Playstation Network Wrap-Up for March 18th, 2010

Last week’s PSN update was lacklustre in terms of big names. Outside of Mega Man 10, there wasn’t really much to move the needle. This week is no better; in fact, if this was a wrestling match, the crowd would be doing a “BORING” chant. In terms of sexiness, this isn’t the update for most people. When the biggest news is an expansion of another game, it’s a pretty down week. However, that doesn’t mean we don’t have a show stealer. Hint: it’s not the one that most readers would think.

This week’s biggest news is in the DLC department, as the long awaited Dragon Age: Origins Awakening has hit. When I say “hit”, I mean to your wallet, to the tune of FORTY BUCKS. Personally, if I’m going to pay that much for an expansion, it better come with a harem of women who are flexible both morally and gymnastically, and what’s worse is that an awful lot of the scuttlebutt I’m hearing is that this is NOT worth the full $40. I’ve heard multiple complaints that it feels rushed, and doesn’t really fit into the storyline of the game. I’ll actually quote a comment that I feel sums up the gist of what I’m hearing: “From what I’ve been lead to understand, this expansion is really only worth it if you’re really into the non game lore of Dragon Ages (the books, comics, side games, etc). It sounds like this was put out to catch the end of that 6 month window that EA insists every game MUST HAVE for DLC to be relevant; the comedy being, this is DLC, it never mattered in the first place, and now its being rushed.” It’s really in the eye of the beholder as to whether this is worth $40 on top of a game that was already $60, but might I remind people that back in the “old” days, expansion packs used to cost between $15 and $20? That’s something to think about before dropping what seems to be an obscene amount of money on this.

It should be noted that elsewhere on the DLC front, there’s both paid DLC for Need for Speed: SHIFT ($10) and free DLC for Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce. Give Tecmo Koei credit: their game might suck, but I love the way they expand upon their games for their fans. Keep up that good work, guys.

There’s another PS3 game available called Groovin’ Blocks for $10, which describes itself as “the ultimate combination of challenging puzzle game set to irresistible musical beats”. That sounds fantastic, but… correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t that sound exactly like Lumines? There’s sadly no demo for this yet – that’s one advantage the XBox Live Arcade has, all their games come with demos – so I can’t really play test this without buying it, but as someone that typically loves block-based puzzle games, I’m not really willing to blow $10 on another derivative puzzle game. Whether that’s me accurately assessing the situation or just being a jaded asshole remains to be seen. I’m also going to put the one demo that came out in this paragraph, because it doesn’t deserve it’s own: Brain Challenge has a demo now. I HATE it when companies do this. This game has been available in some form or another since 2007. It was available on XBLA since March of ’08, and on the PSN since November of ’08. Gameloft couldn’t port over a demo in that time, considering they’re required on XBLA? They had to wait SEVENTEEN MONTHS? Really, if you don’t know about the game by now, picture the DS game Brain Age, but by a company that shits out crappy, generic casual games like an automatic weapon. The full game is only $5, but it’s a turd. If these types of games are your thing, find the DS original instead. It not only started this fad, it also is much better than any of it’s copycats.

Interestingly, it seems the PSN is finally taking a page from Steam’s book: it’s offering a preorder of the next edition of Sam & Max games for $30, instead of the full $35 that the set of five games would go for. Anyone who likes episodic content, or who liked the latest iteration of the Sam & Max series, might want to think about this, as the Sam & Max games have been held up as a high-water for the medium since they were DOS based PC games. At $6 a game, the price isn’t too bad, especially for fans of the series.

The PSP saw two new games this week, and one mini. I’ll save the best for last. The mini is YABC BreakQuest. If you just can’t get enough of Breakout clones, it’s $4. We also have The Red Star, which was released on the PS2 after Acclaim died, and reviewed fairly well by shoot ’em up fans. It’s been described as “Smash TV meets Ikaruga“, and runs for $15. I would advise iPhone owners to at least wait a bit until the game comes out for the iPhone, as it will likely be cheaper, but as it is, it at least looks intriguing. Finally, what I KNOW is intriguing is that the full version of Patchwork Heroes is out! I went over the demo two weeks ago, and was extremely high on it. Now it’s out, and it’s only $10. This, to me, qualifies as an instant purchase; you get a fun game that you can pick up and play that will also give you a challenge. This is the show-stealer of the update; the demo was outstanding, and the full game for $10 seems like a steal to me.

Two PS one “classics” hit the service, and neither one is worth a second look. One is the only one that anyone paid attention to in the slightest when it was out, and for 1997, it worked decently as a hybrid platform/action game. However, it’s 2010, and One doesn’t cut it anymore. I couldn’t count the number of cheap hits and cheaper deaths I went through, and while actually fighting enemies, I couldn’t get “I need auto-lock” out of my head. To be fair, the game gives a decent adrenalene rush, especially in the first stage where you run through a stage as a helicopter fires both guns and missiles at your character, but the outdated controls kinda ruin the experience. This one’s for nostalgics only. The second game is Jigsaw Madness, literally a jigsaw puzzle game. I don’t think I need to waste my time or money on this one, it should be self-explanatory.

Finally, we have a few price changes, and a bundle to talk about. 1942: Joint Strike has a temporary price drop from $10 to $5. That’s a good price for this game, and is a good purchase for shooter fans. Trine, the 2.5D puzzle/platform game with a resemblance to The Lost Vikings, has received a permanent price drop from $20 to $15. This is outstanding news, as it’s a great game that deserves more attention. Finally, a LUXOR two pack has been bundled together for $10. LUXOR is nothing more than a Zuma clone, but for $10 for over 200 levels, that’s an awful lot of game to be had, so it’s good for casual fans. There’s also an interesting offer on echodrome, where buying the game before April 1st also gives you a DLC pack in the bargain. That’s something to consider for puzzle fans.

Overall, a very mediocre week for the PSN, with the only definite purchase being a $10 PSP game, and the biggest news being an overpriced expansion. Until next time, this is Christopher Bowen, who is too busy playing Grandia to care about two shitty PS one games.

The full Playstation Store and Comic Store updates are after the cut.


Price Updates and Special Offers

  • 1942 Joint Strike Sale (now $4.99, original price $9.99)
  • Trine Permanent Price Drop (now $14.99, original price $19.99)
  • echoshift Special Offer
    Download echoshift today and receive an exclusive add-on pack with seven extra levels free! Offer available for a limited time, only until April 1, 2010.
    File Size: 161.81 MB

Downloadable Games

Groovin’ Blocks ($9.99)
It’s time to get your PlayStation Network groove on! Groovin’ Blocks is the ultimate combination of challenging puzzle game set to irresistible musical beats. Match three or more gems and watch them disappear; explode gems to the beat of the music to double your multipliers and increase your score! Groove with your friends in local co-op or head-to-head modes. Groovin’ Blocks features three skill levels from casual mode to fiendish hard mode.
ESRB Rated E
File size: 180 MB

Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse Pre-order ($29.99)

Pre-order the first Sam & Max game to hit the PlayStation 3 to lock down all 5 episodes!
ESRB Rated E10+
File size: 100 KB

The Tester

The Tester Episode 5
This week’s episode is called “Buzz In or Buzz Off.” The remaining six (only 6!) gamers take on a BUZZ!-themed quiz challenge testing their mastery of all things PlayStation. Things heat up when SCEA’s Director of First Party Quality Assurance, Jeff Wilkerson, joins the panel this week to evaluate who might have what it takes to work on one of his QA teams. There’s no place to hide in this episode and somebody is bound to crack under the pressure.
File size: 385 MB (SD) 864 MB (HD)

PSone Classics

One ($5.99)
Discover the secrets of your past as you make your way through a strange future. Only one thing will protect you along the way: RAGE
ESRB Rated T
File size: 37 MB

Jigsaw Madness ($5.99)
Piece together 150 different pictures in this digitalized version of the timeless puzzle!
ESRB Rated E
File size: 208 MB

Game Demos (free)

Brain Challenge Demo
Play Brain Challenge now for free with this trial version! Boost your brain and relieve stress through 25 Visual, Memory, Logic, Math and Focus mini-games. Get detailed evaluations of your performances in personal training sessions with your coach. Challenge other players online/offline and determine who’s the best in the delirious multiplayer Card Game!
ESRB Rated E
File size: 220 MB

Add-on Game Content

Aliens Vs. Predator Multiplayer Swarm Map Pack ($6.99)
Four additional multiplayer maps for Aliens vs Predator.

  • Docks – a dockyard on the waters of BG-386
  • Outpost – the original site of the Weyland-Yutani colony on BG-386
  • Machine – this facility provided electrical power to the colonists at Freya’s Prospect
  • Hive – The Xenomorph hive. Beware all who enter here.

File size: 427 MB

Dragon Age: Origins Awakening ($39.99)
The archdemon lies dead-and yet in coastal Amaranthine, strange darkspawn still plague the land. As the newly appointed commander of the Grey Wardens, you must rebuild your shattered stronghold, recruit new Wardens to the cause, and defeat this terrifying menace.
File size: 1.57 GB

Dragon Ball: Raging Blast Ultimate Warriors Pack 2 (free)

“Dragon Ball: Raging Blast” Character Pack #9 is now available! The ninth release is the “Ultimate Warriors Pack 2!” This pack contains Majin Vegeta, Frieza, Android #17, Android #18 and Cell! The ultimate fighters with exceptional abilities join the Raging Blast battles! Can you control their incomparable powers?!
File size: 116 KB

Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce Quest Pack #2 (free)
Quest Pack #2 – Enhance your Strikeforce experience with these new missions and challenges. Also includes all previous Quest Packs. The following quests will be added to the city’s “Noticeboard”. To learn more about this pack and about Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce go to www.tecmokoeiamerica.com/strikeforce.

  • Battle of Ru Xu Kou
  • Linked Chains Plan
  • Martial Contest 2

File size: 101 KB

Need for Speed SHIFT Exotic Racing Series ($9.99)
The all-new Exotic Racing Series for Need for Speed SHIFT introduces seven phenomenal new cars, including the McLaren MP4-12C and the legendary BMW M1, and the amazing new Riviera track. Over fifty exciting new events have also been created just for these cars, so you’ll have plenty of time to revel in these beauties. Completing the Exotic Racing Series are an additional 125 points worth of trophies for undertaking various exciting challenges.
File size: 215 MB

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

  • “(No More) Paddy’s Lament” by Flogging Molly ($1.99)
  • “Requiem For A Dying Song” by Flogging Molly ($1.99)
  • “The Seven Deadly Sins” by Flogging Molly ($1.99)
  • Flogging Molly Track Pack ($5.49) – Downloadable Track Pack featuring “Requiem For A Dying Song”, “The Seven Deadly Sins”, and “(No More) Paddy’s Lament” by Flogging Molly. 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: 31 MB – 36 MB (singles), 99 MB (track pack)

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

  • “It’s Not My Time””” 3 Doors Down ($1.99)
  • “Control””” Mute Math ($1.99)
  • “Lady Gaga’s “ËœPoker Face’ (South Park Version)””” Eric Cartman ($1.99)
  • “Oh Yeah””” The Subways ($1.99)
  • “Rock & Roll Queen””” The Subways ($1.99)
  • “The Who Super Bowl S-mashup””” The Who ($1.99)
  • “Bad Romance””” Lady Gaga ($1.99)
  • “Just Dance””” Lady Gaga ($1.99)
  • “Monster””” Lady Gaga ($1.99)
  • “Poker Face””” Lady Gaga ($1.99)
  • Lady Gaga Pack 1 ($6.99) – Build your Rock Band library by purchasing this song game track pack: Lady Gaga Pack 1. This pack includes “Bad Romance,” “Just Dance,” “Poker Face,” and “Monster” by Lady Gaga.

File sizes: 21 MB – 89 MB (singles), 165 MB (track pack)

Game Videos (free)

Pulse 3/18 Edition
Join host Christina Lee for PULSE presented by the PlayStation Network. In this edition, get a sneak peek at God of War III, get the lowdown on a huge expansion pack for Dragon Age: Origins, and take a look at the top PSP downloads so far this year. New video releases include the Wachowski brothers’ Ninja Assassin and the intriguing ABC series, FlashForward.
File size: 262 MB (HD) 452 MB (1080)

make.believe – Creating Magic Gaming Moments

File size: 63 MB (HD) 104 MB (1080)

SOCOM 4 – Announce Trailer
File size: 55 MB (HD) 92 MB (1080)

“Sam & Max” The Devil’s Playhouse Trailer
File size: 133 MB (1080)

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
File size: 42 MB (HD)

Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands Gameplay Reveal Trailer

File size: 133 MB (HD)

Heavy Rain Immersion Video
File size: 240 MB (HD) 418 MB (1080)

Heavy Rain Story Video
File size: 214 MB (HD) 365 MB (1080)

Heavy Rain Testimonials Video
File size: 124 MB (HD) 211 MB (1080)

Army of Two: The 40th Day Chapters of Deceit Trailer
File size: 41 MB (HD)

MLB 10 The Show Pick Off Trailer
File size: 72 MB (HD) 121 MB (1080)

MLB 10 The Show Catcher Mode Trailer
File size: 54 MB (HD) 90 MB (1080)

MLB 10 The Show Launch Trailer
File size: 66 MB (HD) 112 MB (1080)

Music

Heavy Rain Soundtrack ($9.99)
File size: 83 MB

PS3 Themes

Heavy Rain Mars ARI Dynamic Theme ($2.99)
File size: 3.77 MB

Acid Trip Theme ($1.49)
File size: 6.38 MB

World of Outlaws Sprint Cars Theme ($0.99)
File size: 6.26 MB

Wallpaper (free)

Feeding Frenzy 2 Shipwreck Showdown Wallpaper

File size: 212 KB (SD) 865 KB (HD)

PlayStation Store for PSP

Downloadable Games (also available from PS3 Storefront)

Patchwork Heroes ($9.99)
The fate of a city is in your hands! Act quickly in 30 levels to save cities from giant looming warships in this fun action game. Become a hero by controlling a powerful destructive vehicle that can cut enemy ships apart into patches of different sizes that crash to the ground. Dodge enemies, rescue trapped comrades, and use special attacks to beat each ship before time runs out!
ESRB Rated E10+
File size: 229 MB

The Red Star ($14.99)

Set in a Russian-inspired parallel universe, The Red Star thrusts you into a gritty futuristic world of chaotic warfare, industrial technology and arcane magic.
ESRB Rated T
File size: 216 MB

LUXOR Bundle – LUXOR Wrath of Set & LUXOR Pharaoh’s Challenge ($9.99)
Join the adventure and travel through more than 200 levels of marble-shooting adventure in this LUXOR Two Pack! Including LUXOR Wrath of Set and LUXOR Pharaoh’s Challenge, you’ll wield your scarab shooter from the Nile delta deep into Egypt.
ESRB Rated E
File size: 40 MB

PSP minis (also available from PS3 Storefront)

BreakQuest ($3.99)
File size: 66 MB

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

LittleBigPlanet PSP Metropolis 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 five costumes from the Metropolis level of the PS3 version of the game.
NOTE: Manual Update required
File size: 2.53 MB

LittleBigPlanet PSP Metropolis Theme Pack ($2.99)
PLAY, CREATE, SHARE…Everywhere. Download a new set of costumes and CREATE materials to create your own Metropolis levels! The Metropolis Theme Pack includes 10 Costume items, 25 CREATE Materials, 14 Stickers, 1 Music kit, and 1 Background.

NOTE: Manual Update required
File size: 2.66 MB

BUZZ! Quiz World Rock Idols Quiz Pack ($3.99)
Are you ready for a solo? Show the competition how much you know about some of the best rock acts in music! This BUZZ! Quiz World PSP quiz pack features hundreds of questions about rock music to play in any of your favorite BUZZ! Quiz World PSP game modes. Download this quiz pack today and turn your party into the ultimate trivia showdown. Challenge friends and family and “Show “Ëœem Your Trivia!”
File size: 44 MB

Game Videos (free)

The Tester Episode 5
File size: 156 MB

Pulse 3/18 Edition

File size: 44 MB

Heavy Rain Immersion Video
File size: 38 MB

Heavy Rain Story Video
File size: 34 MB

Heavy Rain Testimonials Video
File size: 20 MB

SOCOM 4 Announce Trailer
File size: 8.12 MB

PSP Themes (also available from PS3 Storefront)

Acid Trip PSP Theme ($1.49)
File size: 480 KB

Underwater Disco PSP Theme ($1.49)
File sizes: 530 KB

Abstracted – 1st Wall PSP Theme ($0.99)
File size: 621 KB

Abstracted – 2nd Wall PSP Theme ($0.99)
File sizes: 641 KB


Comic Store Update

  • 2000AD Prog # 1671 – $ 1.99
  • Archie & Friends # 138 – $ 1.99
  • Donald Duck and the Anger Expert # 0 – $ 0.99
  • Dragon Age # 1 – $ 1.99
  • Dreamland Chronicles # 3 – $ 1.99
  • G.I. Joe # 9 – $ 1.99
  • G.I. Joe Origins # 9 – $ 1.99
  • G.I. Joe: Snake Eyes # 3 – $ 1.99
  • Gladstone Gander Tries His Luck # 0 – $ 0.99
  • Little Ducks # 0 – $ 0.99
  • Locke & Key: Head Games # 6 – $ 0.99
  • Scrooge McDuck and Secretary’s Day # 0 – $ 0.99
  • Shaun the Sheep Comic # 4 – $ 0.99
  • Star Trek: Nero # 3 – $ 1.99
  • Transformers: All Hail Megatron # 16 – $ 1.99
  • Wallace & Gromit Comic # 8 – $ 0.99
  • We Kill Monsters # 2 – $ 0.99
  • Weekly World News # 2 – $ 1.99
  • Wolverine (2003) # 62 – $ 1.99
  • Wolverine (2003) # 63 – $ 1.99
  • Wolverine (2003) # 64 – $ 1.99
  • Wolverine (2003) # 65 – $ 1.99
  • Wolverine (2003) # 66 – $ 1.99
  • The X-Men (1963) # 6 – $ 1.99
  • The X-Men (1963) # 7 – $ 1.99
  • The X-Men (1963) # 8 – $ 1.99
  • The X-Men (1963) # 9 – $ 1.99
  • The X-Men (1963) # 10 – $ 1.99
  • X-Mickey # 9 – $ 1.99

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