Jake is not a fan of the PS Move.
After my last article about sports games, I thought it might be a good idea to follow this up with an article about a couple of the peripherals mentioned. In my previous article, I mentioned about golf games requiring motion controls, and driving games requiring a steering wheel, in order to make them feel more realistic. I, personally, am fortunate enough to have access to a Wii, a PS Move, and a steering wheel, so was in a good position to judge whether motion controls and steering wheels are worth the money, or make the game easier, or make the game more enjoyable. However, for the purpose of this article, I decided to ask my brother-in-law and Gamers Corner owner (nepotism alive and well), Jake, to join me for a gaming session, to test these items.
In order to test these peripherals, I proposed we played a couple of different games with set controls in place to ensure fairness. We wouldn’t be using the Wii, as the Wii comes with motion control as standard, so no extra cost would be footed for playing, for example, golf. As we don’t have access to Kinnect, we wouldn’t be using that (obviously!). For the PlayStation 3, we would play a few holes of Tiger Woods 11, with and without move, and have a couple of races on Gran Turismo 5, with and without a steering wheel.
We decided to start with GT5 first. The rules we set down were thus; we would drive the course twice, once with steering wheel, once with control pad, using the same car both times, and we would have two laps to warm up, and one lap to set our time. Jake starting the proceedings on Grand Valley East, driving a Subaru Impreza 22b STI, with an automatic gearbox. Having never used a steering wheel before, Jake struggled to control the car, for the first lap, composed himself for the second lap, and posted a lap time of 1 min 20 secs. Much more at home with a control pad, he settled in straight away on his second run, comfortably beating his first time with a lap time of 1 min 16 secs. Having used this steering wheel several times, I decided to use a Mercedes CLK touring car, with a manual transmission, on Monza. For my control pad run, I posted a time of 1 min 48 secs, and for my steering wheel time, I set a time of 1 min 45 secs.
After this, we talked about ease of use and preference, with Jake saying that he preferred the control pad to the wheel and he wouldn’t buy one (He performed better with the control pad). Personally, I felt more at home with the wheel, and I would choose it every time over the control pad, and it certainly completed the racing experience (I performed better with the wheel). At £80, it’s an expensive bit of kit, but it is backward compatible with my PS2 games, plus it can be used with a PC. However, the main problem with using a steering wheel is that it only caters for racing games, and for that price, is only really worth forking out for if you have an extensive racing game collection, or plan to get one.
For the next test, on Tiger Woods 11, we decided to use three holes from the St. Andrews course (a par 3, par 4, and par 5). We both used the same golfer (Mike Weir, which was a good choice for Jake, as he plays golf left handed, not so good for me, as I am right handed!), playing the three holes twice each, once with Move, once without. As a veteran of golf games, Jake managed a -4 with the control pad, and par with the Move (which he hadn’t used before). I, however, have the golfing skills of Stephen Hawking, and playing left handed as well, managed to get -2 with the control pad, and +4 with the Move. Once again, we talked after, with Jake saying that he preferred his Wii remote, as the Move has an awkward control method for moving shot destination (We both performed better with the control pad). Also, the Move has to be activated before EACH round of golf, and requires a normal control pad for menu selection. For myself, using the control pad was a lot easier, and although the Move adds an element of realism, it didn’t, for me, add to the enjoyment. I enjoy using the Move for Killzone 3, but other than that, I prefer using the control pad for most Move compatible games.
In all, if you’re not looking to get a large racing game collection, then the steering wheel really isn’t worth it. For me, it was a good purchase, but isn’t going to be on my brother-in-law’s wish list. As for the Move, unless Sony starts finding a decent use for it, then it’s going to remain in the shadow of the Wii and Sony’s own DualShock 3, and for me and Jake, it’s not quite the game changer that Sony had hoped for, with a standard controller being the first choice for gaming.