Playstation Network Wrap-Up for February 11th, 2010 (UPDATED)

I don’t really think I can lead this off with a “witty” lead-in this week. We all know what the big elephant in the room is. There’s no sense in beating around the bush: the Heavy Rain demo is the only PSN release this week that actually, truly matters. This is the first PSN update I’ve actually looked forward to, and some poking around the community of players who didn’t go through the hoops to get the earlier demo indicates I wasn’t the only one. However, a deeper look shows a couple of really good values elsewhere, including a couple of old PS one classics.

After installing the Heavy Rain demo, I was able to rip through both chapters. It’s definitely a David Cage game; fans will consider it artsy and applaud the direction that the game takes, whereas critics will bemoan the fact that it’s pretentious and has virtually no gameplay elements outside of quick time events. Lots of quick time events. LOADS of quick time events. Whether it’s holding buttons down, pressing them, mashing them, waggling the controller or what have you, the game is essentially one big QTE. There’s a fight scene in the first chapter, and my unofficial count was 26 different actions on my part. I get the sense that this is the evolutionary Dragon’s Lair, since all you have to do is do what the screen tells you to do. The second chapter at least had a bit more exploration, and showed off the game’s somewhat open-ended nature, but it’s still a matter of the screen telling you to do something and you doing it. One thing that I noticed right away was that the voice acting was atrocious. This can be somewhat forgiven by the fact that this is a French studio, but a game with this kind of budget should have brought in better actors. While playing, I literally thought to myself “can I shut off dubs”, until I reminded myself that I wasn’t watching an anime and that I was stuck with the English actors. I got the impression that David Cage wanted to make a movie, but was told that he had to make a game out of it, and finally gave up after four hours, angrily deciding that he would “compromise” his creation with a game of Simon Says. With that said, the story does have me intrigued, and I do want to pick it up still when it comes out on the 23rd. Overall, people familiar with Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy already know what they’re getting, but for anyone else, if you don’t mind sacrificing action for a good story, you’ll be very interested in this.

Heavy Rain was the only PS3 demo, but we had two more demos for the PSP. The first one is for a game called echoshift. The premise of this puzzle game is interesting: you go through as much of the stage as you can, until time “bounces” back, and you go through as the same time as your previous doppleganger, who moves at the same time you do. It always takes both copies to get through each stage, so you have to get the first part done so the second part can get through. If this sounds suspiciously similar to Braid, it plays like that, only without the platforming elements. This is paced more like a puzzle game, with many levels available with the game, and more coming later via DLC. Overall, it’s a cute puzzle game, but shouldn’t cost above $20 from what I’ve played. The second PSP demo is for SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 3, which comes out next week. Instead of talking about that game at length here, I’ll instead direct everyone to check out my full review, which went up just a couple of hours ago.

After no PS one games last week, we saw three of them today, two of them a great tribute to a forgotten studio. Bullfrog Studios was a developer who was bought out and eventually merged into Electronic Arts. In their lifetime, they released a lot of great management and strategy games such as Populous, Syndicate, and Theme Park. Two of those releases see later sequels on the service in Populous: The Beginning and Sim Theme Park (AKA: Theme Park World). These are both outstanding games, and $6 for them seems like it’s stealing. However, it should be noted that neither of these games were built for Playstation controls, so controlling them could be an issue. Furthermore, Populous fans are aware of this, but Populous: The Beginning, while a good game, was a radical departure for the series, almost like someone walked into a production meeting halfway through development and yelled “Quick! We have to put elements from Warcraft in RIGHT NOW!”. Still, Lucard loved it, and Sim Theme Park is also a good game, so both are worthy purchases if the PC versions can’t be found or played (Populous: The Beginning was a Win98 game, and might not work on XP/Vista/7). Also released was Dirt Jockey: Heavy Equipment Operator, which was a generic pile of crap. The less said, the better.

Bargain hunters should be on the lookout for a few good sales and bundles. Burnout Paradise saw a couple of new bundles, one that takes the complete game and packages it for $30, and another that takes the DLC and puts it together for $20. Burnout Paradise was a good game, so any racing or driving fans looking for a bargain to tide them over until Gran Turismo 5 comes out should at least check it out. There are a couple of Valentine’s Day themed bundles for Sonic Unleashed and Valkyrie Chronicles, though I’m unsure of what they do quite yet. On the PSP, there’s a bundle including Crazy Taxi: Fare Wars and Full Auto 2: Battlelines for $20, but both games suck. Of potentially more interest is a bundle combining both Sonic Rivals games together for $30. Sonic fans could look into this, though I wouldn’t touch a Sonic product at this point with a ten foot pole. In terms of sales, Patapon 2 sees a permanent price drop from $20 to $15. Twenty dollars was a great price for such a great game, so $15 is definitely worth the purchase. Trine is on sale for one week for $10, down from $20; for that price, the game is worth it. Finally, the map bundle for Call of Duty: World at War is down from $25 to $20. This one makes a lot less sense to me; I don’t know how many maps are in this pack, but that seems like a stupefying price to spend on DLC for a mediocre shooting game that initially cost $60. I don’t understand how, as a consumer, I should be thankful for this, but I’m sure there’s something for everyone.

UPDATE: 2/13/10 @ 1841 EST – The game flOw is available until 12AM EST/9PM PST tonight, Saturday the 13th. Get this while you can! It’s not quite as good as Flower, but it’s still an interesting little game, especially for the price. The price, again, being free.

Until next week, this is Christopher Bowen, who is FINALLY going to bed at 3:40AM after writing three columns and a review in one day. Don’t let anyone tell you this business is easy, kids.

The full update for both the Playstation and Comic Store is under the cut.


Special Offers

Burnout Paradise Complete Edition Bundle ($29.99)
ESRB Rated E10+
File size: 3.25 GB

Burnout Paradise Complete Downloadable Content Bundle ($19.99)
ESRB Rated E10+
File size: 700 KB

Sonic Unleashed “Unleash Your Desire” Bundle ($11.99)

ESRB Rated E10+
File size: 3.38 GB

Valkyria Chronicles “Love Conquers All” Bundle ($9.99)
ESRB Rated T
File size: 429 MB

Price Updates

Patapon 2 Permanent Price Drop (now $14.99, original price $19.99)

Call of Duty: World at War Map Pack Bundle Temporary Sale (now $19.99, original price $24.99)

Trine Sale, One Week Only (now $9.99, original price $19.99)

PSone Classics

Dirt Jockey ($5.99)
Earn your license and get behind the wheel of your very own dump truck, bulldozer, wheel loader, or crane and see what it’s like to operate these massive machines.
ESRB Rated E
File size: 223 MB

Populous: The Beginning ($5.99)

Use your power and magic as a shaman to build armies, unleash awesome spells, and conquer all of the worlds in the solar system in this real-time strategy game sequel to the popular “god game” series. Download this PSone classic game today and conquer the solar system to become a god!
ESRB Rated T
File size: 250 MB

Sim Theme Park ($5.99)
Build and manage the theme park of your dreams! Take control of every aspect of managing your park, from the dimensions of the roller coasters to the prices of food and drinks, to keep the customers happy and your theme park thriving!
ESRB Rated E
File size: 283 MB

Game Demos (free)

Heavy Rain Demo
Get your hands on one of the most anticipated and talked about PlayStation 3 exclusives of 2010!
ESRB Rated M
File size: 1.35 GB

Add-on Game Content

LittleBigPlanet Valentine’s Day Mini-Pack ($2.99)
Get these Valentine’s costumes and stickers to spread some love in LittleBigPlanet!

File size: 1.04 MB

LittleBigPlanet Chinese New Year Costume (free)
The best thing about Sackboy is that you can make him look and act exactly as you want. Download these additional costumes and really stand out from the crowd!
File size: 1.04 MB

Blazblue: Calamity Trigger Other Unlimited Characters Unlocked ($4.99)
Unlimited characters step in the ring to join the fight!
File size: 301 KB

Blazblue: Calamity Trigger Additional Character Colors (x6) ($1.99 each)
Additional color palettes based on European flag and more for Blazblue: Calamity Trigger Characters.

File sizes: 301 KB each

Blazblue: Calamity Trigger All Additional Colors 2 ($4.99)
Additional color palettes based on European flag colors for all 12 characters. (Packs A, B, and C combined.)
File size: 301 KB

Blazblue: Calamity Trigger All Additional Colors 3 ($4.99)
This package includes 4 more colors for all 12 characters. (Packs A, B, and C combined.)
File size: 301 KB

Dante’s Inferno Free Soul Pack (free)

Contains 500 souls. You can use souls to purchase and upgrade either Dante’s holy or unholy abilities.
File size: 100 KB

Dante’s Inferno Small Soul Pack ($0.99)
Contains 1500 souls. You can use souls to purchase and upgrade either Dante’s holy or unholy abilities.
File size: 100 KB

Dante’s Inferno Medium Soul Pack ($1.99)
Contains 3000 souls. You can use souls to purchase and upgrade either Dante’s holy or unholy abilities.
File size: 100 KB

Dante’s Inferno Large Soul Pack ($3.99)
Contains 5000 souls. You can use souls to purchase and upgrade either Dante’s holy or unholy abilities
File size: 100 KB

Dark Void Survivor Missions ($4.99)
Prepare for the fight of your life! In the Survivor Missions, relive key events from Dark Void as you battle waves of increasingly difficult enemy troops. Rack up massive points with score multipliers for headshots and hijacking enemy aircraft. Pick up time bonuses and fight back the alien armada! But never forget what matters most: Survival!
File size: 337 MB

Fairytale Fights Treasure Pack 1 (free)
Expand your Fairytale Fights experience with 3 new gruesome player vs player arenas and 4 brand new characters for even more bloodshed! Fairytale Fights delivers an unmatched fury of cartoon violence on your console. Download the latest pack for Fairytale Fights and grab a slice of the action!

File size: 61 MB

NBA Live 10 All-Star Weekend Pack (free)
Get up-to-date for NBA All-Star Weekend 2010 from Dallas, Texas with the official jerseys. This free update pack includes the official East and West All-Star game jerseys for All-Star 2010.
File size: 1.95 MB

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

  • “Until The End” by Breaking Benjamin ($1.99)
  • “Sooner or Later” by Breaking Benjamin ($1.99)
  • “Give Me A Sign” by Breaking Benjamin ($1.99)
  • Breaking Benjamin Track Pack ($5.49) – Downloadable Track Pack featuring “Sooner or Later”, “Until The End”, and “Give Me A Sign” by Breaking Benjamin. 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: 39 MB – 46 MB (singles), 128 MB (track pack)

Rock Band

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

  • “Holy Wars… The Punishment Due””” Megadeth ($1.99)
  • “Hangar 18″”” Megadeth ($1.99)
  • “Take No Prisoners””” Megadeth ($1.99)
  • “Five Magics””” Megadeth ($1.99)
  • “Poison Was the Cure””” Megadeth ($1.99)
  • “Lucretia””” Megadeth ($1.99)
  • “Tornado of Souls””” Megadeth ($1.99)
  • “Dawn Patrol””” Megadeth ($1.99)
  • “Rust in Peace… Polaris””” Megadeth ($1.99)
  • Rust in Peace (Album)”” Megadeth ($14.99) – Build your Rock Band library by purchasing this song game album: Rust in Peace (Album). This album includes “Holy Wars… The Punishment Due,” “Hangar 18,” “Take No Prisoners,” “Five Magics,” “Poison Was the Cure,” “Lucretia,” “Tornado of Souls,” “Dawn Patrol,” and “Rust in Peace… Polaris” by Megadeth.

File sizes: 12 MB – 52 MB (singles), 311 MB (album)

Game Videos (free)

The Tester Preview Episode
File size: 126 MB (SD) 356 MB (HD)

White Knight Chronicles IE Launch Trailer
File size: 62 MB (HD) 104 MB (1080)

Heavy Rain Gameplay Engine Trailer

File size: 75 MB (HD) 129 MB (1080)

After Burner Climax Announcement Network Trailer
File size: 34 MB (HD)

Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce Hd Up Close #1 Network Trailer
File size: 107 MB (HD)

Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce Hd Up Close #2 Network Trailer
File size: 97 MB (HD)

Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce Hd Up Close #3 Network Trailer
File size: 92 MB (HD)

Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce Hd Up Close #4 Network Trailer
File size: 94 MB (HD)

Just Cause 2: Grapple Documentary Video
File size: 146 MB (HD)

Army of Two: The 40th Day “World Tour”
File size: 45 MB (HD)

PS3 Themes

Flower Dynamic Theme ($2.99)

File size: 3.41 MB

WipEout HD Dynamic Theme ($2.99)
File size: 4.36 MB

Trash Panic Dynamic Theme ($2.99)
File size: 8.35 MB

BioShock 2 Single-Player Theme (free)
File size: 6.16 MB

Army of Two: The 40th Day PS3 Theme (free)
File size: 2.52 MB

Dante’s Inferno Theme (free)
File size: 5.41 MB

Dita Von Teese Premium Theme ($1.99)
File size: 5.69 MB

PlayStation Store for PSP

Special Offers (also available from PS3 Storefront)

Crazy Taxi & Full Auto 2 “Driving Me Crazy” Bundle ($19.99)

Includes Crazy Taxi: Fare Wars + Full Auto 2: Battlelines for PSP.
ESRB Rated E10
File size: 1.22 GB

Sonic Rivals “Set My Pulse Racing” Bundle ($29.99)
Includes Sonic Rivals 1 and 2 for PSP.
ESRB Rated E
File size: 653 MB

Game Demos (free) (also available from PS3 Storefront)

echoshift Demo
echoshift redefines puzzle games with an innovative game play mechanic that challenges you to manipulate time and be in multiple places at once! Plan ahead to solve puzzles by layering your actions on top of each other to push switches, bridge gaps, and much more. You’ll have to think quickly and use your past decisions in this artistically stylized world, available exclusively on the PSP system.
ESRB Rated E
File size: 144 MB

SOCOM: Fireteam Bravo 3 Demo
Playble demo for SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 3 for the PSP contains level from campaign playable via single player or co-op (ad hoc) and multiplayer trailer (480p).
ESRB Rated T

File size: 234 MB

Add-On Game Content (also available from PS3 Storefront)

LittleBigPlanet PSP Lurve Costume (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 a free costume and show everyone you’re in “lurve”!

NOTE: Manual Update required – please reference the following instruction to manually download the latest update patch for LittleBigPlanet (PSP):

If accessing wirelessly:

  • Ensure an online connection
  • On the XMB, highlight the LBP game icon and open the menu by pressing (Triangle)
  • Highlight and select “Update” and continue with the on-screen instructions

If accessing thru the PlayStation Store (for the first time*):

  • Download the latest LBP PSP Update manually from the XMB – if downloaded through the PS3, install and transfer files to PSP
  • *To download future updates through the PlayStation Store, access the “Download List” and re-download the LBP PSP Update.

ESRB Rated E
File size: 824 KB

LittleBigPlanet PSP Lurve Theme Level Pack ($2.99)

PLAY, CREATE, SHARE…Everywhere. Download a new set of costumes and CREATE materials to create your levels of “lurve”.
NOTE: Manual Update required
ESRB Rated E
File size: 1.1 MB

PSP Minis

Spaceball: Revolution ($4.99)
File size: 18 MB

Game Videos (free)

The Tester Preview Episode
File size: 60 MB

Dante’s Inferno Developer Diary – Gluttony
File size: 50 MB

Dante’s Inferno Developer Diary – Lust

File size: 47 MB

Valkryia Chronicles II Teaser Trailer
File size: 2.52 MB

Ultimate Board Game Collection Trailer
File size: 11 MB

PSP Themes (also available from PS3 Storefront)

Lindsay Kaye PSP Theme 1 ($1.49)
File size: 608 KB

Lindsay Kaye PSP Theme 2 ($1.49)

File size: 554 KB

Azmodeus Dark Angels PSP Theme 11 ($0.99)
File size: 538 KB

Azmodeus Dark Angels PSP Theme 12 ($0.99)
File size: 516 KB


Comic Store Update

  • 2000AD Prog # 1666 – $ 1.99
  • Cancertown: An Inconvenient Tooth 2 $ 0.99
  • Daredevil (1998) # 96 – $ 1.99
  • Daredevil (1998) # 97 – $ 1.99
  • Donald Duck and the Three Musketeers 1 $ 1.99
  • Donald Duck Origami Maestro $ 0.99
  • *Groom Lake # 3 – $ 1.99
  • *Groom Lake # 4 – $ 1.99
  • Locke & Key: Head Games # 1 – $ 0.99
  • Marvel Zombies (2005) # 1 – $ 1.99
  • Marvel Zombies (2005) # 2 – $ 1.99
  • Marvel Zombies (2005) # 3 – $ 1.99
  • Marvel Zombies (2005) # 4 – $ 1.99
  • Marvel Zombies (2005) # 5 – $ 1.99
  • Scrooge McDuck and the Witchy Business # – $ 0.99
  • Tank Girl: The Gifting # 1 – $ 0.99
  • Tank Girl: The Gifting # 2 – $ 0.99
  • The Incredible Hulk (1999) # 95 – $ 1.99
  • The Incredible Hulk (1999) # 96 – $ 1.99
  • The Incredible Hulk (1999) # 97 – $ 1.99
  • The Incredible Hulk (1999) # 98 – $ 1.99
  • The Incredible Hulk (1999) # 99 – $ 1.99
  • The Incredible Hulk (1999) # 100 – $ 1.99
  • Transformers: All Hail Megatron # 11 – $ 1.99
  • Ultraheroes: Gathering # 1 – $ 0.99
  • Uncanny X-Men (2003) # 483 – $ 1.99
  • Uncanny X-Men (2003) # 484 – $ 1.99
  • Uncanny X-Men (2003) # 485 – $ 1.99
  • Wolverine (2003) # 32 – $ 1.99
  • Wolverine (2003) # 33 – $ 1.99
  • Wolverine (2003) # 34 – $ 1.99
  • Wolverine (2003) # 35 – $ 1.99
  • Wolverine (2003) # 36 – $ 1.99
  • Wolverine (2003) # 37 – $ 1.99
  • Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse: Calamari Rising # 11 – $ 0.99
  • X-Men (2004) # 181 – $ 1.99
  • X-Men (2004) # 182 – $ 1.99
  • X-Men (2004) 183 $ 1.99
  • X-Men (2004) # 184 – $ 1.99
  • X-Men (2004) # 185 – $ 1.99
  • X-Men (2004) # 186 – $ 1.99
  • X-Men: Colossus Bloodline (2005) # 1 – $ 1.99
  • X-Men: Colossus Bloodline (2005) # 2 – $ 1.99
  • X-Men: Colossus Bloodline (2005) # 3 – $ 1.99
  • X-Men: Colossus Bloodline (2005) # 4 – $ 1.99
  • X-Men: Colossus Bloodline (2005) # 5 – $ 1.99
  • X-Mickey: The Carousel # 6 – $ 1.99

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