It's another terrible collection of sports.
A game such as Arcade Sports seems like a natural fit for WiiWare. With just a handful of simple sports, Icon Games could have maximized the service's potential and created a family-friendly party game for a budget price without having to deal with finding a publisher to distribute the game like they would have to if they decided to take the retail route. Unfortunately for us though, Arcade Sports is an absolute disaster, even if it is only 800 Nintendo Points ($8).
Arcade Sports contains four different sports, air hockey, bowling, pool, and snooker. Two of these sports have their own unique variations, such as snooker, which has stand and 6-ball options.
One of the problems with Arcade Sports is that all of the sports included in the game have been done better elsewhere on the Wii, either through retail or WiiWare. For example, bowling in Arcade Sports feels archaic compared to the same sport in Wii Sports, and considering that game came bundled with the Wii at launch, it would make much better sense to boot that game up and actually enjoy your experience rather than go through torture in Arcade Sports.
One of the main reasons why Arcade Sports is just not that fun to play is that the controls are extremely frustrating. While there are two different kinds of controls (novice and advanced), it is hard to dismiss the fact that both control styles are difficult to adjust to, and considering when sports such as pool and bowling worked so well in other games – namely Wii Play and Wii Sports Resort – it is definitely hard to recommend Arcade Sports over those games.
Out of all the sports featured in Arcade Sports, the only one that proved to be somewhat enjoyable was air hockey, and even that had some issues with controls. It seemed as though once you started to get into the game, the controls would start to get frustrating. As soon as your cursor moves off screen, you lose complete control of the paddle and then have to deal with moving it back on screen. It may not sound like too big of a deal, but when an activity requires frantic movements of your arms, it gets frustrating.
While Arcade Sports certainly suffers from some issues in the controls department, the game has a decent amount of modes for its price. Besides a standard mode that lets you play the games at your own pace, there is also a tournament mode and a season mode. The AI players prove to be a decent challenge at times, but it is rather difficult to compete against them when the wonky controls get in your way.
Arcade Sports had a lot of potential, but the frustrating control schemes result in a disappointing experience. Considering that all of the game's sports have been done better elsewhere, it is pretty hard to justify a purchase.