Ok it did start out as ‘Playing this Week’.
And yes I have only managed two of these previously in ten months… but hey-ho the title is staying!
Project Gotham Racing 3
The fact that I am now very close to collecting all of the Gold medals in my Solo Career is probably the biggest testament to this lovely title.
I tend to have a very short attention span when it comes to games, and I rarely follow them through to their conclusion (perhaps that’s why I like open ended sports games?).
In fact I’m really struggling to think of the last time I did.
I think I would have to go back to the original Ghost Recon on the PS2 for a game I played to the end. And that was only because it was my actual paying job to do it at the time… oh and *shudder*Ben Hur*shudder* amongst others.
Anyway the point is PGR has lovingly held my attention since I picked it up on launch day – all the way back in December.
I have to admit to not actually playing the first two games in the series all that much. I never had an Xbox, so it was difficult! So maybe I benefit from seeing the game through virgin eyes – but I’ve enjoyed the experience immensely.
Apart from Cone Challenges.
I’d heard about these, and I thought I’d enjoy the tests of my precision driving – how wrong could I be. They are the challenges Beelzebub himself would use if he were in charge of issuing driving licences.
Driving through cones at speed is fine.
Driving like a lunatic to get loads of Kudos is fine.
Combining the two is simply the mash-up from hell.
Think along the lines of Cheeky Girls Vs James Blunt by Sash! – basically an irritation factor that is too much for standard equipment to chart.
I’m sure I’m missing something…
Thankfully they don’t spoil the game. They just get on my tits. It’s the fact that I’ve been trying to get the gold medal on the very first Cone Challenge for two days now (that’s after settling for silver months ago just to get past it) – and the closest I’ve come was still 2000 Kudos away. Tips anyone?
Anyway the game is definitely a good ‘un. Especially as it’s a launch title – it will be really interesting when PGR4 heads our way!
Some Good Things
- It looks fantastic. Check out these side by side comparisons of the in-game and real life locations to get an idea just how fantastic. Plus the lighting effect enhance the experience rather than just sugar coat it.
- The handling is solid and fun. All the cars in the game have their own distinct personalities
- Live integration is superb, with constant real-time leader boards for every track, Gotham TV, and of course the online racing and career.
- Progression through the game is pretty spot-on, with a great learning curve – apart from the Cone Challenges – which I detest with a passion.
- The sense of speed is well captured, especially on the narrow streets of London and NYC
- The Garages are a nice way to keep your cars organised.
- The Achievements are nicely judged offering a nice mix of attainability and an actual sense of achievement.
Some Bad Things
- Some of the later races – at least on Gold – are a little, er… unfulfilling. For example I nailed the final big race on the F1 circuit of the Nurburgring on my first attempt – by over 20 seconds. Despite never driving the course before.
- Cone Challenges. If it hadn’t been for these tricky little bastards I would have hit all the Gold medals last week. As it is, I find it hard to get anywhere near them. No I’m not bitter.
- Ferrari-itis on Live. You see at the top of the Performance tree for every class sits a model of Ferrari. Therefore dropping into a Live event is like watching a fast moving advert for the Prancing Horse. You want to choose something different, but to compete it’s very difficult to do that.
Football Manager 2006
I’ve been ignoring the release of the yearly update to the series for months. I’ve had a great career going in FM2005 that was currently 2013. I was with Man City, and the lads were challenging at the sharp end of the Premiership table.
Then I went into a closing down MVC store and managed to pick this beauty up for £5!!!! It’s only been out 3 months!
So I’ve bitten the bullet and launched into a new career with the local Tranmere boys. As usual with the game, starting fresh is a frustrating experience.
The lads are languishing in 15th and I’ve just been beaten by a Conference league side on penalties. So after less than 3 months in charge I can feel the chopping blade looming large over head. Hopefully the capture of Big George Ndah will help things along when the transfer window re-opens in January.
If not, maybe giving the team more half time bollockings will do?
Anyway the game still sucks you in. And as Claire will tell you “I’m just finishing this game” is still one of the phrases that brings her blood up to a nice simmer…
Super Monkeyball DX and Halo Triple Pack
At the aforementioned MVC clearout I also managed to pick up this little lot for a very reasonable price.
I’ve been tracking SMB for a while after hearing nothing but good things about it. I mean Monkeys – in Balls – what’s not to like? So far it’s been fun, but not mind blowing. Maybe with a few extra players it might take off.
As for the Halos?
Well I thought it rude not own them really. I’ve played Halo on the PC quite extensively without being too impressed. So far Halo 2 is leaving me a little underwhelmed too, but then I’ve only given it one quick blast so far.
If I can find time to play more of the first-gen stuff I think I might get into it.