I was introduced to something the other day regarding the PS3 console and DRM. Apparently anything purchased off of the PSN store can be downloaded up to 5 times, no matter if it’s on your own console or someone else’s. With my single PSN account, I have purchased quite a bit of DLC, along with 3 downloadable-only games. With that account, I can log on from my Sister’s console and download the same games that I already own, to be played on their system. The up side to this, is that if you find a couple of trustworthy friends that own quite a bit of stuff, you can grow your collection fairly rapidly. With this technique, I traded info with a friend and gained 6 games in the process, allowing for a lot of extra gaming for minimal cost. By minimal, I mean free. From what I understand the only restriction is that you have to remain friends on PSN for it to work. Another downside is that if someone logs into your account while you’re already on it, you will get booted, so communication is key. The final and worst consequence, is if you have given out your information to 4 other people, your PS3 takes a shit and you forget to disassociate the account, you will be unable to re-download said content without removing someone from your shared list. Thusly, I traded info with 3 people, and now want to hang onto that last download ability, just in case. Either way, risky or not, it’s a great deal and enables the group of us to share things and take turns being the one to actually purchase content.
Just prior to learning about this feature (which may not be its exact intended use) I had signed up for a Game Fly membership. I decided that I would be better off paying a little to try out multiple games rather than paying for a couple at full price. The Mass Effect 2 port came out last month, and Marvel vs. Capcom 3 came out the day I signed up. Those were the first two I picked up, and I’m sending MvC3 back tomorrow to get Dead Space 2 which just came out last week. I’m pleased to announce that MvC3 is a great game, and I had just scratched the surface, but I didn’t want to run through the trophies just yet, I still want to get other games while my subscription lasts. I now know that I will purchase the game when it comes down in price, I’m just over paying $60 a game. Because of finances I’m not sure how long I will keep this subscription so I decided to get more games in. I kept Mass Effect 2 already knowing that I would purchase it, because I would actually like to beat the game before I turn it in. A purchase comes with some added content, as the download code doesn’t come with a rental.
The amount of games I came up on recently has rewarded a slew of new trophies, whether I only played the game for a short while or beat it, although there will be games rented that will be revisited at a later date. I decided to dedicate the second half of this post to some mini-reviews of the games I’ve acquired/rented:
Mass Effect 2: I don’t know much about the Mass Effect universe at this point. I never played a game in the series until now, and I haven’t gone around scouring information on the internet, so I won’t pretend to be an expert on the lore. What I can tell you is the game feels like it was designed for a console, the controls are very intuitive. The game is sharp and pretty to look at in 1080p. The mix of 3rd person shooter and RPG story line works well, better than Dragon Age in many ways, only because of the weaponry and cover system. I haven’t beaten the game so I can’t give a really in-depth review, but I will say that if you enjoy shooters, RPGs, Bioware RPGs in particular, or Dragon Age, you will enjoy this game. I’ll give it a 9/10 without getting the full experience.
Marvel vs. Capcom 3: This game is amazing. The mix of cell-shading and 3D graphics plus bright colorful special effects makes for a beautiful experience. The control scheme has been tweaked from previous versions of the series, but it still works, just takes some adjusting. The solo arcade mode is standard, the missions mode is like training, but you have to perform specific combos to move on. I didn’t try playing online, but having an infinite number of opponents to play is a welcomed addition. The only downside to the game is that it’s a fighting game, and they lack some replay-ability, only because most people I know don’t like playing them anymore. Playing with strangers over the internet isn’t the same as playing one on one in the same room. I’d score it 8/10.
Plants vs. Zombies: This game was originally released on the PC, and although I had heard of it I paid it no mind. I’ve never been a huge tower defense kind of guy, but this game has enough character to pull anyone in. It’s definitely G rated, but for once the lack of blood and gore doesn’t bother me. The sound stands out, and the relatively cheesy background music will get stuck in your head for hours at a time. The story mode was entertaining, each level adding new challenges, and mini games spread throughout broke up the monotony. After completing the story mode, playing vs. or co-op adds to the replay value, along with single player mini games, puzzles, and the survival mode. The Zen Garden also takes up some time, growing your plants and earning money so you can buy all of the seeds (after all 49 you get a trophy!) and tools for your garden. I’ve only had the game for a week and have already finished all but the hardest trophies and cleared out most of the content. Still, it’s a game that keeps me coming back for more, even if I only play for 3o minutes at a time. 9/10. I would have given 10/10, but given the lack of depth (which admittedly sounds contradictory) and simplicity I just couldn’t do it.
Trine: Trine is a game I had never heard of. Now I’m wondering why. The game plays like a mix of most every platformer I can think of. The styling reminds me of Ghouls n Ghosts. The 3 person party reminds me of The Lost Vikings (kudos to who remembers who made that game). The Wizard character reminds me of Harry Potter games (although I can’t say I’ve actually played one). The concept of the game is simple, the Knight protects your trio, hacking and slashing. The Assassin uses her grappling hook to get to hard to reach places, and her bow to take out ranged targets. The Wizard manipulates objects through telekinesis, and can create objects such as boxes and planks to get through obstacles. It’s accessible, and I have enjoyed what little of it I’ve played. The only downside is that I’ve played this game a thousand times before. 7/10
X-Men Arcade: I remember spending a pretty penny on this machine in the arcade back in the 90’s. It’s an exact port. Even the UI makes it look like an old school arcade machine. Controls are simple two button, graphics are definitely 16 bit. It gets a little tedious because games have come so far, but it’s great for nostalgic value. If you remember playing the game as a youngster, or you want to show the new generation what games used to be like, it’s worth a couple bucks. I don’t think I would have actually paid for this one, though. 6/10
Burn Zombie Burn: I did actually pay for this one, and in some ways it was a bust. The game play is that of Dead Ops or any game like it. Stay within a small area and defend yourself from wave after wave of zombies, armed with a pistol or power up. Really it gets old fast and I was slightly disappointed, because I have been pretty obsessed with zombie games as of late. I don’t really have anything positive to say about this one. 5/10
Tank Battles: This is another simplistic game, where mini tanks are set in arenas and battle it out with typical tank weaponry. I have enjoyed this one only because it reminds me of other games I’ve played, and you can jump in and out of it with minimal effort. No one seems to be playing online, but I have a couple of friends with the game now, so we can play. The campaign is pretty short and fairly effortless, but it’s a nice distraction or time killer. 6/10
TMNT Turtles in Time Reshelled: This is a remake of the old SNES classic Turtles in Time. But it’s been remade in 3D, and they’ve added things I don’t recall being in the SNES version of the game. But my memory isn’t what it used to be. Either way, this is the same old side scrolling hack n slash game it was in the past, but brought to the future. The graphics aren’t half bad, the controls are responsive, and the nostalgic game play is all there. Just makes me wish that games looked like this when I was playing them back then. 7/10
That’s it for now, I will have some more mini-reviews in the future, especially as I continue to rent games.