Champion Jockey: G1 Jockey & Gallop Racer
Nintendo Wii Review
Tecmo KOEI Games
Released: November 2011
Back on the original Sony Playstation and PS2, Tecmo and KOEI filled a void for gamers, releasing quality horse racing experiences in both the G1 Jockey and Gallop Racer franchises. Tecmo KOEI has return to fill the void yet again, releasing Champion Jockey, a combination of both franchises, on the PS3 and Nintendo Wii in the U.S.
The Gallop Racer and G1 Jockey releases, for those who played them on the PlayStation and PS2, were very sim-oriented. The games were always designed with the belief being that gamers who purchased them, were real fans of horse racing.
This carries over to Champion Jockey on the Sony PS3 as well as the Nintendo Wii.
The main action here is the inclusion of the story mode, which puts you in the role of a jockey, getting into things right from the start of your career.
The idea is to take a jockey, and go through the whole lifestyle, choosing a stable owner whom you will ride for, negotiating races, talking with other jockeys, earning stats, breeding horses, etc.
The simulation aspect comes in purchasing horses whom you will then be able to breed down the line, and maintain a successful stable as your horses age and are forced to retire.
Scheduling races is no easy task either, as you must be sure you are placing your horse in races where they have the best chance to succeed, in terms of class, race length, track type, etc.
You also have the option of training horses and such in-between races if you do not feel you are ready to just jump to the next weekend race.
There is a lot to digest here, and because of that there is certainly a great deal of depth involved, as this will take you some time getting used to. You will likely find yourself starting over as a new jockey after you get the hang of it your fist time out.
The great thing about this though is that once you understand what needs to be done and you understand the logistics, horse racing fans are really going to find the story mode engaging and rewarding.
Game modes outside of the story mode are pretty basic as you get things such as standard exhibition mode, as well as the addition of online play for the first time in the franchise, a very cool addition indeed which really adds to the experience a great deal.
Gameplay on the Nintendo Wii is very enjoyable, as the game makes great use of the motion controls.
You have the ability to race with the motion controls as well as with standard controls utilizing the analog stick. Another very cool aspect of the Nintendo Wii version is the use of the Wii Balance Board as well.
It is clear Tecmo KOEI set out to make a very immersive experience from a gameplay perspective, and that has rang through in every facet. Simply put, the controls make this as fun of a horse racing experience as you can while still making it a strict simulation.
Visuals on the Nintendo Wii are slightly upgraded over what we saw on the most recent PS2 release, which was quite some time ago now. With that said, the game engine is still solid enough to put forth a decent visual experience. More details in the horses and such could have certainly stepped things up though.
The audio presentation has never been a strong point for the franchise, and that carries over here. The audio in terms of sound effects is decent, but leaves a lot to be desired.
The Closing Chatter:
Champion Jockey: G1 Jockey & Gallop Racer on the Nintendo Wii is a fantastic release for horse racing fans with the Nintendo console. It is a strong simulation that fills a great void. With so many gaming franchises filling the same old genres, it is great to see something fresh, different, and fun out on the Wii.
Final Score: 8 out of 10 Chatters