Category Archives: Playstation 3

PlayStation 3 title reviews.

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The Amazing Spider-Man

The Amazing Spider-Man Box Art, ReviewHaving been a fan of Spider-Man for years, the kid inside of me is always excited when a new Spider-Man game hits the shelves. The Amazing Spider-Man is more than just a game though, it’s an extension of the movie which I also thoroughly enjoyed. Following up from the movie, this title is set in the aftermath of Dr. Connors’ discovery. Needless to say, there are spoilers for the movie.

Publisher: Activision
Developer: Beenox
Genre: Action-Adventure//Sandbox, Fantasy
Platforms: Xbox 360 (Reviewed), PlayStation 3, Windows PC, Wii, Wii U, 3DS
Release Date: 29th June, 2012 (EU)
Rating: 16 (PEGI)

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The Walking Dead

Box Art The Walking Dead Video GameIn this popular era of zombie apocalypse games, we’re playing high-action, fast-paced, blood’n’guts shoot ‘em ups were we want the highest score and to be as competitive as we can. But for the video game The Walking Dead, the developer Telltale Games (which I might add, is very appropriate), have crafted a beautiful, emotional, impacting and rememberable adventure and will go down in history as one of the most genuinely statuesque gaming experiences you may ever play.

Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games
Genre: Adventure//Point-and-Click, Horror
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows PC (Reviewed), Mac OSX, iOS
Release Date: April 24th, 2012 — November 20th, 2012
Rating:  18 (PEGI)

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Assassin’s Creed III

Assassin's Creed III Box Art ReviewI’m not going to lie. I was a fan of the Assassin’s Creed franchise, up until the launch of Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, the fourth iteration of the game in five years,  and three consecutive years. It was at that point that I found myself tired of the series, but Ubisoft’s promise of something new and great resurrected my interest. The trailers made Assassin’s Creed III seem rather fresh. With hopes that the new title might revitalize the decaying series, I entered the title into my PlayStation 3’s disc tray.

Assassin’s Creed III is the penultimate title in Desmond’s story. The world is nearing its end, and the present day Assassins are nearing the end of their quest to save it. Unfortunately, a key stands between them and salvation, and the answer lies in Connor’s memories which can be visited through the Animus device. Connor is a half Native-American and half English Assassin who played a significant role during the American Revolution.

Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher: Ubisoft
Genre: Action-Adventure, Historical, Science-Fiction
Platforms: PlayStation 3 (Reviewed), Xbox 360 (Related), Wii U, Windows PC
System Release Date:  October 30th, 2012 (NA); October 31st, 2012 (EU)
Rating: 18 (BBFC)

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Way of the Samurai 4

Way of the Samurai 4 Review Box ArtI was often recommended to try playing the Way of the Samurai franchise, but I never did get the chance. With Way of the Samurai 4 just released, it was now time to truly play the game for myself.

Way of the Samurai 4 sees the player take the role of a samurai during the period of transition in Japan, when the small country started to become influenced by western powers. The player may freely choose to side with the Japanese military, isolationists, or even the foreigners themselves. As a foreigner to the franchise, would I feel isolated?

Publisher: NIS America (Europe), XSEED Games (North America), Spike (Japan)
Developer: ACQUIRE
Genre: Action, Adventure
Platform: PlayStation 3
Release Date: October 5th, 2012 (EU); August 21st,  2012 (NA); March 3rd, 2011 (JP)
Rating: 15 (BBFC)

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JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure HD Ver.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure HD Logo for ReviewJoJo’s Bizarre Adventure  lives up to its name, but it’s not just JoJo’s bizarre adventure. Originally released in the arcade before being ported on to the PlayStation and Dreamcast, the title is also the player’s own bizarre adventure. Littered with unique characters who have some of the most crazy abilities seen in a fighting game, JJBA is a title that went largely unappreciated due to the loss of interest in the fighting genre in the west at its time of release. However, that wasn’t to say that it wasn’t popular amongst fighting game cliques.

Jump ahead to the 25th anniversary of the Japanese graphic novel series, and JoJo is seeing revitalization in other mediums. A new TV show and videogame were announced, but they weren’t alone. The 25th anniversary also saw the resurrection of the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure arcade game that was released here in the west, based upon the Heritage for the Future revision which was also released on Dreamcast.

Now reborn in the form of a high definition remake, is JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure HD Ver still a good fighting game in today’s world, where the fighting genre itself has also seen a comeback? Or does it fall behind the times?

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Review: God of [What] Was

god of war hd collection review pack shot

God of War has always been a game I’ve been interested in. I had been following the franchise since the first title was released; however, I had never actually gotten a chance to play any of them until God of War III.It lived up to my expectations, which is why I had to get my hands on the High Definition remake of the first two videogames.

For an HD remake, it’s one of the better titles that I have experienced. Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) did a great job in respecting the source material, as I later discovered. The God of War HD Collection consists of both God of War and God of War II. I’ll be reviewing the former.

Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer: SCE Santa Monica Studio
Platforms: PlayStation 3
Release Date: March 18th 2010
Rating: 18 (BBFC & PEGI), M (ESRB)

The general idea of the title is that you play a character named Kratos, who is allied with the gods. As the player progresses the game, they unlock new abilities and enhancements to the character. God of War is a typical hack and slash game. The better the combos you use, the easier the game is. Though there is a few difficult challenges in the game, though some of the challenges are merely down to how fast you can button mash — something that has never been improved upon in the franchise. Sometimes I found myself experiencing fear for my controller from the extreme button mashing that was required. This is particularly the case during the first boss.

The protagonist of God of War will never change. He will always have the same attitude and same personality. He will always be a killing machine. His thirst for blood and battle enhance the experience of the game; instead of playing a whiny character, we have a badass protagonist who shares our thirst for blood, our hunger for tearing enemies apart. Our lust for the battlefield and love of action. Moreover, his attitude continues throughout as he becomes more chaotic in cut scenes, and his attitude towards his enemies becomes more aggressive.

Disappointingly, the visuals may be stunning and high-definition but the cut scenes have seen no change or improvement. They’re still pre-rendered in the old resolution of the PlayStation 2. I was personally hoping that they would render the cut scenes in at least 720p resolution instead of just re-using the original cut scenes. Instead, they are visually muddy and even the sound quality isn’t up to the standard of the rest of the title.

Putting the disappointing cut scenes aside, God of War HD is a good remake. The visuals look great, the sound quality is good, and the gameplay is fun and flows very well. It’s a good title worth picking up, especially from retail as it comes complete with God of War II HD.

God of War HD was completed on normal difficulty. The title scored 8/10, meaning that it’s a great game with a couple of relatively minor flaws. Input Lag is a regular author of the Gaming Advance website and can be contacted through the email address: inputlag@gamingadvance.com

(The review is entirely subjective and should not be considered fact. This review is the author’s opinion and nothing more. Feel free to discuss the review in the comments below, but try to keep it civil. You are also entitled to an opinion that may differ from the author — and don’t forget this!)

Review: Saints Row The Third

There are developers that thrive to design their games to create an immersing and epic climactic piece of art. Saints Row The Third’s intention is to make the biggest, and baddest beast of a game that aims to offer non-stop over-the-top crazy action inspired by the craziness and immaturity of the likes of Grand Theft Auto and Japanese television. They do this by incorporating blow-up visuals, addicting yet simple gameplay, and a lot of eye candy. Volition continues the adrenaline-pumping action from its popular predecessor, Saints Row 2, by layering a continuing spread of excitement like butter over bread to keep you hooked to the game like a fish to a hook.
Saints Row The Third is open to any type of person to pick-up, play and just have fun. This is evident as you do not need previous knowledge of any other Saints Row games in order to understand the events that transpire in this game. You will miss out on an “inside” joke or two, but fans of the Saints Row series will know that the story is not the strength that super glues your eyes to the screen.
Publisher: THQ
Developer: Volition
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows (Reviewed)
Release Date: November 15th 2011
Rating: 18 (BBFC), 18+ (PEGI)

Starting with the story, well, the lack-of; the Street Saints gang travel from Stillwater city to Steelport after a failed bank heist where they are captured and thrown in to jail by the police. The player assumes the role of the appointed leader of your gang where you may be messing around with lots of sliders and options when you’re asked to create your own character; which is one of the most innovative and advanced aspects of the title. I feel the direction of The Third (from Volition’s point of view) is to hammer quality on top of quantity, expanding and augmenting the features that made Saints Row 2 enjoyable and, in contrast, cut or not work-on those that player feedback were mostly negative on. Sure, there are fewer activities to do in both the character creator and within elements of the game itself, but what actually exists is filled with plethora detail. Actually, one of the main reasons why I love Saints Row games is because of the level of customisation there is and the fact that you play your own character; not some clown I don’t care for.
Your time in Steelport city will be filled with completing a variety of different mission archetypes, advancing your character’s stats and abilities with the cash you earn from creating mass havoc, and meeting funny and funny (yes, Pierce, you) characters that you may or may not like. The missions here are structured differently to Saints Row 2 in that, thankfully, the Respect requirement needed to start the next mission is removed. Instead, you can freely pick your next mission at any time, and each mission acts as a progression bar until you play a storyline mission; which advances the storyline and world events. These progressive missions tend to become boring after you’ve completed them as they’re repetitive and seem to serve entirely as padding.
You can whack out a taunt, or compliment, at any time.

That’s not to say that there aren’t any fun missions either. In particular, I love when I have to storm through the city in a tank, destroying everything in your path. Everything.  Buildings, fences, trash bins, cars, people, you name it. It’s a lot of fun and it also feels very good when you hear that cha-ching sound as you receive cash at the end of the mission. This serves as a cool reminder that you’ve earned your right to enhance your character’s abilities.

What I think Volition has done right is allowing the player to advance their character through the cash they earn; it’s an almost self-balancing system where the more fun you have; the more you’re rewarded. These abilities range from allocating more health, stamina, ammunition, more homies to serve as reinforcements, vehicle drop-offs and unlocking cars and aircrafts. This allows you to specialise yourself and set a line between you and other people who you may decide to play co-op with and gives you the choice to improve in what you love doing most. Superior abilities cost more so naturally you’ll need to bugger up the city some more! Money can also be spent on what you love most: weapons, vehicle upgrades (they make a substantial return) and clothes (which unfortunately does not).
There’s a large variety of side missions that serve as a break from the madness of the story, or a diversion from it. There are outright hilarious and silly infinite tasks for you like streaking in-front of as many people as possible within a set time limit, vehicle surfing, driving through opposite traffic and performing nose-stops on bikes. Beating each of these amusing diversions will also earn you respect, and respect lets you unlock more abilities; given you have the cash for it – and you will have by the end of all these! Of course, what open world game is not without its diddles and doodles? There are, I shall say, interesting secrets to find around the world space. If you do not have prior knowledge as to what these actually are and understand the sense of humour works in Steelport, you’ll be in for a giggle or two. The power-hungry players can purchase property throughout the city in order to increase their overall revenue that gradually builds up with time; you can purchase buildings from weapons and clothing shops, to factories, to towers and even mansions. Purchased property will act as a safe haven and you may store vehicles in their corresponding garage, change clothes in the wardrobe, and if allowed, access helipads for aircraft spawning. All items and vehicles are stored globally, meaning no matter where you are wreaking havoc, you can jump in to anything and everything you’ve collected. In addition, you may wish to upgrade property to reap its benefit: mainly being that of earning more money. More benefits include being able to hire more homies, and if you have the correct ability, you can call in your customised homies as reinforcements.
Yes… revival needed.

As you might have guessed, weapons can be bought and can be upgraded in linear stages, but it’s vehicles and clothing I want to talk about for just a minute. Fully customisable options throw themselves at you when you drive your car in a garage, you’re able to change, add and re-colour many parts of the car so much that it becomes totally unique to your personal taste. Those looking for a role-play experience or like the way their avatar look may be disappointed to learn that clothing for The Third makes a weak comeback, in comparison to Saints Row 2. The quantity of items to buy have been sucked dry and you’re limited to only wearing one item per body part, for example, one type of shoes, one type of legs, one type of torso clothing; and with limited options to choose from, you may be put-off if you like to dress your character in ridiculous ways. Even the over-the-top wacky costumes do not look exceptionally dissimilar, in a strange way, they seem to “fit in” with the world and characters rather than have them “stick out” and make you wonder what kind of artist could imagine something like that up.

So, the story isn’t very well told ‘nor is it even remotely interesting to me, but there are a couple of characters that try to stick to the railroads. And I emphasise “try to”, because most of the jokes and skits become boring very fast. And even when the story is being progressed it still feels as if it’s going nowhere due to the lack of character depth and development. The game features a myriad of celebrity voice actors. It’s just unfortunate that the characters they are assigned to are as wooden as my back garden fence. Voice actors can only do so much with the script handed to them. In the end, I felt more compelled to skip the occasional cutscene to avoid falling asleep on my chair. This is much unlike Saints Row 2 which had more tolerable characters, better storytelling, and even the tiniest bit of character development. However, the story does have its moments. In particular, I enjoyed one of the two endings in the last mission which involves invading an airship with your aircraft to rescue your gang.  It’s just unfortunate that you cannot replay the good missions or cutscenes.   Otherwise, the story isn’t Saints Row The Third’s strong point, but that’s because the game focuses far more heavily on a more fun player experience within gameplay.
Playing the PC version, I must say that I’m impressed. Volition dedicated their development team to work for the Windows version of the title. This is a huge contrast to their previous lack-lustre attempt with Saints Row 2, which was a pretty poor port. Graphical options are as you’d expect from a DirectX 11.0 game. There’s a large variety of high end graphic options. Furthermore, motion blur can be switched off – a rare feature that I highly appreciate. The Third is well optimised for Windows and, in particular, ATI graphic cards. ATI cards aren’t often as well supported as Nvidia’s selection; however, I only ever experienced one crash and freeze – both of which were a result of online co-op. Saints Row is known to have a “realistic cartoony” style to its graphics: properly formed and correctly anatomically-figured people, but used in conjunction with a cartoon-style pallet. The Third continues this; Volition has made it look explosive!
Feel free to run up to any bystander and kick their teeth to the back of their throats or punch their head-in, all in the name of fun.

To sum up this bloody great game, in every meaningful output of the meaning, I can’t deny the amount of entertainment The Third offer. It sure has built-up and improved on many aspects from Saints Row 2 but the drawbacks are that of cut content that fans miss, such as the poop-shooting mini-game in which you fire poop on anything that exists to earn cash and respect. Sounds fun, right? The sense of direction I feel Volition went with their latest game is that of quality over quantity, putting the concrete between the bricks, whilst removing the loose and crumbled ones. Casual players and newcomers to the series will appreciate the attempted humour and the effort the developers put in to this beauty, but may feel disappointed if returning to Saints Row 2 to learn that that offers more on the table.

Saints Row the Third was beaten with 100% completion achieved on Normal difficulty. The Team Fortress 2 and Genki pre-order bonus were installed. For those who regard score as an important factor to a review, Saints Row the Third receives a 7/10. Whilst the game is most definitely good, it does have a number of imperfections that hold this title back.
Guru Meditation is a regular author for GamingAdvance. You may contact Guru Meditation through the email address: gurumeditation@gamingadvance.com