Thursday, May 6, 2010

SPC Quickies - Volume Eight - ApocalyPS3 Now

We've taken a look at my Wii, DS, 360, and PSP collections, so now let's look at our final specimen, the PlayStation 3. This collection features a lot of excellent titles as shown by the quickie review scores. There are twenty-three PS3 games currently in my collection, and it is my aim to score them all out of five. Let's get to it. The ApocalyPS3 begins now!

007: Quantum of Solace - Bond is back, and this time he means business. Quantum of Solace takes place during the titular movie as well as with flashbacks from Casino Royale. The gunplay is fast and fun, the cover system helps add in a needed amount of strategy, and the story mode is engaging from beginning to end. This is a terrific Bond game made better by a comprehensive multiplayer component with modes such as Golden Gun, operative combat, and good old fashioned deathmatch. 4/5

Batman: Arkham Asylum - Speaking of popular characters being back, the bat is also back, and he's in one of the best superhero games of all time. Part Metal Gear Solid, part Metroid, Batman: Arkham Asylum has the dark knight infiltrating Arkham in pursuit of the Joker. Along the way he'll be taking down baddies from the shadows, beating up villains such as Killer Croc, Poison Ivy, and the Scarecrow, and obtaining new gadgets to reach new areas of Arkham. If there's one superhero game you need to play, Batman: Arkham Asylum is it. 4/5

Darksiders - If God of War and the Legend of Zelda had an illegitimate child, Darksiders would be that baby. With the combat of God of War and the puzzle-solving, dungeon-exploring, boss-bashing gameplay of Zelda, Darksiders feels very familiar. However, it also has a lot going for it to differentiate it from either franchise. The combat is brutal and easy to get into, the story is intriguing the whole way through, and the homages to the two aforementioned series will make most players love this game as I certainly have. 4/5

Dead Space - In space, no one can hear you kiss your ass goodbye. The hope for survival aboard the Ishimura spaceship grows increasingly hopeless as new problems arise. The air system becomes infected, elevators stop working, and the evil necromorphs grow heavily in numbers, ready to carve your character like a jack-o-lantern. The third-person over the shoulder viewpoint works well as do the upgrading of powerful weaponry. The sound design is some of this generation's best with design that will have you constantly scared for your life, looking behind corners with the greatest hint of trepidation. Dead Space is one frightening game. 4/5

God of War: Collection - Two upscaled in HD games for a budget price? Sign me up! Oh, wait, I already did sign up. Whether you seek vengeance on either Ares of Zeus, God of War: Collection has a game for you, plus several cool bonus extras making for a complete and affordable package. The games look absolutely phenomenal in high-definition, and you'll constantly be opening your mouth in awe at the sheer beauty of both upscaled games. God of War and God of War II were already excellent titles, and this collection-- one heck of a deal-- only sweetens the metaphorical pot. 5/5

God of War III - In the end, there will only be chaos... and one great game! Take all you know about the God of War franchise and triple it in pure, unadulterated scope. The areas are larger and more expansive-- staggering even, the boss battles are much more numerous and engaging, and story caps off the trilogy in a good way. There's still beating up hordes of mythological beasts, opening treasure chests for items and orbs to upgrade weapons and abilities, and enough quick-time-events to make Heavy Rain jealous. Perhaps the only problem with God of War III is that it all feels like we've been there and done that before. 4/5

Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds - One infuriating game design philosophy when transferring over to the HD consoles is to take everything away from what made past installments spectacular and staring over. This is the case of Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds. It's a sad statement when a portable game of the same series has more characters, courses, and options than a full-fledged sequel. Well, that is exactly what happened. Fortunately, the game is still as rewarding as ever now with two different swing types. There's also a robust online system for players to compete with one another all around the world. 3/5

inFAMOUS - Taking elements from their previous franchise, Sly Cooper, Sucker Punch combined the wire-riding, pipe-climbing, platforming fun of that series with the open-world sandbox of inFAMOUS. There's a lot to be said about a game where you can use the powers of electricity to shock your foes into submission. Depending on which side you choose, either hero or villain will determine the outcome of the game. For a shocking good time, inFAMOUS is the game for you. 4/5

LittleBigPlanet - Play, create, and share is the mantra of the LittleBigPlanet line of games. The original LittleBigPlanet is still full of creative levels and designs made by the hustling and bustling community. If you lack the creative touch, you can always play the single-player story levels or hop online with up to three friends and play one of a million community levels. Might I recommend SuperPhillip: The Game? If you can get past the floaty jumping and the complexity of the level creator, you'll have a surefire game that you'll keep on coming back to. 5/5

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots - You have the entertaining gameplay of past Metal Gear Solid games, so what could possibly go wrong? Unfortunately, Hideo Kojima never learned what good pacing in a video game is. If you can get past the nonsensical story, the constant interruption of the game for stupid, long, drawn-out cutscenes, and more cinematics than actual gameplay, you might enjoy, hell, even love Metal Gear Solid 4. For everyone else, there's much better games to be had. 3/5

Motorstorm: Pacific Rift - Burn rubber, just don't overheat your vehicle! Motorstorm: Pacific Rift moves the racing excitement from the desert to a tropical island filled with sunny shores, volatile volcanoes, and chaotic cliffs. As you complete races, you unlock more difficult races and tracks. The racing is fast, crazy, and energetic. It's the perfect adrenaline rush. My only gripe with this game is that in later ranks, it can be extremely unforgiving. 4/5

Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time - Ratchet & Clank reunite after having been separated by the Zoni. For a good half of the game, however, the two are apart and have their own play styles. Ratchet has the traditional run, gun, and jump gameplay whereas Clank uses a time scepter to participate in mind-boggling time puzzles. The story is captivating, the worlds are lush and vibrant, and the trademark humor is definitely there. Check this game out-- even if it's your first Ratchet & Clank game. 4/5

Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction - A new threat has arrived, and his name is Emperor Tachyon. His mission? To wipe out the last remaining lombax-- Ratchet! This new story arc introduces several new weapons and gadgets such as ones that require the use of the Sixaxis controller. If you've played a previous Ratchet & Clank game, you'll feel right at home with the duo's first delving into HD! 4/5

Resident Evil 5 - Resident Evil 4 is one of my favorite games of all time. Resident Evil 5 takes the formula of said game, and pretty much stays true to it. This time around, there's forced cooperative gameplay featuring new character Sheva. While the game is much less scary in this installment, there's a lot more in the way of high-impact action. Playing cooperatively with a friend locally or online is a blast, and the return of the Mercenaries mode adds even more longevity to this rather long thrill ride. 4/5

Resistance 2 - I love this game. As they say, haters gonna hate. I thought the single-player campaign was terrific with plenty of intriguing set pieces, a story that was compelling, and characters that weren't entirely one-dimensional. Well, maybe they were 1-1/2 dimensional instead! Combine that with an awesome cooperative campaign with six maps, and an intense competitive battle mode supporting up to sixty some-odd players and you have one of my favorite FPS games of all time. 5/5

Saints Row 2 - The game that managed to out-Grand Theft Auto Grand Theft Auto, Saints Row 2 gives you an entire playground to mess around in either alone or with a friend. Customize your character as you see fit, outfit him in the latest fashions or keep him... or her... looking like a scrub. The mission variety is great with plenty of checkpoints to make repeated attempts less infuriating. Taking over Stilwater one block at a time is very cool, and the side missions are nothing short of terrific. Who doesn't love base-jumping, insurance fraud, and escorting ladies to their pimps? 4/5

SingStar - Sure, many of us feel bashful or stupid singing to a television, but isn't that the point of karaoke-- to let all of our inhibitions run wild? You can do just that with Sony's SingStar. Whether you buy volume one or volume two, SingStar has a good amount and variety of songs. If that isn't enough, you can hop online onto the SingStar store where you can purchase new tracks to sing along with for a relatively low price. Sing on, SingStars. Sing on! 4/5

Sonic and SEGA All-Stars Racing - Sonic and friends have returned from the tennis court and onto the racetrack with Sonic and SEGA All-Stars Racing. Speed through more than twenty, expertly-crafted racetracks, races as one of twenty SEGA all-stars from Aiai, Ulala, and Amy Rose to Billy Hatcher, B.D. Joe, and Dr. Eggman. The game is much more fair than Mario Kart Wii offering much more balanced items and weapons. You'll need skill and tight maneuvering to stay ahead of the pack in this high-octane kart racer! 4/5

Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection - Take a fair majority of the Genesis' greatest titles, put them inside a budget priced package, and you get Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection. You get so many excellent titles for such a low price. There's the original Sonic the Hedgehog games, Golden Axe, and Streets of Rage, plus lesser known classics such as Ristar, Decap Attack, and many more. If you consider yourself any type of SEGA fan of old school gamer, Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection is the game for you. 4/5

Uncharted: Drake's Fortune - Meet Nathan Drake. He's the type of everyman that can leap over chasms, jump from cliff to cliff with ease, and perform all types of aerial acrobatics. Okay, so he's not much of an everyman, but he's got one twisted sense of humor. Find out the mystery of the lost city of El Dorado with Drake and friends as he fends off pirates looking to achieve the same goal of grabbing El Dorado for themselves. The cover system is reminiscent of Gears of War, but there's much less in the way of steroids this time around. The platforming is fantastic, the visuals are phenomenal, and this game is just spectacular. 4/5

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves - Now I'm not one to say that every game needs to have some kind of multiplayer component shoehorned in, but with Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, the multiplayer really works and works well. It's fun, it's engaging, it's entertaining, and it'll give you countless hours of replayability long after you finish the much better balanced single-player campaign. The set pieces here are orgasmic, and the game really is better than the already wonderful original. 5/5

Valkyrie Chronicles - From part of the team that made the excellent Dreamcast (and then Gamecube) RPG, Skies of Arcadia, comes this strategy RPG featuring soldiers, tanks, and endless possibilities. Recruit new soldiers to do your armada's dirty work, battle head-to-head, and ogle the gorgeous pencil-drawn filter visuals. Those looking for their JRPG fix and were disappointed with Final Fantasy XIII, Star Ocean 4, among others, should check out Valkyrie Chronicles, exclusive to the PS3. 4/5

White Knight Chronicles: International Edition - The turn-based RPG that plays like an MMO, White Knight Chronicles is an entertaining game full of unique locales and intense action whether on foot or inside a giant knight armor suit. If the single-player campaign doesn't do anything for you, you can always hop online and play one of twenty-five plus quests with up to three other players. Whether you like turn-based combat without random encounters or online play that is full of fun, White Knight Chronicles has something for everybody. 4/5

There you have it. Do you agree/disagree with any of my scores? Let me, as well as everyone else, know inside the comments section!

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