Sports Champions: a top-tier gaming experience with the Move - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 148 Old 09-20-2010, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Sports Champions, one of the major launch releases with the PS3's new "Move" motion-control peripheral, is flat out incredible. It is six complete games in one, each with its own difficulty progression that eventually takes away the early assist training wheels for even more realistic motion gaming action. Multiplayer can be played without assists and is GREAT fun, but unfortunately you can only play your friends locally. Still, at only $40 (or included with the Move bundles), SC looks to easily offer more enjoyment time as a whole than the vast majority of $60 games.

My personal copy is still in the mail, but after playing the demo a bit I put some extensive time in with the full release at a buddy's house. It is absolutely amazing how well this title replicates the feel of each the six sports it represents. Gladiator is a bit of an exception to that since some of its over-the-top moves aren't actually possible, but even then the overall fighting feels incredibly "real" as you block and attack.

Here's a breakdown of all six events, with an indication of whether it allows you to optionally use a second Move controller for more immersive game play:

~~~~~~~~~


TABLE TENNIS - One Move

Action video - early gold medal match:

For me, this is the gem of the collection. I love TT in real life and I can't even describe how fantastic this game feels as you play. All of the tactics I use in real life I've been able to replicate in vs. play (solo play has limiting assists until you unlike the tougher difficulties).

Fore hand, backhand, overheads, spins, lobs, smashes, table approach, table retreat... like the old spaghetti sauce commercial once said, it's all in there! Every slight twist of your hand is replicated 1:1 by the on-screen paddle you are holding, allowing you to PRECISELY put the ball exactly where you want it to go, with as little or as much force as your arm can put into it. And watching my buddy play solo in the later rounds, you can see that each of the computer players has his/her own play style, with obvious strengths and weaknesses to how they are programmed play their game. It's pretty remarkable.

One other undocumented feature? Just like real life, you will benefit greatly by stretching before you start to go at it, trust me.


DISC GOLF - One Move

Video action - fighting through the trees, adjusting toss power:

Frisbee + golf. It is simple, relaxing, frustrating and fun. Hit the chained tower with your disc in as few tosses as possible over a variety of courses.

Like TT, the accuracy of the Move's ability to instantly map your exact movements and angles while holding the disc means that your tosses will float and curve very similar to how they would in real life; good habits and bad habits are equally replicated. The chains of the target tower seem to be slightly magnetized so that if you hit the goal your disc will score and drop down more often than glancing off, but otherwise everything works as it should.

I only wish there was a simple Frisbee driving range mode where you could work on your technique (maybe an empty park where your dog can retrieve the disc for you as in real life?)


BOCCE - One Move

Action video - getting used to spin control before a match:

Haha, I admit I am still unclear of half the rules since I just played it once. Get your tossed balls closer to the goal than the opponents, bumping things towards or away as you see fit I think. It reminds me of horseshoes+bowling+marbles for some reason. The play mechanics feel good as you judge the power of your tosses, and I'm looking forward to playing this event more to give a fuller impression.


ARCHERY - Optionally two Moves

Action video - taking down the pop up targets:

Having tried my hand at archery only once in real life, I can't speak to its realism in this game, but the event feels natural as you grab an arrow from your quiver (with motion controls if you have two Moves), aim and shoot at the target. Players definitely need to adjust their arcs for fall-off based on the amount of power in their shots, which takes no time to get used to.

While that sounds pretty basic, the game mixes things up nicely by changing the distance of the targets, adding a variety of moving targets, and even having you play archery mini-games like tic-tac-toe. As we played SC, Archery in particular seemed to attract some of the casuals around us who wanted a try since it isn't complicated to play at all. .

Here's a tip: after grabbing an arrow from your quiver, consider starting your aim at chest-height, then aim towards your target. Also, unlike what some "pro" reviewers have stated, you can adjust the power of your shot. For the solo game, I belive always-full-power is one of the assists that goes away as you advance in difficulties, but it is in there. And once your arm starts falling off from playing too much TT and Gladiator, this and Bocce are the Sports Champion events that you can play as you heal up


VOLLEYBALL - Optionally two Moves

Action video - picture-in-picture showing the player and match together:

I thought 2-on2 beach volleyball was an odd event to include in SC, but it works out well since the computer always handles your movement to the ball. One of the best features is that it offers a local co-op mode, so you and a buddy/family member can work as a team against the computer. Serves, set-ups, and power spikes all feel natural with the Move as you play games of first to five.


GLADIATOR - Optionally two Moves

Action video - lots of power attacks and a cool okizeme technique by flipping the Move upside down:

I am a fighting game fiend (it's my favorite category in gaming), and after sweating through some hard fought battles with this event I can safely say that this represents a major forward step in the genre. No, I am not saying that this is the first motion based fighting game (there was the Sega Activator debacle years ago, among others), but all things considered this is the first time I've ever felt it done well.

Looking at the early videos for this a year ago, I honestly thought that it would be just some cheesy, kiddy-friendly waggle silliness. Little did I know that combined with 1:1 control for attacks and blocking (haha, except with the crazy super moves), the designers of this gem actually put a lot of depth into it as well. You really have to keep in mind a lot of factors such as your offensive/defensive selections and timing. It even has its own okizeme system for attacking downed opponents or defending yourself as you try to rise. BTW, playing with one Move controller has you switching motion control over your sword or your shield by hitting a button. With two Moves, your hands control each one independently.

The thing Move adds beyond that of traditional fighters is that you can really freestyle attack and defend to a great extent with your own selection of moves using your weapon and shield. For example, in Soul Calibur, Cassandra taps A for a quick, horizontal slice with her sword, taps B for a quick vertical slash, holds G to guard with her shield, and so on. However, she executes these moves the same way every time, at the same attack/block heights animated with the same velocity each time you input the command. Everything is canned.

In SC Gladiator, you have a lot more freedom than that. Your power comes from the power your body puts into your Move slashes. The angles come from your arm's angle of attack. It is truly something special for fighting games to play with this level of control available to you. Just be aware though that the action is so involved that you might be exhausted after an extended battle session.

~~~~~~~~~


SUMMARY:
Sports Champions so far is one of the best 2010 releases that I've played. I bought the Move primarily for improved aiming in FPS/TPS games and thought going in that SC was to simply be a basic collection of waggle sports sold to appease casuals, but am amazed at how deep and precise the experience has been so far. I haven't even mentioned the graphics, which are highly polished, crisp, and vibrantly colorful in each mode. The animations of the characters are extremely well done, adding to the illusion that you really are really participating in these sporting events.

DLC is coming (probably only new characters, costumes, and play areas), but outside of online play, anything else the developer adds is gravy to be honest. Sports Champions is a landmark achievement for the PS3, and anyone with an inkling of interest in even just a couple of the events will have many hours of fun (and exercise) if they pick it up. What I've played so far gets a 9.5/10 score from me.

High quality pictures:

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post #2 of 148 Old 09-20-2010, 12:44 PM
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Uhh yeah I think owners who are using a rear projection TV and projector setups with the PS Move might not agree with you.

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post #3 of 148 Old 09-20-2010, 12:46 PM
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I disagree. Simply because I tried the demo and it wants me to move further back. Why do I have to be 10 feet from my TV just to play this game? I can't move back any further.
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post #4 of 148 Old 09-20-2010, 12:48 PM - Thread Starter
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^^^ I play 7-8 feet from my HDTV. No problems so far.

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Originally Posted by Filipinoyakuza View Post

Uhh yeah I think owners who are using a rear projection TV and projector setups with the PS Move might not agree with you.


If you have Move-specific issues to discuss, let's cover it in the Move thread. This thread is about a specific game. For the record though I have a RP HDTV with no issues, and the SC Gladiator video I posted above was played on a 106" projector. In fact an AVS memebr of our forum with a projector is playing with the Move just fine according to his recent post. Like anything else, experiences may vary.

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post #5 of 148 Old 09-20-2010, 12:57 PM
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One thing of note for disc golf, you can use two moves in the challenge mode. Right and left handed disc throwing doesn't lead to accuracy though which is key for the multiplier.

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post #6 of 148 Old 09-20-2010, 12:57 PM
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This is the favorite of my Move games so far. My copy is also in the mail so currently I've only gotten to play the TT and Disc Golf games. I can't wait for my full copy to get home!
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post #7 of 148 Old 09-20-2010, 12:59 PM
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You sold me Joe. I also like ping-pong and Tekken, so since you obviously enjoy it, I will too.
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post #8 of 148 Old 09-20-2010, 01:00 PM
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Oh, and definitely stretch before playing. I play real disc golf fairly often and my right arm is sore from the ~300 holes I put in over the weekend

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post #9 of 148 Old 09-20-2010, 01:09 PM
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Can anyone with experience with Wii Sports Resort & Motion Plus give a comparison between that and this game w/ Move in terms of quality of motion tracking?

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post #10 of 148 Old 09-20-2010, 01:15 PM
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I have very little experience with Wii, but I have lots of experience with real table tennis. Sports Champion's interpretation of the game is extremely realistic, my time with Wii did not impress me. Putting spin on the ball, smashing it when the opponent lobs, etc. are all very faithful. It is a HOOT to play. I know when my disc gets here I'm going to be very sore the next morning.
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post #11 of 148 Old 09-20-2010, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Schempp View Post

Oh, and definitely stretch before playing. I play real disc golf fairly often and my right arm is sore from the ~300 holes I put in over the weekend

I played SC Disc Golf for about 9 hours Friday night (from after work + time to get game through 6AM), played 20 Holes of Cali-Dubs on 'Leviathan Longs' in Ludington, MI, then 4 hours of SC DG Saturday night.... then 24 Holes of Lev Shorts Sunday morning...

I can't raise my right arm over my head today....
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post #12 of 148 Old 09-20-2010, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krimson View Post

Can anyone with experience with Wii Sports Resort & Motion Plus give a comparison between that and this game w/ Move in terms of quality of motion tracking?

Only because you asked, but IMO the Move is everything the WM+ wishes it was.

There, I said it.

And paerley, I'm not quite there, but picking the laptop back out of the backseat this morning was a chore that I almost couldn't complete. Unfortunately, being in ND, the real courses aren't exactly difficult or big. Got in 24 holes on a course with the longest hole at 353 ft right before jumping back in to Move on Saturday

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post #13 of 148 Old 09-20-2010, 01:49 PM
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i have already more then 15 hour sin this game.

it is so very addicting. also the reaction of the controller is amazing. i also bought tumble which is awesome too. actually i really thought this move would suck badly. and ia ctually bought 1 for my mother and my girlfriend.

but i think i have put in more time now then both of them lol.

makes me intrested more then ever in kinect as well. cant wait too. maybe that aint so bad either as i thought it would.
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post #14 of 148 Old 09-20-2010, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DubBucket View Post

You sold me Joe. I also like ping-pong and Tekken, so since you obviously enjoy it, I will too.

Yeah, for most people it shouldn't be tough to decide if SC is worth picking up. Basically if you like a few of these activities in real life, give it a try with the Move controls. BTW, I didn't know you were into Tekken .

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post #15 of 148 Old 09-20-2010, 07:13 PM
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It makes me happy to see others enjoying this game as much as I have been. The TT is amazing. You don't push a single button to play, yet the amount of nuance that you can exercise when playing the game is pretty stunning! I also really love the archery - so much fun with two controllers (but tiring). As well, I am really enjoying the art style. It's fun without being mii like. I'm not a kid and I like my players to have limbs
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post #16 of 148 Old 09-21-2010, 01:24 AM
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Just spent about three hours playing this. Most of that time on ping pong, which is easily the best to me because of its accuracy and the most fun.

My best to worst from top to bottom:
ping pong
archery
disc golf
volleyball
bocce
gladiator duel
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post #17 of 148 Old 09-21-2010, 05:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krimson View Post

Can anyone with experience with Wii Sports Resort & Motion Plus give a comparison between that and this game w/ Move in terms of quality of motion tracking?

There's absolutely no comparison. It just feels...real.

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post #18 of 148 Old 09-21-2010, 06:10 AM
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I was all set to just buy 1 controller...(already had the camera) , then I
had to purchase the base charger..which is nice and good quality ...so now Im thinking another for the open slot on the charger...we'll actually
Im curious about using 2 controllers...might as well buy the navigator also
while Im at it...sheesh this is getting expensive.

This was my fisrt title I picked up...since it got great reviews...I like it !
Im playing thru GOWIII and Battlefield 2 amongst others...and this has pulled me away...so many games to play, so little time...and football season doesn't
help....and Im behind in my movie watching...I got blu rays unopened
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post #19 of 148 Old 09-21-2010, 06:15 AM
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Thanks Joe for the detailed write-up! You are really an asset to this community!
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post #20 of 148 Old 09-21-2010, 07:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankthetoad View Post

There's absolutely no comparison. It just feels...real.

Cool, good to hear. WM+ was good and all, but it was a bit glitchy and everytime it registered a backhand as a forehand, or lost it's center, it would just take you out of the immersion, and made it difficult to "take it seriously" as anything more then a party game.

Sounds like Sony nailed it with Move. Definitely thinking about picking this up...

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post #21 of 148 Old 09-21-2010, 07:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krimson View Post

Cool, good to hear. WM+ was good and all, but it was a bit glitchy and everytime it registered a backhand as a forehand, or lost it's center, it would just take you out of the immersion, and made it difficult to "take it seriously" as anything more then a party game.

Sounds like Sony nailed it with Move. Definitely thinking about picking this up...

Playing Disc Golf is my favorite. As joe mentioned, being as 1:1 as it is, every slip of the wrist or overthrow is faithfully represented on screen...many times to your detriment. But that's what makes this so awesome. I can play Wii Bowling sitting on my couch, I cannot play Disc Golf that way....you just can't do it.

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post #22 of 148 Old 09-21-2010, 07:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankthetoad View Post

I can play Wii Bowling sitting on my couch, I cannot play Disc Golf that way....you just can't do it.

This is exactly the reaction a Wii owner had at my house Sunday. He was trying to do exactly what you said (flicking his wrist), then finally gave up and stood up (he was playing TT), and said "Whoa, this is a lot different".
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post #23 of 148 Old 09-21-2010, 07:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankthetoad View Post

Playing Disc Golf is my favorite. As joe mentioned, being as 1:1 as it is, every slip of the wrist or overthrow is faithfully represented on screen...many times to your detriment. But that's what makes this so awesome. I can play Wii Bowling sitting on my couch, I cannot play Disc Golf that way....you just can't do it.

You can get close. Calibrate from a sitting position and your arm movements translate a bit exaggerated on the screen allowing full distance throws.

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post #24 of 148 Old 09-21-2010, 08:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Haha, using custom calibration tactics is like creating your own rules physics in your little virtual world. Table Tennis might be tougher to do that I'm guessing because you have to physically move around the table so much in the tougher difficulties.

BTW - forget what I said about Archery being stress free. Your shoulder can get heavy after drawing a few hundred arrows from the quiver. I honestly don't know how Legolas does it.

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Thanks Joe for the detailed write-up! You are really an asset to this community!

You're welcome! There are dozens and dozens of games out there trying to get our attention. While Sony did the smart thing in making this release the star of the Move's launch, I feel that letting as many members here know about how ridiculously awesome it is would be worth the detailed thread.

Sports Champions is NOT a casual game as I once mistakenly thought; although it starts off with assists turned on, it is hardcore through and through and may actually be considered a "sim" title based on its many true-to-life play mechanics.

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post #25 of 148 Old 09-21-2010, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeblow View Post

Haha, using custom calibration tactics is like creating your own rules physics in your little virtual world. Table Tennis might be tougher to do that I'm guessing because you have to physically move around the table so much in the tougher difficulties.

Not really. It seems to calibrate your necessary range of movement based on size. Making a child/dwarf reach as far as a full grown man would be unfair. From a seated position, where the Move "sees" you as being only about 2' tall, you can play table tennis pretty well. The only part that gets a bit difficult is the Z axis movement.

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post #26 of 148 Old 09-21-2010, 08:31 AM
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My four year old son loves to play team V-ball with me. He gets all high five'n after a point and says things like "lets take them down". Too cool, he never once got into a Wii game half as much in the last ten months. The Wii is going on Craig's list, no one in the house plays it or even objected to my idea to sell it.

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post #27 of 148 Old 09-21-2010, 08:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Schempp View Post

Not really. It seems to calibrate your necessary range of movement based on size. Making a child/dwarf reach as far as a full grown man would be unfair. From a seated position, where the Move "sees" you as being only about 2' tall, you can play table tennis pretty well. The only part that gets a bit difficult is the Z axis movement.

Z-axis is mostly what I meant. Approaching the net for slamming lobs and aggressively returning rally hits or fading back to defend against slams coming at you is important in real TT and works pretty well here also. I wonder if you can cheat Z-axis calibration to fully play it sitting down?

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post #28 of 148 Old 09-21-2010, 09:01 AM
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This game is amazing.....I'll give you two quick examples why.

--The disc golf was so realistic and fun, I went out the next day and played REAL disc golf for the first time in my life.

--I got my parents (who suck at anything to do with video games and generelly do not care for them at all) to play SC for over three hours last night with me and my GF.

There was NOTHING funnier that seeing my dad swing away while playing Gladiator and then cheering when he won (out of breath). I NEED to get it on youtube.

For those who do not like Gladiator duel, you really need the second motion controller. It makes a ton of difference in my opinion. Also I really feel like its more of a tactical fighter...almost like Demon Souls fighting system...in that you need to wait for the right oppotunities, keep your shield up, look for openings. Its not just a hack n slash, swing at everything fighting system.

Anyways, great game and I really can't believe that Sony pulled it off this well.
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post #29 of 148 Old 09-21-2010, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeblow View Post

Z-axis is mostly what I meant. Approaching the net for slamming lobs and aggressively returning rally hits or fading back to defend against slams coming at you is important in real TT and works pretty well here also. I wonder if you can cheat Z-axis calibration to fully play it sitting down?

It comes close. I went a few matches with no points scored on me, but that was on Bronze

I think the Z-axis shrinks also making approaching the net easier. The biggest issue I had with sitting down was trying to turn the paddle around and whacking the ball before I meant to hit it.

Chris Schempp
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post #30 of 148 Old 09-21-2010, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by JCRO99 View Post

--The disc golf was so realistic and fun, I went out the next day and played REAL disc golf for the first time in my life.

As a avid(maybe rabid) disc golfer, reading things like this makes me giddy. I ran into someone on the course yesterday that said they had never tried it until they got the PS Move as well! Disc golf is one of those sports that has a stigma that just dwarfs the actual sport (Puff Puff pass, throw.....). If any move players in michigan want a proper introduction to real disc golf, just shoot me a PM, I travel the state playing tournaments.
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