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Archive for the PS3 Fitness Game Reviews

Review of Grease Dance for Playstation Move

Grease Dance is yet another in a long series of games intended to cash in on the dance game craze that’s sweeping the nation. It all started with Just Dance on the Wii, and since then, Microsoft has come out with Dance Central and its sequel for the Xbox, while Sony has come out with Everybody Dance.

Grease Dance is published by 505 Games, who is not exactly known for their stellar titles. They do seem to be good at negotiating licenses with big brands–they’ve created branded games for the magazines Field and Stream, Rolling Stone and the movies Top Gun and Days of Thunder. If you look at these games, though, you’ll see that they get horrific reviews and ultimately end up hurting the brand they’re supposed to be representing.

Being a fan of the musical Grease (who isn’t?), I was looking forward to seeing what Grease Dance brought to the table.

The first thing I noticed when starting up the game is that all the graphics are cartoons. Yes, your favorite characters including Danny and Sandy are portrayed, and the graphics are campy in a 50’s sort of way, but personally I would have probably preferred some live action or something just a little less cheesy than the style portrayed here.

As for the gameplay, there are two options. You can Dance, or you can Sing. All of your favorite songs from Grease are represented.

Up to two players can dance at a time. When you start Dancing, you see a screen reminiscent of Dance Central, where two cartoony characters are dancing the moves that you have to mirror. It’s hard to tell at first which character you’re supposed to mimic, it took trial and error for me to figure out I had to copy the one on the left). As with all of these kinds of games, the closer you get to the moves the on-screen character is making, the higher your score will be.

The dance moves were all very authentic and reminiscent of the dances in the movie and the Broadway show. But I noticed one problem right away. The system was not picking up my motions at all. I’d be doing the dance moves perfectly, but I’d get “poor” scores. It was just as bad or worse than the poor motion tracking that plagued first version of Just Dance for the Wii–and this is with the superior technology of the Playstation Move.

There’s a camera image of you in a square in the upper left-hand corner. For some bizarre reason, they decided rather than showing your whole body, the camera view would zoom into only a portion of your body and would “shake” and “rattle” stylistically every time you moved your hand. Worse, sometimes the tight crop would mean your Move controller was out of camera range, which affected your score. It’s as if a developer said, “hey, let’s be different and show off what we can do with the camera”. But this is definitely an example of putting style over substance–the whole point of the camera view is so you can see your own moves and match them against the on-screen dancer. I didn’t find their treatment of the video either useful nor compelling.

There are no tutorials or break-downs of the dance steps, so you’re on your own as far as learning the dance moves.

The “Sing” portion of the game is a little better. They mimic Karaoke Revolution / Singstar, where you can sing the words into a USB microphone and a gauge will show you how accurate you are. I found that it was pretty good at telling whether I was hitting the notes and in tune. So for someone who loves the musical and wants to sing along, this is not a bad feature.

The best way I can sum up this game is that this game feels more like a Wii game from 2009 than a Playstation game from 2011. The fact that the game costs $50 is ridiculous, especially when you consider the far superior Everybody Dance and Just Dance 3 are under $40. I would much, much rather have had the option to download the Grease soundtrack into one of those games as downloadable content. If you’re an absolute die-hard fan of Grease, you will probably be able to overlook the flaws of the game and enjoy it just based on the great music alone. On the other hand, if you’re just looking for a fun dance game, there are definitely much better options out there for you.

Review of Medieval Moves: Deadmund’s Quest for Playstation Move

Medieval Moves: Deadmund’s Quest is perhaps one of the most anticipated games for the Playstation Move this year. It was developed by the same studio that developed Sports Champions, to this date probably the best Playstation Move game developed. Question is, can they repeat their success with this game? I’m happy to say the answer is yes.

I should start out by saying that this site is called “PS3 Fitness”, and that this game really doesn’t provide much in the way of a fitness workout. Still, it’s definitely more “active” than your traditional first person adventure game, and the controls are so spot-on I definitely wanted to cover the game. But if you want a workout, play it while walking on a treadmill or wearing wrist weights 🙂

To play the game, you can choose to use one or two Move controllers–I definitely recommend two for the most natural gameplay (for example, as with Sports Champions, with two controllers you can hold a shield in one hand and a sword in the other; with one you’re constantly switching between the two). You can also choose whether you’re right-handed or left-handed. For purposes of this review, I’ll be speaking from a right-handed point of view, but just reverse everything if you’re left-handed.

The first thing the game does is take you through a little training session so you can get used to all the tools at your disposal. in the game. In a nutshell, here they are:

Sword: You swing the sword with your right hand. As with Sports Champions, the controls are one-to-one, and by far the best, smoothest, and most precise on any platform.

Shield: You hold your shield in your left hand and press the Move button to activate it. You can use it to block attacks or to deflect objects that are thrown at you.

Ninja Stars: You can throw Ninja stars with either hand by holding the controller horizontally and flicking your wrist while pressing and releasing the “T” button. If you’ve played Disc Golf on Sports Champions, it’s the same idea.

Bow and Arrow: The bow and arrow, not surprisingly, are similar to Sports Champions. You hold the “bow” with your left hand, make a motion to take the arrow out of your quiver with your right hand, and draw back and shoot by aiming with both hands, clicking the trigger button with your trigger finger of your right hand, and releasing the button to shoot the arrow. I had some problems with this when I played below, but fixing the lighting and charging my controller fixed that up.

Grappling Hook: There will be certain times in the game where you need to scale walls or use grappling hooks to swing your way from place to place. Hooks will be marked on the walls. When you see one, you point your right-hand Move controller down, hold the trigger button, and point the controller forward, and release the button.

Milk Bottle: As you withstand attacks from enemies, your health will go down. You need to collect and drink milk to replenish your health. To do so, hold your right Move controller like it’s a bottle of milk, press the Move button, and make a “drinking a bottle of milk” motion.

Here’s the tutorial lesson you’re giving at the outset of the game:

Throughout the game you’ll see objects like Milk and Coins which you shoot or strike with your sword to collect. As the game progresses, there will be certain times when you need to use the controllers to do other things, such as pull down a drawbridge or pick a lock. As with other games of this type, you’ll reach milestones called “bookmarks”.

Interestingly, in this game, you don’t control the character’s movements (after all, you’d need a third hand to hold the Navigation Controller). Instead, the character runs automatically. Your character will always automatically turn to face whatever “action” is going on at the time. In all honesty, I don’t mind this very much, although if you’re used to playing first person shooters and having full control over any 360 degree views you like, you may find this constraining.

The one place I do find this a little annoying is when there are objects in the room you need to collect; the character will give you a few seconds to try to shoot or touch whatever you can before moving on.

Overall, the best way to summarize Medieval Moves is that it feels very much like an extension of Sports Champions. It takes many of the same mechanics and tools and applies them to an adventure story. That the game is playable in 3D makes the experience even more immersive and appealing (I’ll post a separate review on 3dplaystation.net once I get my 3D system set up and let you know how that goes).

As for the story itself, my best advice would be to come with the right expectations. Don’t expect anything like Resistance or Uncharted. The game is more like a rail shooter than an open world game. Still, the novelty of being able to wield various weapons and gadgets in a realistic way (instead of the usual mashing of buttons) makes this one a game a positive step forward for Move games. While the storyline and premise may not be the strongest, what more than makes up for it is that you’re actually wielding a sword and shield and throwing ninja stars by just making the natural motions, without even thinking about it, which provides an experience that’s far beyond old-fashioned button mashing. Here’s hoping that future games will use this as a jumping off point and start to develop games that really do approach virtual reality, where motion control isn’t just a gimmick, but something that really enhances game play.

4.5 of 5 stars.

Review of MotionSports Adrenaline for Playstation Move

motionsports adrenalineThe original Motion Sports was released about a year ago for the Kinect. By virtually all accounts it was underwhelming. The concept sounded great–simulate real sports, and instead of using cartoony avatars use realistic graphics. And instead of using controllers, allow players to control the action with their body. But the execution on the Xbox just fell short.

This year, Ubisoft is at it again, but instead they’ve released MotionSports Adrenaline for the PS3, Wii, and Xbox. Their focus this time is on six “extreme sports”.

As you start each activity, you choose whether you’re left handed or right handed, and then calibrate your Move controller by holding it at shoulder level, at hip level, and across your belt line, just like with Sports Champions. The controller accuracy and precision, not surprisingly, is pretty good. I wish I could say the same about the gameplay itself.

Here’s my take on each “extreme sport”:

Kite Surf: Here, you’re kite-surfing. You hold the Move controller sideways (you only need one) and you “steer” by tilting your hands as if you’re steering a wheel. You jump by holding the “T” button and raising your arms. You can get a speed boost by holding the “T” button and pushing forward. You can “strike poses” at various points (which they call “hitting tricks”) and you can “collect coins” to earn points.

While the graphics were decent and the motion controls were responsive enough, it just didn’t feel like a realistic experience. I was expecting more of a realistic “simulation”, but but at the end of the day it just felt like a video game that I may as well have been playing with the Dualshock controller, as the Move controllers just didn’t feel natural at all.

Mountain Bike: Here, you’re mountain biking, but the controls for steering, jumping, and accelerating are exactly the same as with Kite Surfing. In fact, except for one part where you need to “steer” your bike through a tight turn they’re essentially the same game. Again, the best way I can describe it is that it felt like a “video game”, but between the controls, the physics, and various gimmicks like “collecting stars”, it really draw me into the experience nor make me feel like I was immersed in the world of mountain biking.

Wingsuit: In this game, you’re skydiving. The controls are slightly different for this one–you steer by holding your Move controller out to the side and tilting your body left or right. You can “drift up” by holding the “T” button and raising both your arms, and “draft down” by lowering both your arms. To speed up, you press the Move button. You have to contend with wind gusts and rock formations, and again you can collect points by striking poses and collecting coins.

This game lasted far, far too long and once again, and yet again something about the controls and the physics of the game was off and unrealistic. To be honest, even the silly “flying chicken” game in Wii Fit felt more like “real flying” than this did.

Climbing: This is a rock climbing “simulation”. You’re climbing the face of a mountain that happens to have “handholds” all over it. To climb, you grab onto a handhold by reaching out to it with your Move controller (whether to the side, or diagonally up) and making a “grabbing” motion. Some handholds will be out of reach, so you need to “flick” the controller to jump to them. To drop down to a lower handhold, you press the Move button.

This is one I really wanted to like, but at the end of the day the “flicking” really didn’t feel like real rock climbing, plus half the time my motions wouldn’t register properly.

I guess they wanted to add a little “excitement” to the game so there will be the occasional “earthquake”, where if you have enough “adrenaline” stored up, you can press the “T” button for a “shield” which will protect you from them. Again, I didn’t find the experience very realistic.

And worst of all, once you reach the top, you’re not even rewarded with a view.

Skiing: I’ve been pretty harsh on all the games so far, but I found skiing to be the one bright spot of the game. Finally, I felt like I was really skiing. The controls were intuitive–you hold your Move controller in front of your like it’s a ski pole and bend your body left or right to ski downhill. You can accelerate by intuitively pressing T and pushing the pole.

This is one I really enjoyed, as everything worked together–the graphics, the physics, and the intuitive controls. I even broke a sweat while playing. I only wish the others were more like it.

Kayak: With Kayaking, we’re back to a rather unfulfilling experience. Again, the controls just don’t feel very natural. You use the “steering wheel” method of steering. You can paddle by pressing the “T” button and moving your control like a paddle. But you can’t do both at the same time (like you’d do in real kayaking). There are other oddities–you’ll occasionally get swept into a whirlwind, and to escape you need to “strike a pose”. Again, things like this kind of detract from the realism.

Here’s a problem I have with all the games in general. With the exception of skiing, they just didn’t feel realistic. For most of the games your on-screen character just seems to proceed on the course without any kind of effort from you, the only thing you really do is jump and steer to collect “coins”. In this sense, it just feels more like a 3-D version of Pac-Man or Mario Brothers than an “extreme sports simulation”.

To me, the whole point of calling this franchise “MotionSports” is to help us experience what playing the real sport must feel like. As I mentioned a couple times, for most of the sports the controls just weren’t realistic and it almost feels like the game was designed for a Dualshock controller and the Move controller was just thrown on as an afterthought, and not a very good one at that. For example, instead of making me press the T button and throwing my arms up to make me jump, why couldn’t they just…make me jump?

Something else I didn’t really like were unrealistic gimmicks in the game such as striking poses and collecting coins. To me, it just felt like the developers knew their simulations weren’t very good, so they added these things to make it feel like you’re accomplishing something. I wish there were more simulation games like Sports Champions, where your reward is playing the sport itself, not collecting points.

Finally, one very, very annoying part of the game is the Degree ads all over the game. I don’t mind a little product placement when it’s subtle and even tongue-in-cheek, but if a company is going to get a sponsor to plaster their logo all over the game, then for heaven’s sake don’t charge $49.99 for the game.

I hate to say it, but I just can’t recommend MotionSports Adrenaline. If you’re a die-hard fan of any of the sports, you may enjoy the graphics and the concept of being able to somewhat simulate the sport.

But from a “fun” perspective, with the exception of the skiing game, I really didn’t find any of the games compelling enough to  even play more than once or twice. There wasn’t even very much of a workout component, something I was really hoping for when I first picked up the game.

What could have been a innovative foray in the world of virtual reality sports just ended up being just another tired video game that happens to support motion controls.

2 of 5 stars.

Review of Everybody Dance for Playstation Move

everybody dance for playstation fitness

Back in 2009, Ubisoft’s “Just Dance” for the Wii introduced the concept of dance games using “real dance moves”. It was a huge success, selling over 4.3 million copies. Its sequel, Just Dance 2, was even more successful, selling over 5 million copies. The game appealed to people on all kinds of levels. Individuals could play it to learn real dance moves and get a great workout. Families and friends could play it together and have a ton of fun with the choreographed routines.

A year later in 2010, Microsoft introduced “Dance Central” for the Xbox. It brought to the table accurate full-body motion tracking of the Kinect and sold 2.5 million copies.

For all this time, the Playstation has been left out in the cold a bit. Singstar Dance was an early attempt to cash in on the “real dance move” craze, but at the end of the day it was a karaoke title with dancing spliced in as an afterthought.

Everybody Dance is Sony Computer Entertainment’s long-overdue dive into the genre. And it’s a pretty good one.

The game starts out with a rather superfluous video of random people in different places dancing with a Playstation Move controller in their hands. The next step is pointing the flashing motion controller at the Playstation Eye and pressing the Move button to calibrate the control. As with Just Dance, only one controller per player is used, which you hold in your right hand. The system supports a maximum of two players.

You have a couple menu options:

Dance Now: Here, you can dive right into one of the 40 songs that the game comes with by selecting an album cover using your Move controller. Each song has an “energy level” indicator from 1 to 3. The songs are:

– Amerie – 1 Thing (2)
– Barry White – You’re the First, The Last, My Everything (1)
– Basement Jaxx – Where’s Your Head At (3)
– Billy Idol with Generation – Dancing with Myself (3)
– Bodyrockers – I Like The Way (2)
– Carl Douglas – Kung Fu Fighting (1)
– CeCe Peniston – Finally (1)
– The Chemical Brothers – Hey Boy Hey Girl (2)
– Chromeo – Night By Night (2)
– Dam-Funk – Hood Pass Intact (1)
– Deadmau5 – Ghosts ‘N’ Stuff feat. Bob Swire (2)
– Diana Ross – Upside Down (2)
– Duck Sauce – Barbara Streisand (2)
– Elle Goulding – Starry Eyed (1)
– Elton John – I’m Still Standing (3)
– Fatboy Slim – Praise You (2)
– Groove Armada – Superstylin’ (2)
– Ida Corr Vs Fedde Le Grand – Let Me Think About It (1)
– Jay Sean featuring Lil Wayne – Down (1)
– Kool and the Gang – Get Down On It (1)
– Lady GaGa – Born This Way (3)
– LMFAO – Party Rock Anthem (2)
– M/A/R/R/S – Pump Up the Volume (3)
– Miami Sound Machine – Dr Beat (3)
– New Kids on the Block – You Got It (The Right Stuff) (2)
– Nicole Scherzinger – Don’t Hold Your Breath (1)
– Ok Go – Here It Goes Again (3)
– OutKast – The Way You Move (1)
– Puretone – Addicted to Bass (2)
– Raphael Saadiq – Radio (2)
– Republica – Ready to Go (3)
– Rihanna – Rude Boy (1)
– R. Kelly – Step In The Name Of Love (1)
– SNAP! – The Power (3)
– Sublime – Santeria (1)
– Tiesto v Diplo feat Busta Rhymes – C’mon (Catch ‘Em By Surprise) (3)
– Tinie Tempah – Pass Out (1)
– Usher featuring Pitbull – DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love (2)
– Usher featuring will.i.am – OMG (1)
– Willow – Whip My Hair (2)

Overall, I’d say the artist selection is “hipper” and less mainstream than Just Dance or Dance Central, the kind of set list you might see from a DJ in a club. This may be an advantage or a drawback depending on your musical tastes, but I found at least 7 songs that were familiar right away.

Once you select a song, you can choose one of three levels: Beginner, Intermediate, and Professional. I’d say Beginner and Intermediate are about the difficulty of a typical song on Just Dance, with relatively simple and repetitive motions from side to side. Professional, on the other hand, rivals a professional dancer where you’ll be doing the same basic moves, but adding complex movements, spins, jumps, and more intricate choreography. Here’s a video of me dancing in Professional level to Republica’s Ready to Go (I’m dressed in the same Ninja outfit I designed for Kung Fu Live to cover my face on account of me being so bashful!)

Finally, you can select a length. “Normal” songs range around 3-5 minutes, while “Short” versions last about 1-2 minutes. You then take a picture of yourself, which will be used to identify you in replays and any saved copies of your performance.

Gameplay itself is fairly simple. As with all the other dance games, your goal is to match the on-screen dancer as closely as possible by mirroring his or her moves. While Just Dance has a silhouette to follow and Dance Central uses a hipster doofus cartoon character, Everybody Dance displays a real video image of a human dancer which I personally prefer, as you can see the precise moves to follow.

The on-screen dancer’s image is in a grey color so it stands out yet doesn’t interfere with the background. He or she is holding a Move Controller, so you know exactly where your right hand needs to be at any given time to score point. The choreography is distinctly in the style of the song’s artist, and in many cases, the moves mimic the same ones the artists perform in their video. The on-screen character even look and is dressed like the original artist.

As with Just Dance, the more accurate your moves are, the more points you’ll rack up and are awarded one to five stars at the end. As with Dance Dance Revolution, you’ll also be rewarded for “streaks” of contiguous successful moves. You hold the Move controller in your right hand through the whole song. As with Just Dance, if you stand still and just wave your arms in the right way, you’ll be able to rack up points. But of course, the fun in this game isn’t in collecting points, it’s in performing the real dance moves.

As much as the game is derivative of previous dance games, there are a couple features in Everybody Dance that are truly innovative. While you’re playing the game, you can watch the original artist’s video playing in a rectangle in the background. Press the “triangle” button and the image in the rectangle switches to a live video image of you. You’ll even see a “trail of light” that shows your Move controller’s motion. This feature is extremely useful when you’re learning the dance moves, as you can compare your image to the on-screen character’s moves one to one.

Once the dance is over, you’ll see your point total, number of stars, and longest streak. You’ll also be able to view a 30 second video clip of your performance, as well as 10 snapshots that were taken during the performance of you in various poses. You have the option of saving them to the PS3 hard drive or posting them to Facebook or Twitter (and to the PS3 Community). Here’s some free advice: be VERY careful about using this feature if you happen to be dancing in your skivvies, unless you want to be the next Internet sensation.

By default, you dance in solo mode until a second player turns on their Move Controller. Once that’s done, the menu changes to “Battle Mode”, where  you can compete against each other in all the songs in Beginner, Intermediate, and Professional levels. Alternatively, you can also dance as “Dance Partners”, where each player gets his or her own unique choreographed moves. Bear in mind that for two players, you need at least 8-10 feet of space in front of the Playstation Eye so that both of you fit comfortably in the picture.

“Party” mode is another pretty cool innovation. It starts off by asking you to take pictures of each person who’s participating, from 2 up to 20 people. Then, it’ll pair two competitors at a time to a dance-off. The two selected dancers can choose a song, difficulty level, and song length to compete to. The rounds keep going until you stop, at which time you’ll be shown the overall winner (based on number of songs won, awards won, and longest streaks), rankings, and the biggest rival.

The “Dance Studio” menu offers three options: Dance Creator, Dance Class, and Dance Workout.

Dance Creator lets you record and play your own routines, either solo or with a partner. You’re shown a full-screen image of yourself (with the music video playing in the corner) and you basically record yourself dancing. You record an “album cover” by taking a snapshot of yourself, and then you can then play your (or others’) routines from the Dance Now, Party, or Dance Creator menus. As with any other song, you can play custom routines either with the original music video or your live video image playing next to the recorded image.

“Dance Class” is a great way to learn the dance moves, highly recommended for the “Professional” difficulty level. The system will break down the song into short sections of about 30 seconds each, and you loop through each section 4 times. Once you’ve mastered each section you’ll get a star, after which you can move on to the next section. Surprisingly, it took me only one or two times going through each section to master it for most songs, even at professional level. Here’s me learning the first few bars of “Kung Fu Fighting”. Note my gradual transition from neophyte to kung fu master!

With “Dance Workout”, you start out by setting up a new profile. You take your picture and set your weight using the Move Controller (a painful process the more pounds over 130 you are!). Then, you select a pre-defined workout which consists of similar songs bundled together at different difficulty levels. Here’s the “Charts Cardio” intermediate workout which includes Snap, Lady GaGa, and Tinie Tempa:

Each workout consists of 3 songs and lasts about 10 minutes (Professional+ workouts consist of 5 songs and last 15-20 minutes).

Beginner: Party Warm Up
Beginner: Pop Cool Down
Beginner: Retro Recreational
Beginner: Tune Up
Intermediate: Charts Cardio
Intermediate: Hot House Melodies
Intermediate: R&Burn
Intermediate: Sensual Session
Professional: Constantly Shuffling
Professional: Dance Drills
Professional: Fat Burning Beats
Professional+: DJ Got Us Sweatin
Professional+: Fat Fighters
Professional+: High Energy Exercise Professional+: Ultra Endurance Tunes

As you work out, a calorie meter is displayed on top of the screen showing you the target calories for each song. As long as you match the hand movements, you’ll get credit for the calories, but of course to get a true workout you need to be “honest” and really do all the motions you’re asked to do with your whole body.

“Get More Songs”: This option will quit the game and take you to the Playstation Store to download additional DLC. As of this writing (October 21, 2011) there were no songs available yet, but expect that to change very soon.

“Galleries”: This is where you can go to visit all your past saved performances, either ones you saved to your hard drive or uploaded. You can also visit the “Community Gallery” which shows the 30-second videos and photos that others around the world have uploaded. You can vote for videos you like which will  help them rise in popularity.

As of this writing the game has only been out for a few days, and yet there are already hundreds of videos out there, a few surprisingly good, most not quite ready for prime time just yet, and almost all with inadequate lighting. Some other observations: people generally seem surprisingly sober and clothed (probably because there’s a “report inappropriate videos” feature), men seem to outnumber women by a large margin, and grown men should really think twice before uploading a video of themselves dancing to Willow Smith’s “Whip My Hair”.

You have the option of turning “singing” on and off. If you turn singing on, you can sing into the Playstation Eye microphone, or into a USB microphone or wireless headset. After each song you’ll get a “singing rating”, but otherwise there’s really no benefit, your singing isn’t recorded or anything.

Everybody Dance is an interesting game to rate, mainly because it naturally leads to comparisons with the games that came before it. I’d say from a “pure fun” perspective, Just Dance holds the crown. From a “motion detection accuracy” perspective, Dance Central’s full body tracking is arguably superior for games like these.

Having said that, Everybody Dance still does both of these things quite well. And the innovations that Sony brought to the table, including more advanced choreography that truly matches the original artist’s style, the community features, the accuracy of the “Dance Creator” (which is definitely superior to the same feature on Just Dance for the Kinect), and the ability to dance side-by-side with the on-screen character all catapult Everybody Dance into the same echelon as those other games, and of course is easily the best dancing game available for the Playstation Move right now. I’ll give it an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Review of Virtua Tennis 4 for Playstation Move

A few weeks ago, I reviewed Top Spin 4 from a fitness perpective. Specifically, I mentioned that as a tennis simulation, it was fantastic and a great game for tennis fans who want to use a Dualshock to play simulated matches. On the other hand, the Move capabilities were not earth-shattering. It just didn’t feel like real tennis.

Today, I’m reviewing Virtua Tennis 4, which is fitting as the US Open is going on right now as I write this. In many ways, Virtua Tennis 4 is the polar opposite of Top Spin 4. While Top Spin 4 focused on an accurate simulation of tennis and its players and stadiums (right down to the swings and the grunts of the players and paying for licensing of the names of the tournaments), Virtua Tennis doesn’t go into as much detail in that regard. On the other hand, Top Spin 4 (as its predecessors were) is a great “arcade style” tennis game. And its implementation of the Move controller make IT the reigning champion as far as a realistic-feeling tennis game for the PS3.

Using the Move controllers to control your tennis racket is remarkably realistic. Unlike Top Spin 4, you can control most strokes with the controller itself, not by mashing buttons. A slice is a slice, top spin is top spin, and a lob is a lob. To approach the net, you take a step forward. To serve, you swing the controller up and then down.

While Top Spin 4 had a “TV camera perspective” view, Virtua Tennis lets you see the play from the player’s perspective. As in real tennis, you need to hit shots when they’re about waist-high, and you can do so with heavy or light force. I guess it would have been a lot more of a workout if any running had been involved, but the system does all the running for you. Still, at higher difficulty levels, you’re going to be doing a lot of arm movement. After playing through several times, I was actually working up a little sweat.

The biggest problem with this game is that the Move can only be used in a tiny portion of the game, namely the Motion Play Mode. You can’t use Move controllers in the rest of the game, including the main “Tournament Mode” portion. My guess is that the developers didn’t know about the Move until they were already well into development, and so they only had time to fit it into a small part of the game.

This is a demo match I played between Federer and Nadal on “Easy” difficulty (you can download and play the same demo in the Playstation Store).

Overall, I’d rate this game a 3.5 out of 5 stars. Don’t get me wrong–the Move functionality is the best I’ve seen for a Tennis game on any system. But you’ll be disappointed if you pay the retail price of $49.99 for this “Playstation Move compatible” game only to find that you can only use the Move on 10% of the game. I hope for Sega’s sake that they’re working on a fully Move compatible Virtual Tennis 5 right now. As far as this one, if you’re a big tennis fan, I’d say it’s worth it once the price drops below $20.

Review of Kung Fu Live for Playstation 3

Every now and again, you come across a game that changes everything. I have just played that game on the Playstation.

It’s called Kung-Fu Live. And it is the best exercise game I have played on the Playstation 3 to date. In fact, it ranks among the best fitness game I’ve played on any system.

And the strangest thing of all is that it’s not a $60 game from a big name company like Electronic Arts or THQ or Ubisoft. It’s from a little studio called Virtual Air Guitar company, who made it available for download on the Playstation Network for $14.99. That’s right, $14.99.

The best way I can describe Kung Fu Live is that it’s a fighting game like Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat. Only instead of using a game controller, you use your body. That’s right, just your body. Virtual Air Guitar has brilliantly brought Kinect-like functionality to the PS3. You only need the Playstation Eye camera–you don’t need your Dualshock controller nor even the Move controllers. You kick and your on-screen character kicks. You punch, and your on-screen character punches.

Oh yes, about your on-screen character. It’s YOU. That’s right, not an avatar, not a cartoon version of you, but your actual real-time video image that’s visible on the screen, interacting with the comic book enemies that are coming at you at all sides.

Before you begin play you need to set up the system to your own room and lighting conditions.  You see a video image of yourself and you need to select from some options to try to get the image so that your own image is clear, but any images in the background are blocked out. There are four pre-defined options you can choose from, or you can go into advanced mode and tweak different settings until your image is as clean as possible. As with the Kinect, you can select menu items by pointing to them on the screen–no controller necessary.

I should say that because this is very early technology, it’ll take some time to get your image right, and even then there will be glitches (for example, imperfections and noise in your image or background objects coming through). This is understandable, given that they’re trying something new that’s never been done before on a system that wasn’t designed for it (which is probably why they opted to release the game on PSN first).

For best results the lighting in your room needs to be perfect. I had no problems playing during the day with natural sunlight coming into the room; playing at night was a little more difficult, I had to adjust the different lamps in my room to try to get it right. For best results, play against a white wall and wear dark clothes (or vice-versa). If you’re wearing dark clothes, clear away any similarly-colored furniture or fixtures behind you. It might take a little effort, but it’s worth it.

Once you have your video image set, that’s where the fun begins.

As the game starts, the screen zooms in and lets you read through the pages of a beautifully designed and illustrated comic book. You’re literally the main character in the comic book.  You follow a story of a young man who’s on his first day in a comic book store.

In the first “Chapter”, after the comic book pages conclude you’re brought to a tutorial where you learn how to fight. The moves are very intuitive. To punch to the left or right, you punch. To kick to the left or right, you kick. You can move your onscreen character forward by either punching in or slightly moving your body in that direction. To jump, you jump. To do a flip, you jump but angle your body forward or backward. As you progress through the game, there are other more complex moves, all of which are still very intuitive. A “power punch” can be done by punching with both fists. A “slam” can be done by jumping up and the pounding the ground with your fists. You can even hurl lighting by raising a leg and holding your arms up! Again, as you do it in real life, you see your actual image doing it in the game.

When you finish the tutorial you’re brought back to Chapter 2.

In Chapter 2, the comic book pages show that character is closing up the comic book store and is attacked by a gang who’s after something that’s in the store. After this, you’re brought to a full scene in the comic book where you have to defeat each of your attackers using all the moves you learned in Chapter 1. As with traditional fighting games, a gauge will show you how much health you have versus your attackers. The game gets progressively harder as you move through it, but again,  I always felt in control. As I got more confident, I’d unleash new attacks like combo moves and air attacks and punching and kicking high and low.

The story continues through more chapters. I didn’t want to stop playing, the only thing that stopped me was that I was exhausted!

Here’s a video of my gameplay. Faithful readers of this blog (and my other ones) will know that I’m far too bashful to have my image shown in these videos (I have no desire to be the next Rebecca Black), so I concocted a black “ninja” outfit for purposes of this review, complete with a ninja mask I made out of a scarf and hoodie. 😛 (As you can see, I had to drag out an old bedsheet to cover up my dark sofa to improve the system’s detection of me). But once I finished the video, I will admit to going shirtless and releasing my inner Bruce Lee for Chapters 3 and beyond (again, no chance anyone will see those videos :P)

Is the game a workout? I’ll say it is! I was kicking and punching opponents left and right and having a grand old time. And the game was surprisingly competitive, but never once did I feel I wasn’t in full control (I can’t even say that all the time with “real” fighting games that use controllers).  And when each round was finished, I was sweating and panting as if I’d just gotten out of a real street fight!

The game is incredibly creative and the developers clearly have a very, very good sense of humor. One of my most favorite features of the game came as a surprise to me. The game asked me to “pose” in various ways–an outline of a body would appear on the screen and I’d have to match it. For example, sometimes you need to pose with your arms stretched out, sometimes you need to get closer to the camera for a closeup, and so on. I realized later while watching the “comic book pages” that they actually included my image WITHIN the comic book pages, so I was literally a part of the story, and the way that your images are used are genius–when I first saw them I couldn’t stop laughing. Again, it’s a use of innovative creativity that makes those “hey look at how funny you look” videos after Kinect games look almost passe.

This game easily catapults to #1 on my list of the top Playstation 3 Fitness Games. I would say it is a must-have if you’re a fan of fighting games and want to see what the future holds for innovative, creative game design. Again, go in with the right expectations–the lighting issues can be challenging and even frustrating at times, but the overall concept and innovation makes it all worth it. The best analogy I can make, and I don’t think I’m being melodramatic here, is that this is sort of like one of Thomas Edison’s first movies. Today, we look back at it as quaint and imperfect, but without those early efforts the motion picture industry would never have started. I suspect ten years from now people will look back at Kung Fu Live and point back to it as ushering a whole new way to think about video games. If I were a big time game manufacturer, I’d be keeping a close eye on the folks at Virtual Air Guitar.

The easiest way to get it is to purchase Kung Fu Live an Online Game Code from Amazon. Just make the purchase from Amazon. You’ll get a code which you can enter in the Playstation Store (click the “Redeem Codes” icon at the top of the screen). Your download will start. The total size is about 874 MB, so it goes quickly.

Looking back at some of the early reviews of this game, a lot of reviewers in the games press panned it. But I think time has vindicated the game–while most reviewers game it a rating of 3 or 4 out of 10, those very same sites’ users have overwhelmingly rated it an average of 7-9. To use another analogy, I suspect that the game reviewers didn’t have time nor patience to configure their lighting properly, and then took it out on the game. But when you take the time to set it up right, you’re in for a treat.

I’ve often said that the mark of a great fitness video game is being so fun that you don’t want to stop playing, even if you’re perspiring, panting, and exhausted. Kung Fu Live is one of those games. 5 out of 5 stars. This one is a winner.

Review of UFC Personal Trainer for PS3 Move

UFC Personal Trainer is a title by THQ that’s been released on the Wii, the Xbox 360 with Kinect, and the version we’ll be reviewing today, the Playstation 3 with Move. It’s an intense workout title that uses celebrities from the world of UFC and mixed martial arts to provide training.

Our sister site XboxFitness.Org has a review of UFC Personal Trainer for Kinect. The games are practically identical between both platforms from a functional point of view. You start out by selecting your gender and entering your age, height, and weight. You then select whether you want to use one motion controller or two. A video will appear of a UFC fighter giving you a “pep talk” which sounds a little more like a legal disclaimer: Check with your doctor before exercising, wear the proper gear, stay hydrated, warm up, and get plenty of rest.

After this, you go through a fitness test, where you perform as many sit-ups as you can in one minute (holding the Move controller in your right hand) and then perform as many push-ups as you can in one minute (strapping the Move controller to your leg). I was surprised at how good the motion detection was, although granted I did have to make sure I was in camera range (much easier done on the Playstation than the Kinect version which requires a TON of room).

Next, I had to perform jumping jacks for 1 minute to get my heart rate up. After one minute a timer appeared and had me take my pulse over 15 seconds, from which it calculated my active heartrate.

At this point I was assigned a “fitness level”. As with the Kinect version, I was deemed a “beginner” even though I did a ton of sit-ups and jumping jacks (my guess is it was my inabiliy to do push-ups that kept me at beginner level). This of course was fine with me.

After the test, you’re brought to a menu. The first option is “Workouts”. You can select one of three UFC fighters: Mark Delagrotte, Greg Jackson, and Javier Mendez, to walk you through a set of custom workouts. After watching a video intro of your trainer, you can choose from 20 pre-made workouts per trainer or you can also create and save custom workouts.

Each of the 20 pre-defined workouts that take you through conditioning, working out different parts of the body, and even teaching some MMA techniques. Here’s Mark Delagrotte’s upper body workout:

The first thing you’ll probably notice is that it’s very, very long. Across the board, the workouts spend far too much time with warm-up and cool-down stretches, leaving barely any time for the actual fitness. If you decide to get the game, chances are you’ll need to create custom workouts with one or two stretching exercises instead of overdoing it like they do with the pre-made workouts.

Another thing I noticed is that a lot of the arm exercises would have been much more effective with resistance. Hand weights are obviously out of the question (one area where the Kinect excels), but Resistance Bands designed for use with Wii remotes could certainly be used.

Besides Workouts, you have the following other options:

Quick workouts – these are essentially truncated versions of the full workouts, complete with warm-up, exercises targeted to a specific goal, and then cool-down.

Activities – these are “fun” activities that you can perform with virtual equipment, including heavy punching bags, a speed bag, a heavy tire, and hitting the mitts of your favorite UFC fighter. While the simulation was definitely good and the motion controls accurate, all of the activities were just a little bit off the real thing. And again, because these exercises all use both Move controllers and not the leg strap, any exercise involving the lower body is on the “honor system”. As you can see here, I had some difficulty with the Tire Flip, but finally got it after adjusting my leg strap.

Program – Here, you can choose from different programs to meet certain goals. There’s a strength building program, a weight loss program, and an endurance building program for 30 days or 60 days. When you select a program, you’ll be brought to a calendar where you can see which specific workouts you’ll do on each day during that time.

Multiplayer Games – You can challenge a friend to compete in a workout activity side by side, by taking turns in Hot Seat mode, and online over the Playstation Network. The activities are limited to Tire Flip or Speed Bag for side by side challenges and to Hit the Miitts, Tire Flip, and Speed Bag for Hot Seat mode. For Playstation Network challenges, you’re limited to Hit the Mitts.

Player Tracker – Here’s where you can view all of your statistics and history.

It’s hard not to immediately make comparisons between the Playstation and the Kinect versions. The graphics on the Playstation are clearly superior to the Kinect’s. The live-action videos that appear throughout the game are clearer, and even the cartoony renditions of the UFC fighters are slightly less cartoony on the PS3. Also, certain exercises are much more precise on the Playstation than the Kinect. Anything involving upper body movements and punches is extremely precise on the Playstation, while with the Kinect it’d occasionally miss detecting quick movements. Having said that, I think they could have done a little more precision detection with the Playstation; during punching exercises I’d do a jab when I should have done a hook and vice-versa, but the system would credit me for all of it.

Where the Kinect shines is in full body detection. With the Kinect, during every exercise you see a silhouette image of yourself and the system does a fairly good job of detecting you. With the Playstation, any exercise involving lower-body movement requires you to strap a Move controller to your leg. The motion detection is pretty good, but for certain exercises the system doesn’t bother using motion controls at all–in those cases you’re basically on the “honor system” to do the exercise right.

I gave the Xbox version 4 out of 5 stars. As for the Playstation version, I think it deserves the same 4 out of 5 stars, but for different reasons. The accuracy of upper body controls is clearly superior, but on the other hand, the total lack of full body motion detection and the inability to use hand weights puts it at a disadvantage.

All in all, I found UFC Personal Trainer for PS3 to be a great workout, and like its Kinect counterpart its probably the most intense workout you’ll get with a Playstation fitness game–the “fitness test” alone was exhausting, and even at “beginner” level, I was having a hard time keeping up. If you’re a UFC fan and looking to get fit, you’re going to love the detail of the integration with UFC personalities and environments. If you’re not a UFC fan, it’s a good game if you are looking for an intense workout, perhaps at the expense of optimal use of motion controls or the PS3 Eye Camera. Otherwise, you might want to consider another game like EA Sports Active 2 (the best overall workout program), Get Fit with Mel B (the best cardio workout with innovative use of the PS3 camera), or Fit in Six (best if you’re looking for a huge variety of workouts).

So far, I don’t think any PS3 Fitness game publisher has hit it completely out of the park yet in terms of coming up with a game that’s a ton of fun and while also provides a good workout. It will be interesting to see if THQ’s own miCoach Premium lives up to the hype when it’s released in 2012.

Review of Top Spin 4 for Playstation Move

ps3 tennis for exercise

A while ago I posted a review of Top Spin 4 for the Wii on our sister site Nutwiisystem.com. I was a wee bit underwhelmed (no pun intended). As much as I love the Wii, it does have its limitations as far as precision and graphics goes.

When it came time to review the game on the Playstation, I had high expectations. The Move is much more precise than the Wii remote, and the graphics of the PS3 are phenomenal.

I’ll start off by saying that Top Spin 4 is excellent as a tennis simulator. The graphics are smooth, fast, and realistic, down to the facial features and characteristics of the players (most of the top stars of today are represented). You can see Nadal’s leap and hear Serena’s grunts. Serves, volleys, and reactions are extremely well captured. If you’re a tennis fan, you can have a blast just playing the game with your Dualshock controller.

Of course, this blog talks about PS3 Fitness, so the burning question is–can this come close to simulating a real tennis game?

I’ll say that it comes closer than any motion control game before it, including EA Sports Grand Slam Tennis for the Wii (which used the Wii Remote Plus) and the awful Racquet Sports. Unlike the Wii version, where you just wag the remote and let the buttons do the rest, the Playstation Move allows you to control much more of the game using motion controls. One annoying thing is that every time you start the game, you need to reassign the Move Controller from 7 to 4 and to “calibrate” the controls by pressing buttons. I’m not sure why they couldn’t just make everything work seamlessly like in Sports Champions, but perhaps the publishers were new at programming for the Move and just didn’t know any better.

You can use your Move controller to perform each kind of tennis swing and to serve. To swing, you simply rear your arm back and then swing your arm forward, like a real tennis racket. If you swing your arm forward, you’ll hit a flat shot. If you swing forward and upward in a “U” shaped motion, you’ll be able to put top spin on the ball. If you swing while holding the “T” button, you’ll perform a slice.

How hard you swing matters too. As in real tennis, you can hit a power shot by making a broad backwards movement with your arm and powering your arm forward quickly. Likewise, you can hit a control shot by using very short preparation and swing motions.

Other kinds of shots do require buttons. You can press L2 (on the Navigation Controller) to perform a lob. You can also hold down L1 and move your joystick forwards or backwards to approach the net or retreat respectively.

You will need a PlayStation Move Navigation Controller to make your player run and aim your shots with the joystick (the Dualshock works too, much is much clunkier in your hands).

As I said, the graphics are phenomenal. All of the grand slam venues are reproduced to amazing accuracy, and you can customize your players to the smallest details, even to the sound he or she makes when grunting during a shot or the dance he or she makes after a victory.

I have to admit I was a little disappointed at the implementation of the swing. It seemed just a little sluggish and didn’t match my movements 1:1. Serving feels completely disjointed, as if all you have to do is raise and lower your hands, and you’ll hit a perfect serve each time. In that sense, it was a lot like the Wii. It’s hard not to make comparisons and wonder why they couldn’t match Sports Champions ping pong, where your movements are literally matched exactly and you can do even subtle things like rotate your racquet by turning your wrists. None of that here.

As for the “workout” value, there really isn’t much to speak of. I do think that if the swinging was implemented a little more realistically, it might be a fun game to play over and over. But in this game, it feel like the Move controller was more or less and afterthought to a game that was designed first and foremost to be played with handheld controllers.  As such, I’d give it a 4.5 for gameplay, but a 2.5 for Move implementation, so I’ll average it out at 3.5 stars out of 5.  If you’re a die-hard tennis fan, it’s worth it for the game, if not for the Move implementation or workout potential.

3.5 of 5 stars.

Review of Fit in Six for Playstation Move

A few weeks ago I published a review of Fit in Six for the Wii on our sister site, Nutwiisystem.com. Long story short, I wasn’t impressed. Among other things, the motion controls on that game where non-existent, the graphics were amateurish, and the interface confusing.

So the questions is, how does Fit in Six for the Playstation fare? I’m happy to say that I am much, much more impressed with this version. It’s not perfect, but given that there aren’t too many other choices for pure fitness games for the Playstation, this one catapults its way to the short list of best PS3 Fitness games.

Like in the Wii version, the “Six” of the title refers to six core areas you need to work out to achieve full body fitness: Balance, Cardio, Core Body, Flexibility, Lower Body, and Upper Body. Every exercise you do in the program will tell you which of the six you’re working on.

There are some colorful summary reports you can pull up that show you how much of each category you’ve worked out over time. It’s a good way to keep track of whether you’re focusing too much on certain body parts while neglecting others.

Fit in six screen

When you start the game, you set up your profile, entering your sex, age, height, weight, and goal (note that you must have a Playstation Account and be logged in with it in order to create a new profile in Fit in Six–no doubt because Ubisoft wants to make sure it’s as easy as possible for you to purchase downloadable content in the future).

In terms of goals, you can choose from the following: Strong Back, Free Your Mind, Find your Balance, Burn off Your Extra Energy, Better Coordination, Better Body Awareness, Active After Break, Gain Muscle Mass, Stress Reliever, Shape Your Body, Healthy Heart, Secure Standing, Fight Cellulite, and Lose Weight. Each of these focuses on at least two of “The Six”. Depending on what you choose for your goal, you’ll be able to choose from about 25 different recommended classes to meet your goal.

You can also click the square button on your controller to view all the Classes you can choose from, which are divided into these categories: Cardio (14 workouts), Upper Body (7 workouts), Core Body (8 workouts), Lower Body (8 workouts), Fit for Life (9 workouts), Boot Camp (10 workouts), Kickboxing (8 workouts), Cardio Dance (9 workouts), Pilates (7 workouts), Latin Dance (9 workouts), Dance Moves (10 workouts), and Challenges (6 workouts).

The number of workouts I’ve provided here are the free workouts that come with the game–you’ll also see certain workouts that have a price under them (typically $1.99 USD) which represent downloadable content you can use to expand the game. I admit, while I don’t oppose downloadable content, it does tick me off just a little bit when companies make you purchase content which should have been included in the game to begin with (several exercises “for sale” by Ubisoft fall under this category).

Here’s a sample workout under “Cardio” called “Raise your Heart Rate”. As with the Get Fit with Mel B review, I’m too bashful to let you see my face 🙂

Here’s another workout called under “Kickboxing” called “Pure Power Punching”

The workouts themselves are very good. They teach you excellent technique for a staggering amount of exercises that cover just about every aspect of cardio fitness you could want.

About half of them use one Move controller (you can identify these by a glowing blue ball icon in the corner of the menu option), and the other half don’t. The Move controller is actually not critical to the game, but it’s a nice addition. You’ll see a colored “swoosh” next to your on-screen trainer’s left hand, and another colored “swoosh” marking out your own Move controller’s trail. By matching up the two, it’s another good visual cue that you’re following the trainer’s motions correctly. If your motions match the trainer’s you’ll be rewarded with bonus points and a “great!” or “good!” compliment. This is all in addition your video image is right next to the trainer, allowing you to match his or her moves one to one. I also like how the camera zooms and rotates on your trainer during the game, which ensure that you see the trainer from every angle and thus can mimic his moves (something missing from the Wii version).

There are other things I really like about this game. Aesthetically, it’s beautiful, from the colorful images that make up its menu options, to the soothing natural images of the backgrounds, to the beautifully rendered graphics that surround you when you’re doing the workout.

Also, if you’re getting a little sick and tired of the generic music that accompanies these kinds of games, you can actually upload your own music tracks to use during workouts.

Overall, I’d put this game on par with Get Fit with Mel B. There are a number of similarities, from the split-screen approach to the energetic music with a driving beat. I’d give Fit in Six a little bit of an edge for the sheer number of workouts it has. Overall, if you’re looking to use your Playstation Move for fitness, this is not a bad one to choose.

4 out of 5 stars.

Playstation Move Heroes Review

PlayStation Move Heroes is a game which uses the Playstation Move, and also features characters from several previous popular Playstation franchises by Sony, including Rachet and Clank, Sly Cooper, and Jak and Dexter. In all honesty, the game’s weak storyline has little to do with any of those three franchises–Sony obviously just conveniently brought them all together in an obvious hope to get existing fans of all three franchises interested in the Move.

I wouldn’t call Playsation Move Heroes an exercise game per se, nor would I call it a platformer in the sense that the three games from which the game’s heroes come from are. Still, it is a great representation of what is possible with the Sony Move. The implementation of Move controllers is phenomenal, and again shows how the Move’s precision is far superior than the Wii or even the Xbox Kinect.

The game consists of mini-games which take you through each respective Heroes’ world. The games are all “first person shooter” point of view, where your character runs through the worlds. I’d say that the Navigation controller is a must-have for this game, as you’ll be controlling the characters’ motions using the joystick–it’s possible with the Dualshock but not nearly as comfortable.

Within the game you’ll wield various “weapons”.

– The Whip – This is an electronic “whip” which you’ll use Indiana Jones-style to whip enemies (mainly clueless-but-vicious robots), as well as grab them and use them as objects to bowl over other enemies and objects.

– Bowling – Here, you wield an explosive bowling ball which will bowl over everything in its path before you detonate it by pressing the Move button. While it ball is in motion, you can control it using the Move controller with unprecedented accuracy.

– Sword – This game feels a lot like the swordfighting game in Sports Champions. Again, you’ll face off against robots by wielding the sword. The motion controls again are one-to-one and extremely precise.

-Flying Disk – Here, you flick a flying disc like a frisbee (as in Sports Champions, you hold down the trigger button and release it as you flick your wrist). As with the Bowling weapon, you can control the trajectory of the disc as it flies through the air with your Move controller and detonate it with the Move button.

– Gun – A good old fashioned shooter where you hold a gun and blast everything in your path. Great for releasing stress.

I’ll be honest, the storyline is not even worth talking about–it’s some weak premise not even worth trying to describe here. But the star of the game are the motion controllers, which really show off the capabilities of the Move, and where the Move currently excels over the Wii and the Kinect, i.e., in its precision, if not in its immersion (Kinect) nor its overall fun (Wii).

The co-star of the game are the graphics. They’re rendered in beautiful high definition (720p) and do justice visually to each of the franchises it’s borrowing its characters from.

If I had complaints about the game, it’s just that the first-person element of the game can be a bit confusing and even nauseating at times. It takes a lot of getting used to it running and then trying to turn towards the enemy when one is close (you supposedly can press the “L2” button to automatically center on the enemy, but I’ve found it to be hit or miss, especially when you’re surrounded).

To sum up, I’d give the Playstation Move implementation a solid 5 of 5, the graphics a 4.5 of 5, the exercise value a 3 of 5, and the entertainment value (i.e. the storyline) a 2 of 5. In short, I’ll give the overall game a 3.5 of 5…not a game you’ll necessarily want to rush out and get solely because you’re a fan of any of the franchises, but certainly a fun set of mini-games to play in a party setting to show off your Playstation Move.