SoulCalibur IV, Mercs 2, Kung Fu Panda, Beijing, GH Aerosmith, FaceBreaker, Hulk, EA Sports roundup.
No introduction is necessary for our latest console comparison feature; you all know the deal by now. Top notch 24-bit RGB screenshots? Check. HD-derived streaming video with crystal clear h.264 quality? Check. Flame-retardant clothing capable of withstanding the Human Torch's nova-blast? Double-check.
Just a couple of notes before the rows and bitter recriminations commence. Beginning with this latest feature, we're now embedding larger videos. There are also extended versions with even higher resolution available as clickthroughs via Eurogamer TV. Make sure you hit the 'high quality' button to get the full benefits of h.264 encoding. If the cropped, slow motion videos are not good enough for you, full 720p 60FPS downloads optimised for playback on both 360 and PS3 are available on the author's blog.
For more in-depth, studied comparisons, don't forget the exhaustive screenshot galleries that accompany each game. Thanks to Eurogamer screenshot viewer 2.0, you can switch the view between both versions of each game at the touch of a button. All games get 720p shots, with 1080p galleries added where support is available in the PS3 code.
In a fight to be the most irritating game of the year, FaceBreaker would undoubtedly box its way hyperactively onto the podium. Far from being part of EA's great new era of 'no more crappy games', it's a prime example of how to miss the point with game mechanics so ill-conceived you'll wonder how they ever made it past the design stage, never mind EA's apparently harsh new quality control process.
The first questionable decision is to reduce boxing to a basic fighting game with stripped-down controls. Opting to reject the refined, logical brilliance of the Fight Night control set, EA has instead mapped most of the controls to a pair of face buttons and the right trigger. There's a high punch, a low punch and a block, and blocking allows you to pull off high and low parries with the punch buttons.
They can also be held down to charge up punches, but obviously at the risk of taking one on the chin. On top of that, you've got the option of throwing your opponent with another button and landing a powerful Breaker punch with the fourth. Left stick, meanwhile, handles movement, with the added option to dash by flicking left or right at the appropriate moment.
Electronic Arts has confirmed to Eurogamer that new boxing title Facebreaker will be out this autumn.
Facebreaker is in development for PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii. As Johnny reported in his preview last month, it's an arcade fighter with cartoony visuals and a sense of humour. See for yourself by checking out the videos on the gamepage.
News emerged this morning that Facebreaker has been given a September 5th release date in the US. An EA spokesperson has since confirmed to Eurogamer, "It will be the same in Europe."
The world of sport is full of well-known faces that have, over the course of a reckless career, been battered, bent, chipped, chinned, mashed and mangled well beyond Mother Nature's original design. Footy defenders, rugger buggers and, of course, boxers all proudly wear their disfigurements as if they'd wandered into a plastic surgeon's office clutching a photo of Sloth out of The Goonies.