5 uses of Sixaxis that DON’T suck
Ah, Sixaxis. Remember that? Sony pushed this motion-sensing technology in a big way before the launch of the PS3, but then Lair came out and everyone decided it was the worst thing in the world. That said, there are some good uses of the Sixaxis out there, so let’s take some time to remember them; to be honest we initially struggled to get to five, but we got there in the end!
Flower is without a doubt the quintessential motion-controlled game, singlehandedly justifying the existence of the Sixaxis controller. Considering that you play as the wind and collect petals, Flower should be utter pretention, and yet it’s in fact one of the best games on PSN.
The decision to have a Sixaxis-only control scheme was an extremely bold move, but somehow feels so much more natural than any other input could possibly be. Flower even claimed the number one spot in PS3 Attitude’s countdown of our 20 favourite PSN games last year, beating the likes of WipEout HD, PixelJunk Shooter and Super Stardust HD.
With beautiful visuals, a strong female lead and epic gameplay, Heavenly Sword was arguably the first must-own title on PS3. The standard hack-and-slash combat was fun, but what made the game truly stand out from the crowd was its expertly implemented motion controls.
As awesome as Nariko is, the best levels in the game see you play as her friend Kai. Shooting an arrow with her trusty crossbow and guiding it with the Sixaxis to pull of the perfect headshot is much more satisfying than doing so with the analog stick. Kai doesn’t keep all her Sixaxis tricks to herself though; during several sections, Nariko can use a primitive bazooka in the same way.
Dubbed ‘interactive drama’ by director David Cage and his development studio Quantic Dream, Heavy Rain is all about immersion, and to that end, the Sixaxis controls work very well indeed. This is for two main reasons: 1) they aren’t overused; and 2) the required motions usually mimic the action on-screen, bringing you further into the game.
Whether you’re playing golf with Shelby, brushing Ethan’s teeth, or scanning a crime scene with Jayden, we guarantee you’ll be completely absorbed in the world of Heavy Rain. And, if you ask us, the Sixaxis controls are surprisingly more accurate than those in the PS Move edition of the game.
Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction
If you want to see how motion controls can be implemented into a proper game without feeling like a gimmick, look no further than Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction. Minigames have always been a staple of R&C’s varied gameplay, and TOD was no exception.
It also added motion controls into the mix, mostly to great effect. Using the Sixaxis to direct a laser or control the Tornado Launcher were fun distractions that fitted in with but didn’t get in the way of the rest of the game. If other developers had followed Insomniac’s lead, the Sixaxis could have become a legitimate control scheme, rather than the general laughing stock it is today.
Super Rub ‘a’ Dub
Yep, we went there! Super Rub ‘a’ Dub is definitely the surprise entry on this list; almost universally panned by critics, this motion-controlled PSN game had a much warmer reception from gamers, and we have a feeling is still a guilty pleasure on many PS3s.
Clearly inspired by Sony’s E3 2005 ‘duck demo’, Super Rub ‘a’ Dub was released during the early days of the PS3, and tasks you with rescuing ducklings from a bathtub by tilting the Sixaxis controller, while avoiding deadly sharks and other obstacles. It’s cheap throwaway fun, and is infinitely better than half of the motion-controlled games consumers are subjected to nowadays.