PlayStation Move Heroes PlayStation 3
Published by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Developed by Nihilistic Software
With the release of both the PlayStation Move and Microsoft's Kinect one of the biggest questions was regarding the quality of the software for both devices. In truth the software has been fairly mediocre (and sometimes poor) for both devices but at least Sony have made a big effort to patch in support for already released titles and have included support for the Move controller in some of their titles released since the release of the controller itself. On the face of it PlayStation Move Heroes seems like a cracking idea for those who like some of Sony's biggest mascots such as Ratchet and Clank, Jak and Daxter and Sly Raccoon and Bentley, however whilst the idea behind the game is certainly praiseworthy, the end result is more than a little disappointing.
In PlayStation Move Heroes, our heroes, Jak, Daxter, Ratchet, Clank, Sly and Bentley, have been taken prisoner from their respective universes by aliens and forced to perform what is known as the first annual Inter-Universal Games, which is essentially a collection of challenges that usually involve rescuing little creatures known as Whibbles. There are several locations in the game such as Metropolis, Haven City, Paris and Gleebertopia. Within each location there are four areas and within each area there are a number of challenges for you to undertake. For each challenge you'll have to choose one of the available characters to play as. Not every character is available to choose for each challenge so if you're hoping to play as your favourite character throughout you may be disappointed. The scores for each challenge are kept on online leaderboards so you can see how your performance compares with everyone else's.
Whilst all of our heroes have been taken from platform games, PlayStation Move Heroes is oddly not one of those and you can't even make your characters jump of their own accord. PlayStation Move Heroes is in fact a mini-game collection then and as with any mini-game collection the overall game is only as good as the mini-games that are included. Unfortunately, the majority of the mini-games on offer here are forgettable and feel rather bland. That's not to say they are terrible however. Controlling a giant whip with the Move controller and bowling explosives (once bowled you'll get to guide their path) as well as throwing discs (which can also be guided once thrown) and shooting can be fairly enjoyable for a few minutes at least but there's nothing here which will hold your attention for more than the handful of hours that the storyline lasts.
One of the problems with the game is that it's rather dull as a single player experience. Part of the problem is that most of the mini-games are far too easy. Defeating enemy robots, rescuing the little Whibbles and attaining a gold medal in each of the games is very easy to do allowing you to breeze through the game in much less than five hours or so. You can play the game with a friend but whilst it can be played in a co-op fashion in the Team Play mode it's not very good as the second player only takes a minor role in the experience. There is no support for online play which seems like a missed opportunity although there are online leaderboards which allow you to see how your performance in the mini-games compares with others which will certainly please those who want to do more than claim the pretty much guaranteed gold medal in most cases.
Whilst the game may be wanting in many areas, visually it actually looks pretty good. Load times are decent and the frame rate remains smooth throughout which is certainly good to see. The various environments in the game all look good but there is a real lack of variety here. By the end of the game you'll have seen the same environments many times over and this serves to make the game feel much more repetitive than it should.
PlayStation Move Heroes is subtitled and they are enabled by default. The cut scenes in the game are subtitled and you'll be able to follow the game's storyline. Comments made before the mini-games and on completion of a mini-game by your character are not subtitled, although these are of no importance. Challenge objectives are given in text, as are the hints which certainly would have been useful had the mini-games been challenging enough to warrant any hints. Verbal instructions, which include some tutorial information in addition to the odd helpful note or two, are given out at the start of a challenge, but unfortunately these are not subtitled. You are shown basic control instructions in text but you'll completely miss out on the other information and that is extremely disappointing. At least you're made fully aware of any time restrictions in the mini-games as an onscreen countdown is displayed.
There is no denying that PlayStation Move Heroes has a certain novelty value but the game's problems mean that for most the patience will begin to wear thin all too soon. On the whole, the mini-games on offer here just aren't good enough to keep you coming back for more. As a single-player experience it's completely forgettable and even when played with a friend, the game's appeal is limited. The main problem here is that the standard of this mishmash is nowhere near what you would expect from a Jak and Daxter, Sly Raccoon, or Ratchet & Clank title meaning that no fan of either of these quality series would be happy with how PlayStation Move Heroes has worked out.