PSP Car Games Comparison

PSP Car Main

After the recent release of a few driving games on the PSP I thought it might be worth taking a look at them across various sections so that people looking to buy can make a more informed choice.

For full reviews of each see the links below:

MOTORSTORM: ARCTIC EDGE

GRAN TURISMO

DIRT 2

So here we go…

GRAPHICS

Obviously a big part of any gaming experience but boy do people love cars that look good πŸ™‚

Dirt 2 is the least prettiest of the three with Motorstorm’s slightly cartoonish style in second place. Gran Turismo takes the chequered flag in this department, with some lush visuals although the odd screen tear stops it getting a perfect 10.

Motorstorm 8

Gran Turismo 9

Dirt 2 6

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Dirt 2 PSP 1Dirt 2: “The least prettiest of the three…”

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HANDLING

How your car handles is obviously an important part of any driving game and these titles are no different.

Motorstorm’s use of boost is well implemented and you only ever feel out of control via your own mistakes.

Gran Turismo’s handling is lifelike and if you try to drive like a maniac you will up in the wall before long.

Dirt 2 isn’t too bad in this respect but at times it’s difficult to tell whether the game is keeping tabs on things like grip etc as it’s often possible to just hold down accelerate and take turns.

Motorstorm 8

Gran Turismo 9

Dirt 2 7

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GAME MODES

No doubt about the winner here – Motorstorm has a fabulous single player campaign of ranking up and tackling different events in different vehicles.

Gran Turismo doesn’t have much in the way of modes for single player, it’s just race where you want to and while Dirt 2 does have a World Tour mode it’s pretty limited and doesn’t have much to keep you coming back.

Motorstorm 9

Gran Turismo 7

Dirt 2 7

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Motorstorm PSP MainMotorstorm: “Has a fabulous single player campaign.”

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MUSIC

Again Motorstorm takes this hands down – some great tracks on there including the anthem ‘Omen’ by The Prodigy. Good use of music.

Well the other two games are much of a muchness – not a great deal of music, surely they could’ve squeezed some more tunes in there?

Motorstorm 9

Gran Turismo 7

Dirt 2 8

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CAR SOUNDS

Gran Turismo wins out in the engine stakes – you really can hear the difference in vehicles, even when the cars are similar.

More impressive than Motorstorm because Motorstorm’s engine sounds only vary between different types of vehicles. (i.e cars and trucks)

And sadly Dirt 2’s engines sound the same regardless of what you’re driving.

Motorstorm 8

Gran Turismo 9

Dirt 2 6

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Gran Turismo PSP 2Gran Turismo:”You really can hear the difference in vehicles.”

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TRACK SELECTION

Moving onto the available tracks and Gran Turismo roars into the lead – yes you race each course backwards and forwards but even so there are still a huge amount of tracks to race on.

Motorstorm also has quite a selection and also gets a bonus for mutliple routes through each track.

Dirt 2 lags behind again – boasting in the region of around 8 tracks. 😦

Motorstorm 8

Gran Turismo 9

Dirt 2 6

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VEHICLE SELECTION

You can’t argue with 800 cars. Gran Turismo is the undisputed king in this round, regardless of the fact some are just different models of the same car.

One of the main points of Motorstorm is to race different types of vehicles against each other so it wouldn’t be much of a game without a decent selection of vehicles. New snow based vehicles have been added to the usual Motorstorm suspects.

Dirt 2 doesn’t deliver massively on the vehicle front but there is probably just about enough to keep you going.

Motorstorm 8

Gran Turismo 9

Dirt 2 7

Gran Turismo PSP MainGran Turismo: trumps Motorstorm right at the end.

OVERALL

Motorstorm 58 / 70

Gran Turismo 59 / 70

Dirt 2 47 / 70

It’s a very close race between the front two but Dirt 2 is way back in last place.

Gran Turismo trumps Motorstorm right at the end based on Vehicle and Track selection.

My advice would be simply – if you can’t afford both then go with Motorstorm for mindless fun or Gran Turismo for a slightly harder but more rewarding driving experience.

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Star Wars: Clone Wars – Demo Impressions (PS3)

Clone Wars Main

“Aaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrggggggh!” I shout (in my head) as my character plunges to his death for the tenth time. I’m having trouble jumping from one platform to another.

Yes, you read that right. Someone with 25 years of gaming experience is having trouble jumping from one platform to another πŸ˜₯ For some reason Clone Wars’ perspective makes it more luck than judgement as to whether you actually get where you want to go or kill what you want to kill.

Star Wars: Clone Wars is based on the hugely popular kids TV show and the game sees you take on various Clone and Jedi roles as you play through the game.

Clone Wars 1

I have never been a big Star Wars fan, though I’ve always thought a (great) game based in the original films universe (I know it’s all supposed to be the same universe but all the new stuff is pretty boring so I’m talking specifically those first few films) is long overdue.

This certainly isn’t it and to be honest 20 minutes playing this was 20 minutes too long. I had more fun playing the Punisher demo, which is saying something.

The gameplay involves shooting (if you’re a Clone) and jumping with a light saber (if you’re a Jedi). Sadly it all feels a bit clunky but the idea of the Jedi being able to ‘ride’ and control some of the bigger robots is pretty cool.

Sadly that isn’t enough to save this gameplay experience. I certainly won’t be picking this up but perhaps if you are a fan of the show you might get some enjoyment out of this game.

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Zombie Apocalypse – Demo Impressions (PS3)

Zombie Apocalypse Main

It might just’ve been because I had seen Zombieland less than 48 hours before playing this demo but Zombie Apocalypse was great fun.

Essentially a reskinned old style shooter you (and up to four friends) take control of one of the few survivors left following the aforementioned apocalypse.

The idea of the game is to survive day to day (each level being a day) for as long as possible.

Zombie Apocalypse 1

You use the left stick to move and the right stick to fire your weapon. In times of emergency you also have a chainsaw which can activated with R1 (quick swipe) or L1 (execution move).

You will be chaining kills like there is no tomorrow and it’s worryingly satisfying to see your ‘kill count’ rack up (on one playthrough mine was almost 600! 😎 )

There are a few different weapons in the demo: shotgun, flamethrower and a sort of gatling gun. I’m guessing there are more in the full game but these all felt different enough to give you some choice.

Zombie Apocalypse 2

I can’t decide whether this is worth investing in as a full game, especially with Dead Nation (the Zombie shooter for PS3) coming up early next year.

Regardless I’d certainly recommend downloading this and at least giving it a try.

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FIFA 10 – Review (PS3)

FIFA 10 Main

As regular readers will know from my FIFA 10 and PES 2010 demo impressions blogs, FIFA 10 is my football game of choice for 2009/10.

After playing the game alone and with friends I am in a position to give the full game a review.

There are a wealth of options gameplay-wise which can be a little overwhelming to begin with but the first stop for everyone should be to create their virtual pro.

Once you’ve done this you can use him in any game type and level up your skills – yep, not just career mode people. Even friendlies contribute to your stats – and you can use your created pro online as well! 😎

FIFA 10 1

Obviously you have all the usual league/cup/friendly modes and alongside that there is the manager mode, which is a bit like a better version of PES’s master league (the main bonus being if you’re sacked it’s not game over you have to get another job).

FIFA 10 is quite tough (playing on World Class) and you really are punished for your mistakes. The positive from that is that, except for the odd goal here and there, you know it’s your error that has led to the goal being conceded. It’s a feeling I haven’t had for a long time in a football game.

Onto the match gameplay and the amount of freedom is wonderful. With power bars for goal kicks, throw in’s and through balls my gameplay prayers have been answered. Chuck in the fact the game doesn’t auto select the direction of through balls for you (which annoyed the hell out of me in the PES series) as well and my vision of total football is almost complete.

As I mentioned earlier this freedom is brilliant but it comes with a price – there is literally nowhere to hide if you make a mistake, especially in multi-player where your opponent will no doubt have a smile on his face in the seat next to you. πŸ˜†

FIFA 10 2

Online is fairly lag free with the odd small stutter here and there. Sometimes takes me a while to find a game but it’s not a big problem. There are plenty of different modes and you can even play 10v10 matches and join in lots of different online tournaments, which is cool.

FIFA 10 is a great game. It basically has everything I wanted fixed in PES and contains a lot less of the odd glitchy moments that Konami’s title still boasts.

FIFA has caught up and, in my opinion, slightly overtaken PES as the most realistic football sim out there. It’s time to switch to EA’s beautiful game people.

Rating: 9/10

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The Boat That Rocked – Review (Film)

Boat That Rocked

I’m not a big fan of Richard Curtis, I liked Notting Hill but that’s about it. However upon hearing about The Boat That Rocked (or ‘Pirate Radio’ for my US chums) I thought it sounded quite cool and the fact it had Phillip Seymour Hoffman in it had me sold.

This film got absolutely ripped to shreds by the critics here in the UK and regardless of whether that was more an attack on Curtis himself, it still meant almost blanket negative courage.

Personally I enjoyed parts of it and cringed at some parts of it. I certainly don’t think it warranted the 1 star (out of 5) reviews it got almost across the board.

Boat That Rocked 2

The Boat That Rocked is a light hearted look at pirate radio in the UK in the 1960’s – which is where most young people got their music from.

I personally would’ve liked a little more satire or wit rather than the, often laboured, comedy on show. Playing on someone’s surname being Twatt is funny once or twice but it’s over egged here and I didn’t see the need for some of the ‘Thick Kevin’ stuff.

That said there are some good performances in there, Chris O’Dowd (The IT Crowd) puts a shift in and Rhys Darby (Flight Of The Conchords) is also pretty funny in places.

Boat That Rocked 3

It seems a shame that a film about such a vibrant, creative era fell into the ‘same old gag after gag’ trap.

The trouble is this is a film made for people who were there in that period of time and unfortunately those people are such a small slice of the cinema going audience that perhaps The Boat That Rocked was always destined to run aground shortly after setting sail.

Rating: 5/10

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Motorstorm: Arctic Edge – Review (PSP)

Motorstorm PSP Main

I really enjoyed the two Motorstorm titles on PS3 (despite online connection issues with Pacific Rift :mad:) and so I was really looking forward to getting some boost action on the small screen.

The game throws you straight into racing and the set up is the same as the PS3 versions. Race different types of events to unlock more vehicles and rank up. The more you rank up the more advanced races you have access to.

The music is great, with a particular nod here to the Prodigy ‘Omen’… in one race as a bike I came hurtling along a high route, off a ramp and just as the Prodigy track kicked in I overtook two trucks below me while I was in the air before landing well and keeping them in my rearview mirror. 😎

Motorstorm PSP 1

The game appeared a little easy at first and I was worried I might have another Dirt on my hands but after 10 or 15 races it started becoming more challenging.

Part of the challenge is working out which of the vehicles to go for: a bike for speed but lack of control on ice? Or a big rig – slow as hell but controllable? With the vehicles on offer it’s certainly a dilemma! πŸ˜€

The multiple routes through each race are fantastic, often seeing you grab victory from the jaws of defeat and the inclusion of ice bridges is a neat touch.

Ice bridges are for routes high up and cannot take the weight of heavier vehicles. But obviously if you’re in a big vehicle you can take the route and break the bridge to stop other using it – is it worth the cost of a crash?

Motorstorm PSP 2

Another thing that raises the bar compared to other PSP driving games I’ve played is that you will often find yourself smashed by the other vehicles – resulting in a) some amazing slow motion crashes and b) a real determination to get back up the field as soon as possible.

You can go from near enough last to first in one lap on Motorstorm, which often means you never feel like you’re completely out of the running. It’s quite an achievement for any game to make you feel excited when you’re 8th with half a lap left and you’re still pushing for the win πŸ˜†

With options to (cosmetically) customise your vehicles and of course play friends online, Motorstorm PSP is an essential purchase for anyone with a PSP.

Rating: 9/10

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The Hangover – Review (Film)

The Hangover

2009 has been a good year for comedies in my opinion, with great films like Zombieland, Role Models and I Love You, Man. Now I can add The Hangover to this years comedy greats.

Telling the story of stag trip to Las Vegas it’s the story of the groom Doug, two of his friends and his slightly eccentric (soon to be) brother in law.

After starting their night up on the roof of the hotel with some drinks we then cut to them waking up in their trashed room, nursing horrific hangovers and having no idea what happened the previous night.

The Hangover 2

The Hangover’s comedy isn’t sophisticated but it is occasionally subtle and always very funny.

Stand out role here is Zach Galifianakis as brother in law Alan. Having previously only seen him as the sedate Davis on TV show Tru Calling it was fantastic to see such a performance from him. His line about having found a baby before in a Coffee Bean coffeehouse had me in stitches for ages.

Strong performances from all the leads make sure the film never feels too outlandish and it retains that kind of ‘I’ve done similar (or could’ve done) when I’ve been drunk’ mentality for the audience.

The Hangover 3

The film is a very funny one and is definitely something everyone should check out. Be warned however that this is adult humour and if you’re offended by swearing, nudity and general crudeness then you’d be well advised to leave your sensibilities at the door.

Lots of the lines are quotable and with an almost throwaway soundtrack that perfectly compliments, but never takes away from, the action onscreen The Hangover is a well packaged film.

Rating: 9/10

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