Will PS Move change the way we play games?

The video below shows the possible future games we could be seeing with the all  new PS move due released on the 15th of September in Singapore!

I like the chameleon demo (3:05) where the person ‘moves’ around the tree branches as a chameleon. The movement looks intuitive to me and is definitely novel. The other demo at 4:47 is the ability of PS Move to create the skeleton for the upper body movement. However, how far would game developers be able to make full use of this technology is still pretty much unknown. A point to note too is that  in some of the demo, there is a need for two PS Move controllers. This mean that Sony may have a problem with pricing for the upcoming war with Microsoft Kinect which needs only a single Kinect Sensor Device.

Also few game titles have been announced so far that make use of the PS Move interface such as Little Big Planet 2 and Sorcery. However, not all of these games required PS Move. Some of which is PS Move Featured meaning having the PS Move controller is optional.

With all the marketing hype about the PS Move, (Sony even engaged some kawaii girls to promote PS Move, see video below), I was contemplating whether to get one myself so I went online to look at the games offered for PS Move. Sadly, none of them prove to be promising enough and I began to wonder whether PS Move is really going to change the way we play games.

I was at Comex today and chanced upon a demo of PS Move! Although I didn’t get to play it, the demo was not really inspiring and did not entice me to pre-order from the booth.

 

The reason is that the two games I saw were unimpressive and looked like a Wii game to me. The first game was “Start The Party!” where I saw a kid swiping flies with the PS Move controller. The game seems so Wii-like and uninteresting. Perhaps it can keep your kids entertain for a while. Sony’s attempt at entering the market cannot depend on game like this and they would have to find game developers who can make use of PS Move to make novel family-oriented games.

The other game I saw was called “Kung Fu Rider”. Basically it is a game where you control a guy on an office chair cruising  down the street of perhaps HongKong (judging from the background). The player has to keep shaking the controller up and down for the person to move. Other than the wacky expressive character in the game, I feel that this game is again too Wii-like for my taste.

Anyway the pre-order was sold out! Wow…Singaporean sure have the money!

To sum it up, PS Move needs a breakthrough game that can utilize the new controller in a way we’ve never seen before. It should be able to change the way we perceive game playing and truly bring a new experience to the gamers. I would patiently await the day for this game before jumping onto the bandwagon!

Feel the beat of Rhythm Game!

  By now, most of you should know about Dance Central. This latest game belongs to the genre of rhythm games, also known as rhythm action, and is developed by Harmonix Music System (the same guys who brought you Rock Band and Guitar Hero). Dance Central is the perfect game that utilized the full-motion capture capability of the Kinect. Unlike previous dancing games like Para Para Paradise and the older Dance Dance Revolution, your full body movement is captured by the system and your moves will be evaluated by the game.

 I simply cannot hide my excitement for Dance Central. But alas, the uniqueness of the Kinect System makes the game possible only on Xbox 360. So PS3 owners like me can either get a Xbox 360, or wait for the PS3 version which could be coming out according to Kotaku.com. I do wonder how I am supposed to dance with the PS Move motion controller. I think the experience will still be better with Kinect controller-less system.

I remember the very first rhythm-action game I had played was PaRappa the Rapper. It was on Playstation One and I really enjoyed the music with its’ weird but funny lyrics. Oh I still remember the master of the Dojo, Chop Chop Master Onion! Hayatatatacha! Kick! Punch! 

Then came the time when Dance Dance Revolution started sprouting at arcades all over the place. I bought a PS Dance mat with the game and started dancing my way at home. It was so addictive that I played for many long hours straight sweating like a dog after each session. Who says gaming makes you fat? And I think Dance Central will be a perfect ‘slimming game’ that can easily beat the Wii Fit.

 

After the success of Dance Dance Revolution, we see the rise of another dance machine, Para Para Paradise. I am, however, no fan of this game. I have seen youngsters flaunting their dance skills in front of the machine but I simply couldn’t get the beat and mechanism right. I failed terribly during my first and last try on the Para Para machine. But I do really have to admit that some of the Para Para-ers were really great dancers. With Para Para Paradise, dancing in front of a machine is one step closer to the real dance.

 

More rhythm-action games soon followed such as Beat Mania, Drum Mania, Rock Band, Guitar Hero and my favourite Taiko Drum Master! I am now waiting eagerly for the release of Dance Central and hoping to see it soon on PS3. This would probably be a game that all gamers can play with their girlfriends or wifes. Perfect!:)

Final Final Fantasy?

Will FF XIII be the last FF of its kind?

Final Fantasy XIII was released with much fanfare and excited many FF fans around the world (I myself included). However, FF XIII had met with some criticisms mainly on the linearity of the game and lack of side quests. Having played and completed the game, I’ve found this FF title enjoyable and certainly worth playing. While the game may really be quite linear at times (sometimes you just have to keep walking through monster-littered path until you reach the next cut-scene), the battle system is by far the most fast-paced and challenging of all times.

Now after completing FF XIII, am I looking forward towards the next installment? I am afraid not. Final Fantasy XIV (now even the Roman number is getting a bit messy…) is going to be a MMORPG similar to FF XI. I, myself, am not any MMORPG fan. I prefer the good old FF RPG style. According to some reports, FF XIII maybe the last FF installment that features the ‘old’ single player RPG. The way to go for future FF installments is going to be MMORPG.

FF14 is going to be a MMOPRG

This is a real bad news for FF fans like me who still prefer the single player RPG style. I hope SquareEnix will not forget about gamers like me and keep making more FF installment like FF XIII. I do see why SquareEnix is moving on to MMORPG. After all, MMORPG has a longer playing hours then traditional FF titles. Furthermore, subscription-based games can generate more revenue for them.
After playing almost the entire FF series (I’ve even tried FF I, II, III, IV, V and VI), I feel that the awesome fantasy world created by Square should be left to explore even after the player completed the game. However, after completing all possible side-quest, there is simply nothing to do! This could be the reason why SquareEnix is moving on to MMORPG, a realm where the virtual fantasy world could be perpetual (if they keep updating with quests and attract enough players).

FF XIV gameplay - Picture Courtesy of SquareEnix

Therefore, I would like to propose a new genre for the FF series, SPMMORPG 🙂 . It stands for ‘Single Player Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game. Basically, the game will still feature a main single player storyline similar to past title (with nice cut-scene of course!), but after completing the game, the player can now explore the world in a MMORPG setting. If any of the SquareEnix staff happens to read this article, do help me propose this idea for FFXV. I am sure that game will be a hit! Or at least I would be buying it!

Anyway, kudos to the FF XIII team for coming out with such a nice game. Hope to see a better FF XV!
By the way, there is a poll for favourite FF female characters at our forum here. Do cast your vote!

PS: For those who don’t own a PS3 or Xbox 360 but wish to see how the game is like, there is a person who painstakingly uploaded the entire full gameplay with cut scene onto youtube! Below is the second video of the 90 over parts. Amazing stuff!