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Half of the fun is in trying to get it to -work-..?
on July 13, 2013
The concept behind this gimmick is a near perfect, 1-to-1 capture of motion. The result reminds me of a arm intensive game of Twister. I've used this device with Mountain Crime: Requital, Sorcery, House of the Dead Overkill, and Heavy Rain. Two of these games were virtually unplayable: House of the Dead, and Mountain Crime, with Mountain Crime the most frustrating, and the one with the most likelihood of provoking me to violence against this device. First, the ugly...
Mountain Crime: Requital, a incredibly easy point-and-click, and the hidden object game, heavy on the hidden object part, with pretty nice graphics, and interesting story, and relatively simple, fun, game play was a great candidate for the PS3 Move. Having, like most of us, non-gamers, I was hoping the simplicity of the game, and the motion controller, would be the hook. After about a half and hour of setup, I called the endeavor fail and fell back to the PS3 standard controller. The problem was that the controller, through no amount of calibration, would allow me to move the controller within an arms length to touch every part of the screen. I calibrated that thing by aiming the Move controller directly at the camera, which resulted in the pointer never being able to leave the bottom-left controller of the screen. I cheated and aimed it at the bottom right corner of the screen, that let me move the controller about half of the height of the screen by lifting it completely above my head. I then got about half of the width of the screen (all of this the bottom right corner of my TV) by more odd attempts at calibration. All in all, it was a fail. It seems the game excepts the person to be sitting directly in front of the TV for width-wise, and I never figured out how to get both the height and width calibrated to a usable amount at all. My camera is at the top of my 65" flat screen, could that have been an affect? Could it simply be the game? Could I be an idiot? Well, one of this is likely true, and in-of-itself, worth about less one star.
Sorcery was pretty good. All in all, the game play was OK. The story was cliche, but fine as a glue for the rest of the parts. The graphics were sub-par, however, it seems that good graphics doesn't accompany motion controls - I mean, look at the graphics on the Wii... Yes, I realize I'm about to eat these words with Heavy Rain. This game was fair with the motion controller, however, not a show stopper. Younger kids would likely do better with this one, their expectations are usually lower, as their imaginations are usually less bleached with age. There's a star, and one more for the thing working good enough to play a game.
Now, House of the Dead: Overkill is why I bought this toy. There really isn't too much to say here. Since it's not a PS3 store exclusive, like MCR, you can read the reviews yourself. As for the Move support, it was fair. When it worked, it worked mostly by YOU working around the inaccuracies. There were parts of the screen that were dead-on accurate, and at the same time parts that required you to move a little more one way or another, to compensate. All in all, I liked the game, however, like a nice, home baked cake, I usually avoid it for all the effort the preparation takes. I give this a moderate score, pretty dead in the middle.
Finally, and the best for last, Heavy Rain. I've beat heavy rain before without the motion controller. My next play through, years later, was to be with the motion controller. Now, with that being said, my elderly mother (still somewhat hip, though nearly old enough to have hers replaced), was handed the motion controller and set off into the wild. The results, with minimal setup and effort, she now wants a PS3. Awesome. I think this game works so well because it is more movement reliant. That is, the game barely seems to care about that glowing ball, or the camera. It uses more accelerometer and gyroscope. This worked fairly well. You still need to get used to how dramatic your movements need to be, however, again, it was very easy for non-gamers to play.
The conclusion. The game I purchased this for was a flop. Was it the game itself? Probably not. Was it the Move controller itself, or the utilization of the game developers? Probably a mix of both. However, unexpectedly, Heavy Rain was a success. This made up for the other problems. All in all, this device is poorly utilized. One could argue that it's up to the game developers to take advantage, I mean, the Wii's motion controls are to motion, as tofu is to chicken, yet it's relatively successful. I believe it's because they know it's tofu, and instead add extra flavoring, or, in this case, work around the limitations. Perhaps that's what Move developers need to do. For me, a technology like this is only successful as the products that use it, and there you have my score. Is it worth it. No. It's just too frustrating when it doesn't work well, and there just aren't enough games that use it, or work well with it. As the sun sets on the PS3 (PS4 being on it's way with more Kinect-style controls), the PS3 Move will fall into the dust covered boxes with other misfit toy console gimmicks like the Nintendo Game Cube microphone, the Nintendo Gyrobot, or the Nintendo Wii console (lighten up Nintendo fan boys;).