PS3 Fanboy review: Go! Sports Skydiving

By standardizing the titles for these PSN releases, it's clear that Sony intends to create a brand for the Go! Sports series. But why? By now, any educated gamer will know that the Go! Sports line means one thing -- and that isn't "quality." Go! Sports Ski was an awful game that featured unplayable controls, sloppy graphics, and an abysmal amount of content. No wonder it only cost $2. Go! Sports Skydiving is priced higher than its predecessor, at $5. But is it worth it?

Well, depends on what scale you're using. Compared to Go! Sports Ski, this game is an incredible improvement. Of course, that doesn't say much.


You're getting a lot more content in Go! Sports Skydiving than in the previous offering. There are two very distinct game modes: formation and landing. Once again, both modes take advantage of SIXAXIS controls. And yes, once again, this is the game's ultimate downfall.

Formation mode has players (up to four, online and off) jumping out of a plane, trying to create aerial formations. Each player must align him or herself with a mid-air silhouette. In order to position correctly, players must tilt and rotate the SIXAXIS controller. This is incredibly frustrating. While tilting the controller to move the diver into position works well, there is one crucial flaw that makes the game downright unplayable: the left and right rotation is incredibly unresponsive. Usually, subtle movements are key to motion-controlled game. However, Go! Sports Skydiving is incapable of noticing finer movements. Instead, players will be treated to a hilarious display of your on-screen avatar rotating in circles furiously. It looks even funnier in the in-game replay. Considering how precise the game requires you to be (and how quickly it demands you to position yourself), this is simply not fun.

It's strange that such a poorly designed game can feature such terrific production values. For a downloadable title, Go! Sports Skydiving features some fairly attractive graphics. Certainly, it's nothing you'll write home about. But, the clothes do billow in the wind, and some really well-lit vistas are provided in the game. Not only does the game support four players offline, it also has online play, so if you really wanted to, you can skydive with a stranger. Add a rudimentary, but much appreciated, replay saving system -- and you have quite an extensive list of features for a game that probably doesn't deserve it.

Thankfully, the game's other mode is much more fun. Landing has you performing tricks mid-air, and then attempting to hit a very precise target on the ground. The tricks system involves shaking the controller, and once again, isn't much fun. However, using the SIXAXIS to gently nudge your way closer to the goal is a much better (and refined) way of using motion controls. The premise is simple, but it's well executed. You'll be able to brake, glide, and use the analog sticks to control your character even further. Surprisingly, the controls work really well.

But, is one decent gameplay mode worth the $5 Go! Sports Skydiving is asking? Not really. You won't throw your controller in frustration, nor will you want to hex the developers. It seems as though Go! Sports Skydiving was made with the best of intentions. And with such an attractive list of features, strong production values, and a totally-awesome failure song (really, it's the best thing about the game), one can see the potential Go! Sports Skydiving might have had. Unfortunately, as it stands, this is just another addition to the growing list of gimmicky motion-controlled games that don't quite work.

PS3 Fanboy score: 4.5

This article was originally published on Joystiq.