Forgive me for my natural cynicism, but this game has ‘bad idea’ written all over it. Underneath that little badge of honour, it has written in smaller letters “cash cow rip-off”. However, this was not the case. While I don’t like it at all, it’s difficult to say it’s a bad game per se. Indeed, it’s something of a quality title if you’re the kind of person that has only just got out of playing with their train set.
My main problem, the old reactionary that I am, is that much like the early days of the Wii, it doesn’t have much to do with the new move controller. Sure, you can wave it around like you’re trying to batter a small pigeon to death, but for all it’s worth, you might as well be playing with the Sixaxis alone. Indeed, if you don’t have the nunchuck half of the Move controller, things become incredibly awkward.
It is, however, a bright, breezy title, full of the kind of comedy you expect from the Sony first party crew. Jak, Daxter, Ratchet, Clank, Sly Cooper and… erm… his wheelchair-bound sidekick all make an appearance, and their lines are as witty and comedic as ever. Of course, if, like me, you have never really liked the first party kids line-up that Sony has put out, then you’re not going to like this. There are plenty though, old and young, that might appreciate the colourful world and light-hearted nature of the game.
The game basically splits into four mini-games, played at increasing increments of difficulty. At first you’re breezing through it like a hormonal woman in a Thornton’s closing down sale, but after a while you start missing the gold ratings and have to settle for silver if you want to progress the story. Having said that, there isn’t much story to go around, and it can feel a little unrewarding to complete so many challenges with such meagre sustenance at the end.
You’ll find yourself whipping, bowling, smashing and shooting your way through what probably amounts to a few hundred levels by the end of it, and while they do get ever more complex, the core mechanic is still the same. With the whipping levels, for example, you simply have to run around the level making whipping motions with your move controller until everything dies. These are mixed up with various types of mission, but usually amount to just smashing things up. Very, very similar to this are the melee levels, which see you doing exactly the same thing, but with a hammer, crook or wrench.
Then there’s the shooting levels, which see you take control of the sidekicks. This again is pretty standard stuff, and uses the controller to aim and the nunchuck to move. It’s fun, bright and loud, but simple in the extreme, and really just there as a mindless break more than anything.
Bowling and disc throwing are probably the two most complete types of mini-game present. These actually inject some cleverness into the game, and see you trying to work things out while negotiating the courses. Again though, it’s not rocket science, and there is a wholesome joy in these modes that doesn’t really come across with the other types of core gameplay.
Where the various Sly Cooper, Jak and Daxter, and Ratchet and Clank titles over the years have had some almost groundbreaking gameplay elements, this doesn’t really add much. Sure, it’s every bit as professionally put out, but much like the less vaunted titles in the stable, it doesn’t feel as if a huge amount of effort has gone into its creation.
It’s hard not to be cynical about Playstation Move Heroes, because I’ve never really liked the characters, and the gameplay is so old hat that I can’t derive much joy from it, regardless of whether I’m using a glowing stick or not. It certainly could have been done just as well without the Move controller, and until this technology is use both appropriately and well, then it’s not going to draw much of a crowd. If PlayStation Move Heroes wasn’t so loaded down with the characters Sony has spent years building up, it would be something of a strange game. The fact that it has may draw you in, and certainly if you like this kind of kids title, then you’ll more than likely enjoy this. I can’t find much to like about it though, so I’m guessing many of my age may not either.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 3 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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