In the real world, there are a variety of sports enjoyed by all kinds of people all over the world. In the world of Sports Story, however, there are ironically not that many sports to choose from. This is less because people aren’t into sports, though, and more because PureStrike, the corporate overlord that controls pretty much everything, generally gets the final say in what is and isn’t a real sport.
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Due to this, as well as other extenuating factors, some of the sports in Sports Story get less love than others. Even if it’s a sport that you personally enjoy playing, if there isn’t enough interest and infrastructure to support it, you won’t get many chances to play it. Inversely, PureStrike’s favored sports get the lion’s share of the limelight.
Baseball may be one of the most beloved pastimes of the real world, but in this world? Not so much. You don’t even get to play any baseball until a good ways into the main campaign, and even then, it’s only in the form of small batting cages that opens up in the mall.
According to the clerk at the batting cages, PureStrike doesn’t recognize baseball as an actual sport. Therefore, while they are allowed to operate the batting cages on the mall’s premises, they cannot legally sell baseball equipment or play actual games.
8 RC Cars
RC car racing would probably rank pretty low on a global survey of things people consider sports, but in this wacky world, there is apparently at least slightly more interest in RC cars than there is in baseball. How strange.
While it only happens a few times throughout the game, you do get a chance to take control of an RC car and race it around a track. There’s even a league, albeit one intended primarily for children. Hey, it’s something, and it’s not like this is the first game to have kids racing adults with tiny cars.
Similarly to RC cars, there are only a handful of instances in Sports Story where you get to play volleyball. It’s a bit limited, since there’s only one real beach to play volleyball on in the game, and you visit it at the very beginning.
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Still, Coach’s daughter, Calliope, plays volleyball, and she does own a PureStrike-branded ball. So, if nothing else, volleyball at least has a bit more street cred than some other sports we could mention. Though, apparently, her ball has a bad habit of deflating constantly, so not much street cred.
Soccer (or football, if you prefer) is supported by PureStrike, albeit at the bare minimum. There are occasional soccer goals set up here and there, but there aren’t nearly enough interested people around to get an actual game going, nor is there a full field to play on.
That said, there are a handful of soccer enthusiasts scattered around the game, making their own foot-based fun in lieu of official equipment and rules. There’s one chap at PureStrike Links, for instance, who’s made a game of kicking balls through the various torii gates placed throughout the river.
While PureStrike’s attitude toward BMX isn’t much more enthusiastic than volleyball or RC cars, the difference is made up here by enthusiasts. While you’re exploring the mine shafts or Britannia, for instance, your BMX bike is your primary means of travel along the derelict minecart tracks.
There are even BMX bike tracks located at and around several PureStrike-branded golf courses, though they are in varying levels of upkeep. The course at Pelican Waters, for instance, is riddled with puddles, gaps, and dropped crates, too many to seem like a deliberate design choice.
Even if cricket isn’t exactly a worldwide sensation here in real life, the developers of Sports Story have made no effort to hide their Australian roots, so it features prominently in this game. Specifically, it’s one of the favored sports of Britannia, whose local team regularly plays for the Queen.
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Unfortunately, you don’t actually get to play a full game of cricket yourself, but you do get to engage in a few bite-sized instances of cricket batting, knocking away balls and bombs, and defending various wickets. Swinging the big bat is the most fun part anyway.
It may not involve a ball, and it’s a bit tricky to do it competitively, but fishing is one of the more prominent sports featured in Sports Story. In fact, it’s the linchpin of the entire Pelican Waters arc. You need to undergo training to learn how to catch various kinds of fish, as well as obtain the proper equipment for each.
Not only that, but when you enter the dungeon of the Briny Depths, your ability to fish under pressure becomes a valuable puzzle-solving ability. You even get to swap your tackle out with a giant sticky hand, which is equal parts awesome and hilarious.
Tennis is the second most-developed sport in Sports Story, with its own surprisingly lengthy side arc to pursue in the form of the Tennis Academy. Out of all the sports in the game, it’s one of the only ones you actually get to play actual matches against proper opponents (as well as less-than-proper opponents like a ghost).
Pursuing the tennis sidequests goes a long way toward developing your overall sporting skill, not to mention netting you some cash. Considering Sports Story is inspired in no small part by sports RPGs like Mario Golf and Mario Tennis, it’s kind of fitting that tennis would get high billing alongside the top sport.
Naturally, Sports Story is, at its heart, a golf game first and foremost. Its predecessor, Golf Story, was a full golf game, after all, and many of that game’s mechanics have been carried over to Sports Story. Heck, most of the golf mechanics serve as the bedrock for all the other sports’ mechanics.
Golf is the primary sport around which the major beats of the game’s story revolve. Golf gear accounts for the vast majority of your equippable sporting gear. All level-ups improve your golf stats. No matter what sport you’re playing, it comes back to golf. It’s golf all the way down.