Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Early Holiday Cheer and Product Review: PS3!

So I'll be honest: I didn't have much time to prepare a well-thought-out, insightful post for today: two days ago my girlfriend got me an early holiday gift of a SONY PLAYSTATION 3! The next day I ran out and picked up a couple of games (since it's the 160gb version, which is not at all backwards compatible with all my old PS2 games, or so I hear), and played all through the night. So now I'm sitting here bleary-eyed in front of my computer with visions of Niko Bellic's pixelated face and ambiguous Eastern Bloc-esque accent running through my head.

For those of you not up on the latest game lore, Niko Bellic is the lead character in Rockstar Games's latest entry in the Grand Theft Auto series, GTA IV. I played the game once through before, but only very briefly, on a roommate's PS3, so I didn't get to sample the fruits of the game in the same way as some of my old favorites. The graphics are professional grade - this is the first time I've played the game in glorious HD... so crisp... - and the representation of New York as Liberty City leaves very little to be desired - although I'd take a low-res Los Angeles over a 1080p New York any day of the week. But again, I find myself wishing that there were games with similar sandbox mechanics, only featuring characters I won't get bored with after 25 hours (such as Frodo Baggins or Batman).

One such wish is about to come true, as my copy of Batman: Arkham Asylum is currently on its way back to me due to a Christmas Miracle! It'll be my third time through the game, but already I find myself daydreaming about Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, and the classic struggle of Bat vs. Everybody. The other game I bought yesterday was partly for the benefit of my girlfriend and a way to begin to try to say Thank You: Little Big Planet (plus another controller so we can enjoy the game together). She had played the game before - on the same PS3 on which I played GTA, in fact - but like me she is now excited about exploring the ever-expanding portfolio of online content and possibly even entering the user-created realm herself (although she denies wanting to, I have a feeling she'll come around to it eventually...).

I deliberately refrained from purchasing a PS3 for myself because I was well aware of how much time it would occupy and how my other, more wholesome activities would suffer at its hands. But fate, it seems, has made the decision for me, and you're already seeing the consequences with today's shorter post. Just you wait until the newest baseball games come out (after I decide between MLB 11: The Show and Major League Baseball 2K11) and I have access to basically a simulation machine with all the latest stats and players... let's just say I'm secretly hoping for the economy to take a turn for the worse so I'll have plenty of time to play...

Happy Holidays!