Gran Turismo: The Real Driving Simulator 3: A-spec (2001, PS2 exclusive) – 9/10 racing game review

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Cast / crew
Game Designer: Kazunori Yamauchi

Gran Turismo Gran Turismo: The Real Driving Simulator 3: A-spec (2001)

1 or 2 players offline.

Starting with a small number of credits, purchase cars and upgrades till you’ve won every race and championship available.

9/10

While Gran Turismo 2: A-Spec may have been a more accurate, if mean, title, this game offers reference-quality graphics (not matched by any other PlayStation 2 game for about five years), an astonishing number of challenges and mildly improved (though still dull) A.I. but it takes significantly longer to get its addictive hooks into you. For me, the main reason for this is that there is no longer a racing modification available for ordinary cars and so you have little motivation to keep upgrading your car because it will just look the same even if it goes like stink.

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (2004, Game, PS2 on PS3) – 7/10

Director: Hideo Kojima
David Hayter: Jack “Naked Snake”

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (2004)

Back during the Cold War, FOX operative, codenamed Naked Snake, to rescue a weapons designer but the experimental weapon he is responsible for, a mobile nuclear launch tank, is too valuable for the opposition to lose him without a fight. Or several fights.

7/10

There’s great gaming in here and wonderful cut-scenes (though the interrogation is overly violent) and brilliantly bonkers characters. There are superlative animation and graphics and superb sound and voice work. But it’s nearly all for nothing: the game is broken due to the combination of the controls and camera. While everything appears to be the same as Metal Gear Solid 2, without the spatial awareness supplied by the radar, the camera feels too close and the enemies too prescient. Therefore, you’re always getting shot at by enemies off-screen you had no way of knowing were there. This creates marvelous tension but in boss battles, especially, the game is rendered near-impossible. After struggling through the first two, I got stuck at The Fear whose pièce de résistance is shooting through trees when the game feels like it. It doesn’t help that he’s invisible and is always moving faster than you can aim. I restarted on the easiest difficulty level and replayed to completion (a very good sign), but the crushing disappointment of the first attempt and the camera and control issues remain.

This game contains mild bad language and graphic knife violence, graphic gun violence, extreme melee violence, gory and unpleasant scenes, inferred extreme melee violence and ‘fan service,’ sensuality.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.

PlayStation 3 / Xbox 360 backwards compatibility update

My complete BC list.

 

 

Key

  • new The game is new to this list because I have purchased or borrowed it or it has been added to the Xbox 360 BC list.
  • updated The game was already on my list but its status has changed.

 

 

 

Backwards Compatibility Lists

Xbox 360 logo

Xbox 360

 

Plays on Xbox 360 with some minor issues

Title Widescreen Tested
new Terminator: Dawn of Date
Game doesn’t run in widescreen and has the image squished into a 4:3 area in the middle of the display. Opening movie has occasional sound glitches. Frame-rate occasionally stutters. Heat-haze effects are incorrectly rendered on top of everything else including the HUD. I also wonder what the ugliest lead character in video-game history is; I vote for Kyle Reese.
  August 2008

 

 

 

 

PlayStation 3 logo

PlayStation 3 (PS3)

Note: this is a list of games tested by me and is not entirely in tune with the official list which tends to be more cautious and somewhat behind the latest software version.

No known issues

Title Product Code Widescreen System
new Burnout Dominator SLES 54681 widescreen 2.42
new Ford vs Chevy SLES 53698 widescreen 2.42
new GunGrave: Over Dose SLES 52941   2.42
new Haven: Call of the King SLES 51209   2.42
new James Bond in… Agent Under Fire SLES 50539   2.42
new World Super Police SLES 54080   2.42

 

Should play on Playstation 3 with minor issues

Title Product Code Widescreen System
new Ford Street Racing
Dolby ProLogic II audio option causes crackling in-game
SLES 53639 widescreen 2.42
new GunGrave
Audio stuttering during pre-Start movie (no obvious damage to disc) but not during in-game movies. Slowdown in game but everything remains playable and looks great.
SLES 51236   2.42

Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb (2003, Third-Person Action, Xbox on 360) – 6/10 game review

Project Director The Collective: VP Production: Douglas Hare
Project Director The Collective: Creative Director, VP: Richard Hare
Project Director The Collective: VP Development: Gary Priest
David Esch: Indiana Jones
Vivian Wu: Mei Ying
Keone Young: Marshall Kai, Ch’in Shi-Huang-Li
Producer LucasArts Entertainment Company: Jim Tso

Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb (2003)

Indiana Jones is hired by the Chinese government to recover the fragments of a mystic mirror.

6/10

Generally speaking, this is a fairly good and, thanks to bite-size gameplay areas, surprisingly addictive game with controls and a camera that keeps sucking the fun out of the experience. Also Indiana Jones, being a man’s man, won’t be told what to do by anyone, least of all a fat, middle-aged games player. Therefore, Indy frequently has to be repeatedly asked to grab ledges, go up ladders, not fall to his doom, catch onto ropes, stop throwing like a girl, climb out of the water and go through doorways. Every time the game starts to gel or you have to go and pick your hat up after a fight (which is brilliant), it instantly starts to deliver reasons to hate it and turn it off. Still, it’s better than Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls.

This game contains extreme melee violence, extreme but not graphic gun violence and mild sensuality.

PlayStation 3 Firmware 2.42 Backwards Compatibility update

My complete BC list.

I’m not sure whether it’s just me but a retest of most of my PlayStation 2 games with issues has yielded a couple of improvements.

 

Key

  • new The game is new to this list because I have purchased or borrowed it or it has been added to the Xbox 360 BC list.
  • updated The game was already on my list but its status has changed.

 

Backwards Compatibility Lists 

 

PlayStation 3 logo

PlayStation 3 (PS3)

Note: this is a list of games tested by me and is not entirely in tune with the official list which tends to be more cautious and somewhat behind the latest software version.

No known issues

Title Product Code Widescreen System
updated Sled Storm SLES 50683 widescreen 2.42
updated The Mark of Kri SCES 51164   2.42

Should play on PlayStation 3 with minor issues

Title Product Code Widescreen System
updated Turok: Evolution
Minor frame-rate issues.
SLES 50479   2.42

 

Should play on Playstation 3 with noticeable issues

Title Product Code Widescreen System
updated Gumball 3000
Selecting a car is a somewhat hit or miss affair and causes regular crashes. However, I have managed to get all the way into the playable part of the game on several occasions with different classes of vehicle in both Single Race and Gumball 3000. Once playing, there doesn’t seem to be any issues.
SLES 50984   2.42