Thursday, 9 April 2009

Three Months as a PS3 Owner: The Other Games

About a week and a half ago I posted Three Months as a PS3 Owner: Prologue, a short introduction to my review of the games I currently own as a PS3 owner. In that I talked about MotorStorm: Pacific Rift, my favourite game, and now I talk about the other games I own, in order of preference.

Don't get too excited, I don't own that many games. I haven't been a prolific games owner probably since I was at University. Work and friends - not to mention family - tend to take precedence these days.

For a long time I must admit that I wasn't a great fan of the FIFA series. Between battles on my best mate's PC where the pitch seemed huge and times where I was overwhelmed by my brother-in-law on his Nintendo Gamecube, the game didn't hold a lot of appeal or fond memories (and that's before you even mention the old combo of John Motson and Ally McCoist).

But then I was given FIFA 09 by my aforementioned best mate when he came to visit, and you know what? It's a lot more fun now. Okay, I still haven't won a game online, but I'm slowly getting better at it and enjoying it more and more. I'd probably learn more if I actually experimented with learning new things in a game instead of trying to win every single match I play, but that's my being competitive I guess.

Odd quirk: the feedback on the Dual Shock controller when a shot hits the post, something which my best friend and I both pondered and couldn't reason exactly why they'd applied that at that point.

Update: Just fired this up today for the first time in a while. Saw the new trophies for the first time - lots of fun stuff there. Even scored a goal from the move which earned me The Ol' Switcheroo Trophy. Nice!

SingStar ABBA
A concession to my lovely wife, who I felt wasn't getting the most out of having a PS3 (the word "widow" did pass her lips prior to buying this). As we couldn't get the SingStar with microphones pack that Argos were offering at the time we decided to pony up for the microphones ourselves and then get the ABBA version of the game separately. Honestly, it probably worked out better for us. More songs we know, more fun, and we probably got our money's worth from it the first time we played it.

And that was before I learnt to save other people's songs, then play it back with the pitch shift effect applied - Chipmunks in your living room, wunderbar!

Just don't ask me to provide backing vocals on "Take a Chance On Me", it isn't pretty.

(And yes, I will be getting SingStar Queen at some point. It's a cast-iron certainty.)

Gran Turismo 5 Prologue
Ah yes, part of my reason for wanting a PS3, to be able to indulge in the Gran Turismo series, the one game which pays the proper homage to Laguna Seca, my favourite racetrack in the whole world.

Small problem: version 5 proper keeps being pushed back and back, leaving us with the short version of the game which allows a total of six tracks in a grand total of 12 different configurations. Of these tracks, four are in Japan, four are nigh-on impossible to overtake on, and six don't exist in reality at all. That being said, the two-player battle mode is great fun, especially for the time when I watched my wife play against my mother-in-law. It wasn't a quick game but I'm amazed we didn't wake Chloe up with all the laughing.

Back onto the negatives and the online mode, which might be the most frustrating experience of any game I've ever played, having various other players batter me about and then I get penalised for hitting them by accident? Infuriating. Less of that, more two player battles for me are the way to go. Lots more fun.

(And get on with the main game... with Laguna Seca please!)

Midnight Club: Los Angeles
To be honest until a few days ago I hadn't had this out of the box for weeks. To begin with I liked this game. The presentation is stunning, it looks beautiful and some of the graphics are nothing short of stunning. However for a casual gamer like myself it slowly loses appeal for a number of reasons, these being:
  1. If you only play games every so often the thought of earning a few hundred dollars each race and looking towards a target of earning a million dollars seems like a long way off.
  2. There is no multi-player mode (yeah, I know that PS3s work towards online play, but I'm old school and like playing games against someone in the same room).
  3. The soundtrack is a little bit, how can I say this?... urban. It isn't really my style (and my style is a whole other debate, as anyone who has ever lived with me will tell you).
  4. It all gets to be a bit samey after a while. At least Need For Speed Underground (my previous fave of a similar nature to this) had circuit races, drift races, drag races. The different modes in Midnight Club: Los Angeles are pretty much the same (and don't get into how many times I've managed to get lost in red light races, that's my pet peeve about this game).
That being said, if they launch a Midnight Club: Atlanta/Glasgow/London I'm probably buying it. It isn't that bad, it just isn't quite my thing.