With Christmas right around the corner, PSU.com wanted to warn our readers of the PS3 games that may look promising as great holiday gifts but are in fact a waste of money. In our opinion, these are the titles that look great on the outside, but are deceiving to what lays within. The following list of titles does not include movie tie-ins, as we’re all too well aware of the “quality” involved with such games. With that said, let us begin…
From Software’s mech franchise continues with Armored Core 4 on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, placing gamers in a futuristic, alternative universe where large-scale corporations now rule over the war-torn nations of Earth. In addition to the added graphical prowess of next-generation hardware, Armored Core 4 features 30 missions to blast through and allows for up to eight players to battle it out in an all-new multiplayer mode.
Where does Armored Core 4 fall short? Well, just about in every category. To start off, the PS3 version suffers from being just a bad port. Such things as frame rate drop to pop up textures and horrible shading all make Armored Core 4 quite sore on the eyes. Also, with no one playing online and absolutely no replay value what-so-ever in the single player campaign, players will become bored with this title within hours. If you are looking for a decent title with weapon wielding mechs, just wait for Capcom’s Lost Planet to hit early 2008.
4. Tony Hawks Proving Grounds
The ninth instalment in the popular skating series, Tony Hawks Proving Ground incorporates three different skater classes for players to choose from; Rigger, Hardcore and Career, each containing their own set of unique abilities to discover. Set over three cities situated along the East coast of the United States, Proving Grounds includes a fully functional video editor, updated multiplayer and full customization options, allowing you to tweak your skater from the ground up in any manner you see fit.
Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground isn’t as bad as you might think. It’s a decent compilation of features from past Hawk titles – the key word being past. You’ve essentially played this game before. Plus, the animation and physics make you gag after playing the masterpiece that was EA’s skate. While nailing custom tricks is a blast, buying a game for a single feature is almost as dumb as trying to play Super Mario Galaxy on the SNES. Almost. Pick up EA’s skate to experience true innovation.
3. Juiced 2
The sequel to original 2005 release, Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights takes user customization to the next level, allowing players to design their very own racer, in addition to improving on the original’s car modification options. Featuring half a dozen iconic cities to race in, online multiplayer and lengthy career mode, Juiced 2 also introduces a brand new element known as Driver DNA, allowing players to download one another’s unique driving statistics and compete against them in the Driver DNA Lab.
Juiced 2 sucked so hard that we shut it off, broke the disc in two, and burned the remains before we finished the first lap. Wondering why? The trailers made it out to be a fast-paced drifting extravaganza. What we got was a broken pile of junk whose engine simply stuttered and died. Seriously though, the cars handle like they’re 5 pounds, the driver DNA is nothing more than a gimmick, and the graphics look like they’re straight out of Wii’s mini-game collections. Do yourself a favor and go play Ridge Racer 7 instead.
2. Soldier of Fortune Payback
The horrifically gruesome Soldier of Fortune series makes a return with developer Cauldron HQ’s latest gore fest, Soldier of Fortune: Payback. In this most recent installment, players assume the role of freelance mercenary Thomas Mason, as he ventures across the globe in an effort to thwart a group of extremists who are hatching a nefarious plot against its enemies. Payback features over 35 weapons (many of which include various parts to attach and customize with), enhanced damage physics and relentless AI as players are forced to battle against overwhelming odds.
Wow, where to begin? If you want to play one of the worst first person shooters of the year on your PS3, then pick up Soldier of Fortune Payback. The game features multiple atrocities such as empty online matches, clipping issues, rollercoaster difficulty, pop-up textures, and lame story. The only reason I might remotely recommend this title is for the gore, which is really only entertaining for a couple hours. With such titles as Call of Duty 4, Unreal Tournament 3, or even Resistance Fall of Man out there, be very disappointed if you receive this for Christmas.
1. Sonic the Hedgehog
SEGA’s ubiquitous blue mascot makes his next-generation debut in this eponymous release for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, marking the 15th anniversary of the original Genesis title. This time around, players are able to control three different characters, including Sonic, Shadow and Silver the Hedgehog, as you attempt to thwart the evil Dr. Eggman’s plans of global domination. Each character features a unique set of abilities that sets them apart from another, allowing gamers to experience a diverse approach to the traditional Sonic gameplay style as you travel and ultimately triumph through a total of eleven different Action Stages.
Horrible controls that have been degrading since Sonic Adventure 2; consistent framerate issues that only appear on the PS3 version; implied under-age bestiality; mind-numbingly repetitive hub music; ‘high-speed’ stages that should have been fun, but ended up being a chore; Silver the Hedgehog; and lastly and most notably, frequency and length of loading screens that are the work of SATAN HIMSELF.
So one only for the fans? Sega did say that there would be nuggets of fan service. Where, though? Is it among such heresy such as the desecration of the Sonic 2 ending theme tune by Akon? The lack of Crush 40 music, a fan favorite since Sonic Adventure? Yet another redesign of Doctor Eggman/Robotnik? A story that renders Sonic Rush, one of the best Sonic games in recent years, pointless? Oh, I see you added some killer whales as a reference to Sonic Adventure…erm…thanks.
Bottom line? Stay away unless you’re an avid fan. Even then…it’s like some form of torture. If you are looking for a good platformer, pick up Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction instead.