During their E3 press conference last year, Sony had announced that developer Nihilistic Software would be combining several well-known characters from major PlayStation franchises – such as Ratchet and Clank, Jak and Daxter and Sly Cooper – into one harmonous PlayStation Move-focused title. With such memorable, lovable PlayStation mascots all packed into one title, there was no way that it could go wrong. Or could it?
PlayStation Move Heroes starts off by introducing the competition our heroes will be competing in, the Inter-Universal Hero Games. The heroes, after talking and boasting about themselves, agree to team up and enter. That’s about it for plot. You’d think with characters that come from backgrounds with such detailed stories, that they’d all come together to do something moderately eventful. That’s not the case at all. While these characters are full of charisma, the events that take place are certainly not.
After entering the competition, there are various events that the PlayStation heroes take part in. The events are simply put into five categories: whip-based fighting, shooting sequences, melee, disc throwing, and bowling. Each event utilizes the PlayStation Move controller in a different way, and executes well on variety of inputs. Sadly it’s severely hamped by unresponsive controls. Despite fun moments, which are sparse, it seems that this game would be better played with a traditional controller (aside from the whip events). Each event boasts a satisfactory amount of objectives that the player should achieve to move on and unlock new challenges. However, when you boil it down, these events and challenges are nothing more than a repetitive series of mini-games.
In an attempt to add depth and variety to these miserable heroes, each character has their own special ability. The special abilities don’t serve much of a purpose, and really just seem tacked on to try and offer at least some differentiating qualities to each character. Also, sticking out like a sore thumb is the fact that these characters cannot jump. I mean, really? Each of the characters come from games that are platformers first, yet they cannot jump. Of course, if there’s no jumping, there isn’t any platforming, either. What a drag.
Multiplayer is supported in co-op form, which allows the secondary player to support by aiming the Move and collecting crystals. This was intended to be the fruit of the game, but offers very little in the way of entertaining two players. Instead of genuine teamwork play, the experience lends restrictive interaction which feels like nothing more than a half-tried attempt at adding more content. The second player is nothing more than a sidekick – a stigma that Clank and Daxter have since broken free of by starring in their own titles.
All of the talented original voice actors are back to play their part. Unfortunately, this is overshadowed by the fact that the announcer tries way too hard to fit into the comical universe these characters come from, and is completely unsuccessful at it. The visuals, however, are acceptable. They look similar to each world they’re supposed to represent, but are lacking the overall polish found in the PS3’s Ratchet and Clank games.
PlayStation Move Heroes takes a fantastic concept, rich with personable characters, and throws it in the dirt. At its core, PlayStation Move Heroes is nothing more than a mash-up of marginally fun mini-games. Co-operative play and collecting gold medals adds diversity, but not enough to break up the repetitive gameplay cycle. It’s a shame – PlayStation Move Heroes had the potential to be a shining star for PlayStation Move, but Nihilistic Software has done nothing more than tarnish the luster of PlayStation’s most beloved franchises.
PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score
– Combat and interaction becomes stale quickly
– Weak co-op implementation misses the mark