Game Title: PlayStation Move Heroes
Platform: PlayStation 3
ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+ (E10+)
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment America
Release Date: March 22nd, 2011
Overall Score: 6.5/10
Review Author: DAXRULZ
Jak, Daxter, Sly, Bentley, Ratchet, Clank. The galaxy’s greatest heroes have been selected to compete against each other to see who among them is the cream of the crop. With the precision of the PlayStation Move in hand, do you have what it takes to bring your favorite hero to glory?
PlayStation Move Heroes consists primarily of varied minigames that make the gameplay aspect difficult to give a definitive score. As one might guess, there are some games that work and others that could have been greatly improved. The player will be faced with varying tasks, all of which include and are limited to protecting Whibbles from enemy attacks, freeing them from cages, or fueling their rockets by harvesting crystals around the arena. The only event that does not involve helping these aliens are several survival challenges that require the player to triumph over several waves of incoming foes. Although it doesn’t not sound as though the game offers much, each of the six characters are capable of completing these tasks under various conditions (by which I mean the weapons each character is equipped with).
The heroes (Jak, Sly, and Ratchet) can be equipped with an electro whip, a melee weapon, or a bowling ball depending on the event being played. I must start by saying that the whip is nothing short of catastrophic; the controls are simply clunky and not always as responsive as it should be. The player can flick the Move controller to attack straight ahead with an explosive crack, but the controller needs to be flicked HARD for this to work, otherwise the result is a standard attack. The whip can also be motioned horizontally, but trying so is where the whip fails the most and encourages the player to repeatedly flick the whip in one repetitive motion. The issues the whip encounters are slightly made up for since holding down the L2 button automatically locks on to the nearest target. Finally, the whip can also become a charged attack; by holding the Move controller over one’s shoulder until the gauge fills, the player can then swish the controller forward to perform an explosive impact, which works most of the time—sometimes the PlayStation Eye loses sight of the Move controller and cancels out the attack, but this wasn’t a frequent occurrence.
The three heroes sometimes utilize a melee weapon in certain events. Sly uses his signature cane, Ratchet wields his wrench, and Jak is given a gravity hammer (for the lack of melee weapons in the Jak and Daxter series). You can swish the Move controller up and down for vertical attacks and flick it left to right for horizontal attacks, which work pretty well provided that the Move controller is calibrated correctly (I’ve had moments where horizontal attacks failed on me because I wasn’t quite in the frame during the calibration process). Although, it would have been nice to attack diagonally since the PlayStation Move is easily capable of doing so. But the gameplay isn’t limited only to attacking horizontally or vertically—you can also hold down the T button while attacking to perform a stronger signature move that varies by character, so there’s enough to keep your attacks fresh and free from too much repetition.
Some events require the player to literally bowl their way to victory. This is done simply by holding the T button, bringing your arm back, then moving your arm forward while releasing the T button. When the ball is released, you can twist the Move controller to guide where you want the ball to go and you can flick the Move controller upwards to make the ball jump over obstacles. In moments when you fail to hit a target, you can press the Move button to detonate the ball to create an explosion that will hit the target if you’re in close range.
The sidekicks (Daxter, Bentley, Clank) take part in certain events equipped with either a flying disk a handgun (of three varying types: blaster pistol, Scatter Gun, and RPG). Similarly to bowling, the disk can be tossed by holding down the T button, bringing your arm back, and then releasing the T button when you bring your arm forward. The disk can be guided by how you move the controller, which controls quite smoothly—it’s because of this precision that I look forward to playing this event the most. In events involving a firearm, the player can aim with the Move controller and tap the T button to fire—simple as that. I look forward to playing these events just as much as the disk events.
Each character also has an “ultimate ability” they can unleash on enemies with the L1 button when enough crystals have been collected. Jak turns into Dark Jak and performs his Dark Bomb technique, Daxter (quite unfortunately) becomes Dark Daxter and lets loose his whirlwind attack, Sly slows down time around foes, Bentley hacks foes and forces them into attacking each other, Ratchet makes enemies in the area dance to the Groovitron, and Clank has the Zoni to assist him by repeatedly firing concentrated blasts for a period of time. These help shake up the gameplay a bit and are mostly enjoyable to watch . . . but seriously, Dark Daxter? Aren’t we supposed to forget this ever happened in the first place? Anyhow, moving on . . . .
Hiding in each event is a “hidden collectible”, which are precious items belonging to each of the featured franchises (Gold Bolts in the Ratchet and Clank area, Precursor Orbs in the Jak and Daxter level, and Gold Coins in the Sly Cooper stage). Finding all of these will unlock 2 costumes for each of the six available characters (not including the pre-order bonuses).
I would also like to take a moment to discuss the Trophies for PlayStation Move Heroes. Some of the available Trophies in the game are questionable on a number of fronts. Some bronze Trophies in the game are difficult enough to obtain to be gold Trophies (for instance, freeing all Whibbles with one disk in a disk event). As opposed to most games that give you a gold Trophy for finishing the story mode, this game gives you a silver Trophy instead. Lastly, there are several Trophies that can only be obtained by playing the multiplayer mode (a pet peeve of mine). For many, achieving the platinum Trophy might be impossible unless they or someone they know has a second Move controller.
PlayStation Move Heroes looks pretty, although despite the cartoony intention, the graphics could have been a little better, or at least in regards to the characters themselves during gameplay. I mostly mean the fuzz-covered characters (Daxter, Sly, and Ratchet). On the PS3, I firmly believe that they should look exactly during in-game mode as they appear during the FMV cutscenes. Since they do not, I firmly believe that the in-game character renders could have been pulled off on the PS2 in its later years.
Since two-thirds of the main characters featured in the game have yet to make an appearance on the PS3, PlayStation Move Heroes became the first game to give them the HD makeover. Daxter and Bentley both look reasonably good, however I have a small bone to pick with Jak’s and Sly’s appearances. Because Nihilistic had to ditch the cell-shaded style of the Sly Cooper series to fit in with the other characters, Sly looks a bit . . . scary. Plus, it appears as though Sly is wearing a pair of boots in this game when I had always believed that he was barefoot on the PS2—this somewhat screws with my mind having been a devoted Sly Cooper fan since the debut of Sly Cooper and the Thievious Raccoonus in 2002. As for Jak, his facial features are as I would have imagined to be on the PS3, however his body structure is questionable—it’s as though Nihilistic took Jak’s body from The Precursor Legacy and pasted his head from Jak 3 on top of that.
Fans of the franchises featured in PlayStation Move Heroes will be delighted to know that all of the original voice actors have loaned their voices to the game, especially to those who had endured the horrible acting posed by Josh Keaton as Jak in The Lost Frontier. Each of the characters have also accurately maintained their personalities, which is quite a nostalgic relief to fans of Jak and Daxter and Sly Cooper especially considering their prolonged absence.
The original score for this game is probably among the worst I’ve heard in a videogame. The title theme is the cheesiest, most thoughtless excuse of a main theme. The music during the individual events aren’t the slightest bit memorable, except for a techno piece I found somewhat enjoyable. The only piece that sounds like it was at least thought about was the one that plays during the end credits, or at least a part of it. It would have been simpler and more pleasing if Nihilistic had gotten the rights to use and remix music from the three franchises to use in the respective stages of the game.
The sound effects used in the game work reasonably well, on par with what I would expect from games these days.
Finding themselves in an unfamiliar world, Jak, Daxter, Sly, Bentley, Ratchet, and Clank have discovered that they have been chosen to compete against each other in a series of games, ultimately for the purpose of discerning who is the greatest hero in the galaxy. But is there more to these games than what meets the eye?
The fact of the matter is that there’s barely a story present in PlayStation Move Heroes, save for a two-minute cutscene between each set of challenges. Even though I’ve always been against the idea of these franchises meeting, I decided to roll with it and I’ve actually taken humor to how these characters interacted with each other from Bentley and Clank providing a simultaneous explanation for their meeting, to Jak, Sly, and Ratchet frequently throwing insults at each other. However, in truth, that’s half of the entire story. I won’t spoil the other half, though players may find the “other half” to be quite predictable.
Despite the low score I have given this game, keep in mind that my reviews are based on the averaged scores given to the individual elements of the game, and clearly the story has dealt the overall score a crucial blow. However, I walked into PlayStation Move Heroes with the knowledge that it’s not so much about the story as it is about the gameplay. For that, this game is worth picking up if you have a PlayStation Move. If you do not yet own the PlayStation Move, I wouldn’t purchase the controller(s) just for this game if you are only a casual fan of the featured franchises. If you’re a die-hard fan of Jak and Daxter, Sly Cooper, Ratchet and Clank, or some/all of the above, there is plenty of nostalgic value to go around and is enough reason to buy the PlayStation Move for. I would also highly recommend getting the most out of this game, since it’s a very short experience if you choose to do the bare minimum; go for gold medals on all of the challenges (you might find some challenges to be harder to earn gold for than others) and pick up the hidden collectibles to unlock costumes for all of the characters (you might find hilarity in some of these). You also have a sizeable list of Trophies to add to your collection, so despite the shortness of the story campaign there is enough to keep you busy in this game. In the end, I had a nostalgic experience with PlayStation Move Heroes. It may not be a great game, but it is by no means awful. If in doubt, give this game a rent and see how you like it before buying.