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Xbox 360 vs. PlayStation 3: Round 25

Episodes from Liberty City, SSFIV, SEGA All-Stars Racing, Superstars V8, Dead to Rights and AVP.

Superstars V8: Next Challenge

  • Not reviewed.
  Xbox 360 PlayStation 3
Disc Size 1.2GB 2.67GB
Install 1.2GB (optional) -
Surround Support Dolby Digital Dolby Digital, 5.1LPCM, 7.1 LPCM, DTS

Yes, the stats above are correct. This is a small game. On Xbox 360 at least, all of us have downloaded significantly larger demos: Superstars V8: Next Challenge does indeed have a pifflingly small 1.2GB NXE install, and as NXE installs are effectively ISO-style images of the entirety of the game partition on the Xbox 360 disc, that's your lot.

Perhaps it's not surprising bearing in mind that the actual amount of game content you get is depressingly low: there are less than a dozen different cars to get your hands on and a similarly slight amount of circuits to race on. Indeed, the game is almost an irrelevance bearing in mind the vast range of superior driving titles available on both consoles. Still, Superstars V8 is still playable and mildly diverting, and it does render a huge amount of cars simultaneously, but otherwise there is little of note about this particular game.

How about the PS3/360 comparison? As you can see from the video, the quality of the conversion is beyond doubt. Aside from some minor differences you really have to look for, there's virtually nothing to tell them apart.

V8 Superstars: Next Challenge is superficially remarkably similar on both systems. Use the full-screen button for full HD, or hit the link for a larger window.

For the record, Xbox 360 gets a slightly better-looking game. We get full-on 4x multi-sampling anti-aliasing while PS3 gets a dialled-back 2x implementation. Some car textures also appear to be significantly more detailed on 360 too, while the motion blur again seems to be smoother with more samples (perhaps it's derived from the higher levels of AA - it would make sense to hijack that).

Performance-wise we see that the game has something in common with the unpatched version of Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing - it's v-synced and double-buffered. For the most part, this results in a reasonably stable 30FPS frame-rate, but there are occasions when, just like Sonic, performance drops and locks temporarily at 20.

The price of v-sync is a sudden drop to 20FPS in busy scenes, which happens on both platforms.

In these tests we're operating with 19 cars on the circuit and at the beginning of the race they do tend to bunch up, as you would expect. Coming up to the corners, there's clear congestion and the console is left with the enviable task of rendering a range of high-detail, high-LOD models simultaneously. V-Sync is doggedly retained, so we see that sudden drop to 20FPS. You also see it if you switch to the internal view and occupy most of the screen with an opponent's car.

Both versions of the game have the same issue, and while it's more prolonged on PS3, it's still a problem on 360 too. But of course it's only relevant if you actually choose to buy or rent the game and in that regard, there's really little here to suggest that you do so. The racing genre is one of the most popular and overcrowded on both HD consoles, and with Need for Speed: SHIFT doing everything this does and more, you simply need not bother factoring in this game into any purchasing decision.

  • Comparison Gallery

Dead to Rights: Retribution

  Xbox 360 PlayStation 3
Disc Size 6.0GB 6.31GB
Install 6.0GB (optional) -
Surround Support Dolby Digital Dolby Digital, 5.1LPCM, 7.1 LPCM, DTS

Dead to Rights: Retribution received short shrift in Dan Whitehead's review, scoring a paltry 5/10, and it's fairly easy to see why. The game seems to be attempting to be some kind of Jack of All Trades, featuring hand-to-hand combat, traditional cover-and-fire third-person gunplay and even includes the ability to take control of a vicious dog, clawing and ripping its opponents to shreds.

Virtually all of the ideas have been borrowed from elsewhere, which is absolutely fine. What isn't quite so endearing is that all of those ideas have been implemented in a hugely underwhelming manner. Combine this with a generally drab, brown and grey appearance and the lack of appeal in the gameplay is matched by the lack of attractive style in the visuals. It's an issue that afflicts both versions of the game in almost equal measure.

Fairly close conversion work with Dead to Rights: Retribution. Use the full-screen button for full HD, or hit the link for a larger window.

Both games are operating at sub-HD resolutions. Due to the lack of high-contrast edges, exact measurements are difficult but we're pegging the Xbox 360 version of the game at around 1088x612 with 2x MSAA, with a slightly different framebuffer implementation on PS3. Again, exact measurements are challenging, but it's in the order of 1072x603 or thereabouts. PS3 also has some multi-sampling AA in evidence, but it seems to be less consistent than it is on Xbox 360, while there's the occasional lower-resolution texture in evidence on the Sony platform too.

So, in terms of the basic comparison of image quality, there are only minor differences, and owing to the muted colour scheme in evidence they're very difficult to pick up on anyway, so how do things look in terms of performance?

There's remarkably solid performance on both systems - rarely does the game drop from 30FPS.

If there's one thing you can rely on in this game, it's a good, solid frame-rate and a uniform response from the controls. There are only a handful of dropped frames, none of which is evident to the human eye during gameplay. Also impressive is that both versions of the game are resolutely v-synced, meaning solid visual consistency.

It's this consistency that is Dead to Rights: Retribution's strongest suit. While the gameplay itself is uninspiring and not particularly good-looking, the action is solid enough and mildly diverting. Perhaps worth a rental or a bargain-basement buy at a push, but leagues away from being any kind of "must have" purchase.

  • Comparison Gallery