It's a bittersweet holiday season this year if you're a PlayStation 3 owner in the US. With pump prices still staggeringly high and the economy in a house of pain, the average gamer won't be able to afford as many games as he'd like this season. In these tough times, a budgeted selection is the best way to go about shopping.
While that's not as cool as running to Gamestop and plucking titles off shelves at a whim, it'll save a lot of us from overspending. I've set a budget of $200 for games this fall, and I thought this would be the best picks my lean wallet can buy:
1. LittleBigPlanet (59.99)- LBP is arguably the quintessential game release this season barring no platforms. Media Molecule and Sony have been building up some serious hype by showcasing the potential of the platformer's level creation tools through the beta and the results have come out amazing most of the time. This is one has the capacity to be the PS3's lightning in a bottle and launch date couldn't come soon enough. If the LBP's PR people can step up on letting the rest of the world know what the fuss is about, there's no telling what it can do for PS3 hardware sales.
2. Resistance 2 ($59.99)- It's just so sad that there's a gang of nice FPS releases in the months to come and a lot of us have limited budgets. Picking just one is a tough, tough choice to make, but if pressed I'd have to go with Insomniac's alien-infested alternate history blaster.
Don't get me wrong, I lost some serious sleep deciding beween Resistance 2, SOCOM: US Navy SEALS Confrontation, and Call of Duty: World at War. All three look like premium titles, but I'm leaning towards Resistance 2 because of the sheer production value and the reputation of its developers.
Resistance 2 just seems like a really big deal right now. Visuals are a stunning as the best in the genre, the scale of the big enemies look overwhelming in an HDTV, and the gameplay footages we've seen suggest that the action will be intense. The story ain't too shabby either as Nathan Hale comes back with a few hours to live and some mean toys at his disposal.
After finishing the single player campaign, I figured that the game will spend more crazy hours in my PS3 if the promised 60-player matches plays as nicely as they sound. What looks like a solid multiplayer aspect for Resistance 2 was the biggest reason why I decided to hold off on SOCOM Confrontation and its cool Bluetooth headset for now.
As for Call of Duty: World at War, let's just say Treyarch will have to prove that this one is more than just a time killer before Call of Duty 5 comes along. If it was Infinity Ward who developed World at War, I probably would have given the game more consideration. For now, I'll stick with Insomniac and their knack for coming up with amazing creations.
3. Dead Space (59.99)- a lot of PS3 owners may have scoffed at this one and labeled it as "just another EA game" a few months ago, but EA Redwood has proven it to be anything but a mediocre title. Dead Space has saved the day for the survival horror genre after Silent Hill: Homecoming stunk out the joint, giving fans of the dark side plenty of reasons to be happy (and scared) this fall.
If you haven't heard, Dead Space puts you in the suit of Isaac Clarke, a space engineer in the distant future working in a giant mining vessel that scours planets for ore. After receiving a distress call from another ship, Clarke meets up with the other human vessel only to find out that the crew has been wiped out by strange, hostile aliens. You must then guide Clarke into surving horrors the horrors of cold, drak, and deep space.
Dead Space is graphically stunning and plays similar to Resident Evil 4 in the sense that it uses a third-person, over the shoulder view. Reviewers have attested that the gameplay is superb and it wouldn't be a surprise if this one spawns a long and successful series. Dead Space should keep survival horror hotrods chillin' until Resident Evil 5 drops.
4. WipEout HD ($20)- with only a little over 20 bucks left in the wallet, I'll advise everyone to get outta the game store and head on over to the PlayStation Store. The reason? The last item in this shopping list happens to be WipEout HD!
Conceding that Motorstorm: Pacific Rift is looking awesome, I thought it was something that could wait a while unless I was a diehard follower of the original Motorstorm. Being a regular guy who feels the need for high-speed thrills in my PS3 only once in a while, I figured we could have a solid and cheap substitute with WipEout HD.
This futuristic hovercraft racer is simply the best looking downloadable game to date. The sweetest elements of WipEout Pure and WipEout Pulse for the PSP have been combined and given the HD treatment in WipEout HD to create a compelling bargain. The frame rate is awesome, the gameplay is as frantic as ever, and best of all it's worth only $20!
That leaves us with three cents which will buy us nothing that I can think of right now. So, how would you spend your $200 this season?