Tuesday, April 03, 2012
The PS3 has been part of our household for about 6 months now -- but I'll have to admit, despite the wide range of games available, my main PS3 testers have been my kids. So far, the one game I've really enjoyed is Everybody Dance -- but with the introduction of Start the Party! Save the World, I've found another game I can play again and again!
Start the Party! Save the World launched last month on the PlayStation Network, and we've been enjoying it ever since. Not just my kids, but the whole family! Because it utilizes the PlayStation Move system instead of the incredibly-complicated-at-least-to-people-over-age-35 Dualshock controller, anyone can figure out how to play it. The games aren't role-playing games that require hours and hours of play; they are pretty short and simple games, so they're ideal for parties.
About Start the Party! Save the World
Your PlayStation®Move motion controller is about to turn into some of the craziest gadgets imaginable in Start the Party!™ Save the World on the PlayStation®3 system. From the depths of the ocean to skyscraper rooftops, Dr. Terrible is wreaking havoc - pick up your motion controller and battle with this devious enemy. - Grab your PlayStation®Move motion controller and prepare to battle Dr. Terrible in a series of hilarious mini-games. - See yourself on-screen as you use your motion controller to scoop up fish, swat flies and rescue lost divers. - Challenge up to three friends on PS3, take down an evil villain and save the world in four different game modes.
You can play Start the Party! Save the World in solo mode or party mode (up to 4 people). Whichever mode you choose, you'll be playing one of 20 mini-games, or a randomized combination of them.
This is one of my favorite games -- Speedy Shootout -- because it's so easy, even I was able to figure it out and get a kickass high score. All you have to do is aim (by moving the motion controller wand) and fire (by pressing the trigger) at a bunch of helicopters trying to drop bombs on you. The other games are similarly easy -- building robots, torching fireflies, keeping asteroids away from astronauts, all that fun stuff.
Whether you play by yourself or with a group, you'll need to choose a character -- but it's not just any avatar. The Playstation Eye camera will take a photo of your face and put it one of four cartoon bodies! It even records you saying your name, so every time your turn comes up, you'll hear your name said in a cute cartoony voice.
See the thermometer at the far right? That's a visual representation of your score. It even shows you how high your opponents scored, so you know how much better or worse you are doing, which gives you a great incentive to step up your game.
This game makes great use of the Playstation Eye camera throughout the game. It records your image constantly, so you might see yourselves in the background.....
... or right in the middle of the action! We first discovered augmented reality at the PS Vita event we attended in February, and we were blown away by its coolness, so it's great to see it appearing in other PlayStation games.
One little featurette I absolutely love is seeing the other players become part of the game. Sometimes they become the characters being rescued, other times they just wander in and out of the screen as the game is being played. It makes things a lot more interesting for people who aren't taking a turn at the moment because they get to see their characters involved in the game.
From time to time, the game also lets observers influence the outcome of the game by using the Dualshock controller to control the side characters. See the orange icon appearing beside the bug? That means someone can use the Dualshock controller to move the bug around -- either towards or away from the game player's torch (he's supposed to burn the bugs away). It adds a really interesting dimension since you can either help the player out or make it more difficult for him.
The game awards points based on how you did: 1st place gets 5 points, 2nd gets 3, 3rd gets 2 and 4th gets 1. At the end of each round, the points are totaled and current standings are shown. At the end of 3 rounds, the final winner is crowned!
I'd love to see is the ability to post photos of our characters, or snapshots taken during the game, to a social media channel, such as Facebook or Pinterest or Flickr -- but right now I can't even figure out a way to save these characters for another game, let alone share them. Right now, we have to take photos and set up the characters every time we play. If anyone knows how to do this, please share -- these photos are way too adorable too keep to ourselves!
Giveaway Alert -- watch out for a giveaway of Start the Party! Save the World, coming out tomorrow on Bonggamom Finds!!
Disclosure:PlayStation provided me with a download code to review the game, and a second code for a giveaway. Product information is provided by the featured company/product and is indicated in italics. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.