There’s a pretty good chance that those of you who picked up Sony’s PlayStation Move motion controller when it launched around this time last year are now thinking to yourselves: What the heck? Why’d I buy this vaguely phallic gizmo anyway?
Move-only games such as PlayStation Move Heroes and The Fight have pretty much tanked, and meatier looking titles like Sorcery keep getting bumped back. Aside from sports franchises like Tiger Woods PGA Tour and Virtua Tennis incorporating Wii-like motion controls in their latest editions and a few shooters that support the Move’s realistic rifle peripheral – which feels great to fire but makes navigation more difficult – there just isn’t much to do with Sony’s precise-but-pricey motion controller.
That’s why I was delighted to spend a little time with the latest downloadable pack for U.K.-based Media Molecule’s top notch platform adventure game LittleBigPlanet 2 . The new content provides players plenty of fun things to do with Sony’s glow-stick.
Dubbed simply LittleBigPlanet 2 Move Pack, this $9.99 add-on offers a short story that tells the tale of an evil creature known as the Cakeling. Angered at her existence as a thing perpetually on the verge of being eaten, she begins kidnapping peaceful sackbots and eventually attempts to turn them into a cake to show them what it’s like to be a foodstuff.
The story is cute, but these levels are essentially a primer, a tech demonstration that shows players the sort of possibilities enabled by Move, and they all revolve around a device called the Brain Crane that allows the player’s sack person to telekinetically move environmental objects. We can slide walls up and down, ratchet levers back and forth, carry some objects to use as shields against harsh elements, and put others in place to use as platforms to cross dangerous hazards. It’s all extremely intuitive and, more importantly, loads of fun.
Also entertaining are the mini-games that players unlock along the way. One has players tilting and turning the controller to manipulate a marble maze, another lets players use the Move’s pointing function to select squares in an addictive little block puzzle game, and yet another involves moving nodes to create walls of energy that block incoming enemies, tower defense-style. The Move is completely in its element in all of these activities. Not once did I lament the lack of a traditional gamepad in my hands.
I was able to burn through all of the new content easily in just a couple of hours. But the real value of the Move Pack comes in the power it confers to the game’s massive community of do-it-yourself level designers to make their own Move-enabled adventures. LittleBigPlanet 2 fans with Move controllers should soon have a treasure trove of free, user-generated Move content to try.
However, I’m still waiting for a truly great, professionally designed, full-length Move game. It’s out there waiting to be made, and I’m pretty sure that if Sony set Media Molecule's brilliant Brits – who in this simple content pack have proven themselves masters of motion-controlled play – to work on it, we’d have our first essential PlayStation Move game before too long.