When Sony decided to delve into the world of motion control with the PlayStation Move many hardcore gamers saw it as a cop out to the casual gamer market that materialized thanks to the Wii. Since its introduction into the PlayStation 3 peripheral family, the PS Move has been implemented into a variety of titles but the one genre that capitalized the most are the mini-game driven titles. We’ve all experienced party games that were made up of uninspired and kid-focused tasks but Frima Studio’s Lights, Camera, Party! brings us humorous mini-games and modes that both children and adults can enjoy.
Lights, Camera, Party! presents you with three modes to choose from – Story, Party, and Challenge. Story mode follows the Funzini family as they compete against each other for the house of their dreams on a TV Show hosted by Gus Pacho. Spread out across various television stages like a cooking show or a Wild West stagecoach scenario, up to four players will participate in 24 scenarios testing their speed and accuracy. Sharing a single PS Move controller, players will perform an assortment of funny gestures and clever concepts that reminded me of of Nintendo’s quirky Warioware series. Before the start of each mini-game, players are treated to a brief pictorial explanation of the motions they will need to do in order to win. Similar to the instructions on how to build IKEA furniture, some players will understand them while others will be left scratching their head.
A majority of the mini-games use the standard range of motion movements we’ve grown accustom too – swinging, pointing, highlighting objects, etc. What makes performing these movements enjoyable is the game’s cartoonish graphics and silly concepts. Take for example ‘Frog Hunter’ where the concept is swinging the PS Move like a baseball bat as you smack leaping frogs with a shovel or ‘Hide & Hit’ a game that mimics whack-a-mole but instead has you hitting cats. Hopefully PETA won’t catch wind of this title as we all know they can be rather ridiculous when it comes to how virtual animals are treated.
Where Lights, Camera, Party! really shines is the fact that the mini-games incorporate the PS Move and PS Eye camera functions (the Wii remote cannot mimic.) Shout at the built in mic connected to the PS Eye camera to see how high you can raise the indicator on a decibel meter or match the onscreen color with the randomly changing color of the ball on the tip of the PS Move. Since the PS Move allows you to move on a 3-D platform some games will utilize that sense of depth but those not familiar with using the PS Move may find it a frustrating mechanic to master. Other mini-games have you flinging bananas at sleeping monkeys, rolling a bowling ball at protesting monkeys, or outrunning a giant dog while you avoid oncoming obstacles – the list goes on and on.
Many of the mini-games can be played from the comfort of your own couch with only a few standing up. During my multiplayer experience a few minor irritations made my experience feel uneven. Since the variety and motions in the mini-games vary some players received consecutive easier games while others had to complete the more difficult ones. Mini-games can be set on different difficulty levels but the change affects everyone who is playing with the hardest difficulty being brutal and unforgiving. It would have been nice to have the option to attach a custom difficulty to each player profile.
If you have no friends (don’t worry I won’t judge you) you have the option of playing the Challenge mode. In this mode you have access to all of the mini-games you’ve unlocked from the other modes. Each mini-game has three tiers of challenges with each one associated with a different type of medal – gold, silver, and bronze. For example in The Vampire Buster, the longer you can survive taking out vampires with your flashlight the better medal you will be awarded. The difficulty of obtaining the gold medal ranges with difficulty making the quest to obtain all 200 in-game achievements a decent challenge.
Party mode presents you with three unique options that freshens up the multiplayer experience. Survival allows players to play micro-versions of the mini-games as they try to keep there character from being sucked into a black hole. Hot Alien Egg places a twist on the Hot Potato game we used to play as kids in which the PS Move is handed from player to player as they complete a mini-game. Chaos insures when the player with the Alien Egg needs to compete a mini-game in order to get rid of it before it hatches. After they pass the mini-game the player gets to choose which person they want to pass the egg to. If they fail they will need to play another mini-game. Lottery mode entices players to win lottery tickets from each mini game they successfully complete. After all games have been completed the winning image will be shown and whichever player has the most matching images wins the battle.
As with any party themed video game, Lights, Camera Party! shines when you have multiple players participating. The mini-games are fun and the level of difficulty will give even the most seasoned gamer a run for their money. It should be noted that PS Plus members get a 50% off discount making Lights, Camera Party! a great choice at $14.99. Question is “are non PS Plus members willing to pay $29.99 for a party downloadable title?”
Release Date: August 28, 2012 • Publisher: Frima Studio • Developer: Frima Studio • Genre: Party • Multiplayer: 2 – 8 players • Achievements: Easy • Cost: $29.99 ($15 for PS Plus) • Replay Value: High