Holiday Videogame Guide 2010: PS3

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The PlayStation 3 hit a confident stride this year. The "slim" revision of the hardware that launched in late 2009 played a big part in that success. Its clean, sophisticated look caught on and the console is sure to be on many holiday wish lists. Unlike its competition, all PS3 models include a hard drive; the only question is its size. The 160GB capacity of the base unit should be ample for most, unless you plan to store a lot of media, particularly video.

PlayStation 3 also launched its motion control system this year, named Move. More like a traditional controller, the complete Move system entails a Move controller, a PlayStaion Eye camera to track it, and an optional--but necessary for many games--Move navigation controller. Starting from scratch, the price for all the pieces combined quickly adds up. On the other hand, being able to get the parts separately also means friends and family can team up to give a complete set. There are also a number of bundles ranging from just the basics to a full set of everything need for two-player to use Move, and, naturally, a kit that includes a PS3 console as well.

Playstation 3 also saw a number of great additions to its game library this year. Our gift suggestions hit several of the highlights:

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
For: Folks looking for a good hack-and-slasher to fill the void left in the God of War series' wake, or those burned by Dante's Inferno's blazing fires of mediocrity. Familiarity with previous Castlevania games is totally optional.
Jeff says: Lords of Shadow is an action-adventure game with fast-paced and combo-heavy combat and slower-paced platforming and exploration sequences. The game's environments are varied and absolutely gorgeous, it's considerably longer than most other games in the genre, and there are a huge amount of special moves and abilities to unlock. It may not be the Castlvania of old, but the competent combat and gorgeous vistas make it well worth checking out.

Gran Turismo 5
For: The person who insists on taking you to the auto show each year, and then already knows everything about all the cars there.
Garnett says: Gran Turismo is as much an ode to the automobile as it is a racing game. Most any car imaginable can be virtually bought in the game, driven to its limits on a number of beautiful circuits around the world, and photographed, both out on the track and in situ against backdrops created solely for capturing dramatic sills of a car. License tests necessary to advance in the game attempt to convey basic principles of performance driving.

And when it's time for a break, there's the built-in Gran Tursimo TV that provides downloadable video--some free, some for sale--of premier motoring events around the world. There is an arcade mode for the less serious driver, but for those who prefer the rush of weaving through traffic in exotic sports cars while being chased by the cops, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit will make a much better gift.

Demon's Souls
For: The gamer who fondly reminisces about how great games used to be and loves high fantasy.
Brian says: Nothing says holiday cheer like one of the most difficult and rewarding games ever to grace a home console. Demon's Souls is a non-stop throwback to old-school gaming with an innovative multiplayer component that allows players to leave cryptic warnings or tips in the game world. They can also come into your world to help or hurt you under certain circumstances. Make no mistake, this game is incredibly difficult and takes a long time to get into, but there are few accomplishments in gaming that match defeating this game's first real boss.

Red Dead Redemption
For: Yourself, other similarly cool but stressed people
Alice says: Some days you wish things were simpler. Why are you even reading a gift guide? You're a grown adult. Can you not simply tell people how much you care? John Marston never had to worry about wrapping paper or finding a ZhuZhu Grooming Salon.

Round up cattle, break horses, throw back sippin' whisky and play a little poker at the saloon, then ride off into the sunset. And gun down an increasingly absurd and unfortunate number of varmints. For a deeper look into the first few hours on the range, read our Red Dead Redemption first impressions.

God of War 3
For: Budding Greek poets
Xav says: God of War concludes the long, violent journey of Kratos--one of Zeus' many, angry illegitimate children. From its opening scene following a Kratos climbing Mount Olympus atop the Titan Gaia, the game proves itself to be epic. Sure, Kratos is a bit of a whiner, but the action is blazing-fast, gorgeous, and hard to put down. A PlayStation 3-exclusive, God of War has been mimicked countless times in the past but still stands atop others as the Lord of the Genre. Our God of War 3 review takes a deeper look at the game.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    November 26, 2010 10:13 AM

    PS3 doesn't have much going for it this holiday season, which is unfortunate.

    But, I still bought one. Can't wait to play all of the back-catalogue of games. 2011 is also going to be really great.

    • reply
      November 26, 2010 10:39 AM

      Seems 360 & PS3 were both banking a lot on motion controls this season for exclusives. My new release exclusives Xmas list is:

      Wii: DKC, Goldeneye
      PS3: Sly Collection

      My backlog is much larger!

    • reply
      November 26, 2010 3:38 PM

      To be fair the 360 doesn't either. The Shack guide lists Reach,Alan Wake, ME2, AssBro, and black ops. Only two of which are exclusive (and neither is new).

    • reply
      November 27, 2010 7:53 AM

      Don't miss valkyria chronicles! Awesome game.

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