PlayStation Move Heroes: Review

Filed under Game Reviews, Reviews

PlayStation Move Heroes brings three of Sony’s platforming all-stars Sly, Jak and Ratchet into one dream team to defeat a force of evil aliens. For those of you who enjoyed their adventures on the PS2, this might seem like the mother of all platforming team-ups. You fend off killer robots by using your pistols, whips and wrenches to blow them up. While this might seem like a lot of fun initially, the game is an unfortunate letdown. The repetitive levels, monotonous objective and hackneyed control scheme combine to make this an experience that does not live up to the immense potential of its star cast.

The story is expectedly nonsensical with the world being threatened by a bunch of aliens who plan to conquer it. All three of our heroes are busy living their lives in their respective worlds, when all of a sudden portals transport them all to a strange land that somehow combines elements of all of their homeworlds. Unfortunately, most of these locations have a muted color scheme that make the experience of roaming through Haven City or Metropolis a lot less fun than it could be. This is a problem that persists with the entire gameplay experience, although there are a few humor elements interspersed into the story. These set pieces serve as colorful distractions from the otherwise drab goings-on in Move Heroes.

There are five basic types of minigames – shooting, melee, whip wielding, disc throwing and bowling. All of these games feature similar objectives since you either have to collect a certain number of items or beat a certain number of enemies to advance. While this could’ve been fun under the right circumstances, the cramped levels take away much of the platforming prowess that the characters are known for. Most of the unique jumping abilities that define the characters are strangely absent. It feels weird to play a level as Ratchet without being able to pull off a leaping strafe. You can’t help but feel like the original characters would have no problem with these challenges as you are constantly reminded of your lack of mobility in the challenges you face in Move Heroes.

The Move controller comes into effect in the whip and melee stages, and is infuriatingly inconsistent. You will often find simple actions such as a controller shake not registering. The shooting sections are a bit of fun, although you will get bored quickly when you notice how brain-dead the opponents in these stages are.

The sports events are a bit of an improvement, with the bowling game in particular showing some interesting innovations. Unlike normal bowling games, even after you release the ball, you have to control its direction and guide it around obstacles that pop up during its path to the pins. You will be playing as the thief Sly in these levels, and watching him move around with a bowling ball is very funny. The disc throwing events are probably the best of the five minigames. Even after you release your disc, you are in control of its flight path. Avoiding obstacles by a hair’s breadth and ducking and weaving past obstacles is a lot of fun. This is not a particularly difficult event due to the slow speed of the disc.

The game awards you medals based on your performance, and the urge to achieve a high score or earn some more gold in a particular level is what makes up most of the replayability in this game. You can unlock outfits and extra levels when you reach a high enough score, or earn enough gold. While these are good incentives for wanting to replay the levels, the poor controls will make you think twice about retrying a certain event. Most of the games are painfully repetitive and even the unlockable goodies will probably not motivate most players enough to replay them.

The multiplayer mode allows you to call a friend to assist you with your alien-shooting endeavors. But again, this mode is frustratingly flawed. The second player can only control a virtual crosshair of sorts and is given a finite amount of ammunition to hit important objects. Most of the time, these shots are so slow that you will end up missing the objects altogether, causing you to wait for an ammo refill.

PlayStation Move Heroes has its moments, but is let down by poor controls and repetitive level design. With the tremendous star power that this game boasts, it should have been a winner. It is simply not entertaining enough to shoot down mindless drones in level after uninspired level. Ratchet, Jak and Sly should’ve taken their abilities to a better franchise. Disappointing!

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