Come on Sony and friends – make me want a PS3

I really want Sony and other developers working on games for the PS3 to release a load of really great games that will finally make me want a PlayStation 3. I already want a Wii, and have since before it was released and became the surprise hit of the current generation of consoles (and I told you folks long ago that it might well be a great hit once released). I already want an XBox 360, primarily motivated by my currently owning an original XBox (well, 2 actually, but I haven’t had a chance to mod the 2nd one into a media player). Believe it or not, I’m rooting for Sony to make the PS3 a console I’d want, too.

Not that my wanting any of them really matters, since I lack the time and finances to actually buy one. But I figure if I find enough good stuff on the console to make me want one, there’s a pretty good chance a lot of other gamers will feel the same. And the better each console does in a generation, the better off the parent company will be for the next generation. And we gamers are never satisfied with the hardware we have now – we’re always looking ahead at what is coming along that will be better. That, and my older brother has a PS3, so I figure if I ever do get one, I can share games with him. I hope.

All that nonsense out of the way, I decided to go looking at how some of the recent PS3 releases are actually doing. Not just checking at my preferred gaming sites (Penny Arcade, Bill at DQ, Joystiq, and Blue’s are the top of my list, by the way), but at what the industry overall has rated these games and what other gamers are rating them. For this, I need MetaCritic.

First up, I check how Lair is doing outside the sites I linked to a few days back. Overall, not nearly what I’d hoped for, although pretty much what I expected – there’s a good reason I trust the Tycho and Gabe at Penny Arcade and Bill at DubiousQuality. The average rating across the gaming-webosphere is a mere 54 (100 point scale). The MetaCritic users’ rating is notably better, at 6.8 (out of 10? Why change scales? I haven’t checked why), but still not quite where I’d want it to be for me to get spendy on it. And honestly, I’m concerned about the severe outlier of 90 from Play magazine, which would drop the meta-review a good chunk, but I haven’t looked further into that anomoly yet.

Next is Heavenly Sword – I’ve been waiting for this for over a year. This looks to be the first general release for the PS3 that I’d really get in to if I had a bit of time and money to actually get a PS3. Sitting with an 80 meta-review (and potentially better than that due to a couple outliers that I’m not sure I consider very valid anyway) and an 8.9 user review. This one looks like it is turning out to be as good as it sounded last year. I really want to have a shot at this one. Some day, Nariko, you shall be mine. And as bad as I am at these kinds of games, she’ll die frequently, I am sure.

What else PS3? Well, there’s Oblivion, with it’s 93 meta-score and 8.0 user score, but I already have that on my PC. Also, I see Ninja Gaiden Sigma is looking good, showing a meta-score of 88 and a user score of 8.5. As bad as I am at the Ninja Gaiden games (they are hard, and I’m too old to be good at twitch games any more), this would be a must-buy if I got a PS3. I’d like to try Stuntman:Ignition, because I’m into that kind of game, too, but a 77 meta-score starts getting into the rent-before-buying zone, so I don’t know if I’d ever buy it. And of course, I’ve always loved the Lemmings games, but a 59? I wouldn’t even try it.

Actually, aside from Lair and Heavenly Sword, the games I’m most interested in for PS3 are from the PlayStation store. The first to come to mind that I want to play is Pixeljunk Racers (video here) – it reminds me of arcade games I used to play (poorly). Others I’m interested in are Go! Puzzle and Blast Factor, and a Lemmings game more like the originals might be worth trying, too. I’ll have to read up a bit more on them and see if they turned out to be good or not.

For all that monstrous text, though, there’s just not much on the PS3 that is appealing. I don’t care about Blu-Ray. I don’t care about backwards compatibility. I just want great games, and I want them to be everything the hardware can do (and I know that they’ll be better later in the console life-cycle than now, but there really isn’t much out there making the PS3 look so next-gen). So I’ll keep an eye out and see if anything else good comes along for the system.

[tags]Sony, PS3, PlayStation3, Heavenly Sword, Lair, Pixeljunk Racer, Gaming[/tags]