For a long time now, there have been 3 heroes on Playstation consoles. These heroes and their respective sidekicks have kicked butt, saved their worlds and attained fame, all while helping Sony keep the fans happy and the Playstation disc readers busy. Now Ratchet, along with Clank, Jak & Daxter and Sly, helped by Bentley, tackle the Playstation 3 and Move controls for a new generation of gamers. This is the first time all 3 of these guys have been grouped together into one game, and indeed, this is the first time most of them have been on the PS3. So, yea, you could say that the developers had a heavy burden placed upon. The burden to not mess up, and to continue the legacy that these characters have built.
All three of the adventurers are on missions when suddenly they are mysteriously transported to a strange, alien world. Seeing as how none of them have seen each before, there is an understandable amount of superstition amongst them. Out of nowhere, a nasty looking alien informs the trio that they have all been so good about protecting their worlds that now it is time to compete against each other for ultimate bragging rights; a Heroes’ Olympic, if you will. Clank and Bentley then surmise that somehow their home worlds have been paused, much like TiVo. All three parties then agree that yes, a little competition would be nice. After all, they are there anyway, right?
Cut to the nasty aliens again though, and it appears that a trap is afoot. Will our brave animals and other scruffy, lovable characters make it out alive? Its tough to say, but I have reason to believe that they do. It is unfortunate that getting to that point is a long and sluggish affair though. Although each and every one of the franchises comes from a respected pedigree of games that usually had entertaining, if not outright awesome stories, it is a little disappointing how clichéd and boring the plot in this game is. Although it obviously started out interesting enough as mentioned above, things quickly took a turn for the worse and nothing much in the way of super exciting stuff happens. As a result, there is a little construction of character development, and the oppurtunity to cleverly write some interesting interactions between the 3 drastically different heros is wasted.
Moving on to gameplay, matters take an even bigger turn for the worse. Playstation Move Heroes is basically just a collection of mini games that occasionally make use of the gameplay elements that made these heroes heroic in the first place. The first collection will have you have throwing a futuristic looking frisbee at cages. After the frisbee is thrown, it is possible to control it with the Playstation Move wand. Once you a hit a cage, the prisoner inside is allowed to escape, and you are one step closer to a gold medal on that challenge. Hooray.
Other activities include bowling through crazy explosive environments, still trying to free prisoners, this time by using the bowling ball (which can can explode) to collect crystals, which in turn fuels a rocket, which in turn will take off and free the convict. Okay.
The most exciting of the modes is combat. Protecting the cages from robots or just plain killing mechanical enemies is always a highlight in any game, and this game thankfully makes no excpetion. Whether it is with Ratchet’s Wrench, or a huge ass whip, there is nothing better than bringing the pain down. The Move controls add an interesting touch to this formula as well. It does give a better feel to the experience, as I actually felt like I was swing a massive wrench and taking down goons. Other controls like dodging and shielding are also well implemented, although there were slight hiccups in the camera and movement department. Namely, sometimes it felt very sluggish, or the camera would get stuck.
It really is a shame though that the great combat implemented could not have been used in a more creative way. These franchises have been known for having amazing platforming and combat. Since the foundation for all of them has already been laid, there should have been no reason why a terrific game with an actual campaign, multi-player and the works was not implemented. A lame collection of repetitive mini games is no substitute for quality, and even some great controls in combat can not fix that. It feels like this was just a lazy cash in to promote motion controls, and the only way to attract the hardcore crowd was to put respected franchise characters into the game. But glorified tech demos, like frisbee and bowling, is a sure way to merely alienate those most interested in seeing these legendary characters be a success.
One of the most hyped features of the game was coop. Unfortunately, coop is an even worse experience in this game. A friend can help take the sting out the dull nature of the game, but the coop is still a mess of broken gameplay that will quickly leave you feeling angry and frustrated.
As far as graphics go, I would say that all the character models looked pretty spot on. Backgrounds and environments looked acceptable, but they are far from being the best that the system has to offer. I did appreciate the colors used though. This is a very colorful game, and that helped dispell a little of the boredom. A little more variety in palette would have gone a long way though.
Audio in the game is also acceptable. The original voice actors were brought on board for this project, and they add a nice touch to the game. To bad that the rest of the game does not support their hard work and talent.
In conclusion, this game is just not good. A solid foundation was already laid down by these franchises.
|Nihilistic needed to build a game that respected the roots of each franchise while creating a new experience. Yes, that would have been more work, but designing a slovenly collection of mini-games is much worse. Uninspired gameplay nearly ruins everything in the game, and hopefully the next sequels to each respective franchise can fix the horror that was done to them this round.|