Video Game Review: ‘PlayStation Move Heroes’ Only For Young Fans

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CHICAGO – I love at least two-thirds of the central characters in the anticipated Sony adventure “PlayStation Move Heroes” having spent hours with the Ratchet & Clank and Jak & Daxter video games (I’m not as familiar with Sly Cooper, the final third of this all-star team). Perhaps it is because I’m a fan of the clever writing and complex platforming that usually accompanies these heroes that this feels like a lackluster offering, the kind of awkward title that only works for little ones and their friends. Video Game Rating: 3.0/5.0
Video Game Rating: 3.0/5.0

The idea behind “PlayStation Move Heroes” is one that will be familiar to Nintendo Wii players for years. This is Sony’s most high-profile mini-game offering to date, bringing some of their most beloved characters to a forum in which the new Move technology can be used for a series of challenges based around certain goals to win bronze, silver, or gold medals. All of the challenges are based around Move activities, like using the device like a whip to defeat enemies or to bowl a ball into some blocks or to fling a disc to smash some cages, etc. There’s lots of flinging and slashing, as with most motion controller games.

You have to have a lot of patience for smashing and throwing to play “PlayStation Move Heroes” for too long. And you have to be very forgiving of the fact that motion controllers now feel like they’ll simply never be that precise. Sure, some games are more responsive than others. Certainly some are more responsive than “PlayStation Move Heroes.” The problem with the game is that most of the PlayStation Move controls feel a bit unrefined. Throwing a bowling ball is simple enough (and, along with a tennis racket and a golf club, the main use for all motion controllers), but some of the more complex challenges don’t feel that attuned to the Move controller. The title lives and dies on the gameplay usage of the Move controller and it’s just so-so in design and execution.

PlayStation Move Heroes
PlayStation Move Heroes
Photo credit: Sony

It doesn’t help that the challenges are repetitive and dull. Kids don’t mind playing the same kind of game level over and over again but this game could have appealed to a wider audience by writing a few more interesting chapters. Ratchet & Clank, in particular, seem like a perfect fit given the fact that their games often feature arena-like challenges. But the personalities of the characters have been watered-down to the point that it doesn’t really matter who you’re controlling.

Worst of all, “PlayStation Move Heroes” doesn’t even really disguise the fact that it’s just a collection of mini-games. I know there’s rarely a deep level of storytelling in motion controller games but I expected more from characters this beloved for the wit of their games. The “Ratchet & Clank” games are so smart and consistently entertaining that the numbing repetition of this title feels like even more of a let-down.

Having said that, kids aren’t going to care and they’re the target audience of a title like this one. They will probably be satisfied at the mere fact that this is collection of mini-games with better graphics than the Nintendo Wii. If that’s the only threshold of judgment then the title works. But it could have been more memorable and entertaining than just “better-looking than the Wii.” Maybe next time.

“PlayStation Move Heroes” was released exclusively for the Sony PS3 on March 22nd, 2011. It is rated E 10+ (Everyone 10 and Older). content director Brian Tallerico

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