Overshadowed by the launch of Kinect, titles that take advantage of Sony’s PlayStation Move have been trickling out over the last month. Some of them were titles that were supposed to launch with the Move back in September but were delayed, while others are Move-enabled sports games. The best Move games are shooting games, oddly enough. Using the Shooting Attachment (read: gun) turns the Move controller into a light gun, and its hefty weight, combined with the fantastic accuracy of the Move technology, makes shooting the cowboys and robots really fun. Unfortunately, the other games try to simulate real life movements too much and are therefore not very fun.
The Fight – Lights Out
Previously known as Motion Fighter, this title was a proof-of-concept for the Move, a prototype of which was shown at many press events leading up to the launch. It didn’t make the launch itself, but it’s easy to see why. All of the pieces are there for a great boxing game. The Move controllers fit easily in your hands, and punching with them feels oddly satisfying. Casting Danny Trejo, the creepy looking tough guy from many a Robert Rodriguez film, as your trainer was a stroke of genius. But showing full motion video of him holding the Move controllers during the tutorial, not to mention him referring to them as “these bad boys,” just feels wrong. The writing isn’t great either, the game begins with Trejo looking at you in a basement gym saying, “So you want to be a fighter?” in the most cliché way. The game itself isn’t that fun either. Why do I only land 1 in 10 punches when I’m aiming at the same place? Why do I have to punch so hard that I pull a muscle in back? Seriously, I’m still sore. And I didn’t even win the match. I suppose The Fight might be an accurate representation of boxing, but that’s not really what I want out of a game.
John Daly’s Prostroke Golf
Prostroke Golf is a pretty good golf sim. You must have good form and follow through with your drive or you will slice it. Or fade it, or whatever the technical term is for royally screwing up a shot. It’s easy to adjust the sensitivity of the Move controller so that amateurs have a decent chance of hitting a good shot, but if it’s this hard on easy, you can imagine how frustrating it must be on the Pro mode. That said, the representation is robust, with a career mode and decent selection of courses and Pro golfers to play. I fear that Prostroke Golf falls into the same trap as The Fight; it’s too good of a simulation of the real game of golf for regular gamers to get into it. But if you are awesome at golf, you can certainly challenge your friends to a stroke match and put a lot of balls in the hole. Just, please try to wear better pants than John Daly. Those are just embarrassing.
Its cartoony style and simple use of the gun accessory makes The Shoot the best out of this bunch. The setup is a bit thin: you are an actor on a movie shoot and you must shoot bad guys in order to impress the director. The mandatory intro is a bit slow, but it does give you basically all of the information that you need to excel in the game. The Shoot is just a rail shooter, but it varies up the targets enough to keep it interesting and the power ups like Showtime and Shockwave must be used at strategic moments to get past certain bosses. The Golden Age of Hollywood style is consistent throughout as you progress through the different fake movies as levels from the obligatory Western to a Zombie flick to my favorite, “Robotimus Crime” which is apparently about a robot gone bad. It’s good clean fun, and since you’re not shooting people, just wooden cutouts, it might appeal to parents of younger children too.
Time Crisis – Razing Storm
If you liked playing light gun shooters in your local arcade growing up, then you’re probably familiar with the Namco series Time Crisis. The disc for Razing Storm contains not only the spinoff game that was in arcades in 2009, but also Time Crisis 4 and Deadstorm Pirates. All of the games recreate the feel of being in an arcade and shooting at targets that pop up, or rush at you, and playing with a second player is not only encouraged but damn well necessary sometimes too. The story mode of Razing Storm, however, tries to combine the light gun gameplay with a standard first person shooter by allowing you to move around with a Dual Shock controller and shoot and control the camera with the gun. This control scheme just doesn’t work. I spent way too much time pointed at the ground or trying to maneuver around. There are green arrows which give you points where it turns into the familiar Shoot/Cover gameplay but it’s difficult to get these to work properly. Thankfully, you have the option to just play on rail mode and have fun shooting South Americans, terrorists or pirate skeletons to your heart’s content.
Despite the hardcore brand, the games for PlayStation Move still just make me think of an HD Wii. The best motion control games are those that don’t try to do too much and provide simple gameplay that takes advantage of the technology. I had the most fun with The Shoot and the arcade mode of Time Crisis – Razing Storm, while I thought that The Fight and Prostroke Golf were just too close to the real thing to be any fun. Accurate simulations are great for science, but it doesn’t always make for fun games.