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radiopools avatar 5:40 PM on 09.11.2011  (server time)
First Impressions: PS3 Infamous 2 Bundle

Fair warning: this is going to read more like a story than a first impression. If you want to skip the story and just get my impressions on the Infamous 2 bundle, hit control + f and search for ďhere are my first impressions.Ē This is going to be a fairly long post, so go grab a snack and go potty now because I am not stopping this car again!

I havenít written anything in a while, mostly because I havenít had anything to really write about. It has been a pretty slow gaming period for me; mostly been playing WWE All-stars on 360 and some Team Fortress 2 here and there. That isnít important though.

What is important is that the Disgaea series is NOT on Xbox 360.

One of my favorite games of all time is Final Fantasy Tactics on PSX. I loved the story, art, and most importantly the style of gameplay. It was the first strategy rpg I had ever played, and it really appealed to me.

One day a few years ago, I was browsing the Playstation 2 games at a local game store, and stumbled upon Disgaea. I saw on the back that it was sprite-based combat on square panels. This looked familiar, and awesome. I immediately bought both Disgaea 1 and 2. This was when I was still in college, so I had limited play time. Not really, but thatís the excuse Iím using for taking so long to beat the first Disgaea. I started the second one, and enjoyed it, but havenít gotten around to beating it becauseÖ I donít know really. I have terrible game A.D.D. and even though J-RPGs are my favorite genre, I rarely beat them. Itís not really my prerogative to beat games; I just play them to have fun. But thatís a different article altogether.

Anyway, when I saw Disgaea 3 was PS3 only, I basically begged my roommate who had a PS3 to get it. He never did, which is strange because we have similar tastes in games. A couple of months ago, I saw the Japanese trailers for Disgaea 4. Man, I wanted it so bad it hurt. It looked even better than 3: the sharper sprites, the crazy animations and the intriguing characters. PS3ís were still expensive, and I hadnít had a solid source of income for several months after school. I was stuck with just looking at pictures and re-watching the Japanese trailers over and over again.

About three weeks ago, I got called in for a second interview for this job about 15 minutes away from where I live. A few days later, I get a call back saying they wanted to move forward with the hiring process: I finally got a job! Itís not anything interesting whatsoever or I would share. Basically, I finally have something worthwhile to put on a resume. Itís also a fairly nice source of income. Itís definitely entry-level and Iím making a lot less than I could had I pursued something more useful than a Sociology degree in college, but itís significantly more than the $0.00/hr I was making.

Yesterday I found out that I had gotten my first paycheck. I had two options. I could either:
A) Leave that money in my bank account and save it like a responsible adult.
B) Celebrate my first ďrealĒ job by buying a PS3.

I think itís obvious which choice was the wisest. I had about $300 budgeted for this purchase, so that meant either a 160 GB console & Disgaea 4, or the infamous 2 bundle for a bigger HDD and I could pick up Disgaea 4 next pay day. I made a topic on facebook and asked friends what they thought. We decided the 160 GB & D4 was the best option, but a games-industry friend IMíed me after seeing my conference with friends on facebook and told me he had an extra copy of D4 he wouldnít mind sending me. Needless to say, that made my day. (Thank you Jon Carnage! Check out their show at ) I went to the store and picked up the infamous 2 bundle.

Here are my first impressions.

I got the box home and was ready to open it up. The package is pretty cool; it looks a lot different from the standard PS3 slim boxes because of the infamous 2 packaging. I opened the top of the boxÖ and realized that the infamous 2 packaging was just a paper sleeve over a regular old PS3 slim box. Thatís boring.

How lame...

Xbox 360 bundles usually have a system + controller paint scheme to match the game that itís being bundled with, but this PS3 bundle was just a regular black system and black controller. The system color is fine; I think an infamous 2 branded system would be a little far. It would have been cool to at least have a unique electric blue Dual shock 3 though. For packaging, Iíd give it a 6/10 for no bundle exclusive uniqueness.

Anyway, got the PS3 box open and looked at the contents. Little plastic package with quick start guide and manual: pretty standard. Sealed copy of infamous 2 in retail packaging: very nice. Definitely glad they didnít just throw the game in a little sleeve. Black controller: check. A power cable: ok. Controller cable: good to have for sure. AV cable: this looks like what I use to hook up my PS2. I guess thatís for people with older TVís with no HDMI ports.

The box says PS3, but these cables say otherwise...

Finally: the system itself.

Wait, what? Thatís it? Where is the damn HDMI cable!? This is a current gen console, boasting high graphical quality, blu-ray support and HD resolutionsÖ but for some reason you couldnít include the ONE frickiní component REQUIRED to actually take advantage of those features? Thatís like buying a cheeseburger, then being told you have to buy the cheese elsewhere. Honestly, you can find HDMI cables online for basically the same price as a slice of cheese, so is it REALLY going to set you back that much to include an AV cable that isnít damn near-archaic!?

Seriously, HDMI for LESS than a piece of cheese!

I know itís a minor point to go off on, but it really makes no sense when you consider that an HDMI cable is REQUIRED to take advantage of all of the features! Luckily, I already had one for my Xbox 360, and since I canít really use both at once I just used that one. Bottom line: theyíre cheap Playstation, just add them in. For physical content (rating of infamous 2 game not a factor) Iíll give it a 7/10. You get everything you need to ďtechnicallyĒ hook it up, but the lack of an HDMI cable is just ridiculous.

After I got it all hooked up, I turned it on and started the setup. Easy stuff, they did this part really well. Even though I could have done all of the networking stuff manually, just clicking the ďeasy setupĒ option for network settings had me connected in seconds. I also really like the on-screen keyboard over 360ís. It seems way more responsive and the option to plug in a USB keyboard is such a welcome option. The UI is very quick and although itís laid out differently than the 360ís UI, itís actually easier to find things because theyíre all laid out right there. You donít have to go to like ďMy PlaystationĒ then choose ďSystem settings,Ē then choose whatever you want to change. Itís all just right there on the main screen. Setup/Ease of use gets a 9/10, because nothing is perfect.

One of the first things I did was check out the PSN store. This was an afterthought for me initially, but now that Iíve taken a look in there, Iím glad I got the bigger HDD. They have some pure gold when it comes to PSOne titles, and I can see myself loading up on them in the near future. The ability to buy PSP games and transfer them is excellent, since I have a PSP that never gets used, this could breathe some new life into it for me. While I donít anticipate buying full Playstation 3 titles from PSN, having such a large HDD would allow me to do so if I wanted. My rating for PSN content: 9/10. There could definitely be MORE PSOne game choices, but I feel like more are being added regularly.

I havenít had time to play anything online yet really, so I canít comment on how the online service is. However the bundle did include a 60-day trial of PS+, so Iím going to hang onto that until there is something in the store I wouldnít mind getting for free or at a PS+ discount.

Overall Iím very satisfied with my purchase. If I didnít have an Xbox 360 or Playstation 3 at this point in time, and I was going to buy one of them today: PS3 is the definite winner. It basically shares the 360ís library anyway, exclusives aside, and it doubles as a blu-ray player.

The infamous 2 Playstation 3 bundle is $299, and is definitely worth the price if you are looking to hop on the PS3 train today. Hope you werenít too bored, and that you found my first impressions somewhat useful. I wasnít trying to give an in-depth review, just my initial thoughts after owning it for 24 hours.

Thanks for reading!

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