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PlayStation Move review

Sony takes motion control to the next level

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With Sports Champions sitting happily alongside Wii Sports Resort on our shelf, the obvious test for Move was to put it up against Nintendo's offering. There are several like-for-like games here, so how do they compare?

Table Tennis

A tricky one. The Wii version offered a huge amount of control over the spin on your ball, but you still had control over your Mii's movement, and the accuracy of your swing didn't matter as long as the timing was right.

Move couldn't be more different. By stepping left, right, forwards and backwards, your character will do the same, enabling you to get in close for smashes, or to get back for a powerful top spin return.

You also need to think about the height of the ball, because it's quite possible to just swing at air underneath it.

Playstation move

Serving on Sports Champions is a nightmare, though. Not a single one of the people we got to play could get the hang of it.

Of course, adding elaborate physics to a sports game just means it can go wrong. Attempts to put slice on the ball can result in it pinging off at ridiculous angles for no discernible reason, probably in part due to the precision the game demands from you and Move. Precision that is there, but is hard to master.

Wii Sports Resort is the arcade version, wanting you to put crazy spin on the ball, but this Sports Champions is all simulation. If you want to put tonnes of side spin on, you'd better get some damn practice in.

Winner: Sports Champions

Disc Golf

Though there's no proper golf on Sports Champtions, which is a bit of a shame (though perhaps not unexpected, with Tiger Woods 11 already out), we do have a good ol' Frisbee to toss about.

There's barely anything between these two, in terms of the control system. Sports Champions seems to be a tad more forgiving in that it's slightly easier to throw the disc straight in front of you, but both games have totally convincing curves and wind effects in flight.

Winner: Draw

Bowling/Bocce

Okay, so this isn't exactly like for like in terms of the games, but the control scheme is the same for the pair, so it's a good comparison.

In Sports Champions, how much momentum you get on the Bocce balls from a throw can occasionally be a bit inconsistent. Throw the pallino hard and low on the S-shaped course and it occasionally only travels about 10 metres, while other times it rockets round the course, though you're sure you threw it pretty much the same.

Playstation move

It's also hard to really get the hang of left and right spin on the Move game, especially compared to Wii Sports Resort's bowling. We've always found that the Wii bowling game produces exactly the same slight left spin that we have in real life, and that adding a different spin is a just a matter of subtle wrist action.

Winner: Wii Sports Resort

Archery

To keep this fair, we compared the Wii remote-and-Nunchuck Archery game to using two motion controllers at once on Sports Champions.

The Wii version was always one of the most impressive MotionPlus demos, with every twitch and sag of the your arm translated to the screen. At first, Move really disappointed us. Control was laggy and accuracy was very tough.

However, it was then pointed out to us that, while we had made some effort to adopt a correct archery pose, we weren't doing it properly. So we turned fully 90 degrees from the TV, outstretched our arm all the way and tried again.

Playstation move

Suddenly, movement was perfect. Going from target to target is smooth (though you get more of an aiming aid from Sports Champions than from Resort), and using the second controller to bring arrows into the bow yourself gives you a great Robin Hood feeling.

The only thing we missed from the Wii version is a way to readjust where the centre of your aiming is (for example, you can aim slightly below the TV as your centre, so you're arm doesn't get in the way). This would be even more welcome on Move, due to the distraction of the glowing orb.

Yes, it's less realistic, but real archers don't have lights on their bows. However, this doesn't take away from the accuracy of the controls.

Winner: Draw

Swordplay/Gladiator Duel

The addition of shields in Gladiator Duel makes Sports Champions offering a little more elaborate than Resort's, but it's still swords.

Alas, the Swordplay game on the Wii was always a bit of a disappointment, because the actual hits tended to be restricted to vertical vs horizontal swipes and blocks. Despite the appearance of attacks at different angles, it pretty much boils down to those gestures, wasting the accuracy of MotionPlus.

Gladiator Duel makes good on these promises, especially with two controllers (for the sword and shield respectively). Attacks do more damage if you hit harder, but there's still the classic situation where a casual swing suddenly deals a huge amount of damage and you're not sure why.

Playstation move

To be honest, the swing strength detection is kind of inconsequential because everyone always swings hard anyway. The trick here is in careful use of your shield and timing and angle of attacks. In this, it's hugely impressive, and Move's accuracy enables truly tactical bouts.

Winner: Sports Champions