'Fight Night' leads pack of games



The only great game that needs a PS3 is 'Resistance: Fall of Man.'
By LOU KESTEN
ASSOCIATED PRESS
The frenzy that surrounded November's launch of the PlayStation 3 -- the ridiculous lines, the sporadic violence, the online price gouging -- looks even crazier in retrospect.
Anyone who spent 2,000 buying a PS3 on eBay has to be kicking himself -- especially now, just two months later, when you can easily find one online for its 600 list price.
If you waited for the hype to fade and prices to plummet, you might be wondering if the PS3 is even worth that much. The answer is: No, not yet.
Right now, there's only one truly excellent game ("Resistance: Fall of Man") that you need a PS3 to play. Most PS3 titles are duplicated on the Xbox 360, but if you don't already own a 360, the PS3 is a worthy candidate for high-definition gaming. Here's a look at some of the PS3 games that have arrived since that hectic launch.
"Fight Night Round 3" (EA Sports, 59.99): On the Xbox 360, "Fight Night" has set new standards for high-def realism, and the PS3 version packs the same wallop. A big part of what makes "Fight Night" so much fun is its unique "Total Punch Control" system, in which you throw punches by rotating the right analog stick instead of pressing buttons. The new edition adds some more powerful punches, but you need serious skill to pull them off.
Also new is a first-person option, which may be the most powerful (and disturbing) way to play yet: You see the punches heading right toward your face, and as you take more damage your vision blurs and blood starts seeping into the frame.
If you want to have nightmares, set up a match against Muhammad Ali and let him turn your face into hamburger.
You can play as Ali or as one of dozens of other legendary fighters, from Floyd Patterson to Sugar Ray Leonard to Roy Jones Jr., or you can create your own brawler and lead him all the way to the championship bout.
It's EA's finest sports simulation yet. Three and a half stars out of four.
"Full Auto 2: Battlelines" (Sega, 59.99): The original "Full Auto," for the Xbox 360, dazzled with its vivid scenes of wholesale destruction, but there wasn't much substance beneath the flash. "Full Auto 2" is pretty much more of the same.
The goals, again, are to drive real fast and blow stuff up -- two of our favorite things to do, but the way they're combined here is less than thrilling. There's a halfhearted story line, and most of the time you're presented with one of two goals: Either outrace your opponents or destroy them.
But the biggest problem is that the physics just doesn't feel right. The cars themselves feel weightless, their handling is terrible and even the weapons don't have much of a kick. And there's no real incentive to drive with any finesse, since you either bounce off buildings or plow right through them. "Full Auto 2" is fun for short races against your friends, but it doesn't have the staying power of Electronic Arts' similar "Burnout" series. Two stars.
"Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII" (Ubisoft, 59.99): "Blazing Angels" re-creates all the major air battles of World War II, from the Battle of Britain to Midway to D-Day. It's a fairly basic air-combat game, where you simply take to the skies and shoot down as many German Messerschmitts and Japanese Zeroes as you can.
The PS3 version doesn't look substantially better than last March's Xbox 360 release, but it does have two new missions and 10 new planes.
More significantly, "Blazing Angels" exploits the motion-sensing capabilities of the PS3 controller -- which, in English, means you can maneuver your plane by tilting the controller.
The gimmick adds a little pizzazz to a somewhat bland game; here's hoping that Sony can find more inspired uses for the technology. Two stars.
Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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