Mirrors edge is fantastic

I just tried the Mirrors Edge demo and before I say anything else: if you can play the demo and haven’t: PLAY IT NOW. Believe me, it’s worth it. And yes, it is that good.
Mirrors edge uses a first person camera with innovative gameplay and an extremely stylized environment to bring us the feeling of being a runner. A sort of lawless messenger service that hiden on the rooftops of a sparkling white totally oppressed city.

At first the game is disconcerting but in less then a minute of gameplay I was flying over the rooftops in a state of flow. The game is challenging, fun and beautiful. The controls are fantastic and the sense of immersion is quite beyond anything else I’ve experienced.

I have one problem that I intend to discuss with a friend of mine who happens to be a producer at Dice. The tutorial is pretty hard and therefore setup with restart points conveniently spaced in between maneuvers. But apparently Dice has either not played this part at all themselves, or their designers are so god awful bad that they didn’t see that if a player fails at doing something the player has to watch an NPC doing it. Each time. And the NPC takes about 3 times as long to do it as you do, and there is no way to skip it. In short: I fell of a pipe several times during the tutorial, which led to me sitting for 5 minutes watching an NPC walk across the same pipe with close to 1 minute of gameplay spaced in between. That’s just unforgivable. Well, at least I never have to play the tutorial again.

If I were you, I’d buy this game. Personally, I can’t afford it because I bought the PS3 to play it on… Catch 22 anyone?

Ratchet and Clank: Quest for booty micro review

Waiting for the Mirrors Edge demo to finish downloading I decided to try out the latest Ratchet and Clank adventure, quest for booty.
QoB is supposed to be a short and sweet downloadable game that will be a fun expansion to play for previous fans of the series and a simple introduction for players who’ve yet to experience Ratchet and Clank.

I’m probably neither of these groups since I have played some Ratchet and Clank tools of destruction but never actually bought a Ratchet and Clank game. I am however a big fan of platformers and Tools of Destruction really gave me a taste for the gameplay.

QoB starts the player off with a great intro sequence and superb voiceacting with some geeky humor. It looks stunning and the level of graphical and sound polish is just amazing. QoB is a very sleek product… Which makes the bad side so much more dissapointing. You see, those were the good points. The Control doesn’t feel sleek at all, there is no introduction and it certainly isn’t pick up and play. In some platform elements (climbing comes to mind) the controls are just wonky. Jumping is jerky and collision isn’t obvious because of the cinematic camera, I find myself hitting air in front of enemies or walking into fire because the damn camera is trying to be Gears of War.

Level design is also pretty bad. At least for the first few levels. The pirate cruisers at the start of the game are just copied and not very interesting. When I land on an island I have no idea where to go because the ultra-realistic scenary doesn’t give any hints and I still can’t see much because of the camera. Maybe there is a map or a way to look around but I still haven’t figured out all the control yet. This is a downloadable short and fast game, I didn’t intend to do anything but just pick up the controller and play for an hour.

To summerize this game is actually quite good. It’s funny and plays really well. It just dissapoints to no end when you’ve played Tools of Destruction, why does a game with more time for polish play worse?! If the control is exactly the same, games have moved on, why hasn’t the controls been improved?

Little Big Planet will sell PS3s

The Playstation 3 is far behind in this console generations sales figures. In the next two months we’ll see if the PS3 will start to catch up or if it’s doomed to end up third.
Why this year? Because if the release of games such as LBP and resistance 2, motorstorm 2 can’t shift the PS3 nothing ever will. It’s up against hard competition with the Xbox360’s new interface experience and video streaming functionality.

Personally I think this holiday season will see the climax of the playstation 3’s sales, I don’t think Sony will be able to beat Microsoft this generation but they might pull even.

How can I be so sure Little Big Planet will sell consoles? Well, besides analysts predictions and the millions of people who’ve still not upgraded from PS2 I just bought my own PS3, because no games until LBP were incentive enough for me to buy such an expensive machine.

How about you?