SB Recommends Playstation 3 Games

ps3_weepingwithfather.jpgWhile there are a myriad of different models, the important ones are 20GB and 60GB are hardware based compatible with playstation 2 games. The early 80GB models have software based PS2 emulation. This results in a few graphical and sound errors, but supposedly has a 98% playability. If you want to upgrade your harddrive, it's an easy procedure. Be careful, the blue screw is very very easy to strip.

All Playstation 3 Games are region free, but PS2 and PS1 games are region-locked. However Playstation 1 games can be downloaded from any region's Playstation Network. In recent years, many retail PS3 games have also been made available digitally.

Sony promised that the PS3 would have a 10-year lifespan, only to announce the non-backwards-compatible PS4 after less than seven. Promises, promises.

  • Ace Combat: Assault Horizon (also on: 360)
    • costel: A Reeses Cup of Modern Warfare and Ace Combat, audacious and utterly familiar, it has consistently surpassed my expectations for it. Even if those expectations were rooted in deep skepticism for a series I adore beyond all recognition.
  • After Burner Climax (also on: 360, Arcade)
    • Felix: Very short, explosive, Sega-gorgeous rail shooter that might be too fast the way that modern Sonic might be too fast. Honestly not very replayable, but it evokes Outrun 2 and that's more than enough. Also, the world needs more AM2 ports.
  • Alone in the Dark: Inferno
    • Rudie: This is easily one of the best games I've played this generation. I love the mountain of ideas this game has, even if they didn't use all of them all the time. It needed 6 more months of development time so they could put more stuff in the game. As is, the 10 hours it takes to beat are excellent. There is pretty good driving sectons, pretty good Uncharted style sections, and suitably awkward combat.
  • Alpha Protocol (also on: PC, 360)
    • Tulpa: I played Alpha Protocol twice and had a riot of a time the second time through. I loved the first time through as a totally ridiculous game, but the second time showed me how versatile the game was.
    • space_jam: alpha protocol is a mess but it's a totally fucking amazing mess
    • costel: Alpha Protocol is at times, one of the most engaging games I've ever played. A purely stealth based character has been somewhat difficult to manage, but more than anything I find myself at odds with what to do regarding the characters I interact with. Faced with meaningful choices and consequences, is an experience that I was completely unprepared for.
    • Ni Go Zero Ichi: It's a hideous buggy mess with some intriguing ideas buried inside. Maybe on PC it's had some of the technical shittiness patched/modded out.
    • CubaLibre: The more I think about Alpha Protocol the more I believe it is the shit. It's a criminally ignored and underappreciated version of the “choices & consequences” gameform that is completely narratively coherent and completely shits all over Bioware's inexplicably vastly more popular efforts.
    • Mr. Mechanical: Everyone should play Alpha Protocol. Always go for the “be a jerk” dialog option. Every time.
      • boojiboy7: PROTIP: Almost every dialogue option is “be a jerk”. It's just a matter of choosing what kind of jerk you want to be.
    • Tulpa: Alpha Protocol's pretty much the best kind of mess, the things it does good it really does better than any other game and the things it does bad are mediocre to bad but not so bad that you want to stop (unless you are a weenie)
    • scratchmonkey: Really, I have no arguments with anybody who suggests that Alpha Protocol is one of the great misunderstood games of our time.
    • Guillotine: Alpha Protocol is brilliant. The smallish-medium scale (for a videogame anyway) probably helps mantaining its strong cohesion, The are tons of variations and it really feels your choices matters - even if the story doesn't really change much, how you go along for the ride does significantly.
      I remember this little detail, sadly I'm a bit fuzzy about it: There's this big ex pro boxer guy, and in a dialogue your character will say something akin to “yeah? well I got first place in my college tournament”. Later you can fight him, and by defeating him unarmed just after the fact your character will briefly talk to himself: “…told you so…” or something to this effect.
      And yeah Mike is the best jerk.
  • Anarchy Reigns (also on: 360)
    • Felix: If the DMC/God Hand lineage is the modern equivalent of a brawler, Anarchy Reigns is the neoclassical equivalent. The game has a very easy-yet-weighty feel to it (makes me think of why people liked God of War), though I did find myself wishing the combat was just a little more technical in the DMC mold – as it is, it needs some more sophisticated grapples, or air attacks, or something. Oddly evocative of Dynasty Warriors in its normal-heavy two-button combos, the way that the enemy mooks crowd around you (which, granted, makes more contextual sense in a game about street toughs), and the extent to which you're supposed to rely on your overpowered supers; then again, I guess Dynasty Warriors is sort of a go-to for a very literal interpretation of a 3D brawler. To be clear, this game compares very favourably to everything in the genre except for PS2-era Capcom stuff. Much like all of Platinum's work, they've set down a more solid foundation for the first 80% of a game than nearly any other dev is capable of nowadays, and sort of dropped the ball on the last 20%. Single-player feels lazy and chaotic; multiplayer is better, but underpopulated. That said, it's certainly not underproduced, and I was surprised at how endearingly stupid the writing is.
  • Armored Core For Answer (also on: 360) - forum thread forum thread
    • drobe: When correctly handled, AC:4A is a game that makes you feel that mankind is capable of so much more, largely because the physical dexterity and visuomotor reaction speed required to play the game is something so much more than man should be capable of. A must for a lonely individual in a dark, lonely room.
  • Armored Core Verdict Day (also on: 360) - forum thread
    • Felix: My experience with this game after playing 2/3 of the story mode and several online missions (in my first week with it!) is that it's been hugely underrated due to a combination of its predecessor V's multiplayer focus being poorly implemented and the earlier 4/A's pacing being much faster. It is, in truth, an action RPG as mechanically (if not structurally, vis. Souls) as good as or better than anything From has ever done, with the most thorough, weighty-but-potentially-limber mecha aesthetic and physics this side of Steel Battalion and MechWarrior 2. (4/A, by comparison, have the sparse aesthetic hallmarks of early 360/PS3 titles, and the mechs are more ZoE than Battletech). I can't remember the last time I had this much fun customizing gear – it helps that the missions are (with some welcome exceptions) very short, the game gives you enough money to experiment without committing forever to a build (and also allows you to build an AI partner out of your old parts, minimizing churn) and the feedback from changing weapons or legs is immediately apparent. I've seen it called uninvitingly complicated and I really don't see it (nor do I consider myself that far outside the norm here); yes, it has a lot of numbers for an action game and the menus initially confusing, but it's hard to imagine them striking a better balance of skill and statistics than they have. Very highly recommended.
  • Battle Fantasia (also on: 360)
    • Sniper Honeyviper: Around the same time they experimented with the ambitious RTS/action game Guilty Gear 2, Arc System Works debuted a friendly, accessible 2.5D fighter with gorgeous graphics, set in the world of a Tales-esque RPG. Neither of them sold, so they went back to over-complicated 2D anime wankfests with characters like soggy cardboard cutouts. Truth be told, Battle Fantasia isn't particularly unique or remarkable in the genre, but its sheer playability, satisfying crunchiness, and undeniable charm are enough to secure its place as an unsung classic. It's always a treat to play a fighter that doesn't belong to an established series, anyway. Many of the characters' movesets are interesting variations on the SFII cast: Guile is a shotacon altar boy, Ryu is a spunky kid with a chainsaw-motorcycle, and Balrog (Boxer) is a pirate captain with a move called HEAT MY JUSTICE. The 360 version got a retail release in America, the PS3 version is PSN-only.
  • Battlefield 3 (also on: 360, PC)
    • Rudie: Has probably the best sound design of any game. Playing it on a good sound system is an amazing experience. The single player is shit. If you can get a friend or two the multiplayer will give you many many hours of giggling. Update: I've been playing this game for six months constantly and I still look forward to turning it on. Update: A year in I still love this game even if the expansions have been meh for the most part. Update again: Now BF4 is out and maybe the value of this game is nonexistent without an online community?
  • Bayonetta (also on: 360, Wii U) - forum thread forum thread
    • Loki: An obscenely fun 3d beatemup about a witch killing angels.
    • Rudie: It also really makes you feel awful for dying and I kind of resent the game for it. I enjoy it when I played it then I die and it pretty much kills all my interest again and again.
    • gatotsu2501: I wish Hideki Kamiya had played Ninja Gaiden instead of God of War. Oh well, it's still a decently fun character-actioner.
    • diplo: Was a time when I thought this was fun. Not anymore! Returning to it last year (2013) was the most cheerless thing. Really not into the Perfect Dodge = COMBO TIME mechanic, the chances for instant failure offered by the QTEs, enemies' rococo makeup that make reading their movements unnecessarily hard, or the finger-hurting button mashing and joystick twirling required by the contextual Murder Moves.
    • Felix: It was Platinum's flagship title in their only genre and it's not quite as good as anything they've done since (Revengeance, Vanquish, Anarchy Reigns) or for that matter anything Capcom/Clover did immediately prior (DMC3, God Hand), mainly due to the dumb mechanics catalogued by Diplo. It's not a bad representative of this type of game, and no other developer could really even pull this off, but it's also not that super great.
  • Bionic Commando (also on: 360, PC) - forum thread
    • Ketamine Kazoo: Multiplayer is where it really shines, and I imagine this was lost on people when the servers were saturated at launch to the point where you couldn't get your hands on any weapons without grafting yourself to item spawns. It's a traditional Quake deathmatch setup with 5 weapons, shields, health and quad damage- the player who wins is going to be the one who knows how to dominate resources, which puts special emphasis on mobility. Maps are intelligently designed to squeeze as much out of the grappling as they possibly could, bread and butter weapons are placed at specific heights so that a skilled player can grab them without losing any momentum, which is important because the floor is lava and touching it can be fatal. You can even grab items with your hook, so you can snag shit off platforms in freefall.
      When you really get a grip on the controls, the game takes on a kinesthetic flair that I haven't found in any other competitive game. It has a unique cat-and-mouse dynamic to it where the objective is to outmaneuver the other player, blindside and ground them so you can swoop down like a majestic predator hawk and eat them. At a high enough skill level, you can play and win without firing a single shot, but the weapons are effective and all have their place (except for the gimped grenade launcher which is only good for knocking people around).
    • Toups: I loved this game a lot after finally getting around to playing it last year. I really dug the boss fight against a huge mechanical worm thing. I felt it really was an awesome translation of bionic commando to 3D and was just underappreciated for whatever stupid reasons. Kind of like Blaster Master for PSX
    • cassievania: 3D Bionic Commando is one of my top favorite games from this generation.
    • The Blueberry Hill: I'm really enjoying swinging about in multiplayer, to the point where I wish there was a racing mode with no guns. I just want to swing forever~♥.
    • Felix: An excellent class in 3D game design. It was fairly widely regarded as mediocre upon its release for (as far as I can tell) two reasons: one, it seems to aspire to AAA production values but ends up being really campy (and not always in a good way, as many of the story's intended dramatic moments fall flat in their attempts to reference earlier events which were themselves mishandled and entirely unmemorable), and two, it's a really loose-feeling game at a time when that wasn't well-regarded (and still isn't). Compared with, say, Uncharted 2, another third-person action-shooting-platformer that also came out in 2009, Bionic Commando feels cheap and unpolished, lacking enemy variety, environmental interactions that don't involve a grappling hook, and much in the way of setpieces. However, Uncharted 2's hands-down worst element is the stickiness of the platforming, which is effectively on rails and failure-proof; Bionic Commando, on the other hand, is wonderfully organic in the manner of Mario 64 and the first Portal – you're going to get all up in that level geometry and you're going to do so in a messily unique way. It screws up a lot of things that most mainstream titles get right, and it accomplishes a number of things that very few do. Definitely worth playing.
  • Brutal Legend (also on: 360)
    • Rudie: This was a pretty good way to spend 12 hours! It definitely IS an RTS though.
  • Burnout Paradise (also on: 360)
    • gatotsu2501: Have you ever wondered what GTA would be like if the car physics were actually good and Rockstar wasn't so fetishistically focused on enabling the player to mass-murder pedestrians? It'd probably be something like this. Zooming around the city just for the hell of it is really a joy, and trying to wreck your car in the most spectacular way possible never gets old. I've played it for hours and hours now and barely even done any races.
    • Felix: Has almost nothing that I liked about Burnout; bizarrely lonely open world that badly lacks a sense of design. It works on the same level as GTA for some people, but not for me.
  • Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (also on: 360, PC, Wii)
    • P1d40n3 : It's MW! A crunchy and well-paced campaign, enjoyable multiplayer…what's not to love? Consensus puts the best difficulty at Hardened; Veteran degenerates into memorization of enemy placement (no Halo style dynamic combat here; one mistake is death), and everything else is far to easy. That being said, Mile High Club (Epilogue mission) on Veteran is the providence of the Elite, and almost worth the price of admission.
    • Felix: Easily the most historically notable CoD for its fairly intelligent treatment of the setting and the fact that it defined a half-decade of first-person shooters with intensely cinematic single-player campaigns and custom loadouts in multiplayer, but, eh, that “defining a half-decade of [largely overproduced jingoistic crap]” thing sort of works against it in hindsight.
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (also on: PC, 360)
    • Rudie: It's MW2! The predictable less filling, but bigger sequel to Modern Warfare 1. The online is a hacker filled wasteland. So you're buying this for a 5-6 hour campaign that is not quite as good as MW1's. On the other hand SPEC OPS, where you and a buddy play deliciously video gamey bits.
    • Ni Go Zero Ichi: I'd put the campaign about on par with MW1, actually - maybe even a little bit better. It's a little less difficult and a little more streamlined, but it's trying on a more polished, blockbuster-y aesthetic than its predecessor, and doing so with relative dignity. I can respect that.
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (also on 360, PC, Wii)
    • Rudie: Really starting to wear it's welcome. The online is also unplayable unless you really like getting killed in bullshit ways. The Specs Ops continues to be this slice of the game that I just want to exorcise and buy separately.
    • Ni Go Zero Ichi: The first one from the gutted, zombified Infinity Ward, and it shows rather badly. Much of the campaign seems more attuned to the popular perception of Call of Duty (as a succession of QTEs, basically) rather than what the prior IW games actually were (a rollercoaster succession of intricately designed levels and setpieces).
  • Call of Duty: World at War (also on: 360, PC, Wii)
    • Ni Go Zero Ichi: Mainly noteworthy for introducing the world to Treyarch's flagship Zombies mode, and by extension many hours of dumb arcadey co-op fun. Speaking of which, it's also the last CoD to feature a fully co-op integrated campaign.
  • Catherine (also on: 360) - forum thread
    • Rudie: The block pushing adult drama by the Persona Team. The story can take wildly different paths based on your actions and responses. Everyone on SB should definitely give a try.
    • gatotsu2501: “Adult” is a relative term. The writing is pretty eyerollingly animu, and in the last act the plot takes a regrettable turn for the retarded. That said, it's still worth playing simply for being completely different from any other current-gen game, a throwback to a seemingly bygone era where console publishers were willing to experiment with offbeat and conceptual premises in their big-budget games.
  • The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena (also on: PC, 360)
    • gatotsu2501: Renders “Butcher Bay” irrelevant, as the entire game is included here with updated graphics in addition to the shorter but entirely competent sequel. Both games are so aesthetically masterful that I'm willing to forgive the fact that their gameplay is fairly dated and the stealth mechanics often quite frustrating. You will probably enjoy the story more if you have seen the movies, and thus are already familiar with the character of Riddick, because otherwise he just comes off as a sadistic asshole. It's not a necessity, though.
  • Crysis 2 (also on: 360, PC)
    • gatotsu2501: Crysis gets Call of Dutified so hard as to render it virtually unrecognizable as a sequel were it not for the familiar suit powers. That said, it's still an above average shooter on its own merits: the level designs may be corridors rather than open fields, but they're exceptionally large and winding corridors; the gameplay may be built around setpieces rather than emergent experiences, but they're setpieces that almost always allow you multiple means by which to tackle them. That's more flexibility than a good 99% of shooters in the CoD mold.
  • The Darkness (also on: 360)
    • gatotsu2501: Rough and unpolished shooter with some really neat ideas and excellent presentation - the voice acting is some of the best I've heard in video games, the environments are beautiful, twisted and haunting, and there are some truly unforgettable event sequences thrown in there. The 360 version looks better and runs smoother.
    • Youpi: Dark Souls makes me wish the internet didn't exist so I could only get my information about it from the other kids trying to sort out the useful strategies from the ludicrous playground rumors.
    • Adilegian: When I got to the first boss, that guardian drake thing of the crypt, I thought, “Oh, haha From, this is where I die and get taken somewhere or something. You can't fool me!” And then I just died!
      • Adilegian: Holy crap this game is hard.
    • TXTSWORD: I would certainly not say it's perfect — there are valid complaints… but the positives so far outweigh any problems that I just can't bring myself to care too much. A lot of their ideas were so ambitious that there are bound to be problems and to me this only shows great promise for the future of the souls games. More refinement on solid ideas and probably more ambitious ideas that maybe don't work perfectly but so fucking what. It's progress and it's daring and it's brilliant.
      Last weekend I decided I'd Dark Souls'd out after making 3 new character to completion in less than 2 weeks time. I made it almost a week before I started Generic Knight and I've had as much fun as I've ever had. I'm sitting on several more character ideas I'll want to make. Sometimes I'm freshly aware and appreciative of how bizarre and wondrous the world design is and how interesting and gorgeous the environments are. I'm so appreciative of a game that isn't trying to be “bad ass”. I mean reading1) the game's producer talking about his refusal to include gratuitous blood and gore seems so refreshing. It's not so much the exact subject — blood and gore — as the mindset. It's a sort of desire for refinement, for quality, for a cohesive and unique vision and direction. For having principals. It's as if the game has respect for itself and refuses to lower itself to people who want a hard ass protagonist spouting one liners (as an example). It's the kind of thing I'm not used to seeing and I don't think it's occurred to me just how deeply I appreciate and respect that. It's kind of difficult for me to articulate, and for that I'm sorry.
    • spectralsound: Both Souls games are amazing even if only for the fact that they're content with keeping quiet about some things, and leaving it up to the player to determine what that character's history is or what his motives are or where he's going. It's honestly about a much of a selling point for me as the gameplay is, especially in this era of Skyrims and Mass Effects, where every random villager or space tourist has this dense backstory that is presented to you in text dumps with such frequency that it becomes suffocating. Playing Dark Souls after playing those games feels like zen meditation.
    • remote: Dark Souls is a bit more ambitious than its predecessor and is thus more engrossing (or just as engrossing, but perhaps with greater longevity) despite a couple of late areas that feel like big ideas with disappointingly very little to be seen or explored. I can't really bring myself to say that Demon's Souls was hands-down the better game, but “more graceful” might be an apt enough way of putting it. It feels more elegant and complete in its simplicity, whereas Dark Souls has left me wanting more, driving me to keep playing and experimenting with covenants, new characters/classes, PVP and co-op, narrative aspects I have not yet discovered, etc. I'm definitely consumed by it as well.
    • Tulpa: Tulpa: I think one of the most aesthetically appealing things about Dark Souls, especially compared to other fantasy games, is the way it taps into a mythopoeic style of fantasy as opposed to an ersatz medievalism+monsters.
      Within Dark Souls, the player character interacts with gods and demons from the very start and fights to change the cosmology of the world instead of wandering around a traditional and ultimately unsatisfying fantasy setting that feels like pop culture medieval earth plus orcs.
    • diplo: The intensity and duration of interest surrounding Dark Souls shows that it satisfied some aesthetic and/or interactive need that titles seemingly haven't satisfied very often. Of course, it's much easier to see the game's fumbles today than back in 2011 (it's a very improvable videogame) – even so, those several-hundred hours I invested don't feel misguided or of-the-moment. Personally the most important and enjoyable game I've played in years, and one of the most successful attempts by a game to turn the often ignored morbidity of videogames into a central, explicable theme. Its level design does a bunch of special things, one being that you'll often preemptively see landmarks and networks which you go on to explore one way or another, lending the sequences of exploration a visually prophetic air. Rare and excellent.
  • Dark Souls II (also on: 360, PC, PS4, XB1)
    • CubaLibre: it adds some mechanical improvements at the expense of thematic depth. In other words they improved the stuff that I didn't really think needed improving at the expense of the one thing D'Souls did better than anyone. It's still a good game, it's just not a great game. You play it through once and you don't feel a whole lot of pull to experience it again.
    • mauve: DS2 is one step forwards two steps backwards. It does some things really well (the aforementioned mechanical issues, which are unfortunately marred by ridiculous hitbox issues and perhaps an over-nerf of sprinting), but the overall world is simply not as compelling and the level design has fewer moments of greatness. And soul memory is off-putting to playing characters for long periods of time, as you can't simply designate a cut-off point for your character anymore without becoming wildly outclassed in multiplayer.
      It's still a good game. It's just, well, it's not the Dark Souls 2 of Dark Souls, it's the Dark Souls 2 of Dark Souls 2. It's doing its own thing, and overall it is not as good for it.
    • Rudie: Looks like I need to man up and talk about DP here. It features one of the best characters in a game, FBI Special Agent Francis York Morgan. That guy has the world's most perfect smirk! The game is half awesome Shenmue but set in Japan's version of the town from Twin Peaks and half limp wristed trudging survival horror. I strongly recommend you buy a copy of this game right now, even with how much of playing it made me groan. It looks like the world's best Dreamcast game + bloomlighting.
    • This Machine Kills Fascis: Man, I hate that all the positive reviews for Deadly Premonition reduce it to some kind of so-bad-it's-good midnight movie game.
      It's more like the sort of midnight movie that you see and you realize, “Oh wait, this is doing stuff I've never seen in a big studio movie. I mean, clearly they had no budget, but there's actually a spark of unbridled creativity and a thoughtfulness here.”
      I mean, at no point during Deadly Premonition did I feel like I was condescending to the game or its creators. Y'know, when I'm playing something like Gears of War I'm forced to try and enjoy the game's mechanics despite feeling like I'd avoid the people who made the game if I saw them at a party. I've said before that I don't want to play Mass Effect, because I don't want my “open world” choices constricted by the biases of developers who seem to have an outlook on the world that grosses me out. I don't want to climb into someone else's fucked up head. With Deadly Premonition, I didn't feel this same tension. It felt like a game made by people that are actually interested in exploring what kind of game they could get away with making.
      And, c'mon, you have to respect their chutzpah. They basically decided to make Shenmue with a thousandth of the budget and probably improved on the formula (offering a more obvious central story thread to focus on).
  • Demon's Souls - forum thread
    • CubaLibre: An sb sacred cow, revered only slightly less than the immortal God Hand. A bleak, desperate 3D dungeon-crawling action-RPG where combat is about commitment: there are very few cancels, and every action leaves you open to attack. Lethally difficult but always strictly fair. Features inventive online modes that revolve around death and resurrection, the game's central theme. Perhaps most notable for the way it embodies the principle of story and atmosphere through mechanics rather than text dumps or mere cinematography.
    • Rudie: I still think extremely highly of this game even if it made me sigh a few times. The bosses aren't as challenging as they could have been, and the New Game + is just numbers are higher. You absolutely must play it as it is still a stellar game.
    • ChairTax: This game was easily my favorite game from this console generation and it's no hyperbole to say that it completely reshaped how and why I play videogames.
    • diplo: By now, in 2014, it's been hugely overshadowed by Dark Souls (and the upcoming sequel), but it's hardly irrelevant. In fact, at times I find it preferable to Dark Souls. Environments are often dark and frightening, the challenge is tenser (no poise, dying puts you at the start of a world, co-op is a bit more strict), architecture has a bluntness tied to the appearance of early European castles that really drives home a feeling of labyrinthine monumentality, carry-weight matters, and in general the atmosphere has an air of desperation and failure that I find more appealing than the one in Dark Souls. Its greatest issues are probably the obtuse weapon-upgrading system, the too-vague-to-be-fully-enjoyed World Tendency aspect, a lack of heft to character physics, and a boss that's just too much to deal with on your own as a busy adult if you're doing NG+ and beyond.
  • Devil May Cry 4 (also on: 360, PC, PS4, XB1)
    • Rudie: When you want 1/3rd of a video game.
    • Sniper Honeyviper: “1/2 of a video game, played forwards then backwards” seems more accurate. I actually enjoyed it (on 360) quite a bit until the blue-balling “puzzle” stages, Nero's got a genuinely interesting moveset even if it was obviously unfinished.
    • P1d40n3: There is no reason to play this if you can play DMC3 or Bayonetta.
    • boojiboy7: I would play this over Bayonetta any day of the week. DMC3 is still better, though having the ability to switch Dante styles on the fly in DMC4 is pretty interesting, and makes me hope for a full game of it sometime. Nero is more interesting than people give him credit for though, as Sniper hinted.
  • Devil May Cry HD Collection (also on: 360)
  • Dishonored (also on: 360, PC)
    • Ni Go Zero Ichi: Steampunk-themed spiritual successor to Deus Ex, by some of the original designers (unlike the more popular Human Revolution). It's an unexpectedly slow-burn sort of game, and probably the more faithful successor to Deus Ex when all is said and done, lacking the big-budget frills and streamlined mechanics of AAA gaming in favor of more choices, more playstyle flexibility, more freedom. I really don't dig steampunk at all, but the writing is honestly pretty good in a graphic novel sort of way.
  • El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron (also on: 360) - forum thread
    • Rudie: A gorgeous adventure, then they ran out of time/money.
    • gatotsu2501: I'm tempted to make a joke about Evangelion, Xenogears, and the curse of Japanese pop entertainment based on the Bible, but I just can't seem to tie it all together.
  • Fallout: New Vegas (also on: 360, PC) - forum thread
    • CubaLibre: It's ok. The way the story branches and accommodates you is probably as good as the first Fallout, but the atmosphere is still a little too themepark and the FPS mechanics just suck compared to old action point tactical stuff. Plus it's still a goof-glitchy Bethesda halfdisaster. Their best effort since Morrowind though certainly.
      • Tulpa: So long as you don't use VATS (or play with the realism mod2) I keep recommending) the FPS mechanics work pretty fine (or better than most shooters). One of the big things about the realism mod is that it makes the AI act intelligently. They take cover, they flank, they use grenades. They don't charge you. If you stealth kill an ally of theirs, they will look for you. Even if they just find a dead body a little while later. Your companion doesn't step in the way of bullets anywhere near as often.
        While I can kind of see the theme park criticism, it's a lot less present than in Fallout 3. Mostly comparable to Fallout 2 (which makes sense, it's by the same guys.). There's a weird diversity to environments like in FO2 (the disconnect between the old west feel of most of the world and the New Reno feel of New Vegas was jarring and certain factions feel out of place), but there's some attention paid to how these people live. There are farms, people herd cattle. There aren't untouched abandoned convenience stores fifty feet away from a town with a food shortage. The world actually feels lived in, at times. The game is just very similar to Fallout 2 but with a more interesting plot.
        I don't think there are any generic respawning shooting gallery enemies other than wildlife. There's maybe two patches of feral ghouls in the entire game and only one group of unfriendly super mutants which can be dealt with without any ridiculous fucking bossfights (OR AVOIDED ENTIRELY). Everyone else actually has a place in the world. I kind of want to try a pacifist stealth/diplomacy run of the game but that might be near impossible.
  • Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster (also on: PS4, Vita)
  • Grand Theft Auto IV (also on: 360, PC)
    • Ni Go Zero Ichi: In which GTA makes a painfully misguided attempt at taking itself seriously.
  • Grand Theft Auto V (also on: 360, PC, PS4, XB1)
  • Grow Home (also on: PC)
    • Mikey: Grow Home is the first PS4 game I've played that has made me use the Share button. It's a game about moving a clumsy robot around, making a towering vine grow by connecting offshoots of the vine to floating islands. It's captures the simple joy of locomotion and has a really attractive, colorful, low-poly aesthetic. The robot's clumsiness also makes for some white-knuckle climbing/platforming which makes it a perfect antidote to a game like Shadow of Mordor where the climbing is semi-automatic and purely a means to an end, but manages to be a pain in the ass by way of dodgy geometry/controls.
      So yeah I've dropped that game and I'm just playing Grow Home now because it doesn't make me feel tired of video games.
      edit: Also it's kind of shocking that this came out of a Ubisoft studio but I guess it's probably one of those smaller companies that they snapped up and slapped a generic Ubi moniker on
    • Felix: fwiw Grow Home seriously scratched my Mario 64 platformer itch that I had no idea was there + Grow Home is fantastic. probably my favourite game of the year other than Her Story. I honestly don't think anyone's made an exploratory-style 3D platformer that well since 1996
    • Mr Mechanical: So Grow Home, […] is a pretty chill exploration/platformer thing featuring a cute robot with goofy procedural animation and really fun climbing. Like you can climb on everything and each of your two robot hands corresponds to a button on the controller so climbing around involves getting into a little rhythm and also you can grab objects this way as well and drag them around.
      There are crystals in each level that when you find enough they upgrade your abilities. I just unlocked a jetpack ability that's kind of weaksauce right now but I assume will get better with more upgrades. Also there are flower things you can get to float down from really tall heights and the whole game has kind of a floaty feel to it in general.
      I think it was some kind of small student project or something from a few people inside Ubisoft that miraculously got turned into a game. Basically each level has a certain plant you have to reach that has certain branches that you climb on and then grow them out to floating power sources that make the plant itself grow taller. The goal is to grow the plant up into space so your spaceship can reach it and take it back to earth.
      It's all kind of janky but it's also pretty cute and very relaxing in a way. I have a blast just climbing around the environment looking for crystals or dragging new plants/animals into the checkpoint spot to be scanned into the database. I think this one's a keeper.
    • The Blueberry Hill: Adding my voice to Mikey, Felix and Mr Mech in saying the Grow Home is really ace. One of the nicest feeling games I've played in ages, especially when plucking crystals (shame flowers kinda don't fully pluck). So far it's progressing really nicely and naturally: There was the having fun just climbing phase, the finding lots of surprising areas phase, and then the lets pick things up and throw them in the teleporter phase (they don't teleport, just get scanned).
      I really like the wobbly procedural animation (he feels alive!), and zooming the camera out (by clicking the right stick) makes it feel kinda Ico-y. Also the wobblyness and sound effects remind me of Vib-Ribbon. Dropping those two names made me think that something I like here is that I feel like I'm helping out this robot guy, rather than him being an avatar for me.
      Also it's fun to feel like a sperm when you're controlling the new plant offshots and guiding them towards power crytals/eggs.
  • Ico & Shadow of the Colossus HD Collection
  • Jak & Daxter HD Collection (also on: Vita)
    • Rudie: You can't play Jak 2 and 3 in Korean or Japanese or any of the other million languages the PS2 versions have. That makes this collection worse.
    • Felix: I bought Jak 2 for $6 on PSN when my “grumpy socialist” position on HD remakes softened somewhat after the MGS collection, and initially regretted it, because you can tell they've just cropped out the top and bottom of the 4:3 image, and the game starts out a little more boring than I remember (i.e. sparse environments, lack of challenge, Saturday morning cartoon narrative that takes an hour or so to settle in tonally). Once it got going, though, I started to remember why this game managed to simultaneously feel like a) the first open world that was actually fun and dynamic to move around in and b) one of the only 3D platformers subsequent to Mario 64 that didn't seem derivative. That said, the physics are a little mushy in hindsight – it's all very polished and responsive to the point that this must be deliberate, but the platforming is a little slow and sticky, the cars are pretty floaty, and the guns don't let you strafe (although, see: Uncharted). Also, while this game is historically notable for being challenging enough to motivate infinite respawns (and very good on it for that), a couple of the checkpoints are actually a little farther back than seems reasonable. At the time of its release I thought it was an incredible technical achievement and some of the best genre-bending I'd ever seen; now each of its component parts save for the guns (which bothered me less in 2003 when they were anachronistic) feels like a relic, and it's a little surprising that the game is still more than their sum.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure All Star Battle
    • Rudie: Okay, maybe I am retarded for games set in East Asia. I still liked this game a lot more than either Gears. I think the level design is fantastic for encouraging co-op flanking maneuvers. It has two levels that I had been wanting to see in action movies forever. It is an excellent 5 hour affair that I have now replayed several times over, just because I enjoy it that much.
    • Broco: I got Dog Days on the recommendation of folks here, played for 10 minutes and was pretty meh about it. It certainly has a distinctive visual style — the title screen in particular is really cool — but that style collapses as soon as the camera starts tracking your character in the usual videogame way. Then it's just a pile of jerky and imprecise third-person shooting, and it doesn't help that the first mission feels like it's already padding for length with repetitive, story-irrelevant content. May not bother playing further unless someone tells me it really gets better. I think it's the kind of thing where you know in advance whether you really like the style and that makes you forgive the rest.
      • CubaLibre: I feel like you are way off the mark here. the guns are imprecise on purpose, none of the content is story-irrelevant (well; none of it is theme-irrelevant). it's one of the most coherent games I've ever played in terms of every single element being bent towards a singular emotional goal, as good or better than valve's best.
    • CubaLibre: The effect it's going for is to be as much like a shitty digital Youtube cam as possible while still allowing you to play a cover shooter. The fact that it's a playable cover shooter is very important, because the point of the game is that any protagonist of a cover shooter is a fucking maniac. it's taking the old http://actionbutton.net/ABDN “drake kills too many people” argument and putting it front and center.
      It's also a hellaciously tense and busy shooter, in part because the guns are fairly inaccurate. Lead is spraying everywhere and chewing through the scenery. getting up close is very dangerous but also rewarded in that you can hit things much easier. The game wouldn't work if it wasn't good, for obvious reasons (no game works if it isn't good). You get a kind of dull grinding feeling for lack of variety of weapons and attacks that's offset by some great variety in level design. And it's all extremely short, playable in one long sitting. Pretty delicious.
    • Dracko: The point is, the first level is significant. It's part of the story. So is the second, the third and so on. Every element of the game is purposeful, and not just from a story stand-point.
    • spectralsound: there is so much hidden depth to the aesthetics and presentation of Dog Days that it's frankly breathtaking, so much so that the fact that it also happens to be a pretty well-put-together game feels like just a neat bonus. it's an ugly game about ugly people, and i honestly consider it to be one of maybe only two or three games from this current console generation to be truly important to the future of the medium. the fact that games like Max Payne 3 and Spec Ops: The Line are doing gangbusters while this game languishes in obscurity frustrates me to no end.
    • Ni Go Zero Ichi: The more AAA shooters I play, especially those with a “gritty” aesthetic, the more I come to appreciate what makes Dog Days unique: it commits to an aesthetic as raw, bleak and stylistically ugly as its narrative warrants, and sticks with it to the end. It's refreshingly unconcerned with trying to make the player feel okay about shoo
    • Felix: It is overrated a little bit here, and both the rail shooter level in the late game and about 1/4 worth of the padding in the early game could stand to have been cut. That's a relatively minor complaint, as each chapter is good and significant, and the game is largely improved by not being more accommodating, but it has a bit of an attrition problem until the pacing ratchets up halfway through. In any case, it is indeed aesthetically and mechanically ugly in the best way, and at least a little more fun than that implies on its own.
  • King of Fighters XIII (also on: 360, Arcade)
    • Rudie: Gorgeous sprites. It's not nearly as tight a system as XI, but it works.
  • The Last of Us (also on: PS4)
  • Little Big Planet
    • boojiboy7: An interesting experiment, if not always a great game. The idea of making a game based largely on user-generated content reveals that at least 90% of users have no clue what they are doing, but the 10% that do make up for it. The game is wrapped in a fairly charming skin as well, with a narrator that manages to sound both like a children's book and a snarky ass occasionally. The multi-plane platforming works for the most part, but occasionally makes getting to various parts of the levels an unnecessary pain. Still a lot of fun to be had, and a fairly simple game to explain to anyone who has ever played Super Mario Brothers.
    • Felix: Fairly successful game design / crowdsourcing / what-have-you project that has unbelievably, heartbreakingly bad physics.
  • Lost Planet 2 (also on: 360, PC) - forum thread
    • Rudie: Another game of 2010 that got slammed by critics but was especially great. The problem is you need people to play with. Which should be relatively easy, because a lot of SB has a copy. Also: Space Mexicans.
    • Ni Go Zero Ichi: This game's co-op definitely has some real depth that rewards investment. To get at it, though, you're going to have to look past a surface layer that's fairly shitty and frequently infuriating: awkward controls, clunky combat, and a spectacularly bad interface. There's merit here, but I can see why people didn't like this game.
  • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
    • boojiboy7: An awesome horrible amazing trainwreck of a videogame that manages to be a lot of fun and entirely offputting for a lot of people. Hideo Kojima flips a giant bird at anyone who gave anything resembling a shit about the plot of Metal Gear, tying up plot ends nobody knew existed and making everything die or get married. Also comes with the amazing Metal Gear Online, which turns the rules of Metal Gear into a playground to mess with.
    • Rudie: Everytime I think about it I want to die. This is a game funeral. Metal Gear Online is pretty fucking sweet though.
    • Felix: The “Adaptation” of the MGS franchise; an Ouroboros joke on its main character's name, ten years in the making. May break your heart, but it's a worthy spectacle despite being substantially less fantastic than MGS3. A pretty bad “game” without the online mode. Lots of really satisfying parallels in the narrative as they wrap up the whole series, but even that is executed so much more poorly than MGS3 that I can't really ssay much in its favour. The best parts of MGS4 are Act 1 (which you can download as a free demo) and about 3 of the twelve-or-so recorded hours of cutscenes. Some – I stress some – of that stuff is really cool and I'm glad it got produced.
    • gatotsu2501: Temporarily setting aside the (ahem) issues with the story, the entire way through the game I was waiting for it to finally let me play Metal Gear Solid. It never did. Like Mario Galaxy, its obsession with novelty means that it never settles into its own rhythm. It's so committed to twisting the series formula (with mixed results) that it never actually establishes one of its own, or even really lets you do the basic stuff you want (well, I want) when you pop in an MGS game. Maybe each of the Acts should've been its own game. Also, the boss fights after the first one are all overlong and infuriating. If MGS4 truly has a theme, it's “too much”.
  • Metal Gear Solid HD Collection (also on: 360, Vita)
  • Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (also on: 360, PC)
  • Metal Slug 3 (also on: 360, Arcade, Neo-Geo, PC, PS2, PS4, PS Vita, XBox, Wii)
    • Broco: Everything is a bullet sponge, even the first crab enemies in Stage 1. Most of the bosses don't give you any weapon drops so you need to kill them with the pistol if you die once.
      There sure is a lot of great artwork in it so it's worth playing once or twice for that. But Metal Slug X is definitely where the most fun is to be had in general.
    • Loki Laufeyson: 3 would be the best if the final stage wasn't such absolute bullshit
    • allensmithee: 3 is fucking tiresome but it has the most sights to see so i feel it is worth playing for that purpose. it gets really fucking ridiculous
  • Mirror's Edge (also on: 360, PC) - forum thread
    • drobe: It's a game that really tries to convince you that you're running along a mile-long A4 drawing beautiful calligraphy with wallruns and rolls. At times it actually feels like that, but it usually ends up feeling a lot like riding a runaway train while being chased by an even larger, angrier runaway train. The construction site was quite fantastic, I think.
    • Felix: By far EA's best conceptual effort of recent years. Slightly overproduced, and decidedly mixed level design.
  • NieR (also on: 360)
    • Rudie: A great Zelda-like from cavia that killed said company when it didn't sell. It features great genre mixing with bullet-hell bosses and a visual novel dungeon as examples. The characters are wonderfully entertaining. Also: Boar Drifting.
    • Felix: The Eurogamer review is 100% accurate; it's a C-game that would've made a fantastic B-game, but it's consistently inventive and extremely likeable. You should completely ignore all of the sidequests and the crafting. The last hour or so of the narrative is quite good thematically. There probably wouldn't be any reason to play it if the localization wasn't as good as it is.
  • Ninja Gaiden Sigma (also on: Vita, Xbox)
    • gatotsu2501: The crown jewel of 3D action games. The controls are fricticious and delicious; the combat is beautifully fine-tuned and the difficulty is impeccably balanced. I've never played another game with difficulty that felt so organic and fair; every time you fail, you know it's because you screwed up, and every time you succeed you know it's because you damn well earned it. In every encounter you feel evenly matched. The major thorn in this game's side is the painful and exasperating camera, though if you think it's bad here you should try the Xbox versions, which use strictly Ocarina of Time camera controls (minus lock-on). I must confess to never having played Ninja Gaiden Black, which I've heard is the definitive version.
    • Felix: I've actually lost track of how many times they've remade this game across the past two console generations and how many releases are actually sequels, but nevermind that. It's a really good, less technical but no less interesting take on Devil May Cry (better than Bayonetta / God of War / etc.) that, due to various little flaws, never makes you feel quite good enough for winning or bad enough for losing.
    • boojiboy7: Ninja Gaiden inevitably ends up boring the shit out of me. I want it not to, but it always does.
  • Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 (also on: 360, Vita)
    • gatotsu2501: Not in the same league as its predecessor in terms of level design, pacing and balance, but the reworked combat mechanics and greater emphasis on weapon variety make it perfectly worth playing on its own merits. I haven't played enough of Ninja Gaiden II for 360 to properly compare them beyond superficial elements (though, yeah, the censorship in Sigma is pretty ridiculous).
  • Ninja Gaiden III: Razor's Edge (also on: 360, Wii U)
    • Rudie: Another time where my insane opinion fights against everyone else. I hated Ninja Gaiden 1 and 2 and this game is certainly a bad sequel those games. As a game where you press buttons and awesome stuff happens it is great.
    • Ni Go Zero Ichi: For better or worse (though I have a hard time wrapping my head around the “worse”), the “Razor's Edge” edition makes NG3 feel like a Ninja Gaiden game again. The level design is still pretty severely bland, but just bringing the combat back up to snuff makes a big difference.
  • Ni no Kuni
    • Rudie: Gorgeous Studio Ghibli music. Joe Hisashi Soundtrack. Very basic gameplay. A good game to relax with, but the adult in me gets bored quickly.
  • PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale (also on: Vita)
    • Ni Go Zero Ichi: Sony's Super Smash Bros. ripoff may initially look like a cheap imitation, but beneath the exterior there's actually a decently interesting, if odd fighting engine. You can only score KOs with super moves, which initially seems like a terrible idea, but the trick is that this rewards the player for learning and executing the best possible combos (the quickest way to fill up the super meter) and interrupting other players' combos, while making the risk of imminent KO much easier to assess at any given moment (and virtually nil during the early game). In fact, it's the reverse of Smash Bros.: in Smash, being hit by other players progressively increases your vulnerability to being KO'd, while in Battle Royale each hit you deal progressively increases your ability to KO other players (and with less unpredictability involved, as well). That this necessitates a much more offensive playstyle than Smash Bros. really brings into relief the defensive nature of Smash Bros.'s core fighting mechanics, while providing an interesting alternative and potential for future variations on the formula. As a complete package, it's not as good as its template - not least of all in its mostly ugly, dumb aesthetic presentation - but it's also the only Smash Bros. alternative in the multiplayer platform-fighter subgenre it invented that may be worth a second look.
  • Portal 2 (also on: PC, 360)
    • gatotsu2501: PS3 version contains Steam integration for co-op and achievements, and comes with a free digital PC copy to boot, so if you have a PS3 this is probably the version to get.
  • Ratchet and Clank: A Crack in Time
    • Rudie: If you've played one Ratchet and Clank game, you've played a Ratchet and Clank game. This is the most recent one. They are fun 12-15 hour video games. I'd recommend you try one, and then decide whether you want more of that.
    • Felix: Like all of Insomniac's games, it's good maximalist fun, but a tad too floaty to actually be exceptional. If your character were a bit better at dodging and could take fewer hits, would be a great game.
  • Red Dead Redemption (also on: 360)
    • Felix: Before I played this, I thought: I never want to actually relax and take my time in a game to the extent that's required to appreciate an open world, and I'm sure that way too much of the game is centred around middling shooting, and I'm sick of narratives about men trying to leave a life of crime, and it doesn't seem like you can create chaos to the same extent as you can in GTA to overlook the insufficiently crunchy mechanics. This game has every one of those flaws, but the world design and the dialogue are actually that good and it's still a lot of fun. Also, the amount of ground you lackadaisically cover gave me a new appreciation for custom soundtracks, even if the PS3 implementation is a little clumsy. Feels a little like no one gave any thought to a difficulty curve; the shooting never really gets any tougher after 1/3 of the way through, and about 10 of the game's 60 or so missions could've been cut and it would have been better for it.
    • Ni Go Zero Ichi: The combat gets really dull, really fast, and the mission design isn't nearly varied or clever enough to make up for it. That said, the world is designed with such care, thematic consistency and attention to detail that wandering around and exploring it remains a simple joy for quite some time. This game's inevitable sequel will probably blow it out of the water.
  • Remember Me (also on: 360, PC, PS3) - forum thread
    • Jaihson: Imagine the simpler hang and jump sections of a modern Prince of Persia game. Now add a giant yellow arrow pointing at every possible interactable surface within a certain distance of you at all times. Intersperse encounters that are pretty much a stripped down, less impactful version of the pattern recognition fighting in Rocksteady's Batman games. Defeat 90s movie Lawnmower Man at the end. That's pretty much it.
    • Talbain: From my experience, rather the concept art looks nice, and the game's a terrible mess. Weird lighting, visual discontinuity, and for some reason a fighting game when it could have been a pretty cool spy thing. And that combo system has to be the dumbest thing I've seen thought up in ages. Play the dumbest version of Simon Says, but only when Simon Says that you can play a certain version of Simon Says. Yeah. Radical.
    • meauxdal: this game does pretty much suck ass, yes. i've been trying to muster up the motivation to play more of it, but… nah
    • Mikey: I have to say I really like this. It's the sort of cyberpunk dystopia stuff I eat up. Playing this in French with subtitles is pretty great, too. The memory-remixing is way too paint-by-numbers, but the funky combo lab stuff is kinda fun. I don't mind the icons that show you where to climb as, honestly, it's not like most other games of this type don't make it absurdly easy to do that kind of stuff, anyway. Gonna keep playing.
    • Gironika: it's kinda like an Irem game, really.
      You just cannot honestly recommend it to anyone, because you need to have a certain amount of enthusiasm to ignore issues that can be dealbreakers for most people.
      It's like advising someone to buy a vintage car instead of a new one — like you'll pretty much have more problems running it, it's less safe, less powerful, hasn't got the bells'n'whistles of ipod connectivity bluetooth integration disc changers, you might not even get spare parts easily … can you seriously recommend buying such a car to anyone? Your 18 year old daughter that might break down with it at 1am in the morning?
      You need to be an enthusiast that can enjoy the moments when it works — this must be enough for you to put up with the rest. Are you such a person? Then yeah, go ahead and try it!
  • Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition (also on: 360, PS3)
    • Ni Go Zero Ichi: Another game expressly designed for co-op to the extent that there's really no point in playing solo. Of course, the fact that co-op is non-incidental means that all the levels are built around the two-player dynamic, so it's a pretty satisfying cooperative experience. Sure it's no RE4, but RE4 (regrettably) didn't have multiplayer.
  • Resonance of Fate / End of Eternity (JP) (also on: 360) - forum thread
    • Rudie: THE REAL FINAL FANTASY XIII.
    • boojiboy7: It's a really strange game from a lot of fronts. It is a jRPG with a pretty decent little story, except it doesn't shove the story down your throat and relies on you making a lot of connections that aren't explicitly stated. The combat system is ridiculously complicated and meat-y, and even 20 hours in, I was figuring out some new tricks with it. There are some random bouts of anime humor, unfortunately, but they are somewhat isolated, and almost comedic for how little they fit the tone of the rest of the game.
  • Saints Row 4 (also on: 360, PC)
    • Felix: I feel similarly about this game as I do Mass Effect 3 – it's a pretty darn successful and all-in-all fun example of mainstream sensibilities executed beyond reproach. Genuinely funny at times, and the soundtrack is great, too. I'm a bit of stickler about jack-of-all-trades games' component parts not being up the genre baseline – why shouldn't Mass Effect's shooting be as good as Gears' – and only in the past couple years do I feel like I can finally give the highest-profile open world games a pass in this respect. That said, while the new Crackdown-esque range of motion is terrific, the shooting and the driving are actually pretty middling by comparison, and the former is pretty well unavoidable; both you and the enemies are bullet sponges by modern standards, likely because the engine isn't really tight enough to be any less forgiving. There's also still a bit of lingering open-world game design busywork in the form of the hundreds of barely-significant character upgrades you can purchase from the pause menu. Inasmuch as this is solidly a B game (growing budget notwithstanding), I'd give it at least a B-double-plus.
  • Shadows of the Damned (also on: 360)
    • Rudie: Better than we were all expecting. Akira Yamaoaka's soundtrack carries the game though.
    • gatotsu2501: Disappointingly bland, which is just about the last shortcoming you'd expect from the talent involved.
  • Siren:Blood Curse
    • Rudie: They took Siren, and made a playable video game out of it. 2014 opinion update: I think PS2 version (available on PSN) might be the stronger game.
  • Sly HD Collection (also on: Vita)
  • Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection (also on: 360)
  • Stuntman: Ignition (also on: 360)
    • Rudie: Pass the Controller game of the year 2008. By the makers of Beetle Adventure Racing!
    • gatotsu2501: Fun fact: the scriptwriter for this game, Jared Hedges, also did script adaptations for No More Heroes 2 and the English dubs of several anime including YuYu Hakusho, Fullmetal Alchemist and Crayon Shin-chan.
  • Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition (also on: Arcade, 360, 3DS, PC)
    • P1d40n3: Not the greatest fighting game of all time, but it will doubtless prove the be an important one.
  • Uncharted: Drake's Fortune
    • CubaLibre: Indiana Jones as played by Nathan Fillion. Some of the only legitimately good voice acting in videogames. And the shooting's pretty fun too.
  • Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
    • CubaLibre: Like the first one, with lusher graphics, better setpieces and possibly the best pacing of any videogame in history. Not a single boring moment. Includes also a smattering of multiplayer modes which, contrary to all expectations, are quite compelling.
    • Rudie: The logical bits of this game bothered me more than in Uncharted 1 and parts of the dialog really got to me. It does have better setpieces, but I like Uncharted 1 more.
    • Felix: As a platformer, it's the Sands-of-Time-failure-doesn't-matter mentality taken to its logical, depressing conclusion, which is basically “you can't fail, so just enjoy this movie about jumping” – frustrating, considering that Naughty Dog themselves proved years ago that you could have both infinite restarts and consequential setpieces. Uneven stealth sections and Kane-and-Lynch-style clumsy gunfights are both initially frustrating but certainly intentional. In any case, it's one of the most polished and best-acted games ever made, and despite the many, many concessions to the almost automatic pacing, gets progressively better up to the very end. It is pretty much the poster child for ludonarrative dissonance in that the protagonist is a pacifist sociopath, but it's Indiana Jones pulp, not high art, and my advice is not to give a shit.
    • Ni Go Zero Ichi: Pretty much the definitive model of the uber-scripted “cinematic” AAA action blockbuster. Also one of the most glaring showcases for ludonarrative dissonance in the medium.
  • Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
  • Valkryia Chronicles
    • Rudie: After 7 chapters of 18, I think I'm done with this. I see what it's doing, but the combat isn't as engaging, but I couldn't give the developers suggestions on how to make it better. Download the demo for a really good idea of what you are getting into. Features Vyse and Aika of Skies of Arcadia for what it's worth.
    • Felix: The narrative is, for lack of a better word, appalling (jRPG tropes out the yin-yang + alternate history WW2 = liberating cel-shaded concentration camps), and makes you wonder if Skies of Arcadia has really aged that poorly. Pacing is also a bit funny – you go from a somewhat protracted introduction to a succession of gimmicky battles that make you long for a chance to just play with the core rules of the game. Suffers slightly from Final Fantasy X syndrome when it comes to building your characters, in that you're forced to approve a bunch of non-decisions manually. Has one of the weirder sets of binary-mechanics-overlaid-on-analogue-ones I've encountered, and initially feels awkward and abusable, but eventually clicks. In spite of all that, this is easily the most inventive narrative-driven strategy RPG on a console that wasn't made by Matsuno, and pretty much the only game of its class in close to a decade. Makes as many smart design decisions as dumb ones; fans of the genre have no reason not to pick it up.
  • Vanquish (also on: 360) - forum thread
    • gatotsu2501: Level and enemy design are a bit bland and the story, even as little of it as there is, is jarringly atrocious. That said, the controls and core mechanics (shooting, dashing, using your suit powers, etc.) are solid as steel, and it's still a better action game than just about any other you're likely to play.
    • CubaLibre: It's a pretty good game with a couple of very crippling flaws. It could have been truly great, but instead it's just pretty fun.
    • TORUMASUTA: It's not the THIRD PERSON SHOOTER BY THE MAKERS OF GOD HAND AND BAYONETTA that you think it's going to be, but it's hella fun for a single playthrough. Of course, I got the game for less than 20 bucks, so one playthrough of the campaign got me my money's worth—your appreciation might vary.
      • There's a DLC weapons pack that costs something like three dollars which adds in three weapons. It's one of the few DLC packs that I can wholeheartedly recommend; one of the weapons is this giant Laser Cannon and it's a lot of fun to use. The other two weapons in the pack aren't too different from what's already there, but the game pretty much forces you to use the Assault Rifle for most of the game, and having the Boost Machine Gun to mix it up occasionally is great. Never got much use out of the Anti-Armor Pistol, but it's cool because it's an ANTI-ARMOR PISTOL.
    • Baseballkappe: I think I saw Dracko comparing it to MDK here and it's absolutely true and it's great fun and I kind of really love the game.
      If anything it's the most cheerful militaryish shooter on the market.
      Also boosting right through enemy lines and trying to attack them from the rear while being showered with bullets is cool.
    • Felix: The shooting is more solid than any cover shooter I've played apart from Gears, the boosting and dodging are tons of fun (hell, I refuse to play any shooter that doesn't have some kind of cool dodge mechanic), and there's a real brawler/shmup vibe to the whole thing, in terms of the enemy variety and the bosses which you can shoot turrets off of. Despite being a very grey-coloured game, the whole thing looks and moves really, really well. That said, it's one of those games that's both too short for the amount of money you're likely to pay for it and too long for the length of time its mechanics remain interesting. I finally played it after it was released for $20 on PSN, and I really dug it, but I can see why it didn't do too well at retail (definitely don't give a damn about the lack of multiplayer, though). Also, I think the narrative is actually pretty enjoyable – it's stupid as hell, but the writing is way better for what it is than any number of other games'.
    • kiken: It's very much a 3rd person version of ESPGaluda (sans gender-swapping). I think it stems from the fact that Sam's combat movement options are always available from the word “go” (there's no gaining of new abilities) and that learning to play the game well boils down to effective utilization and meter management. The weapon upgrade system may seem a tad counter-intuitive at first, but it actually strikes a nice chord with the movement system as managing weapons requires you to prioritize between ammo conservation and the usage of upgrade icons. All of this combines into a very tight and smooth flowing combat system.
      In a nutshell, Vanquish fixes every awkward mechanic in PN03.
  • Virtua Tennis (also on: 360, PC)
    • Rudie: Virtua Tennis in next generation Sega hideous. Why would you even consider ever playing pong?
  • White Knight Chronicles
    • Rudie: Absolutely not. This game is boring offline/online JRPG with inane semi-real time (the enemies keep hitting you, you have to wait to hit) battle system. The plot and environments are as absolutely generic as possible. This game continues to prove Level 5 can't make a good game without outside assistance. The best skyboxes I've ever seen though.
  • Yakuza 3
    • Rudie: It's more of the Yakuza action as you can expect. The US version took out about 15% of all the bonus shit you can do. It's mechanically just about the exact same game as Yakuza 1 + you are in Okinawa too. It does have Boxcelleos which honestly, is good enough to be a standalone PSN shooter. Will probably be completely outclassed when Yakuza 4 reaches Western shores.
  • Yakuza 4
    • Rudie: This time it isn't just Kiryuu. It also only has Kamurocho. It definitely tightens up everything loose about Yakuza 3 and has no cut content.
  • Zone of the Enders HD Collection (also on: 360)
    • Felix: Post-patch, ZoE2 not only runs well, they'll actually sell it to you individually, and since everyone played the first one but not the sequel, this is a pretty good deal. It's a pretty good game with a pretty terrible narrative (and terrible voice acting/dialogue to boot) – I get the sense that they deliberately made it shorter because they knew it wouldn't hold up for any longer than it does, and I'm OK with that. The bossfights are better than I expected. The extra missions have better setpieces than in the storyline. The versus mode is almost a better Psychic Force / Senko no Ronde. I wish it didn't feel like I'm damning the only game to successfully evoke Gundam-y robots with faint praise.

See also

 
 sb/recommended/playstation3.txt · Last modified: 2016/06/22 00:02 by the_blueberry_hill
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