One of the best things about console gaming is when a console begins to enter its late life-cycle period, especially the period of time following the announcement and launch of the successor console to that aging platform.
The great opportunity that gamers face in this period of a console’s life is the movement of quality game titles into game store bargain bins. Given Sony’s announcement of the PS4, one can only wait until the time that many great PS3 titles eventually filter into the bargain section of physical, and accompanying eBay game stores.
A quick perusal of the current PS3 stock in your local game store is bound to reveal each of the following titles, all for $AUD20 and under. Because Bioshock is the only PS3 game I’ve ever really played for some reasonable length, let’s take a look at what some various different gaming sites have said about these games.
Where accessible, non-commercial game-reviewing websites have been featured to provide a bit of an antidote to the very palpable copy-cat attitude employed in commercial website’s game reviews.
Genji Days of the Blade
Developer: Game Republic
Rough genre: Action-adventure
_Consensus:_ Excellent early PS3 graphics, but the game-play boils down to repetitive button-mashing. Combine this with a terrible camera system and you have a very average title.
Hardcoregaming101 (passing comment, third paragraph): “Laughable”
**Blazblue: Calamity Trigger
Developer: Arc System Works
Rough genre: Fighter_
_Consensus:_ Reminiscent of the developer’s previously-established franchise Guilty Gear, the game’s innovative ‘Drive’ concept expands its game-play and helps to differentiate its plethora of characters effectively.
]10 Gamespot: [8⁄10
Developer: Vigil Games
Rough genre: Action-adventure._
Consensus: While the premise and graphics (gothic/fantasy gore?) of the game seem a bit samey and/or ridiculous, the puzzle and exploration elements to _Darksiders_ carry it along nicely.
_ Developer and genre, see above.
Consensus: While it doesn’t really offer much new, featuring very similar concepts and game-play to its predecessor, its campaign is massive and its artistic direction is elevated to new heights.
Developer: From Software
Rough genre: JRPG
Consensus: This is a solid JPRG through and through. If you’re a Skyrim/_Mass Effect/_open-world, non-linear RPG kind of gamer, this isn’t the game for you. Enchanted Arms seems to have been unfairly treated by the commercial games media for its adherence to its traditional genre.
Eurogamer: 7⁄10 (X360 version)
Penny Arcade: “A dog, huh? You’re not a cat. Why would anyone like a stupid dog like you? All you do is bark. You never meow.” (link)
Developer: 2K Games
Rough genre: First-person shooter_
Consensus: A fairly solid ultra-violent first-person shooter. If you’re known to inhabit this territory, by all means proceed.
Eurogamer: 8⁄10 (X360)
Developer: Splash Damage
Rough genre: First-person shooter_
Consensus: Its RPG meta-game elements are well-balanced, but nothing to write home about. Similarly, its core game-play concept–first-person squad shooting–is executed fairly, but it may suffer from a lack of replay value.
Eurogamer: 8⁄10 (X360)
Dungeon Siege 3
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Rough genre: Action-adventure; Action-RPG
Consensus: A pretty formulaic button-masher (N.B. the way you’ll cycle through loot in much the same way as in Borderlands), but, much like Enchanted Arms, if that’s what you’re into, you’re sure to have a good time.
Rough genre: First-person 3D platformer/shooter
Consensus: While the commercial media seems to have forgiven its short-comings and lauded _Mirror__‘s_ Edge for its graphics and conceptual innovation, a couple of independent, non-commercial websites that I trust have slammed this title. For them, the inconsistent execution of its ideas–patchy level design, poor control scheme–really drags it down. Perhaps you’ll be able to forgive this title for its mistakes, like Eurogamer, or perhaps you’ll run out of patience?
Eurogamer: 8⁄10 (PC)
Curmudgeon Gamer: “Too often you want to take back a half-second twitch to save you from redoing the same tedious 90 seconds of tricky movement, but there you are again, staring at the same white loading screen and cursing at your aging reflexes.” (link)
Batman: Arkham Asylum
Developer: Rocksteady Studios
Rough genre: Action-adventure_
Consensus: The character development seems to be the stand-out achievement in Asylum, with its game-play sadly losing out. If you’re in for a fairly convincing cinematic treatise that will gratify all of your old Batman nostalgia, Asylum is for you. Of particular note is the game’s fantastic voice-acting.
Eurogamer: 9⁄10 (X360)
Red Faction: Guerrilla
Developer: Volition, Inc.
Rough genre: Open world, third-person shooter_
Consensus: Like many other open world games, the player might find themselves repeating a lot of behaviours and having to, similarly, repetitively continue from a save point due to a poorly-timed encounter. The best thing about this game, however, is its concept of demolition. I was recently talking to a friend about this game, and they were gratified to report that this idea is executed in a really satisfying way. This may or may not save the game for you. The shooter elements are samey, so perhaps the player could find some solace in Guerrilla‘s theme of revolution.
Eurogamer: 7⁄10 (X360)
As you had no doubt worked out by the time you’d reached the mid-point of this list, the titles mentioned here are definitely solid, but not necessarily must-haves. Each of these games, though, has something to commend, and for the small amount you’re likely going to have to pay, you may find yourself picking up a new personal favourite.