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High Art

Dee Yun Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2007-09-20 22:40:25

Direman Press is Now "Avant Garde Comics"

Ironically, I really like Wedge as a robot pirate and Biggs as a ninja monkey. Maybe I should keep them this way, and just do weird absurdist comics.

So I just sent off my second Xbox 360 for repair/replacement a couple of days ago. At this point, after all the Microsoft buffoonery, to receive a working unit would be anticlimactic. It's now approaching 7 weeks since my 360 died, and I hope to return you to your regularly scheduled programming. It's pretty clear that I've cultivated a strongly Xbox readership, but for the interim, here's a MotorStorm review for my nonexistent PlayStation 3 constituency.

MotorStorm is one of the few successes for the PlayStation 3 in its first year of existence. So much so, that it's offered as a free pack-in game with the $599 version (80GB model) of the PS3. However, this is akin to offering British food to a starving man; MotorStorm stands out because it's a decent game with no competition on the PS3.

MotorStorm, as you might surmise, is a racing game. You have a choice between a vast array of vehicles, ranging from light and zippy motorcycles to heavier rally cars all the way to bestial big rig trucks. You take your vehicle of choice onto an offroad course full of chaotic jumps and ravines rife with peril on every side. Agile rides like motorcycles and ATVs excel at taking the "high road", zipping around dirt plateaus connected only by your will to negotiate high risk, high reward stunt jumps. The unsubtle trucks easily churn through mud-filled canyons and display their power by ramming through barricades. These monsters also toss their lighter counterparts around like rag dolls.

This leads directly to the fun part of the game: crashes. And by that, I mean when your opponents crash. The tracks are treacherous, full of obstacles and crazy turns nestled on the edge of cliffs. Negotiating them while dodging and fighting off other racers leads to one of the best core racing experiences available.

MotorStorm is also a gorgeous game with fun, over exaggerated physics and a solid framerate. Thus far, it stands as the benchmark for what the PS3 is capable of graphically. However, its native resolution is 720p. Thanks to the PS3's inability to upscale, 1080i television owners lose out on much of the visual fidelity as the image gets kicked down to 420p.

MotorStorm also loses significant marks for its shallowness. There's only one repetitive single player mode, with no offline splitscreen play. It's repetitive because there are only eight different tracks, and their multiple path designs even prevent running them in reverse. As good as the core game play is, unless you take MotorStorm online, it doesn't have much staying power.

Note - Add on packs are available in the PlayStation Store that tack on more vehicles, tracks and game modes. It's funny to see Sony fanboys bitching on forums about microtransactions, now that 360 owners have had two full years of getting accustomed to being anally violated by them.

MotorStorm - Rank B

PSN Gamertag - Vawce (Do I have any PS3 readers? Hit me up.)

I also recently finished up Bully for the PS2. With ports of this title on the way for the Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii, I figured it'd be useful to cover this game, but I'll save the full review for the site relaunch. It's essentially a toned down Grand Theft Auto with similar game design, in a charmingly juvenile boarding school setting.

Bully - Rank B

Now Playing - Dragon Quest VIII (PS2)

David Vargas David Vargas: (dave-deleteme[at]-deleteme-squishycomics [dot] com) 2007-09-21 13:21:51

Low Art

But... I thought Dee wanted me to pander to our audience as much as possible. Oh well, no fan servicing pictures of Tina, I guess. PonFarr and Tentacleye will be sad.

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