PlayStation Universe

PlayStation Move Heroes Hands-on

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on 19 February 2011

Ostensibly, PlayStation Move Heroes is Sports Champions featuring iconic PlayStation characters in place of forgettable avatars. Developed by the chaps at Nihilistic Software, it’s a mini-game competition that requires Sony’s motion-sensing peripheral to command a collection of familiar faces: Ratchet & Clank, Sly Cooper & Bentley, and Jax & Daxter. Unlike the franchises the characters are derived from, however, you may notice that PlayStation Move Heroes tips the scales in favor of a decidedly cuddlier, more casual package. For better or worse, the small single-player session I had the chance to check out was quite childish and simplistic. That’s not a bad thing, of course, as some of our favorite games are equally as straight and to the point.

The aforementioned mini-games include bowling, some whip action with Sly, a disc game, basic brawling, and a shooter. There is probably a story here, but I was far more interested in the actual gameplay experience with Move. You see, I really liked Move when I first checked it out just prior to its retail release. Since then, however, I haven’t found a great reason to utilize the wand-waggling controller instead of a traditional gamepad. Knowing that Move was an absolute requirement for this game and having enjoyed pretty much all the series’ the characters are on loan from, I was excited to see how it all works.

The controls are relatively tight, but I still find it all a bit unresponsive and unnecessary. Bowling, for instance, took some time to get used to, but ended up being one of my favorite mini-games. The fact I liked it had little to do with Move, though; in fact, this mini-game is just the right mix of obscurity and challenge. Bentley’s disc throwing game is the most responsive of all challenges I played, as you can really get a sense of the disc’s movements based on how you position your wrist.

On the flip side, the whip action just didn’t do it for me. The Move wand acts as the whip itself, and while it’s fairly responsive to your actions, you can simply flail your hand to pull off most of the action. As such, the application of precision is all but lost in this particular mini-game. Getting Sly to move around on screen was another challenge, though, as physical movement is tied to the navigation controller. Ratchet meanwhile is pretty fun to play as he hacks away at enemies and tries valiantly to rescue helpless aliens. You will, of course, swat around quite a bit, which may prove fun for some but again feels somewhat unnecessary.

The demo I checked out, which will be available to the general public in the near future, allows you to compete in five different modes. It appears the retail copy will allow you to play these challenges as one of three characters, but the demo only allows you to play as one designated character. Stylistically, it was pretty entertaining to see this little mash-up in terms of playable heroes. The levels we checked out all seemed to derive from that of the Ratchet & Clank universe, so it’s unclear if this mysterious planet the three pairs of characters assembled on will provide greater diversity.

With PlayStation Move Heroes, it’s great to see something that could potentially offer a more comprehensive Move experience than what we’ve become accustomed to. All the same, I can’t help and feel a little skeptical over the whole affair. While the motion controls are pretty tight, the actual mini-games are not all that different. As such, I really hope the multiplayer has a lot more to offer in this respect. Nonetheless, I am excited to see how it all pans out, and I’m cautiously optimistic at the promise of a solidly built and compelling Move game. The demo is worth checking out, for sure, though I’m hoping that the full package offers a bit more diversity. All will be revealed soon enough.