Wednesday, February 23, 2011

PSN Demo Showcase for 2/23/10

My PSN Demo Showcase returns since there were a lot of demos that came out yesterday on the Playstation Store. A variety of universes gets represented here this time (Footage may be from the 360 versions, but they're the same on PS3).

First off is Dragon Age 2 by EA, one of highly anticipated games of this early part of the year and for good reason since it is a BioWare production. Even though I didn't play the first one, I have read it was a great game, but filled with flaws as well. BioWare hopes to fix their mistakes in the sequel especially with a console-focused direction. If you don't know what's up with this franchise, Dragon Age is the famed developer's return to the fantasy RPG setting that was made popular by them with the Baldur's Gate series. With Dragon Age 2, BioWare added more features seen in their sci-fi RPG epic Mass Effect 2 from the simplified combat and the dialogue trees. However, after playing through this demo, the fantasy setting didn't seem to grab me as much as the Mass Effect universe did, but then again maybe I was spoiled by the characters in that game compared to the characters here in Dragon Age 2. Combat is not as deep as I thought, but that's also a given being a demo mashing the attack button along with some specials here and there as a warrior (the mage class is also playable). The graphics look fine for the most part and better than the original, but it still has that BioWare feel visually too especially during cutscenes. "Dragon Effect" does sum up this game so far for me, but now things will be more fleshed out in the final game that will be released in a couple of weeks. If you like BioWare games and RPGs, try out the Dragon Age 2 demo on both consoles. Personally, I rather wait for Mass Effect 3 for my BioWare RPG fix as the fantasy setting doesn't seem to be my thing now (Maybe Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim will be my fantasy RPG).

Next up is Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars and believe it or not, it is still the same core Lego game that has been around for nearly several years. The Clone Wars cartoon gets the Lego treatment this time as there two levels playable in this demo that have on-foot and vehicular sections. Little to the formula has been changed as you play as numerous characters in the Star Wars universe and you tag them out here and there to solve puzzles and press switches. It is a still a kids game at heart, but very enjoyable for all ages as seen in the many Lego game iterations that have been out. Going crazy with the lightsaber is well, still cool and all in Lego form and at least the saber throw has been added in to spice up the jedi combat a bit. Vehicular sections still control wonky as you can't reach out to studs that you want to collect. Of course, this demo can be also played cooperatively with another player and that's still fun as it is in past Lego games. Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars (out next month too) so far seems to be another solid addition to the franchise even though the core formula hasn't changed significantly, but these games are still great mindless fun especially in co-op.

Finally, there's a demo of Yakuza 4 and Sega actually dropped the ball on this one by only having the battle sections playable and no story mode demo at all unlike the Japanese version that came out last year. I wonder what was in Sega's mind not to include that as you can easily get a hour of playtime with this demo compared to just ten minutes. If you played the Japanese demo though, the battle sections are the same from that with all four characters to mess around with. The Yakuza franchise for me is another one of those franchises I respect a lot and glad that it exists, but never gets to play them fully. Yakuza 4 is coming out next month and I hope it is as successful as the last game here at the States, so Sega can bring out the next game, which is out in Japan relatively soon. Then again, Sega of America doesn't give the same effort Japan does in regards to handling the franchise since it doesn't perform that well sales-wise here at the States compared to Japan, which is unfortunate because they are great games that are feel underappreciated.

That's it for the PSN Demo Showcase this week. I would talk about MLB 11: The Show, since the demo for that also came out yesterday, but baseball games are not my thing.

No comments: