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Wave of Titles Added to PS Greatest Hits April 6, 2010

Posted by maxfreund in PS3.
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So the Play Station Greatest Hits has gotten a recent face lift. The Greatest Hits catalog has been around since the Play Station 1, and has just been a way to re-issue great titles at a lower price. I have frequented the list when somehow a great title has slipped through the cracks, and I get the chance to play it for a discounted price.

That has happened once again.

Killzone 2, Infamous, and Resistance 2 have all been added to the list, and will be available for somewhere between 20 and 30 dollars each. All three are PS3 exclusives, and were released before I got my PS3. I was planning on getting Infamous soon, regardless of it’s price, but this recent price reduction will entice me to buy it sooner rather than later.

I guess what is surprising about this is Killzone 2 and Infamous were both released just about a year ago, and Resistance 2, not much more earlier. These are rather new games, and for them to be getting their veritable “curtain call”, with a last run at a boost in sales seems rather soon. I guess that just speaks to how many great titles are being pumped out each month.

Take just the first three months this year. Play Station has gotten: Bayonetta, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Dante’s Inferno, God of War III, Final Fantasy XIII, Heavy Rain, Bioshock 2, and I am sure I missed a few.

With this flux in great games, it is no wonder publishers are trying to do anything to make sure gamers don’t forget about last year’s hit titles as well. If this means that come 2011 all the above titles will be only $30 bucks, count me in. There is no way I can spend 500 – 600 bucks every few months on games, and because of that I miss out on many games I want to play.

The Greatest Hits list is a wonderful way to help gamers out, and I hope the increased support continues in the near future.

God of War Rewind a Welcome Addition January 10, 2010

Posted by maxfreund in PS3.
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As my winter break winds down, I find myself scrambling to get through the games i amassed for Christmas, and surprisingly I keep returning to a 5 year old game. The God of War Collection was released this fall in anticipation of the new God of War III which is slated for release in March.

The collection is an attractive bundle. For $40 bucks, you get God of War I and God of War II, with HD visuals, and fully integrated trophy support. They also threw in a download code for the E3 God of War III demo, to wet your pallet.

While the games do show their age slightly, GOW I more so than II, they are still a tremendous experience. I personally had played GOW I before but not II, and I still found it to be worth my money.

But the release of the God of War Collection got me thinking about storytelling in video games.

Video games are a uniquely difficult meduim for telling stories that span one release. With books, you can take years in between sequels and those who want to follow the story through to the end can do so, because books are independent entities that do not rely on anything to “play” them.

Movies are a little bit more restrictive than books, because the devices used to play them shift occasionally (VCR to DVD and now BlueRay), but most movies are released in theatres, so they do not require an initial investment in a piece of technology.

But video games are different. Systems switch much more frequently than movie viewing technology, and as a result a long running story can be drawn out over two, maybe three consoles. This requires an initial investment of hundreds of dollars in different hardware, and does not even take into account the fact that from generation to generation, people may choose hardware from different manufactures. This can lead to exclusivity problems, and prevents gamers from following a story to completion.

For instance, say a person got into gaming with the original Xbox, and so they were unable to play GOW I or II, since they where exclusive to the Play Station 2. But that person has recently purchased a PS3. They would be unable to be caught up with the GOW series, if it was not for the GOW Collection, and as a result playing GOW III would more than likely be a less compelling experience.

This is exactly why more collections are needed. There is a big difference between a quality collection of a beloved franchise and a cash grab. The Nintendo Wii ports of Gamecube games, where they adjust absolutely nothing visually, and simply slap on clunky waggle controls is a cash grab. The original Gamecube game is not only playable on the Wii, but also in most cases controls smoother.

But a true collection like GOW Collection is a welcome sight. By polishing the visuals and providing trophy support, it is a newer, and more inviting experience for gamers who maybe were too young to play when the games were originally released, but the heart and soul of a great franchise remained intact, and this collection allows anyone who was unable to follow the exploits of Kratos in the past console generation to do so.