Let’s get straight to the heart of the matter: We’re a few days away from Microsoft releasing Kinect and causing an all-out, motion-control throwdown. The folks at Nintendo don’t have too much to worry about since they have quite a head start, but the Playstation Move is a pretty close competitor. So which one should you get? Well, I decided to end this war by taking the advice I’ve given to so many others when choosing a console: Take a look at the games each offers, and see what you’d rather play.
Let’s do that now, using the upcoming-release list from Amazon. And to make things even more interesting, we’re going to pair up similar games and have them battle it out.
Round 1: Time Crisis: Razing Storm (Move) vs. Child of Eden (Kinect).
Time Crisis has enjoyed a long and fruitful history. The series helped fill closets everywhere with light guns way before plastic guitars did. Alas, any number of Time Crisis games are no match for the spiritual successor of Rez. Moreover, you don't need a motion device to play Child of Eden. In my mind, that fact makes Child of Eden the more promising of the two titles.
Winner: Child of Eden
Round 2: Sports Champions (M) vs. Kinect Sports (K).
Sports Champions and Kinect Sports will have a tough time escaping the shadow of Nintendo's two wildly successful variety-sports games, Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort. Giving even more strength to the comparison, Kinect and Move are bundling these titles with the new devices. Let’s break this down by sport.
Both Sports Champions and Kinect Sports offer table tennis, but with Move, you actually get to hold something like a paddle. Both have volleyball, but with Move you need two controllers, and holding the wand can be a little awkward. Sports Champions has bocce, but Kinect Sports has actual bowling — you pick which you prefer. Here, holding something is a little more comfortable, and to me, bocce is a nice change from the norm. Speaking of that, here’s where things separate: Kinect Sports offers boxing, soccer, and a variety of track and field events. The rest of the Move games are disc golf, archery, and gladiator duel. I think Sports Champions gives a better variety of events and manages to compliment the device with appropriate gameplay.
Winner: Sports Champions
Round 3: Sorcery (M) v. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (K).
In name, Harry Potter is the clear winner since Sorcery is a completely new intellectual property. Unfortunately for the folks at Hogwarts, the developers have isolated the Kinect features to a special on-rails mode. Sorcery allows you to move around freely using a regular controller or Navigation Controller. I guess if you’re really into Harry Potter, you’ll have to go with the Kinect, but if you’re looking for more control with your gameplay, go for Sorcery.
Round 4: Zumba Fitness & Get Fit with Mel B (M) vs. The Biggest Loser & Your Shape Fitness Evolved (K).
Ah, the fiteness category. Without even explaining what the hell a “Zumba” is, I think we know the answer to this one: Kinect wins. I’ve tried things like this on Wii, such as Wii Fit and EA Sports Active, and holding something is really annoying — especially if you’re supposed to be holding a controller and manipulating a resistance band at the same time. It isn’t comfortable and doesn’t work well. Your Shape was one of the first Kinect demos I saw that impressed me and showed off how the device could be used well. I might want to hold something in my hands to feel more in control of my games, but in the case of exercise, I want to be as free as possible.
Winner: The Biggest Loser & Your Shape Fitness Evolved.
Round 5: SingStar Dance Party (M) vs. Dance Central & Dance Masters (K).
This goes right back to the argument with the exercise games: You don’t want to be holding something in your hands while you're dancing. Well, unless you’re at a rave and it’s those glow sticks and you’re doing that thing where you spin your arms all around.
Anyway, being able to have something actually track your whole body is way better than holding glowy sticks in your hands and having a camera track them. For all the machine knows, you could actually be tap dancing to a hip-hop track.
Winner: Dance Central & Dance Masters
Round 6: EyePet (M) vs. Kinectimals (K).
These are both games which allow the player to interact with an on-screen pet. In the case of EyePet, you can make it appear as if the…thing…is in your room. Kinectimals keeps the pet on the screen, where it belongs. Both results, however, are creepy. Extraordinarily creepy.
Round 7: Kung Fu Rider (M) vs. Kinect Joy Ride (K).
Here are two uh…driving games. While Joy Ride actually throws you into a car, Kung Fu Rider places you squarely into an office chair and demands you ride down a hill and fight against the Chinese Triad. Even though this is written on a computer, let me repeat myself: Kung Fu Rider forces you to ride an office chair down a hill, with angry Triad members in tow.
Winner: Kung Fu Rider
Round 8: TRON: Evolution (M) vs. Star Wars Kinect (K).
TRON and Star Wars, two franchises which nerds love to drool over, are reinventing themselves with the motion devices provided by Sony and Microsoft respectively. While TRON: Evolution is coming out this year, we haven't received word on Star Wars Kinect. In fact, we have no idea what the game will be like. In the long run, something tells me that Star Wars will prevail because of what it is: a Star Wars game. But I’d really rather see a lightsaber game on Playstation Move since the motion controller provides a working facsimile of a lightsaber. Of course, that only applies if any of this motion-control stuff exists in a year.
Winner: Too early to tell
Round 9: PlayStation Move Heroes (M) vs. Sonic Free Riders (K).
We’ll call this our mascot category, although the competing games are pretty different. Sonic Free Riders is a racing game, while PlayStation Move Heroes is a third-person platformer/shooter. Honestly, these are both games I’d rather play with a controller. Sonic is supposedly compatible with the 360 controller, but Heroes offers some very enticing shooting mechanics. From what I can tell, Heroes is the deeper game, so I suppose we have a winner!
Winner: PlayStation Move Heroes
A common scene at PAX: people watching Kinect videos, but not a single one playing the demo units.
Final Round: Everything else!
Before we get to our final showdown, here's the tally: two draws and four wins to three in favor of Move. Let's introduce the rest of the games for one last brawl and see if Sony can keep the lead or if Microsoft will swoop in and destroy!
Other Move Games: NBA 2K11, Heavy Rain, The Shoot, LittleBigPlanet 2, The Fight: Lights Out, Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11, MAG, Start the Party, Brunswick Pro Bowling, Sly Collection, Killzone 3, Racquet Sports, Toy Story 3, Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest, R.U.S.E, TV Superstars, John Daly’s ProStroke Golf, SOCOM 4, EA Sports Active 2
So yeah…you decide the winner.