The concept seems to be lifted from the dreams of everyone who loved platforming during the PlayStation 2 days. Three of Sony's biggest mascots--Ratchet, Jak, and Sly--team up in PlayStation Move Heroes to thwart a band of malevolent aliens. Robots programmed to tear you to shreds close in on all sides, and you make smart use of whips, wrenches, and pistols to blow them to smithereens. If you catch a glimpse of Ratchet gunning down foes in Metropolis or Sly sneaking around with his trusty crook on the streets of Paris, you may even think this is the dream-team collaborative effort you've been waiting for. However, after only a few minutes of messing around with this Move-enabled minigame collection, it's clear that this is much closer to a nightmare. Similar-looking environments and repetitive objectives make it seem as if you're doomed to a Sisyphean fate, while unresponsive melee controls enervate your enthusiasm. Shining flashes of predictable entertainment intermittently pierce through the dull gray sky, but PlayStation Move Heroes is predominantly a boring endeavor unworthy of its fantastic starring cast.
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The greatest threat to the known universe is a group of aliens who have too much time on their hands. Ratchet, Jak, and Sly, along with their respective sidekicks, Clank, Daxter, and Bentley, were enjoying their days on their own worlds, when an eerie vortex appeared above their heads, whisking them to a desolate and strange land. The weirdest part of this sinister plan is that pieces of their homeworlds were carried over as well, presumably so that these extraordinary heroes didn't become homesick. It might seem nice to explore the streets of Metropolis, Haven City, and Paris once more, but everything has a muted color scheme that makes these beloved places blend together. The lack of visual variety puts a damper on your adventures from the get-go, though the few story segments do an adequate job of lightening the mood. The good-humored ribbing these franchises are known for is on display, and it's fun to see what mischievous deed Daxter is up to or how the resourceful Clank is going to save everyone from this predicament.
The action is broken up into five distinct parts. Melee, whip-wielding, and shooting make up the combat portions, whereas bowling and disc throwing are akin to intergalactic sporting events. No matter which activity you choose, your goal is to collect a set number of items or destroy the advancing robot army. The action segments are set in small-scale arenas that are unfortunately beset by a number of issues that drain much of the fun. Your locomotion is downright insulting for such prestigious platforming stars. You're free to run around the areas as you wish, but the jumping ability these characters are known for has been unceremoniously removed. It feels strange to gun down enemies as Ratchet without being able to initiate his patented leaping strafes, and your lack of agility becomes a serious problem when you're surrounded by attackers with no way to quickly move away. The melee and whip controls are also maddeningly inconsistent. You need to shake the controller to strike down attackers at close range, and it's troubling how often this simple action doesn't register. The only combat fun comes from the shooting sections. Hunting down evil robots is enjoyable, though don't expect your dumb adversaries to put up much of a fight.
The sporting events fare a bit better than the fighting forays. Bowling goes beyond what you would expect from a typical 10-pin competition. Once you toss the ball, you control its direction by pointing the controller, and you need to slide around obstacles and up ramps to smash the intended targets. Snaking through a treacherous obstacle course is a neat twist to the normal sport, and though the controls don't always respond to your actions, they're reliable enough to get the job done. Plus, it's strangely enjoyable to see the infamous thief Sly slink around with a bowling ball cradled in his arms. Disc throwing is the best of the five included events. This is a version of disc golf in which you control the movement of your Frisbee midflight. By tilting and turning the controller, you cause your disc to cruise through the levels, and narrowly missing a careening rock or ducking under a low archway carries some thrills. Because the disc is slow, it's so easy to control that you can swiftly dash past destructive objects, and though that does sap much of the initial rush, it's still mildly fun to control this flying object.
You earn medals based on how well you perform, and trying to achieve gold in most events does extend the longevity a bit and provides some satisfaction. You know that with one more rousing effort you can gun down the appropriate number of robots or throw your disc in the perfect place, and there are unlockable levels and outfits to make your hard work worth it. However, even though there are tangible rewards urging you back, imprecise controls make certain events hard to stomach. The melee and whip portions are never entertaining because no matter how hard you try to swing your trusty weapons, the game simply refuses to respond at the most inopportune times. And though the other events provide some fun, they are so repetitive that it's hard to force yourself through another round of the same basic activity. Even if you weed out the bad portions, Move Heroes struggles to hold your attention because the good events quickly overstay their welcome.
There is a two-player mode if you can rope in a friend to join you, but like most of this disappointing minigame collection, it has severe issues. The second player merely controls a hovering reticle and has a finite amount of ammunition with which to pelt foes and strike important objects. To make matters worse, your shots are so slow that what you're targeting often moves out of the way before your blasts can connect, and you spend more time waiting for an ammo refill than having fun gunning down foes. PlayStation Move Heroes is not without merit, but it just doesn't provide a worthwhile platform for its endearing stars. Uneven controls make it a chore to compete in some of the events, and the entire package is hurt by the crushing repetition. It's still fun to control an airborne disc or shoot down idiotic robots, but that mild entertainment is not worth suffering through the rest of this adventure. Ratchet, Sly, and Jak deserve much better than this uninspired collaboration.