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Jeremy Jastrzab
18 Dec, 2007

Christmas Buyer's Guide - Multiplatform

360 Feature | All the rest.
Back in the day, if you owned all the consoles, you were either the coolest kid on the block or a spoilt little so-and-so who nobody really liked. Now, with a lot of gamers grown up, owning more than one console is not such a far-fetched thing. Having a girlfriend on the other hand... well, we won't go there. Anyway, you really are spoilt for choice if you own more than one console. Here are a bunch of games that were released on multiple consoles, that are worth a look in. As for which version to get? Well, we'll leave that up to your preferences.

Christmas Buyers Guides
PLAYSTATION 2 | NINTENDO DS | PLAYSTATION PORTABLE | XBOX 360 | PLAYSTATION 3 | NINTENDO WII

Assassin's Creed

Release Date: Out Now
Players: 1
Platforms: Xbox 360 | PS3
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher: Ubisoft


One of the most hyped and eventually contentious releases of the year ended up receiving a lot of flak. But in short, Assassin's Creed does so many things to justify the existence of the HD consoles, that it is in the very least, worth a look.

Our review said: Assassin’s Creed is one of those games that will immediately impress anyone, even your non-gaming friends. No other game delivers the same thrills, from pulling off the perfect hit to reaching the top of the cathedral in Acre to dodging the chase with a ‘leap of faith’. As long as you don’t rush things, Assassin’s Creed is one of the best experiences of the year, and it’s one of the few games to genuinely fulfil the promise of providing a new experience, in a year that has seen a crowd of shooters and mascot revivals. It will be fascinating to see if Ubisoft will eventually manage to make the game that they intended. [FULL REVIEW: 9.0]


Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

Release Date: Out Now
Players: 1-16
Platforms: Xbox 360 | PS3 | PC | DS
Developer: Infinity Ward
Publisher: Activision


By now, most of us are fairly sick of WWII shooters. So it was a breath of (somewhat) fresh air that Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare took us out of the 1940's and into the 1990's instead. The move pays off as Call of Duty 4 provides an extremely polished and intense (but short) single player as well as a deep and rewarding multiplayer. It was also refreshing to see that even though you 'win', things aren't necessarily better when you come out the other end.

Our review said: Infinity Ward's latest first-person shooter is brilliantly executed, and every major element of the game has been accomplished expertly and effectively. Shifting the series to the modern day and penning an effective script has given the game an extremely solid conceptual foundation. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is the best in the series to date, and one of the finest first-person shooters currently on the market – a definite buy this Christmas. [FULL REVIEW: 9.0]


Colin McRae: Dirt

Release Date: Out Now
Players: 1-2
Platforms: Xbox 360 | PS3 | PC
Developer: Codemasters
Publisher: Codemasters


The late and great Colin McRae leaves a lasting legacy in his racing games named after him. The latest (and presumably last) was a stunning revival of the popular series. It managed to pull players in who were after a deep single player, but also was more approachable, allowing for players who hadn't previously been able to get their heads around the simulation racing to have a go as well.

Our review said: DiRT isn't just a HD overhaul of Colin McRae Rally 2005. The game is fundamentally different from its predecessors and is a lot more accessible this time around. With a great single player campaign, incredible visuals and a brilliant damage system DiRT is a game that will appeal to those who don't even normally play rally titles, it is a shame about the multiplayer but everything else about the game feels so polished we're able to forgive Codemasters for the oversight. [FULL REVIEW: 8.0]


Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighters 2

Release Date: Out Now
Players: 1-16
Platforms: Xbox 360 | PS3 | PC
Developer: Ubisoft
Publisher: Ubisoft


The original Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter took the Xbox 360 by storm during the launch in March last year, and it's no surprise that the sequel improves the game on just about every level. Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighters 2 benefits from the experience gained from the first title, with the core elements working well and a lot of the necessary areas improved upon. There may be heaps of shooters on the Xbox 360, but GRAW 2 performs quite well, while there aren't that many on the PS3...

Our review said: For all intents and purposes, this really is just an extension on the original GRAW format, with a select few aesthetic and functional differences. On some occasions the interface seems to have taken a step back, and become too cumbersome for its own good – but for the most part it’s a learning experience, very much like the first GRAW. It would be easy to condemn a new entry to an acclaimed series for the lack of innovation, but the core shooting action remains so incredibly strong, it’s still an easy recommendation. We sincerely hope that in future Ubisoft doesn’t take the easy road and churn the brilliance of GRAW fundamentals into a bunch of carbon copy titles. For now, though, this is premium gaming and a must-play for absolutely any Xbox 360 owner. [FULL REVIEW: 8.5]


Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock

Release Date: Out Now
Players: 1-2
Platforms: Xbox 360 | PS3 | Wii | | PS2 | PC
Developer: Neversoft
Publisher: Activision


With the original creators off to work on Rock Band, Activision commissioned their veteran Neversoft studio to handle Guitar Hero III. The result is the most impressive tracklist in a Guitar Hero game, as well as a formidable challenge to anyone who considers themselves to be a legend of rock. And all current consoles now have access to wireless guitars. Rock on!

Our review said: Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock is a great addition to the franchise and well worth adding to your collection. The Wii version doesn't support downloadable content right now, but with a huge track list, a solid mix of songs, and the trusty Guitar Hero formula basically untouched, Legends of Rock is well recommended. Even with the change of developer, Guitar Hero is still a great franchise and one that deserves to be played by all. [FULL REVIEW: 8.5]


Half Life 2: The Orange Box

Release Date: Out Now
Players: 1
Platforms: Xbox 360 | PS3 | PC
Developer: Valve
Publisher: EA Games


This would have to be one of the deals of the century. In the one package, you have not one, not two but five awesome titles. You've got the full Half Life 2 saga, including the original, Episode 1 and Episode 2. On top of that, you've got the wonderfully original Portal, which is sure to test how sharp your problem solving skills, as well as the multiplayer champion, Team Fortress 2. You are going to be seriously hard pressed to find a package with more value than this one.

[FULL REVIEW: Coming Soon]


NBA 2K8

Release Date: Out Now
Players: 1-8
Platforms: Xbox 360 | PS3
Developer: Visual Concepts
Publisher: 2K Sports


While EA's NBA Live seems to be falling apart at the seams from year to year, players are forced to look elsewhere for their NBA fix. Thankfully, 2K Sports are up to the task, as their NBA 2K series has consistently been churning out top quality basketball games. NBA 2K8 is no different, as the series continues to subtly improve with each version.

Our review said: It’s hard to pick out the faults of a game like NBA 2K8. Last year’s game was solid, but this year they’ve pulled most of the kinks out, replaced the lesser elements of the game and tightened up many areas of the on court play. NBA 2K8 looks great and plays better, and outside of tweaking the trick and dodge moves and making the AI more devious, we can’t really think of more that Visual Concepts can improve upon. NBA 2K8 is a must buy for all basketball fans, and anyone after a solid sports game. [FULL REVIEW: 8.5]


NHL 2K8

Release Date: Out Now
Players: 1-8
Platforms: Xbox 360 | PS3
Developer: 2K Sports
Publisher: 2K Sports


You head down to any local pub with a satellite, and you're likely to find that there will at least be a couple of people huddled around to watch the NHL, when it's on. NHL 2K8 continues another fine legacy of top Ice Hockey games with another top entry. Again, while it may not revolutionise the game, the continual improvements make for an even better game then last year.

Our review said: NHL 2K8 isn’t that different from last year’s game, but Kush did focus its attention where it matters most – the gameplay. The new controls allow for a lot more control and creativity with the puck than NHL 2K7, which is a good thing because the goalies are a lot tougher to score on this year. They also push for offensive realism, rather than the usual hockey game nonsense of never-ending one-timers. However, the defensive controls are not in the same league, with poke-checking in need of refinement, and hip checking still being far more effective than it should be. The overhaul of Franchise mode is greatly appreciated, and will have hockey fans playing through countless seasons in the hope of building a dynasty. NHL 2K8 isn’t perfect, and it probably won’t convert any fans of EA’s series, but it is a damn good game of hockey, and a big step up from last year. [FULL REVIEW: 8.0]


Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords

Release Date: Out Now
Players: 1-2
Platforms: DS | PSP
Developer: 1st Playable Prod.
Publisher: D3


It's always dangerous to start crossing genres, but when it comes off, it comes off really well. An example of this comes in the form of Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords. By combining elements for brick-laying puzzle games and RPGs, Puzzle Quest comes off as one of the most compelling joint-ventures of the year. Not to mention, Aussie developers had a big hand in making this game.

Our review said: While it doesn’t sport the cleanest of visuals or best overall presentation, Puzzle Quest is still remarkably enjoyable and, in this particular reviewer’s eyes, it’s probably the most addictive puzzle game since Tetris. The amount of freedom that is handed to the gamer is often overwhelming at times, yet this design choice helps maintain the freshness of the core gameplay. Puzzle Quest has taken all the best parts of an RPG, such as story, customization and freedom, and has mixed it with an extremely challenging and enjoyable puzzle game – it’s the perfect combination! [FULL REVIEW: 8.5]

  
Screens from DS version

Screens from DS version
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Ricky Ponting International Cricket 2007

Release Date: Out Now
Players: 1-2
Platforms: Xbox 360 | PS2 | PC
Developer: Codemasters
Publisher: Atari


While it may lack the shine and polish of sports titles made by the big companies, Ricky Ponting International Cricket 2007 is a formidable effort. There aren't as many options as the last title, but on the field, it's the best cricket game that money can buy, with a full 360 degrees for the range of strokes that you can play. And if you get the Xbox 360 version, you'll be able to take on your friends over Xbox Live.

Our review said: Ricky Ponting International Cricket 2007 makes the necessary tweaks to elevate it to being better than its predecessor, even if a couple of the tweaks aren’t welcome. There's room for improvement, but as it stands, this team is well in place to deliver in future games, and it’s a lot of fun as it is. It does adopt an arcadey approach, but it comes off quite well for a second time. While players may not appreciate the ease of the lower-level AI opponents and the lack of polish compared to other sports titles, you have to remember that this game would have received only a tiny fraction of the budget enjoyed by a game such as Madden or FIFA. Taking this into consideration, it's done very well. However, in general, we’re a touch disappointed about the lack of gameplay modes, but if you’ve got Live, the game's value increases quite a lot, especially once the AI opponents become too stale to bother with. We really hope that the game continues with a cycle of improvement, so hopefully the next game will be even better. If you buy one cricket game, Ricky Ponting International Cricket 2007 is the one to get. [FULL REVIEW: 7.5]


Sega Rally

Release Date: Out Now
Players: 1-6
Platforms: Xbox 360 | PS3 | PSP
Developer: Sega
Publisher: Sega


Another racing franchise revival in 2007 came from the Sega Rally series. Sega Rally not only revives the incredible sense of speed and the thrill that comes from drifting around corners, but it manages to look absolutely superb as well. You're able to play online as well now, so both new and old fans alike should be satisfied.

Our review said: Sega Rally is a remarkably enjoyable game and a title that is easy to recommend to rally fans or fans of arcade games in general. The game just feels so incredibly polished and even though the single player championship mode is a little bit bare you will keep returning to the game just for a quick race, the online play could be a drawcard for several people as well. Fans of the franchise rejoice, Sega Rally is better than ever before. [FULL REVIEW: 8.0]


Skate

Release Date: Out Now
Players: 1-6
Platforms: Xbox 360 | PS3
Developer: EA Black Box
Publisher: EA Games


The Tony Hawk games have dominated the videogame skating scene for almost a third generation running, with very little competition. Whereas Tony Hawk is rather arcadey, EA's Skate takes a more simulation approach to extreme skating. For the most part, it comes off superbly and has gained a lot of praise this year. You really have to work and earn your tricks this time round. Watch out Tony, you've got some company.

Our review said: For a first title Skate is remarkably polished. Sure, the career mode is a little basic and sometimes pulling off the correct trick can be a bit of a problem but overall it's a respectable début for what looks like the beginning of a big franchise for EA. Those who have been turned off skateboarding games because of Tony Hawk’s yearly updates have a very good reason to return. Skate is a brilliant game and highly recommended to those who prefer the idea of pulling off kickflips realistically, rather than doing a 1080 spin in the air off the top of a high building. [FULL REVIEW: 8.5]


Stranglehold

Release Date: Out Now
Players: 1-4
Platforms: Xbox 360 | PS3 | PC
Developer: Midway
Publisher: Midway


At the time of its release, Hardboiled was one of the hardest action movies out there. Fifteen years down the track, and iconic director John Woo, action specialist Chow Yun-Fat and whole lotta action combine to give us the psuedo follow-up, Stranglehold. Yun-Fat reprises the role of Inspector Tequilla, as he tears apart Hong Kong and Chicago to find his family. And when we mean tear apart, we really mean. For what it doesn't do new, it does exceedingly well and Stranglehold is one of the most bombastic titles of the year.

Our review said: While there are a lot of aspects to the game that may have been done before in other shooters, Stranglehold is arcade bliss. The game is highly polished, challenging and above all, a heck of a lot of fun. All the aspects of the game have come together superbly (camera aside), and coupled in with the unique cinematic direction from John Woo, you’ve got a rather enjoyable and memorable game. Unfortunately, it’s still a short experience and Australians miss out on the Hardboiled Blu-ray bonus. While it’s difficult to outright recommend a purchase given the retail price, we’d definitely call Stranglehold a must rent. [FULL REVIEW: 8.0]


The Darkness

Release Date: Out Now
Players: 1-8
Platforms: Xbox 360 | PS3
Developer: Starbreeze
Publisher: 2K Games


We've made not secret of the fact that shooters are a dime-a-dozen, particularly on the Xbox 360. So when another one comes along, it needs to do something pretty sweet for it to be noticed. The Darkness manages to do so with it's unique source material, a great story and some awesome abilities. It's a game that's about appreciating the world that you're set in, not just about shooting everything that moves.

Our review said: On the whole, The Darkness is a very impressive package. It is a game that is greater than the sum of its parts as its enjoyment comes from its atmosphere, its storytelling and its set pieces rather than any engaging combat or clever puzzle solving. It’s not without its faults and its distinctive style will leave someone looking for an ‘all guns blazing’ FPS disappointed. But play it in the way it’s intended to be played, soak up the atmosphere of this wonderfully crafted game world and experience all the extras found within in it and you’ll find one of the most absorbing games in a long time. [FULL REVIEW: 8.5]


Virtua Fighter 5

Release Date: Out Now
Players: 1-2
Platforms: Xbox 360 | PS3
Developer: Sega
Publisher: Sega


When it comes to pure fighting games, it's hard to top the Virtua Fighter series. Virtua Fighter 5 continues the trend of high quality and deep fighters that are easy to learn but a demon the master. There is little doubt, that in the hands of those who know what they're doing, Virtua Fighter 5 is a compelling multiplayer game as well. Owners of the Xbox 360 version are treated to online multiplayer over Xbox Live.

Our review said: Despite AI-related complaints and the lack of an online mode, it’s with great ease that Virtua Fighter 5 can be declared the greatest 3D fighting game ever created. Its depth is unparalleled, and the diversity of its fighting styles overwhelming (in a good way). Graphically, it's stunning, while the vast amount of unlockables in Quest mode provide players with the motivation to invest hours and hours of play. But as good as the single-player game is, Virtua Fighter 5 shines brightest against human opposition, and it is here where the game really earns its stripes. If you’re playing alone, then this isn’t an essential purchase, but if you’ve got a friend to do battle with, then it's vital you pick up Virtua Fighter 5 with your shiny new PS3. [FULL REVIEW: 9.0 (PS3)]


Virtua Tennis 3

Release Date: Out Now
Players: 1-2
Platforms: Xbox 360 | PS3
Developer: Sega
Publisher: Sega


Tennis is one of the most popular sports in the world, but it hasn't had that much good video gaming support. Thankfully, the Virtua Tennis series has been there to cater for tennis fans. Just like it's predecessors and stablemate, Virtua Fighter 5, Virtua Tennis 3 provides some excellent single player options as well as great multiplayer fun. Owners of the Xbox 360 version are treated to online multiplayer over Xbox Live as well.

Our review said: It’s not quite the leap we experienced between the first and second games, but Virtua Tennis 3 certainly continues to provide the high quality gameplay we expect from the series. Online play is probably going to be the deal breaker for anyone who owns both a PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, but rumble and achievement points are always helpful. There are still a few small things that Sega could have implemented to improve the experience, but you really can’t go wrong with Virtua Tennis 3 – there’s lengthy single player game and it’s an absolute blast with friends. [FULL REVIEW (Xbox 360): 8.0]


WWE Smackdown Vs. RAW 2008

Release Date: Out Now
Players: 1-16
Platforms: Xbox 360 | PS3 | Wii | DS | PSP
Developer: THQ
Publisher: THQ


Given the success of the series, it looks like THQ have committed their top wrestling title to yearly editions. While you're not watching the wrestling, there's nothing quite like getting the boys (and girls, if they like that sort of thing) together and beating snot out of each other with muscular sweaty men. Well, if that's what you want to do, then WWE Smackdown Vs. RAW 2008 will provide it in droves. It is a bit better then last year, but we're still looking for the true next-gen leap.

Our review said: We opened this review with a note about how Smackdown vs. Raw 2008 shows Yukes’ commitment to improving the game after last year’s debacle – and they’ve done a reasonably good job of doing so. The problem is that they have failed to address issues in the game that pre-date last year’s less than stellar iteration. There is still a heap of legacy animation in the game, the AI is wretched, the career and GM modes are a bit stale, and the game just doesn’t look like it is taking advantage of the power of the new generation systems. Despite having a number of issues, Smackdown vs. Raw 2008 is still an incredibly fun game to play, particularly with friends. There’s nothing we could say that would stop WWE fans from grabbing this one, but at least this year, they do so with our blessing. [FULL REVIEW: 7.0]


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7 Comments
6 years ago
Great list, there are alot of good Multiplatform games out at the moment. Out of those I feel most interested in getting Virtua Fighter 5 and Assassins Creed for 360, I told my parents how much I would like to get both of them so hopefully they take the drift and get at least one of them for Christmas for me icon_razz.gif

The only sucky thing about Orange Box is it leaves you with this bad urge to play Half Life 2: Episode 3. I hope it comes out soon..
6 years ago
Excellent choice in Puzzle Quest. I spent a lot of time playing that on NDS. A LOT OF TIME. icon_smile.gif
6 years ago
I quite enjoy a quick game of Ricky Ponting 07. Any long standing games haven't been attempted.
6 years ago
I dunno about Sega Rally Revo besides a rental, but otherwise a great list.
6 years ago
so GRAW2 is actually the same game across all platforms?

i guess it's easier than making 4 different versions for each platform again, like GRAW1.
6 years ago
Different on PC and PSP I believe.
6 years ago
No PC love for Xmas? icon_razz.gif
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