Monday, November 08, 2010

Playstation Move

NOTE: This is an old post I wrote about a year ago that I never got around finishing up and posting.  But I figure I would just go ahead and post it as is.

So I picked a move bundle, 3 extra move controller (got two of them for $37.50 each with a gamestop coupon), and one navigation controller.

- Cheap bastards continue the tradition of not including any usb cables for charging.
- Setup was easy enough. I positioned the camera right below my HDTV.
- The controls feel good in the hands but the big glowing ball in different colors makes you look rather comical.

Sports Champions
- The pointer tracked very smoothly and precisely on the screen. It has a nice calibration screen before each sport that shows you where to stand and has you move the wand to shoulder height, down at your side, and belt height.
- Archery is pretty fun and works pretty well. I finished the bronze level and my arms were pretty tired by now. Fun, but didn't seem that much different than wii sports resort with motion plus at least from a performance perspective.
- Next up was Gladiator. Now THIS was fun. Playing solo with two move controllers is rather awesome. One controls the shield and the other the weapon. The buttons let you dodge, jump back, shield bash, or activate a super attack once you charge up the meter from successfully blocking attacks. Location of your attacks and blocks is pretty key. There's actually a bit of depth. Dodging too much makes you stumble and leaves you open. The only way to avoid a shield bash is a dodge. A missed shield bash opens you up for attack. You can thrust and the speed and strength of the swing seems at least partially taken into account. It's not perfect but it's a marked improvement over what I've seen on Wii. Next, I let my kids at it. In single move controller mode you have to use the trigger to toggle between weapon/shield controls. Other than that it still works pretty well. They had a blast flailing around.
- Table tennis felt off to me. I've played quite a bit in real life and this still doesn't feel right. Placement of the ball is difficult. You can't slice. Spinning is hit and miss. It was pretty disappointing overall.
- Kids played some beach volleyball which had a nice co-op option. It seemed fun but I didn't get a chance to try it.

Time Crisis: Razing Storm
- The calibration is more accurate than the demo. Tracking and aiming is pretty smooth.
- After some time the tracking tends to drift. If you aim too far out of the screen then the crosshair no longer lines up with where you are point and is off center. You can try nudging it back by aiming way off screen in the other direction or you can recalibrate but this is really annoying and needs to be fixed.
- Having to press the move button on TOP of the controller to control going behind shield cover/reload is retarded feeling. At least support using a separate ps3 controller or the navigation controller. Come on Namco!
- Graphics are pretty good and it's nice having 2 players share the same screen vs the horrible tiny 2 screens in time crisis 4 during co-op.
- The game is really short but as a bonus you get some sort of pirate game and a complete copy of Time Crisis 4 on the same disc. As far as I can tell there have been no updates to this version of time crisis 4 except adding move support.
- Guncon 3 is also supported.
- Let me rant a bit about light gun games in general. I love this genre ever since Virtua Cop (which is still one of my all time favorites). For those of you who have played paintball, air soft, gone to a firing range you know what it feels like to fire a gun, how to at least line up your sights and aim properly. If you have an accurate light gun that mimics a semi automatic pistol that requires reloading, with actual sights on the plastic gun that work and NO crosshair on screen you actually have a semi realistic simulation that requires actual aiming and some skill to play. What the current genre of light gun games have become are fully automatic guns with a crosshair on screen where you just wave your controller around and literally hose down everything that moves. Just sit back and enjoy the chaotic display of graphical effects with almost no gameplay involved. Younger kids might enjoy this but I find this experience extremely shallow. I really do miss Virtua Cop on Sega Saturn and Virtua Cop 2 on dreamcast. Those were nearly arcade perfect ports with a great gun peripheral. I think I still have all that stuff but they don't work with LCD TV's.

The Shoot
- Now this is a nice contrast compared to where the Time Crisis series is heading. This game actually rewards accuracy with a multiplier and earning power ups. It's all about making accurate single shots. I still don't have real iron sights on my plastic gun, and there is still a crosshair painted on the screen, but it's a step in the right direction.
- So the premise is a movie shoot and you are shooting these popup fake wooden bad guys (think Hogan's Alley). I actually like this change of pace in presentation. You want to make accurate consecutive shots without missing to increase your multiplier and earn you special moves. To pull off these moves you have to either shoot at the ground, sky, or spin around (this last one does slow motion bullet time). Here's the problem. It has the EXACT same issue as time crisis. If you spin around it completely throws the calibration off and the crosshair is no longer centered where the gun is pointing. This issue needs to be fixed or move is essentially dead for light gun games. I can't tell you how annoying this is.
- You actually have to move your body left/right to dodge some attacks or duck to avoid others.
- Occasionally you have some scripted moments where you have a quick draw showdown with a boss or something.
- Out of the two light gun games I would probably go with The Shoot. It uses more features of move and actually requires a bit more interaction than your typical light gun game.

PlayStation Move Shooting Attachment
- It's $20 from amazon.
- It feels pretty good in your hands.
- The move controller is easy to get in and out without having to remove the wrist strap.
- The trigger action feels pretty good.
- There are no sights.
- Looks like stubby gun with a big glowing ball on the end.

PS3 Move Quad Charger
- So this old Nyko ps3 controller charger that works great for my dual shock 3 doesn't seem to work with playstation move.
- So I picked up this PS3 Move charger for $20. It will charge up to two 2 controllers, 2 navigation controllers, and has 2 additional usb ports to charge whatever you want (dual shock 3, more move controllers, etc).
- It has clear LED lights to indicate if it is charging or if charging has completed and an on/off switch on the back. I kind of like to leave the controllers in the charger with it off and use it like a stand.
- Highly Recommended. It's only $20 from amazon with free shipping. It works very well and charges all my ps3 accessories.

Recommended but you might want to wait. You'll definitely want at least 2 of the move controllers but consider getting 4. I don't have any games that use the navigation controller but you apparently can use a regular ps3 controller instead if you want. Remember, the navigation controller is basically just a dual shock 3 chopped in half and made to fit in one hand. It has no motion/move technology in it. It's a lot of money to spend for very little content right now. But if you've got the money to blow it was better than expected (for non light gun games). As soon as my arm heals I'll be playing more of that gladiator game. Also, don't let sony fool you into thinking this is cheaper than Kinect. The bundle is $100, move is $50 each, and navigation is $30. So for just two players you will spend at least $150. For my setup with 4 move controllers and a navigation controller that is already over $250 even with discounts. Add the charger and shooting attachements (I picked up 2) and I'm now looking at $315 and this is before buying games.

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