By EvilNiGHTS 6 Comments
Not really sure if this is even on other peoples radar, but I may as well post my thoughts on the game thus far. It's worth noting that I hold all three games in this package in pretty high regard, so my opinions may not be the most objective.
Thus far I've played a couple of hours of Sands of Time through this thing (I was tempted to start with Warrior Within just to spite common opinion). The first thing that happens when you insert the disc is that you're taken straight to a mandatory install. The game doesn't tell you how much data it's installing or how long it's going to take (looking it up in the XMB later on it's nearly 4GB). Game installs on PS3 bother me less and less these days ever since I started installing pretty much every 360 game, but this game doesn't make a great case for it.
Once the install is over you're taken to the game selection screen, reminiscent of those old Mega Games collections for the MegaDrive/Genesis. When you've selected one, you're irrevocably in that game. There's no way to get back to this thing without quitting back to the XMB and rerunning the disc. The game then continues as it would if you were playing the original on PS2; the intro movies play in their original sub-hd state (understandable maybe), and then the title screen comes up. For those who don't remember, the title screen shows a section of a palace in 3d for the background, with the menu GUI laid over it. Only the assets for the menu (even the basic text) are the original sub-HD assets with no attempts to up-res them. It's like you're playing it in an emulator almost.
That unfortunately starts setting a trend for the rest of the experience it seems. Everything just seems so lazy. The HUD has the same issue as the title screen, and seen that God of War Collection was the game that started this trend maybe Ubisoft should have taken a few more cues from that release. The character models don't look all that bad because of the stylised look perhaps and the level geometry is fine. However, the graphics stutter way too often and the audio is mixed as badly as it was in the original, with ambient tracks kicking in abruptly and the narration trying to force itself over loud music and effects.
I can't comment on the stereoscopic 3D but I'm wondering if that's really the major enhancement here. Obviously I haven't sampled the whole package yet, but I'm beginning to think that if you hold these games in the same regard as I do then this collection may not be the best way to replay them. Maybe you would be better off getting the games from Steam (a cheaper option at least), or digging out your original Xbox or PS2. Given that all three games supported progressive scan on both consoles I don't think you'd really be losing anything that this collection pretends to offer.