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Hands-on: PlayStation Move's Slider


Don't get too excited, folks. This isn't a game adaptation of a popular sci-fi series. Slider is one of the first PlayStation Move-enabled games to come out Sony's Japan Studios. It's also a perfect example of a game that's significantly hampered by uninspired motion control design.

Slider certainly has a lot of charm. You play as a business man (or woman) on the run from the Japanese mafia. In typically zany Japanese games logic, your escape vehicle of choice is random office furniture. The quirky concept is very reminiscent of Incredible Crisis, a PS1 minigame collection that also featured a race with furniture. A Sony producer told us that he was proud of the comparisons.

Unfortunately, thanks to poor implementation of motion controls, Slider just isn't as good. Waggling the controller propels your character forward. To jump or duck, you need to thrust your controller upward or downward. Yes, moving forward, up and down all involve nearly identical motions, making for an imprecise and rather frustrating control experience. Every time our character failed to make a boost, or turn, or jump, or duck, we couldn't help but think, "Is this supposed to be fun?" Perhaps it's my innate lack of gaming skill, but I highly doubt casual gamers would be able to pick this up and play with any ease.

I could think of a number of ways the game could be improved had it not used the PlayStation Move controller. For example, the game could have easily worked on the SIXAXIS controller. Why not have a button represent jumping and ducking? Heck, you could probably use the tilt sensors on the standard PS3 controller with greater success.

Motion controls are supposed to make games more immersive. They can make you feel like you're really in a bowling alley, or fighting with swords, in a way that standard controllers could never do. However, the motions demanded by Slider have so little correlation with anything happening on the screen that it saps the fun out of what could have been one of the PS3's most amusing games.

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