Woody, Buzz, and the whole gang come alive in this Disney Interactive title developed by Avalanche Software; Toy Story 3 is a larger-than-life action/adventure platformer that does far more than tip its cap at the film of the same name. The game focuses on the story of the toys in their latest adventure: Andy has grown up and is going off to college, leaving the toys to try and get him to play with them just one more time. Of course, things are never that easy, and our intrepid little friends ride a veritable roller-coaster of adventure before the tale reaches its conclusion.
For the first time since its launch a few years back, PlayStation.ca has received a major overhaul. Kyle Moffatt, Senior Public Relations Specialist, Sony Computer Entertainment Canada, announced the redesign today on the PlayStation blog.
The new PlayStation.ca has a cool new interface allowing visitors easier access to information about not only Triple-A titles, but also about various consoles, hardware, news, and special events. Each game title featured on the site is accompanied by big, bold visuals, including game screenshots and videos.
Apart from the redesign, content has now been grouped in blocks, which help connect similar pieces of connect. SCEC is also planning additional unique content for the site in the near future. With this new look and site information structure update, PlayStation.ca has become the best of the three console manufacturers’ Canadian public portals.
Motorstorm: Arctic Edge starts like a Coors Light commercial: The camera follows helicopters as they weave between snow-capped mountains over a pristine white landscape. The helicopters unload their cargo and, instead of six-packs or inappropriately dressed women, its cars and ATVs. Like Coors Light, Arctic Edge is a pale imitation.
The Motorstorm series is known for its vibrant graphics and Arctic Edge, being released on the PS2, can’t compete with its next gen cousins. Even adjusting the curve, the style of Arctic Edge is muted and gray. I would rather drive through the pure snow of the intro than the depressing steelworks and mud look the game goes for. The scant bit of colour that finds its way into the game is neon loud and garish. Crashes are shown in slow motion, a feature seen in the Burnout series, but in those games the slow destruction is a thing of beauty and gives you the chance to crash into competitors. Arctic Edge’s version is neither beautiful nor practical, but a waste of time.
Speaking of crashing: I got a clear lead during a race, but then I crashed. Five times. In any other game I would’ve had to restart. Here I didn’t lose my position. That’s right, five crashes and nobody had managed to pass me. This happened several times. On one stage there was a “challenge” to remain in first place for ten seconds straight. Aren’t challenges supposed to be difficult?
The accelerate button isn’t the standard X button, but rather R1. X is reserved for boosters, which give you a burst of speed, but can explode if overheated. Driving through snow could help with the overheating, but differentiating between which shade of white means ice and which means snow is not a task to be attempted at 100 miles per hour. It didn’t matter though. I’d hold down the X button out of instinct and explode into a fiery (slow motion) wreck. It was okay, though. I’d still be in first.
Ever try singing a Queen song? It’s not easy, and despite how good you think you sound belting out “Bohemian Rhapsody” at the top of your lungs in your car along to the radio, know that you likely sound really bad. Even Paul Rodgers, the man selected by Queen to substitute for Freddie Mercury from 2004 onward, can’t fill the man’s shoes.
So it’s armed with this knowledge that one attempts to tackle SingStar Queen – a collection of 25 songs (20 on the PS2) from the band’s great catalogue that you can try to sing along to. It’s hard to list amazing rock vocalists and not have Freddie Mercury anywhere near the top; the game can be very hard, to say the least.
But what’s a game without challenge? Besides, SingStar will go easy on you if you let it. Most of the fun of the game isn’t in trying to sound like Freddie Mercury (most of the songs are his, so fans of Roger Taylor- and Brian May-sung tunes will have to hope for some DLC or sing along to the albums).
King of Fighters ’98: Ultimate Match puts up a strong front. By it being a loving remake of a niche title in a niche series, it’s hard to feel welcome as a newcomer. Everything, from the unlockable art to the bonus disc with wallpapers and trailers, is a shrine to the original King of Fighters ’98. This is a title you go into the EB looking for, not one you casually come across, read the back of, and bring home with you. Odds are, you know right now if this game is for you.
Playing the two single player versions didn’t really change my mind. There’s a static lifeless feeling to them. There was no competitive drive, no reason to go forward. The natural habitat for fighting games is the arcade, and the competition is supposed to spur you on. It’s part challenge, part exhibition. Fighting games in the past have gotten around this either by creating robust single player modes, like the Soul Calibur games, or by working on fulfilling online modes, like Street Fighter IV. King of Fighters ’98: Ultimate Match lacks both.