So here we are, 'tis the season, etc. This year, PlayStation Move is surely right at the top of the Christmas list of every game-loving child who already has a Wii and a DS and probably a Kinect.
With three months having passed since Sony's magic wagglestick launched, there's now quite a selection of Move titles on the shelves. But how are they shaping up? How does this batch of Move software compare to the second wave of Kinect titles reviewed recently?
Which, lest we forget or can't be bothered to click, was comprised of a sports mini-game compilation, a tedious new instalment in an ancient franchise, a poor-quality rip-off of said instalment, a mediocre "lifestyle" title and a game which made you jerk your arms about like a short-circuiting robot.
So what have we here? Racket Sports, Time Crisis: Razing Storm, The Shoot, TV Superstars and Kung Fu Rider.
Best press on.
Time Crisis: Razing Storm
Not to be confused with Time Crisis: Raisin Storm, where you must face off with waves of enemies in a hail of currants, this game comes to us (but of course) from Namco Bandai. It's actually a compilation, offering three titles for the price of one. It's just a shame that price equates to Ł13.33 each when none of the games is worth more than Ł1.87.
First up is the eponymous Razing Storm. Good news, series fans – the Arcade mode features all the Time Crisis fun you know and used to love in 1998. It's an on-rails romp through a series of brown environments, upon which you are accompanied by a group of huge men. With their enormous mech suits and silly cyber-monocles, they all look like the love child of Marcus Fenix and the GamesMaster.
All the usual old nonsense is present and correct – giant robot spiders, satellite laser cannons, market stalls which explode in showers of poorly animated bananas, etc. The Move controller does a good job of standing in for the G-Con, though it's hard to care how precise your aim is when you're machine-gunning down another group of identical baddies without bothering to take your finger off the trigger. It's all right, in a shallow, mindless, old-school sort of a way.
The Story mode is less entertaining. Instead of being on-rails you have the freedom to explore, using the Move to aim and control the camera and a DualShock or nunchuk sorry navigation controller to manoeuvre your character. It's a clunky system which feels sluggish and cumbersome. Expect to be left disoriented, frustrated and wondering why you're not just playing a proper first-person shooter instead.
You could cheer yourself up with a bout of Time Crisis 4, if it wasn't rubbish. Kristan gave the standalone game 4/10 in April 2008 and it's still a 4/10 today. Having said that, back then you had to play it with the giant orange G-Con light gun – the only controller in the world which looks stupider than Sony's magic light-up ping pong stick.
The Move is a lot easier to calibrate than the G-Con and has the added advantage of being wireless. It works just fine as an alternative light gun and benefits significantly from being less orange. But that doesn't make Time Crisis 4 worth revisiting. The only reason to return is if you've forgotten how hilarious main characters Evan Bernard and Giorgio Bruno are, and fancy revisiting their marvellous crocodile shoes and Studio Line hairstyles.
The final offering on the disc is Deadstorm Pirates. Yes, it's Time Crisis, but with less satellite laser cannons and more cutlass-wielding skeletons. Once again the action is on-rails and highly camp. Fans of this sort of thing will while away a happy hour shooting vampire bats and giant enemy crabs in the face, but that's about it. This game is as 6/10 as Kristan previously suggested.
Even throwing in all the other games on the Razing Storm disc you're not looking at more than an afternoon's worth of entertainment here, and that makes it poor value for money.
Shove 50p into an arcade machine to play any of these games and you'd walk away a bit disappointed, but with a shrug of the shoulders. Cough up for this disc and you'll feel properly hard done-by - not least because after a few hours of play your brain will think it's the late nineties, when Ł39.99 was still enough to buy a house.
This is one of those games where you can visualise the flip chart from the brainstorming meeting after 10 minutes of play. On it are scrawled words like CASUAL, WOMEN, KIDS, CELEBRITY, FASHION, DIY, COOKING MAMA, ANTON DU BEKE.
Unfortunately there's a distinct absence of words like ORIGINAL, FUN, CONTEMPORARY, CONTROLS WHICH WORK PROPERLY AND DON'T MAKE YOU WANT TO RING UP THE PERSON RESPONSIBLE FOR THEM AND TELL THEM WHERE THEY CAN SHOVE THEIR LIGHT-UP PING PONG BALL.
TV Superstars gives you the chance to make your way up from Z-list nobody to A-list celebrity. That's the high concept, anyway – the reality is it gives you the chance to play a series of mini-games, most of which are dull, some of which don't work properly and all of which look horrible.
Your first mission involves using the PlayStation Eye to take pictures of your own face, which are then mapped on to a naff avatar. The end result is some kind of weird Frankenstein's monster who resembles you if you'd been conceived by some inbred inhabitants of the uncanny valley.