PS3 games for the uncoordinated gamer?
June 24, 2011 9:11 AM   Subscribe

PS3 games for the uncoordinated gamer? After years of practice, I can play God of War 3 on Easy mode, but other games are leaving me stalled and frustrated.

I am pretty damned uncoordinated and lack good reflexes; I don't know why. Most of the time this doesn't bother me; I don't participate in sports, and people who know me know not to throw things at me. However, I really love playing on my housemate's Playstation. I particularly like games with really amazing detailed worlds and cool architecture. I've got better at the actual gameplay after lots of practice, but I'm coming to the realisation that there are many games I will never be able to play without help. I do quite well with button-mashers; I managed about OK with God of War 3 on its infamously button-mashing Easy Mode, although wherever there was a jump I generally had to retry about 10-20 times before I got it. (You read that correctly. I suck.) I've been having a lot of fun with GTA4, but at approximately15 missions in I just stopped progressing altogether, and I've had to get friends to play the missions for me ever since. I'm starting to not enjoy playing Little Big Planet on co-op because I fall and die all the time. :(

I'd really like to find some fun games I can play on my own. I was looking at Alice: Madness Returns, which looks really awesome, has an easy mode, and appears to use sword-type-weapons rather than gun-type-weapons (easier, for some reason); but then I saw that it had a lot of jumping and my heart sank. Are there well-written, stylish, interesting PS3 games you don't have to have particularly good coordination or reflexes to play?
posted by Acheman to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (28 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
Portal and Portal 2. Red Dead Redemption is pretty easy, as any gunfighting involves locking on first. I am just like you and had no problem with it. Plus it's a sensational, brilliant, stunning game, best I've played ever really.

L.A. Noire -- quite atmospheric, and even though it has action sequences, if you fail at them three times in a row, it lets you skip them. Plus it's a huge world.

Bioshock has combat and stuff, but I am just like you and had no real problem advancing in easy mode. That one is stunning too.
posted by teedee2000 at 9:27 AM on June 24, 2011

Oblivion! Has an easy mode, astonishingly big world, and you can compensate for poor coordination by getting hugely skilled in alchemy and marksmanship and simply one-shot killing everything before it has a chance to attack you.

Plus you'll be all prepared for when the next game, Skyrim, comes out in November.

Be warned: this is a MASSIVE open-world RPG and it is easily possible that you will spend 300+ hours playing it.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:28 AM on June 24, 2011 [2 favorites]

Oh man, I feel ya. I have the saaaame problem. Strategy and puzzle games ftw. Games that work for me and I thought looked very pretty:

Brutal Legend
Silent Hill: Homecoming
Final Fantasy XIII
L.A. Noire

I've also found when I move beyond the hand-held controller I do way better. Of course, these are more $$$ but I like them. Sports Champions (requires PS Move) and EA Sports Active 2 aren't really video games in the tradition sense, but you can earn trophies n stuff, so that makes them games, right? And all you have to do is stomp around your living room.
posted by geekchic at 9:30 AM on June 24, 2011

Beyond Good & Evil HD is coming out on PSN in a week or so. It's got some jumping, but the majority of the "run and jump" stuff is pretty rail-roady, and the combat is usually just "hit one button until things fall down". Gameplay is more about exploring/sneaking/photography instead of fighting. It's got great story, awesome writing, and it's probably one of my favorite games ever.

If you play Red Dead Redemption, here's the one thing I learned after hours and hours and hours of gameplay: if a stranger's wife/husband/friend/son/whatever is being lynched, just walk away. I'm fairly coordinated, but even after trying a dozen or so times, I've never been able to rescue someone from the noose. Also run from mountain lions.
posted by specialagentwebb at 9:31 AM on June 24, 2011

I haven't played Portal 2, but be warned that, while Portal is absolutely amazing, it seriously and unexpectedly ramps up the fine-motor-control difficulty (as opposed to puzzle solving difficulty) in the final five minutes of the game. After more than an hour of frustration knowing what I needed to do, but being unable to coerce my avatar into doing it, I had to call on a friend who, being a more avid gamer, was able to complete it with ease on the first try.
posted by 256 at 9:33 AM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

256: "I haven't played Portal 2, but be warned that, while Portal is absolutely amazing, it seriously and unexpectedly ramps up the fine-motor-control difficulty (as opposed to puzzle solving difficulty) in the final five minutes of the game."

I agree, but I think you would do just fine with Portal 2, as the fine-motor-control thing doesn't get ramped up in that one.

That being said, definitely play the first one first and just have a friend do the part or two that you can't get by so you get the whole story. Fantastic games.

Oh, and I'd also suggest checking out Heavy Rain, it's more a playable movie than a difficult challenge gameplay-wise.
posted by Grither at 9:42 AM on June 24, 2011

Try Mass Effect 2. On the surface, it looks like a hardcore shooter, but the trick is that you can pause the action at any time to line up shots and use special skills. I'm not a talented "twitchy" gamer either, but both of these games were easy (and satisfying) to play and beat, even on higher difficulty levels. The setting and story are both great, and the character dialogue is excellent.
posted by aparrish at 9:43 AM on June 24, 2011

LA Noire would be good, it's mostly about investigation and you can still advance without penalty if you mess up the action parts.

Valkyria Chronicles if you think you might be into strategy RPG type thing.

Just Cause 2 has an easy mode and an awesome environment, it has shooting but it's that lock on sort of shooting.

Yeah, I agree with 256, the majority of Portal 2 would probably be good, but it does ramp up to more quick type puzzles later on.

Civilization Revolution is on PS3, I really like it but i know its not for everyone, cant get much more non-twitch gameplay than that though.

as far as downloadable games, maybe Flower or Pixekjunk monsters
posted by yeahyeahyeahwhoo at 9:43 AM on June 24, 2011

Dragon Age: Origins on its easiest mode is pretty darn simple mechanically, though it has a little bit of a learning curve to it if you don't have RPG experience to begin with. Auto-targeting enemies FTW! No platforming or jumping at all! Plus it is a great game with a rich storyline.

Even better if you play a mage with tons of Area of Effect attacks, you don't even have to run around to find people to fight with.

I found Portal and Portal 2 to require a pretty high degree of mechanical skill. Worth the effort, I think, but by no means an easy play for someone who has trouble working a controller.
posted by Andrhia at 9:44 AM on June 24, 2011

Also, are you interested in Japanese role-playing games at all? JRPGs come in all shapes and sizes, but they're often turn-based and forgiving of failure. Strangely, the PS3 isn't a great platform for JRPGs, but here's a pretty thorough list of the good ones (including some outliers like Nier). Eternal Sonata in particular has a striking visual style.

If your PS3 has PS2 backwards compatibility, there's a whole world of amazing JRPGs at your fingertips. In particular I recommend Persona 3 and Persona 4.
posted by aparrish at 9:57 AM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

I have the same problems! Portal is great, but I definitely had to call in a friend to execute a few jumps for me. I knew exactly what to do, just couldn't get the buttons all coordinated. :( I think that only happened twice in the whole game, though.
posted by sarahsynonymous at 10:05 AM on June 24, 2011

Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes! It's a wonderful little puzzle game with RPG elements. Totally turn-based, no coordination required.

NB: It's a downloadable game from the PS Store, so get a PS Store card from Gamestop rather than giving them your CC info.
posted by griphus at 10:14 AM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

inFamous and inFamous 2.

They are shooters (sort of), and occasionally you need a bit of reflexes. But, in general, on easy, the combat is pretty slow-paced. And, since the best tactic is to get way up on a building and then rain lightning down on your enemies, you're often not anywhere near your opponents.
posted by Netzapper at 10:15 AM on June 24, 2011

Seconding inFamous... had a lot of fun with that too.
posted by teedee2000 at 10:25 AM on June 24, 2011

infamous is a blast, I felt the later levels require some hand-eye coordination though.

Why not attack this problem at the root? Some research would be needed, but would juggling or some like task be a good hand-eye coordination skill builder?
posted by oblio_one at 10:31 AM on June 24, 2011

I just finished inFamous on Hard, and I thought it was quite easy, so yeah, I think the Easy setting would be a pleasantly destructive cakewalk.

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance is a button-mash-fest. Think Gauntlet with superheroes. It's multiplayer, and I believe you can set difficulty per-player.
posted by mkultra at 10:42 AM on June 24, 2011

"I particularly like games with really amazing detailed worlds and cool architecture."

Bioshock, Mass Effect, and I'm amazed no one's mentioned Fallout 3. In fallout, you have "VATS" which pauses the action so you can setup attacks or use potions. Your character can jump in the game, but I don't think there are any point where jumps are required.
posted by anti social order at 10:54 AM on June 24, 2011 [4 favorites]

FWIW, I found Mass Effect too twitchy and difficult to be fun for me to play. It has timed missions and stuff.
posted by Andrhia at 11:05 AM on June 24, 2011

I enjoyed uncharted in easy and I have trouble with falling off things in little big planet.
posted by captaincrouton at 11:50 AM on June 24, 2011

Like griphus, I came here to recommend Clash of Heroes. Nothing twitchy about it, it's mostly strategy with a small element of luck(new units are placed on your playing area randomly, which can hurt/hinder in equal measure). Extremely satisfying to set up big attacks/combos/chains.
posted by owtytrof at 12:18 PM on June 24, 2011

Seconding Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas. I am excellent at annoying tricky jump games (hi, Mirror's Edge), and I play Fallout 3 when I just want to chill and not toss the controller across the room in frustration. V.A.T.S. makes combat much easier, especially if you ramp up your attack skills early and take any V.A.T.S.-centric perks (Action Boy, Grim Reaper's Sprint, etc.). Like Oblivion, once you reach a certain level, you can generally kill enemies in one hit.
posted by timetoevolve at 12:56 PM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

Hi! I'm you, I think!

Both Dragon Age games are good. Heavy Rain is mostly quicktime sequences where you have to basically play Simon with the controller; I didn't find it too difficult on Casual, but YMMV on that one-- it's not the sort of twitchy where you have to do coordinated, tricky jumping but you do have to press buttons quickly.

I also second Oblivion if it seems like your type of game-- it has a sliding scale of difficulty. Skyrim will, I assume, be similar.
posted by NoraReed at 1:04 PM on June 24, 2011

Seconding Valkyria Chronicles and Portal/2.

Slightly left-field suggestion, but what about Uncharted/2/3? The combat is mostly shooty, yes, but you should be able to stick it on easy. The platforming is the sort where you literally can't jump Drake into oblivion; he won't make the jump if it's not possible.

When it comes out in a couple of months, maybe think about Deus Ex: Human Revolution. It has a difficulty setting called "Just tell me a story".
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 1:08 PM on June 24, 2011

Oh, and if you prefer melee-type weapons to ranged, you could give Enslaved: Journey to the West a shot. It has un-screw-up-able platforming like Uncharted, it's 90% melee combat, and it has an easy mode. It also has some stunning scenery.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 1:12 PM on June 24, 2011

Andrhia: if you're talking about the original Mass Effect, then I agree entirely. The level design in that game is pretty awful and it's really easy to stuck. ME2's cover mechanic is implemented much better, and the level design reflects that fact. There were a few missions I had to retry in ME2, but only because I needed to rethink my tactics, not because I wasn't skillful enough with the controller. Then again, the way I play the Mass Effect games---the only way to play, IMHO---is hitting RB to bring up the Power Menu (thereby pausing the game) on every single shot.
posted by aparrish at 1:15 PM on June 24, 2011

I suggest downloading "Flower" on the Playstation Network. It is fantastic and doesn't involve fine motor control at all. Everything is controlled by tilting the controller and pushing one button.

In fact, there are quite a few downloadable games that would fit your "play style" better than full retail releases. You could even download "Angry Birds" for a few bucks.
posted by tacodave at 2:17 PM on June 24, 2011

If you're into older games, you could look at Final Fantasy Tactics on the PSN. Or the other FFs like 7, 8, or 9, though some of the mini-games might be troublesome.

Another possibility might be the Dungeon Hunter game on PSN. It's an RPG, too.
posted by dragonplayer at 7:23 PM on June 24, 2011

I hit the same problem with Portal 2 as I did with Portal: final boss, done. Not going to be able to finish it without a huge investment of time in this one five-minute bit. Too much other stuff to do.

That said, it is an amazing experience, and I'm absolutely glad I bought it. I do wish there was a "I know I'm completely naff at this, can you show me how it ends?" option on games sometimes. It's like being forced to walk out right at the climax of a movie.
posted by pemungkah at 1:58 PM on July 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

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