Console Wars: Playstation 3 Vs. Xbox 360

May 05, 2010 By: Category: Video Games

Playstation 3 Vs. Xbox 360Yes, I know this is an old story but at this point in the so called Game Console War between Playstation 3 vs. Xbox 360. I feel the need to discuss this now since there are more and more major titles being released each month for these two game consoles. Nintendo on the other hand continues to sell us “Motion Based” gaming. There need to remind me there console is the World’s first and only motion based gaming console is getting very old, especially now well after there launch for the Wii. In this day and age where if its not an “App”, its not worth downloading/owning. Gamers have been told to believe in the hype surrounding Motion Based/Touch Screen Apps over the more conventional games such as Metal Gear Solid, Gears Of War, Uncharted, and so forth.

I do enjoy playing Super Mario Galaxy, The Legend Of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, as well as other games designed for the Nintendo Wii & DS as well as apps designed for the iPod Touch. But really, these App or Touch Screen games to me feel more like there taking a classic franchise and forcing its touch and feel mechanics into the game to sell more units to stay ahead of the competition. Look at the library for the Wii, seriously look at it. Your going to find loads of low quality games and very bad selling games , yet due to the waving of the controller and attachment I’m supposed to call that gaming and enjoy it? Regardless of its technical shortcomings and awful gameplay. Super Mario Galaxy showed me that you can play a classic franchise in this new era, but even that game had moments where I felt like I was being cornered by the technology of the system rather then being able to explore this giant universe of adventure.

The PS3 and Xbox 360 keep it simple right now. I know they have the Playstation Move and the Project Natal inbound for their users but right now they’re keeping gaming what it should be which is all about the gaming. There are so many great choices right now available for both consoles and with many more on the way such as Halo: Reach, Call Of Duty: Black OPS, Modnation Racers, Twisted Metal, Alan Wake, The Last Guardian, Gears Of War 3, inFamous 2 as well as many more yet to be announced or perhaps I’m skipping a few because of the excitement I have for the launch of the Modnation Racers games for PS3 and PSP (and PSP Go).

The games I have been playing lately have been on the PS3, that’s why you haven’t seen me much on Xbox Live folks. Although  I have been on Xbox 360 lately playing such great games like Splinter Cell: Conviction and Just Cause 2, both of which have reviews inbound here at Camel Clutch Blog. Heavy Rain on the PS3 trumps anything that is out currently this year on the Xbox 360. I have yet to see anything from Alan Wake to interest me in thinking it’s betterthan Heavy Rain, but once I get my hands on  that game perhaps I will give Alan Wake more credit. Alan Wake was supposed to be an Xbox 360 launch title, hopefully that 5 year absence will benefit the game. Then again, there have been several Playstation games that got delayed for long periods of time and turned out to be classics. Ask Nintendo about long delays with a big pay off and they will answer Ocarina. There is much to be happy about owning either of these two consoles due to there library of current video games, but when it comes to upcoming games I have to look at Playstation 3 a bit more due to consistency over the Xbox 360.

When I look at the Xbox 360’s upcoming library all I see is the same Sports Game, Shooter, Sports Game, Shooter, etc over and over again. I get it, shooters are in but at least be somewhat creative in your releases over time. The great thing about this year is that we won’t drown in Music/Rhythm games since the folks over at Activision/MTV Games finally came to an agreement that they were both over doing it a little. Plus given Guitar Hero: Van Halen was a colossal bomb for the folks over at Activision, I can see why they might as well jump as taking a break from music. Given the recent turmoil with Infinity Ward and Activision, Infinity Ward will bite the dust leaving Activision all alone with the Call Of Duty franchise. Black OPS will hit store shelves for both consoles on 11/9/10. Sadly there’s no fun in saying the release date for this one like Modern Warfare 2.

Activision won’t be alone very long as they have entered a 10 year partnership with Halo creators Bungie. The new Acti-Bungie deal will certainly make playing games on the PS3 and Xbox 360 very interesting. However, once again, these are shooters. Doesn’t it ever get old to you gamers out there? Look at the 2010 lineup for PS3 currently out: Heavy Rain, God Of War 3, MAG, Modnation Racers, MLB 10: The Show, not to mention all the update packs for Uncharted 2 and loads and loads of new content for LittleBigPlanet, the PS3 five months into the new year has a lot going for it. Xbox 360 owners can’t really say the same since Final Fantasy XIII sold 3 to 1 on the PS3 to Xbox 360 comparison. That game was supposed to be the difference maker here, but once again, the game plays better on Playstation.

One Blu-Ray Disc Vs. 3 DVD’s on the Xbox 360 version, not to mention if you want to silence that noisy CD Drive on the Xbox 360 while playing Final Fantasy XIII you will have to install all three discs which will eat up about 18GB from your drive  give or take a GB here and there since I am not entirely sure how many GB’s each disc are on the 360. One note outside of install size, why do games on Xbox 360 run in 1080P and 60 Frames Per Second and PS3 games don’t? If its Blu-Ray shouldn’t the game at least run at 1080 rather then 720? Forza Motorsport 3 looks AMAZING on the Xbox 360 in full 1080P at 60 Frames Per Second. Amazing detail and the game slows down not once. PS3 needs to pick it up in this department especially since I consider the Xbox 360 to be half way high definition.

Game installing on the Xbox 360 is optional, you can do it if you wish to silence that drive and decrease game loading times making the games run smoother and being able to hear the audio from them. The PS3 on the other hand pretty much makes you install any and all games you play off of a Blu-Ray and any you download from the Playstation Store. The Xbox 360 downloads also install once you download. This is obvious due to the fact that it is required to run the software. The PS3’s install sizes are different for each game, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns Of The Patriots ate up the most space by far since it has its own installation file as well as each chapter needing to be installed before you play through them.

You cannot cancel the install and then play the game. This is the rule for ANY of the PS3 games you play. Eventually you run into the issue of Hard Drive storage, granted this is a general concern with any device that has its own storage media whether it be via Plug In (USB Hard Drives, Flash Drives) or via built in hard drive or removable hard drive. The Xbox 360 has a major issue with Hard Drive storage however, you can only get the Xbox 360 Hard Drive in three flavors, 4 if you eBay search for the 20GB drive. The other flavors consist of 60GB, 120GB, and the newly released 250GB drive. Each of which you can find at most video game retailers.

It should be noted though that the more recent 250 and 120 GB drives will most likely be the drives you find commonly available. You may have to do some searching for the 60GB drive if buying a bigger hard drive isn’t your thing or you wish not to spend as much as the console for you storage needs. The PS3 on the other hand comes in two flavors, one via standard and the other via special edition bundle. You can get the PS3 alone with a 120GB hard drive or you can buy there bundle sets that come with a major title and a 250GB hard drive. The Xbox 360 currently has this special going on with Splinter Cell: Conviction, both are even in this department.

The Playstation 3 however does not force you to use a proprietary drive like the Xbox 360 does. Microsoft has a special hard drive built for the Xbox 360 and only for the Xbox 360, so you cannot buy any ordinary hard drive and hook it up. This is something we all know. The PS3 can use a Laptop Hard Drive, which is a 2.5 inch internal drive that docks into the PS3’s HDD Slot located on the bottom of the console (First Gen), or on the front of the system (Slim Model). However, this method although more convenient does have limitations. The PS3 can handle large data storage sizes but when it comes to Hard Drive Speed you shouldn’t over do it due to the issue of overheating. The faster the drive, the more heat it generates so be cautious in your decision on drive speed.

A good 500+ GB drive with an 8 or 16 MB Cache with 5400RPM speed is all you may need. Keep in mind, Laptop Hard Drives cost more due to there form factor and due to there demand. Laptop hard drives are much harder to upgrade and install then common desktop drives. The PS3 also allows you to backup your data to an external hard drive and will allow you to restore the data via that same external source so when you install a new drive you can backup then restore and get right back to gaming.

The Xbox 360 doesn’t allow the use of an external Hard Drive. Microsoft just recently allowed users to dock USB Flash Drives to the Xbox 360 but with limits on storage size. The Xbox 360 does have a data transfer cable that will transfer your data from Drive A to Drive B, but there is some data that cannot be transferred and you can only transfer data ONCE. Users cannot transfer the data more then that, or so says the manual that came with my 120GB Hard Drive for the Xbox 360.

I have yet to upgrade my PS3 hard drive but I am in need of an upgrade because I am running up against the wall with storage capacity. The system won’t start downloads that exceed any size limitation on the systems storage media. I have uninstalled games as well as deleted demos and content I do not use anymore and I am still having some storage issues. I will solve that with a 1TB drive or which ever my generation of PS3 can handle.

There are conflicting stories via the internet that the PS3 models can only handle specific hard drive sizes. With games like Modnation Racers coming, I am going to want as much space as possible with the incoming user created content that I will be creating and sharing. Its the same for the yet to be announced LittleBigPlanet 2 which will be announced soon, perhaps at E3 in June 2010. User Created Content is another aspect of the gaming world that is quickly becoming the new source of entertainment for all sorts of media in today’s society.

With sites like and quickly becoming the new  standard in terms of communication and entertainment online for millions of people, it’s only obvious that PS3 and Xbox 360 will include such sites into there consoles. Now, the Xbox 360 does not allow users to go to Youtube via a web browser due to the Xbox 360 not having a browser or app since there is not an app Store as of this writing for the Xbox 360. To make up for this the Xbox 360 does allow you to use a fully created for the Xbox 360 Version of Facebook that allows users to upload there Xbox 360 information to the actual Facebook website as well as search for friends on Facebook who have Xbox Live Accounts and add them to you online gamer friends list.

The integration of Facebook on the Xbox 360 is amazing as you can literally do anything on it. The PS3 on the other hand allows you to use Facebook to a degree. Users can upload your purchases, trophies, as well as view photo’s and let people see your Playstation Network information onto the Facebook website. The PS3 version of Facebook is very general and bland while the Xbox 360 version owns it. The Xbox 360 also has a Twitter app as well to make up for the lack of Youtube support.

I am not a Twit, so I could care less for Twitter. You can browse the web on the PS3 with the built in web browser for the PS3.. It’s there but browsing the internet on the TV can be very odd if you haven’t done it before. Plus there are issues with Adobe Flash. Imagine that issues with Flash? The User Created Content market is completely better on the PS3 over the Xbox 360 since there are more games that utilize the Creation aspect. The Xbox 360 allows people to create custom avatars, paint jobs, car styles, combat suits, weapon layouts etc, but the PS3 allows users to do that from the ground up instead of just simply copying and pasting icons and paint jobs on an already designed element in the game. Forza Motorsport 3 is hands down the best racing game ever created, period. It allows users to personalize anything and everything involved with cars.

But that’s as far as it goes as you cannot customize anything else. Granted, its a Racing Simulation and not a Kart racer like Modnation Racers but that is what I am getting at. You can customize anything in Modnation from the Character Layout to the Time of Day in the courses you create. Both games allow you to upload and share any content you create. However, the Xbox 360 classic Forza Motorsport 3 requires users to use Windows XP to purchase such items. This isn’t the best example I can give since one game is a Racing Sim and the other is a Arcade Kart Racer but the principles are in place. The amount of content that you can upload in Forza 3 does not mean the game is bad or weak in any way, Forza Motorsport 3 is the perfect racing experience with everything working correctly from the controls to the audio.

The key example is the Unreal Tournament 3. This was first a PS3 exclusive that was later released on the Xbox 360. It is also available on the PC but be ready to have a beast of a machine to run it. The PS3 version allows users to share data from the PC version to the PS3 version but it will not allow you to play against the PC gamers. The PS3 version also allows you to us the Unreal Editor on your PC to create levels from scratch that can be used on the PS3 or PC for free, period. The Xbox 360 version well, we’ll add a few extra maps to make up for the fact that we do not allow users to create content from the ground up and transfer it from there PC’s.

The Xbox 360 version also included a Trailer for Gears Of War 2 at the time of its release. That doesn’t make up for anything as it’s more or less a plug for there classic. The technical aspects of the PS3 and Xbox 360 are so close to one another. It’s going to come down to games. New and original as well as sequels but the PS3 has shown more original games then the Xbox 360. Games like inFamous, LittleBigPlanet, Uncharted, Modnation Racers, The Last Guardian, Heavy Rain, Killzone 2 have all shown that there are ways to attract an audience using a new IP or give a cult hit like Killzone a complete facelift with its sequel.

The other games I named in that quick list are all hits and will prompt sequels that will be hits as well. Uncharted 2 is hands down the best game on the console. Heavy Rain is the best game of 2010 but in that regard if Heavy Rain spawns a sequel that’s completely amazing with fixes for controller issues, it has a chance to overtake Uncharted 2. Xbox 360 on the other hand has more sequels than original games, granted there are some games that are original that are amazing to play. Gears Of War is the best series they have on the Xbox 360. Halo: Reach is on its way and from all the early build footage and from the beta I have played of it, the game looks stellar but we will see how that translates to sales and ratings.

Gears Of War 3 is a long ways off not coming out until April 2011, but I am eagerly awaiting its launch. Outside of those two games, I have yet to be blown away by anything else except Gears 3, Halo: Reach, and Alan Wake. Splinter Cell: Conviction and Just Cause 2 are very fun games to play but they do not have my level of interest as the other three games I mentioned. And then we enter the realm of Motion Gaming for the PS3 and Xbox 360.

The Playstation Move has been previewed and it has been shown how the Move works with games that are developed for it. It will also work with games such as the yet to be released SOCOM: US Navy Seals 4, another hotly anticipated PS3 game for 2010. LittleBigPlanet will also allow users to utilize the Move to create more user content for the PS3 classic. There are games designed just for the Move such as Sports Champions, Motion Fighter, Eyepet, as well as Toy Story 3. Move will have a bunch of more games for it at launch or within the launch window. A game yet to be announced for the Playstation Move is Ape Escape, a game that I feel will be very successful for the type of device that this is. The Move will be sold in a variety of ways and its going to be priced very well to help move units and make a huge impact on the success of the device.

From the design angle, Move looks like it has been built from the ground up to have major success. Project Natal on the other hand is a complete mystery to users all over. All that is known about Project Natal is that it will incorporate the gamers body into the games designed for it via the Camera and Motion Sensors built into the device. Another aspect of the Natal are the rumors surrounding its lag time and inability to function in the dark. The only video of this device in action is the video that was shown at E3 2009. Sony has since shown off the Move in many instances as well as shown how it operates in games and via tech demos. The Natal was  shown off a bit after E3 but only a single demo was shown and it was on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. It was discussed more then it was shown. This is a problem for gamers interested in such a device for there Xbox 360 since it will be released this holiday season to compete directly with Playstation Move. So from June 2010 to November/December 2010, gamers will have to decide in that short period of time if Natal is right for them or should they opt in for the Playstation Move which at this point looks like the obvious move since Playstation Move has so much more going for it.

I know I opened slamming the Wii with its motion based gaming and now I am explaining which of the two systems PS3 and Xbox 360, will have the better of the technology. I am anxious to use Playstation Move since it seems to appeal to hard core gamers a bit more then the casual market. However, I hope that the device isn’t used just to say we have motion controls much like how Nintendo does with online gaming and Netflix functions. In the end, Playstation Move should and will most likely be the better choice for gamers who are interested in Motion Based gaming outside of the Wii. E3 2010 will show us a lot more for both devices and will also tell us pricing and availability.

Hard Core gamers and gamers in general should be looking more at the Playstation line since there is just hit after hit inbound throughout the year. Each game come from Sony and there in house first. Third party exclusives are going to be a major success as well as the upcoming announcements such as Twisted Metal, LittleBigPlanet 2, Killzone 3, inFamous 2, Syphon Filter, Warhawk 2 (A.K.A. StarHawk), SOCOM 4, Sly Cooper, Jak, Ratchet & Clank, The Last Guardian, Final Fantasy XIV, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg for the PS3. We will know more once E3 hits but if all indications are correct, the PS3 is going to be almost unstoppable when it comes to fantastic software inbound. Xbox 360 users will have Halo: Reach, Gears Of War 3, and Alan Wake. Outside of that I really don’t see anything bigger then those three and 2 of the are to be released in 2010. E3 will certainly answer a lot for the future games lineup for the Xbox 360 and PS3.

You cannot go wrong picking either console but from a shear angle of hits, the PS3 is hand down the place to be. For starters, the system has everything you need in box with the exception of component cables or HDMI. There’s only one separate purchase for the console. The 360 requires a purchase for rechargeable batteries, Wireless Adapter, bigger Hard Drive, and a recharging kit for batteries. There is also another issue for the Xbox 360, power supplies. The system’s power supply can double as a brick for a skyscraper and that’s me being nice. There is also a separate power supply for the HD-DVD player if anyone on this planet owns that. However, there is a device out there that people will own but Microsoft has yet to deny the validity of these reports. It is reported that Natal will have its own power supply and a separate USB Cable to dock it to the console. How many power supplies does it take? If you have your Wi-Fi adapter plugged into the back where does the Natal plug into?

The Xbox 360 feels much like a system you have to put together rather then customize, for it to be your own system. It’s just an annoyance overall. I cannot stand having wires strung all over the place just to play a video game. Like I mention throughout this article, E3 will answer a lot. But in my personal opinion, PS3 has the momentum currently and will have the success in the long term since the Xbox 360 is treating the Natal launch as a console launch. This is why Gears Of War 3 is coming next year and not this year. If Natal fails, what then? Do you release Gears Of War 3 next year only to announce the next Xbox at E3 2011? The future is very questionable for the Xbox 360, but that’s just my opinion and I could be wrong. Now I’m going to make like a tree…and get outta’ here. Leave feedback and you comments in the comment area and I will respond if there either positive or negative.

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Tonight’s Forecast: Heavy Rain – Video Game Review

March 12, 2010 By: Category: Video Games

Heavy Rain video gameATTENTION READERS:

This Game Is Rated:
There’s Your Warning!

To begin, I am only going to say this once. the Heavy Rain video game contains scenes of Explicit Language, Violence, Nudity, as well as Very Strong Dramatic Scenes that are inappropriate to anyone under the recommended age of 17+. I, John Yomtov Jr., Eric Gargiulo, Sony, Quantic Dream, as well as everyone else here at The Camel Clutch Blog are NOT to be held accountable if anybodies children get a hand on this game and are playing it. I do not want to receive any email from parents who are complaining about a game that I reviewed for the site while I mention in the opening paragraph that this game is NOT FOR CHILDREN, period. While I will not go into great detail as to what is actually shown and said in the game, I will make references to those scenes very safely to keep this article as clean as possible.

The ESRB created a list of ratings that they use on video game box covers to alert parents of the content that is in games. This game did receive a Mature Rating, in that regard, this game is an R Rated Movie. In today’s world, Grand Theft Auto is always shown as the biggest negative influence on the children of today. Sooner or later, at the time of this writing, the media will pick up Heavy Rain and do a piece on the game to only highlight its violence, language, and suggestive scenes. Heavy Rain is Rated M For Mature for a reason, if your kid plays it, do not blame anyone but yourself. Instead of calling your lawyer or local media outlet, look at who it was they let there attention wander for a second while there little kids were playing this game or any M Rated Games. Once again, for the last time, Heavy Rain is Rated M For Mature.

Meanwhile, Back At The Blog…

The Following Game Has A Movie Poster:

Here is what has been billed as one of the most anticipated games of 2010 and for good reason. Heavy Rain has been advertised as gaming’s biggest drama and it has been teased as a full on dramatic experience that makes you, the gamer, question every decision you make. For every decision you make, someone’s life is at stake or your own life may be at stake depending on what your choice is. Unlike GTA, if you fail a “Trail” as Ethan, you do not get second chances, also, you cannot restart your PS3 to force the game to go back in time so to say. The game uses Auto Saving like none other, Quantic Dream did not want anyone trying to alter the outcome of there decisions, once its made, your out of time.

And if you let the choices wander, the game will auto select you a decision and you will have to live with it. The game centers around the lives of 5 characters: Ethan Mars, Scott Shelby, Lauren Winters, Norman Jayden, and Madison Paige. Each of these characters lives have been affected in some way by the serial killer known as “The Origami Killer”. Ethan Mars is recovering from the accident that claimed the life of his first son, Jason, and now he has to suffer the pain and agony of now knowing that his other son, Shaun, is in the clutches of this serial killer. Ethan’s story is in a sense the main story of the game, while the other characters have ample amount of screen time, Ethan’s story is much more depressing and so much more intense that you almost feel for this video game character. Scott Shelby is a Private Eye who was hired by the families of the Origami Killer victims to investigate this case which has seemed to have gone cold. Norman Jayden, who can be mistaken for Mulder from The X Files, is an FBI agent.

Jayden’s been assigned to The Origami Killer case in hopes to bring it to a close. Being that local police and detectives seem to have absolutely no clue on how to bring it to a close, there only concern is to capture someone who they can force to admit that they are the Origami Killer. Lauren Winters, like Ethan, lost her child to this serial killer, she meets with Scott Shelby, if you have played the demo you know how they meet. Its nothing over the top on how they met, but its an introduction to the games control system. Madison Paige, the games Playmate so to say, is a girl who is an insomniac, she has a great place to live in only issue is that she cannot sleep in it. One night, she has unexpected guests break in and from there on she frequents Hotels all over the area since she can only sleep in those. While at one of the hotels, she meets a battered Ethan Mars and an unexpected friendship forms.

Ethan’s story has yet to be told to her for she is completely out in the cold when it comes to details. All the while, the days are winding down and time is moving quickly. Ethan receives a package from The Origami Killer, inside this package contains Origami Figures, a Cell Phone, and a Gun. The figures are unfolded and inside a message awaits along with an address. Ethan has no choice here, he must go to the address and he must complete whatever the trail that is set forth for him to complete. These trails REALLY begin to show how deep this game digs into your mental psyche and it really begs to question: Is This Game Playing Me? I have never felt such a sense of conscience from a game that I have played its as if the game is learning about me more then I am learning about it. The overall sense of sadness, sorrow, and fear from Ethan is done so perfectly that it is unrivaled by anything I have ever seen.

Box Art:
Europe Box Art:

The folks who made this game must have PHD’s in Human Emotion or Psychology since its not everyday that game designers can capture raw emotion like that and when they try to do it, they cover it with huge explosions so to cover up the fact that they could not pull off the emotions well. Metal Gear Solid captured the emotions very well and also brought the cinematic with it, it was truly perfection at its finest. Metal Gear Solid, Gears Of War, Uncharted, and Killzone have done emotion combined with a huge movie experience so well that they are the benchmarks for creating that “Summer Action Blockbuster Movie” game.

However, there great games that also don’t really deserve that tagline since they are more then just bangs and booms, that tagline has absolutely no business next to those game since they bring the whole gamut to the table. Games like Modern Warfare 2 deserve that tagline since all they are really is just well done action sequences with lots of explosions. Metal Gear Solid, Gears Of War, Uncharted, Killzone 2, and now Heavy Rain can be added to that list since these games are all the benchmarks on how video game experiences should be. Combining its amazing dialog and decision making comes great music. Heavy Rain’s musical score captures the raw elements of the feelings of the characters given the situations your in.

The music takes a fever pitch during some of the trails that Ethan is involved in. You can lose a trail and miss out on information that is critical to Ethan in his search. The acting of the character models is stellar during the pain and suffering they are going through. Only Ethan goes on these trails, the other characters are either investigating or traveling in search for answers or any little piece of information. The more grueling trails await Ethan as you progress through the game, Ethan’s body takes a huge blow and your health will begin to fade, Ethan’s fate is in your hands.

Ethan Mars:
Madison Paige:

While completing the Trails, you gain more information to locate Shaun and save his life, all these clues help out Ethan as well as the other characters. While Ethan is the only character who goes on trails, Scott & Lauren find clues as well. Scott brings with him his experience as a Private Eye to uncover all sorts of information that can bring closure to this ordeal for he and for Lauren. While searching for information as Scott, Norman is also moving quickly on his search for information that can bring an end to this serial killer. Norman however does not use the standard methods of gathering information. He brings with him toys from the FBI, a pair of Glasses known as ARI and a Glove that can scan out anything on the ground or in the scene of a crime from fingerprints to blood, anything that is at the scene can and will be scanned. The eye glasses can also record and photograph anything that Norman asks it to.

ARI is a very cool device thats for sure. The only problems for Norman are as follows, his has an addiction and he also has to deal with a hard headed police detective who is going hardcore rogue into capturing this serial killer even if it means having someone else take the fall. He is also very much into having meaningless press conferences that his boss plans to have. The main thing to point out about this police force, its the Philadelphia Police Department! That’s right, the entire East Coast is in this game, while Philadelphia and New Jersey are showcased the most, New York and Washington are also shown off as well. Philadelphia gets the most screen time and if your paying attention, you can see the entire Map of Center City in Scott Shelby’s office complete with the REAL names of Neighborhoods.

Scott Shelby:
Lauren Winters:

The gameplay is very much centered around choices, there are fight scenes in this game as well as driving. The controls are like nothing I have ever seen in a game. Its totally different from anything I have played, its all centered around timing and order. The timing of the buttons are in accordance to the intensity of the situation that you are currently in. If its just a sneaking situation, meaning your trying to get through a fence or get by someone without making any noise, the buttons you press or hold are pressure sensitive, so if you put too much pressure on the button that is shown on the screen, you will either fail at sneaking or get hurt trying to get through a fence of barb wire.

Also, its not just buttons that have this going on. While the R2 button must be held throughout the entire game because it moves your character, yes the WHOLE game you have to hold R2. Its the reverse of Resident Evil and Metal Gear Solid and Gears Of War where you hold a button to run, this game has no run. You do not run at will in this game, you only run if the games feels like you should have to. Basically, the game can sense from your decisions and assess an outcome of those choices that you make in this game. While this may seem like its hard to believe, trust me, this is how it actually works. The engine of this game is generic at best but its the interesting twist on the controls that make it unique and different from anything I have ever played. However, this leads me to the controls, and how amazingly frustrating they truly are. From the beginning of the game and to one of its many endings, the controls are a nightmare.

Norman Jayden:

The demo was basically an introduction to them but in that sense its was more of a warning of what you may be getting into with the sheer frustration that I have had throughout playing this game. The controls are laid out very well but its just that they are so unresponsive and so frequent depending on the situation that it almost begs to question that did the developers even pay attention to there programming when it came to lag time. There are instances where I lost a trail or two because of the lag time from button press to the reaction of the character on screen. Also, there are instances where the slightest move of your finger can lead the game to think you moved your finger off of the button all together. This is very damaging to you throughout gameplay because there are some tense scenes where your fighting or trying to gather some critical information and due to the technical issues dealing with the controls its almost impossible to find anything that the controls can do right.

Another issue with the controls is the amazingly awful camera angles they give you. Depending on what the situation is in the portion of the story your going through, you may get more then two angles but by default you only get two separate camera angles. The purpose of the camera angles is to further help you find clues and or to see if anything is hidden beneath any desks or cars or anything else that may be in your view. You can interact with almost anything there is to interact with in the environment, almost anything can be examined to see if its a clue or not. You can also interact with a lot of different people you meet throughout the game, the controls can be very problematic with this as well. As your walking forward, if the camera is switched manually or automatically you will go from walking forward to walking backwards.

Another issue I have with the walking is that you do have any control over the walking, all you do is control which direction your going in, its like driving only with a person. The walking is very weird since you can literally stutter step, which means that for some reason or another your characters walking can skip at times which causes you to stop and then start and stop and repeat. Its a very annoying occurrence in this game because it can cause the game to stop progressing in very tense moments. The beginning of the game is filled with a lot of technical issues with the controls. You are Ethan and your home preparing the house for your son Jason’s birthday party. You go into the yard and play with your sons, via the decision making system, and the controls really begin to show there true nature of being very buggy and very unresponsive.

The second analog controls all of your actions, it is also used in button pressing scenarios. You can rotate the second analog stick, press it in as a button, or move in directions that are shown on the screen. There are white boxes that surround the buttons or the directions that the analog is to be moved in. The solid square box just wants you to press it the button normally, the dotted line box is pressure sensitive so you should be very gentle moving the second analog stick, the solid box with the down arrow is indicating that the button is to be held in until the box completely disappears, and the flashing box is used to indicate the button is to be pressed repeatedly. You have seconds to press the buttons indicated by a circle around it since its a time sensitive action. Failure to press the buttons in the correct fashion will cause dramatic changes in the story line. The story in this game is so deep and it is really refreshing to see a game take strong interest in character development and story more then any other important aspect of a great game.

Button Pressing Sequence:

What I also find interesting about this game is the level of overall development of the story and characters. As I mentioned before this game can lead you to think to yourself “Am I playing this game or is the game playing me?”, its that deep and intense. As the story progressed I felt so bad for Ethan and I felt awful putting him through the motions of those Trails and those scenes of sheer terror and pain. For example, the trailer showed this part of the game, there is a trail that asks you “Are you prepared to suffer to save someone you love?” and the only way to win this trail: Cut Off The End Of A Finger. You have 5 minutes to decide on what your going to do and how your going to do it. If you do not cut off the tip of a finger, theres other trails, if you do cut it off your pain will be intense and your appearance will alter completely and you will also draw more concern from Madison. Madison’s attraction to Ethan is evident as she voluntarily steps up and helps him with his injuries with bandages and medicines.

However, she is completely out in the dark when it comes to why these things are happening to him. Meanwhile, in Norman’s story, the police commissioner is holding many press conferences to update the public about the search for The Origami Killer and basically labeling Ethan Mars as the killer, but is he? Also, in Scott’s story, the search for Lauren’s answers continues. For some reason however, the Mob get involved with Scott in some apparent vendetta that exists between the son of a boss and Scott Shelby. While I will not give away what that vendetta is, if you make a bad choice or miss a button combination, you will no be informed as to why this vendetta exists.

There are even Trophies that reward you if you put Ethan through this grueling trial or if you skip it. There are tons and tons of trophies to get in this game and there all almost completely related to the choices you make throughout the game. Make good or bad choices and even have missed opportunities you will earn a Trophy every time. There is a trophy that is given for anyone who actually viewed all of the endings, trust me there are a lot.

The best way I can describe the control scheme with regard of the button pressing is to think of it as a Guitar Hero like system, or a Dance Dance Revolution for all you Dance Dance addicts out there. The only saving grace to the controls is that the story and the developments are so amazing that I absolutely have to find out what happens to everyone and does the killer get caught. Now I mentioned that there are many endings, the interesting thing is to think which one of them is the real deal. Its as if the creators are tricking you into believing what is real and what is fake. The game play is very straight forward but the controls are not. While it is new and refreshing to see a new game come along that breaks the mold from what is going on right now out there, its just a shame that more attention wasn’t given to retooling the controls. While I believe they were very creative in there thought process when laying out the button plans, they should have done more testing on responsive controls.

There are many incidents throughout the game where you have to use the Sixaxis motion gestures on the Dual Shock 3 that add even more freedom for Quantic Dreams since it gives them more interaction between the gamer and the game. What I find interesting about this that this game feels like it was being created with the hopes that the Playstation “Arc” would already be out at the time of Heavy Rain’s release. Sadly it wasn’t to be, but in the end, the folks over at Quantic Dreams did a great job on the layout, but they should just have put a little bit more effort into the responsiveness of the controls. Also I find that the game really relies heavily on the motion controller functions more then anything else in this game. Its just as frequent as the button pressing sequences.

Who Is The Origami Killer?

I also find that the character models are well done but there are instances that the character models break up in transition from cut scene to gameplay. Also, the dialog while it is very well written and delivered, there are instances where the dialog does not transfer well into the dramatic nature of the situation your in. What they did was record the responses and just labeled them as “Choice A, B, etc.” and put them into the game when the aforementioned button is pressed. Its as if your the DJ and the answers are the tracks to play, that’s the only way I can think of it. The way the text is put into the story once your choice is made proves this because the character does not react the way they should once the choice is given. Its like they just animate the words into the situation, not adding any emotion from the character who is speaking or giving an answer.

The decision making transitions well in the game its just that the speaking portions are not nearly as well done as they should be. The graphics also have some issues with texture mapping. The game has instances where the background either breakup or you can see them developing in the background, much like they do in Halo 2 and 3. There are even times where I can see the game skipping, maybe that just my copy of the game. All in all, because the story line is so brilliant and well thought out that I have to finish the game just to find out the truth. I have seen a few endings already, and each offer amazing twists and make you think “WOW, did that happen?” or “WOW, is that how it ends?”. Its an amazing experience to be had.

Heavy Rain is now available for an MSRP of $59.99. Rated M For Mature 17+. Only On PS3. Once again, I reiterate, this game is Not For Children. This game is totally different and as of this writing, I am labeling it the 2010 Camel Clutch Blog Game Of The Year, its that good in terms of story. This is a must own for anyone who is of age and owns a PS3.

-Fantastic Story
-Amazingly Deep Character Development
-Original And Very Innovative
-Controls Are Very Well Thought Out
-Philadelphia Is The Center Of The Story!
-Decision Making System Makes You Think Many Times Before You Make A Choice
-Motion Control Gameplay Is Extremely Accurate And Responsive
-Fantastic Soundtrack
-The Game Learns From Your Choices And Alters The Story
-Trophies Are Rewarded For Both Good And Bad Choices
-No Game Over’s
-Almost Unlimited Angles Can Be Created With Your Decisions
-Lots Of Endings, Which Is Real However?
-If A Character Dies, The Game Continues On Without There Story Mixed In
-Amazing Replay Value
-Finally, An Game For Grown Ups

-Frustrating Controls
-Texture Mapping
-Voice Over Work Is Good, But Theres No Added Emotion After Decisions Are Made
-Button Pressing Is Very Unresponsive And Buggy
-Camera Angles Cause The Control To Reverse
-R2 Is Held The Entire Duration Of The Game
-Character Models Almost Look All Identical
-There Are Lots Of Instances Of Slow Down
-Skips (Maybe Its Just My Copy)
-If You Fail An Objective, Your Story Alters Without Any Way Of Retrying
-Angered Parents Who Will Most Certainly Complain About The Content Of This Game

Official Score:
Heavy Rain Rating: 4 Stars Out Of 5
Editor’s Choice Award
2010 Camel Clutch Blog Game Of The Year*


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Get Your Rambo On: MAG Video Game Review

February 16, 2010 By: Category: Video Games

MAG video gameAt E3 2008 Sony and Zipper Interactive revealed a brand new franchise. Outside of SOCOM, Zipper has yet to show us anything outside of that major franchise, until the announcement of Massive Action Game or MAG for short. MAG at the time of announcement was so early in its production that only details of the game could be announced.

One of the biggest announcements for this game was the introduction of Massive Online Warfare in the form of 256 Players in a single server, this was huge for a console based shooter. At the time, Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was the biggest shooter in existence, so to do something even bigger was a complete and distant thought. Modern Warfare shows everyone that it doesn’t have to be Halo, SOCOM, or Unreal Tournament that there are new and better ways of creating an insane addictive online shooter. Modern Warfare is one of the biggest franchises currently available, however, its dominance of the market overshadows its one sided gameplay nature and the overall buggy programming that was involved in its design. Killzone 2, in my opinion a much better game then both Modern Warfare games, with so much competition out there how could Zipper Interactive even compete with the heavyweights out there being the first game of its type on the next generation of consoles.

Perfect Dark Zero, the flagship launch game of the Xbox 360, was supposed to support 128 players and sadly it feel very short of that goal. Proof that a feat of having over 100 players in a single game at a time was a challenge. However, in comparison, the Xbox 360 is inferior to the Playstation 3 in terms of technical horsepower. Both have there weaknesses in some regards but the biggest advantage the PS3 has is the requirement of the Hard Drive. With this requirement, Sony can push developers to utilize that onboard drive and really push for more data processing speeds and more reliable networking capabilities.

The Xbox 360’s Live service is much bigger in scale since it has a huge install base that grows each month, but the Playstation Network is gaining momentum and now with a game like MAG now available, if marketed correctly, Playstation Network could grow to even Xbox Live numbers! Its a lot of pressure to put on one game I mean really with the likes of Killzone 2, SOCOM: Confrontation, LittleBigPlanet, and Uncharted 2 the Playstation Network has received more users from those game all together making it a large installed base of users. Xbox Live has the advantage of being simple to use and also being on its second console, Xbox Live was marketed, installed, priced, and handled extremely successful. A game like MAG can really set the PS3 into the stratosphere, and its definitely worthy of doing so, its an amazing game to say the least.

MAG At E3:
Official Logo:

I have been beta for this game since Last Fall and let me just comment on that. The users I have encountered during the beta were all very excited to be involved in such a large scale game, an online MMO-FPS (Massively Multiplayer Online First Person Shooter) with the entire engine and mechanics built from the ground up on a console its hard to believe that we can finally have a game like this without the need to update our computers or hope it runs on our Mac. Also unlike the MMORPG’s of the PC and Console scene, MAG also has something else involved in it that many users who have never played an MMO do not have, No Monthly Subscription. All of us beta testers loved playing the game and were in complete awe of its scope and amazing detail.

The major problem with the beta was the issues of connecting online to play games, now there were only set times where the servers were open and when they were there were major issues with connecting due to the fact the game was beta so it was yet to be finished and Sony was not going to let there huge online shooter experience a known server wide crash while in its testing cycle, an event like that will draw doubt as to whether or not Sony can handle this type of game once it goes live. MAG missed the 2008 and 2009 holiday seasons one reason for a missed holiday was the game was the game was to far off from release back in 2008 and it missed last years holiday due to the gam being in its final testing phase before the game would go public. MAG was finally released on January 26th, 2010. Making this the first major game for 2010 for the Playstation 3.

Box Art:

Sony used the launch of this game to announce the street date for another major game, God Of War 3. Sony announced at the grand stage of the MAG launch that God Of War 3 will be released on March 16th, 2010 and now that news will constantly be cited to any article related to MAG thus creating cross game promotion. MAG released nationwide with midnight launches and from the first day I have found absolutely no time of day where there isn’t millions online playing this game. The premise of the game is simple, three factions: SVER, Raven, and Valor are at war with each other for complete global domination of governments and information, thus the factions are striving to have complete power and control over the worlds governments.

In the year 2025, the game’s set year, these factions also have to adhere to the laws of war being that the three factions are not allowed to leave there respected boarders to invade neighbor countries. However, in these times there exist PMC’s (Private Military Corporations) who compete for contracts from these three factions. There biggest advantage, they can fight anywhere thus leading to this on going struggle between the three factions. Each faction is setup with either modern equipment and weapons, high tech weapons and body armor, or left over equipment from other countries as well as various weapons from all over the world. Depending on which faction you chose, the skill sets and weapons and character creation will be determined by the faction you side with.

SVER Logo:
Raven Logo:
Valor Logo:

If you choose Raven, your given the options of high tech equipment, if your Valor your given all the left over armor and weapons however there impact on the battlefield is anything but leftover since these soldiers are highly trained for battle and are very effective, and then there Raven with its more standard weapons and armor. Character creation is very straight forward and very quick. You can use a preset character or you can go all in and create something that really resembles you. You create everything from which weapons you carry to which voice your character will speak when in combat. Your microphone will only broadcast your actual voice while playing online, your characters voice is not controlled by anything but your action while in combat. You can issue many commands ranging from medical assistance to objective based orders such as capturing and securing to arming and destroying. Your characters skill set is all determined on which abilities you buy from the barracks.

The more levels you advance in rank, the more skill points you achieve which can then be used as currency to buy Skills, to those who want to know what this really is just think of Perks from Modern Warfare. Each skill ranges from tactical to medical, you can even purchase newer versions of already bought skills, however, you cannot unlock higher leveled skills until you have purchased a previous levels upgrade. The skills are broken down into tiers, you cannot buy tier two until you own a tier 1 skill, you get the point. Each skill set has its own tier level wether it be a new weapon or the ability to revive teammates with full health, you are in complete control of what your soldier can and cannot do. Once you purchase a skill, you cannot turn it off unless you RESPEC your skill set. RESPEC completely resets your skill set and returns all of your Skill Points back to you so you can reset your skills. So if you do not wanted to be a Senior Dragoon and would rather be a Senior Sniper with Medic Skills you can do that. However, RESPEC is earned just like XP, you can only RESPEC your character when you have enough RESPEC points to do so.

SVER Soldier:
Raven Soldier:
Valor Soldier:

Once you have your mind set onto a particular set for your character, its time for you to decide which mode you want to play. For starters, its wise to go through the training mission before you even step foot onto the battlefield since it is quick and painless and your all alone while doing said training. Its an exact clone of the training mission from Modern Warfare 2, only in another game. There are certain modes that require you to obtain a specific Level before you can even play that mode. You can play in up to a total of 5 modes each that require you to play with a set amount of players. There are no modes that have you playing with less then 32 players on your team. Suppression, which is basically Team Death Match, pits 32 Vs. 32, Sabotage which is also 32 Vs. 32 is a mode where one team defends 3 targets from the hostiles. In order to win Sabotage, targets A & B have to be destroyed in order for Target C to be unlocked. Depending on how good your team communicates with one another will determine the outcome in any objective based mode.

Acquisition, which is a mode with 128 players (64 Vs. 64) and it puts one team in charge of protecting vehicles from the hostiles from being stolen with there contents being used for thee own personal gain. Before the enemy can do that however, there are other targets that have to be hit such as Bunkers, AA (Anti Aircraft) Missiles, Roadblocks, and Mortars. These are also available in Sabotage as well but in Acquisition its more important to eliminate these other locations before you obtain the vehicles due to the fact that if your steal one, the enemy can destroy it and there encouraged to do so. However, anything that is destroyed can be repaired by using the Repair Kit skill. You can also level that set up to obtain faster repair times so you can quickly get your bunkers and AA Missiles, roadblocks and gates, as well as spawn points operational once again to continue your assault on your enemies. There are nine locations in this game: Alyeska Terminus, Flores Basin Transfer, Copper Hills Relay, Darien Network, Syr Darya Uplink, Elk Bay Logistics, Corvus Research, Aralkum Mechanical, and Absheron Refinery. Each has there strengths and weakness, a common weakness: Spawn Point Camping!

Massive Battles:

The other modes are: Domination and Directives. Domination is the big mode: 256 Players! 128 Vs. 128! The gaol here is simple, one team is trying to capture 8 targets and the other is trying to protect them from being taken over. Your squads are spread all over the country so you can quickly begin to mount your defensives or offense depending on which side you are on. This mode is absolutely insane since there is just chaos all over and its so awesome to see if all function correctly with little to no lag at all. To be honest I have yet to see ANY serious lag at all, this is a major positive since a game of this size usually would be a haven for lag. Not true about MAG, someone was paying some serious attention to data flow here. As Domination continues, and it will drag on and be intense for all 30 Minutes of the set time limit, if you continue to capture targets you can end the game before the clock runs out. If your on the other side, you must hold the targets for the entire 30 minutes. You do not have to keep all the targets captured but if you have less then half or if they capture them all, the game will result in a lose for you if your defending.

Unlike Sabotage, when the final objective is being contested, the clock will continue to run. In Sabotage, if your contesting the final target the clock will stop. This mode is a haven for XP since there is simply carnage all over, so if your a medic with a repair kit you will be leveling up super fast. However, if there is too much pressure being put onto your team, the enemy squad will eliminate you while your reviving or rebuilding. Also a common theme here is that enemies will camp near the wounded in order to pick up additional kills waiting for the medic to arrive. This mode is absolutely awesome to play and its even better when your fitted with a squad that competes correctly and communicates properly. The control keep up very well and are solid in this mode that combines a fast paced warfare setting along with just shear action all over you. I have played this mode on both offense and defense and its just as enjoyable on either side of the squad.

Sniping In MAG:
Attacking From Above:

And then there is Directives, your basically sent into war with one objective: Capture All Targets. Your sent into battle with your squad to fight for any and every target that is set before you. Also, the interesting thing about this mode is that when you select it your not shown where you will be fighting on the world map, your just told that a soldier joins the battle where he is needed most. All in all, these modes are very addictive and very fun to play. I have had my fair share of awful teams which seems to be a little trend here so many people are trying to be the super sniper that they all seem to think they are with these types of games. I have also noticed instances where the controls can be a bit on the slow side in terms of response times which can be costly since your in such a rush to help teammates but to also protect yourself.

It gets really intense when your laying in the trenches trying to plan your route of attack but then bam! An airstrike unloads onto your entire squad and destroys your bunker. You can also disarm any bomb that is in place from the enemy but be warned, do it quick or your toast. Another major plus to this game as I mentioned above is the Free To Play online system. I know its an odd plus for me to point out since Modern Warfare 2 is a similar game but not entirely the same since it MAG is online only and MW2 is both online and local play. MAG’s deep character creation system is the only form of user generated content, buts its all from a preset of defaulted kits and character builds. If it were similar to LittleBigPlanet the game would be so much larger then it already is, but it is still amazing for what it already is. Zipper Interactive and Sony are really banking on the users to keep this game afloat.

For the most part the game is very well rounded and solid, its just the incidents of players who are out for there own stats hurt the overall experience. It doesn’t hurt it enough to where I do not want to play again but it is quite annoying at its core. This game was designed from the ground up to be a Cooperative Experience and it pulls it off very well with its awesomely detailed maps and the objectives you are assigned to capture or protect. Most people play the Suppression Mode because of its basic nature and its a quick pick up and play mode, but I have noticed the other modes, specifically Domination, Sabotage, and Acquisition are getting so many players that finding a game usually does not take too long.

There is lots of excitement here since there is just so much to do and its all live, there are no computer controlled characters, the only thing that is computer controlled is where you will be air dropped into the battlefield and the air strikes. You can however control the helicopters your team is dispatched in by utilizing the turrets and missile launchers. You can also control turrets on the rooftops of the bunkers and you can also snipe from anywhere you see fit. There are other spawn locations your team can choose from and when you use a UAV you can leave it in locations and it will open up as a spawn point until it is destroyed. There are some weapons that just don’t do the damage that you would think they would by firing them, later on as you progress as your character you can unlock more power upgrades for those weapons.

Airdropping Into Battle:

All in all, this game is simply amazing and addictive and truly lives up to the hype that was created by its initial announcement 2 years ago. While there are moments of dumb players who do not play the game the way it was meant to be played it certainly is an amazing experience regardless if your team is winning and losing. There is simply lots of things to be had in this game and it is an instant classic on the PS3 and I look forward to all of the potential content that is yet to be made available to download via Playstation Network. MAG is now available for an MSRP of $59.99. Rated T For Teen. Online Only. Only On Playstation 3.

-Huge Online Battles
-256 Players!
-Training Mission Is Quick And Painless But NOT Required
-Runs Smoothly While At It’s Most Intense Moments
-Easy To Pick Up And Play
-Controls Are Solid
-Graphics Are Awesome
-Fantastic Attention To Detail
-Lots Of Different Locations To Wage War
-Objective Based Modes Are Super Addictive
-Lots Of Chances To Gain XP
-Free Online MMO
-Little To No Lag While In Battle
-Awesome Audio
-Countries Are Your Battlefield
-Hilarious Commercial Starring Playstation Spokesperson Kevin Butler
-Did I Mention 256 Players?

-No Local Multiplayer
-No Single Player
-You Can Only Create One Character At A Time!
-Users Can Ruin The Experience If There Not Working Together
-Voice Chat Channels Are Annoying To Figure Out
-Spawn Point Camping Wrecks The Game For The Other Team
-Spawn Point Locations Are A Problem On Some Maps
-Button Response Is A Bit Off
-Specific Weapons Are Not As Powerful As They Should Be
-Very Addictive But Can Get Repetitive

-No R. Lee Emery
Official Score:
MAG Rating: 4 1/2 Stars Out Of 5
Editor’s Choice Award


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Clank To The Future: Ratchet & Clank Video Game Review

January 28, 2010 By: Category: Video Games

Ratchet & Clank gameRatchet & Clank have been some of my favorite games across multiple Playstation systems both portable and console. The first game was an instant classic on the PS2, it introduced new ways to play a 3D platform and it also brought with it a very good sense of humor. Jak & Daxter at the time were the kings of the 3D platform for the PS2 and many felt that this game would simply just use those characters as a spring board to make some cash, but they were wrong.

Ratchet & Clank many people feel is the better game. To me, there so even its hard to tell them apart. What I love about the Ratchet & Clank games is there endless amounts of exploring and creativity. It’s like a futuristic GTA but for Kids. Jak & Daxter went there separate ways with there own spin off games. They reunited on the PS2/PSP and are yet to be seen on the PS3. Ratchet & Clank are into there 3rd outing on the brand new PS3 and this game is by far the best in the current story line. The game centers around Ratchet & Clank as usual but in this game the emphasis is on working well alone and then reuniting to deliver the knock out blow to your arch nemesis Dr. Nefarious and his side kick Laurence. The game centers around Time Travel for both characters as well as the continuing story of Ratchet’s origin. The two stories later combine into one mission with a single purpose, protecting Time.


Box Art:

As Clank you travel throughout an area known as The Great Clock which is located at the Center Of The Universe give Or Take About 50 Feet, that’s the actual location as told in the game. While in the Clock, you begin to unravel your own clouded background as well as travel inside Clank’s sub-conscience to not only learn more about yourself and your many attacks, but to also learn how to control time yourself. As Clank, you are known as a Junior Time Keeper, someone with the responsibility to keep Time in line so to say. For completing your first journey into your sub-conscience, you are rewarded the Chrono-Septer, a lance with a built in Flux Capacitor, this weapon has the ability to turn back time on any given object it touches. It also is used to defend yourself and to also deflect incoming enemy attacks right back to who sent them. Your also given Time Bombs, which are used to either slow down moving object or moving enemies. These bombs come in handy while your traveling through the entire galaxy as well as through those fast paced areas where you have to act fast. You can also slow down enemies in there tracks so you can either get out of there or put those enemies down for good. These weapons also work on bosses as well its not limited to small enemies or just for moving objects.

Our Heroes:

One of the coolest aspects of this is the ability to literally take control over the game, as Clank you have a lot more control over the environment then Ratchet does. You can restore walkways, bridges, as well as record a digital version of yourself to unlock doors you couldn’t without help from others. You can record many versions of yourself to stand on switches so you can open those doors that require many switches to be hit at the same time to unlock them. You can record at first 2 version of yourself, each version is color coded and if you stand back on the platform where the color hologram of yourself is, you will see and outline of what that recording will do before you click on Record & Play. You can overwrite a previous recording to further on in the puzzle so you can complete it, and once you complete the puzzle your given a huge reward in bolts depending on the difficulty of that puzzle. Bolts are the currency that you need in this game to buy the vast amounts of insanely cool weapons in this game. You can also buy Armor upgrades as well. All of the buying applies to Ratchet mostly since Clank already has a weapon that’s able to control the flow of time. Most of the Weapons are so strange and so powerful, there some of the funniest things I have ever seen in a game. There’s two in particular that are very funny, Mr. Zurkon and The Rift Inducer 5000. These weapons as I said are for Ratchet only, even after you reunite with Clank your still controlling all of the weapons with him. Mr. Zurkon is an automated floating android with one purpose: Destroy Anyone That Is Not Mr. Zurkon. Obviously, Ratchet & Clank are protected due to them both being the owners of said weapon. Mr. Zurkon goes even further then that, his never ending taunting and witty one liners are so awesome. And speaking of upgrades, there are 10 pieces of a blue print that are scattered all over the universe that once all collected, form the most powerful weapon in the known universe: The RYNO V. This weapon is a walking Fourth Of July with all of the explosions associated with it. It also has the ability to level up to max out at level 5 just like any of the other weapons. Also, when you finish the game, you can purchase OMEGA versions of the Level 5 weapons you have unlocked. The RYNO V can reach level 10 before its capped but the coolest part of this weapon is the Music it plays while your blasting away. And to give you a hint of what it was, well, its basically the music from Caddyshack when Danny sinks the put. Get It?

The Zoni:

The Rift Inducer 5000 is one of the last weapons you can buy in the game and it shows why it takes that long to access it. The whole purpose of that weapons is to create a black hole that floats above wherever the weapon is fired and then out of no where, Fred Attacks! The creature that lurks inside that black-hole is known as Fred and it is VERY hungry. Fred will devour any enemy within the cloud and reward you with all of the bolts they dispense. All of these weapons have there own personality as well even if they don’t speak. The first weapons your introduced to are blasters and hand grenades. These two weapons, The Constructo Pistol and Constructo Bombs, are named that for a specific reason. The Constructo Company owns there rights and said weapons have upgrades that can be found throughout the entire galaxy. These upgrades include damage ratio, ammo count, projectile type, explosive power, as well as adding explosions that damage aerial enemies. You can also customize the weapons with different color schemes. The Constructo Weapons are the only weapons that can use the Constructo Mods which are the upgrades you find throughout the galaxy. You can do so many upgrades to your weapons before and after you find these Mods, and you can also change them as much as you want as well. If you save your game and start again, you can keep changing the weapons layout.

Rift Inducer 5000:

Mr. Zurkon:

Constructo Mods:

But the upgrading does not stop there, your weapons as well as Ratchet have an RPG element that has been in all the games throughout the series. Only now is it more implemented, XP! For every enemy you destroy, puzzle you complete, hidden item you find, bosses defeated, as well as for giving a hand to needy robots and monsters throughout the galaxy will land you XP that is used to level up Ratchet. Each level you gain, the more health you get and the more you can unlock. The more levels you gain, the stronger the weapons will become when you go and purchase them. Weapons also have XP as well, which is separate to Ratchet’s, there XP is determined solely on how much they are used and how many enemies you destroy with said weapon. Weapons leveling up is much different then Ratchet leveling up since Weapons will eventually max out at Level 5, Ratchet really doesn’t have a leveling system like an RPG character, he only gains more health and better weapons. Ratchet also does not increase his fighting power much as well with each level up. Don’t get me wrong, you do get more power to your attacks but the primary source of your attacks will be weapons or your trusty Wrench, there is no hand to hand combat. Weapons do more then just increase ammo count, they also transform and become far more powerful then before. With each level up, your ammo automatically is restored and your ready to inflict chaos on unsuspecting machines. For example, when you level up to level 5 with Mr. Zurkon, he becomes Mr, Zurkon: The Destroyer, his blaster gets a huge power increase and he is able to attack faster and last longer in the fights. Also, level 5 weapons get a new name and a brand new appearance, so do not get used to seeing the same weapons very long. Also, some weapons allow you to decide which type of attacks you want to use whether it being a single shot or a triple shot, regular rounds or explosive rounds, all the while you ammo count remains the same.

This game has so much destroying going on, there explosions all over and there effects are very well done. You find more ammo in crates as well as bolts you can use. You can revisit areas for quick bolt fixes or you can simply go to the Battleplex and compete in tournaments with monsters and robots for the prizes that await. Its there that the final 4 weapons of the game are unlocked, but be warned go there with low health and limited weapons and you will be owned. All of these weapons you can buy are from a company known as Grummel Net. Before you select which weapon you want to buy, you can watch a commercial for said weapon. These commercials are hands down the best part of this game, there all hand drawn cartoons with a huge sense of humor is almost mind blowing to see a well done cartoon within a well done game. Usually great games spawn cartoon shows but this game just pokes fun at commercials with these hilarious cartoons. These cartoons show you the origins of the weapon as well as a demo on how they work. These weapons, some useful and some useless, are very cool to use and are very easy to use. One button controls your attacks whether they be with the Wrench (Square), or a weapons (R1), you can also side step to get an even better angle on your attack. This comes in handy with some of the bigger bosses in the game, you can also so all type of somersaults and jumps and the controls just flow so naturally and well that its completely fluid and lag-less its unreal. The cameras can use a little bit of work, these types of games have there share of camera issues but due to there generic ways of being controlled, someone will have to get creative to figure out there more annoying issues.

Amazing Graphics:

Clank The Time Keeper:

The controls are so well done that it should be shown as the template on how to do control for 3D platforming. Everything just feels so smooth and responsive, most FPS games do not even have this much fluid like controls and there supposed to be the most advanced of there generation. Ratchet & Clank games are known for so many things but to me this is the biggest selling point: Great Controls. The characters you will meet throughout the game are some of the most outrageous you will ever see in a game. First up are our heroes Ratchet & Clank, returning once again for more galactic adventuring. Then there’s our villains, Dr. Nefarious and Laurence, the evil Dr. who is also more machine then a man, get it? And his side kick, Laurence, a robotic butler who is usually quick to throw in sarcasm when he sees fit. He also smacks around Dr. Nefarious a few times when he malfunctions. Then there is Grummel, the mutant behind all those weapons you own and upgrade as well as the voice of the commercials you watch before each purchase you make. As you progress through the game, your often sent out on rescue missions, these missions are all the same: Rescue Captain Quirk. This guy is a superhero…sort of. This guy reminds of the character the late Phil Hartman played, Blasto! This PSone cult hit spawned Captain Quick since the whole premise of Captain Quirk is all macho and all self indulgence. He is so full of himself its hysterical, he even has his own movie, TV show, and hit arcade game that only you play…because no one else is playing it. My Blaster Runs Hot, a complete ripoff of the classic Robotron 2084. The game is flash based so it very easy to play, just use one analog to move and the other to attack. Its just like Robotron…in fact it is Robotron, Captain Quirk merely put himself in it.

Our Villains:

Captain Quirk:

General Azimuth is another one of Ratchet’s kind, there known as the Lombax a mysterious race known for there agile speed and there trusty wrench. There the builders of the galaxy who suddenly and mysteriously disappeared from existence. Throughout the game you find more clues and information about Ratchet’s family and race as well as finding out the true nature of The Great Clock and what it was built for. There is also another group of beings in this game that are very important, the Zoni. These little bug like glowing creatures are what caused Clank to vanish from Ratchet and there also used to level up your space ship so you can travel deep into the universe. You have a ship in this game that can be used to travel the many different galaxies in this game as well as help out stranded aliens and robots. You can also locate the missing pieces of the Ryno V Hologram, Gold Bolts, Zoni, as well as face off in boss battles in space. Your space missions are not mandatory to a degree, you do have some that are required to complete in order to continue on in your journey. The space missions are so easy to play and so quick and responsive, I just wish I could control going up and down, you can only move your ship side to side. It feels like Star Fox, but it is no Star Fox. They go as far as even copy some of the communication elements from that game as well as the weapons you can use in your space ship. You can do barrel rolls, fire lasers, missiles, tow stranded ships, and drag missing or broken equipment to various wholesalers for rewards. There are also many side quests that can be done while in space, so pay attention. You can also use Warp Speed! No longer do you have to select a part of the galaxy and then fly to the planet you wish to land on, you can use your warp drive and just land there no problems. You can also land on many moons that contain mini games that reward you with many of the hidden items you need to unlock even more powerful weapons.

General Azimuth:

Ratchet & Clank: A Crack In Time is hands down a system seller. But then again, every Ratchet game is that way. It has so much to offer to so many different types of gamer there are that its literally endless if your playing it for fun. If your playing it to finish it 100%, you will be rewarded with Trophies as well as being able to track your progress and compare to your friends. Ratchet & Clank: A Crack In Time is now available for an MSRP of $59.99. Rated E10+ For Everyone 10 And Up. Only On PS3.


-Gorgeous Graphics!

-Fantastic Sense Of Humor

-Amazingly Responsive Controls

-So Much To Do

-Time Controlling Is So Unique Compared To Other Games That Have Done It

-Space Missions Feel Like Star Fox

-Lots Of Different Weapons

-Lots Of Upgrading Options

-Weapons Are Insane

-Awesome Cast Of Characters

-Great Scale Of Depth With The Galaxy

-Lots Of Places To See And People To Meet

-Lots Of Hidden Items

-Trophy Support!

-Quick To Pick Up And Play

-Mr. Zurkon

-The RYNO V Is Simply Put: Awesome!

-LOTS Of Back To The Future Mentions!


-Camera Can Be An Issue

-Movements Are Fluid But Can Be A Bit To Fast

-Space Missions Do Not Allow You To Control Up And Down

-Captain Quirk

-No Online Multiplayer – It Was Removed From The Series Since Ratchet: Deadlocked

-You Can Get Lost In All Of That Lots To Do

-It Ends

-Hoverboats Don’t Work On Water Unless You Got POW-er

-If It Wasn’t For Uncharted 2, This Would Have Been 2009 Game Of The Year
Official Score

Ratchet & Clank: A Crack In Time Rating – 5 Stars Out Of 5

Editor’s Choice Award
Purchase Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack In Time.

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Meet Mr. Zurkon

The Ryno V

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It’s Go Time: PSP Go Review

October 21, 2009 By: Category: Entertainment, Video Games

Sony PSP GoSony has finally answered the demands by the media, blog community, and well just about everyone else outside of those two demanding sources. I have be waiting for an upgraded PSP with a built in Hard Drive for some time since I have always wanted a more digital gaming handheld. Well enter the PSP Go, a screen sliding, hard drive equipped, much more smaller and sleek looking PSP brings with it a new way of playing gaming while on the go. Instead of a media drive such as a Game Card slot like the Nintendo DS or the UMD with the current PSP, the Go relies solely on downloading anything and everything.

While most who have a brain will welcome a device like this no problem, there is a large group who are screaming about this device in the negative. For a good reason with a lot of bad reasons. I will address all these issues as we go along here, but for me, this is a device that can very well be a preview of the future for portable gaming. Its the same as when the iPod first came out and met all the critics with all there negative thoughts and ideas towards this device. Many people said that who is this device marketed towards and what is the the benefit of owning a device that does not take any media at all? Well, here we are Apple has single handedly reinvented the way we all listen to music.

PSP Go Box:

The PSP Go:

The PSP Go features all of the hardware specific elements of the current PSP minus two, the UMD and the Memory Stick Duo. They have been replaced with Digital Downloads and the Memory Stick M2. While the PSP UMD games are not compatible with the Go, you can transfer your game saves over to your PSP Go if you do purchase the digital version of that game. Yes, I know, why should you buy a game again that you already own. I agree completely on this, but in the end, is everyone out there going to take there entire library of PSP games and play them all over again simply because they have a newer version of the PSP? Now, I am a big advocate for Backwards Compatibility.

I was one of those who shouted at Sony and Microsoft with there decisions to minimize and or eliminate the feature from the PS3 and Xbox 360. Now I am not going to change my stance on backwards compatibility, its something that is and should be mandatory. However in this sense, the PSP Go is more of a digital device for a digital lifestyle rather then a portable gaming device. At its core, the PSP Go is a gaming portable, this is the main purpose of the system, however, it is more of a media device as well then the current PSP. No need to swap memory sticks like the current PSP or the need to hold the device a specific way since the controls are on the sides, you can simply collapse the screen and the PSP Go turns into a MinI TV for your movies, TV Shows, and a Radio for your Music, Podcasts, and so much more. This device features so many things that the current PSP cant do due to its design factors.

The PSP Go also is fully Bluetooth Enabled, unlike the current PSP, this device can attach itself to almost ANY Headset so you can do your Voice Chat without wires while your online playing SOCOM or any other of the many great PSP Network Games. You can also attach a PS3 Controller to the PSP Go, this is a huge feature since you will no longer need to hold the system to change scenes while outputting to your TV. You can also use the controller to control your Movies, Photo Slideshows, as well as use the controller to play your PSone Classics on the system. You do need the PSP Go Dock to output to your TV, the PSP Go also features Composite and Component Cables for both standard and HD output. The system also features a smaller screen, but only a inch, but the resolution on this screen is much more better then the current PSP.

Watching video on the PSP Go is much more enjoyable then on the original PSP. The screen ratio is improved for video playback and playing games on the PSP Go even looks better in comparison. While I have yet to download a PSP game to my Go, I have downloaded the included Rock Band Unplugged as well as FInal Fantasy VII, Gex 3, and Metal Gear Solid. I bought those three PSone Classics for $25. Playing PSone Classics on the PSP Go is identical to the way they are played on the PSP. The only difference is the screen ratio and audio quality. While I love the new screen ratio for the PSP Go, the speakers are very weak in comparison to the PSP. They are stereo and they are clear but the audio output is weaker and the lowest volume setting produces high output, so there is room for improvement in the audio department.


White PSP Go:

The PSP Go also eliminates the USB MinI connector for a Proprietary Connection much like the iPod’s dock connector. In fact, it IS the iPod’s Dock Connector. While the shape and form are a match, the iPod and PSP Go connector’s are a pin here and pin there in difference that prevents the competitors hardware to be used with one another. The PSP Go is a fully download only device, there is included software called Media Go, which is the iTunes like application. It is in box and it is free, but Windows Only for now. Which I find ironic since all of the video that you download from the Playstation Network is formatted with Quicktime. Wether or not Sony will support Mac is debatable since they retail and manufacture there own line of Windows Based PC’s and given the issue Apple and Sony had over laptop batteries, I think there will be a need for the two companies to stay away and cool off until that issue is fully resolved in paper work.

The application is fully enabled and free, no serial number required and you can even download it for your current PSP without the need to use the installer that comes with the PSP Go. The application is compatible with the PSP as well, this is not a PSP Go Only affair. Once you dock your PSP Go via the Dock or the USB cable, Media Go scans yours device much like iTunes scans your iPod. Everything is cleanly laid out and easy to understand. Everything is in categories and is accessible for anyone to easily understand. You can connect to the Playstation Store using this application all you need to do is log in with your account from PS3 or PSP, or you can create your own profile for free and let the downloading begin. All the downloading via this method will use your PC’s internet connection and while it is downloading, the PSP Go & PSP will receive the content, it will not be placed onto your hard drive unless you back up your data. This backing up feature is huge since no other portable gaming device allows you to do so.

XMB Is A Go:

There is lots to be downloaded for everyone who owns a Go. This content is also available for the current PSP owners as well, but with the launch of the Go, Sony blitzed there Store and uploaded hundreds of thousands of pieces of new content. Now, what if your not connected to your PC, who do you receive content. The system is fully Wireless so you can connect to the internet via Wi-Fi. The Playstation Store is available for all PSP’s, the store features the same content minus the PS3 since the PSP is NOT a PS3, this is obvious. You can however remotely connect to your PS3 and push a PS3 download to it. This Remote Play feature has been out for a long time, I will not give points in the review on this feature since it is irrelevant due to not being a new feature, Now, downloading wirelessly is great to do however it has two MAJOR drawbacks.

One, the battery life on the PSP Go is horrendous, sadly, its true. I was expecting a new battery type for this device but due to all the Pirating that was based on the removable battery and Memory Stick Duo, Sony dropped both for the M2 and the enclosed battery. Now you cannot remove the battery at all without voiding your warranty. The battery life can be improved with doing custom settings in the systems options. You can also keep wireless off when you are not online. Bluetooth is only enabled when you are attached to a device. So be wireless only when it is necessary. You also have to put your charger together, its in three pieces this time! Can I ever get a charger that was just a cord? The middle device of the charger is hollow as well, its just an empty plastic shell with a small power conversion chip inside. I believe this is there to prevent overcharging and potential power surges from destroying your device. In the end, it is so small and the device charges via the USB cable and not an AC Adapter connector. You can also charge this device while connected with the USB Cable and in USB Mode so when you are downloading content to your PSP Go or PSP from Media Go, your battery will be taken care of.

The second major issue: Wireless Speed. For a digital gaming handheld, you would think that this device will feature all of the fastest standards of 802.11, well it only is compatible with 802.11B which is the second slowest speed, well in all honesty it is the de facto standard in most home with wireless internet and most basic hotels offer 802.11 while you have to go to a high end hotel for the much more faster speeds. While the other PSP do not offer 802.11G or N yet, it would be nice to have that option available if you are outputting that strength of signal. However, this is a battery life concern if your downloading at a higher rate of speed so I can understand why they left that speed out. There are ways to boast your speed at the expense of your battery life but if you connected to your charger, this is not a problem really.

Also, the content your downloading wireless is large and will take a length of time to get downloaded. But what I do not like is the fact that these games you download have to install themselves to the hard drive. I understand why they have to since there large game files that need to communicate with the Operating System, but at the same time DSiWare downloads and its ready to play. The larger the game, the more time it takes to download and install which is both time consuming and annoying. Sony also allows you to download to your PSP Go while connected to your PS3. This is awesome since you can view the entire catalog of the Playstation Store on your TV Screen rather searching through on your portable. Like I mentioned, the stores are the same but remember, PS3 content will not work on a PSP, unless its a media file such as music, movie or photo. I would like to see some sort of speed increase in downloading and installing.

The sliding screen also introduces the new Clock and Calendar Applications. This is a nice new addition as well as a new screen saver and digital alarm clock. The Dock turns your PSP Go into an alarm clock and its a nice feature to have and you can have it connected to your charger to keep your battery fresh. This is an indication that Sony will be introducing its own APP Store much like iTunes and DSi, however, currently they have the PSP Mini’s. These Mini’s are small file sized games lacking online play and are sold at low prices. I cannot wait to see if there will be an App Store Community like that of the iPod and iPhone, This brings me to another complaint that people have about the PSP Go. Its more of a negative comparison that is unfair for a couple of reasons. One, the iPod has been out longer the the PSP and there are many more people who have the iPod then those who have the PSP and DS.

Also, the iPod is both compatible with Mac OS X and Windows. It also features iTunes which has way more licenses then Sony for content, so the iPod and iPhone have more ways of gathering content. Plus the biggest factor that iTunes has over the PSP Go, the App Store SDK, which is Software Development Kit, is available for ANYONE to download for FREE. And these apps are made by anyone and everyone and are either free or so cheap there downloads rates are high. Sony does not offer a public SDK for there users to develop applications for the PSP Go. Im not so sure Sony will allow the public to upload Applications to there servers for the public to use. However, with all the games on the PS3 and PSP that allow users to upload created content, its only a matter of time that Sony would allow users to upload apps to there store and make that its own section in the store. The PSP Go is NOT an iPod/iPhone and is not intended to be, the Go is its own thing. The iPod/iPhone are Media Players and Phone while the PSP Go is a Gaming Device with Media Player Capabilities. Huge difference there since the PSP Go is more tailored to gaming more then the iPod/iPhone. Do not get a PSP Go with the intent of replacing your iPod, for it is not the same thing.

It’s Go Time:

Also, the Internet is running wild making satirical videos showing people trying to click the sliding screen like a touch screen…really people? Why waste your time putting up a video about this when we all know that the PSP Go is NOT a touch screen handheld. The PSP Go is also NOT replacing the PSP, it is also not a rip off either. The price tag is high, but what people fail to mention is the fact that perhaps maybe the price is high due to the built in hard drive. I remember buying my first 10GB iPod for over $300! And back then the device did not have iTunes for Windows. It was well before there were versions of iTunes for Windows, I had to use Music Match Jukebox. Which is an horrendous program in comparison to what they have now and back then but since it was locked to that application I had no choice.

The PSP Go is also not cheaply made, it is not something that was thrown together either. The PSP Go also allows you to connect to the internet via Tethering, what other portable gaming device allows that? If you have Tethering enabled on your cell phone, you can connect to the internet. Remember data usage charges apply from carrier to carrier but most providers are reasonable with there usage fees. Just do not go over your limit or you will pay a fee for overage. Also, the PSP Go is not a Phone either, people love mocking the fact that you cannot call people with the device. I also love how everyone in the media was demanding a revised PSP with more features and more ways to gather content…well here it is and now they feel its necessary to slam the device for 3 shortcomings. Granted one of them is MAJOR, the UMD Elimination is a problem that Sony should figure out a work around. But to pick on this device for lack of touch screen, high price tag, and the lack of a phone is insane. If you want those use a iPhone, if you want touch screen gaming use a DSi. Also, in reference to backward compatibility, I have one more major point to make here.

The Nintendo DS has three models, DS, DS Lite, and DSi. The DS and Lite both let you play Gameboy Advance Games, the DSI does not. The DSI has built in Cameras and an SD Card Slot for expansion with a built in Media Player, the others do not. The DSI has allows you to download games much like the WiI Shop Channel. This is known as DSiWare, its only available for the DSI and not the others. The DSI also allows Facebook integration, the others do not. There are also DSI Specific Cartridge based games on the way, so the point is this. Why is Nintendo allowed to get away with all these backwards compatibility eliminations but Sony is not allowed to eliminate one? Why is it ok for Apple to boast about there App’s when there developers kit is free and available to the public and with iTunes compatible with both Windows and Mac OS X?

Bottom line: The PSP Go is a great portable device that does have a couple of Major Issues that can or should be resolved in time. The device introduces gamers to a new way of thinking when it comes to obtaining all your content. Its not an iPod, its a gamers iPod. The PSP Go is now available for an MSRP of $249.99. Accessories are also PSP Go Specific, so you cannot use certain PSP Accessories on this device but I bought a screen protector pack and an awesome carry case for under $25.


-Fantastic Media Player

-Fantastic Screen Resolution

-Super Light Weight And Small

-Great New Design

-New Way To Own And Play Your Games

-Tethering & Bluetooth Enabled!

-Media Go Is Easy To Use

-Load Times Are Quicker

-Hard Drive Based Portable Gaming Is The Future

-Awesome Accessories

-Download Whatever You Want Wherever

-Sliding The Screen Open Never Gets Old

-Up To 16GB Expansion Available (Currently The M2 Is Maxed Out At That)

-New Analog Stick Feels Right

-PSP Mini’s Are A Potential Preview Of An App Store

-Playstation Network Account Sharing Makes It All Easier To Download

-Download Wirelessly Or Via USB


-Wireless Speeds Are Slow But Can Be Adjusted

-Battery Life & Battery Cannot Be Replaced

-No Second Analog

-No UMD Support Or Method Of Transferring (As Of This Writing)

-Not Compatible With Any PSP Accessory, PSP Go Has It’s Own Line

-Audio Could Be Better

-Shoulder Buttons Are Perfectly Shaped But To The Contours Of The System

-Stupid People In The Media, Nintendo & Apple Fanboys
Official Rating:

Sony PSP Go Rating: 4 Stars Out Of 5

Editor’s Choice

Click Here To Buy The PSP Go In Piano Black.

Click Here To Buy The PSP Go In Pearl White.

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