Tag Archive: PS3


Microsoft’s Xbox Live network reached 35 million subscribers worldwide according to a report from Game Informer. Microsoft Xbox Live marketing manager Robin Burrowes stated, “Our audience growth is up to 35 million people globally across those 35 countries on Xbox Live itself.”

Subscriptions are up five million from numbers released last year and Burrowes also announced that revenues came from features which fans enjoys such as purchases of games, DLC, and other digital items rather than subscriptions.

But what I really wanted to know was how Microsoft’s numbers stacked against Sony’s PlayStation Network (PSN). Unfortunately, The article left that piece of information out. But As of April 19, 2011, PSN has 77 million registered online accounts according to the Playstation Network and Qriocity, which is a lot more than Xbox Live’s new claim.

This obviously makes a lot of sense because PSN is free compared to Microsoft’s paid subscription of online entertainment,  but Xbox Live users claim they get what they are paying for and are yet to suffer from a network outage.

Xbox Live finally dropped the demo for Driver: San Franciso on Marketplace, so I decided to go for a test drive. In DSF, Detective Tanner returns once again to take down his longtime arch-nemesis Jericho, who has escaped  from a high-security prison. It’s as simple as that but I’m sure there’s a lot more to the story once we get the full game.

More importantly, it’s good to see the franchise make it on the next-gen platform after mediocre releases such as Parallel Lines and Driver 3. At first glance, DSF takes us back  to 70’s car-chase scenes that are full of adrenaline, excitement and carnage. Very much like the acclaimed titles on the original PlayStation.

I’m also really impressed with new additions from Developer Ubisoft such as over 120 fully licensed cars- including the Porsche 911 and Mustang Shelby for DSF. This is simply one of the best features to ever happen to the franchise. Quite frankly, tearing downhill on the streets of a beautifully rendered San Francisco in an Audi Le Mans is just  awesome.

Another cool yet odd feature to Driver is Shift and this where Driver for all its realism in car chases starts to get hairy. During the first mission, Tanner begins to explain to his partner after his near-death experience in a car-crash that he has the ghost-like ability to take control of anybody driving other vehicles. Like Jones, we find this crazy talk just as unfathomable. Suddenly we’re taking a reticule on screen that can hover over all of San Francisco then zoom and shift us into a different car.

Now Shift is a really cool dynamic that adds something fresh such as trying to finish a race in both 1st and 2nd place as you transport hundreds of meters between vehicles. However, I can’t get over the fact that Shift pushes out the all the realism that other original Driver titles once had. Developers trying to explain Tanner’s new-found powers will leave hardcore fans of the series a bit confused. Like why can’t we just jack other vehicles like normal people in GTA instead of becoming a ghost that can control cars?

Other than that, the gameplay is promising with realistic physics and smooth graphics and texture you expect to see on the next-gen platform, but it also has its shortcomings- The demo is riddled with environmental glitches as your car tends to smash through walls and get stuck in buildings. In addition,  the cars are somewhat built like tanks and handle roughly but after a few runs, you get used to the cars and better at driving.  Since this is the demo, we can cut Ubisoft some slack and hope to see a more presentable retail version when DSF hits stores Sept. 6.

The end credits roll on the plasma TV screen and a satisfied smirk spreads across my face. I just beat Mass Effect 2 on “Insanity” but I’m also tired.  My thumbs are sore with stiff pain and begging for mercy, but I can’t put down the controller yet. I will have to play it all over again for the 15th time. Just when I thought I saved the world from the inevitable onslaught of robot alien space invaders and insectoid monsters. I have been bombarded with tedious assignments of space exploration and more downloadable content, stacking my gameplay time to a total of 195 hours. Yes, I have no life but it’s not my fault. It’s these damn addicting video games.

Today’s modern games are substantial in depth. They are filled with challenges, compelling storylines and technologically advanced gameplay but the only problem is that nowadays, these new games may surprisingly offer too much content.

Hear me out before you label me with the derogatory term “casual gamer.” I’m hardcore! I sleep, eat, drink and poop video games. I’ve played hundreds of online ranked matches in FIFA, spent hours a day destroying over a thousand geth in ME 2 and helped Scott Pilgrim defeat the league of evil exes to win his beloved Ramona Flowers countless times.

But when you work 9 to 5 six days a week and take 15 credits of online classes, you start to realize you don’t have as much time to plough through  stacks of xbox games.

On top of that these games don’t make it any easier with their repetitive and time consuming sideline missions and near-impossible challenges.

For example, after beating GTA IV and the episodes, there are still some fun missions that include gang wars and street races with nitrous-fueled sports cars but it starts to wear on you after 10 and you start to groan painfully at the fact that you have 90 more to go. On top of that you have to kill 200 hidden pigeons and pull off 50 vehicle stunt jumps scattered all over the map. The challenges are long and excruciatingly difficult.

In the Mass Effect series, apart from the main missions, you get swarmed by people who constantly need your help and want you to take on their missions for them. Some have you space-travel to many planets to complete an enemy clear out then report back, and others  can be as minuscule as traveling to a market to buy ingredients  for your staff chef, who is also the janitor.

According to Rockstar, Red Dead Redemption‘s single campaign player takes a whopping 20 to 25 hours to complete. However,  hours may vary among gamers depending on their skill.  In addition to that, the game challenges you to complete a 100 percent of it by hunting every single animal, taking out gang posts, winning poker stakes and other numerous challenges. With all these side missions, that’s another extra 10 hours of gameplay.

Honestly, that’s just too much to ask for us avid gamers, but it’s not all bad. There is a reason why these games offer us so many of these challenges to take on along with countless hours of gameplay. After completing the main story of a particular game, some gamers will take on the side missions and multiplayer because they offer precious replay value. Gamers who also put in the extra time to take in on harder challenges get rewarded by gaining points, leveling up or unlocking new weapons or armor. For me, There’s no denying the level of pride and joy  when that Xbox gamerscore pops onto your screen to notify an unlocked achievement or winning trophies on the PS3.

As time consuming as the extra content is for today’s video games, they offer huge incentives and that’s why we keep playing. I may not have as much time as I used to with but I’m still torn in between this love-hate relationship with today’s video games and I wouldn’t change a thing about them.