Way back in 2010, Sony announced to the World their brand new Motion Controller, dubbed the PlayStation Move. Along with it’s reveal, they also announced a wealth of games that would make use of it. Fast forward to 2011 and many of those games have seen the light of day, with the exception of Sorcery and Heroes on the Move. Although Sorcery in still MIA, Heroes on the Move was given a new name and set upon the wand waggling massive, on March 25th 2011.
So what is PlayStation Move Heroes? Well story wise, three of the PlayStation brands most iconic platforming heroes and their wise cracking companions are sucked from their home worlds and left marooned on a sinister alien world. There Sly Cooper, Bentley, Jak, Daxter, Ratchet and Clank must take part in a series of dastardly challenges in order to save the Whibbles and return to their own Worlds. Sounds exciting eh?
Although PlayStation Move Heroes thrusts together three of the PS2’s platforming powerhouses, it’s far from what you’d expect if you’ve played any of the original games it borrows from. The main characters are lovingly recreated in luscious High-Definition along with the essence of their home worlds – Metropolis, Paris and Haven City. Each making up the arenas in the game, alongside Gleebertopia. But in essence this is a series of mini-game challenges strung together with a fun little story. It’s more akin to fellow PlayStation Move title Sports Champions, than it is to the excellently unique offerings of the Ratchet & Clank, Jax & Daxter or the Sly Cooper games. But don’t let the mini-games tag put you off, this is still a fun little game, that will delight younger gamers whilst also provide the gaming elite with a few hours of challenges and chuckles. Developer Nihilistic, have done their home work and lovingly recreated the characters originally conceived by Sucker Punch, Naughty Dogs and Insomniac Games. They each feel, looks and more importantly sounds like they’re meant too. Even the origianl voice actors have being brought in to provide their familiar tones. Even enemies dotted around the levels have their original voice actors, with everyones favourite video game voice Nolan North even making an appearance. (yes he really does get everywhere these days)
Now to the gameplay aspect of PlayStation Move Heroes, it’s worth noting that it requires both the PlayStation Move Motion Controller and the Navigation Controller (or a DUALSHOCK 3) the Nav Controller lets you to move around the level whilst the Motion Controller allows you to take hold of one of the 5 different types of weapons – Flying Disc, Whip, Bowling Ball, Blasters and Melee. The Flying Disc and Bowling Ball plays like the Frisbee and Bocce Balls sections from Sports Champions, with the addition of then controlling the projected item after it’s been thrown. The Bowling sections are fairly straight forward, the ball is used to collect Whibbles, take down enemies or rack up points. The Flying Disc sections are a little tricky at first, once in flight the Motion Controller allows you to control the path of the disc, and again collect Whibbles or simply point scoring and once mastered the Flying Disc sections provide some of the best challenges. The Blasters are basically projectile weapons such as a gun or a grenade launcher, and the Melee attacks take shape in the form of the main heroes signature weaponary – Ratchets Wrench, the Cooper Clan Cane and Jax’s Hammer. These are where PlayStation Move Heroes starts to offer the same style of gameplay that of the original games, it has drawn inspiration from, did. Finally there’s The Whip which does exactly what it says on the tin, by whipping the Motion Controller, your on screen character, unleashes a dose of Plasma-whipping smackdown on the ever increasing waves of bad guys. Although all the weapons and the gestures needed to use them worked well, I found the Whip to be the least responsive, as it seemed to lock the character into place whenever you cracked it. But generally the game works well with the Motion Controller.
The action take form in 5 differently styled gameplay types – Jailbreak which makes use of the Flying Discs and Bowling Balls to destroy Whibble cages before the timer runs out. Countdown where you must collect enough Crystals to power the rockets and aid the Whibbles escape. Survival which pits you against wave after wave of enemies. Rescue where you must seek out and return the baby Whibbles to their Mother before the clock reaches zero and finally and the most annoying of the bunch – Guardian, where you must protect the Whibble cages from a relentless enemy onslaught. Depending on how well you do in the level you are rewarded with a Bronze, Silver of Gold Medal and these will then unlock additional levels. Each World also plays host to a series of hidden collectibles, which unlock alternative costumes for each character. The timer-based aspect of PlayStation Move Heroes coupled with these additional unlocks provide enough replayability, as do the Global and local Online Leaderboards.
In addition to the single player section of PlayStation Move Heroes, there is also a two-player co-operative multiplayer section, which allows players to team up and play through various levels of the game. Here one player takes control of the main protagonist whilst the second player takes on the role of their sidekick, as the main player continues on as they would in the single player game, the second player can collect various goodies from around the level, as well as healing player one or unleashing their own special attacks.
Sure it not going to provide the same epic storyline or hours of gaming that the Ratchet, Sly or Daxter games offer but fans of those games will enjoy seeing their old PlayStation buddies working together and cracking oneliners along the way. It’s biggest let down is thats it can be quite repetitive and the announcers are also quite annoying after a while. But if you have a PlayStation Move laying around, it’s certainly worth picking up. As well as making good use of what the Motion Controller has to offer, it will also provide a few hours of fun along way. (Plus it’s given me a much needed dose of ‘The Murray’ in preparation for Sly 4)