Once again Playstation release a title that encourages us all to get off our backsides and fire up the Playstation Move accessory. To be honest before I continue, I will say here and now that out of the three systems in existence, Wii, Kinect and Move, the Move is the most responsive in my humble opinion.
Anyway what we have here are a selection of sports that get you active as you game, and I think that if you mixed this with some vigorous action with Move Fitness then you would have had a pretty good work out. You could use this in conjunction with Playstation Move Fitness and burn off a few more calories, all be it in a slightly more relaxing way. Mind you that would depend on which sporting activity you had selected. You can go for something moderately relaxing like Golf, Archery and 10 Pin Bowling, or the more vigorous activity of Boxing, Tennis or Skiing. Those are the 5 sports or activities on offer with this software.
Let's give you a brief breakdown on how each of the sports work and how they play.
This is 10 pin bowling and it requires the use of a single Move controller.
If you have played the Bowling game on After Hours Heroes then you do not have to learn anything new to play this, as it plays exactly the same way as that.
Use the wand to aim, and simply move to the left or right to adjust your position behind the foul line, with a press of the PS button. When ready to bowl, raise your arm, with the trigger pressed. Lower you arm and swing it forward and when you are ready to release the ball, let go of the trigger. Simples!
A twist of the wrist as you move your arm forward will add spin too the ball, and providing you read the alley right then you can use the spin to pick up extra speed and voila, a strike if you manage to hit the sweet spot.
As you play through against the A.I., after training you'll get to the challenge mode, playing against a variety of A.I. opponents at different locations. Each locations bowling lanes have their own surfaces and conditions and you'll have to adjust your play to reflect it.
Each opponent becomes a little more challenging as you go through bronze trophy matches to the gold trophy, but then you'd expect that! (This is the same with the other sports too so I won't go through that with each event)
You'll unlock avatar items and clothes etc. You will unlock more but I'll let you find these out for yourselves.
As you'd expect this works the same as any Golf game on the Wii or Kinect. Aim the wand downwards, press the trigger to address the ball. Swing your arm back (with the wand held in both hands) and swing like you would with a real club. The ball will travel in the direction indicated by your actions If you want to hook/slice the shot, move the wand on the up stroke to the right or left or again, twist the wrist as you deliver the stroke.
There is no virtual caddy here, so the computer will automatically select the club it deems appropriate for the job. Most of the time it makes a choice that seems logical but if you disagree, press O and you can alter the club.
Putting is easy (a darned sight easier and more responsive than Wii Sports) and again it will give you aids to aim the shot. To alter aim for both the main swing and putting, use the PS button and adjust aim points by moving the wand until the cursor is pointing at the part of the green/fairway you want to reach.
Again you'll move to different courses, (they share the same venue as the Bowling, etc) and different challenges will be opened to you as you play different opponents and earn those trophies, these include the usual matchplay and stroke options but there is also a fun target mode that sees you taking shots, aiming the ball through coloured hoops. Each hoop the ball passes through increases your score multiplier. This is fun indeed and if you play with friends in your living room (more on this later) then you can just select this mode rather than the stroke/match play options.
You can play this with one controller if you so desire (or indeed if you only have the one) but two is recommended. Both controllers control each 'fist' which is of course controlled by your motions.
To block incoming shots to the head, raise your arms to your chest, and to your waist/stomach to block body shots. Tapping the X button twice quickly side steps you too the left, O to side step too the right. Hook shots are performed with just a press of the square button and triangle delivers an uppercut. But most punches are delivered with a sweep of the arm holding the controller, so you are effectively boxing with both hands.
Again different challenges will be opened as you play through the Cup mode, and I'll leave you to discover these for yourselves. A fun mode and you can work up quite a sweat as the opponents skill level increases as you progress through cup mode.
Ski sticks are replaced with the controllers, though you can use just one controller should you wish to do so, or only have the one. Balance is regulated by the a.i. so don't worry about that too much.
To crouch down to pick up speed, do just that and to perform a jump/stunt then flick the wand upwards and be sure to level it off before you land or you hit the ground in a messy tangle of broken limbs. Again you'll get different challenges here, speed trials, slalom courses, ski jumping and others that again, I'll leave for you to discover.
Shooting arrows at targets, some stationary, some moving is what you would expect here and this is indeed what you darned well get. Reach over your shoulder and press the trigger to select an arrow, and then simply aim the cursor at your target by pointing the controller straight at the Move sensor. You can zoom into the target by pressing the PS button. It's not just aim and shoot though. You have to take into account the curvature of the arrow's passage. A blue line indicates where you are aiming and it also takes wind speed into account. (It also is a factor in Golf, sorry should have said that earlier, my bad) So it's not just a straight blue line for guidance, it curves. You'll soon get used to it and this is one of my favourite events in this collection.
A lot of fun for me to be had here. It only needs one controller for this, though it can be played with two. Using one does not detract from the experience I thought.
Last but by no means least, we get to tennis, the final sport on offer. This plays as you would expect, with you having to mimic the serving action (toss the ball before the strike etc) and then reading your opponents moves so you can intercept and return the incoming shot.
You can lob and slice and smash with the aid of a button press as you swing your virtual racket. It's very intuitive and again is good fun. No doubles matches to start with, but do they become an option later on? That's for you to find out. You will play both indoors and out and on different surfaces. Each cause the ball physics to act in a different way, but not in an entirely realistic way but this takes nothing away from the experience. This is all good, physically active fun.
You can get a work out with this game and if mixed with Playstation Move Fitness, you can create a very good work out routine if you so desire.
So yes it's fun, and two controllers for Boxing and Skiing does give the illusion you are competing in these events. Physics are fine and voice talent is all Sim like grunts and groans so does not really become a factor.
Graphics are bright and breezy and textures are nicely rendered. The music just becomes part of the background ambience. It adds no real atmosphere to the events but then again, it does not need to.
It provides fun yes, and in multiplayer mode there is a real competitive spark created. Online play though seems to be a little patchy. I had connection issues, with it either not connecting or being dropped mid way through an event. Maybe there's a patch coming to solve that problem. When it did work, it was smooth and worked reasonably well with good loading times.
All in all fun, but the online connectivity issues mars the experience but good fun if competing with mates in your living room.