Move 2 Weeks On Part 2: The Games

Forthcoming Move-only titles

Beat Sketcher (DEMO) (demo available on PSN) (ETA 21st October 2010)

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NOTE: This game only works if you set the Move to controller port 7 and turn off all the other controllers, including your BD remote, which may or may not involve removing the batteries.

More of a creation toy than a game, Beat Sketcher allows the player to paint across the screen using the Move controller, selecting various brushes, colours and patterns. As you paint, layers of sound are added to the initial percussion, making strange and sometimes amusing songs. The demo doesn’t give away too many details, and while it’s certainly worth downloading to give it a 5-minute blast, it’s hard to see where the longevity will come from. Like Start The Party, this feels like an obligatory tech-demo style release, but at least it has some entertainment value – for a little while at least. We wait for the full release before passing final judgment.

The Shoot (DEMO) (demo available on PSN) (ETA 22nd October 2010)

The Shoot is an on-rails shooter set in a movie studio. The rather flimsy plot is to try and make good shots for a movie, but that doesn’t matter: this is bang bang time! On my first playthrough I was rather less than impressed, however addiction set in on my 2nd go. The shooting works well, and you are equipped with three special moves which spice things up very nicely: spin around to activate a sort of bullet time for a few seconds (prepare to get dizzy after doing this 10 times in 2 minutes), shoot down at the ground to blast a shockwave through nearby enemies, or shoot up to activate rapid fire.

There are also some nice standout moments of variety: in stage 1-1, you enter a bar at one point and have to quickdraw against an opponent. In stage 1-4, you have to keep a cargo train moving by pumping the lever up and down, and are also required to physically duck into crevices as you get rained upon by machine gun fire.

Whether or not this game will be worth the final asking price (and it is a budget release) depends entirely on how long the campaign is and how much variety is in it, plus the implementation of multi-player. Definitely download this and give it a go if you want to try shooting things. If it doesn’t suit your taste, Time Crisis: Razing Storm may whet your appetite when it is released soon.

The Fight: Lights Out (ETA 22nd October 2010)

A demo for this is available on the Starter Pack demo disk but not on the PSN store as yet, so hopefully one will be released. Initial reports from my colleagues are generally poor – the final release will tell for sure.

TV Superstars (DEMO) (demo available on PSN) (ETA 26th October 2010)

TV Superstars has the potential to be an epic party game, drunken or sober as you please. You start by posing with various facial expressions, which are then transformed into an avatar whose hair and such you can customise. It looks extremely embarrassing, making it perfect for parties.

The demo features two games: Frockstar and Let’s Get Physical. In the former, you take on the role of a fashion model and are asked to perform various poses and dance moves; in Let’s Get Physical, running on a hamster wheel avoiding boxing gloves, and catapulting yourself into walls at just the right orientation is the order of the day.

I can see the potential, but the demo had a number of flaws. There was a lot of stutter causing the video and audio to go out of sync, and I could not figure out how to get Frockstar to work at all. There were a lot of cut scenes and annoying unskippable chatter between games, and it remains to be seen whether the games will actually be fun over the long term. If the bugs are fixed, this will be one to watch as a potentially much better alternative to Start The Party for your party game needs.

SingStar Dance (ETA 5th November 2010)

It was with a churlish groan when I heard that SingStar will be rehashed with half of the same songs we already own – http://www.totalmusicgaming.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?goto=newpost&t=1177 for the full track list (don’t forget to pay me a subscription, I can’t live on dirt from the pavement outside forever you know) – and that I’d have to support it on my web site. No doubt this will find a niche with social gamers though, and it’s already being showcased in plenty of Sony’s Move advertising. But why didn’t they include the Time Warp or anything that required the Robot dance?!

I’ll have a full review on this one once I get out of hospital from my forthcoming broken hip.

Echochrome II (DEMO) (demo available on PSN) (ETA 18th November 2010 – Japan)

Echochrome was the very first PSN title I purchased and like many of you, it twisted my mind permanently with its highly original perspective-based puzzling action. The sequel looks similar but plays completely differently: this time, you have a bunch of blocks suspended in the air and you have to manipulate the light and camera to place a congruent shadow on the wall, which your echo (character) then walks along to the exit.

The demo was as nutty and fun as expected and I have no doubt the game will be worthy of a purchase for anyone who likes their brains taxed to the limit, but I do have a major qualm: this game is Move only, yet the only control you perform is a 2D manipulation of a light. This can easily be done with a single analog stick. Why exclude people who don’t own a Move from playing this?

Echochrome ii was also the only game with which I had major trouble calibrating the Move. The game repeatedly refused to accept the calibration and it took at least 10 minutes to get it to work in the same conditions as all the other games.

This is one to watch.

Other forthcoming Move-only titles

Deadliest Catch: Sea of Chaos (TBA)

Grand Slam Tennis 11 (TBA)

Heroes On The Move (ETA 2011)

Michael Jackson: The Experience (ETA November 2010)

Sorcery (ETA Q2 2011)

Zumba Fitness (ETA 2010)

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38 Comments

  1. The future’s bright, the future’s MOVE

    • Sure is im not sure why but that Deadliest Catch:Sea Of Chaos really sticks out for me and i havent even seen any vids or screens yer.

  2. Make a (reasonably priced, and good) online multiplayer DLC for Sports Champions, and they’d make a lot of money.

    • Dead right. Some games would be awesome with online multiplayer, Bocce and archery being the main ones, but i think table tennis might struggle a little because any lag whatsoever would ruin it since it’s so very fast. Would definitely love it just for the archery and Bocce though. Actually disc golf would work really well too.

      • Good point. Obviously I’d prefer it to work for all the games, given a good enough connection between the players. But all of the turn based games should be possible to make work even over crappy lines.

      • I’ve heard the lag argument with Move online games a few times lately and I don’t really see the problem. The data transfer is no more intense than that of an FPS. All of the games including Table Tennis should work just fine over a broadband connection.

      • Yes but awful networking (crap code or crap network) would be more visible in that kind of senario. While the turn based games should be playable over speeds as low as dialup (with a wait before you’re sent the recorded data fromm your opponents move)

        As I understand FPS games are loaded with fancy optimisations and tricks like prediction to make lag less noticeable, and those might not work as well for an accurate table tennis game. At the very least I’d expect the turn based stuff to be less work, and thus cheaper and more likely to be created.

      • I’m somewhat inclined to disagree although it’s certainly not clear cut.

        Disc Golf, Bocce are turn-based, there is no issue there.

        Beach Volleyball is basically a rhythm game like GH so I see no issue there either.

        Archery is real-time but the players don’t interact with each other so some score lag will not matter. If two people hit a disappearing target simultaneously an online rule can be applied to arbitrate like it is in other games with that issue.

        Table Tennis and Gladiator Duel are real-time player interactions and would surely run peer-to-peer rather than through a server. The connection between the two players will be crucial. Table Tennis can use prediction; the data transmitted would have to be a UDP stream of bat orientation and position. It works for Virtua Tennis 2009 so I don’t see why it wouldn’t here. Let’s say they use two transports, one for the ball trajectory and one for the bat position. The trajectory could be prioritised, then if there is some bat position lag it might look weird but it won’t affect gameplay.

        I don’t think Gladiator Duel can use prediction and that would probably be the trickiest.

      • But i regularly experience lag in fps games, cod’s the worst for it. Sometimes it’s game breakingly bad. That’d kill table tennis, regardless of how many clever tricks they implemented to minimise it. By broadband is a uk average 5 meg.

      • My, not by!

      • Shot, not pint. Lol.

      • Yeah, but that’s your connection’s fault or those of your opponents, not the game.

      • I disagree very strongly with that final comment katy. Yes my connection may not be great, but it’s a lot better than a lot of people’s. Game developers are fully aware there is a massive difference in download speeds around the world, and their job is to make it so that there is as little impact on gameplay as possible. If they’re building a game’s network connection based on the assumption everyone has perfect internet connection then that is a very bad design decision.

      • All I can really say Tony is that multi-player networking code is very complex and can be tweaked infinitely with tons of variables, it is just not possible with the current state of the net to make it work well for everyone, so they/we just have to do the best we can when writing that code. It is better to have the option than not.

        Developers do not expect everyone to have a perfect connection but that is a bit like a TV viewer blaming the show production company when the snow comes down and makes the signal on the satellite dish too low to receive the transmission properly.

        The problem in both cases is with the service provider: the satellite transmission should have greater power to overcome those situations, and the ISP should be providing a more stable network. No matter how well a team and I sit down and code a predictive algorithm for an FPS, if your ISP gives you occasional 500ms lag spikes there is nothing we can do about that no matter how well we plan it for you.

        ISPs are largely at fault for poor multiplayer experiences and it is those who should be pressured to produce proper networks.

      • Oh katy, we bicker like a married couple sometimes, i love our disagreements though, we’re both very opinionated people so we’re going to have these. We’re going to have to agree to disagree with this one. I think your tv programme analogy is terrible, doesn’t apply at all. Take tiger woods for example. My mrs dad has it, and i have it. We can’t connect to each other for a game, no matter what we try. He invites me. I accept. It tells me the game is no longer available, when clearly it is. There is no good reason for this to happen, ea regularly do it with their games, fifa is always as bad. That is the fault of the programmers, no matter what you say. Telling a 72 year old man to open ports on his router is just not acceptable, he has no idea what i’m talking about and you can’t expect people to have that level of knowledge about something so complicated. Other games don’t require you to open ports or put your console in a dmz so why do ea always do it? Bad programming, that’s why.

      • For that example, I agree. The lobby uses a centralised server for matchmaking. My analogy and comments were regarding after the game session has been set up. Once players have selected each other from the server-run lobby, peer-to-peer connections are established for the actual gameplay usually if it’s a 2-player game. In that phase of gameplay, the ISP connection is what’s important.

        Badly coded lobbies are a completely separate matter; if matchmaking does not work properly, it is the game’s fault.

      • I’d say in the 500ms lag spike the FPS have a big advantage. It has to happen at an inconvenient time for the player to get really pissed off. Lag won’t ruin the game if you’re crouching behind a barrel. But for a game of table tennis a delay of half a second at any time (except while waiting to serve) will ruin it.

        Also while the network should take the blame, it all really comes down to perception. And less technical users will place the blame on the game a lot of the time (as in casual gamers, the kind lots of move games are targeting) . A business decision about including/excluding multiplayer should take that into consideration.

  3. Great write up katy. I don’t agree with everything you’ve written but then that’ll never be the case. This is a very useful resource for anyone that wants information. Really well done, good work.

  4. Excellent, excellent series of articles this, particularly this part. I love you, DJ-Katy.

    • Tough, Katy is a racer so love off lol.

  5. This has just pointed out how many games ive forgot about. My MOVE want list has just suddenly increased as there were games that i forgot were recieving the MOVE treatment such as InFamous 2 and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2011.

    • Don’t bother with the tiger woods move support, it’s truly rubbish. So much functionality is lost with it, its a game breaker i’m afraid.

    • Completely agree. I tried the Tiger Woods demo and thought move implementation was shocking and the only time i’ve noticed any lag so far. The graphics looked 5 years old too. Thoroughly dissappointed.

  6. Great coverage Katy, i didn’t realise there were so many Move compatible games already on the horizon. and this is only part 2?!
    I would like to mention a couple of small points.
    In Resi 5 if you hold L1 to aim you can turn with the left stick or nav while aiming with the Move.
    Heavy Rain doesn’t require a Nav, DS3 works just as well.

    Thanks for the tip re picking up Eyepet pre-owned as i’ve been mulling it over.
    I really like Tumble but yes the camera is a little clunky, especially after the natural motion of placing a block – if only it operated like the torch in echochrome ii.
    I’m hoping that LBP2 allows you to create your own Move mini games.
    Looking forward to part 3!

  7. To be honest I feel Resi 5’s review was a bit unfair, the problems of the camera not panning, not being able to fire whilst moving etc are all there in the main version. If this version is anything like Resi 4 for Wii I’m going to love it. And come on, holding down three buttons can get tedious? That’s just laziness!

    • It is just like Resi 4 for Wii – if you liked that, you will definitely enjoy RE5 with the Move :) Hope that helps.

      • Loved resi 4 on the wii, I think I might pick up move, ruse and resi 5 gold when I can.
        Thanks katy :)

  8. Great write-up, thanks :)

    Can’t agree with you about Heavy Rain, though. I’ve just played through the whole game for the first time, using Move, having only tried the demo before. After playing through the first few levels, the visual language of the Move cues became quite natural, the gestures generally fitted what the character was doing on screen, and they felt much less arbitrary to me than those on the DS3 (which admittedly, I only tried in the demo). I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  9. great read. totally agree about hustle kings such a good game with the DS3 though.

  10. Nice round-up although i’ve not had any problems with the MOVE controller having to be set on the right port. Tumble is ACE but then again so is Flight Control. I have Sports Champions but don’t play it that much, a combination of not being arsed to get up & put the disk in & not being arsed to get up & play the game. Tumble hogs the MOVE at the mo. I’m tempted by Hustle Kings now

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