November 22, 2006
Ta-Da and To-Do
Sony's new PS 3 hits stores Friday, but can you get one? They're in short supply. Even so, some stores will sell un-reserved machines today. Good luck with that. More will come out in the next few weeks, but know that demand is high.
My verdict? This is a crazy, ambitious machine. The 60-gigabyte hard-drive system plays high-definition Blu-ray games and movies, and you can surf the Web on it. At $600, it had better be the most promising system on the market, and it is.
At the moment, games don't look more beautiful than Xbox 360 games. But in a year or so, game makers will likely make fuller use of the system's gigantic capabilities and create games that could take hundreds of hours to complete. Also, the hand controller is awesome.
Here's a look at some of the finer PS 3 titles for sale at launch time. They retail for $60 each, and you can play them alone or against multiple gamers online.
- "Resistance: Fall of Man" begins on Earth in the 1950s. You play as human soldiers, blasting aliens with machine guns, shotguns, tanks and plasma-ish weapons you steal from aliens. It doesn't look or move as phenomenally as "Battlefield" or "Medal of Honor" titles. But for a debut, there's a good amount of glitzy killing (if that's your thing) against gross space dudes, dog-sized scorpions and super creepy guys who eat you. Plays fun. Looks very good. Moderately challenging. Rated "M" for blood, gore, intense violence and strong language. Three stars out of four.
- "Genji: Days of the Blade" – This sword-swinger is set in a mystical fantasyland of Japan. You play variously as a handful of warriors. One guy's good with the blade. A lady fighter beats rival warriors with a sharp hand fan. This is a lovely, cinematic game. But it does feel repetitive. You slash, slash, slash. And I got stuck for 30 minutes at a one point where game designers didn't make it clear how to destroy magic flowers. Don't ask. Plays entertaining, if cyclical. Looks great. Moderately challenging. Rated "T" for mild language and violence. Three stars.
- "Tiger Woods PGA Tour '07" – The standard-bearer of golfing looks and plays essentially like it does on Xbox 360. A terrific outing. Plays fun. Looks great. Challenging. Rated "E". Four stars.
- "Madden NFL '07" – "Madden" looks best on PS 3, if slightly so. It's a tad slicker now and has fewer, accidental freeze-frames than versions for other systems. PS 3 "Madden" also has extra visuals, like the quarterback walking up to scrimmage. Plays fun. Looks great. Moderately challenging. Rated "E". Four stars.
- "Need for Speed: Carbon" – Sick visuals. It looks as pretty as previous "Need for Speeds." You drive through finely detailed streets and around mountains, but this "Need for Speed" poses more hazards, like driving off a cliff accidentally; the rails won't save you. Plays fun. Looks great. Challenging. Rated "E 10+" for violence. Three and one-half stars.
- "NBA 2K7" – This is the basketballer to go with. It's tons of fun. Plays fun. Looks great. Challenging. Rated "E". Three and one-half stars.
- "Call of Duty 3" – One of the best shooting series ever continues with more old-war action. I haven't played this yet. (Couldn't get my hands on a copy.) But it is a reliable series that often merits four stars. Rated "T" for blood, language and violence.
- "Fight Night: Round 3" – Coming out Dec. 12, the PS 3 "Round 3" plays similar to the Xbox 360 version with one huge difference. You can play in first-person perspective; when blood gets in your eyes, the TV screen goes red; if you get punched in the left ear, the sound will be muffled through the left speaker. How cool is that? Plays very fun. Looks great. Very challenging. Rated "T" for blood, mild language, sugges