A Sony exclusives primer for the Xbox fanboy – Part 2

Yesterday, we started a round up on our favourite Sony exclusive titles in an effort to educate those in the ways of the PlayStation. Today, we finish off that list — so let’s get to it!

Heavy Rain

Heavy Rain seemed to be something of an experiment in gaming: A hybrid between a film and a game—actually, more of a hybrid between a cut-scene and a game. If it WAS an experiment, then it was at least 70% successful, creating the gaming world’s first interactive film-noir psychological thriller. The story is bleak and fascinating, wonderfully animated and performed; and while it ends weakly, the ride is a thrill.

Essentially made up of a constant stream of quicktime events, the game details the stories of four characters each involved somehow with the Origami Killer, a serial killer at large who kidnaps and murders young children. The player’s perspective shifts between photojournalist Madison Paige, FBI profiler Norman Jayden, private investigator Scott Shelby and Ethan Mars, father of the Origami Killer’s most recent target. Depending on the player’s actions throughout the game the ending can vary wildly, with the possibility that several of the protagonists may be killed before the game reaches its climax. Oh, and who can forget “Press ‘X’ to Jason”?

The game plays like a Choose Your Own Adventure book: you’re funnelled in a particular direction, but you have some say in how you get there and what you do. The motion-capture techniques used for both the gameplay and the cut scenes are seamless, so in essence it does feel like one giant animated film, but at the same time it’s not like you’re being robbed of the gaming experience, Final Fantasy-style. – Jasper Schultz and Matt Gosper

Buzz!

If you’re a Neighbours fan and just can’t get enough of Jason Donovan, we feel sorry for you. Whilst judging you, we can at least help you out with the recommendation of the Buzz! series of trivia games

With the game’s titular host voiced by Donovan, you can try your knowledge across a ton of titles for PS2, PS3, and the PSP. Spanning general trivia, music, sports, and with a Junior series aimed at little tykes, Buzz! has been going strong since 2005.

The game’s USB-buzzers are a staple for the series, and have caught on so well that several third-party titles such as Eidos’ Who Wants to be a Millionaire – Party Edition use the controllers too.

Additionally, as of 10 September 2009, Buzz!: Quiz TV lets you take advantage of “game launching” —  setting up and playing multi-player games directly from the Playstation 3 Exclusive Home environment. By winning quiz rounds in the game, players can also unlock PlayStation Home rewards. – Steve Wright

Resistance

Now up to its third title, Resistance is a period piece sci-fi game: aliens called ‘Chimera’ invade earth in the 1950s, taking over much of the planet by capturing humans and turning them into human/Chimera hybrid soldiers. Earth is all but in tatters, the human race is nearly wiped out, and it’s up to you and a few other pockets of human survivors to save the world.

It’s a great premise, backed up by some solid (if vague and clichéd) storytelling, crisp graphics, and some of the most satisfying weapons in a game you’ll find. From the design of each weapon, to the sound they make when fired, the physical response shot enemies, even the upgrading system. You’ll be surprised how good you feel firing off a few rounds into the Chimeran beasties.

There isn’t much else about the game that is unique or exclusive to the PS3, but it is well put together and finely polished, and definitely a string in Sony’s bow. – Jasper Schultz

ICO & Shadow of the Colossus

Sony hasn’t been afraid to raid its extensive back catalogue this generation, and the recent ICO & Shadow of the Colossus double pack is a must-play, especially for those who may have missed these games when they were first released on the PlayStation 2. While some of the gameplay elements of ICO haven’t aged quite so gracefully, the game was one of the early classics of last generation.

You control Ico, a boy attempting to save a princess from a castle (I know what it sounds like, but Super Mario this is not). But as great as ICO is, the main event is Shadow of the Colossus. Shadow does away with all the ‘boring’ stuff that weighs games down: you know, like dungeons, towns, NPCs to interact with, and whittles gaming down to its essence: epic boss battles. You are Wander, and you have to defeat sixteen massive colossi to save a girl named Mono. And it plays just as well, if not better (thanks to frame rate fixes and a slight HD makeover) than ever before. This PS3-exclusive set is the best way to tide you over before the release of Team Ico’s third game, 2012 Sony-exclusive The Last Guardian. – William Kostakis


inFAMOUS

Cole MacGrath is a new breed of superhero, created after surviving a huge blast which decimates the fictional Empire City. With super powers coming from the manipulation of electrical energy, and a penchant for parkour-style movement, Cole is able to run, jump, scale, rail grind and electro-glide around an open world, zapping enemies as he sees fit. Interestingly, Cole’s superpowers prevent him from riding in vehicles or holding weapons due to the electricity coursing through his body. And don’t even think about getting into a body of water!

Throughout the storyline, you’ll be presented with opportunities to make moral choices. As with a lot of games which employ a good/evil mechanic, you’ll get the best experience from this game by sticking to one side of the coin. Favouring either positive or negative Karma will change the way you appearance, the way your powers work.

The one thing this game lacks is multiplayer – but it’s far from necessary to get enjoyment out of this game. With almost every game including a multiplayer mode these days, it’s refreshing to play a game that has stuck to its strengths. – Hammond Buckland

Ratchet and Clank

The Ratchet and Clank series is a long-running and still strong series, originating on the Playstation 2 and eventually making its way to the Playstation Portable and Playstation 3. The game features Ratchet, the heroic last member of the Lombax (cat/fox people) species and Clank, his goofy but trustworthy robot sidekick.

In its PS3 trilogy, the games have become ever more story-driven, with detailed backstories being incorporated for its two primary characters as well as recurring characters like Captain Qwark, the selfish and hopeless superhero-turned-Galactic President or Doctor Nefarious the unhinged robot overlord. This story-driven trend is expected to continue with the new PS3 title, Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One, due for release later this month.

The series is well-known for its varied and… ‘unique’ weaponry selections, ranging from standard energy guns to screen-wide massacre cannons, and even the occasional hypnotic disco ball launcher. Never too serious, the Ratchet and Clank games have always focused on their proven formula as a humorous, colorful platform/shooter hybrid series, with meaty challenges and weapon upgrade systems. – Matt Gosper

So what do you think? Did we miss any good exclusives? Let us know via the comments section!