Last week at E3, VGChartz had the chance to experience Sony’s new PlayStation Move peripheral with a variety of new games. We were privileged to try out Sports Champions, one of Sony’s key first party Move launch titles. What is essentially touted as the PS3’s answer to Wii Sports, Sports Champions not only features many sports that you would expect (i.e. table tennis or archery), but also sports that fall onto the niche side of the spectrum, like bocce. VGChartz was only given hands on time with table tennis, but what we played gave us mixed reactions to the get up and play title.
The demo began with the PS Eye scanning our bodies in a variety of positions while we were holding the Move controller. A Sony representative then took the Move controller and began setting up the game, and boom, we were now in the midst of an abundance of table tennis matches, with our very own table sitting in the center of the screen. A female table tennis enthusiast stood opposite us across the table, waiting for the match to commence.
When serving the game took place from a third person perspective, then switched to a first person point of view after the serve. To serve you could either tap the move button, or swing the remote in the air, followed by a swift motion forward with the wand to execute the serve, much like Wii Sports. In regards to the motion control, from serving to simply returning the ball to the opponent’s side worked well, if even a bit too easily. The game did a marvelous job of tracking our movements and how we held the Move, mimicking our motions almost flawlessly. However, almost anytime we were struggling, all it took to beat our opponent was a harder strike of the ball, making winning almost an almost guaranteed result.
The demo also showcased issues technically. While playing the demo, we hit the same game-freezing bug three times while serving, with the ball getting trapped inside of the paddle for about three seconds before resuming play. Our opponent’s movements were also lackluster, as she displayed the exact same disappointed animation after almost every point we gained in our favor.
If SCE can work out some of the kinks described above, then it will go without question that table tennis will be a worthy sport to add to Sports Champions' already impressive line-up of sports offerings. Displaying fantastic visuals and responsive motion control, table tennis is a few minor tweaks away from being an extraordinary experience.