Playstation Network Wrap-Up for April 29th, 2010

I have officially declared Grace Chen my nemesis.

She not only screws up my schedule, she taunts me while doing so. While a layperson would say “Chris, she has no idea who the hell you are” and “will you stop listening to those voices in your head?”, I know. Oh, I know! First, her Playstation Network updates came later and later, at one time coming out after 9PM EST. SOME people would say “Chris, she’s based in San Diego, they don’t really care about you people on the East Coast”, but I’m sure it’s something sinister, a sinister plot to KILL MY… bedtime. You might call me crazy, but people are out to kill Glenn Beck, and no one can doubt him as a sane, rational man!

Then on Thursday, a reprieve: the Playstation Update was up at almost 5PM EST. Oh glorious days, I thought! Grace and her army of angry Leprechauns have stopped their siege, and I’ll be allowed to go free, or at least get to bed at a decent hour! Then, Grace dropped the backbreaker, likely while laughing at the top of her evil base at the top of a volcano: the Playstation Store is going to update on Tuesdays instead of Thursdays, pushing this column back to Wednesday mornings instead of Friday. This actually screws up my schedule, as I now have to dedicate a separate night to editing and doing this column. A hit to my schedule that I’m 100% CERTAIN was intended by her for that purpose! Just let me live, Grace Chen! JUST LET ME LIIIIIIIIVE!!!

Needless to say, this is the final week we’re going to see this update on a Friday, as well as the last week before I get sectioned by “The Man”, presumably because I’m… what’s the term they used… oh yeah, a “danger to others”. Just because I have coordinates of Grace’s location and a dartboard with her picture on it loaded with darts, doesn’t mean I’m a danger! How dare they!1

1 – I do not have coordinates on Grace Chen’s location, and actually think she does an outstanding job managing the multi-faceted Playstation Store and its multiple divisions. I also don’t own any dartboard, and prefer my dart playing to be done with friends at a bar. Please don’t call the authorities on me.

Before they take me away and give me my happy drugs, let’s look at what Sony put out this week. This is actually a meaty week in terms of content, with the PSN store getting one HUGE game, in more ways than one.

The biggest game coming out this week is Record of Agarest War. This is the latest SRPG from Idea Factory, and while that’s normally not a bad thing, I’ve been burned before by them. Furthermore, the marketing for the game has been absolutely shameful, playing up wanton sex as if this was a Dead or Alive game, despite the fact that the game features virtually none of those elements according to Alex Lucard, who’s played the Japanese version. Then again, we don’t know what’s been put into the game since its localization; the fact that this is an AKSYS localization doesn’t give me or Alex much hope. My recommendation on this is to do what I’m doing: wait until Alex gets back from his vacation later this week and reviews this. The Japanese game was good, but we’re not sure of this localization. At $45, this is expensive at first glance, but the download is a whopping 9GB and the game has a lot of content, so there will be bang for the buck here. Furthermore, there’s already add-ons that help the gameplay experience along which are all free; take note of that, Namco Bandai. It should also be noted that while the PS3 version is download only, there’s a physical copy on the 360 with extra… um, goodies that runs $60. The 360 version is better from reports I’ve heard, so the PS3 version is really for people that either don’t have a 360, want to save $15, or are not willing to walk into a Gamestop and tell the clerk “I’d like the Really Naughty Limited Edition of Agarest War, please”. Guess which category I’m in.

Also out for the PS3 is the game based on the movie Kick Ass. Surprisingly, a licensed game is only $15, which seems a good cost for value; most licensed games are much more expensive. However, this seems like a song we’ve heard before; a licensed game that is a third person beat ’em up. If that doesn’t scream “wait for a demo”, I don’t know what does. I normally don’t like judging games or books by their covers, but considering the history of movie tie-ins, I think caution is warranted.

On the demo front, we have a demo for Wakeboarding HD which, in a stupid manoeuvre, I forgot to mention the week it was released as a full game, probably because I was so frustrated at the lack of a demo. Ironic, that. Anyway, I’ve played the demo, and was bored; picture a mix of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater mixed in with Wave Race 64 and some horrid collision detection, and you’re set.

On the PSP, we have the release of the downloadable version of 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa for $40. I can’t speak for the PSP version of the game, but I’m playing – and will review – the 360 version, and so far, I’m confident in calling the whole series a pass unless the price comes down dramatically. The console version is FIFA ‘10.5 with a fresh paint of World Cup paint, and while qualification is a great addition, I’m not sure there’s enough there to warrant a full price purchase for most football fans unless they didn’t buy FIFA ’10. I would recommend these games only for those in countries who are under-represented in other football games. It IS nice to be able to qualify for the World Cup as Canada, so that’s something to consider for Canadian readers. Finally, it should be noted that there are two separate versions: one for English gamers, and another for French. It’s not like the console version, which has different languages programmed in.

For the first time since Grandia, we also have a notable PS one release! Star Wars Dark Forces is a first person shooter set in the Star Wars universe, which should be like catnip to fans of the series. However, a few things should be noted before people decide to drop $6 on this: 1) this is a 1996 era release, so this is before a lot of the things that we’re used to when it comes to console FPS games, like the dual analogue stick. Secondly, this is a port of a PC/Mac game (remember when games used to be developed for Macintoshes? Yeah, me neither), and was slagged by reviews at the time on a poor framerate and poor, “dated” visuals. If a game’s 3D visuals are “dated” for 1996, imagine how it looks now. The framerate issue was the biggest killer to me; the game sputtered like Thomas the Tank Engine on me. I would give this a pass except for the biggest, die-hard Star Wars fan. If anything, it’s a piece of history; this game actually pre-dates The Phantom Menace by three years.

In terms of specials, the only ones that really matter are the Spring Fever special on the PixelJunk series. Each individual PixelJunk game is $5, with a three for one bundle running for $10. Each game except Racers did well with reviewers, so the bundle is not a bad pick-up, though it’s also the same price to just get the two exceptional titles.

That’s it for this week. One huge game, one game for fans of Kick Ass, and a lot of DLC which will all be chronicled below. Until next week, this is Christopher Bowen, who swears he’s not going crazy. Honest! You can all take me out of this white jacket now…

The full Playstation Store and Comic Store update is below, under the cut.


Please note – PlayStation Store will be moving to a Tuesday publish starting next week 5/4.

This week Spring Fever highlights the PixelJunk Franchise! Up to 50% off all PixelJunk PS3 Games. Offers good through Monday, 5/3.

  • PixelJunk 3-in-1 Pack (Bundle) (Sale price $9.99, regular price $19.99)
  • PixelJunk Racers (PS3) (Sale price $4.99, regular price $6.99)
  • PixelJunk Eden (PS3) / PixelJunk Monsters (PS3) / PixelJunk Shooter (PS3) (Sale price $4.99 each, regular price $9.99 each)

Updates

  • LittleBigPlanet: Street Fighter Costumes Sale – Chun-Li, Guile, Ryu and Zangief (now $0.99, original price $1.99)
  • LittleBigPlanet: Street Fighter Costume Pack Sale (now $2.99, original price $5.99)
  • Fortix Minis Sale (now $3.99, original price $4.99)

Downloadable Games

Record of Agarest War ($44.99)

Leonhardt, a young military officer, must sacrifice his life, his soul, and his future to seal the pillars of the gods on each of Agarest’s five continents. Will his children””who suffer the same fate””find a world of light, or one of darkness, at the end of their long battle? Only the future will tell…
ERSB Rated T
File size: 9.01 GB

Kick-Ass ($14.99)
Kick-Ass is a third-person action fighting game, and it is based on the movie of the same name. The game takes the player through 12 different mission areas of New York, facing petty thugs and even powerful mob bosses. The player chooses any of the 3 Superheros, Kick-Ass, Big Daddy, or Hit-Girl. Each Superhero has their own special and unique weapons for fighting. The player’s main goal is to bring justice back to the city “” at any cost.
ERSB Rated M
File size: 949 MB

PS one Classics

Star Wars Dark Forces ($5.99)
Follow Kyle Katarn, ex Imperial Army personnel, as he works as a mercenary for the Rebel Alliance. What dark secrets will he find? Download this PS one Classic today!
ESRB Rated T
File size: 309 MB

Game Demos (free)

Wakeboarding HD Demo

Wakeboarding HD Demo contains two missions and tutorial. Grab your board and hold on tight! The Demo drops players into a high-speed, water-filled, arcade experience to maneuver through tracks, perform high-flying tricks, collect bonuses and avoid dangers. Show your skills and wreak havoc as the bright and colorful tropical paradise resort transforms into an action-packed extreme playground.
ESRB Rated E
File size: 119 MB

Add-on Game Content

Blue Toad Murder Files Episode 4: Death From Above ($7.49)
Episode 1 required to play. As the death count of Little Riddle rises, the funeral of the latest victim provides the backdrop for the latest act of villainy. Who will be next to suffer in the hands of the evil mastermind? Join the Blue Toad detectives to solve the puzzles and mysteries of Little Riddle. Episode 4 of 6. This product supports the following languages: In-game speech: English; On-screen text: English.
File size: 366 MB

Blue Toad Murder Files Episode 5: The Riddles Of The Past ($7.49)
Episode 1 required to play. Your super sleuth instinct has uncovered the true criminal of Little Riddle but you need solid evidence to convince the law before they throw you out of the village. Can you convince the Inspector in time or will the trivialities of the villagers get in your way? Episode 5 of 6. This product supports the following languages: In-game speech: English; On-screen text: English.
File size: 381 MB

Blue Toad Murder Files Episode 6: Flight Of The Felonious Fugitive ($7.49)
Episode 1 required to play. The felonious fugitive is on the run and only a Blue Toad detective can stop them. With the support of the villagers and finally the Inspector can you catch the criminal and put an end to their crime spree once and for all? Episode 6 of 6. This product supports the following languages: In-game speech: English; On-screen text: English.
File size: 385 MB

Blue Toad Murder Files Episodes 4-6 Bundle Pack ($14.99)

Episode 1 required to play. Purchase episodes 4-6 for a special discounted price. Played solo or up to four players locally, can you unravel the secrets of Little Riddle?
This product supports the following languages: In-game speech: English; On-screen text: English.
File size: 1.11 GB

MAG – Fast Attack Gear Pack (free)
Strike fast, strike hard and get out. With the Fast Attack Gear Pack, the enemy won’t know you’re there until it’s all over. This gear pack has everything for the soldier that craves speed with additional survivability: a reinforced light armor package combined with all new Special Edition Sniper Rifles provide the best of both worlds.
File size: N/A

Just Cause 2: Black Market Aerial Pack ($1.99)

A pack of must-have downloadable items to help you to cause maximum aerial chaos.
File size: 3.71 MB

Record Of Agarest War: Add-On Dungeon 1: Generation 1 Holy Island Of Erin (free)
An add-on dungeon for generation 1. An uncharted adventure awaits you on the [Holy Island of Erin]!
File size: 2.33 MB

Record Of Agarest War: Add-On Dungeon 2: Generation 2 Trum Coast (free)
An add-on dungeon for generation 2. A new frontier waits to be explored along the [Trum Coast]! Note: Can only be reached if you have chosen the coastal path
File size: 2.33 MB

Record Of Agarest War: Item Pack 1: Recovery Kit (free)
A set of recovery items. It contains 3 [Grass] that recover HP, 3 [Cure Grass], and 3 [Fragment of Life] that recover the inability to fight. These items are necessities for all adventurers. You’re in good hands as long as you have this with you.
File size: 2.33 MB

Record Of Agarest War: Item Pack 2: Skill Set (free)
A set of skills. It contains [Heal], which recovers HP; [Refresh], which removes any status abnormality; and [Capture], which makes it possible to have monsters join your party. [Capture] is an especially reassuring skill to have. Don’t miss this chance to get it for yourself!
File size: 2.33 MB

Record Of Agarest War: Points Pack 1: Trial Point Pack (free)

A set containing 1,000G and a bunch of ability points (50PP, 100TP, and 100EP). Try it for yourself.
File size: 2.33 MB

Megaman 10 Endless Attack ($2.99)
Test your skills on a stage without end. Try to break the record for getting the farthest. Results will be displayed in the Leaderboards. Not compatible with Trophies or Challenges.
File size: 1.28 MB

Megaman 10 Special Stage 2 ($0.99)
Gives you another Time Attack Stage to try, including a new Boss at the end! Results will be displayed in the Rankings. Not compatible with Trophies or Challenges.
File size: 1.16 MB

Megaman 10 Special Stage 3 ($0.99)
Gives you another Time Attack Stage to try, including a new Boss at the end! Results will be displayed in the Rankings. Not compatible with Trophies or Challenges.
File size: 1.15 MB

Super Street Fighter IV Super Challengers Costume Pack 1 ($3.99)
Download the first pack of alternate costumes for Super Street Fighter IV! New costumes for Hakan, Makoto, Guy, Dudley and Dee Jay are included. Throw on your new gear and go to town on the opposition.
File size: 100 KB

Dante’s Inferno Trials of St. Lucia ($9.99)
ESRB Rated M

File size: 1 GB

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

  • “After Forever” by Black Sabbath ($1.99)
  • “Into the Void” by Black Sabbath ($1.99)
  • “Sweet Leag” by Black Sabbath ($1.99)
  • Black Sabbath Track Pack ($5.49) – Downloadable Track Pack featuring “After Forever”, “Into The Void”, and “Sweet Leaf” by Black Sabbath. 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 size: 51 MB – 58 MB (singles), 159 MB (track pack)

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

  • “Again” – Flyleaf ($1.99)
  • “Thunderbirds Are Go!” – Busted ($1.99)
  • “Tomorrow” – Silverchair ($1.99)

Rock Band Network

  • “Burn It Down” by Five Finger Death Punch ($1.99)
  • “Business Time” by Flight of the Conchords ($1.99)
  • “Lady in a Blue Dress” by Senses Fail ($1.99)
  • “Push Push (Lady Lightning)” by Bang Camaro ($0.99)
  • “Stick Stickly” – by Attack! Attack! ($1.99)

File size: 24 MB – 33 MB (singles)

Game Videos (free)

ModNation Racers: Artist Spotlight – Ted Price

ModNation Racers presents a series of videos that showcase creative individuals from different walks of life. Watch as Gaming Icons, Vinyl Artis, and Professional Drivers express themselves in ModNation Racers. In our first episode, meet Ted Price, founder of Insomniac Games, as he shares his thoughts on his love of the industry & science fiction while he uses ModNation Racers to make Ratchet and Clank’s girlfrends!
File size: 170 MB (HD)

ModNation Racers: Artist Spotlight – David Jaffe
ModNation Racers presents a series of videos that showcase creative individuals from different walks of life. From Gaming Icons to Vinyl Artists, anyone can express themselves in ModNation Racers. In our second episode, David Jaffe, legendary creator of the Twisted Metal and God of War franchises, shares his personal take on game development, his impressions of ModNation Racers, and his feelings on the custom Kratos and Sweet Tooth Mods.
File size: 151 MB (HD)

ModNation Racers: Artist Spotlight – Sucker Punch

ModNation Racers presents a series of videos that showcase creative individuals from different walks of life. Watch as Gaming Icons, Vinyl Artists, and Professional Drivers express themselves in ModNation Racers. In our third episode, we talk to the talented crew of Sucker Punch Productions! What do the creators of Sly Cooper and InFAMOUS do when they get their hands on ModNation’s Track Studio? They recreate Empire City of course!
File size: 158 MB (HD)

UNCHARTED 2: Siege Expansion Pack – “The Highrise” Flythrough Trailer
Download the flythrough trailer for “The Highrise” multiplayer map from the “Siege Expansion Pack” today!
File size: 43 MB (HD)

UNCHARTED 2: Siege Expansion Pack – “The Museum” Flythrough Trailer
Download the flythrough trailer for “The Museum” multiplayer map from the “Siege Expansion Pack” today!

File size: 61 MB (HD)

3D Dot Game Heroes “Dot-Mart” Trailer
Where do heroes do their shopping? Watch this short vignette and find out! Retro chic meets modern sleek in this, the ultimate love letter to retro gamers. Seamlessly fusing new and old, the golden era of gaming is felt in every detail of this adventure.
File size: 34 MB (HD)

Skate 3 Demo Trailer
Team up and throw down with the SKATE 3 Demo, available now.
File size: 46 MB (HD)

Topatoi: Bundle Trailer

topatoi for the PlayStation 3 system is a platform/adventure saga that brings your screen to life with classic platforming gameplay over a variety of interactive and colorful levels in full 3D. Watch the trailer for both “The Great Tree Story” and “Pillar of the Skies” episodes today and get the feeling of the mysterious worlds of topatoi.
File size: 87 MB (HD)

Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions Reveal Trailer
Spider-Man is back! In this action-packed adventure explore four dramatically different parallel universes, each with its own Spider-Man armed with unique strengths. Explore stunning environments, wield explosive powers, and face epic boss battles against extraordinary foes. Two worlds are known. Two more will be revealed. Experience the Spider-Man like never before: Four unique worlds. Four distinct Spider-Men. One unparalleled experience!
File size: 76 MB (HD) 126 MB (1080)

PS3 Themes

Megaman 10 Dynamic Theme 3 ($2.99)

File size: 353 KB

Shatter Dynamic Theme ($2.99)
File size: 3.61 MB

White Knight Chronicles International Edition – Travelers Dynamic Theme ($2.99)
File size: 5.67 MB

Winter Wonderland ($1.99)
File size: 5.21 MB

Frisco Sunset ($1.99)
File size: 4.49 MB

Black Oil Crud ($1.99)
File size: 2.46 MB

NBA Premium Theme (x14) ($1.99)
File size: 4.95 MB – 5.23 MB

Dragunov ($1.99)

File size: 8.45 MB

PS3 Wallpaper

Tecmo Bowl Throwback Wallpaper (free)
File size: 101 KB (SD), 506 KB (1080)

Music

Shatter Soundtrack ($5.99)
File size: 208 MB

PlayStation Store for PSP

Downloadable Games (also available from PS3 Storefront)

2010 FIFA World Cup ($39.99)
EA SPORTS celebrates the single largest sporting event on the planet with the only official and exclusively licensed videogame on the PSP system for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa.
ESRB Rated E
File size: 1.14 GB

2010 FIFA World Cup – French ($39.99)

ESRB Rated E
File size: 1.13 GB

PSP minis (also available from PS3 Storefront)

Normaltanks ($4.99)
ESRB Rated E10+
File size: 9.63 MB

Reef Aquarium ($4.99)

ESRB Rated E
File size: 8.27 MB

Car Jack Streets ($4.99)
ESRB Rated T
File size: 84 MB

Pile Up! Bakery (PSP Only – $1.99)
ESRB Rated E
File size: 6 MB

Pinball Duel (PSP Only – $1.99)
ESRB Rated E
File size: 7.1 MB

Music Quiz (PSP Only – $1.99)
ESRB Rated E
File size: 34 MB

Game Videos (free)

ModNation Racers: Artist Spotlight – Sucker Punch
File size: 27 MB

ModNation Racers: Artist Spotlight – Ted Price
File size: 29 MB

ModNation Racers: Artist Spotlight – David Jaffe
File size: 24 MB

PSP Themes (also available from PS3 Storefront)

NBA Premium PSP Themes (x14) ($1.49)
File size: 352 KB – 397 KB

Black Oil Crud – Dab PSP Theme ($1.49)
File size: 292 KB

Black Oil Crud – Glop PSP Theme ($1.49)
File size: 430 KB

Sushi PSP Theme 1 ($1.49)

File size: 564 KB

Sushi PSP Theme 2 ($1.49)
File size: 581 KB

Bare Elements – Data PSP Theme ($1.49)
File size: 453 KB

Bare Elements – Fire PSP Theme ($1.49)
File size: 365 KB


Comic Store Update

  • 2000AD Prog # 1677
  • Archie # 3
  • Atomic Robo Vol.2 # 4
  • Bill Willingham’s Pantheon # 4
  • Dead, She Said # 2
  • Donald Duck and the Alternative Lives # 1
  • Donald Duckling and the Future Plans
  • G.I. Joe # 15
  • G.I. Joe: Operation HISS # 1
  • The Lexian Chronicles # 3
  • Sonic the Hedgehog # 1
  • Star Trek: McCoy # 1
  • Star Trek: The Movie Adaptation # 3
  • Transformers # 5
  • Transformers: Nefarious # 2
  • The True Story of 1900
  • Vampire Hunter D Volume 1 # 4
  • Wizards of Mickey # 6
  • X-Mickey # 12
  • Zombies vs. Robots: Aventure # 2

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