Friday Five: Five PS3 Exclusives We Wish Weren't PS3 Exclusives
Posted by Ken Barnes
If wishes were fishes...
With the announcement this week that Metal Gear Solid: The Legacy Collection isn’t coming to the Xbox 360, we started thinking about titles that we wished had made the jump to Microsoft’s platform. We came up with a list as long as your arm, that spanned several consoles but in the end, the Xbox 360’s natural closest competitor seemed to be the obvious one to focus on.
So in this week’s Friday Five, we’re covering the five PS3 exclusive titles that we wish weren’t PS3 exclusive titles...
For us, the first Uncharted game was an impressive jump into the next-generation for the third-person shooter, to be sure, and the third title was a great game that seemed to be missing…something. The second game in the set though, showed nothing but pure, unadulterated class from the very opening beats. Pixel-perfect gunplay, a great story with some nicely-timed swagger, and some fine, fine graphics mean that this is a game that is likely to stick with us as a fond memory for the rest of our lives. We’re a little torn here, though. We can’t overstate enough exactly how great it would have been to play this on an Xbox 360. If it had meant a dip in quality for whatever reason though, we’re sort of glad it remained locked and loaded on the single platform.
When it comes to digitally-distributed games, Xbox Live Arcade is in front by a fair way in our (obviously somewhat biased) opinion. However, while there are stacks and stacks of absolutely top-notch titles to be had for less than the price of movie ticket (OK, a movie ticket with some popcorn, a hotdog, and a drink) on the Marketplace, there’s nothing like Journey. For those that don’t know, Journey is a comparatively very short game where your character is indeed on a journey. You’re given no indication as to what the controls are, or what your character’s limitations are – you have to work everything out, including what your goals are. On occasion, other players (who are only name-checked when you complete the game) can drop into your world and you can work together and learn to communicate using nothing but the single sound that your characters can make. It doesn’t sound like much, but all of that combined with some gorgeous graphical effects works on so many different levels that it just has to be experienced. Some people cried when they finished it, whereas some people had nothing but a warm glow going on, but everybody felt something. Easily one of the most astonishing titles to be found over in PS3-land, or anywhere, for that matter – but we so wish it had made its way to the 360.
You can’t beat a game where the sidekick is a Welsh fairy with a lantern hanging off his nose. You just can’t. Search as far and as wide as you can, and you’ll not find a game that – whilst a grind at times – has a secondary character that provides as many genuine belly laughs as Ni No Kuni. Add that to the fact that the game was co-developed by Level 5 (Professor Layton series, Inazuma Eleven) and the legendary Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Kiki’s Delivery Service) and you have a beautiful looking JRPG that can draw you in and keep you playing for many, many hours. JRPG fans that can’t speak the lingo have been left woefully underserved by the 360 – mainly due to the system’s failing to gain any traction in Japan – so this would have fit the bill nicely.
While both games feature an innate sense of being alone as part of the key to the magic that they contain – much in the same way that the aforementioned Journey does before a co-op partner drops in – the innovation, beauty, and general technical mastery on display in the original PS2 editions of ICO and Shadow of the Colossus means that they were absolute must-plays on that system. The HD makeovers have only served to show that they’ve held up well in the years since their release. Still far more compelling than a massive chunk of current-generation titles, it would have been great to see this on the 360.
In terms of futuristic racing titles, the 360 hasn’t fared well. Off the top of our heads, we can remember that Fatal Inertia was a middling old game, and…well…that’s about it. We’ve got all the current-day racers that we can handle, from Need for Speed: Most Wanted and Burnout Paradoe through to Forza Horizon, GRID, and even a bit of PGR4 should the mood take us. What we haven’t got, is something that competes with the pure eye-bleeding speed of the SNES’ F-Zero. On the PS3, Wipeout HD is an absolute steal that – for our money – betters Nintendo’s racer by a fair way. Wipeout HD features sublime graphics and rollercoaster tracks that will turn your stomach inside out – as well as the sort of velocity that will push you back in your chair as you play. This, with super-smooth Xbox Live play and a controller that in our opinion is more suitable to the game – would have served the 360 well and provided many hours of entertainment.
Ah, what might have been, eh? Of course, there are many reasons why these games weren’t even considered for release on the 360. We’re just dreaming away. If we were to include future titles, The Last of Us and Beyond: Two Souls look like two locked-on winners, too. Obviously without having played them as yet, we couldn’t include them, though.
How About Yours?
If you could pick five titles to make the jump from the PS3 to Xbox 360, what would they be? Motorstorm, perhaps? LittleBigPlanet? Hyperdimension Neptunia? The Unfinished Swan? As always, take your pick and let us know in the comments section below.