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  • The 10 Best PS3 Games for Kids

    Think all PS3 games are violent and unfit for kids? Think again. Here are 10 that are safe and entertaining for little ones.
    by Julian Vorpal .
To read this story in Tagalog, click here.
  • The Sony Playstation series has always had a reputation for being the console of choice of adult hardcore gamers. Many of their most successful titles are dark, edgy and more than a little risque (The Grand Theft Auto and God of War franchises definitely come to mind). That said, there is still quite a selection your kids can enjoy. Here are ten of the best ones available for your PS3.

    Of course, girls should not be boxed into specific genres when it comes to gaming. So long as it’s age-appropriate, or played under the guidance of parents, they can choose to play whatever they like. But here are some Playstation 3 titles we think they’ll especially love to play.   

    Little Big Planet 2

    little big planet

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    Price: Php1,600+

    Arguably one of the most popular titles on the Playstation (it’s available on the PSP, PS Vita and PS3), Little Big Planet is an imaginative game where players create the characters they play and the world they play in. Appealing to all ages, this game lets your child manipulate the environment to create anything from the mundane to the astounding. Real-time physics gives life to wheels, cogs and blocks, allowing players to build game levels that they can explore, modify and replay to their heart’s content. Indeed, it is possible for players to literally create their own games with the tools that Little Big Planet 2 has to offer.

    ModNation Racers

    modnation racers

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    Price: Php1,250+

    If Little Big Planet 2 is all about creation and customization for the platform adventure genre, then ModNation Racers is Little Big Planet 2 for car racing games. Your child has a dizzying array of choices from colors, patterns, textures, materials and objects to make his or her own drivers, cars and racetracks. You can also check out free user generated content on the PlayStation Network for player-created stuff as well (get your kid a Spider-Man car or for the ultimate in irony, the Mario Kart ModNation theme). Controls are smooth and quick to grasp and before long, you and your child will be speeding along the lanes on your own private Grand Prix. If you have controllers to spare, ModNation Racers can accommodate up to four more little players.

    Sports Champions

    sports champions

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    Price: Php4,200+ (This is normally bundled with the PS3 Move Pack. Price is for the whole package.  If you have the PS3 Move Pack but not the game, it’s available for around P200.)

    Nintendo was the first to do this with Wii Sports but PS3 owners can now have a more varied and refined experience with Sports Champions. Using the Move motion controllers, kids can engage in various athletic games including beach volleyball, disc golf, bocce ball, archery, table tennis and gladiator duel. Now, you can get your kids off that couch and into something that may actually induce sweating and increased cardio action – the Move sensors and Playstation Eye camera array are very sensitive and recognize every gesture, even wrist twisting and flicking. This is a great game to have on a rainy day or if you want you child to do something more than twiddle his or her thumbs.

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    Carnival Island

    carnival island

    Price: P1600+ (Requires the PS3 Move Pack)


    Need an activity for the family to bond over? With Carnival Island, everyone, young and old, can enjoy over 30 different carnival-style games from Ring Toss to Basketball Dunk to Mini Bowling. The Move control system allows players to play and interact with the games of Carnival Island, much like the real thing (think more Coney Island than Fiesta Carnival) so play is easy to learn and fun to do. There’s even a funhouse mirror mode that lets you take pictures of yourselves, with all the twisty, crazy shapes that come with it. Sure, this was all done by the Wii first, but at least if you don’t have one, then at least Carnival Island has better graphics and more responsive controls.

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    Toy Story 3

    toy story 3

    Price: P850+


    Based on the hit movie by Disney and Pixar, Toy Story 3 puts your child in the role of Sheriff Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Jessie or any of the other protagonists of the movie. On the surface, this game is a cooperative platformer, with running, jumping and item hunting as the means to get to various quest objectives that more or less follow the movie’s plot on Story Mode. Graphics and audio are sheer joy unbound and true to Pixar’s vision – it really looks and sounds as if your child is playing in the Toy Story 3 universe.

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    However, the real draw of this game is Toy Box mode – if you’ve seen the movie, it’s like the very beginning where you see how toys perceive the world when they’re played with. Basically, it creates a kiddie version of Grand Theft Auto where your child can play open-ended, sandbox-style. Quests are simple but satisfying (and totally unnecessary if your child isn’t in the mood) and the whole place is one humongous playroom where kids can opt to play without any objectives. Players are free to paint, build, race, collect, decorate and destroy anything and everything in the Toy Box, and since it’s all virtual, no lasting damage is done and the place is ready for play anytime you wish it.  If only all movie-based games had this much care put into them…

    Flower

    flower

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    Price: $9.99 (Only available for download at the Sony PlayStation Network)


    If you’re looking for a less conventional gaming experience (and one that could be described as spiritually uplifting) for your child, take a risk on Flower. On the surface, it doesn’t even seem like a game – the player controls a petal being blown in the wind. As the petal travels through meadows, valleys and hills, it connects with other petals and forms a swirling, kaleidoscopic trail. No story, no high scores, no monsters to slay or princesses to rescue. Heck, there isn’t even any flavor text or voice audio.  

    Yet, this is perhaps one of the most original games to come out of the PS3. The surroundings are majestic, the graphics and detail are spellbinding and the music so ethereal that the overall effect will transport your child to a carefree world of imagination and peace so vivid and transcendent that it’s hard to believe this is actually a video game. Even young children can appreciate it – you take charge of the controller and let them watch in utter rapture, or fall blissfully to sleep.

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    EyePet

    Eyepet

    Price: Php1,050+ (Requires the PS3 Move Pack)

    Is your child frustrated because they can’t have a cat or dog to call their own? Get them the EyePet and watch them frolic with their new virtual friend. This unspeakably adorable creature looks like the unholy lovechild of a monkey and a mogwai and using the Move control system, children can touch, feed, bathe, blowdry and play with their EyePet and see themselves reflected via augmented reality on their TV sets. EyePet comes with toys like bubble makers, trampolines and treadmills for your pet to entertain itself with. Your child can customize its looks by changing its fur color or adding accessories and animal costumes to it. You can even teach your EyePet to sing and draw!  Beat that, Bantay! 

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    3D Dot Game Heroes

    3d dot game heroes

    Price: Php1,250+

    For the gamer dad or mom who wants their child to experience a new twist on old-school gaming, 3D Dot Game Heroes delivers the goods. The game is heavily influenced by the original Nintendo Famicom (or NES) 1980s classic, The Legend of Zelda and the game plays very similarly, with many modern additional features. Environments, objects and characters are cheekily rendered in gorgeous 3D blocks reminiscent of the game Minecraft, with fancy shadow, fire, water and explosion effects. Players can customize their faux 8-bit character and romp through forests, castles, dungeons and vales in search of weird monsters to bash and cool treasure to score. Everything looks so unbearably cute and veteran gamers will notice some in-game jokes that will fly over the heads of most kids, but the overall effect is worth hours and hours of good fun.  

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    Start the Party

    start the party

    Price: Php1,050+ (Requires the PS3 Move Pack)

    This PS3 family favorite is a smorgasbord of straightforward mini-games in which players can see themselves onscreen holding virtual objects that interact via the Move and Eye controller. Minigames include activities such as giving characters buzzcuts with an electric clipper, catching tossed pizza ingredients or swatting virtual bugs zipping around the living room. Start the Party is best enjoyed with at least two or more friends or family members. The thrill of seeing themselves interacting with the game’s augmented reality environment may amuse young children for hours on end.

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    Katamari Forever

    katamari forever

    Price: Php1,890+

    The Katamari games are bizarre yet strangely addicting and have developed quite the cult following. Katamari Forever, the first of the series on the PS3, offers the most fantastic, most majestic experience yet. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Katamari franchise, here’s a rundown - a katamari is a tiny ball rolled around by an equally diminutive prince. Now, this ball has its own gravitational pull and anything smaller than the katamari ball will stick to it, so as your child steers the ball through houses, parks and cities, the katamari gets bigger and bigger. Naturally, this allows it to attract even larger objects until whole islands and continents get stuck to the ball. It’s not hard to see why children would find that appealing.

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