Posted in: Video Games

PS3 vs. XBOX 360 – A Newbies Opinion

As the title of this post plainly states, I am no gamer. I’ve owned 6 video game consoles; an Intellivision, a Nintendo, a Sega Master System, a Sega Genesis, a Playstation (very late in the game mind you), and a Wii. If you noticed I really stayed way out of the way for the current incarnation of videogames. When I played video games in college FPS (First Person Shooters) were just entering the scene with Medal of Honor and I was not really a huge fan.

I’m a man of the side scrolling days.

So when I purchased a Wii a few years back, my major deciding factor was that it was a new take on video games. Instead of a controller, you waggled sticks at your television in the futile attempt to make a playmobile character swing a golf club. Hours of entertainment to watch – but as many of you fellow Wii players out there know, the Wii is a lot of fun, but it certainly does not put you in the “hard-core gamer” category of video game player.

Wii is the short bus of video game consoles.

About 8 months ago, after a night playing with my Roku, I found an awesome internet tv show called CO-OP on the Revision 3 channel. There was a particular episode where they dissected the video game Assassin’s Creed II. I was completely transfixed.

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Portal 2 featuring Stephen Merchant

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If you’re a comedy nerd, such as myself, you may be pumped to find out that the upcomming portal 2 game on PS3, XBox 360, and PC features the vocal stylings of Stephen Merchant as Wheatley, your robotic tour guide. You might remember Merchant from his writing on the office and the hilarious Ricky Gervais Podcast.

Portal 2 is the follow up to the hugely popular and brain bending Portal from Valve Software. I’ve played it as part of Half-Life 2 Orange Box and thought it was awesome there, but apparently the PC and Mac versions are superior, although Portal 2 was announced with Valve’s steam engine on PS3, which will allow the upcoming title to be updated the same way the Mac and PC versions are. Bonus!

I’m really excited about Portal 2 as I find Valve’s games to be super creative and engaging. If I wasn’t a gamer before, this would have pushed me over the edge.

The Problem with Easy Achievements

One of the things I truly enjoy about the XBox 360, over the PS3, is achievements. While PS3 does have their trophies, they are not as integral to your gaming experience on the PS3. I’ve owned a PS3 for 8 months and really didn’t know what trophies were, to be honest – but after a few days of owning a 360, I knew precisely what achievements were… and I wanted more of them.

I will say I’m not a fan of all achievements. While a healthy ‘carrot on a stick’ achievement in a single player or multiplayer campaign will make me continue playing a game and pushing me to improve and grow, I am less of a fan of the start up the game, play for a minute or two and unlock an arbitrary 5pt achievement which will forever dirty my gamerscore.

While I understand that gamerscore is completely arbitrary and that the people who really care about it are not the same people I know, I still find these persistent micro scores a little annoying. And as I found out recently, you can delete a game with a 0 achievement score, you can’t remove one with 5 points. So while I do dislike achievements which are exceedingly difficult to obtain, achievements which happen too soon don’t feel earned. Really achievements should be actual achievements and not wrapped up in my learning the controls or figuring out the backstory of a character.

Of course these micro achievements do their job quite well in that I am now determined to beat those games I have smaller scores on, which I might not have continued playing otherwise. All I’m saying is, it makes me feel like less of a gamer when I see that puny little score in Viva Piñata and I realize its position in my “games I need to play before I die” list.

One day little Piñata, one day.

Resistance 3 Trailer

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Aww man this new Resistance 3 trailer looks pretty intense. I really hope they add a bit more story to Resistance. After finishing Resistance 2 (PS3) I was fairly unimpressed with the piddle they called a story. Fun game, but by the end, I was bored of the missions because I had no stake in them.

It was a run and gun shooter pretending it had some underlying alien experimentation/militarism story. But when it came down to it, I had absolutely no attachment to the lead character… what was his name? No idea and that is the problem. I couldn’t care less. This trailer seems to hint a bit more character based story. Maybe even a co-op story playing mode. All of which I would totally welcome.

Insomniac need to take a page from Irrational games and give some ideology to the Resistance franchise other than killing running aliens. Fingers crossed.