Movers and Shakers: High Velocity Bowling & Heavy Rain (PS3)

Movers and Shakers: High Velocity Bowling & Heavy Rain

Hey welcome once again to my column on motion controls in gaming today. This time we’re going to focus on Sony’s High Velocity Bowling as well as Heavy Rain.

Ever since Wii Sports came out and blew all the moms and dads away with it’s amazing representation of bowling, someone has apparently been dying to show that Sony can make a bowling game too. Well with High Velocity Bowling they’ve gone and proven they can.

The game is one of the first game’s I’ve seen to use the Move Wand only, at least when it comes to the motion controls. The game mimics the motions found in bowling quite well, going so far as to allow you to spin the ball a particular way if you twist your wrist just so, and the speed of your ball will be determined by how precise you are with your swing. Interestingly, unlike Wii Bowling there is no way of throwing the ball without doing the exact movements the game requires.

I noticed pretty early while playing Bowling that I will need a bigger TV. The distance you have to stand away from the TV makes a 24 inch computer monitor less than the ideal it is for every other kind of game. And wear that wrist strap! It’s there for a reason.

As there is not a whole lot else to talk about with the controls in Bowling, I’m going to move on to Heavy Rain. I gave the recently released Move controls demo a swing the other day. In Heavy Rain you use both the Wand and the Nunchuck to walk around and interact with the game world. The wand does all of the actions while the Nunchuck allows you to walk around and look at the environment, changing the camera angle when you press L1.

Heavy Rain strikes me as the kind of game that should benefit from the Move. As a point and click adventure they could have easily used the Move wand as a mouse, similar to what RUSE did. While there is some of that they chose to force you to use the wand for actions. Putting your car in park, opening the car door, using your Asthma inhaler, everything is given a motion you must perform to advance the game. It took me a little while to get the hang of it. I’ll admit I wasn’t terribly fond of the actions you had to perform. It wasn’t tiring, or too stressful on my arm, like some Move games can be. It just seemed like the developers looked at their game and said “OK, how can we make people use the controller here? Oh I know lets make them turn the controller upwards. OK now lets make them point it at the screen instead”. I actually found the best use of Move controls in the demo was during a fight you get into. It performs similar to a quick-time event, in fact it probably is a QT event in the regular version of the game. You have to perform a given motion in time, if you succeed the fight goes your way for a while, if you fail the fight goes…poorly for a while. Perhaps it was the adrenaline from fighting the guy, I’m not sure, but that part of the demo worked flawlessly for me.

Anyway, I don’t think I’ll be playing any more of Heavy Rain, the game still isn’t my cup of tea, and is even less so with the Move controls tacked on.

One final word about the High Velocity Bowling game. It comes with demos for a number of other Sony Move enabled games, like Sports Champions and Tumble. So if you want to get a decent idea of what the controls are like, give that one a rental. Anyhoo, see you again in two weeks, when I talk about another game or two that uses motion controls. Move out!

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