I can remember back to the first moment that I heard about the Wii's unique motion-sensing controls. I remember being intrigued by all of the ideas and impressed that Nintendo would make such a radical departure from the status quo. However, while I was definitely interested in the motion controls, I was also more than a little skeptical. I worried that games would devolve into nothing more than me shaking the control around like a man having a seizure. I worried that my arms would grow tired and I would learn to hate playing video games. I was worried that adding motion controls to older generation titles would ultimately ruin them. I was worried about the unknown. Come to find out it wasn't all Wii games that I was worried about, but rather just one - Ready 2 Rumble Revolution.
In case you just started playing games this generation, Ready 2 Rumble was a wildly successful Sega Dreamcast game that would later spawn a half-assed sequel and jump over to the PlayStation 2. It's been nine years since we last saw this over-the-top boxing game and its quirky cast of pugilists. As far as I'm concerned the timing is perfect, I've been yearning for a good arcade-style boxing game, and we already know how successful the boxing portions of Wii Sports are. As far as I was concerned this was a match made in heaven.
Unfortunately it doesn't take long before you realize just how hideously bad Ready 2 Rumble Revolution actually is. It manages to mark off everything I hate about bad Wii games. Is it hard to control? Check. Does it make my arms ache after only a few seconds of play? Check. Do the graphics look muddy at best? Check. Will this make me never want to turn my Wii on again? Check, check, check! This is just a terrible, terrible game, and no matter how good you get at it, it won't change the fact that the controls are too imprecise, the action is too disjointed and the modes just aren't compelling enough to keep you motivated.
The real problem with Ready 2 Rumble Revolution comes down to the controls, had the waggle functionality been more precise the developer could have salvaged this mess. Pulling off a basic punch is easy enough; you do that by air punching the TV screen. However, to pull off other moves you will need to thrust your Wii remote (and nunchuck) in different directions, many of which don't feel natural. But the biggest problem with this set up is that often times you will need to waggle both the remote and the nunchuck at the same time. The problem with this is that the Wii's motion-sensing abilities are not up to the task, and I found that many moves could not be pulled off consistently due to the imprecise controls. More times than not it's the nunchuck that has the problems, I have a hunch that this little piece of plastic wasn't intended for this kind of torture.
There are other problems, some of which are bad enough to wreck any fun you may have been having. For example, most of the powerful hits require you to pull back and wind up your attack. This makes sense, the very idea pulling my arm back to get ready to lay a powerful punch is a natural enough move. However, the whole thing is marred by the fact that more times than not pulling back your arm will accidentally trigger a weak attack. Not only does this ruin whatever plan you thought you had, but it also leaves you vulnerable to attacks. Not being able to pull off specific moves because of shoddy controls is a deal breaker, and it's the reason this game is scoring such a low grade.
The controls are so bad that I found that most rounds simply devolved into me waving my hands in the arm, sort of the 21st century version of button mashing. The thing is, this wasn't a concern with the older Dreamcast titles. While they weren't in the same league as the Soul Caliburs and Street Fighters of the world, Ready 2 Rumble 1 and 2 had interesting play mechanics that rewarded skilled players. That's just not the case with this long-overdue sequel. Winning a match doesn't require skill, instead it requires luck.
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