Wii. Move. Kinect. 3 forms of next-gen motion control gaming. White, black and green, together in the world of fanboyism and ultimate brand loyalty. It’s time for the suits behind our favourite consoles to step their game up and really show us what they can do. Nintendo has the upcoming 3DS and Microsoft has the ever-intriguing ‘shout at the telly’-tech of Kinect and Sony have just released Move to the braying public.
Last Friday, because I wasn’t able to pre-order PlayStation Move, I sent my Dad to HMV to pick up some Move tech on my behalf. I bought a PS Move Starter pack (with a demo disc), an extra Move ‘sphere’ controller as well as a navigation controller and a copy of Start The Party.
Here’s a pic of all of the stuff that I bought, which, surprisingly, wasn’t at all too expensive. All of this cost just under £150 (£149.96) and 75% of the things I bought weren’t even required as you only need the PS Move Starter Pack to play.
Click for full-size image.
I’ll be reviewing the Move tech, the Starter Pack as well as Start The Party all in an unbiased way (apparently unbiasedly isn’t a word – pfft!) because Sony didn’t pay me to say nice things, all opinions are my own and I had to buy all of my own Move things etcetera, etcetera, so on and so forth. Also, I won’t talk about the navigation controller as there isn’t much/anything that you can actually do with it at the moment.
Click ‘Read More‘ to read my review of PlayStation Move and to learn more brilliant jargon such as ‘pfft’!
To use PlayStation Move, you will need a sphere controller, a PlayStation Eye (PS camera) and a game. These are all found in the Starter Pack with the “game(s)” being those found on demo disc (as well as the full game Sports Champions if you buy the Starter Pack in North America) and are need to play.
Here’s another picture, this time it’s of my PS Eye/PS3 set-up.
Click the picture for a full-size image.
The camera was really easy to set-up, all I had to do was find a space for it (which was simple given that it’s small enough to hide with my hand), plug it into the USB slot of my PS3, make sure that it was working by looking at ‘Accessory Settings’ on my PS3, from there I went to ‘Camera Settings’ and voila! The camera worked perfectly.
From there it was even easier to connect my sphere controllers. They basically just worked like a Dualshock/Six-Axis controller. Press the PS button in the middle and they switch on. There was also a bit of frustrating calibration that I chose to do to get the most out of the 1:1 motion tracking which was TOTALLY worth it! I have to admit that I spent a fair amount of time just scrolling through the XMB randomly just for fun just to test the precision of the Move controllers and I have to say that I was amazed by the effectiveness of it. It honestly WOWed me, and that was before I’d even started playing a game!
Click the image to make it bigger.
Like the creepy homeless guy with the ragtag beard who seems to have an identical minion on every street, or, like the video game blogger who spent all of her money on a new set of video game accessories and games, I love stuff that I don’t have to pay for. Demos, competitions, freebies of any kind – if it’s free and to do with video games, it’s on like Donkey Kong! Hence the reason why I tried out the demo disc as my first playable experience with my brand spanking new PS Move controllers.
Since I don’t have the original EyePet, refuse to play a game associated with Tiger Woods (unless it’s that one from South Park!) and have no desire to be a TV Superstar or a Sketcher of Beats, any game that’s not those few that I just mentioned is reviewed below. Plus, since I know that you lost interest after the 3rd word in the post “Kinect” (damn fanboy!) the reviews are also sort-of-short and sort-of-sweet.
It seems like following the ‘motion control + sports games = fun’ trend set by Nintendo has worked really well for Sony. The two games that I could play in the SC demo were Disc Golf and Table Tennis ; two amazing games that are both a lot of fun and show off the 1 : 1 motion tracking that Sony keeps going on about. The motion control took a little bit of getting used to with the game and I suffered several defeats at the hands of Giselle, the cold-hearted Ping Pong warrior, as a result! Even my mother, who had spent the better part of an hour claiming that the PS Move controller is exactly like the motion controller of the Nintendo Wii, enjoyed it. Needless to say, my Mum was thoroughly impressed as she played some Table Tennis and kicked Giselle’s ass for me. Thanks Mum! She even let me quote her as saying
The PlayStation Move controls are better than the Wii!
There’s also the aforementioned ‘Disc Golf’ which is basically just a Frisbee game for tech enthusiasts. I’ve never been very good at Frisbee throwing , AKA ‘the ridiculous British holiday sport’ and it was quite fiddly even for a game in which you pretend to throw a Frisbee a bunch of times. However, for a peculiar concept, it worked quite well and the graphics weren’t half bad either, which is a plus.
In a real example of it does what is says on the tin, The Shoot is a game in which you shoot things. Imagine that. Again I was astonished at the preciseness of the motion tracking which Sony has clearly put a lot of time and effort in perfecting though I was more than a little bit disappointed at the fact that the game is so simple. I could think of plenty more things to use the PS Move tech for ; I call for a remake of the original EyeToy classic Wishy Washy! The Shoot is a great way to showcase the motion control’s talent though. (The Shoot is also quite difficult to calibrate!)
I didn’t like the first game in the echochrome series and I understood it up to the part where you actually start playing so I suppose you could say that I started playing the sequel’s demo expecting a whole lot of un-fun-gaming. And it was ; fun for some, not for me, unfortunately. I love the premise of the game, controlling shadows and using your PlayStation Move controller as the light. It’s creative and it’s a pretty ingenious way of using motion control too. However, maybe it has something to do with the genre of games that I like, in fact I’m sure it is, but I prefer my games to be Katamari Damacy weird not far-too-difficult-to-control kind of weird.
It’s called Tumble and if you click the picture for a full-size image, you’ll see that there is a brick in the middle of the letter ‘b’.. If you guessed that Tumble is a game in which you stack blocks made out of different materials in a certain way, give yourself 10 ‘guess the logo’ points to congratulate yourself. FYI, the points aren’t worth anything apart from being there to boost your self esteem 😀
The idea for the game, while making a lot more sense than that of echochrome, is still a little odd. Though just remember all of the fun times you had stacking Lego, stickle and other sorts of toy bricks. Now you can do it with 1 : 1 super precise motion control, OMG! And I have an un-put-together Lego Technik tractor packed away somewhere that verifies the fact that there are Lego sets that cost more than the PS Move Starter Pack. There’s depth control in Tumble which means that the game is a lot more complex than just being a ‘block-stacking’ sim. Also, while it may not be the primary reason for buying a 3D TV for some, I do think that it’s very cool that the game boasts 3D support.
Start The Party
Of course there’s the wonderful game of Buzz! , the original PlayStation party game (in my opinion) but you absolutely HAVE to make room for a second party game in your video game collection as Start The Party is so much fun! I could only afford to buy 1 full game for PlayStation Move as I rather foolishly (in hindsight) bought an un-needed (as of right now) navigation controller. Though I think buying just the one game was worth it as although I’ve heard that some people think that the game is too short, I think that it’s perfect. There are quite a few mini-games to play to keep yourself amused and if you play them in Party Mode, there are a few extra games in between too. Because my mother had grown bored with the 2 levels of Table Tennis offered in the Sports Champions demo by this point, my father is an Xbox 360 fanboy and my sister wouldn’t know the difference between Chloe and Elena from the Uncharted series even if you made her play through both games twice (!) I opted to play the game in solo player mode. Apart from being a little lonely without the company of my family and not being given access to the other little features of the game such as getting to doodle over your opponents profile pictures (which you can take yourself using the PlayStation Eye) I still managed to have a lot of fun.
I also loved getting all of the easy trophies (you know there’s even one for playing Start The Party on Christmas Day?) as well as being able to take a host of random pictures to use in the game, the actual mini-games are ace too. Anyone want to slice fruit with me? For a game at launch, apart from maybe having an online mode and perhaps a few more mini-games just to keep the gameplay original, I don’t see why Start The Party can’t be classed as a near-perfect PlayStation Move launch title.
Thanks for reading this epically long post, I hope you enjoyed it!
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