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Bits and Bytes: Finding gaming fortune

Peter W | Interrobang | Lifestyles | February 18th, 2008

Before jumping into the second game in my PS3 double feature (the first being my long delayed review of Ratchet and Clank), I have some tasty tidbits first!

- Are you old enough, as I am, to remember 3-D Realms amazing Duke Nukem 3D? If so, you're going to love that the long (about 10 years long) delayed game, Duke Nukem forever is probably going to see a release in 2008. If that's not cool enough, it's been confirmed that Duke Nukem 3D WILL be released for the Xbox Live arcade and feature achievements and online co-op. That will definitely be a first day purchase for me.

- Guitar Hero 4 has supposedly started the testing phase. It has been confirmed from an outside source that the first track announced for the game is The Answer's “Never Too Late.” I'm all for a GH4, but why the hell do we have expensive track downloadable content? I guess Activision is more interested in making money than having a firm and excellent DLC lineup like Harmonix and Rock Band.

- Mario Kart WILL be 16 players online and feature 15 new tracks, 15 old (but touched up tracks), leaderboards, contests and ghost tracks so you can see how the best in the world play the game.

Uncharted: Drake's Fortune

There was some big hype about this game. I downloaded the demo and while it looks good, it just didn't seem as good as the pics...until I saw the damn thing at 1080p. Ok...the PS3 and this game have some awesome graphics. The plot intertwines between game play dialog and some amazing cut scenes. Sure, there are some places where the characters look just a little blocky, but I'm nitpicking here.

The game follows Nathan Drake as he follows Sir Francis Drake's clues and old maps to find a payoff in the form of an undiscovered treasure. This leads Nathan to not only the people who are also hell-bent on finding some loot, but also dangerous caverns and outdoor challenges.

The platforming and (few) puzzles are well done and the game moves along at a decent pace. Just when you think the ending may happen, the game goes a little bit further without boring you.

The controls are great and that makes aiming your weapons and jumps a cinch. The only problem lies with the enemies taking an amazing amount of ammo in the chest or not going down when you give them numerous headshots. Speaking of the enemies, how do these guys just keep coming and coming out of literally nowhere?

Small griping aside, this game delivers on so many levels (and I don't even have room to get into how good this sounds at certain places in the game, the hidden items to collect, or the incentives to give this game more than one play-through before shelving it). The story is good, game play is excellent and the graphics wrap-up the package. I'll be in line to play the next installment, because you just know it's coming. 9 out 10.
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