Game[s] of the Month: February 2009
January’s Game of the Month was an easy decision for us; Skate 2 dominated its competition (or lack thereof). Unfortunately, February wasn’t so clear, as two incredible (and incredibly different) games released last month. We’re talking about Street Fighter IV and Killzone 2. Both scored respectably similar "9.5"s on PSU.com. On one hand is the premiere fighting game of this generation and perhaps of all time. On the other hand, however, is an intense, visually stunning first person shooter that will likely set a technical benchmark for years to come.
Thus, we were stuck between a rock and a hard place. After heated arguments filled with Hadoukens and Helghast, we ultimately decided to give not one, but two Game of the Month awards for the month of February. While this is completely unorthodox and many PlayStation faithful would blindly choose Killzone 2 for its exclusivity alone, we can’t deny the fact that Street Fighter IV is without a doubt a genre-defining title. Remember, this honor is bestowed upon PlayStation games, exclusive or not, that offer enjoyable, enthralling experiences. As a result, we’re stuck with our first ever co-Games of the Month.
Street Fighter IV innovated upon its past installments by creating a 3D environment within a 2D gameplay plane. This resulted in a beautiful title that truly brought 2D fighters into the next generation. Capcom also added enough new faces to create a fresh atmosphere for fans of the series, while providing newcomers with a wide and varied roster. With polished mechanics and awe-inspiring visuals, Street Fighter IV is the best fighting game on the PlayStation 3.
Furthermore, Capcom enlisted the aid of once forgotten Mad Catz in order to create Fight Sticks for this lively title. The result? The Tournament Edition Fight Stick, arguably the best home console stick on the market. Mad Catz didn’t stop there, however; the company also released a Standard Edition Fight Stick and an innovative Fight Pad for use with Street Fighter IV. Fortunately for gamers, Street Fighter IV works brilliantly without the sticks, but even better with them. While this may lead to an unbalanced playing field, it also offers one hell of a great multiplayer experience that is sure to be enjoyed for years to come.
Our other winner, Killzone 2, changed everything. Sure, the game didn’t reinvent the wheel, but it did reinvent the way gamers will expect titles to look like in the future. Killzone 2’s monster visuals are complimented perfectly by its unique control scheme. While some gamers may complain that this is no Call of Duty 4, we ask, why should it be? We played that game before and now we want to play something different. Killzone 2 delivers on that desire.
Unlike the first installment, the humans are taking the war to the Helghans on their home planet. While this may sound cliché, the weaponry the Helghast provide at home is electric (pun intended). Gamers must shoot their way through this war as Sev, an ISA Soldier set on taking down the enemy at all costs. The online experience isn't just an add-on, either. With its own clan system and built-in rank up abilities, Killzone 2’s multiplayer component is addictive enough to keep gamers playing for months (or even years) down the road.
As usual, we’ve headed to our forums to see what some of our readers and forum members have to say about both titles.
“I've just beaten Killzone 2 today and everything just felt right to me. The Graphics are incredible, probably the best I've ever seen. The game play and A.I. were excellent. One problem that I'm betting a lot of people will have is getting used to the controls simply because most of us are used to COD4/5 but you can set the controls to that same type of control on COD4/5 but it feels alil 'heavy'. It takes getting used to and most of you will. I did. The online is just great from what I've played. Haven't had any problems. All and all, the game is just about a perfect 10 out of 10. Go buy it.” – FreddyG84
“My first impressions I've played the SP on the third or fourth level I think, and I have to say it is also incredible. But when I started to play the multiplayer, I couldnt put my pad down. The multiplayer in my opinion is way better than COD4. From the maps to the weapons, this side of the game is mind-blowing. I was a bit-iffy about the whole continuous changing of objectives in multiplayer, but I have to say it is a great feature. I am a little dissapointed in the body count bit though, since its a bit short.” – MeteoricVenom
Street Fighter IV:
“So I finally picked up this game and I love it. I've been frustrated by constantly losing, but I like the challenge. Nice change of pace compared to those cupcake games that we usually play. I have hit one snag though: I cannot beat Abel with C. Viper. He seems to roll everytime I enter a command and this is on Medium. I hate Abel since he's stopping me from getting Cammy.” – LethalMind
“WOW !! I can't remember the last time I had alot of fun with fighting games! Love playing online match randomly... best new feauture they implemented was having network challenges on while you’re playing arcade mode! Clever mode... this should be the new standard for all fighting games from now on! “ – indyfied
March brings forth MLB 09: The Show and Resident Evil 5 as front-runners for our next Game of the Month award. With The Show already receiving a stellar 9/10, can RE5 come back and steal the award from under the nose of SCE San Diego’s killer franchise? You'll have to wait until the month concludes to find out.