The sports genre is one that's been getting quite saturated recently, with yearly updates provided on all the major sports in the world as well as games released for all the major sporting events. Because of this, SEGA have tried to take a different approach, as Wacky World of Sports is an extremely humourous take on the serious sports games. Very few actually bear any kind of resemblance to real sports, as most are completely random and inventive.
Due to the nature of the game, there is essentially no story and the various events can be accessed through two modes, Tour and Party. Tour is effectively where the bulk of the single player elements take place though, and it's where players can unlock extra characters, events, stages and spend money in the shop. Party Mode, as the name suggests, is where the multiplayer component is based.
After a brief introduction Tour Mode begins, and players can select their character to use in events. Initially there is only one tour unlocked, but even if a player fails at this tour, two more to open up. After that however, the game requires tours to be completely before game progression is allowed. At first this seems relatively straight forward until it's made quite apparent that the computer controlled opponents don't have selectable difficulty levels and are more than capable of doing every event extremely well. This can make it extremely frustrating for someone who is completely new to the event, as actually completing an event well enough to get 1st place is exceedingly difficult.
Each tour is made up of multiple events, and as expected from this style of game, each event has records associated to them. However, the AI are capable of beating these records straight from the start. There isn't really any kind of difficulty curve, it's difficult from the start and never repents. It means that actually winning a tour is an achievement in itself, as having one bad event can signal failure in the overall standings. This makes it rather difficult to actually unlock some of the extra bonuses and characters. Having said that, it's not a lost cause completely, as even by failing money is still rewarded. It is also possible to repeatedly retry an event, but it would have been nicer to have had some kind of difficulty scaling as events progressed, rather than players being thrown into the deep end.
The game does need some commending however, as the overall ideas and inventiveness are actually quite well thought out. For the most part, the controls work fairly well on the events too and the motions kind of make some sense. Fierljeppen for example is based around running down a pier, grabbing onto a pole, climbing up it and leaping to the other side of a river. This is achieved by waving the Wii Remote up and down to run and climb, then flicking it up or down in the direction of the jump. However, some events truly don't make a great deal of sense, for example Tuna Tossing, which tells players to twirl the Wii Remote. Unfortunately it's exceedingly awkward to work out what kind of specific motion is required to do it well.
The events all have an extra level of depth to them though, in the form of equipment for each event. These ars chosen at the start of the event and each has unique stats based around power, speed, technique, and intelligence. While these do make up for some of the short comings, the overall impact on the game is somewhat minimal in some cases. As previously mentioned, the game is exceedingly hard, but in some events that AI seems to be completely clueless. Card Boxing is far too easy and is actually quite amusing as the AI completely fails to form any pairs. It's also easy to block and counter in the ring combat. Other events such as Ice Golf are a bit misleading, as while it's completely possible to get under par, sometimes a computer controlled opponent will win with a par shot based on other conditions such as body temperature, something which is slightly unfair since they don't have to think about their shots.
The game actually looks pretty decent. It definitely has a quirky and different art style and the events all have a very unique theme to them. It helps to keep things fresh, and the variety displayed in the characters also helps. The same can't be said for the voice work though, as it comes in the form of sound bytes. Everything is reused far too much and after characters start repeating the same two lines over and over it does start to feel a tad repetitive. The same applies to a lot of the sound effects and having to hear the same thing over and over does add to the frustration of repeating an event just to progress. Also, having to skip through every single AI player's turn can be a little bit aggravating.
The game is a short affair, as it's only lengthened by the fact there is a rather challenging Tour Mode. It's fair to say this could have been implemented a lot better, especially considering the level of the average Wii-Gamer. Multiplayer does offer a lot of playability for a fun night in with some friends due to the uniqueness of the events, but a lot of the events do feel like mini-games and there isn't really enough to keep player's attention for long.