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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published by: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developed by: Bluepoint Games
Genre: Shooter
Players: 1 (up to 4 with add-on pack)
Rated: E (Everyone)
MSRP: $9.99
Release Date: November 16, 2006
Written By: Matthew Prunty

Since its introduction back in November of 2006, the Playstation Store has given gamers a constant flow of titles, both old and new, to entice gamers to invest in their free online setup. While there are more than 20 games that are downloadable today, one that stands out would be Blast Factor. The game blends both the classic arcade gameplay mechanics with updated visuals and audio sounds. While this title is the first of many downloadable titles for the Playstation Store, it certainly is one of the best experiences around.

When you have downloaded and installed Blast Factor to the hard drive, you are ready to begin your epic journey. Within the regular download, you only have access to the single-player adventure, which takes you through seven different, yet similar specimen. As you can see, Blast Factor is a straight up single screen shooter that mixes old and new gameplay mechanics. Each specimen has two bosses, one of which is considered a sub-boss. While the basic setup for this title is fun, it lacks variety and depth, thus making the title short and sweet. Within the battles, there are several power-up weapons that you will come across. These range from spread-shot, to homing missiles. These power-ups enhance the battles and at times save your butt from certain destruction, but often come around a little too late.

Thereís also a sweet multi-player mode which is made available via download. For the small price point of $2.99, you are given to more difficulty levels and the ability to go head-to-head (Grudge Match) or co-op. AT and 2AT are equivalent to hard and harder difficulties. The only difference between these modes and the regular mode is that the action is more tense and at a faster pace. In compensation, the point values for clearing bonuses and various levels are increased. Within the multi-player part of the download, you are able to co-op with a second player and go through the single-player mode. Having that extra player does increase the fun-factor, while at the same time increases the difficulty. You are forced to share the same amount of lives, so you have to destroy the enemy while looking out for one another. Within the Grudge-Match option, you can take ride in destroying your fellow friend in a high paced battle to the death.

The control scheme for Blast Factor is very involved, yet simple. To control the movement of your ship, you will simply move around the left analog-stick. The right analog-stick is used to control what direct your ship will shoot in. To initiate the slow motion feature, you would press either L2 or R2, which is a useful feature. The best part of the controls for me had to be the tilt function via the sixaxis controller. By tilting the controller to the left or the right, you are able to move all the enemies to one side of the cell, which can all you to focus your attack within one direction, or just to have a little fun with the computer. The best example for using this technique is when you are battling the Big Tip, which requires you to tilt the controller in order to reveal their weakness for exploit.

On a visual standpoint, Blast Factor is a great blend of 2D and 3D graphics. You are treated to several distinct visual enhancements when you utilize some of the special abilities like slow motion, which can get you out of tight situations. Sadly, Bluepoint Games didnít go far enough within the developmental phase to create a unique visual experience everytime you enter a new section of a particular specimen. The frame-rate for the most part is very solid, but there are a few instances when the screen is filled with virus that the frame-rate may take a small dip.

The games value is by far the most interesting aspect to the title. While the game may not be an entirely new concept, its well worth is price mark. The single player download sets gamers back roughly $9.99, with the multi-player pack costing about $2.99. So when you look at it, this game in all cost about $13 dollars, which is a lot cheaper that the average shooter on the any other console. One thing for sure, if you are a PS3 owner looking for a title to hold you over until the next great title (Ninja Gaiden, Heavenly Sword, etc.), this is certainly your title.


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