Flower (PS3) – Review

Flower-cover Flower, a downloadable title for the PS3 from thatgamecompany follows up on their previous flOw game, making it less a game with objectives and more an experience to relax with. It’s a very simple game to learn, and won’t take much time to complete, but it’s a game to take in its beauty, visual and audio experience, and relaxing demeanor.  It is a tad costly for the brief experience, and certainly not going to be a hard core game, but it is still a excellent product.

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MotorStorm (PS3) – Initial Impressions

I’ve heard people say that MotorStorm is going to be the system seller for the PS3.  Unfortunately, I really beg to differ, so far, despite it being one of the two better games for the system to date (along with Resistance: Fall of Man).  The concept is sound: dirt/mud racing in the mesa valleys of the southwest in 5 different types of vehicles (motorcycles, ATVs, buggies, stock cars, and trucks), and the graphics look really nice and all, getting the muddiness and griminess of the race down well, but…

Things seems a bit more sluggish than expected for dirt racing – while I wouldn’t hold the game “FlatOut” as a prime example of a great dirt racing game, I felt I had more control there.  And you can’t go too easy on the track lest you get overtaken quickly.  Of course, I’m just starting so it may get a bit easier, but I’m not impressed.  While you can switch on the Sixaxis to use it as a motion control (like with the Wii), it seems even worse — and here’s where the lack of rumble really screams out.

Add to this that the menus and other parts of the game are just really slow — we’re talking close to PSP loading times, which there is no reason for that here.

I need to give it more time to give it a more fair assessment but as it stands now, I’m not impressed at all.

Sonic The Hedgehog (PS3) – Initial Impressions

Well, let’s say, it’s a Sonic game (more in line with Sonic Adventures as you have a main area where you talk to people and get your missions), but… the graphical power is rather unimpressive (there’s non-negliable slow down in parts of the main area!)

Add to the fact that when you are actually running fast, it doesn’t feel like you’re running fast — certainly not the same impression I got from the past 3D Sonic games.  A few of the other ‘standard’ moves feel off as well, and camera control also seems to have some of the same problems as well.

Worst, when you get a chance to play as Tails, it’s completely changed from past games – Tails can’t spin attack but instead, ahem, “lays” egg bombs that he then throws at foes.  It feels completely wrong from what I’d expect.

The promise of the final boss character hinted at the opening cinematics seems something similar to the final Chaos form from Sonic Adventure 1, but don’t know if that type of payoff will occur yet in the game.

Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom (PS3) ~ 10hr

Man, this game is a button-mashing fest.  There’s almost no skill in it, yet, beyond making sure to upgrade your armor at save points.  Plus for a PS3 game, the camera control is poor and the graphics are rather bland.   I have a hard time classify this even as an RPG despite it having some elements.  Mind you, I am finding I’m to a point I need to use magic a bit more, but still, it just feels like a quickly done buttonmashing game.  And while I’ve got but not finished the previous Untold Legends for the PSP, I know the style is very different there, and I think I preferred that more to the PS3 version.

Resistance: Fall of Man (PS3) – Review

Fall of Man - CoverBeing one of the few console-exclusive games for the release of the Playstation 3, Resistance: Fall of Man, created by Insomniac Games, was heralded as one of the top titles for the system. While the game graphical flexes the muscle of the new console, the game itself falls flat, providing a somewhat above average FPS game with a few interesting weapons and online play, but really not breaking any new gameplay foundations, particularly in light of other recent titles for other systems. Continue reading

Resistance – Fall of Man (PS3) ~5hr

Ok, I’m starting to like this game a bit better, but it still has, as best as I can call it, timing problems.

The story is somewhat engaging – imaging that instead of the Axis starting WWII, that instead some alien parasite took over Russia and much of Eastern Europe, converting humans into their own foot soldiers and trying to take over the rest of the world.   This leads to an interesting mix of architecture of traditional English (UK) cities and alien architecture.

The good: Insomniac Games, known for the weapon-happy Ratchet and Clank series, take just enough of their weapon innovations into R:FoM to make it more than just a normal FPS.  There’s a standard automatic rifle and sniper gun, but when you start getting the alien guns things get interesting.  The first one is called a Bullseye, and while it’s main mode is a more powerful machine gun, it’s secondary lets you fire a tracer, such that, like Zerg’s weapon in the Fifth Element, makes all bullets you fire go to that target until it’s down.  Then there’s the Auger, which allows you to shoot through walls and objects, with the bullet gaining more power the more stuff it passes through.  Add in the Hedgehog grenade (which shoot out high velocity needles when it explodes) and some explodable objects about the levels, and combats just a step above the usual FPS.  The environments are all pretty good too.

The bad: Timing, not so much within the game, but when this game came out relative to a lot of other titles.  The plot details and a lot of the alien architecture feel like Half-Life 2, and battles against alien invaders is done more recently in Gears of War.  While you can use cover and the like, it’s still done much better in games like Gears and Call of Duty 3.   And because the only innovation is really the unique weapons, there’s no much else there after you strip these away.

I know I’m somewhere between a 1/3rd and halfway through the game, so hopefully there’s going to be more weapons and the like, but right now, it’s unfortunate that this game’s release was in the middle of a whole bunch of other games that feel just like it.

PS3 Day 1 – Initial Impressions

Got my PS3 without major incident and set up without major problems. The short USB cord was somewhat of a problem, but it was helpful I had a USB hub as well as a keyboard for entry of all the details for the PS network.

So I had basically the only 3 ‘unique’ games to the PS3 that (to mean) were interesting:

Resistance: Fall of Man – An FPS set in the time frame of WWII, but with a sci-fi bent. The combination of traditional weapons with the sci-fi ones (such as one that you can shoot a tracter shot at a foe, which causes all bullets to home in on that target until it’s down). However, given that Call of Duty 3 and Gears of War just came out, it’s hard to see how unique this game is.

Genji – Days of the Blade – A third-person sword-wielding action game, something like Omishua. Interesting so far, hoping that you get combos later or the like. But nothing seemingly inspired yet.

Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom – Like Genji, though more based on an RPG-type setting from the PSP games. Again, nothing inspired yet, maybe to make up for the lack of a good Japanese RPG-type game for launch.

I also tried a few PS2 games without problems. It’s nice that you can shut down from the controller as well as quit out a game and change games without having to shut down all the way. The interface is nicely like the PSP one, so there’s consistancy there.

I guess I’m excited to get it, though it will only be nicer once I can get my PS1/PS2 games there as to replace my PS2 completely, but maybe I’m also still excited about the Wii (which will be here Monday, but I do have my games for that).

No PS3 Woes Here…

In light of the issues with the PS3 and Gamestop/EB Games getting less than fewer numbers than expected, I was a bit concerned about being about get a PS3 on release day.  Thankfully, today I got the call that I’m in the alloted numbers, so I’ll have my PS3 by Friday, which is rather good news.

Also picked up the first batch of PS3/Wii games, which includes Resistance: Fall of Man (PS3), Genji: Days of the Blade (PS3), Trauma Center: Second Opinion (Wii), and Red Steel (Wii), leaving me Zelda and Monkey Ball to get for the Wii (which is from Amazon, so I’m hoping they ship before the weekend, but at least I should have that before Thanksgiving.

PS3 – More fun launch day issues

Gamestop and EBGames cannot expect to meet even reduced numbers for first day PS3 pre-orders

Looks like Sony can’t even make 400k units by launch date, which is really sad.  From 2 million at launch mid-summer to this, Sony is doing a great job of this entire launch.

Unfortunately for me, I’m #9 of 16 at my store, so I expect not to be so lucky on the cutback lottery.  However, I consider the fact that at launch, there’s really only one good PS3 game (Resistance: Fall of Man), and that the Wii’s out within a few days after that, plus the number of other games that came out within the last couple of weeks.  Basically, I’ll be elated if I still have it by Friday, but won’t be as angry as I’ve seen some people already around the net.