Earlier this week, PlayStation Blog hosted an event where folks could try out Sony’s Mii-too, the PlayStation Move. The moment I walked in and saw the boxing, karaoke and sports games I let out a sigh, then a growl: “Those damn casuals!”
Crowding the market with their shallow party games!
But like Jack, I had to learn to just let go, and sing Lady Gaga in between two gyrating gymnasts.
But first I shuffled over to try the imaginatively titled The Fight. A street boxing game, you use two Wiimo– er, Move controllers (wands?) to emulate the on-screen fighter’s fists. After wondering what an expense that would be to have to buy two Wands, I was promised 1:1 control over said fists then fought the guy demoing the game. I was thoroughly thrashed.
Maybe I’m just a lightweight (I am), but 1:1 control felt sluggish and unresponsive. Each jab and uppercut I threw happened a moment later, which kind of undermines the supposed immersive nature of this whole motion control movement. I would later learn The Fight is actually called The Fight: Lights Out.
After that, I got roped in to singing “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and “Poker Face” while a pair of slinky Sony dancers grooved next to me. That must have been a sight. As I crooned, following the lyrics at the bottom of the screen, the dancers followed their motions on the sides of the screen. It’s a sleek interface and the songs are edited just enough so dance and song fatigue doesn’t set in. After the successful show the game rewarded us with a “Superstar” sticker and a photo opportunity — all three of us posed for a photo taken by the PlayStation Eye. Who was watching us the whole time! Creep.
Y’know. I had a fun time with SingStar Dance. Maybe it was the Cyndi Lauper, maybe it was the friendly dancers, or maybe the game was lenient enough to award my baritone with a nice star and a photo op. This game will most likely sell a lot and be the thing to do at parties. Or, uh, one of the things.
Get Fit With Mel B
Now here’s a thing. I didn’t even recognize Scary Spice as the smiling light-skinned woman showing me how to move my arms. That was embarrassing when I asked “So when does Mel B show up?” And the only thing scary about the game was how long individual workouts could go on, and the only thing spicy was my polo afterwards. Ew! Kidding. I didn’t work up a sweat at all because apparently I didn’t move my arms just right for Mel. She didn’t scream at me like 90s me remembers, though that would be an awesome addition.
The game also has a bunch of diet plans and recipes and a whole assortment of workout plans for a variety of reasons. If it has a “Gain 80 Pounds of Muscle” plan, I just might get this.
Well, here it is. Wii Sports for the PS3. Or is it?!
It is. But with vast improvements. Besides SingStar, this was the most successful demo since the Move wand actually did what it was supposed to (Now that I think about it, I fail to remember if SingStar even used a Move controller — I sang into a USB microphone). I was able to turn my table tennis paddle the way you would turn a real one, put some spin on the ball, won each match, and successfully blocked, parried and obliterated each of my opponents in the Soul Calibur Lite gladiator minigame. Yes, when I win games I like them more.
Which was the thing that impressed me about this. In Wii Sports you could just sit down and waggle your wrist around and randomly win. Sports Champions seeeeemed to require a teensy tiny amount of skill, and it required you to move around a lot due to the HAL-like PlayStation Eye keeping track of you. Sure, it’s Sony’s answer to Nintendo’s Wii Fit board, but it’s a good answer. A better one, in my experience.
There’s also a frisbee (confusingly titled “disc golf”) and a few other minigames to come with it.
Was all this enough to convince a snooty hardcore gentleman like me that motion control’s the new wave? Well, no. Well, maybe SingStar. This stuff’s fun, but if it’s nothing new. It’s the old wave. We’ve been singing karaoke and boxing and and Wii Fitting for years now. All this proves is that Sony maybe, just maybe, have what it takes to fight on equal ground as Nintendo and their waggle.
It’s that audience they’re gunning for, though I wonder if that audience even cares anymore. Maybe their Wiis are collecting dust. Will the same stuff in HD graphics convince them to do it all over again? Will they see the need to shell out more bucks for several Move wands, an Eye and a whole new system if need be?
I guess all Sony has to do now … have faith~