Playstation Network Wrap-Up for April 15th, 2010

Being self-employed has its perks. You’re independent. You determine your workload. You don’t have to waste your life away in a cubicle, unable to listen to even a shitty Top 40 station at inaudible levels because some harpy four cubes down who hasn’t gotten laid since Michael Jackson did Rock With You doesn’t think it “appropriate”. In short, you feel like a human being.

There are times, however, when self-employment sucks. Today, April 15th, is one of those days.

Holy shit, did I get my ass kicked on taxes. Almost $700 out the door, all told, in a year where I made less overall than the previous one. Yes Virginia, the Superbus has learned a lesson in saving receipts! He’s also learned a lesson in making EVERYTHING a write-off. I should have considered that! I bought that crappy game Hustle Kings for a review! That’s a write-off! I reviewed NHL ’10! Write-off! If this year taught me anything, it’s that I have to let some of Lucard’s Jew Powers rub off on me. That man squeezes pennies so hard that cries of pain can be heard from Lincoln’s grave.

I can hear someone asking this now: “What does this have to do with the Playstation Network?”. My answer: absolutely nothing. But I have a soapbox, I just got fleeced for $700, and damnit, I need a place to bitch about it!

With that stated, it’s time for me to actually do my job and go over the PSN’s selections for this week. After last week, we’ve got a much improved selection.

The truly biggest update actually happened earlier this week: the combined expansions for Grand Theft Auto IV finally dropped on the Playstation Network. Episodes from Liberty City, which includes The Lost and the Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony, has been around on the 360 for awhile, but finally comes to the Playstation 3. According to Rockstar, these are stand-alone, meaning the original GTAIV disc isn’t required for the disc copy of the expansion. Furthermore, these are two full game experiences; these are meaty expansions. They’re $20 each, and from all accounts, they’re worth if for fans of the game.

After that, we have Final Fight: Double Impact for $10. This is not only an enhanced remake of the original Final Fight – complete with side-art bezels – but also an enhanced remake of Magic Sword, a side-scrolling action game with RPG elements that won’t be as well known to audiences as Final Fight, but should be; it was the predecessor to the amazing Dungeons & Dragons arcade games that Capcom would later release. Both of these games have their own challenges and trophies, and they play just as well as we remember them. Though I was never a huge Final Fight fan – I’m Streets of Rage for life – I can still recognize, through the demo of the 360 version, that these made a great transition over to the modern hardware, about as good as the R-Type remake that the 360 got. I heartily recommend this, and wish to do something I’ve not been known to do: commend Capcom. Between this, Dark Void Zero and Mega Man, they’ve been on a retro roll lately. If you’re going to do retro, do it right. Capcom’s doing it right.

Also out is the first episode of the new episodic game, Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse. For people that preordered, the first episode is downloadable, and there’s also a demo available of the first episode for those that didn’t. Here’s where I have a problem: you can’t just purchase the first episode. You MUST buy all five episodes, for $35 now, and wait for them to come out once a month. People! This is not how episodic games are supposed to work! Episodic doesn’t mean that I buy something now, just to wait six months to see it through! Now, anyone who wants to drop out after the first two episodes is out of luck, and out $30-$35. This is poor business sense by Telltale Games, and I’m much less inclined to look at this collection than I would be otherwise.

A demo for Skate 3 was released as well. I was able to play around with it, and appreciate the more light-hearted feel of this version over the previous one, if only because the previous one didn’t have “Coach Frank”, and over the top dork who looks like something Will Farrell would dream up who “teaches” you how to skate. The demo is the standard routine of learning how to play the game, and the controls seem tight, though I think the right stick is a little bit sensitive. One thing I like over Skate 2 is the new camera angle, which zooms back a bit and allows me to draw distance better. Overall, Skate fans will be interested, but anyone who’s only exposure to skating is the Tony Hawk games of years past should run screaming; as Yahtzee Croshaw said, this is a game for skaters, and anyone looking for quick entertainment should be warned that there’s a learning curve.

In terms of PSP games, the pickings are slim. The only downloadable game is Mimana Iyar Chronicle, which is not only a terrible game, but is also insultingly priced at $35 for a 12 hour game. Just read Alex’s review, but in short, this is yet another shitty Japanese RPG in a line of them. What’s more interesting to me is that Monopoly is a PSP mini now. It’s only $5, which is significantly less than the actual board game, and supports single player, which the board game supports only for those with extremely lively imaginations. I should warn, however, that this is the same version as the iPhone app, which I’ve heard has some ridiculous catch-up logic for AI players, too many reports of such to ignore.

On the sale front, the Spring Fever sale is for WipeOut HD, which is on sale for 50% off for the next week, going down to $10. This is a steal; the game is outstanding, and provides a fair amount of replayability as well. For $20, it was worth it. For $10, no one should avoid buying it. There are also four other games on sale or price drop:

Valhalia Knights 2: Battle Stance Permanent Price Drop (now $19.99, original price $29.99)
Tank Battles Sale (now $4.99, original price $6.99)
TV Show King Sale (now $4.99, original price $6.99)
UNO Sale (now $4.99, original price $7.99)

There’s not one game there that I can recommend with anything more than a tepid whimper. Valhalia Knights was mediocre, though not for lack of effort. Tank Battles is maybe worth $5 for retro fans, but it’s not interesting enough to hold my interest. TV Show King sucks, and UNO is inferior to the 360 version in every way. As far as sales go, this one kinda sucks.

Finally, the comic store gets a little bit of love this week, as the first eight episodes of Kick-Ass are on the Comic Store. THIS is how you cross promote. The comic isn’t getting much attention because of the movie, but I hear from people that I trust that the comic is outstanding. I’m not much of a comic guy, but this is a nice addition to a Comic Store who’s releases were getting a little stale for awhile.

That does it for this week. We actually had a good selection of games, demos and other goodies. Until next time, this is Christopher Bowen, who will be sold on the Comic Store for good the moment they release the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics that Eastman and Laird made before they were made into a cartoon.

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


This week’s Spring Fever celebrates Racing Week with WipEout HD! WipEout HD is on sale for $9.99 (regular price $19.99) Offer good through Wednesday, 4/21.

Updates

Valhalia Knights 2: Battle Stance Permanent Price Drop (now $19.99, original price $29.99)
Tank Battles Sale (now $4.99, original price $6.99)
TV Show King Sale (now $4.99, original price $6.99)
UNO Sale (now $4.99, original price $7.99)

Downloadable Games

Final Fight: Double Impact ($9.99)

Final Fight: Double Impact takes you on a hard-hitting journey through Capcom history with the ultimate versions of arcade classics Final Fight and Magic Sword. Double Impact slams into your home with seamless online and local co-op multiplayer, new music by acclaimed remixologists, HD-filtered graphics, a host of unlockables to discover, and an integrated online leaderboard to prove your mettle!
ERSB Rated T
File size: 257 MB

“Sam & Max” The Devil’s Playhouse Episode 1: The Penal Zone
Wield psychic powers against fearsome foes in this epic comedy saga.
The game starts with a bang as intergalactic gorilla invader Skunk’ape sets his sights on Max’s newly discovered mysterious powers. While mastering these abilities – future sight, teleportation, shape shifting, mind reading – and investigating their source, Sam & Max must fend off Skunk’ape and get him banished to The Penal Zone.

ESRB Rated E10+
File size: 524 MB

PSone Classics

XS Junior League Dodgeball ($5.99)
Put your dodgeball skills to the test in this adaptation of the popular playground game. Will you lead your team to victory, or simply to the school nurse?
Download this PS one Classic today!
ESRB Rated E
File size: 244 MB

Game Demos (free)

Skate 3 Demo
Welcome to the SKATE 3 Demo which offers both a single and multiplayer experience. Learn the ins and outs of skating with the all-new Skate.School or team up and throw down in co-op or competitive gameplay. Featuring new challenge types like Own The Lot and Domination, the ability to save and upload replays, and full game rewards for playing.
SKATE 3 – Team Up. Throw Down.
ESRB Rated T
File size: 920 MB

“Sam & Max” The Devil’s Playhouse Episode 1: The Penal Zone Demo

Wield psychic powers against fearsome foes in this epic comedy saga.
Get FREE trial of first episode, The Penal Zone.
The game starts with a bang as intergalactic gorilla invader Skunk’ape sets his sights on Max’s newly discovered mysterious powers. While mastering these abilities – future sight, teleportation, shape shifting, mind reading – and investigating their source, Sam & Max must fend off Skunk’ape and get him banished to The Penal Zone.
ESRB Rated E10+
File size: 524 MB

Add-on Game Content

Magic Orbz: Jungle Pack ($2.99)
Magic Orbz is a fresh spin on classic brick-breaking gameplay, enabling players to bust apart 3D environments, piece by piece. The new Magic Orbz Jungle Pack provides new levels, trophies, and adventures! Defeat the powerful evil shaman and help to save this world – or just destroy it at all, brick by brick! If you’re up for the challenge, check out the Magic Orbz Jungle Pack today!
File size: 100 KB

Zen Pinball: Excalibur Table ($2.49)
Earn your seat at the Round Table amongst the greatest knights in King Arthur’s court! The Arthurian legend is reborn on a lively pinball table with several unique features.
See the tales of the Knights of the Round Table unfold before you. Participate in duels or jousting tournaments for the honour, and defend Camelot against the robber knights!

File size: 60 MB

Hustle Kings – Crazy Tables: Hex Crazy (free)
The most stylish bar in town has a futuristic table that’s sure to test your cuing technique to the maximum. With more cushions, more angles and more ways to outsmart your opponent, you’ll need every trick in the book to get to the 8-Ball!
Best of all, it’s absolutely FREE!*
Download Hex Crazy for Hustle Kings today!
File size: 39 MB

PAIN: Fluffer Character ($0.99)
Meet Fluffer, the first feline to be launched into the world of PAIN. Though cats are often agile and flexible, that’s not the case for Fluffer. Help this feisty cat explore all the PAIN environments with your trusty launcher. Fluffer may hiss the first time in terror, but a few extra launches should warm that up to a purr or meow. What’s there to be scared of anyway “” aren’t cats always supposed to land on their feet? Download Fluffer today!

File size: 100 KB

Dante’s Inferno – Devil Pack ($2.99)
This pack includes the “ËœPutrid Voice’ magic ability as well as the “ËœPanderer’s Lash’ relic that augments this unholy power.
File size: 100 KB

Dragon Ball: Raging Blast Ultimate Warriors Pack 4 (free)
Dragon Ball: Raging Blast” Character Pack #11 is now available! The eleventh release is the “Ultimate Warriors Pack 4!” This pack contains the earth-rending fighters: Majin Buu, Super Buu, Kid Buu, Broly and Super Saiyan 3 Broly! All the ultimate warriors are not itching to dace each other, and the battles now reach its climax! Your legend as the world’s greatest warrior begins today!
File size: 116KB

Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce Quest Pack #4 (free)

Quest Pack #4 – 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.
Turban Fortress Defense
Battle of Jiang Ling
Wei Defense
File size: 101 KB

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

  • “Addicted” by Saving Abel ($1.99)
  • “Gives You Hell” by All-American Rejects ($1.99)
  • “There’s No Other Way” by Blur ($1.99)

File sizes: 34 MB – 40 MB (singles)

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

  • “Blood On My Hands” – The Used ($1.99)
  • “Born To Quit” – The Used ($1.99)
  • “The Taste Of Ink” – The Used ($1.99)
  • The Used Pack 1 ($5.49) – Build your Rock Band library by purchasing this song game track pack: The Used Pack 01. This pack includes “Blood On My Hands,” “Born To Quit,” and “The Taste Of Ink” by The Used.
  • “Empty Walls” – Serj Tankian ($1.99)
  • “Sky Is Over” – Serj Tankian ($1.99)
  • “All Star” – Smash Mouth ($1.99)

File sizes: 24 MB – 32 MB (singles), 80 MB (track pack)

Game Videos (free)

The Tester – Winner Interview
SCEA’s own Brent Gocke interviews the winner of The Tester. Brent gets the lowdown on the alliances, friendships and rivalries that developed over the course of the show, plus the winner shed light on what the experience was like from a contestant’s perspective.
File size: 242 MB (SD) 544 MB (HD)

Pulse 4/15 Edition

Join host Christina Lee for PULSE presented by the PlayStation Network. In this edition we check out the 2010 additions to the “Greatest Hits” library, share our staff picks from the Digital Comics collection for your PSP system, show off the latest video releases including Season 14 of South Park, and more!
File size: 267 MB (HD) 451 MB (1080)

PixelJunk Monsters Deluxe Trailer
File size: 28 MB (SD) 54 MB (HD)

Fat Princess: Fistful of Cake Trailer
File size: 100 MB (HD)

ModNation Racers – BTS: Mod Studio

File size: 193 MB (HD)

ModNation Racers – BTS: Kart Studio
File size: 160 MB (HD)

ModNation Racers – BTS: The Story
File size: 200 MB (HD)

Anarchy: Rush Hour Trailer
File size: 63 MB (HD)

2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa Official Trailer
File size: 51 MB (HD)

Army Of Two: Fortieth Day Chapters Of Deceit Developer Diary Network Trailer
File size: 59 MB (HD)

Need For Speed: Shift Exotic Racing Series Trailer
File size: 91 MB (HD)

PS3 Themes

South Park Anime Theme ($1.99)
File size: 5.15 MB

Megaman 10 Dynamic Theme 2 ($2.99)
File size: 367 KB

Sushi Theme ($1.99)
File size: 5.42 MB

PS3 Wallpaper

Patchwork Heroes Parachutes Wallpaper
File size: 222 KB (SD) 1.14 MB (HD)

PlayStation Store for PSP

Downloadable Games (also available from PS3 Storefront)

Mimana Iyar Chronicle ($34.99)
Mimana Iyar Chronicles blends the traditional RPG elements of vast map exploration and treacherous dungeon spelunking.
ESRB Rated T

File size: 443 MB

PSP Minis (also available from PS3 Storefront)

Monopoly ($4.99)
ESRB Rated E
File size: 67 MB

Telegraph Sudoku & Kakuro ($2.99)

ESRB Rated E
File size: 11 MB

Sheep Defense (PSP Only – $1.99)
ESRB Rated E
File size: 6 MB

Sweet Reversi (PSP Only – $1.99)
ESRB Rated E
File size: 8 MB

Tonzurakko (PSP Only – $1.99)
ESRB Rated E
File size: 6 MB

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

BUZZ! Quiz World National Geographic – Kids Quiz ($3.99)
Now kids everywhere can become trivia masterminds by learning from the acclaimed National Geographic archives! This BUZZ! Quiz World PSP quiz pack features hundreds of new questions to test the kids 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: 35 MB

LittleBigPlanet PSP Temples 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 these free costumes from the Temples Theme Pack.
NOTE: Manual Update required
File size: 2.46 MB

LittleBigPlanet PSP Temples Theme Pack ($2.99)
PLAY, CREATE, SHARE…Everywhere.

Download a new set of costumes and CREATE materials to create your own Temples levels! The Temples Theme Pack includes 6 Costume items, 11 CREATE Materials, 15 Stickers, 1 Music kit, and 1 Background.
NOTE: Manual Update required
File size: 2.60 MB

Game Videos (free)

Pulse 4/15 Edition
File size: 43 MB

The Tester – Winner Interview

SCEA’s own Brent Gocke interviews the winner of The Tester. Brent gets the lowdown on the alliances, friendships and rivalries that developed over the course of the show, plus the winner shed light on what the experience was like from a contestant’s perspective.
File size: 86 MB

PixelJunk Monsters Deluxe Trailer
File size: 5.18 MB

Fat Princess: Fistful of Cake Trailer
File size: 11 MB

ModNation Racers – BTS: Mod Studio

File size: 32 MB

ModNation Racers – BTS: Kart Studio
File size: 26 MB

ModNation Racers – BTS: The Story
File size: 32 MB

PSP Themes (also available from PS3 Storefront

South Park PSP Theme ($1.99)

File size: 442 KB

Patchwork Heroes – Friends Theme (free)
File size: 543 KB

PSP Wallpaper (free)

The Patchwork Heroes – Parachutes Wallpaper (PSP)
File size: 97 KB


Comic Store Update

  • 2000AD Prog # 1675 – $1.99
  • Abyss # 3 – $0.99
  • The Amazing Spider-Man (2003) # 556 – $1.99
  • The Amazing Spider-Man (2003) # 557 – $1.99
  • The Amazing Spider-Man (2003) # 558 – $1.99
  • The Amazing Spider-Man (2003) # 559 – $1.99
  • The Amazing Spider-Man (2003) # 560 – $1.99
  • Archie # 1 – $1.99
  • Atomic Robo Vol.2 # 2 – $0.99
  • Bill Willingham’s Pantheon # 2 – $1.99
  • Burke & Hare # 4 – $0.99
  • G.I. Joe # 13 – $1.99
  • G.I. Joe: Cobra # 8 – $1.99
  • G.I. Joe Origins # 13 – $1.99
  • Kick-Ass (2008) # 1 – $1.99
  • Kick-Ass (2008) # 2 – $1.99
  • Kick-Ass (2008) # 3 – $1.99
  • Kick-Ass (2008) # 4 – $1.99
  • Kick-Ass (2008) # 5 – $1.99
  • Kick-Ass (2008) # 6 – $1.99
  • Kick-Ass (2008) # 7 – $1.99
  • Kick-Ass (2008) # 8 – $1.99
  • The Lexian Chronicles # 2 – $0.99
  • Locke & Key: Crown of Shadows # 4 – $1.99
  • Mickey Mouse and the Knights of the Round Table # 1 – $1.99
  • Runes of Ragnan # 3 – $0.99
  • Scrooge McDuck and His Hopeless Holiday # 1 – $0.99
  • Scrooge McDuck and the Soft Spot – $0.99
  • Sláine: Book of Invasions # 2 – $2.99
  • Superduck and the Reality Show for Debts – $0.99
  • Transformers: Movie Sequel: The Reign of Starscream # 4 – $1.99
  • Transformers: Tales of the Fallen # 6 – $1.99
  • Vampire Hunter D Volume 1 # 2 – $1.99
  • We Kill Monsters # 6 – $0.99
  • We Will Bury You # 2 – $1.99
  • Weekly World News # 3 – $1.99
  • X-Mickey # 11 – $1.99

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