For Christmas I got am embarrassment of video game riches for presents. I had purchased a PS3 a few months ago, but until Christmas I only had one game. Okay, technically we had two, but one of them was “Sarah’s.” In any case, pre-Christmas, all games were Lego games (Batman and Star Wars) so I’m happy to have some non-lego games to report on. However, the theme of the subjects seems to hold too…
First, the games I’ve spent the most time playing:
Buzz Quiz TV – The name pretty much sums up what it is, a multi-player trivia quiz show for your PS3 and a very welcome addition to our house. There are numerous versions of this game for the PS2 and PSP with different question slants and this is the series first entrance onto the PS3. It comes with 4 wireless “buzz” controllers for the players. Its a nice little interface that works well with the game. A common complaint online, and one that I have as well, is that for a game called “Buzz” you hardly ever use the big red buzzer at the top, most of the time you’re using the multi-color answer buttons. We’re enjoying it a lot, especially when you have more than 2 people playing. At least two of the multi-player rounds work better when you have more than one competitor to pick on. If you don’t have any friends with you, you can also play ‘sofa vs sofa’ online. The game is also easily expanded through additional categories purchased via the Playstation Store or via user-content quizzes created at MyBuzzQuiz.com.
Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe – One day the people at Midway’s video game division said “Keith Garner does not own enough of our stuff, how can we make a game JUST FOR HIM. Let’s see, he’s a big DC comics dork and he’s always been fond of Mortal Kombat, while not always being that good at it. Hey! Let’s make him a video game peanut butter cup.” Honestly, I like this game too much so I don’t know if I can honestly say if its a good game or not. The gameplay has gone back to more classic Mortal Kombat mostly 2D fighting compared to the last two PS2 games, which is good for me as a player. (You can still move in a 3rd dimension usefully, but its not a huge requirement.) The characters from both universes look really good (thanks, Unreal engine!) and the DC characters special moves are pretty good and in-line with what they should be. For example, Captain Marvel does have the awesome Shazam lightening attack that’s been popular post-Kingdom Come. It just makes me giddy as a school girl to hear things like “Kitana vs. Green Lantern…FIGHT!” This game sets the fan-boy in me to 11. Even if you don’t like DC comics, its a pretty good fighter. You can also go online to get embarrassed with how bad you are.
The games I’ve played a bit, but not enough:
Fallout 3 – I’ve always been a big fan of the Fallout series, despite not completing the first two. Come to think of it, I was a fan of Wastland way back in the day, which was done by a lot of the same people. I think I’ll be firing up Parallels just to play those first two again and actually try to finish them. I’ve played about an hour of Fallout 3, which means I’ve just barely scratched the surface. To be fair, I played the first hour twice as I was working to understand the UI and combat the first time. Its not that its bad, I’m just rusty with these games. In fact, I find the interface really nice now that I’ve gotten the hang of it. I do find myself being a little too goody-too-shoes, but that’s my nature, I guess. In any case, the feel, the voice acting, and the concepts so far are stellar. I just need to find time to lock the kids away and play it. Looks like lots of late nights coming up.
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed – I downloaded the demo on the PS3 and liked it enough to request it as a potential Christmas gift. So far, I’ve only played the first mission. You get to play a Jedi in full control of his powers in a 3D environment, how can you go wrong? So far, I’m liking it. Again, I’m still getting the hang of the interface and powers, but I’ve done the first mission (or 2 if you consider the prologue) and am looking forward to playing more. My only complaint with this game is load time. Despite loading 2.5 gig of stuff onto the hard drive, it seems to take forever to leave the game environment and go to the options screens and then to move around in the options screens. I’m not sure if that’s a bug in the current version of the game, or if its just being hampered by the PS3′s “measly” 256MB of RAM. In either case, that’s been an annoyance. As long as you stay in the game, its a non-issue though. I just had too much Evan messing with the remote, jumping on my lap, etc when last I played so I really noticed it then.
I should also mention I got the Sony PS3 Wireless Keypad. For the PS3′s browser, Sony Home, or any game that has some text input/chat, this keypad isn’t too bad. It can snap onto a sixaxis controller or you can use it separately, as it has its own battery. It reminded me of typing on a Hiptop/Sidekick so I was right into it. Not sure if its a good value at $50, but its been a good accessory to have.