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PlayStation Move and Launch Games

 

PlayStation Move and Launch Games

Platform: PS3
Category: PlayStation Move
 
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Ever since the PlayStation Move was first unveiled and demoed for the public over a year ago, I have been somewhat sceptical. To me it didn’t appear to offer anything more than a Wii-like experience on the PS3. Now that I’ve had about a week or so to get my hands on it and to play some of the games, I have to say that I am quite impressed. Being the first real competitor of the Wii to hit the market, in terms of motion control, the comparisons to Nintendo’s console are inevitable. That being said, I see great potential in the PlayStation Move, but it will be up to the games to make it successful.

The Hardware

In the race to capture some of the market share dominated by the Wii, both Sony and Microsoft have chosen very different paths. Sony’s venture into motion control may be more traditional in concept in such that you physically hold a controller (or two) in your hand. This has both positives and negatives in my opinion. We received the PlayStation Move Bundle, along with a few Move games. The bundle itself includes the PS Eye, a single motion controller, and a copy of Sports Champions. With this in mind, my reviews of the use of the Move with games is based on one Move controller only. Some games do have dual Move control options, which I hope to try in the future.

The quality of the Move’s controller is on par with the DualShock controller. Without a removable battery it feels extremely light. The sphere at the end is a little bit soft. I guess this will help with any inadvertent contact it might make with furniture, TVs, or a stray limb of a loved one. The sphere also lights up when playing games and it can take on different colours, which I found sort of cool. Although I have pretty big hands, the controller feels pretty good and it did not feel like a small toy. The “shape” buttons are oriented around a central Move button. This layout offers relatively easy access but you will have to learn where each button is, like you did with the DualShock, but don’t worry the memorization is pretty easy though. The slightly elongated Move button should help a variety of hand sizes be at terms with handling the motion controller. There is also a trigger button on the underside of the controller. This should feel extremely natural for anyone that has played with a Wii Remote. Finally, a sturdy strap holds everything in place on your wrist.

Initial setup is extremely easy and no different than setting up a new PlayStation controller. Simply plug the motion controller in to the USB port on the PS3 and voila. You can calibrate the controller for pointing, which I would recommend, to make sure things are working well. Each game usually prompts the player to calibrate the controller for optimal use during play as well. I found the whole set up process nice and quick.

The Games

Let’s move on to the games as they are what will truly determine the success of the PlayStation Move. I was able to play Sports Champions, Let’s Start The Party!, EyePet, Kung Fu Rider and a couple of demos. To preface my comments I think in order to get the most out of the PlayStation Move experience you will need two of the motion controllers. As I mentioned earlier, a few of the games had control options for two motion controllers which I wasn't able to try out. For example, archery in Sports Champions looks like a ton more fun using two Move controllers than simply one as you can pull the arrow from your backpack, point at the TV, and shoot. It sure has me thinking about getting another Move controller to try the dual Move options. So without further adieu, here are my impressions of the games sent for us to review:

Kung Fu Rider (Overall Score: 4)

I’m not going to waste a lot of time on Kung Fu Rider. The premise of chasing bad guys on an office chair and other things is so whacky it almost works. Unfortunately, the controls amount to little more than simple gestures and it seemed like the Move would not always register, the result being delayed or no response in my button pressing or Move controller moving. This does nothing to leverage the precision that the Move offers. Add some overly complex button controls and the game becomes one that feels rushed and unnecessary. At $40, it is priced a little lower than a normal game, but this isn’t a game that I can recommend people picking up given some of the technical issues in visuals and PlayStation Move implementation.

EyePet (Overall Score: 6.5)

Obviously this one’s geared squarely for the kids. I felt a little funny kneeling on my living room floor interacting with an imaginary animal that was on the screen. EyePet does a neat job of showing off the PS Eye camera functionality, but does little to show off the Move’s precision. EyePet doesn’t exclusively use the Move controller either.

Several interactions with your virtual pet are a result of the PS Eye camera tracking movement or by using various objects. The key with EyePet is getting over the fact you are interacting with something on your floor that really isn’t there. These interactions are actually pretty cool and I found myself trying out different things to see what would happen. Everything looks great on screen but you have to get over the fact there’s not something in front of you. That said, I was never able to get an image of myself and the room with the clarity that is suggested in the ads that I have seen.

There are various clothes and things you can adorn your pet with and there are a number of challenges that provide a reason to return and keep playing the game. Again, I see this as being something attractive to the kids, but not that compelling for more mature audiences. What really does boggle my mind though is the fact that this is a game that does not fully show how the PlayStation Move can be used effectively. You’d think that a game like this, that was in the review package with Sony’s new motion controller, would be more aimed at showing the true benefits the Move. That being said, it is still a neat game, you do have a chance to try the Move with it, and the young ones in the family should enjoy it.


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