at first glance it looks similar, but once you actually give it a try – you realize just how bad it is – even if it tries so hard to be like those that came before it.
Boxing is based on timing and speed – so it’s a problem when a game cant execute either. In theory, the game controls just like Wii Sports, using the nunchuck and Wii mote as your boxing gloves, and delivering jabs and haymakers with your on screen character mimicking your actions. In reality though, the game takes a good two second delay in interpreting your actions on the screen, leaving your boxer open for a pummeling. What’s worse? It seems that no matter what you do – the game will interpret it as a jab. Motion for an uppercut? Left jab. Haymaker? You guessed it – left jab.
With only two real game modes – there isn’t much Showtime Championship Boxing can offer gamers. Its sad really, if under a different developer – it could have made for a viable opponent to the big boxing titles like, but instead DSI games decided to make it a cheap, gimmicky imitation of that which came before. Save yourself some money – stick with Wii Sports.