Sunday, 11 October 2015

Playstation Move

So here I am, finally about to talk about this thing. In truth, I didn't envision myself ever speaking about this horrible-looking optional motion controller for Sony's Playstation 3. I bought the Playstation Move 'Starter Pack' from a forum a good many years ago now and I never used it. The pack survived my numerous clear-outs and collection culls however for one single reason: The House of the Dead Overkill Extended Cut. That's right: I bought and kept this controller for a single game! The original Wii version is one my all-time favourite games so when I heard that an extended, remastered edition was due to be released for the PS3, I had to have the closest thing to a compatible lightgun/Wii remote alternative.

And now (within the last week), I've eventually gotten around to playing this game. Yes, I could have just used the standard pad and avoided all contact with this ill-fated, dildo shaped device but how can you play a lightgun shooter with a controller? I once played Corpse Killer on the 3DO with a d-pad and buttons and it wasn't exactly a thrilling experience. Overkill itself is fantastic - even better than the original thanks to the new content, much-improved graphics and lack of glitches - but I will get around to reviewing that soon. What I want to talk about is the actual Move controller and to be blunt, I'm not really that impressed.

Unlike the Wii's remote unit, the Move wasn't something originally designed alongside the host console. This and Microsoft's equally despised Kinect device were hastily put together to ride the wave created by the sudden popularity of motion control that the Wii was surfing but rather than becoming a new standard, the bubble burst spectacularly in the Wii's twilight years. The Move doesn't use a sensor bar-set up but is instead tracked by the Playstation Eye, a small camera and spiritual successor to the PS2's Eyetoy peripheral. This works well for the most part but inititally, I was having trouble keeping the controller calibrated until I switched the lens on the Eye to its wide angle position. After this, I've only had a few small irregular issues that aren't too much of a problem.

My grumbles are instead aimed at the hardware itself, starting with the PS Eye. Who decided that a thick USB cable with a stiff flex would work well with a featherweight camera perched atop a TV? I have the cable snaking around the edge of my TV and into the USB port on the PS3's frontage but the camera gets dragged about by the weight of the lead and refuses to remain positioned. The solution? Blu-Tack and sticky tape to hold it down! I'm not even joking as the picture below proves...

Apologies for the dust on the TV and camera lens!

Then there's the Move controller itself. I already took a little dig at its image in the second paragraph of this post but it really does look like something straight out of an Ann Summers catalogue. It's a bit embarassing really but thankfully I'm playing with it alone (cheeky!) and don't have anybody bombarding me with wisecracks. Could you get any multiplayer done with this (stop those filthy thoughts!) without spending all evening taking the piss out of the Move's design? On the ergonomic front, I'm finding it really uncomfortable to use for a long period of time (so...many...double entendres...) due to the layout of the buttons and the fact that they are quite a way away from where your hand grasps the controller. The Move looks smart enough but there is the sense that this was rushed to the market.

Oh and it charges slower than a wounded snail.

So it's pretty disappointing then aside from the miracle that it actually does work once you've sorted the calibration out. This led to me question if there were any other games worth trying out while I had it set up and I put the question to the knowlegable members of the Retro Gamer forum. The most common recommendation I got was for a game called Sorcery which I'd fully ignored upon its release but do recall being the poster child for this device. The overall issue seems to be that the Move was an optional control method for a number of games that play just as well and mostly better with the standard Dualshock 3 so why bother attempting to play them with a less-than-optimal control scheme? Of the compatible games, the only other two on my shelf are Resident Evil 5 Gold Edition and No More Heroes: Heroes' Paradise, neither of which I fancy playing without a pad. And yes, I do realise that No More Heroes was originally a motion control game on the Wii and I completed the pair of 'em, all the while wishing I had a traditional pad in my hands.

So lightgun games then? Well, there's Time Crisis Raizing Storm but if you own Time Crisis 4 then you will also likely own the G-Con 3 which is better than the Move. The one title that I remembered at the last minute however was the PSN port of House of the Dead 4, the sole home conversion of an arcade title I enjoyed playing in physical arcades. I will surely have to download this so that I have two whole games to justify me keeping the Move!

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