Playstation Download Wrap-Up for January 28, 2010

I think after the past couple weeks, I got a little lazy. I got kinda used to not having to worry about writing a whole lot, because the last couple updates have been absolutely pants. As a writer on a tight deadline that also deals with Sony’s awful update schedule (which can basically be summed up as “whenever they feel like it”, and can more accurately be described as “anytime between 6PM and 8PM EST, PS: fuck your deadlines”), the last couple updates have been sweet. For those of you unaware, whenever these updates come out, I usually take the time to download any demos there are to download, try them out, give my impressions of the demo itself, and give a try to any of the PS one games that are out as well. Even something I can’t/don’t play (like the minis), I at least research. Needless to say even the last couple updates were a pain in the ass, but it’s worth it as I try to give our readers more than just the cut-and-pasted summary from the Playstation Blog that most other sites give out.

A day like today, where we find out that three full PS3 games, two PS one games, four minis and a couple other demos to look into, make me seriously question my dedication, not to mention my sanity.

The biggest release that Sony dedicated an entire blog post to is Hustle Kings, a $10 game that proclaims itself as the most realistic pool simulation of all time, with standard games like 8-ball and 9-ball in addition to more obscure forms of billiards, as well as all the trick shots you could sake a cute at. I’m not sure off-hand if it’s as realistic as they say it is, but I’ll know for sure soon, and so will you; we’ll have a full review of Hustle Kings sometime within the next seven to ten days, done by no less an authority than Diehard GameFAN’s sports/billiards expert: myself.

Another game being released – this one with a demo as well – is Thexder Neo, the Square-Enix shooting game in the Thexder lineage. The player spends time alternating between a plane and a mech, shooting enemies down in both forms. Having played the demo, I now understand why Alex hated it so much: it’s impossible to control due to the fact that the plane is constantly moving (which requires multiple pass-overs to kill anything), and the mech usually just stands there and tries to take out enemies with its peashooter while it gets attacked like a piece of meat in a dog cage. Just from ten minutes of playtime – eight of which was spent helplessly watching my mech/plane get torn apart – I can definitively say that this is not an enjoyable shooter for any classification of fans. Thexder Neo is not hard, it’s cheap and clumsy. Stay away at any price.

Also for release for the PS3 is Assault Heroes for $10, another in a long line of “too little, too late” PSN games that have been out on XBox Live for a couple of years. For those that haven’t played it, Assault Heroes is a top-down shooter that has a somewhat slow pace to it and a small variety of weapons. The XBLA version is down to $5, which is a pretty good price for the game. I don’t think there’s enough replay value here for $10, especially considering the fact that this is a three year old game, so I would recommend that anyone looking at buying this that doesn’t have a 360 see if there’s a deal first.

As far as PS one classics, Sony’s given us two of the least inspired selections of all time. The first is Extreme Pinball, a first-generation pinball title from Electronic Arts. The game comes with the standard four tables, each having it’s own theme, though they’re all set up essentially the same way. The physics in this game felt light; they’re not proper physics, the ball feels too jumpy (like I’m playing Crue Ball again), and everything seems to go a little too fast when compared with real pinball. The music’s groovy, but when your ball physics aren’t as good as the pinball that comes with early copies of Windows, you’re not worth $6. Also for $6 is Hi-Octane:The Track Fights Back. The only space I’m going to waste on this garbage is that it’s a Wipeout clone with horrible controls. Save your money.

Finally, in terms of notable content, two demos (other than Thexder Neo) dropped, which make me question their timing. Sony decided that six Playstation 3 owners haven’t bought Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, so they’ve put out a single-player demo for our perusal. Forgive me if I think this is a bit odious, but demos are supposed to be specifically catered to people thinking about the game that have to be convinced, right? Let me ask this: who the hell hasn’t bought Uncharted 2 that has any intention of it? I don’t understand what the latest fuss is with releasing demos after a game’s release. If these companies are smart, they’ll do what Sony is doing for Heavy Rain: release the demo EARLY to build up suspense and get people excited for the game. What benefit comes from releasing this demo now? The only thing I can think is that SCEA pulled a Kane & Lynch on us: they weren’t sure of the quality of the game and didn’t want anyone with a preorder to get a refund. This is extremely disingenuous, and only serves to jade me even more to bigger-budget sequels. It’s not like the game isn’t popular – hell, most of the complaints we had about our end-of-year awards is that most people felt the game was under-represented – so why bother with a demo now? Who are you still selling it to? I can assure you, Sony: not only have I not bought the game, I don’t really intend to. If I did, I would have bought it by now. Another demo is for Vancouver 2010: The Official Videogame of the Winter Olympic Games, which is similar in one way to Uncharted 2 in that the game is already out, only they’re releasing the freaking demo now. There is a difference between Vancouver ’10 and Uncharted 2, though: Vancouver ’10 sucks. Even with the demo, there’s no reason to buy that game when many superior versions of Track & Field already exist.

Overall, there’s a lot of content this week, but a lot of it is either needless or not very good. The only download that might be worth something is Hustle Kings, and we’ll find out for sure on that one once I give it the full once-over. Until next week, this is Christopher Bowen, who’s going to download the demo for Heavenly Sword to help me definitively make a decision I already made three years ago.

Full games + comics update below:


Updates

Bloons minis Permanent Price Drop (now $2.99, original price $3.99)

Brain Pipe minis Permanent Price Drop (now $2.99, original price $4.99)

Downloadable Games

Hustle Kings ($9.99)

Rack “Ëœem up and hustle your way to the top of the leaderboards with Hustle Kings, the newest and first-ever billiards simulator made exclusively for the PlayStation 3. Set in contemporary and stylish pool bars, Hustle Kings allows players of every skill level to immerse themselves in one of the most realistic billiards experiences ever realized through true to life physics and stunning, photo-realistic lighting and graphics.
ESRB Rated E
File size: 316 MB

THEXDER NEO ($9.99)
Originally released on the PC in 1985, THEXDER is a side-scrolling shooter featuring sleek animation, strategic transforming-mech gameplay, and brilliant homing lasers. Now the excitement of the original returns with revamped graphics, a novice mode, 6-player online races, and all-new features in THEXDER NEO.
ESRB Rated E
File size: 269 MB

Assault Heroes ($9.99)
As the only surviving members of an elite Special Forces Unit, it is up to you to uncover a classified weapons program hidden deep within a secret underground lab. Go the mission alone or fight side-by-side with your fellow comrade to tackle relentless enemy attacks. Use your stealth military training, weapons handling and quick mobility in this do or die mission. Reveal the truth to become the ultimate Assault Hero!

ESRB Rated T
File size: 58 MB

PS one Classics

Extreme Pinball ($5.99)
Take your pinball to the extreme! Rack up the high scores as you play through four exciting tables.
ESRB Rated E
File size: 24 MB

Hi-Octane:The Track Fights Back ($5.99)
Blow the competition away in this high-speed racing game! Collect weapons and power-ups in a full-on battle towards the finish line.

ESRB Rated E
File size: 35 MB

Game Demos (free)

UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves Single Player Demo
Download the free single player demo for the “GAME OF THE YEAR” award winner, UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves today!
ESRB Rated T
File size: 1.83 GB

THEXDER NEO Demo
Originally released on the PC in 1985, THEXDER is a side-scrolling shooter featuring sleek animation, strategic transforming-mech gameplay, and brilliant homing lasers. Now the excitement of the original returns with revamped graphics, a novice mode, 6-player online races, and all-new features in THEXDER NEO.
ESRB Rated E
File size: 94 MB

Vancouver Olympic Winter Games Demo
The world’s best athletes are back to defy the odds with heart-stopping feats of athletic greatness in the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Take to the slopes in the men’s super-G or risk everything in the Landing Zone challenge.
ESRB Rated E
File size: 675 MB

Add-on Game Content

UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves PlayStation Heroes Pack ($4.99)
Storm through UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves online multiplayer modes as characters from your favorite PlayStation franchises! This pack contains seven character skins from inFAMOUS, Killzone 2, and the Resistance franchise.
File size: 141 KB

LittleBigPlanet GroundHog Day Costume (free)
A seasonal exclusive costume for SackBoy! Available for a limited time.
File size: 1.04 MB

Assassin’s Creed II Sequence 12: Battle of Forli ($3.99)

Battle of Forli expands the Assassin’s Creed II experience by delivering a missing piece of the storyline. Uncover new depths to the historical conspiracy by gaining access to six challenging new memories. Join Machiavelli and Caterina Sforza to defend Forli from the Orsi Brothers and pilot Leonardo’s flying machine across Romagna.
File size: 702 MB

PAIN Hilde Günnagröpe Character ($0.99)
Don’t be fooled by Hilde’s siren song – the littlest valkyrie packs a wallop. Launch her onto unsuspecting targets that don’t realize just because Hilde may be a bit on the short side, it doesn’t mean she doesn’t know how to lay the hammer down! It takes some serious muscles to be able to wield a hammer as big as your own self, and this viking has got plenty leftover to dish out the PAIN. Download Hilde today!
File size: 100 KB

Guitar Hero 5
For all song credits please visit www.guitarhero.com.

  • “Travelin’ Band” by Creedence Clearwater Revival ($1.99)
  • “Proud Mary” by Creedence Clearwater Revival ($1.99)
  • “Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival ($1.99)
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival Track Pack ($5.49) – Downloadable Track Pack featuring “Bad Moon Rising”, “Travelin’ Band”, and “Proud Mary” by CCR (Creedence Clearwater Revival). Please Note: Many songs are available both as singles and as part of a Track Pack, so please carefully consider your purchases before downloading.

File sizes: 23 MB – 32 MB (singles), 78 MB (track pack)

Rock Band
Build your Rock Band library by purchasing these song game tracks. For song credits, visit www.RockBand.com.

  • “Bulls on Parade””” Rage Against the Machine ($1.99)
  • “Hair of the Dog””” Nazareth ($1.99)
  • “Killed by Death “Ëœ08″”” Motörhead ($1.99)
  • “Levitate””” I Mother Earth ($1.99)
  • “Master of the Universe””” Hawkwind ($1.99)
  • “Transmaniacon MC””” Blue Ã-yster Cult ($1.99)
  • “Godzilla””” Blue Ã-yster Cult ($1.99)

File sizes: 18 MB – 40 MB (singles)

Game Videos (free)

White Knight Chronicles IE Character Customization Video
File size: 78 MB (HD) 133 MB (1080)

White Knight Chronicles IE The Online Experience
File size: 163 MB (HD) 256 MB (1080)

MAG: How To – Acquisition Mode
File size: 75 MB (HD)

MAG: How To – Domination Mode

File size: 71 MB (HD)

MAG: How To – Sabotage Mode
File size: 63 MB (HD)

MAG: How To – Suppression Mode
File size: 53 MB (HD)

Hustle Kings Launch Trailer
File size: 45 MB (HD) 76 MB (1080)

Smash Cars Trailer 2
File size: 20 MB (SD) 54 MB (HD)

Madden NFL Arcade Accolades Trailer
File size: 34 MB (HD)

Madden NFL Arcade Launch Trailer
File size: 39 MB (HD)

PS3 Themes

Devil Girl Hook-Ups Theme ($1.99)
File size: 4.47 MB

Nurse Girl Mika Hook-Ups Theme ($1.99)
File size: 4.36 MB

PlayStation Store for PSP

PSP minis (also playable on PS3 system)

Dracula – Undead Awakening ($4.99)
ESRB Rated T
File size: 13 MB

Pinball Dreams ($6.99)

ESRB Rated E
File size: 4.45 MB

Route 66 ($3.99)
ESRB Rated E
File size: 41 MB

Deflector ($3.99)
ESRB Rated E
File size: 5.66 MB

Add-on Game Content

LittleBigPlanet PSP Gardens Theme Level Pack ($2.99)
PLAY, CREATE, SHARE…Everywhere. Take a trip to the Gardens with new stickers and objects from the Gardens Level Pack!
NOTE: Manual Update required
File size: 2.62 MB

LittleBigPlanet PSP Gardens Costumes (free)
PLAY, CREATE, SHARE…Everywhere. LittleBigPlanet’s critically acclaimed “PLAY, CREATE, SHARE” experience, makes its way to the PSP system with a completely new Sackboy adventure. Get two free costumes from the Gardens!

NOTE: Manual Update required
File size: 4.5 MB

LittleBigPlanet PSP The Sack That Time Forgot Level Pack ($2.99)
PLAY, CREATE, SHARE…Everywhere. Take a trip to the stone age with 4 costumes and 12 stickers in The Sack That Time Forgot Level Pack!
NOTE: Manual Update required
File size: 2.59 MB

LittleBigPlanet PSP Content Update v2.02 (free)
File size: 5.08 MB

Game Videos (free)

Dante’s Inferno Developer Diary – Anger
File size: 51 MB

Dante’s Inferno Developer Diary – Fraud
File size: 49 MB

Dante’s Inferno Developer Diary – Greed

File size: 51 MB

Dante’s Inferno Developer Diary – Heresy
File size: 44 MB

Dante’s Inferno Developer Diary – Limbo
File size: 46 MB

Dante’s Inferno Developer Diary – Violence

File size: 37 MB

Kurulin Fusion Trailer
File size: 15 MB

PSP Themes (also available from PS3 Storefront)

Devil Girl Hook-Ups PSP Theme ($1.99)
File size: 379 KB

Nurse Girl Mika Hook-Ups PSP Theme ($1.99)
File size: 364 KB


Comic Store Update

  • 2000AD Prog # 1664 – $ 1.99
  • Arizona Goof and the Idol of the Chicken-Hearts $ 0.99
  • Daredevil (1998) # 92 – $ 1.99
  • Daredevil (1998) # 93 – $ 1.99
  • Donald Duck, Ludwig Von Drake and the Winning Strategy $ 0.99
  • Donald Duck in: “Gulliver Duck’s Travels” $ 0.99
  • DoubleDuck # 2 – $ 1.99
  • G.I. Joe: Cobra # 5 – $ 1.99
  • G.I. Joe Origins # 6 – $ 1.99
  • Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft # 5 – $ 0.99
  • Nanovor: Game Day # 4 – $ 0.99
  • Origin (2001) # 1 – $ 1.99
  • Origin (2001) # 2 – $ 1.99
  • Origin (2001) # 3 – $ 1.99
  • Origin (2001) # 4 – $ 1.99
  • Origin (2001) # 5 – $ 1.99
  • Origin (2001) # 6 – $ 1.99
  • Superduck: Robophobia # 5 – $ 1.99
  • The Avengers (1998) # 83 – $ 1.99
  • The Avengers (1998) # 84 – $ 1.99
  • The Avengers (1998) # 500 – $ 1.99
  • The Avengers (1998) # 501 – $ 1.99
  • The Avengers (1998) # 502 – $ 1.99
  • The Avengers (1998) # 503 – $ 1.99
  • The Incredible Hulk (1999) # 77 – $ 1.99
  • The Incredible Hulk (1999) # 78 – $ 1.99
  • The Incredible Hulk (1999) # 79 – $ 1.99
  • The Incredible Hulk (1999) # 80 – $ 1.99
  • The Incredible Hulk (1999) # 81 – $ 1.99
  • The Incredible Hulk (1999) # 82 – $ 1.99
  • The Incredible Hulk (1999) # 83 – $ 1.99
  • The Incredible Hulk (1999) # 84 – $ 1.99
  • The Incredible Hulk (1999) # 85 – $ 1.99
  • The Incredible Hulk (1999) # 86 – $ 1.99
  • The Incredible Hulk (1999) # 87 – $ 1.99
  • The Incredible Hulk (1999) # 88 – $ 1.99
  • Transformers: All Hail Megatron # 9 – $ 1.99
  • Ultraheroes: Prologue $ N/A
  • Uncanny X-Men (2003) # 477 – $ 1.99
  • Uncanny X-Men (2003) # 478 – $ 1.99
  • Uncanny X-Men (2003) # 479 – $ 1.99
  • Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse: Calamari Rising # 9 – $ 0.99
  • X-Men (2004) # 169 – $ 1.99
  • X-Men (2004) # 170 – $ 1.99
  • X-Men (2004) # 171 – $ 1.99
  • X-Men (2004) # 172 – $ 1.99
  • X-Men (2004) # 173 – $ 1.99
  • X-Men (2004) # 174 – $ 1.99
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