After Part One yesterday, here’s the second half of my preview detailing my impressions of what happened when I took a trip to Birmingham and got to grips with the Playstation Move.
Heavy Rain: Move Edition
This is a title I think will be well suited to the new controller. However, as I thought when I played an early version of the original at Eurogamer Leeds, it’s once again something that is going to be much easier to get to grips with in the comfort of your own home. Especially if you’re going to do the level towelling off Madison.
I went for Shelby’s one instead which ended with the fight against the bald biker early on in the game. The fight did not go well though, poor Shelby ended up getting bottled in the face, not exactly a repeat of my gallant ‘save the day’ performance with the pad a few months back. Early impressions were that it was a little overly-complicated, as actions like getting some money out of your pocket by holding a button and making a similar motion with the controller, required a few attempts. It’s the actions requiring quarter-circle turns and filling up action boxes that were most problematic. Character movement is controlled by the extra navigation controller, which performed well enough. You can also use a PS3 pad one-handed, but it’ll be pretty pap really won’t it? There will be two difficulty levels, I think this was the tougher one, so the easier one will probably ease you in more gently and require less fidgeting. However, after a little bit more time with it, I’m sure it will be fine as things did get easier once I knew exactly what an on-screen prompt wanted from me.
Heavy Rain: Move edition will get its own release (date TBC), but owners of the awesome original will be able to download a patch to implement the new controls. Hopefully the Move Edition will also feature a PS3 pad version (just in-case), and the patch for the old game will be free.
I was well up for a bit of archery or gladiatorial battles with swords and shields using a dual controller setup. However, I was ultimately denied as the only two games from this compilation on offer were Disc Golf and Table Tennis. Well, enough sulking.
Disc Golf: It’s golf with a frisbee, as you chuck a disk around a course and then into a basket at the end. I was having a disaster at first, but then I remembered this wasn’t a Wii game that didn’t care how I was holding the controller, it was the Move with its fancy tech registering every degree of rotation. I was really impressed to see the angle the frisbee was being held at change depending on how I held the controller. I realised my first few throws had been chucking the disc vertically and that’s why they were spazzing all over the place. Hold it right, and sweep your hand out and release the trigger button and enjoy the majestic glide. It also reads how hard you throw it too which is essential for the bits where you’re almost at the basket (like a putt in golf). After one poor throw I found a low tree branch blocking my way (I’d gone off course into the woods a bit), brilliantly, I ducked to throw it and the avatar performed the action too as the camera kept tracking me despite my positional change. The more you play, the more you’ll be able to get flashy and add swerve to your throws, meaning it’ll still be fun for a while hopefully. A surprisingly enjoyable title that will be a lot of fun come launch day.
Table Tennis: Usually I’m all up for knocking the Wii’s constant crapola collection of plastic add-ons, but I’m going to have to eat my own words and actually suggest a tennis paddle could be really helpful here. The rotation detection is so good in this game, as you can hold your bat at any angle on-screen. If there was a plastic one at the end of the controller it might actually help you keep it the way you want on-screen as I had to keep turning it around. Or I could ignore the plastic route and you know, just get better at it. Two-player matches split the screen so both of you play at the bottom to keep you both feeling immersed. You can aim with ease at either side of the table and power-shots and little dinks all work just as they should. It works much better than the random tennis games on the Wii and along with Disc Golf sets a high standard of playability and fun for the rest of Sports Champions to live up to. Archery is going to be immense.
Sports Champions is released for the Move’s launch, September 17th.
The motion controllers themselves have been very comfortable to hold as they’re very light, despite featuring a rumble motor. Plus the rounded curves mean it’s considerably more comfortable to hold than a blocky Wiimote. I found the face buttons either side of the move button a tad small, but they’re well-spaced and should be fine once I’ve had the controller for a while. The navigational controller was only required for the Heavy Rain demo out of everything I played, so you won’t have to grab one at launch really. You might as well put the money towards another motion controller and wait until games like Socom arrive that will warrant picking one up. All demos were played standing between three and five feet away, which means you probably won’t have to renovate your living room to play, same distance as a Wii really.
So that’s everything PlayStation Move related wrapped up from the PlayStation Beta Rooms in Birmingham. Thinking back on the events of last night, I can see it becoming a hit for local multiplayer, although I’ll be keeping a keen eye on it and my fingers crossed for the more hardcore gaming releases. Oh, and don’t forget to warm up a little before you have a proper session unless you want to feel like you’ve been hit by a car the next day.