Sky diving for the Playstation 3 is an interesting title, mainly because it was an early experiment with the six axis pad. Unlike the Xbox live arcade, only certain games have demos and as Sky Diving did not have one it meant that anyone wanting to find out how it played had to buy it from the store and accept the no refund policy. What a sucker I am.
So whatís wrong with sky diving? It just doesnít work. The game is controlled by the six axis and itís very difficult to get the system to recognise what you are doing with the pad. Most of the time it will ignore you, but at other times when it finally understands a motion it takes two or three seconds to register. By the time those two or three seconds pass you have already submitted to defeat and moved the pad again in the hope to get the system to understand your actions which result in a continuous loop of twisting the remote back and forth as if you are controlling the chuckle brothers comically trying to get a large household item up some stairs (to me, to you).
In one game mode you need to line up your character with several other sky divers to fit in a coloured outline. Of course this is much more difficult that it sounds when you can only use the six axis. Most of the time you will align up the character after a great amount effort on your behalf and the game will take great pride in flashing up the words ďVery badĒ. Iím not quite sure if this is a comment regarding the amount of time it took for me to get the character in place or if itís just reminding me that Iím wasting my time sitting here fondling a control pad awkwardly like Iím holding a bomb and looking desperately for a de-activate button.
There is an option to have a second player join you. But inviting someone round to play it with you is just cruel and can break up many strong friendships. So use it as an excuse to shed some unwanted friends as you both bicker and moan about the location of the other personís character and how are not correctly aligned.
Another game mode has your character solo sky diving. There are no coloured outlines to line up but you have to perform a variety of flips to make your character earn more points. Once again this was six axis controlled and while there are some small explanations regarding how to perform tricks, you can just throw the pad in the air and youíll get the same result. After a while you are then told to activate your parachute, after activating it you are then asked to land on a bullís-eye.
You can imagine my joy when introduced to parachuting, a much slower and less demanding action than all previous other actions and my immediate alarm when the control pad was not responding to my tilts, shakes and vulgar language. Instead, you have to use the thumb sticks to control your character. This seems like a missed opportunity to have utilised the six axis in a way that would allow it to keep up with the onscreen character as itís much slower paced.
Overall, the parachuting segment is the most enjoyable part of the game, you have a sense that you are actually decreasing in altitude and it feels very reminiscent to pilot wings control scheme. It takes a hell of a long time to get into position and you have to be very precise, but it is playable.
The six axis now has been particularly forgotten, but titles like Flow and flower display the best ways to use the pad. The rule is to never be too demanding with the feature and to only allow small decisions to be affected with it. Sky diving is a title that fails on the first hurdle, control.
Frame rate is good, but if you canít enjoy or understand what you are playing then you cannot succeed. There is a third game mode but it was locked because I could not complete the missions quickly enough or with a high enough rating. Games do require a bit of skill but sky diving at times tends to blame the accessory faults as a personal vendetta against you, keeping areas of the game locked off until the system plays ball and in some miracle understands your simple motion of the pad.