Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sports Champions Review

Sports Champions is one of the few PlayStation Move launched titles. The game consists of six sports, which are Disc Golf, Gladiator Duel, Archery, Bocce, Table Tennis and Beach Volleyball. Each sport utilises the PlayStation Move controller uniquely. Gladiator Duel, Archery and Beach Volleyball have the option to use a second Move motion controller for more involving gameplay.

Every sport in this game have quite an involving gameplay that could make a standalone PSN game but fall short of a retail game. Though Gladiator Duel and Table Tennis come close. Controls felt very close to the real thing, much more so than the competing motion controller games like Wii Sports for example. The game is trying for the simulation angle rather than easy pickup arcade style. To balance this out the game offers three different cups or tourney, bronze, silver and gold, with more unlockable once the three are completed. At the easier Bronze cup, there are plenty of assists and hints to ease the player into the game. The hand holding gradually ease off as player progresses.

The game is set up much like fighting games. Player chooses one ‘athlete’ and will need to go through each sport defeating each ‘athlete’ in the line up. Like some fighting game there is even some fun bonus round placed somewhere in the middle of progression. Awesome set up but sadly, this game doesn’t have online versus play. Two players versus play requires a lot of room and with sports like Gladiator Duel, playing it feels constricted with another player nearby.

The athletes are designed in caricature style for that iconic look but they look generic in the end. There just isn’t enough character in each athlete design. Stages also look rather bland and uninspired. But everything if functional and better compare to competitors. The amount of time was spent perfecting the control which what really matters really.

Sports Champions is an excellent showcase of PlayStation Move and it is a must have launched title.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

PlayStation Move Review

I’ve been intrigued by the PlayStation Move since the announcement earlier this year. I loved the EyeToy when I got a chance to play it long ago. Anyway, I got the PlayStation Move starter pack, an extra PlayStation Move controller and the Navigation controller. The starter pack includes PS Eye, PlayStation Move as well as a demo disc.

The PlayStation Move controller itself is well build, the orb at the top is made of soft rubbery plastic and the body made of sturdy hard plastic. The orb lights to different colours depending on what the game tells it to do for PS Eye to track. The body has one large face button called Move button surrounded by the typical PlayStation Circle, Cross, Square and Triangle mini buttons. Below this is the Home button and on the opposite side, there is a trigger button. At the side is select and start buttons. In term of ergonomic, it is more comfortable than the DualShock controller or your typical remote control. I do wish they had included a digital pad of some sort though for faster XMB navigation.

The Navigation controller is like half of DualShock controller. It has analog thumb stick, d-pad, the Cross and Circle buttons, the Home button as well as the two trigger buttons. For one reason or another, it lacks the start and select button. The lack of start and select button was rather frustrating, as at least in one demo I had to reach for DualShock controller to press start. It felt light. It’s not as comfortable as the Move controller and there are more comfortable one handed PlayStation controller on the market that make this controller like a poor attempt in designed. For some reason this controller didn’t come with a strap. Even if this controller doesn’t have motion detection capability, your hand holding it will still typically move to balance the other hand with the Move controller. So the lack of wrist strap is puzzling to me.

Calibration of the Move controller typically involves pointing the orb towards the PS Eye, but each game will have different method of calibration, which can become frustrating, as some of the instructions are rather vague. It would be nice if they have a universal calibration for all games.

Once passed the calibration the PlayStation Move works as expected. I was playing Sports Champions and the controller work flawlessly. In Archery, Gladiator and Volleyball there is an option to use a second PlayStation Move controller, and it definitely adds to the experience and fun of those games. For example in Gladiator the first PlayStation Move controller acts as the Weapon while the other controls the shield. Sports Champions offers very high level of player assist for lower difficulty levels a.k.a Bronze Cup, but once you get to higher difficulty a.k.a Gold Cup, you really appreciate the accuracy and precision of the PlayStation Move. It is quiet something else compare to Nintendo Wii or Microsoft Kinect for example.

Lag was minimal in Sports Champions but I noticed certain demos do have higher lag than others, so I guess it’s up to game developers to keep lag as minimal as possible. I really loved the augmented reality style gameplay that was introduced long time ago through Eyetoy. On the demo disc Eyepet and Start the Party have that augmented reality gameplay which I love. The only bad thing about this is that PS Eye is still just a low-end webcam in the end. The picture quality is just acceptable and far from stellar.

Software support is currently slim but there are many games coming out in near future that will add support for PlayStation Move. I am most looking forward to Sega’s Virtua Tennis 4. I am satisfied with the purchased and highly recommend the PlayStation Move to any gamers. I reckon a second PlayStation Move controller is a must for games that can use both of them together. Well done to Sony for bringing this technology onto the market. Maybe a few years too late, but better late than never.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pixar's Up Review

I watched Pixar's Up over the weekend. Honestly, I haven't been keeping up with Pixar's movies like I used too. I have yet to see their last few movies. After seeing, the trailers for Up, I just had to find the time to see it. It looks like a fun movie.

Up started very slowly, almost too slow by my liking, this introductory part of the movie started cute and ended sad, wasn't the most original story, but it was the setup for the whole movie, much like Pixar's other movies like Finding Nemo for example.

When the house started floating, I thought, here we go, it was definitely the highlight of the movie and even after they landed, the new strange place was just a great set up for adventure and discovery. However, here is where everything just went downhill. I didn't enjoy the second half of the movie. Pixar could have gone in many different directions, but they choose the most boring one. One talking dog was funny, a group was getting old fast, a legion was just too much. Another old fossil show Up and it was like watching an animated grumpy old men.

Though the lesson thought of letting go attachment to things to discover what was accomplished and gain new friendships by Pixar's Up was really good, the story and the way it was told just wasn't up to Pixar's previous movies. The animations and CGs imagery was top notch as always. Even with the Academy Award nomination, I found that the scores for the film weren’t all that spectacular. I give Pixar’s Up: three out of five stars, definitely, a miss opportunity to be one of the great classic animations.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Stereo-Blind and 3D TVs

I just recently discovered that I am stereo or 3D blind. I went to see those new 3D TVs that are all the hype now days, put on the glasses and didn’t see any 3D. The salesperson who was very nice, swapped me several glasses over several TV sets but no luck. The pictures that I saw was just flat, double image and dimmer. I was disappointed not being able to see 3D because all the impressions that I had read sounded fun. Image popping out like those pop-out picture books, or playing games that look like tabletop experience, I guess I’ll never experience that. Though I did some reading and they said there are some exercises you can do so you can see the world with both eyes, so there, maybe hoped for me.

Anyway, this month I was pretty much in pain from arthritis, I just don’t like winter. It’s getting better, but I wasn’t able to update Little-Way comic as I had hoped, but once I get better I’ll update for sure.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New Little-Way Update Soon

Mid year and I am swamp with work, but I think I can schedule some spare time to draw Little-Way comic very soon, once everything sorted. I am hoping for a regular weekly update, maybe more if I can spare more time. Please look forward to more updates.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Little-Way #00016 released

Little-Way #00016 is available here. Today we can order pizza online. Maybe in the future it can be delivered online too. Well if we can covert pizza to light and back to pizza, we would have discovered duplication technology, that we can just duplicate pizza. We probably need to use Fusion reactor to get the energy the process will use. In the meantime, I think homemade pizza is awesome. Till next time.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Little-Way #00015 released

Little-Way #00015 is available here. When you accidentally deleted an important file by mistake there are still ways of recovering it, but it’s very troublesome process. Sometimes I wish that Operating Systems had better files management system. The current systems in most OS just don’t handle thousands of files all that well.