There have been many HD re-releases over the last few years and it’s always a tough ask when the game was pushing the original hardware to the limit. Exactly how much more can we expect from a HD remaster? Rest assured though, Killzone HD looks, and more importantly, still plays exceptionally well today.
I was worried that having been such a fan of the original game, I may have been remembering the visuals with rose-tinted glasses and the HD reworking would shatter those memories. Thankfully, the game looks fantastic today and pulses with graphical finesse. It’s fortunate that the original game featured a texture-friendly grainy filter and a lot of mist, which transfers well today, giving the game a distinguished look.
Maybe it’s seeing Stallone and Arnie back in the cinemas recently that has me feeling nostalgic and hankering for the good old days. I even had a good root through some of my older games that I’d packed into the attic. Or perhaps I can’t blame it on the return of the aging action stars, it’s more likely to be the amount of kickstarter campaigns for retro game reboots, studio closures, stagnating sequels and brand retirements that made me think about what games from years gone by could lift gaming out of this over-familiar slump in which it finds itself.
The Ratchet & Clank series has been somewhat unpredictable in recent years as it seems to be trying to reinvent itself with the last few games despite a strong following and decent review scores. Its blend of planetary exploration, platforming and fantastically fun weaponry was a hit every time, culminating in the excellent A Crack in Time in 2009.
In 2011, the series delved into co-op gameplay and despite dumbing down the controls to remove manual aiming and allow all players to share a single screen, the game was an enjoyable blast with the usual polish we’ve come to expect from the series. It was surprising to hear the studio was working on yet another R&C title after announcing the multi-platform Fuse. We were hoping for something along the lines of A Crack in Time again, but alas we have a PSN tower-defence download title. Wait… what?
Seeing as the apocalypse couldn’t quite be arsed turning up, it looks like we better shape up and carry on with the tradition of making up New Year’s Resolutions that we have no intention of keeping. Or maybe not. While eating five fruit and veg a day and swearing less is a distant and obscene pipe dream, there’s plenty of room to improve our gaming time with some healthy steps to enjoying our favourite past-time to its maximum potential.
Requested and rumoured for years, we finally have a game putting together a rich collection of the finest PlayStation-exclusive characters along with some top names from third-party brands for a mighty punch-up. The comparisons to Nintendo’s Smash Brothers are obvious, as they always were going to be, but I’m here to review the game on its own merits.
Buying the PS3 game also gives you access to a free download of the Vita version and I’ll go into details about the portable options later on. Let’s get stuck into the game itself on PS3 first.
What with the gaming industry still being keen to strangle itself every year by releasing all the good games at once, I’m going to be playing catch up on some of the great titles long into next year. This might even give me something to do next summer if the lineup for the ‘sunny’ bit of the year is as grossly thin as it was this year.
I’ve played some great stuff this year though, many of them get a mention below, but a few other honourable shouts go out to Dishonored, Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed, Black Ops II,Sports Champions 2 and WipEout 2048 and Virtua Tennis 4 on the Vita.
Nihilistic’s first Vita game, Resistance: Burning Skies, proved that first-person shooters were a suitable match for Sony’s dual-analogue sporting handheld. Admittedly, the game was a bit basic, a bit ugly and rough around the edges, but compared to using the face buttons instead of a second analogue stick like we were forced to on the PSP, it handled like a dream.
On learning that they’d be handling the Vita’s first Call of Duty title though, I was a little concerned as I thought development would go to someone with a more impressive CV. But hey, I was probably worried when Sony gave a little known studio called Ready at Dawn the reigns to create aGod of War PSP game and they utterly nailed it.