After our previous introduction from Al, we’re now ready to celebrate/mock the first anniversary of PlayStation Move, starting off with a number of early releases. We’ll have part two coming shortly.
Developed by Zandagi Games, Sports Champions was touted as the must-have launch title for the PlayStation Move – and for good reason. The studio, which is currently putting the finishing touches on Medieval Moves, proved that one-to-one interaction was no longer a distant dream for your everyday gamer.
From table tennis to archery to gladiatorial battles, each of the game’s six events held up exceptionally well where both gameplay and control set-up were concerned. The only bad thing about Sports Champions was that it set the bar high for the rest of the PlayStation Move 2010 line-up, none of which even came close.
The first poor entry on our list is none other than Ubisoft’s opportunistic shovelware quick-shot, Racquet Sports. It looked fresh and lively with a mild sense of variety but the only thing players wanted from this game was precise one-to-one feedback, and sadly Racquet Sports didn’t deliver.
With antiquated gameplay that made made the original Wii Sports look like the paragon of motion gaming, the folks at Asobo Studio were caught with their trousers down and Ubisoft hasn’t attempted a Move-enabled sports title since.
A favourite among early releases and long-term supports of the PlayStation Move, Tumble was simple in premise yet showcased the precision of Sony’s motion tech seamlessly. Building towers of immense size, placing each brick with the utmost diligence while playing competitively with friends doesn’t exactly sound exhilarating but for some, it will have been the definitive social gaming experience of 2010.
What’s so special about Tumble is that it was a PSN title, hardly burning a hole in your wallet yet supplying hours upon hours of fun, unlike the majority of the Move launch line-up.
Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition
Though an outstanding game to begin with, when Resident Evil 4 was ported to the Nintendo Wii it proved that intense third person action games could work extremely well with motion controls, therefore it seemed like a no-brainer to give Resident Evil 5 a new set of legs with the arrival of PlayStation Move.
Accurate and fairly easy to set-up, the only drawback with Move controls in Gold was how cumbersome the button layout proved. Switching from Dualshock to Move controller is more of a chore than it sounds and in a game as perilous and unpredictable as Resident Evil 5, the last thing players want is to be bogged down by finicky controls. With that said, as a whole, it was still a successful implementation despite feeling a little clumsy in a few areas.
The Fight: Lights Out
Originally billed as a launch title, The Fight ended up getting knocked back into early November last year. Out of all the then-available Move-enabled titles it was by far the grittiest, proving that Sony didn’t just have the casual gamer in mind when releasing the new tech.
Occasionally clumsy and physically demanding, Lights Out received a mixed reception, slightly leaning towards mediocrity. Those who stuck by it, however, will claim that it’s actually one of the best PlayStation Move experiences to date; once you get past the first few arenas, more moves become available and the input of your movements are given more on-screen clout as you train in the gym. After all, you could do a lot worse (Fighters Uncaged, anybody?)
Clearly aimed at a much younger, casual audience; TV Superstars transferred your facial likeliness and slapped it onto a motion-controlled avatar, ready to participate in a number of TV-show-inspired activities, including a co-operative cook-off, sports challenge, DIY makeover and fashion fix.
Evoking fond memories of EyeToy Play, TV Superstars utilised the tech well, though there was the occasional hiccup here and there. Despite being an enjoyable experience overall, the game never pushed any boundaries with the PlayStation Move, which is fine for the casual audience but as gamers, our attentions were directed towards Sports Champions once again.
Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest
Just reading the announcement of a Move-enabled Lord of the Rings game surely had fans prancing around the room, re-enacting scenes from the battle of Middle Earth. The thought of having one-to-one swordplay in Tolkein’s sublime universe was simply too good to be true. Though Aragorn’s Quest was far from being a disaster, it will have surely disappointed a number of keen motion gamers.
Instead of one-to-one feedback we got pre-set motions, triggered by moving the controller in the specified direction at a moderate speed. It felt incredibly limited but those who thought it would be the definitive Move experience were fooling themselves; this was essentially a port from the Nintendo Wii anyway.
We’ll be back soon with part two of our PlayStation Move Playback special.