Weekend Note: Not Gears, PS3 Edition

I sure have been writing about Gears a whole lot lately. I don’t even play that game anymore, because after playing Bad Company 2, I realized how…bad it was. Still, with all the new information coming out I can’t help but be roped in by the prospect of Anya, mechs and tentacle monsters.

No, my mind hasn’t been set on Gears, but rather my new, rather stupid, could-not-help-myself purchase: a 120 gb PS3. Not just a PS3, but also games: Little Big Planet, Heavy Rain and MAG.

One day, when I’m 70 and dying of cancer I’m going to wish I had put my money into an IRA or something, and not buying things like a PS3 when I was young and stupid. And now that Graham bought an IPad, I’ve been trying my damndest to not give in and get one for myself, too. But honestly, have you seen the thing? Try reading a comic on it and tell me you’re not orgasming the entire way through. You’ll be a liar, or an idiot, or both.

Back on the subject of the PS3, I can’t help but gush over how clean and beautiful the UI is in comparison to XBL. Who in the world decided how things should be organized on the Xbox? They should die a horrible death. Nothing makes sense on the Xbox. It took me a whole 30, 40 minutes to find PB Winterbottom on it just last week. Usually things like that are personal problems, but not this time. Everything on the Playstation, by contrast, makes sense: its sharp, clean and well-organized.

And while I’m not particularly far in LBP, I can’t help but be charmed by its rich atmosphere. My little Sackboy wears a lion’s mane, count dracula fangs, a tail and a red cape. Every time I make him happy via the DPad I’m reminded of the simple joys of childhood. The game makes me smile.

Then we have MAG…a game I am not entirely used to yet. Part of it is the controller–to me, the 360’s controller is perfect save for the horrendous DPad. It fits in my hand perfectly. The PS3’s controller seems awkward and too wide. So when push comes to shove on MAG my instinct is to mash the trigger to try to shoot someone, but instead my fingers fumble all over the L and R buttons. The other part of it is that the game doesn’t really seem…natural in its movement and action. You have things like Gears, where the simple act of taking cover is an artform, or Battlefield, where the arc and lunge that you take with your knife swing just…flows (even if the knife doesn’t connect). More than this, Battlefield has refinement: repairing something looks, sounds and feels like you’re repairing something, for example. On MAG its just a bar that fills up when you hold down a button. It’s as if someone at Zipper recognized the many elements which made different shooting games succesful and then tried to build those elements from the ground up instead of refining, evolving or just straight up mimicking what they know already works. Even the simple act of shooting people…its not crunchy like Gears, which is fine, but it also carries no finesse, like Battlefield. Sometimes I feel like a brick with rubber bullets. Still, I will push forward with the game and try to appreciate it on a conceptual level: there’s a lot there, it just needs a lot of work. Since Zipper has pledged to support this game as much as possible, I’m crossing my fingers that they slowly start refining the game with the help of the community.

Heavy Rain I probably won’t get to until I beat either Borderlands or LBP…right now I’m on a video game embargo. I can’t buy or otherwise play any new games without having first beaten one that I am already playing. Why? Because I sitting on quite literally a good two dozen new games from the last two months. Its ridiculous, to be honest. I have faith that I will beat Borderlands within the next week or two, and then I suspect I will move onto both LBP and an RPG–perhaps Persona 3, or the Dragon Age expansion.

This next coming week will hopefully see more content from me–I feel inspired and fresh. But enough about me, what are our other lovely writers up to?

Tom: My goal, my obsession: 120 stars. Then more stars of a different color! Yes! Also playing Persona 2: Innocent Sin in my additional time.

(I think he’s talking about Super Mario Galaxy 2?)

Fern: I have no new games whatsoever to play, so I started playing stuff just to get some achievements. Shadow Complex, Prince of Persia Epilogue and those new Resident Evil 5 chapters are included.

I may as well replay Bayonetta in the hopes of coming up with something interesting to write on my review.

Graham: Borderlands, Resonance of Fate and LittleBigPlanet.

Onwards, to next week!


  1. Fernando Cordeiro

    I couldn’t get into LBP. I have the PSP version and it is still sitting there… unfinished. The thing is that I don’t really care about creating my own level, because the PSP and the level creator tool keep getting in the way. I wished I could simply draw the level’s schematic on paper, fax it to Sony Cambridge, and then get my level back.

    Also, I don’t like how the Sackboy controls. Mario 64, Mario Sunshine and, more recently, Shadow Complex are games so fluid that just controlling the avatar around is a bliss. Even now, if I start playing Mario 64, I will spend more time just jumping and screwing around rather than collecting stars. Sackboy on the other hand feels… odd. The jumping doesn’t connect nor releases that dose of endorphins inside my brain.

    Also, you know what’s better than an iPad to read a comic? A comic BOOK!

  2. The thing about LBP is that it has acutal…physics which you need to learn how to handle. Afterwards everything does start flowing. It is strange at first, though. Also I think you should judge it when you’re playing it on the PS3…I have a feeling they are different experiences.

    No, comic books are not as good as digital comics on the IPad. You get better colors, lighting and size.

  3. Fernando Cordeiro

    Well, it is very weird in the PSP. A bit too loosely.

    And lighting? What’cha talking about, Willis? We that have books need no mofo lighting to roll! Plus we have that awesome smell of paper and the incredible feeling of dealing with a real object instead of a mere virtual visual representation. The comics on my PSP allow me to zoom in up to Batman’s nostrils, but even if the iPad’s size allows me a molecular view, I would still dismiss such expensive frivolities.

    The only thing I need on an iPad would be a Paint, a Word and a Excel app that allows me to write with a stylus.

    • The lighting adds to the flush of the colors. Its not about being able to zoom in but rather that each panel can fill up the entire lush screen, making it easier for me to see details and appreaciate the comic more fully, as well as immerse myself more easily in it.

      The IPad is for media consumption, not media cretation.

      • Fernando Cordeiro

        Which is a pity. I don’t have any media consumption tools need. Only media.