Sony’s entry into the motion-control sweepstakes-also known as Trying to Get Some of That Wii Money-finally hits stores today. I wrote about it a bit in my E3 wrap-up, where it faced off against Microsoft’s controller-free Kinect camera. Now that it’s out in the wild, here’s a few things you should consider if you want to pick it up.
It’s Not Just Another Version of the Wii
The Move setup uses a camera and a wand-shaped controller. Sony’s technology uses the Playstation Eye camera–along with a three-axis acceleromter–to track the glowing ball and map movement. The combo of visual and positional data makes the Move feel more precise as a result. For another thing, the Playstation’s beefier graphics hardware makes Move games look sharper than anything on the Wii.
Get ready for your close-up
Some of the Move games will use your image to interact with on-screen elements. The prime example of this is “Start the Party,” a collection of wacky mini-games. You and your real-life background appear on the screen, but instead of holding the Move controller, you’ll be holding hair clippers to shave heads, a paintbrush to draw with or a pin to pop balloons with. The augmented reality implementation is impressive and even a little trippy.
So far, the standouts are…
“echochrome ii”: Don’t worry about the numeral part of the title, because this game is no hacked-out sequel. echochrome ii veers pretty broadly from its predecessor in order to carve out a unique experience with Move. The core concept is the same: an architectural puzzle game that tasks players to steer a walking mannequin through spare, disconnected landscapes. But, instead of moving a virtual camera so that gaps and other hazards become obscured or no longer visible, you’re using the Move wand as a flashlight to cast shadows and create pathways for your avatar to walk through. The shadowplay
“Sports Champions”: Yes, a package of sports-themed gestural games is suspicisouly reminiscent of “Wii Sports.” But there’s a variety to the bundled activities-bocce ball, disc golf (played with a virtual Frisbee) and archery-that the Nintendo runaway hit doesn’t have. And the actual play experience feels weightier and more accurate than the sports games on Wii. You feel like you’re competing, not playing.
And avoid these clunkers…
The goofy concept-playing as two characters racing and karate-chopping bad guys through city streets while sitting on a variety of wheeled items like vacuum cleaners or desk chairs-wins you over at first. But the game is too long by half and filled with repetitive sections.
This Ubisoft game is just too much of a mediocre thing. Tennis and ping pong are fine, but when you start getting into badminton, that just smacks of desperation. More problematic is the sameness of the playable characters and the odd disconnect between the gestural input and on-screen movement. Awkward and one-note don’t exactly scream cutting edge.
The best Move games aren’t here yet
As with any emerging technology, the game designers and creators working with Move are only just scratching the surface. Frankly, some of the games for the Move’s launch catalog are Wii titles that have been re-purposed-like Crave Entertainment’s “Brunswick Pro Bowling,” for example-with hefty graphical upgrades. There will likely be some truly inspired and trippy motion control games a year from now, and that alone presents the best reason for getting a Move.