Guitar Hero: Aerosmith
This game is essentially identical to the existing Guitar Hero III, albeit with a new track list and additional in-game characters - which is why it wasn't reviewed the first time around. There are also some crappy quality standard def videos that crop up in the career mode where Aerosmith band members reminisce about the band's genesis.
Sure, it's Guitar Hero III and ergo fun, but dodgy vids aside you can't help but feel there's nothing here that couldn't have been achieved via downloadable upgrades. As a standalone purchase for Aerosmith fans, it more than does the job. However, once again, PlayStation 3 owners get a technically deficient game - something that's become more depressingly predictable the more cross-format Neversoft games I've looked at.
Just like Guitar Hero III, the Aerosmith edition runs at a sub-optimal 1040x585 resolution compared to the native 720p, 60fps loveliness of the Xbox 360 version - basically a 33 per cent drop in detail. Thankfully, Guitar Hero is a game that transcends its visuals; the core appeal remains even if you're playing on PS2 or Wii. Even so, the game is hardly sophisticated in visual terms and you can't help but expect better. Indeed, you'd think that such a game should be running at 1080p.
Let's hope that Neversoft pulls its finger out for the forthcoming Guitar Hero: World Tour.
Beijing 2008: The Official Video Game of the Olympic Games
That damning 5/10 simply can't be argued with. While the impressive array of events contained in this game offer plenty of scope, the retarded nature of many of the control schemes make the whole effort feel like a waste of everyone's time. At least the graphics are decent enough, with plenty of detail and a frame rate pegged at a rock solid 30fps.
While the Xbox 360 version gets the entire range of visual effects, including excellent anti-aliasing, selective depth-of-field blurring and full 720p resolution (blowing up nicely to 1080p if you are that way inclined), the PlayStation 3 rendition of the game looks a bit unfinished in comparison. There's also a 1.6GB, five-minute installation to put up with.
While the update of the Xbox 360 version has been retained, the PlayStation 3 version suffers a double whammy by offering both a lower resolution and zero anti-aliasing. The PS3 game runs at 1024x768. However, the lack of AA serves to maximise the shortcomings of the base image. Slowing down the video as we do in these comparisons may retain more detail but it doesn't show the full impact of such limitations - in places, the PS3 game has a pretty severe jagginess that can cause an unattractive shimmering effect across the entire screen. The game feels a touch unfinished compared to the 360 version, and not especially unattractive but unnecessarily pared down - the same feeling I got with the last cross-platform Eurocom effort I looked at, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.
Generally speaking the quality of PlayStation 3 multi-format projects has increased drastically since I first started producing these features, and platform parity is far more common than once it was. However, Beijing 2008 is an unwelcome throwback to the days when PS3 owners were routinely fobbed off with an inferior game.
The gameplay in the two versions is exactly the same. None of the graphical shortcomings impact playability, but as Kristan pointed out in the original review, there's a tangible sense that Eurocom's development team was spread too thin in incorporating 38 different events. That being the case, you can't help wonder if this also impacted the quality of the PlayStation 3 conversion...