Will The PS3 Rule Each Genre?
When gamers go to select their console, they first look to the available and impending software, as they most certainly should. And as we all know, everyone has different tastes and preferences when it comes to various genres; for instance, while some can't stand the idea of a role-playing game, others put the niche genre #1 on their priority list.
Therefore, wouldn't it be important to determine which of the available consoles has the best games for your favorite genres? It's a legitimate question but in considering the answer - and after trading in Star Ocean: The Last Hope - I'm starting to wonder if the PlayStation 3 will have the best exclusive titles in each available genre. Of course, I'm no psychic and the generation is far from over, which means we could see many, many more Xbox 360 exclusives that could reign supreme. I can only go on the current information, and in doing so, I come up with the following assessment:
Action/adventure: Obviously, the biggest genre out there, and most titles are multiplatform, anyway. But really, for the time being, this seems to come down to the 360's Gears of War and Left 4 Dead titles versus the PS3's MGS4, Uncharted and God of War, with the possibility of certain IPs like Heavy Rain, Quantum Theory, and inFamous having good potential. We should also toss in Alan Wake for the 360 as well. I'm sorry, but I just don't see the 360 stacking up to what the PS3 has; GoW and Uncharted trump Gears, IMO. Heck, MGS4 alone beats out everything else in my book. I doubt many would disagree.
Platformer: Eh, this isn't the huge genre it once was, but all I've got to say is that right now, it begins and ends with LittleBigPlanet. Not much else to talk about.
Racing: This is hard because most all racing games these days are multiplatform, and it really only comes down to a battle between Gran Turismo and Forza. I'm not going to get into a long drawn-out compare-and-contrast session, but anyone who actually knows something about cars and racing realizes that GT vastly outstrips Forza in a multitude of ways. Ask any amateur racer, mechanic, etc.; just trust us on this. If they do a Forza 3, in no way will it be able to compete on a simulated/realistic level with GT5. Plain and simple.
First-person shooter (FPS): This will always be a hotly contested genre, but right now, it boils down to Killzone 2 and Resistance 2 versus the Halo titles, and the result is a no-brainer at this point in time. I'm sure we'll see another 360 exclusive FPS that should rock our socks but if it's out there, currently in the works, I haven't heard of it yet. Right now, the benchmark is KZ2, and R2 is pretty damn good, too.
Role-Playing: This is the only genre where the PS3 may not end up leading the 360 in my eyes. I may not have liked Star Ocean, but it certainly wasn't a bad game and many RPG fans would've liked to have had it on the PS3. Furthermore, past RPGs like Lost Odyssey (which I loved; I hope they do a sequel) and Blue Dragon have really made me turn to the 360 for my RPG fix. It'll probably happen again if they do a LO sequel, too. But I have faith in Final Fantasy Versus XIII - even if it is about a million years off - and NIS America has a currently unannounced PS3 RPG we're all waiting to hear about this week. I'm also waiting for Atlus to jump fully into this new generation, so there's a lot more to come in the future... For now, though, the edge definitely goes to the 360.
I know there are other genres, like Puzzle and Flight and things like that, but these are the major ones. There's the fighting genre, but are there any exclusive fighting titles out there? I mean, significant ones? Obviously, the key lies with exclusives, and right now, I really can't see how the 360 matches up competitively with the PS3. But again, things can always change, and we have yet to see what happens at E3... In short, nothing is definitive.
4/26/2009 Ben Dutka