Racing games have never really been my preferred genre, but I do know a thing or two about them. However, one thing I never expected would be a racing game featuring animals rather than the standard cars. Well, to clarify, I was aware of Japan enjoying these horse racing games, but I never really expected them to reach this part of the world like Wii Champion Jockey did.
Those of you who decide to get this game must learn from my mistake: Do not start a race without knowing the controls. The first good decision I made was to start the story mode, which starts you off as a rookie jockey and then provides you with a variety of tutorials to ease you into the control system, which turned out to be much more complicated than I thought it would be. In story mode, you can also level up your character to allow you to ride and win races with more difficult horses.
Once you get the hang of it, however, the racing is very good. A timed button press lets you get off of the starting point, and then you must adjust your position and speed to prevent your horse from losing too much stamina too quickly. This means you need to judge when you should hold back and when you should use that burst of speed. Whipping your horse can increase speed when stamina is too low, but you should wait until the end to attempt this. Should you find that nice balance between good speed and positioning, your horse will get into a zone of form and speed. For me, obtaining this zone was difficult, but I did achieve it.
Visually, the graphics are appealing enough, and they remind me a bit of arcade sports games without the over-the-top announcer. They are hardly next-gen graphics, but I cannot really ask for perfection on a Wii.
If you take away the story mode, you still have a satisfying arcade racer that is pretty similar to the game Outrun. Not only is it fun, but it’s bright, and it has a bit of a “one more race” factor to it. Sometimes, it feels like it kind of feels like a simulation game when you factor in all the figures and stats, but that part is easy enough to ignore and still have fun. If you are looking for a game that you can take out at a party and enjoy, Wii Champion Jockey is a good game to try.