Game Time

Along with everything else, it soon became apparent to me that the PS3 has some pretty amazing games. There may not be all that many of them, but each one has impressed me so far in one way or another. With it’s wireless internet, it can go straight to the Playstation Store and download demos and movie previews, all in high definition, looking crystal clear on the TV (Transformers looked especially good). This is great, as you are ready to go from day one. Not only that, but I also put some mp3s and music videos on the hardrive. especially the types of music we like to listen to whilst eating or music videos that I can see again and again0- and it’s all there in the living room. Thanks to a recent update, it also upscales DVDs very nicely, and you just slide it in and it plays. What it most of all brings is style- as you play a video, the screen smoothly fades out and on again after you finish. The crossbar interface, which you may know from the PSP is there, changing colour depending on the time of day. It all makes for a great experience and a world away from the PC world of a jumble of different company’s programs and random crashes or virus checks (with the 360, Microsoft apparently managed to make a console that overheats and crashes, a world first!). Of course, though, a PC can do a lot more things…!
After a few demos I had to get my hands on some of the cool games, so now I have Ridge Racer 7, which is just beautiful, smooth and detailed with a real feeling of exhileration as you speed around the tracks. Some may wonder if it is the best in the series, I honestly don’t know, but it is certainly the best-looking, I especially like the motion-blurred rear lights as you speed through misty caverns- it’s something I originally liked at the Tokyo Games Show and the effect hasn’t worn off on me. Being a Playstation, it is of course strong on the driving games and there is actually a free downloadable taster of what we can expect in Gran Turismo- Gran Turismo HD. you unlock cars by getting fast enough laps and the effect of driving is very believable- you feel the weight and handling of the car, ruching by gorgeously detailed Alpine scenery. It actually reminds me of my time in Switzerland. Judging by some other downloadable trailers, the final game will look astounding and maybe we will see more of the fabled PS3 cell-power in motion.
I also got Resistance- Fall of Man, a great if very unoriginal first person shooter, that reminds me of umpteen PC games, especially Half Life 2, just being far better looking than anything my dated PC could produce. I got it imported, so I have the English text and cut-scenes. While I was there, I also piced up a game that if I had read the internet reviews would have stayed on the shelf- Gundam- Crossfire. It got panned, some people saying they’d rather shoot themselves than play it any longer, but surprisingly, I find it very enjoyable and the graphics remarkably detailed. It hypnotically draws you in, building up your squad of Gundam units and winning battles- so long as you play on  the easier difficulty and have good equipment on your units. It’s true, the graphics jerk around and the game can be slow- but the detail and sense of a balle going on around you draw you in. I’m just glad I gave it a go- I was ready to return it unplayed! As it is, it amused me for most of last night. It just goes to show it’s better to try things for yourself as you’d otherwise never know what you’re missing.

Update- here is a Techtalk videocast about this beauty-

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