I’ve held off on my PS Move review for two months, namely because I was hoping to see a better selection of games and uses for it. However, I’ve given up on that, and have some thoughts about the peripheral.
Physically, the hardware isn’t anything super impressive, though the controllers with their bulbous, color-changing ends are amusing. Sometimes I heard impolite snickers from my testing group when they thought I was out of earshot. The Move controllers are fairly light and contoured nicely for the hand. The buttons are within easy reach, but you’ll need some time to get accustomed to them in their new places if you’re used to them on a standard controller.
The hardware works with the base unit of the PlayStation in combination with the PS Eye camera to allow navigation through the menus by swiping the Move controller left, right, up or down, if you wish, but that’s about it for interaction with the console base.
The on-screen interface within the games definitely needs more work; when I would move out of range, or the camera lost sight of one of the colored glowing controllers, the error message I received was vague and unhelpful. Sony declined to send me the “Navigation Controller,” so I was stuck trying to fumble using a standard Six-Axis controller in one hand while trying to point and control actions with the Move controller in the other hand. Not an enjoyable experience for games that need that functionality.
Kung Fu Rider
This game has a hilarious premise (escape from the mafia by riding an office chair through the streets of Hong Kong, dodging obstacles) but is an absolute disaster. The control scheme requires that you perform contradictory movements (quickly flick up and down to speed up, or flick upwards to jump). One of the touted feature of the PlayStation Move, it’s super-accurate motion tracking, is poorly implemented in this game. I don’t know what the developers were doing, but this game is just no fun, past the first few minutes of derisive laughter at the on-screen antics. I believe the Twitter tag would be #FAIL.
Pole-vaulting into the arena of sports motion games — sorry, I couldn’t resist the bad pun — this entry includes a Gladiator Duel, Disc Golf, Volleyball, Table-Tennis, Bocce and Archery. You can use one or two controllers for some of the activities. I have to admit that I actually enjoyed the Gladiator Duel and Archery portions quite a bit. The accuracy and tracking in these were impressive. I do wish for more variety, however. I get tired of doing the same repetitive actions over and over and over and over … As an introduction to the PS Move system, this is a pretty good one.
OK, I’m admittedly way over the target market for this particular title. That said, I found myself impressed by how the technology created the small furry critter and allowed me to interact with him. There is a good bit of setup required with this title, namely clearing space, placing the camera properly low enough, going through the tutorials and more. The interactive tutorials are definitely aimed at the target audience, but the character on-screen is a bit condescending, even so. I know for a fact that my 7-year-old nephew would take offense to the character’s attitude. Be aware of this, and also be prepared to work with your child to ensure proper setup. The interactions with your EyePet, once you get him and learn how to interact properly, are very impressive. While it does have some glitches, the game should be fun for children in the target age range, but I am a bit concerned about longevity of play.
I don’t necessarily consider myself a “hardcore” gamer (though I know a couple of people who would vehemently disagree). While the peripheral is impressive in its technology, without accompanying games to attract players to embrace that technology, the PS Move is a moot point. After going through these titles, I found myself coming back to this one sentiment: Where’s the games?
I keep looking at the Kinect for the XBox and then back at the PS Move. Then back at the games for the Kinect. And back at the games for the PS Move. And then to the mind-boggling things that open-source developers are creating using the Kinect’s hardware … Right now, it’s tough to be a PlayStation player when the support from Sony and game developers just seems to be a resounding “Meh”. If Sony truly, truly wants this peripheral to succeed, they need to get behind it in a much more decisive fashion.