So, the time is now upon us that Sony will officially acknowledge what we’ve already known: the Playstation Network is back, and they’re taking this opportunity to stand at the front door with arms wide open and bearing gifts. Now, we’re already in the house enjoying the hors d’oeurves, but it would be poor form not to let the host greet us, especially when it’s offering up to four free games just for saying hello. So let’s take a look at what Sony has to offer us to help soften the blow of it’s month-long absence.
By now we’re all familiar with the ratings scale: PASS, EH, and OKAY, YEAH.
LittleBigPlanet – In terms of how much content you’re actually going to get for free, LBP is far and away the leader in this category. Plus, it was a pretty awesome game, and to this day one of the very few PS3 titles I’ve been able to get my girlfriend to sit down and play with me without throwing the controller down in disgust immediately afterword because “it’s so stupid” and she “can’t even see why you’d ever want to play something like this that’s so dumb,” or anything like that. Still, that doesn’t make the game any less than three years old, and it also doesn’t erase the superior and recently released sequel. A great game, just a little dated. EH.
inFAMOUS – Another game that used to be available only on a blu-ray disc, but this one’s a little more fresh than LittleBigPlanet. The tradeoff here is that it wasn’t exactly a cutting edge, boundary pushing title when it came out. It holds up, though, because of how well it was designed. The sequel to this game is coming out in the very, very near future, so if you want to give yourself a little primer on what you may have missed out on the first time around, this is a great opportunity to do so. It’s worth overlooking the ridiculous capitalization. OKAY, YEAH.
Wipeout HD w/ Fury – I’m not a big racing game guy, but the original Wipeout games on Playstation are some of my favorite games of all time. I also loved the PSP Wipeout games. The promise of a Wipeout HD was one of the primary motivating factors behind me buying both a PS3 and an HDTV. This game is awesome to play and to look at, and it offers assists and such to make the game playable by people of all skill levels. It’s also arguably still the best looking game on the PS3, if slick Euro-furture environments and crazy flashing lights and colors (which actually caused this game to be delayed for a very significant period of time because it induced seizures) are your thing. If you dig presentation, are even a little interested in high speed racing games, and you don’t already own this package, getting Wipeout HD alone for free is worth it. Toss in the Fury add-on, though, and it is a MUST. OKAY, YEAH.
Dead Nation – Like twin-stick shooters? Not sick of shooting zombies yet? Like the idea of doing it with a friend? Dead Nation does a lot of things right, and in some ways it is the ultimate mashup of the twin-stick shooter and zombies. That said, there’s a lot of each of those games out there, and Dead Nation represents the best of neither of these genres. It runs out a lot of cool social and weapon upgrade features over some very well-trodden, safe territory. How much you’ll like Dead Nation depends greatly on how you feel about twin-stick shooters and/or zombies. EH.
Super Stardust HD – Before they made Dead Nation, Housemarque developed a remake of an old classic and, in so doing, created on of the finest titles the twin-stick shooter genre has to offer. Super Stardust HD puts its own twist on the genre by putting the player on a spherical planet as opposed to freely wandering through a screen-filling space, then giving the player and arsenal of three different weapons to utilize in order to destroy enemy rocks and metals. It felt fresh back in 2007 when this game was released, and it’s still unmatched in many ways four years later. A bit of an oldie, but a goodie. OKAY, YEAH.
I can’t even bring myself to break these titles down in any sort of detail, as this a pretty disappointing yield.
LittleBigPlanet – It’s good, and you should get it for your PSP if you don’t already have it. OKAY, YEAH.
Modnation Racers – Not as fun as its PS3 counterpart, but at least it doesn’t have the minute-plus load times to deal with. EH.
Killzone Liberation – A third person shooter which is actually pretty good if you can get past controlling the camera with the face buttons. I cannot, but then again you may want to grab this game and hold onto it if you’re planning on picking up a (alleged) PSVita because Sony has promised the ability to control the camera with its right stick in the future. I’m not sure that the promise that someday a game will be playable is enough of a reason to get a game, though. EH.
Pursuit Force – I don’t know what Pursuit Force is, and nobody else does either. PASS.