The follow-up to the hit 101-in-1 Megamix is here, except now it’s all sports themed.  It doesn’t matter which sport you might be a fan of, this game probably has it in some form.  Sports Megamix is a collection of one hundred and one different sports-themed mini-games that will keep any DS owner busy and entertained for hours on end. screen2

The gameplay is almost a perfect mix of simple mini-games and progression that most portable gamers can appreciate.  The game makes it easy to quickly play a few games on a moments notice, or switch between the many games available and work to unlock as many sports games as possible in a longer play session.  When you first start up the game, or create a new profile, there are only ten of the mini-games unlocked.  When you complete an unlocked game, you get a certain number of points depending on how well you did and whether or not you got a score higher than a predetermined minimum.  The more games you play and complete, the more points you earn and can use towards unlocking new games.  If you complete a game with a score higher than the minimum for the first time, you get a number of bonus points, which varies from game to game.

Each of the one hundred and one (and yes, there are actually that many) mini-games are very simple to play, having just a few instructions on the control method.  There’s an even mix of touch screen swipe and tap style games, as well as those with an option to use the d-pad as an alternate way of playing some of the games.  I would have preferred more of the games to have d-pad controls, as I grew tired of using the touch screen controls, when I know I may have had more precise control over the outcome of the game if I had that option.  Beyond the controls, the AI was easily defeated in quite a few of the games, while there were several games, like fencing, in which beating the AI was more of a stroke of luck rather than proper timing and skill.

screen4 I’m not sure if it was due to my older DS hardware, but I did experience a few instances where the game froze to the point where I couldn’t complete the mini-game.  It wasn’t a huge deal because the pause menu was still accessible and I was able to either restart the game or return to the game’s menu.  Again, it could be due to the fact that my hardware is old, as I first noticed when the developer’s intro screen displayed on the screen, it experienced a frame-rate issue when the multiple images flew towards the screen.

The graphics seemed a little less than average in the majority of the games.  This might be understandable for the platform, but it still felt like I was playing a game created for something like the Gameboy Advance instead of the slightly superior DS hardware, less the touch screen controls.  As for the audio, nothing awe-inspiring and might be something of let-down for those listening for a more quality sounding DS gaming experience.  If you’re wanting visuals and sounds that are more of the retro variety, you might be a little less disappointed.

screen3 Multiplayer requires a copy of the game for each of up to two players, but the bulk of the replay value comes from the single player progression experience.  With the amount of unique and simple mini-games included and unlockable in the game, there are quite a few hours of fun to be had.  The majority of the games are different enough to keep the game from getting stale, and completionists will strive to unlock each of the games and will face a fair amount of challenge while trying to complete each of them above the required minimum to get bonus points.

Overall, I can’t stress enough that this game has quite a bit of content packed into this portable title.  I had lots of fun playing through each of the games, some I wasn’t familiar with, and learning what could be done to get the highest score possible for my skill level and if strategy could be used or if luck just needed to be on my side.  If you love mini-game collections with a fair amount of variety, especially if you’re a sports fan, you’ll definitely get a little bit of almost every sport out there and might burn more hours playing than you might have thought.

[starreviewmulti id=1 tpl=20]

Title : 101-in-1 Sports Megamix
Format : Nintendo DS
Developer : Nordcurrent
Publisher : Atlus
Release Date : 09/07/10

*Atlus provided with a review copy.