There are unique concepts and then there’s Slider. At a glance, you’d think the description of the game is more of a prank and less of a legitimate premise…and then you realize it’s designed with the PlayStation Move in mind, and you’re suddenly intrigued by its zaniness. The reason we label the genre as “Miscellaneous” is because we have no idea if it’s more of a racing game or action game, or perhaps it’s a combination of both. But we’re not going to lose sleep over the categorization; it’s for more interesting to examine the nuts and bolts of a game that seems to defy everything you know about reality and physics. When writing this, I’m reminded of writing about Katamari Damacy for the first time: even though the two titles have absolutely nothing in common, I’m equally confused; I have to read about it and then translate it to an article, and this isn’t easy when your primary form of conveyance in the game is an office chair.
Okay, let’s start at the start. Slider is about controlling either Tobio, a tie-wearing dude that would fit nicely in “Office Space,” or Karin, a cute chick who apparently likes the short, skintight outfits. Basically, you just fling yourself recklessly through the streets of Japan; Tobio on his amazing office chair and Karin on the barrel part of a Shop-Vac, which you ride on like a skateboard. …see? It’s impossible to make that up, and I’m always tempted to elaborate on the facts, just because the absurdity of such a concept is begging for comical anecdotes. I just can’t think of any anecdotes that apply. Anyway, as you pilot your “vehicle” through the streets, you’ll have to jump, drift, and kick your way along, all in an effort to avoid obstacles and rack up as much cash as possible. A van is waiting for you at the end of the course and the more money you snag, the better your score will be. Well, of course. Money should always be the reward for a good performance. It's only right.
As you fly around, onscreen ticket outlines will allow you to jack up your boost meter and once you’ve maxed it out, you jab in the direction of your PlayStation Eye for extra speed. Yes, Slider is set to be one of the very first titles that will support Sony’s innovative motion sensing technology, now known as the PlayStation Move. You’ll use the one wand that comes with the Move package; you move it up and down to increase your speed while flying forward, wave it left and right to turn, and tap the Move button to spin and kick obstacles out of your path. You can even enter a limbo stance to scoot under low-hanging junk and this sort of gives you a look at Karin’s curvaceous form. Much like other Japanese games, the designers have made Karin’s chest a focal point and they’ve even applied some physics to her large rack. These “jiggle physics” will be on full display as she flies through each level, which – in my eyes – separates it from similar Wii experiences.
More problems will continue to surface as you advance in your adventure. Pretty soon, you’ll be grabbing big air off some awesome jumps and yes, they’ll even toss in some mid-air tricks, too. Then there are bad guys who apparently don’t want you to make it to the fan; they’re like your standard suit-wearing mafia guys that could’ve been ripped out of Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker. Obviously, this game will live and die with the accuracy of the Move controls; if those suck, the quirky nature of the premise falls flat. But if it’s entertaining, this could prove to be a simple albeit slightly guilty pleasure. By the way, other Move games scheduled to arrive this fall are Sports Champions, Move Party!, SuperStars TV, The Shoot, and more. We’ll try to gather up info for all of them to give you some inside looks; the more you know about ‘em, the more you’ll be likely (or less likely) to pick up Move when it arrives later this year.
3/25/2010 Ben Dutka