Famitsu Reviews PS3 Launch Titles
Given the time difference, it's already November in Japan, and Famitsu has wasted little time in reviewing the majority of the PS3's launch lineup. Of course, the "majority" means five of the measly six titles Japan is getting for launch, but at least we get the first critical examination of the PS3's earliest titles.
This week's Famitsu has provided the scores you see below; they've reviewed the entire lineup with the exception of Konami's Mahjong Fight Club.
Sega Golf Club: 7, 7, 7, 7
One of the reviewers mentioned the game's solid tempo and fast loading times, while another noted the decided lack of a "next-generation feel." The lone female critic enjoyed Golf Club's simple and straightforward gameplay. The PS2 launched with a similar title that received similar results; Swing Away Golf.
Genji: 7, 7, 7, 8
Apparently, each of the four playable characters have their own unique set of abilities and characteristics, and this is one aspect of the game all the reviewers seemed to like. But while the controls are "good," there is a decided lack of full camera controls, which in turn can affect the combat.
Resistance: 9, 8, 8, 8
This is an interesting set of numbers, for one big reason: historically, the Japanese have had very little interest in the FPS genre. In fact, Famitsu has been known to provide lower-than-average scores in the genre over the past few years, and is one reason why Microsoft's Xbox and games like Halo never fare half as well in Japan as they do in the U.S. Taking that into consideration, we can't help but assume these scores are very, very positive, and may translate to higher marks from North American critics. One comment all reviewers had was their contentment with the online 40-player battles.
Gundam: Target in Sight (aka Crossfire): 8, 8, 8, 8
This may be another example of region-specific preference, because the Gundam franchise is huge in Japan, but largely ignored - by comparison - in the U.S. Unfortunately, this means we may see lower scores from State-side reviewers. As for Famitsu, one of the critics said the game was more difficult than they had anticipated, and another was happy with the sheer number of "things you could do in the game." Another was quick to mention the extra freedom offered by the title.
Ridge Racer 7: 9, 9, 9, 9
Not surprisingly, Famitsu is clearly naming RR7 the gem of the PS3 launch lineup. The sound and drift mechanics have been honed and polished, noted one reviewer, and the net battles seemingly don't suffer from any lag. There's a good chance that this one will be the most popular title come November 11.
Well, there it is. Bear in mind the distinct - and well-documented - preference differences between the U.S. and our friends over the Pacific, so it's best to use the above scores as helpful guidelines. As of right now, there appears to be several solid titles on tap for the PS3 launch. We'll dive in to a few of them to provide our thoughts come the North American launch.
10/31/2006 Ben Dutka