I was fortunate enough to get invited to the awesome-packed PlayStation Beta Rooms event for the press preview in Birmingham last night. It wasn’t a hard decision making the hundred mile plus journey down south considering I’d be getting my hands on the likes of Sony’s new motion controller, Move and a slew of upcoming titles such as Killzone 3, Gran Turismo 5 and MotorStorm: Apocalypse. This is part one of my coverage of the event that begins with the PlayStation Move.
Kung Fu Rider
This was one of the most surprising games of the show. I didn’t think it would be worth more than a casual look but it proved to be really entertaining. Your on-screen avatar, today represented by the Japanese detective, Toby, who uses an office chair to roll downhill performing tricks and Kung-Fu moves for points. Let’s not think about why, just how.
A few brief tutorials fill you in on the basics and special moves and then you’re able to try a race and immediately have some fun. Tap the controller forward a few times to accelerate by pushing with your feet, or stab it forwards to perform a power dash that can take out enemies or crates blocking your way, or flick the controller upwards to perform a jump. Steering is controlled by moving the controller across in an arc and sidesteps and left/right kung-Fu moves are performed with the face buttons and further sideways lashes of the controller. If you press the Move button (the squiggly line one on the front) while jumping over a railing or car, you can grind along it Tony Hawk-style and holding the trigger will enable you to lean back in your chair to duck under fences or avoid gangsters with sticks.
Combo together tricks, collect icons and smash gangsters out of your way to get to the end of a course and get a rating. After spending a few minutes with the controls it felt easy to dive into, the first race I did I only got an average C grade, but trying again, knowing the course a bit more I managed an S (as in S, A, B, C not S for stupid, suck, s**t, etc).
The final game will have more characters to play as and even some extra, er, vehicles. Such as baby prams and shopping trolleys. There’ll be dozens of courses too. Kung Fu Rider is set to be a launch title for the PlayStation Move on November 17th.
After finally getting the camera set up properly I had quite a bit of fun with this. If you punch ‘into’ the camera it responds with a headshot, so try and position it as close to head height as you can. You will need two motion controllers to play this, or four if you want a two player brawl. The two-player scrapping was unfortunately unavailable today. But I was able to get a good workout from the single player demo, hell it even breaks down how much KJ energy you’ve used per fight. Jabbing, body shots and uppercuts all work well, with the trigger button being used as a power-modifier to really put some meat into attacks. Special moves like a spinning-backfist, and two-handed smashes were available but my personal favourites so far are the vicious elbows. The AI opponent will try and put you on your ass, so it’s a good job you can guard your face and body in realistic style. You can sway side-to-side too. It’s important to remember to allow some of the punch animations to finish before you start frantically swinging. It can seem a little sluggish at times as every punch wasn’t represented on-screen, but this isn’t the final version. The graphical style is a bit too grim and bleak for its own good as it’s just so dark and dingy. Yes it’s aimed at an older audience but jeez.
It really is important to adjust the camera so when you’re calibrating the controllers your head is central. Otherwise, say when you play after a taller person, you’ll find your fighter ducking down like Quasimodo and swatting upwards.
The Fight is released on the Move’s launch date of September 17th.
Tune in tomorrow for Part 2 of my Move preview...