November 30, 2006

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07- Review

Although golf may seem like a boring and "inactive" sport to some people, it couldn't be farther from the truth for gamers, whom own golf games that is. The "Tiger Woods" series has become increasingly popular these last few years; and with the newest addition of "Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07" on the Playstation 3, the series is, no doubt, going to get even more attention.

Right from the beginning, you will be amazed at the performance of the game. The loading will only be a few seconds and when it is done you are given a large amount of different options to choose from. The most noticeable option is that of Career Mode, in which you can create your own custom golfer and begin your own prosperous career as a pro-golfer. Some of the other modes include: match play, alternate shot, battle golf, best-ball, stroke play, skins, practice, etc. Each type of game match will have its own guidelines and rules, but there should still be something for everyone.

One of the best matches to play in "Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07" is battle golf. Battle golf is basically match play with an entertaining twist. During this type of match, you will go about playing a golf game as you normally would, but after each and every hole the winner gets a special treat. That "special" treat is the removal of an opponents club; which means that any club he/she has in their set can be removed and he/she will no longer have access to it. Its an awesome feeling when your opponent has only a few clubs at his disposal, while you still have all of yours.

Creating and developing your own unique golfer is definitely one of the highlights of the game, as you get to design them to look like whatever you want. You are free to design him/her right down to the very last detail. Not only that, but you can actually choose what type of reactions they have on the course. Obviously, if all you got to do was design a character and just look at him/her, the game would quickly lose its appeal. Luckily, theres much more to do with your created character than just looking at him/her, and the best thing to do is to start a career.

Career mode allows you to take your character through many different tournaments and match-ups, allowing you to face-off with some of golfs most well known golfers, such as Tiger Woods, John Daly, Justin Leonard, Mike Weir, Jim Furyk, and many more. Of course, in order to compete with these pro-golfers and become the best, your going to need to create one heck of a great golfer. However, creating a superstar golfer is not that simple.

After all, Tiger Woods did not become a great golfer over night; he was born that way! But thats beside the point. The point is, you will need plenty of training and practice to reach your peak as a golfer. You will do that by taking your character through a few different mini games, which will develop your character's individual attributes. Your characters different attributes are: ball striking, driving accuracy, putting, recovery, power, power boost, approach, and spin. After each mini-game you participate in, some of those attributes may increase. However, that will depend on your overall performance during the game, as well as what the mini-game's main focus was on. Your starting character is going to suck, period; but with a few mini games played here and there, he will grow in talent and become an all-star golfer in no time.

Many people think they can just keep training then hit the campaign trail and blaze over the competition easily. Well, thats not the case. You will only be able to train a certain amount of times before each and every match. This makes it so you can't "beef" up and then "slaughter" each one of your opponents on the course.

Attributes are always great, but they can't replace the feeling of picking up and trying out new golf gear. And, thats exactly what your golfers can do from time to time. Simply stop by the pro-shop via the career menu and you can browse all the clothing and equipment that can be purchased. Its always nice to see the purchased equipment being used by, and displayed on, your character; but that is not the only reason equipment is worth buying. New equipment will also present your golfer with skill bonuses, which will give him/her an edge on the golf course. So even though it may just "look" great on your golfer, the equipment is actually working its magic behind-the-scenes to increase your golfer's attributes.

The PS3 console port of "Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07" not only has great single player modes, but players can challenge others online via an internet connection. If you ever get bored with career mode, then online play should be your next destination. The most common online matches will be those of stroke and match play games, but there will be many other game types as well; such as battle golf, alternate shot, three-hole golf, skins, etc. Players may either participate in unranked or ranked matches, which is now a common thing to see in most online games. If a gamer thinks they are "pro" material, they will go for ranked games to increase their record and stats. However, those who feel somewhat less confident in their skills will play unranked games, as there is much less pressure.

In terms of graphics, visuals, and sounds, "Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07" scores big. Each course looks absolutely amazing and the small touches (like the birds flying over head, waves crashing on the shoreline, and/or the fans running up and down the fairway trying to get a better view) really makes the game seem so much more realistic and intense. The details of all the characters are extremely well done also. It is a shame that there are only 12 courses on the PS3 version of this game, but each of them is quite breath taking, to say the least. Not to mention, the commentary seems to have been well implemented and pretty accurate with each individual play. So you can expect the announcers to praise you for good shots and criticize you for the poor ones.

No matter how you want to look at it, "Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07" for the Playstation 3 is a quality game. If your not a big fan of golf games, this might be the PS3 game that changes your outlook on them. With a large selection of match options, personalized character creation, outstanding visuals, excellent audio, beautiful courses, great online play, excellent control scheme, and so much more, What more could a golfing fan want?

November 29, 2006

PS3 Review- "Call of Duty 3"

The Playstation 3 has been a long awaited console, but now that it is here, gamers have to figure out which games are good and which games are not-so good. Luckily, that can be easily done through the readings of a food review. Most gamers know that there is an abundance of World War II games available to play. Among those WWII games is the Call of Duty (CoD) series, and with each CoD game, the aspect of fighting in World War II gets even more intense. Well, now with "Call of Duty 3" (which has been released for both the next-consoles of XBOX 360 and Playstation 3), gamers can relive and participate in one of the most graphic and action-packed wars ever known.

Those familiar with "Call of Duty 2" (especially that of the XBOX 360 port) know that "Call of Duty 3" is going to be nothing short of spectacular. As for the story, fans can expect the same scenario, which is fighting & killing the Germans on all fronts. The set-up of the story will remain the same; you take the role of a few different soldiers and fight in a couple different campaigns (America, Britain, Canada, and Poland). The setting of "Call of Duty 3" is in 1944 and you will be trying to drive the German forces out of France, during the Normandy Breakout. Unlike "Call of Duty 2", "Call of Duty 3" has more developed characters and there seems to be more of a background story for each of the soldiers; which you will find more about while playing.

As for the the combat, everything you would expect in a World War II game is there. The enemy AI seems to be pretty advanced (usually anyway). Enemies will go under cover whenever they are being fired upon, as well as quickly alert all others to nearby grenades. Its true they did those things in "Call of Duty 2", but it seems they have a much quicker reaction time to changing environments; which will also depend on the difficulty setting. To stay alive, you will need to find cover quickly while moving from place to place. Your allies will move with you, so its easy to tell when you need cover because a few of them will drop dead due to incoming enemy fire. Unfortunately, this game has no lean function. Most gamers would agree that it would be nice to get up against a wall, lean out, and then quickly snipe an incoming enemy. However, the "duck & cover" method seems to work nicely, which allows players to simply crouch then pop up and fire.

Most gamers know that the "Call of Duty" series is not just your average run & gun first person shooter (FPS). It actually leans more to the tactical side of FPS; due to the fact that you must choose your shots, as well as think about what your going to do next. Obviously, you may choose to run around with a Thompson SMG shooting wildly at enemies, but you will find you will not survive very long with that tactic. Therefore, you have to examine the surroundings of the battle field and then decide what to do next.

The Playstation 3 Sixaxis controller also has a few uses while playing through the game. One of those uses is when an enemy soldier sneaks up and grabs you and you must struggle to break free of him, which is done by tilting the controller rapidly. The whole scene is very intense, but unfortunately it does not happen too often. Another great aspect of the controller is that of driving vehicles. You will hold the controller like a steering wheel and tilt it in order to turn left and right. It may not sound very thrilling, but once you have tried it, you'll see how fun it really is.

The graphics and sound of "Call of Duty 3" are, as anyone could have guessed, wonderful. The XBOX 360 port of the game seems to have a slightly better frame rate and less visual glitches than that of the PS3. But, the PS3 port still has superb quality details and exceptional level design, as you will no doubt notice while playing. Then again, it might be hard to stop and appreciate all the beautifully designed scenery when bullets are whizzing over your head. The cut-scenes are also a thing to "oowww" and "aawww" over, as they have been excellent designed and implemented into each and every campaign.

Once you have finished up with the single player campaigns, which should take about 9-10 hours, you can move onto the real fun stuff; which is online play. As always, players may participate in the basic "Call of Duty" online matches, such as: team battle, battle, capture-the-flag, head-quarters, etc. There are also about 9 different multiplayer maps to choose from, ranging from large levels to smaller enclosed ones.

One big change is that of soldier classes. Instead of being an ordinary "grunt", players can choose to be a more specific type of soldier. For instance, you could choose to be a medic and revive fallen players on the spot, or you could be an anti-tank, whom specializes in taking out armored vehicles. There are 6 different classes in all, so there should be something for everyone. Another great aspect of online play is that of vehicles. Just like in campaign mode, there will be times when you can jump into a vehicle (with or without a gunner) and drive around. Obviously, different maps will have different vehicles to use, but expect to see tanks, jeeps, and motorcycles throughout online play.

The games online play is fun, exciting, and entertaining; so be sure to try it out as soon as possible!

"Call of Duty 3" is definitely a must have title for Playstation 3 owners. If your not a fan of the "Call of Duty" series, this game may just change your mind. If you are a fan, then odds are you already own a copy or are on your way to go get one. Whatever the case may be, "Call of Duty 3" is a fantastic game that will give you plenty of fun & entertainment.