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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Q2 2010 gaming report – PS3, Xbox 360 and PSP

Another three months gone. Another three months of game development. Another three months of gaming bliss … or was it? Going from Spring to Summer means end of school and the desire to head outside for many, it’s also time for E3 with the promise of games to come, but what about games to come now?

This quarter saw the release of more multi-platform titles than system exclusives as evidenced by the list for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 below. This is not a bad thing as even the multi-platform titles are starting to take advantage of what PS3 and 360 offer, each systems unique power and features. This is mostly seen in the download centers but also applies to extra levels. Sadly this is not a list of these features but rather a look at the good, great and a few poor’s from the quarter. So with E3 full of much promise what did gamers have to dig their hands into during April, May and June, let’s take a look …

Multi-platform – Sweet, sweet series of titles. This is an excellent mix of the familiar, new and updates. Sadly two titles, NIER and Lost Planet 2, missed on fulfilling their promise but were not bad titles, just not great.
  • Transformers: War for Cybertron – A fun and original take on the Transformers universe with many designs tied to the G1 and G2 characters fans love with decent online play and an interesting story mode. Great for fans and those looking for a different online experience. 
  • Red Dead Redemption – GTA with cowboys … in a sense. A fun and raunchy sandbox experience that will leave gamers wanting to ride a horse and ask why are there not more western based games?
  • Singularity – Turn time back and forth to solve mysteries of the past. While not a ground breaking FPS, Singularity is one that held much promise but just seemed a bit lost in the shuffle. FPS fans should take it for a spin 
  • Super Street Fighter IV – Is Street Fighter entering a whole new era of yearly releases? At this quality we can only hope that Capcom brings along Darkstalkers and Marvel for the ride but for Street Fighter fans this is an amazing title. 
  • LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 – The same great Lego formula this time with Harry Potter and that excellent soundtrack. Amazing game for kids and adults.
  • Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands – Not tied to the movie but rather a filler story that bridges the gap in the original trilogy. A solid title but not as fun as the next-gen reboot for Prince. 
  • Green Day: Rock Band – More Rock Band and this time with a more modern group. Pair with the Beatles and enjoy with the whole family. 
  • Blur – Racing game, new kid on the block but take a look in a quarter that did not see too many racers.
  • Alpha Protocol – A few quarters late and not quite living up to the hype but this spy RPG entertains in a bad Tom Cruise Mission Impossible way but is not as good as … 
  • Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction – Sam is an angry man and getting into a plot worthy of 24, hell it’s better than most movies. The action, animation and boundaries Ubisoft pushes with Conviction is excellent and really allows the gamers to immerse themselves in a realistic world. 
  • Skate 3 – Another Skate? Yup, improvements, new areas and worth mention as this type of title should really go 100% the download route. Don’t make fans buy a new game. 
PlayStation 3 – Mainstream games are not the exclusive flavor of the months but rather niche titles that simple rock and show that old ideas can be new and gamers can do the creating.
  • 3D Dot Game Heroes – A Zelda rip-off or just major homage to an era long past. The gameplay, levels, design never take themselves serious but offer an incredibly fun gaming experience. 
  • ModNation Racers – Taking the racing kart genre to new levels where no sequels are needed as the gamers will create the courses and keep the fun going. 
  • Trinity Universe – No stopping NIS and the niche fun keeps on going with more RPG style gameplay to be had.
Xbox 360 – One great title and another that offers a box full of … fan service.
  • Alan Wake – Incredible game design and graphics. This is like playing a King novel and it will mess with the gamers head. 
  • Record of Agarest War – Offered on shelves for 360 and as a PS3 download. Worth mention as it’s a solid SRPG but it’s the box with way too much fan service thrown in. Attention for all the most improper reasons. 
PSP – Metal Gear alone makes this an outstanding quarter for the always slim pickings PSP but a few other titles are worth checking out also.
  • Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker – More Snake, more excellent handheld gaming that includes some heavy influence from Monster Hunter in it’s feel … not a bad thing at all. 
  • Disgaea Infinite – Not a true game but rather a choose your path story with great voice work and the twisted Disgaea humor fans love. 
  • Hexyz Force – Two stories and tons of great fantasy J-RPG style gameplay await. It’s the RPG choice for gamers on the go this quarter.
  • ModNation Racers – Not as polished as it’s PS3 big brother but a nice racing diversion on the go. More a title worth mention but one that has not lived up to what LittleBigPlanet on PSP is to the PS3. 
  • Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3 – For fans and fans alone. The gameplay feels stiff at times but getting to assume the role of new baddies is fun as ever. These are the titles the more Eastern PSP gamers need. 
Overall the PSP gets a B for Metal Gear and a few decent Eastern type games. The Xbox 360 also scores a B thanks to Alan Wake. Two systems, both stand very well with one exclusive title each and for the 360 a gaggle of multi-system titles to choose from. This leaves the PS3 which gets a C+. Yes it has three good exclusives and a ton of multi-system titles but no grade A exclusives.

Next up the Nintendo Wii and DS.

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