Category Archives: ps3

Injustice on iPhone

So while waiting to see who has the best deal to buy Injustice (cuz $60 is just not cool), I happened to notice there was an iPhone app called Injustice Gods Among Us. I thought, could it be? It was. Much smaller, but at least it had more characters to use.

Now warning up front, my phone informed me right away that the fame was not built for iPhone and there might be some technical difficulties. That’s all right, a funky game I want to play is better than no game at all, right?

The graphics are pretty intense for the phone. I was very impressed. It’s not my Justice League, mind you, in this fancy-schmancy armor, as more than a few toy lines have ruined the JLA with extra armors, but these animatics looked very good.

The iPhone version had a swell tutorial, however unrealistic, allowing the player, as Green Arrow, to wallop Superman something fierce. GA beats Supes so hard he probably went home to foster momma for a new pair of shorts (which he is sadly lacking here – the real Superman wears his undies outside his pants, period).

Once the tutorial ends, I got to play for real, and was introduced to the true reality of the game. Nobody, absolutely nobody, just stands there like tutorial Superman and let’s you hit them. I learned this very very quickly as first Sinestro, and then a very nasty version of Solomon Grundy, took turns taking my ass to school.

The game is similar to Avengers Initiative, also on the iPhone, but with more fun characters and backgrounds, has more characters than the Injustice demo for PS3, and should sate most of our appetites ’til the real thing comes out. I dug this.

The Injustice Demo

My friend Ray and I got together to try out the new Zinburger in Cherry Hill, then came back to the house to chill and of course, sooner or later, the PS3 was turned on. I always cruise through the PlayStation Store before I do anything with the PS3, and lo and behold, there was a demo available for the new Injustice: Gods Among Us. If you think these two comic book nerds could resist trying it out, you’re fooling yourself…

Once it downloaded, we found ourselves with a two-player fight game that only allowed us the use of three characters (well, it is a demo) – Batman, Wonder Woman, and Lex Luthor. Once we started playing this game, that Ray had initially heard bad off-putting things about, we were having a ball.

Once Ray started to actually pay attention to what controls did what actions, and I started getting into my button mashing groove, we started to not only have fun, but also really get the hang of the game. We really dug it, and I’m betting we’re both getting copies of the game the day it comes out. Yeah, it was that good.

Videogame of The Walking Dead

Okay, zombies are hot right now, and The Walking Dead, whether you’re talking the comics or the TV series, is really really hot. So you knew sooner it later there’d be a videogame. This one is probably not the first, but this demo for the PS3 is the first one I’ve had access to.

It starts with Episode One : A New Day. You play Lee, a limping survivor of the zombie apocalypse as you explore the new world left behind for The Walking Dead. As you move forward, you meet and save a little girl named Clementine. You move through the scenario, guided, if you wish, by hints on how to play the game. This was good for me, the controller handicapped non-gamer, and in this way, I was pretty good at this. See what just a little help and a nudge in the right direction can do?

Some research on the magical Internet shows your player character is actually Lee Everett, apparently a college professor and a, believe it or not, convicted murderer. His backstory unfolds through the course of the game. Lee comes home from work and finds his wife in bed with another man. Lee kills him, is tried for murder, and on his way to prison, an accident frees him in the midst of the zombie apocalypse happening around him.

Brought to life by voice actor David Fennoy, Lee Everett has been celebrated in the world of videogames as a very human character, both sympathetic in the game story and still reflective of the player’s actions and motivations. A unique character in the gaming arena. This was the first time I experienced gameplay like this in a game I could actually play, I was impressed.

Gameplay is set solidly in the Walking Dead universe, and continues that way episodically, literally. There are a total of five episodes and three characters from the comics/TV series appear. It’s what is known as a point and click game (see, I am learning something), but focuses more on character development than the usual puzzle solving tactics. The writer in me loves this aspect.

I really dig this game, both for its innovation and for its handholding instruction. Maybe if Sleeping Dogs or Saints Row were more new gamer friendly, I’d like them this much too.

Not Dig Dug

Digger is not Dig Dug. Or at least that’s what I’ve been told. I had never heard of Digger before I downloaded it for free from the PlayStation Store, and despite looking a heck of a lot like Dig Dug or even Mr. Do, I am assured this Canadian game created by Windmill Software in 1983 is an original.

The PS3 version is in HD, making it quite crisp and vibrant on the TV. In its first form it was quite a feat of computer and sound engineering, but now is available in many formats for free online. The theme music is called “Popcorn,” a catchy tune that unlike a lot of videogame electronic tunage does not get annoying quickly. Older folks will remember the song from decades past.

The game itself does unfortunately resemble Dig Dug quite a bit. You are a miner in a digger/bulldozer rolling around underground in a mine. There are prizes to grab, monsters after you, and instead of pumping them up, you shoot them. Same result. Sound familiar? It does have its own peculiarities, but is just as fun. Not Dig Dug, but still fun.

It’s a Fish Eat Fish World

I am always leery of movies, especially sequels, with long names and longer subtitles. I guess I should have the same aversion to that type of thing in video games as well. Here, we have another free download from the PlayStation Store called Feeding Frenzy 2: Shipwreck Showdown.

Now I had never heard of Feeding Frenzy before, but apparently the game from Pop Cap and Sprout Games has been around for a while and is even available to play free online. The set up is pretty simple, you’re Boris the Butterfly Fish, you eat the fish smaller than you and avoid those bigger than you. When you eat enough little fish, you become a bigger fish. Simple as that, survival of the fittest basically.

I really kinda dig this very simple game and wish I’d tried it sooner. Regular readers of this blog know I have a lot of trouble with the PS3 controllers. Feeding Frenzy actually offers an easy and efficient way to get used to using the controllers. The more I play, the more practice I get in for future games of other types.

Besides being a great gaming practice games, it’s also kind of relaxing with a fun score. I dug this game a lot.

Jeopardy!

Until its latest incarnation, syndicated at seven at night with Alex Trebek for the last couple decades, I had never seen “Jeopardy!” which I know is pretty odd, especially for a pop culture guy like me. I was aware of the Art Fleming version, and got all the jokes in “Weird Al” Yankovic’s “I Lost on Jeopardy,” but had no real frame of reference. The current version, begun in 1984, that continues today, is, of course, a pop culture phenomenon.

It’s kind of appropriate that I’m reviewing the Jeopardy! game demo for PS3 here today because Jeopardy! was actually the first computer game I ever saw. When The Bride and I were first dating, she showed the game to me on her amazing four megabyte Apple II computer. At the time, the salesman told her that she would never need a computer with more than four megabytes. Ain’t the future great?

That brings us full circle to Jeopardy! on the PS3. The game has some nice features like the ability to create a contestant. The graphics are cartoony, and Alex Trebek is creepy like that, and even creepier without his moustache. The game does use his voice though, which gives the game some authenticity.

There are complaints. You can only answer questions in two categories per round. Not cool. It also makes the games shorter, despite the end credits of the show seeming longer than in real life. The answers are multiple choice, which I suppose makes it easier. And of course, there no worry about putting your answer in the form of a question, but that’s okay for me.

Now it should be noted that the multiple choice is only on the easy mode, but still. And just for the record, I encountered the same questions in the easy mode and the hard mode – the difference was in the latter I had to spell out the answers. Seems like a glitch to me. I wanted different questions. Oh well, Jeopardy! was fun while it lasted, and better than a four megabyte game.

The New PlayStation Store

Since getting my PS3, and writing this blog, I have been quite dependent on the PlayStation Store. It’s where I get all the wonderful free trials and demos I play and write about.

As with all things that we rely on on a daily basis, whether we realize it or not, they are just old and lousy. No matter how good we think they are, and how much we live them – trust me, it’s all old and lousy. You know how I know? Because invariably, something ‘new and improved’ will come along. Like today.

Welcome to the new PlayStation Store. I am, of course, hesitant. Both because I am old, and because I liked the old interface. Just because something can be improved, doesn’t mean it should, ya know?

All that said, it does seem like a happier, shinier, and most importantly, easier to navigate interface. It gives a good view of everything the store has to offer – movies, television, applications, and (whodathunkit?) games. Use the left side menu if you want to find specific games, or types of games, however.

Nice, for once, it’s a new and improved that is new and improved.

The Secret History of Star Raiders

Back in the stone age days of the Atari 2600, when it was the videogame system, there was one game that stood out away from the rest, and not for any good reasons. That was Star Raiders.

Everyone had Star Raiders, but I don’t think anyone liked it, or even played it. Ninety-nine percent of all Atari games used either a joystick or a paddle controller, but not Star Raiders. It had a big number pad controller with a phone cord like cord. As an oddity it stood out, and as I said, I didn’t know anyone who played it, maybe because it was a bit difficult to play or to understand how to play. My Atari is long ago stored away, and I’m not digging it up any time soon to check it out – so forget that noise.

But the facts are of course that Star Raiders predates the Atari 2600, and goes back to the Atari 400 and 800, and the Atari 8-bit family of games. Yeah, this is one of the ancestors. Star Raiders may have been crippled by the limiting graphics of the 2600, or at least that’s what my computer geek friends tell me. I have also been told that it was the precursor to later games that I have enjoyed like Starmaster and the Star Trek arcade game, and even Wing Commander. The original SR even borrowed itself from Trek, Star Wars, and even Battlestar Galactica in its own designs. Man, I wish I remembered this game better, or at least played it.

Now imagine my surprise when I saw Star Raiders listed as a free download at the PlayStation Store. I downloaded it but only remembering it vaguely from childhood I didn’t play right away. After learning more about it, I was eager to play and jumped right to it.

Wow, the visuals are something else, but man, the controller directions are among the most complicated I have seen so far for the PS3. Steering was insane, but the format was eerily similar to favorite games like those mentioned above, Starmaster and Star Trek. It was very cool. I will have to learn more. I’m sure it will be worth it. And I actually feel a little bad I didn’t put more time in with the 2600 version.

Deluxe Is Not Always Better

I used to play the original Elevator Action all the time. The concept had the player controlling secret agent Otto in a 2D vertical scroller as he went from the roof of a building dozens of floors down to escape from the basement in a cool car. Along the way you used elevators and escalators to descend while finding secret plans behind doors, jumping and shooting enemy spies. It was fairly simple but I loved it, and I was good at it. I could play for hours on just a few quarters, and always got through more than a few buildings.

I think there’s an NES version of this but I recall it was just not the same. There just certain tricks to the arcade game that just didn’t carry over. This seems to be by far the case with the PS3 version, called Elevator Action Deluxe. The deluxe in the title refers to better I guess, or at least it seems that’s what the creators want you to think. I think not. If PS3 made the old arcade game, just the way it was, I would be happy as a cat in a tuna factory, but that wasn’t the case.

In this case, the deluxe meant 3D rather than 2D, giving the game a whole new, and not necessarily better look. They also added in bombs and bigger guns, but when you can’t ride on top of the elevators and do other such tricks, what’s the point? This version is still fun to play, easy to beat, but if I’m being honest, I’d rather play the original. Anyone know where they still have an arcade machine of this one?

Pac-Man from Hell

Now I know Pac-Man. Heck, we all know Pac-Man. This thing, Pac-Man Championship Edition DX, that I downloaded from the PlayStation Store is not Pac-Man. I don’t know what the hell it is, but it scares me, it scares my heart, my poor poor pacemakered heart.

The board is horizontal, rather than vertical, much like the Atari 2600 Pac-Man game. Unlike that version, this does look like Pac-Man, and the graphics are very precise and very vibrant. Psychedelic acid trip vibrant, and the music is pulse-pounding house techno that seems to get faster and the game gets more frantic. I could feel my heart beating in time to it with the pressure of the game.

There are advantages. You get bombs to blow up the ghosts, but it doesn’t really seem to help as they recover quickly, and there are ghosts everywhere, sleeping until you pass near. They just keep coming. It’s almost as if someone decided Pac-Man wasn’t hard enough, it needed to give you a nervous condition as well.