It's only two days until Sony waves its ice-cream cone shaped wand over the games industry, and Kotaku AU was given a chance to sample the various launch offerings for Playstation Move...
First, the issue of 1:1 movement between you and what's on-screen. Nothing, not even the signal from your brain to your fingertips, is 1:1. But the idea behind Move is that by using the PlayStation Eye to sense light, and the improved sensors in the controller together with Bluetooth, you'll get a more responsive experience than the Wiimote's infared.
Whether the device takes time to understand the signals, or Sony is correct in saying a large majority of the lag comes from the HDTVs themselves, is unclear. But the lag is there. While flicking your wrist to the side of the screen to snap that sneaky terrorist, you'll notice it - but it's definitely playable.
In fact, it's really only people who walk into the experience expecting 1:1 movement that will be disappointed. Those without it in the forefront of their minds will likely be impressed.
At first it bugged us by not detecting long, full movements across the screen... We then realised it was our fault. When asked to drag your wand from the left side of the screen to the right, it's easy to perform a half-assed gesture, finishing the motion but never properly beginning.
Perhaps this is our fault for playing lazily. Perhaps the Wiimote trained us in the art of accelerometer manipulation. Either way, it appears the days of sitting on the couch with a sandwich in one hand and a controller in the other, making tiny flick movements, is over. "Tennis Wrist" shall revert back to Tennis Elbow. All is right with the world.
So let's have just a brief look at some of the games on display...
We spent the most time on this one. Clearly, erm, "inspired" by Wii Sports, Sports Champions has Table Tennis instead of Tennis, Bocce instead of Bowling, etc. A Gladiator game where one controller is a weapon and the other a shield was good fun, but a little slower paced than felt right.
The best of the group were the Disc Golf and Archery minigames. Disc Golf works great with how the Move controller measures your angle & rotation for curve, and Archery puts you against steadily faster AI opponents, pitting your accuracy against your speed. Out of the "made for Move" games available on launch, this seemed the most solid.
It was good to see some representation from Melbourne's Firemint. Flight Control handles much as you'd expect with Move. Touchscreen finger dragging is replaced by wand waving, and although it's not as fast or accurate as using your index, the game will be available in 3D.
Start the Party
Think Warioware. Start the Party is a collection of silly minigames, using the Move controller in different ways. With blue and red bubbles floating upward, you're asked to poke the right colour, avoiding the bombs. When guns point at you, you need to wave a white flag furiously. Our favourite was easily the Fruit Ninja clone, in which you have to swing a sword to cut through increasingly hectic volleys of fruit.
It lacks the variety of Warioware, and consequently won't have the same longevity. But if you plan on keeping it purely to "start the party", well, it's novelty depends on how many parties you have.
It doesn't look as good on the PS3 as it does on the PC, and it can't touch the speed or accuracy of a mouse & keyboard either. But R.U.S.E. is a slower paced strategy game than, say Starcraft 2, so it's very playable on a console.
It does however require you to zip all around the map, zooming in & out - all of which is made faster by Move's accelerometers. Flicking up & down takes getting used to, but is decidedly quicker than the steady rise & fall a joystick provides.
Time Crisis: Razing Storm
Of course, we had to check out the Move reimagining of an arcade game we could eventually clock on one credit. And although The Shoot (a similar on-rails shooting game) seemed good enough, we liked Time Crisis better.
It works as well as it should - there's the expected lag when you twitch your cursor across the screen, but as we said, it's playable. Like the later versions of Time Crisis, you have a shield you carry around with you. And it may initially irk you that shooting off-screen doesn't reload (gasp!), but at first, brief glance, still seems to capture what Time Crisis gameplay is about.
We didn't get a chance to look at The Fight, or Sorcery - which is a shame both because they look decent, and surely there are those lamenting the list of launch offerings' casual slant. Other than third-party titles with Move support like Tiger Woods and R.U.S.E., it's a fair criticism. But The Fight, a boxing game using two Move controllers, while not quite a killer app, would give the "gamer's gamer" in the house something to do other than whack-a-mole.
Of course, not everything is included here, and this is only a brief look. There are also competitive multiplayer titles like Eyepet, which ooze hardcore cred - but we'll continue to cover these as they come out.