Tag Archives: Move

Sports Champions 2 Review

Sports Champions 2 (Available exclusively on PlayStation 3)
ESRB Rating: E10+
Number of Players: 1 to 4
Genre: Sports
Publisher: SCEA
Developer: Zindagi Games
Release Date: October 30th, 2012

Parent Talk: Skiing, tennis, boxing, bowling, golf and archery are all popular sports played by millions of people around the globe, and while some might be a little more intense than others, it goes without saying that children show interest in sports at a very young age. Being ten and up is just about the perfect age to start getting involved in some of these sports, which is perfect because you’re getting all of them in Sports Champions 2.

Plays Like: Naturally the sequel to 2010’s hit Move game, Sports Champions, plays very much like the original, which in itself was very similar in design and scope as Wii Sports Resort. This is a much more mature and realistic version of that extremely popular Wii franchise. Use the Move controller to replace a racket in tennis, or the bowling ball, for more precise gameplay.

Review Basis: Played through all the different sports, and gameplay modes.

The original Sports Champions was a really fun game, and showed the power of the PlayStation Move controller. Sure it was compared to Wii Sports, which obviously inspired it. That said, the title also showed great promise with 1:1 gameplay. Not all of the featured games were hits, but those that worked, were fun. Now Zandagi Games is back with Sports Champions 2, and there’s no question this is one of the better Move games currently on the market. Normally that’s the start of a glowing review, but in this case there simply aren’t very many Move games being made these days.

The Great:

Archery returns. This was one of my favorite modes from the original game, alongside the simplistic but super fun Gladiator Duel. Archery remains largely unchanged. You make all the motions you would as in real life, and Zandagi has perfected this down to an art. Zandagi’s Medieval Moves: Deadmund’s Quest used the same mechanic and it was great. If you have two Move controllers it works even better.

The Good:

+ Bowling is fun, period. If you know how to bowl, you’ll know exactly what to do here. Of all the games, this is the one you can get your grandmother to try.

+ While a good friend of mine had tons of issues with golf, I found it worked just as well as bowling. You naturally swing the Move controller as you would a golf club and away the ball goes. Simple as that.

+ Lot of gameplay options no matter what you play. You can either solo the game, or grab up to three of your friends and play competitively. There are many different gameplay modes available within the different sports to keep you nice and busy.

The So-So:

+/- Boxing is the official competitive gameplay mode that replaced Gladiator Duel, and while it’s fun and certainly deeper than most motion boxing games, the skill required to defeat your opponent is questionable at best. If you swing the move controllers like a lunatic, odds are you’ll win the match, or at least this is exactly what happened to me on more than one occasion. Results may vary.

+/- Tennis should have been the best game included this year, but sadly the limitations of the PlayStation Eye keep it from achieving greatness. Whenever the Eye loses sight of the Move controller your swing gets interrupted. This isn’t the game’s fault, it’s strictly a technical limitation. I tried several times to position my body differently to prevent this from happening, but no matter what I did eventually my swings wouldn’t come off as intended.

The Bad:

– Skiing never feels as cohesive or simple as all the other games in the package. I think a little refinement could have gone a long way in delivering a much more simplistic skiing experience.

The Ugly:

This was something I mentioned last time around that was overlooked again, no online play. What’s up with that Zandagi? Are there that few Move owners out there?

The Lowdown:

The PlayStation Move motion controller may not be the most popular peripheral ever invented, but it sure has some fun games available for it. They might not be epics or the greatest games of all time, but they’re fun and engaging. Sports Champions 2 is indeed fun. It’s biggest fault is that it doesn’t do anything particularly new or daring. It’s simply more of the same. Zandagi took the best elements of their previous games and combined them together to bring players a sports game worthy of the Move controller. In order to get the gold medal though, they’ll need to really push the boundaries next time around.

Final Score: 7.5/10

Sorcery Review

Sorcery (Available exclusively on PlayStation 3)
ESRB Rating: E10+
Players: 1
Genre: Action
Publisher: SCEA
Developer: The Workshop
Release Date: May 22, 2012

Parent Talk: The ESRB rates Sorcery E10+ for everyone over the age of ten.  The game features fantasy violence, mild blood, and mild suggestive themes.

Plays Like: Imagine being Harry Potter; that’s Sorcery. We’ve never seen Sorcery’s motion gameplay before. it’s catered to a younger audience, but even the hardcore and get a kick out of being a sorcerer’s apprentice.

Review Basis: Finished the game.

Can you believe it’s here? Back at E3 2010, we covered the debut of Sorcery and said it was one of the most promising titles to be revealed for Sony’s Move controller. Fast-forward two years and it’s finally available. Sorcery is my favorite Move-supported game, but the long development cycle instilled unrealistic expectations in me, and unfortunately maybe you too.

The Great:

A motion first. The gameplay works as intended in a non-sports Move game. Flick your wrist in one direction or swoop it in another and Finn will perform a bolt attack in the same manner.  You can even combine attacks such as a tornado followed by a fire spell, essentially creating a fire tornado of doom.  If you want to feel like a wizard with incredible powers, Sorcery is for you.

The Good:

+ Disney-like storyline. Finn, a young sorcerer’s apprentice, steals a magic wand. He, along with his trusty cat, Erline, embark on a magical journey.  It’s unusual, appealing, and charming for children and adults.

The So-So:

+/- The visuals. They’re either lush and creative, or dull and uninspired. This contrast takes away from the experience, and it’s a shame the Celtic influences couldn’t have been used to more fanfare.

+/- Crafting potions. It’s very useful, but becomes tiresome. They grant new abilities and stronger powers, but the motions that create them are usually the same.

The Bad:

– Balancing issues. It may be because Sorcery is meant for younger gamers, but I always felt overpowered. Once you learn the best spells, everything else becomes ignored.

The Ugly:

Short. Even on the toughest difficult, Sorcery lasts for five hours. I imagine even less on the lower settings. This is strange considering how long the game was in development.

The Lowdown:

Sorcery is my favorite Move game, but it’s not my Game of the Year. If you have children over ten in the house, this is the perfect game, but it might be too light and easy to maintain adult attention.

Final Score: 7/10

Sega Announces House of the Dead 3 & 4 Headed To The PSN

Now this is very exciting news for people who are into Sega games.  I was just informed that both The House of the Dead 3 and The House of the Dead 4 will be made available through the PlayStation Store sometime this year.  3 will be out on February 7th, and 4 will hit sometime this Spring.  Both titles will receive a slight HD facelift, but nothing too extravagant.  That means both titles will look good on a glorious 1080p HDTV, but won’t sports all the fancy visual treats you’ve come to expect from AAA blockbusters.  Both titles will obviously make us of the Move controller, meaning if you happen to have the Sharpshooter peripheral you can expect from really fun gameplay.

I skipped out on The House of the Dead titles on the Wii, and now I’m glad I did.  I already own the original on the Saturn, the second one on the Dreamcast, along with the superb Typing of the Dead and now I can finish off the series in HD on the PS3.  Very cool stuff.  Anyone else interested in some light-gun action?

Medieval Moves: Deadmund’s Quest Review

Medieval Moves: Deadmund’s Quest (Available only on PlayStation 3)
ESRB Rating: E10+
Players: 1-2
Genre: Action
Publisher: SCEA
Developer: Zindagi Games
Release Date: November 15, 2011
PSN: Online Multiplayer

Parent talk: Medieval Moves is rated E10+ by the ESRB for fantasy violence.  A few scenes present spooky scenery; so minors may be a little freaked out.

Plays Like: A[n infrared] light gun game… where your gun is a sword, bow, ninja stars and dynamite.

Review Basis: Finished the single player and tried the online competitive and co-operative multiplayer.

In 1998, an original PlayStation game, MediEvil, featured a skeleton protagonist, wild story, and wonderful action platforming.  Its success was followed by a sequel in 2000 before the property disappeared. Medieval Moves isn’t directly related, but clearly set within the same universe, also featuring a skeleton hero. It’s brought to you by the creators of Sports Champions, and is one of the more interesting Move games.

The Great:

I’ve missed this world.  I don’t know why MediEvil has been missing since 2000, but this may be the first step to the franchise returning. Older gamers can enjoy MM just as much as their younger brothers or sisters. Welcome back Sir Daniel Fortesque…I mean Edmund.

The Good:

+ Immediately likeable.  The story is simple, cute and inviting.  There’s a reason Edmund is a skeleton, and why his plight is so important.  In twenty minutes the adventure is set and your goal clear.

+ Beautifully drawn and acted comic book-like cutscenes. Think inFAMOUS, only cuter.

+ Great-looking atmosphere. You don’t expect this kind of polish from a Move game.  Crypts are dark and creepy, while forests are lush and detailed. Edmund’s world is alive and breathing, which makes playing all the better.

+ Great Move support. Swing your sword around as you’d imagine; throw ninja stars as you would a frisbee; reach back to ready a bow and arrow, or cusp the Move ball to prepare a stick of dynamite.  Press the Move button and raise the controller to your mouth as if you were drinking to restore some health.

+ Fun mini-games for co-operative and competitive offline/online multiplayer.  A variety of modes keep the entertainment value high.

The Bad:

– On-rails. With no free mobility, the action becomes repetitive. Defeat the enemies, be dragged to the next location, and defeat more.

– Somewhat lengthy loading.  It hinders progression somewhat, especially towards the end,

The Ugly:

Being sucked into the heat of battle, waving arms here and there…only to have the in-laws witness everything with disappointment on their faces. Ah, the memories.

The Lowdown:

Medieval Moves isn’t MediEvil 3, but offers one of the best Move experiences. If only the on-rails was removed; this would’ve been really special.

Average Score Scale: 7.0 (+/- 0.5) out of 10

Personal Final Score: 7/10 (Neutral)

Reason for +0.5 Inflation: You love motion controls and enjoy on-rails gaming.

Reason for -0.5 Deflation: Repetitive nature: attack and drag on.

Killzone 3 Review

Killzone 3
ESRB Rating: M
Players: 1-24
Genre: FPS
Publisher: SCEA
Developer: Guerilla Games
Release Date: February 22, 2011
PlayStation Network Compatible
PlayStation Move (Sharpshooter) Support
3D Compatible

Parent Talk: Killzone 3 is rated M for Mature by the ESRB for blood, gore, intense violence and strong language.  Heed the warning; this is in no way a game children should play.

Review Basis: Played through the campaign on Normal difficulty.  Participated in ten different online matches (All gameplay modes).  Acquired 25% of the trophies.

The sky is scorched; bullets are flying. The Helghast resistance isn’t giving up.  You’re using an old wrecked tank as cover, pondering your next move.  Suddenly a radio communication states that the Helghast have released a new biological weapon against the ISA, and you’re the only one who can stop its use on Earth.  Biting down hard, you tightly hold that assault rifle and pop out of cover to take on hoards of Helghast troops breathing down your neck.  The fate of humanity lays sqaurely on the shoulders of your team.  Never give up, never surrender!

If you like that illustration, Killzone 3 (K3) should be in your possession.  It’s been referred to as an experience, a visual knockout, and a wonderfullyaddictive game.   I think it’s an FPS that every PS3 fan should grab.  It’s one of the best games of 2011.  Yes, I went there.


The Great

The audio-visual experience you can enjoy with a quality surround sound system and 1080p HDTV is incredible.  One of my qualms with Killzone 2 was its lack of color.  Everything was muted, saturated by browns and grays.  The animations were great, but overall Helghan was a very drab world.  That’s not a problem anymore.  There are actually blues and greens!  Who would’ve thought?  You even see man-eating flora and other vegetation.  I never thought I’d live to see the day.

Killzone 2’s animation engine returns, but with tweaks that improve your movement and interactions.  In fact, everything has a fresh coat of paint. K3 is one of the best-looking PS3 games to date.

The audio is equally impressive.  The cussing has been toned down, and the entire sound engine has been overhauled.  Grenades explode with more oomph, guns roar and the music/environmental effects help liven Helghan.

 

The Good

+ The story.  Some suggest that K3’s plot is lacking, I don’t know what game they played.  The narrative picks up where Killzone 2 ended.  You’re still on Helghan, and the resistance isn’t buckling. All your favorite characters…those that survived at least, return.  Together, you work to prevent a biological weapon from eradicating Earth.  What’s not to like about that?

+ Vastly improved control.  I thought K2 had sluggish movement and controls.  This isn’t Gears of War; you’re not supposed to sense as though you weigh 800 pounds, are you?  Improvements arrived through a variety of patches, but it never “got there” as they say.  With K3, you feel the difference immediately. It’s leagues better.  Running is more natural; aiming is quick and responsive.  That’s how an FPS shoud play.

+ Beneficial Move support .  If you don’t own the Sharpshooter peripheral, which uses the Move controller, I encourage you to invest in one.  It dramatically changes the experience, increasing the sense of authenticity that you’re part of the war. There’s a pump-action gun, different rates of fire and so much more.  I could write forever about the genius Move integration, but I leave it to you to discover.

+ Variety.  One moment you’re navigating an open environment eliminating dozens of incoming enemies, the next you’re manning a military tank, in the air with a jetpack, and even having a dogfight in space.  This is exactly why I play shooters, for an experience like no other.  The competition has made it so that every developer is forced to think outside the box. Mission accomplished Guerilla.

+ Robust multiplayer.  A variety of modes, bots, a newly-improved ranking system and virtually lag-free experience…Killzone 3 has it where it counts.

+ Ready for the future.  Great Move support is one thing, but how about 3D?  I’d love to tell you how cool it is, but I only enjoyed it once during E3 2010.  It was nifty, and I want to play the game in 3D with the Sharpshooter.  Sadly I don’t own a 3D HDTV, so I can’t comment.  I’m sure it’s a plus that the game features this unique mode.

 

The Bad

– Audio syncing.  I noticed lip syncing issues, where at times characters would talk, but their faces would lag a few frames behind in the scene.  It’s a little jarring.  This also applies to non-conversation segments.  Actions occur before the audio catches up.  It’s infrequent, but noticeable.

– No co-op.  An FPS without online co-op nowadays is inexcusable.  Seriously, it’s annoying.

The Ugly

It doesn’t happen often, but framerate slowdown takes away from the experience.  Killzone 3 drops to around 14 fps during intense moments, which is unfortunately because otherwise the presentation is outstanding.  Just be prepared for it.

 

The Lowdown

Killzone 3 is an achievement that I can’t recommend enough.  Buy it right now.  Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.




MS Sells 2.5 Million Kinect, Sony Sells 4.1 Million Move, Do You Even Care?

I already reported that Microsoft has sold 2.5 million Kinect sensors earlier this week, but today Sony didn’t want to be outdone.  They issued a press release stating they have sold 4.1 million Move controllers all over the world.  Before you Sony fans get ready to put a little wood on the flamewar fire, you should note that most people will buy more than one controller if they plan to play a multiplayer game.  Move has also been on the market longer than Kinect has.  Either way, both numbers are quite impressive considering we are talking about peripherals here.

Where do you stand?  Are you a Move-er, or do you shake your bon-bon with Kinect?

Singstar Dance Review

Singstar Dance (Available only on PlayStation 3)
ESRB Rating: T
Players: 1-4
Genre: Music
Publisher: SCEA
Developer: SCE London Studio
Release Date: November 9th, 2010

Parent Talk: Singstar Dance is rated T for teen by the ESRB because of somewhat strong language featured in some songs.  Perhaps a number of music videos could be considered slightly offensive, but that’s a bit of a stretch.

Singstar has been synonymous with PlayStation for years.  When the first PS3 iteration released, I claimed the series finally found its place.  I was proven wrong shortly after when Sony failed to capitalize on the potential of the SingStore.  To date, Sony continues to release new discs containing only 30-odd songs.  Why instead of offering more DLC through the SingStore is beyond me.  Dance is more of the same, except this time Sony thought it would be great to toss in Move support.  Sadly it only makes things more awkward.

The Great:

As fun as ever.  No matter what I say here, Singstar remains a very fun franchise on the PlayStation 3.  I had issues with the PS2 installments, but I remain convinced of untapped potential for this series on the PS3.  I’m starting to fear that Sony may overlook the potential for this generation.  I always imagined countless updates to the SingStore, better online features and more community interaction.  Why not have a Singstar version of American Idol?  Though these elements aren’t currently present, Singstar is still a quintessential party game.

The Good:

+ Played one, played them all.  If you’ve played any Singstar, you know how to play this.  You watch your favourite music videos and try to sing along.  Your pitch, tone and timing are measured to determine scores based on your overall performance.  As always you can trick the system by humming.  This is true for virtually all karaoke games, so I don’t consider it a significant fault.  There are several gameplay modes to challenge you and others, or you can enjoy have an all-out fiesta.  As anyone with Singstar experience knows, if you’re looking for a blast at a party there’s nothing like breaking out the old microphones, getting someone sauced up a bit and letting the good times roll.

+ Same robust online features.  Upload your own music videos, rate others, join various clubs and more.  This was new in 2008, but now it feels like rehashed goods.  Regardless, I think this element deserves a positive if only because of how complete the experience continues to be.

The Bad:

– This is not dancing.  On the right-hand side of the screen there’s a shadow of a dancer.  You’re expected to follow along with the Move.  There are countless problems though.  For one, there’s no indication of what moves to perform.  Secondly, you’re never told what to correct.  You’re just supposed to know!  Only Steven would be able to pull off some of these moves.

– I’m not alone…or should I be?  Singstar is for parties, as I mentioned before.  Given that, would you like to drop by my Sunday party whereby I plan to play the same song a dozen times over in order to learn the dance routine?.  Sounds fun right?  If so, I also have some great real-estate I’m looking to get rid of.

The Ugly:

Can it even see me?  I asked that a lot playing Dance.  I’ve been playing Dance Central for the past week or so, and it sees virtually every move I make.  Here I just stand still and follow the Move pattern the dancer makes (though he/she doesn’t actually have a Move controller).  This allows me to score incredibly high marks for the dancing portions.  I can forgive humming to the music because of the microphones’ limited technology, but the PlayStation Eye is a camera…  I know the PS Eye isn’t Kinect, but my expectations are higher given the game released after Dance Central.

The Lowdown:

This sadly can’t be considered the next Singstar evolution.  The dancing doesn’t work as it should, so skip it if you really want to do so.  If you’re more about the singing, then by all means buy this.  The 30 tracks featured are great mix of material.  Some is recycled from previous games, but the variety is phenomenal.  I can go from butchering Bye, Bye, Bye to killing Straight Up.  Awesome, eh?  Exactly, super awesome!

PlayStation Move Games – Screenshot Explosion

It’s taken me some time to get my hands on all these screenshots, but alas here they are.  These are all games that are centered around the new PlayStation Move controller.  Boy I just can’t get used to saying that name.  Anyways, be sure to leave us a comment saying which games you think look cool, etc.  Click the thumbnail for a larger version of each screenshot.  Games shown include EyePet, Motion Fighter, Move Party, Sports Champions, and The Shoot. Enjoy!



GDC 2010: Major Sony News Revealed

Let’s start off with the biggest news first.  Sony has revealed the name for their upcoming motion controller and it’s Move. Sony also confirmed that LittleBigPlanet and SOCOM 4 will both make use of the new controller.  Sony even announced a brand new game that will be controlled entirely by the Move, called Motion Fighters.

As previous rumours suggested, Move will also feature a ‘sub-controller’ or nunchuck controller that will be joined to the wand wirelessly.  Sony has yet to pinpoint exactly what forms of bundles will be available at launch, but confirmed there would be more than one.  Starter bundles will include the Move, a game and the PlayStation Eye all for under $100 USD.  It’s highly likely they will also release Move on its own for people who already own a PlayStation Eye.

Other titles that were showcased during Sony’s GDC press conference include a Wii Sports type game called Sports Champions.  The demo showed a gladiator fight that was extremely detailed with one to one movement recreation.  There’s also a table tennis game, a golf game, and pretty well everything else you can imagine from a Wii Sports clone, except all in high def looking extremely impressive.

Move Party was another title showcased whereby users snapped a picture of themselves with the PlayStation Eye, and slap it on the game’s character.  The demo showcased a series of mini-games from Move Party including some that had players having to draw within lines, and also had a bunch of friends playing together online all with their own faces on their characters.

Finally EyePet was shown, but we already have seen just about everything this game has to offer, except now with Move support.

The other big news was the confirmation that Gran Turismo 5 is indeed scheduled for release sometime this year.

The last bit of information revealed during the press conference was that a firmware update will be released this summer that will allow PS3 owners to watch 3D Blu-ray movies and play 3D-enabled videogames.  Naturally you need a 3D capable HDTV and a pair of those snazzy 3D glasses in order to reap the rewards of this firmware update, but Sony says this all goes towards future-proofing the system.

So there you have it folks.  A lot of information was released, and we’re going to have much more in the coming hours.  We’ll have the latest screenshots of all these games, as well as the Move controller itself.  So, what are your initial thoughts on all of this?