Archive for the 'PS3' Category

09
Sep
08

Gears of War 2 vs. Resistance 2 on Blend Games

There’s a rather entertaining “debate” going on at Blend Games over whether Gear of War 2 or Resistance 2 will be a better game when they’re eventually released. I put debate in quotes because really it’s just a fanboy flamewar. It is rather entertaining to read, if you enjoy reading unsubstantiated claims by a bunch of idiots. Which I do. There are some rational  people posting in the comments section, but their comments go largely ignored.

I played both original games, offline only. I couldn’t really get into Resistance, so I didn’t finish it. Story was cool, but the controls felt kinda sloppy and the early weapons in the game felt uninspired. Also, I’m sick of gray and brown color palettes. Ugh. I considered buying a PS3 when I first saw Resistance: FoM, but I wasn’t impressed enough with it to drop the $600.

I actually bought a X360 because of Gears. Some of my best gaming moments came from playing its co-op mode with a buddy. The story was spotty on the details, and the characters are mostly one-dimensional testosterone junkies. But it PLAYED really well. Plus, it has A CHAINSAW GUN. Awesome.

I didn’t play either of the games online. I don’t own a PS3 and I’m a PC gamer at heart, so paying $50 a year to play games online seems like a rip-off. And 60-player online modes may make you console-exclusive guys go nuts, but that kind of capability has been around in PC games for a while. I’m glad the console guys are getting that kind of experience now, though.

Anyway, only time will tell. In the meantime, go laugh at the flamewar.

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21
May
08

New This Week: Haze (PS3) and Wii Fit (Wii)

Two new system exclusives are set for release this week. These games are pretty much polar opposites, and they make for an interesting foil.

On the one hand we have Haze. Developed for the PS3 and published by Ubisoft, the game was in the news yesterday when it developer Free Radical confirmed it wouldn’t be running in true HD. Haze takes place in a dystopian society in the near-future (hrm, sounds familiar) where a soldier’s work is white-washed by the performance-enhancing substance pumped into his body through a specialized combat suit.

The game was essentially supposed to be an answer to a couple of huge Microsoft-platform-exclusive FPSes. Early review scores for the game indicate that it will fall far short of matching the achievements of Gears of War and BioShock though, as it currently has a rather average Metacritic score of 54. I haven’t played the game, and probably never will. But the general consensus seems to be that while other shooters like Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and BioSock are taking steps to reinvent the wheel, so to speak, Haze is an exceptionally medicore shooter.

The Onion’s A.V. Club probably has the most cohesive conclusion about the game based on the reviews I read:

More narratively cohesive than the Halo trilogy, but less inventive and compelling than Resistance: Fall Of Man, Haze does finally give us a self-aware portrait of videogame soldiers, and a foil for all the head-butting, “boo-yah” behavior that’s been the norm for far too long in the medium. Too bad it’s paired with one of the more pedestrian FPS games to come along in recent years.

Clear on the other end of the spectrum we have Wii Fit, which brings exercise and playing video games together in some sort of unholy union. Thing is, critics are pretty impressed with it. And these are people who (sometimes) make a living of sitting motionless while consuming their media of choice.

Now, you should know by now I’m biased against the Wii for ushering in an unprecedented age of shovelware and minigame compilations. The platform itself just isn’t for me, which is fine because it’s not targeted toward me. However, I can still appreciate what it is that Nintendo is trying to do. They are making leaps toward changing the way that we interact with our videogames. I respect that. But based on the reviews I’ve seen, the Wii Fit software is not really a video game at all. It is an exercise regimen. If you’re looking for a fun with the Wii Balance Board, which seems to be the real star of the package, you may want to wait for more games that are designed for it. In addition, you may want to hope that the forthcoming games don’t suck.

14
Nov
07

Well, this was unexpected…

The reviews for Assassin’s Creed have started rolling in, and I’ve got to say I’m surprised at the widely varying scores for the game. I haven’t yet played it, but you know how it usually goes with these high-profile releases. That there’s anything less than an 80% on Metacritic is actually refreshing.

I can’t help but feel a little alarmed – I put a lot of stock into loving this game. I planned to spend my weekend playing Assassin’s Creed, in celebration of completing the rough draft of a very long academic paper, which I’m currently putting off. The major criticism seems to be that the action gets repetitive and the combat isn’t all that satisfying. The mechanic of scouting out locations then gathering information and perpetrating the crime seems to be the only thing you get to do in the game. That actually sound pretty awesome to me, but I can see how you’d want more. After all, you did pay $60 for the game. Why should you only get to do the same thing over and over again? For those of you who think that may end up being frustrated, I have a novel suggestion:

Take a break and play something else.

I’m not trying to defend Ubisoft for designing a game that ends up being tedious. I’m merely proposing that there’s a way you could enjoy the game even though becomes a bit repetitive.

Game reviewers essentially have to play the game from beginning to end in a short period of time. But we don’t. We have a million other games sitting on our shelves looking for some love. So, if you get bored after the 3rd or 4th assassination, throw something else into your CD tray or switch to a different platform. Better yet, play a board game, read a book, watch some TV or a movie – I can’t believe I’m about to say this – GO OUTSIDE. Then, when you find yourself itching to get back to your part-time assassination career, it won’t seem so repetitive.

Seriously, you don’t have to finish the game in a marathon session.

On a completely unrelated note:

Apparently, there are some strict rules of acceptable behavior for professional bridge players?




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