Systems Have I Loved: Sony PlayStation 3

My current gaming rig and beloved black monolith. I got mine through a friend for wholesale, tax-free, so I did ok in regards to the insanely high pricing for the PS3.

Cue up

System: I was looking to upgrade to the PS3 as soon as I saw two things – Rock Band and Final Fantasy XIII. That was enough. Also, my PS2 only worked on alternating Tuesdays. I had a bit of money saved that was going to go to a new iPod after the death of my first one. I ended up not having to buy a new one, thanks to the generosity of my employers on my birthday back in ’07. This money got rolled over into the PS3 purchase, along with the sale of my decrepit PS2 (very little gained there) and, heartbreakingly, my Guitar Hero collection (GH, GH2, GH: Rocks The 80s and two guitars) which would be useless on the PS3. Combined with an Amazon gift card and the return of the now-useless unopened PS2 version of GH3 I got for Christmas, I was able to afford both the system and the original Rock Band in January of ’08.

I also made sure I was getting one of the models that could still play PS2 games. Inexplicably Sony made it so that all PS3s can play PSOne games, but only some PS3s can play PS2 games. I don’t think either of the currently available models can play them. Considering the sheer volume of PS2 games on the market (i.e., there are STILL new ones being released), I don’t understand why they’d cut that functionality. All I know is I love being able to still play FFXII on my PS3, and I’d be sad if I couldn’t.

Favorite Games: Rock Band (and sequel) has been the cornerstone of my PS3 experience. It’s a biiig part of why I got the system, and I don’t regret it. It’s all the fun of Guitar Hero multiplied by 4. I will say the solo experience suffers a bit as compared to Guitar Hero, but mainly because since playing with a full band is so much fun, playing alone is less satisfying. I’m looking forward to the upcoming Beatles game, and any future expansions or variations. Rock Band with my friends is a great time, make no bones about it.

Valkyria Chronicles is an absolutely superb strategy game. Great story, fantastic visuals, challenging without being impossible, replayability. They created some sort of visual filter which makes the whole game look like it’s been sketched and then painted with watercolors, which makes it look very, very nice. It’s like playing an anime series. VC is the total package.

Bioshock is maybe the only FPS that I’ve considered replaying. Deep gameplay, excellent visuals and attention to detail. Looking forward to the sequel. I’ve also thought about replaying Portal, another innovative FPS (although, it’s really a FPP – first person puzzler). Short but worthwhile.

Least Favorite: I’ve played a billion crappy demos on PSN, but I didn’t pay for any of those (other than in time), so it’s a wash. I don’t think I’ve paid for anything that was truly disappointing. But I’ll probably have this thing for a few more years, so give it time! I’m ready to hate if you are.

Personal Quirks: These next gen systems are highly customizable in their interface. My background right now is a Valkyria Chronicles wallpaper I downloaded for free. I like when new blockbuster movies come out, because then you can get an Iron Man theme for your system, or whatever. It’s fun.

I have a full compliment of Rock Band gear (two guitars, drums & mic) but only one actual controller. Not a lot of non-musical local multiplayer happening at the Bent household.

Next up: Nothing! That’s it, everyone! Thanks for putting up with all my memories of gaming. It was interesting how much of my life I can pinpoint timewise by remembering what games I was playing. There will probably be one more Systems Have I Loved where I talk forever about PC gaming, but it was just too long a post for me to write for this series. Maybe a few months from now.