Review / TV Superstars (PS3)

I’ve been wondering for a while if I’m the right person to review TV Superstars. Like most gamers I enjoy a good ol’ shoot out or dungeon raid for my gaming experience, not a minigame collection that sees me strut down a catwalk or cooking pancakes. It’s made it hard to even think about where to start with this review, but then I looked up to my PS3 collection, sitting on my shelf, and caught a glimpse of Buzz! Quiz TV out of the corner of my eye. I love that game, despite the lack of guns and death, and that really reminded me that if this game was good, I could learn to appreciate it too, despite not being the target audience.

And there are indeed things to appreciate within Sony Cambridge’s minigame romp. Superstars places you in a bunch of different TV shows that each come with their own games. You’ll run on the spot to keep yourself on top of a giant wheel with “Let’s Get Physical”, perform moves to walk down a catwalk in “Frockstar”, cook pancakes and fajitas with “Big Beat Kitchen”, do a little home improvement with “DIY RAW”, and film your own adverts in “S.T.A.A.”. Each show has a couple of different game/sequences to offer too, so there’s no shortage of things to do.

First off though you’ll need to make your very own avatar, complete with your own face and catchphrase recorded through the Eye camera. Once that’s done you’re free to enjoy any of the shows, though you’ll have to play more to unlock new games.

You’ll want to throw at least one other player in before you start playing though; this is not a game to be played by yourself. With a crowd of people it can get a pretty good atmosphere going as you manically throw your arms around, but there’s something very sad in the prospect of sitting by yourself, cutting a virtual banana.

Straight away the game proves it’s more than just a Wii title by putting objects in your hands with “DIY RAW” and “Big Beat Kitchen”. You’ll take control of hammers, paint rooms and pour ingredients as if the controller itself was the object in your hand. It’s clearly designed to show off what Move can do, but I’m still waiting on something a little more compelling than pouring flour into a bowl.

Other games like Let’s Get Physical’s wheel-running prove to be a good bit of mindless fun that get people laughing. Then again some others like moving the controller in time with on-screen prompts for “Frockstar” just fall completely flat. These games prove to be more of a trial, not making it clear how to do the task which doesn’t even feel like it represents your activity well enough in the first place. You’ll find a few favourites in TV Superstars so stick to them, because the other stuff can be pretty painful.

The presentation is pretty annoying too. Each show comes with a presenter that does little more than shout and get on your nerves. It’s meant to create a parody of reality TV shows, but it just threw me off.

The thing about TV Superstars is that it’s filled with a bunch of games that don’t interest me as a gamer. I don’t want cook, I don’t want to paint, and I certainly don’t want to prance down a catwalk, waving a controller about as if I’m there. It’s not even matched with the charm or pace of a WarioWare title; it’s simply not designed for me.

On the other hand, if I gave my 10 year old sister a copy of Demon’s Souls and told her to give me the review by next week, she’d go away and come back 10 minutes later telling me she didn’t want to play it anymore, probably crying about all the horrible things she’d seen too. However if I gave her TV Superstars, I don’t think I’d ever see her again; she absolutely loves it.

Honestly if you’re reading this very website then TV Superstars probably isn’t for you either. If you’re looking for the hardcore game to prove that Move is the perfect blend of the Wii’s controls and a hardcore game system (not to say the Wii isn’t), then it definitely isn’t for you. But there are people that will get a kick out of this, and while you shouldn’t pick it up, it might be a good idea to let them have a look. Hey, at the very least the trophies are easy, and that always counts for something with the nerds like us, right?

+ Lots of different games to take part in
+ Shows of the Move’s tech pretty well in some games

– Some of the games are either boring, pointless, or don’t work
– Annoying presentation