SDCC10 Extra: ‘Beat Sketchers’ Hands-On First Impressions

There’s a lot of cool tech on the horizon, but there wasn’t much I’ve wanted to try more than Sony’s motion controlled software, Playstation Move. Luckily, Move was in full force at this year’s San Diego Comic Con, and I got my hands on that lolly pop-looking controller and gave it a go. My first experience with Playstation Move came in the form of a game called Beat Sketchers, which was just as good a game as any to give me a feel for this new technology.

Beat Sketchers is essentially Microsoft Paint, except for your television. Using the Playstation Move’s camera and the Playstation Move controller, players can draw, splash, and doodle all over themselves and everything around them on screen, using the Move as a paintbrush and their surroundings as a canvas.

I had a lot of fun using this game to test out the Playstation Move, which was more responsive than I expected. Since it does use the Playstation Eye instead of a sensor bar to sense your movements, gameplay never felt interrupted by a connection problem between the controller and the system.

All the screen shots you’ll find of Beat Sketchers are against a white background, and my gameplay experience taught me why: with the Playstation Eye’s max resolution at 640 x 480, things are going to look fuzzy. Even though we were in a dark room, the image on screen was blurry and pixelated. But this is ok, because of the point of the game is to paint all over the screen, destroying the original image. I was able to use tools like a paintbrush or spray can, and you can even take a snapshot of a portion of your screen and paint with that too.

There is a rhythm component to this game, but unfortunately I was in a loud room while playing and couldn’t experience this part of the game. What I do know is that you can select instruments the same way you can select paintbrushes and colors, and sound effects will play as you paint, creating a song as well as a work of art.

Was Beat Sketchers fun? Heck yeah. Would I ever pay money for it? No. Probably not. Herein lies the problem with this game. Sony is releasing this game bundled with the Playstation Move in Japan, but stateside we’ll have to purchase it from the Playstation Network. While this game was a fun title to play, I really can’t say I would want to pay any kind of money for this game. You’ll have to see for yourself this fall, when Playstation Move hits shelves in North America.

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