It's time for the second edition of the SPC Showdown, and tonight's battles are primed and ready for your viewing and reading pleasure. It's a special edition here as we're taking a look at this gen's biggest first party battle-- Nintendo vs. Sony. Can Sony pull off the upset from the reigning king, Nintendo? Let's find out! We'll be pitting ten games against one another by popularity and genre, and I'll be picking the winner of each. The first party with the most wins is victorious!
Round One: Super Mario Galaxy VS. God of War III
Two of the most critically acclaimed games on either system. Which is better overall?
Super Mario Galaxy
It's not every day that the term "best game of all time" is thrown out there, but with Super Mario Galaxy it may very well fit. With ingenious level design, an awesome gravity mechanic, multiple unique galaxies to explore, new power-ups such as Boo Mario and the Ice Flower, and a brilliantly-orchestrated soundtrack, Super Mario Galaxy is a tough act to beat. We'll see how the May sequel fares.
God of War III
But let's not count out God of War III! While Mario focuses on bright colors and a happy-go-lucky world, God of War III is more about realism and barbaric brutality. While this sequel doesn't necessarily go out of its way to innovate or reinvent the wheel, it does bring the same carnage and action that you know and love from the God of War series. One of the best looking games of all time, God of War III is a winner... just not the winner.
Winner: Super Mario Galaxy
Round Two: Wario Land: Shake It! VS. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Two games all about treasure hunters, so which game reigns supreme?
Wario Land: Shake It!
A 2D platformer totally different from Uncharted save for the treasure-hunter element, this game is played one of two ways. Sure, you can run through the levels as fast as you can without seeking out treasure and exploring, but the best way to play is to search for treasure, plunder for booty, and grab as many coins and possible. It's also great to complete the in-game challenges such as leaping off three enemy heads in one jump and completing a given level in the time limit. Whatever your draw is, Wario Land: Shake It! has something for everyone.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
As does Uncharted 2, a treasure-seeking adventure taking place far and wide from blistering cold mountains to mysterious ancient temples. The cover system you know and love is present and accounted for plenty of opportunities to seek out the ever-elusive headshot and kill various swashbucklers in your path. This is all the while exploring the expertly-crafted areas for booty, gold, and treasure. Don't forget about the excellent multiplayer mode that adds hundreds of hours to one's playtime.
Winner: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Round Three: New Super Mario Bros. Wii VS. LittleBigPlanet
Two 2-D platformers, but which runs and jumps over the competition?
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
Both games here were rated as a 9.75, and were respectively Games of the Year here on SPC for 2008 and 2009. New Super Mario Bros. Wii showcases brilliant level design, a pretty stiff challenge, awesome 2-4 simultaneous multiplayer action, and a host of new, intriguing ideas. Everything feels tight from the platforming to the levels crafted for the sole purpose of having fun. It's New Super Mario Bros. Wii, and it was Game of the Year 2009.
The Game of the Year 2008 was LittleBigPlanet whose mantra is Play, Create, and Share. You did a lot of each in the game. Playing the game's impressively-designed levels, creating your own levels which was an arduous process all in itself, and showing off your created goodies to the very expansive LittleBigPlanet community. The main problem with this game is while NSMB's platforming is tight, LittleBigPlanet's is excessively floaty causing problems for some players.
Winner: New Super Mario Bros. Wii
Round Four: Metroid Prime 3: Corruption VS. Resistance 2
Two games revolving around shooting only different types of shooting. Who wins this match-up?
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
Retro Studios have done a terrific job with the Metroid I.P. Truly a magnificent job. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption was no exception with many worlds to explore, items to obtain, enemies to obliterate, and puzzles to solve. The IR controls with the Wii remote are just stupendous, and the level design is top-notch as usual.
This was my first Resistance game, and I found myself absolutely adoring it. It had everything, a fun single-player campaign with plenty of epic firefights to be had, a cooperative campaign mode, separate from the single-player one, with up to eight players duking out against the aggressive A.I., and a fun competitive multiplayer mode that took up a lot of my time. Fortunately, the online play squeaks out the victory over Metroid this time around.
Winner: Resistance 2
Final Round: Excitebots: Trick Racing VS. Motorstorm: Pacific Rift
It all comes down to this. Which first-party will come out the victor?
Excitebots: Trick Racing
Some of the most fun I've had with a racing game this generation, Excitebots: Trick Racing boasts impressive visuals and track design, some of the craziest racing this side of pothole-filled Daytona, and just an immense amount of wacky fun. Super Air Spins? Check. Super sandwiches? Check. Banging a tambourine to Shave and A Haircut... Two Bits? Check. Competent online which awards star points to purchase new bots and paint jobs? Check. Fantastic racing experience? You know the rest.
Motorstorm: Pacific Rift
From one of the wackiest racing games to one of the most beautiful, Motorstorm: Pacific Rift is all about stiff competition, blazing fast racing, and hardcore wipeouts! There's all sorts of race types and locales to race on from ocean shores to volcanic valleys. Online mode adds even more fun into the mix for up to eleven other racers jockeying for position. Want the need for speed but don't want to put your life on the line? Check out Motorstorm: Pacific Rift.
Winner: Excitebots: Trick Racing
Overall winner: Nintendo (3-2)
There you have it. It'd be very interesting to pit more games against one another like this. Kudos to Sony for having one of the most impressive first party outputs in the history of the gaming world, and great job, Nintendo, at reigning supreme in the first party landscape... for now. We'll see if this continues with games like ModNation Racers and PS Move coming out in the near-future. Until next time, this has been your SPC Showdown!