Inside Pulse 12

Playstation Network Wrap-Up for May 18th, 2010

I spend a lot of time here bitching about demos. More specifically, I bitch about the lack of demos. It’s to the point where I have friends that go “OK asshole, we get it. You want the PSN to include more demos. You also don’t like the Wii. Back off it.” I don’t know if it’s become a “thing” or mine or what, but it annoys me when people release games without demos; otherwise, I’m buying blind, especially with downloadable games that I can’t get on Gamefly.

Give Sony and their third party developers credit: today, they said “you want demos? HERE HAVE SOME DEMOS!”. FOUR playable demos are available, all for the PS3! That’s enough to make me start this piece well into Wednesday morning. Add those onto some other big releases, and we have an absolutely LOADED PSN update.

The most notable demo is for the PS3 version of ModNation Racers. I was critical of the PSP demo last week, but this one is much better from a gameplay perspective; it’s not nearly as loose as the PSP demo. One thing I did notice – a lot – was that the catch-up logic was unreal. I had times where I got hit by one weapon after another after another after another in the last lap of a race, and went from first to eighth with no way to come back. If you hated Mario Kart’s blue shells, you will DESPISE this game. With that said, what little I was able to gleam from the *extremely* limited demo indicates that there’s a powerful track editor that *might* let you send any creations over to the main game, and that the game has a fair bit of personality to it. However, the demo was very small; you could only edit one track, one rider, and couldn’t see a lot of what was in the main game, even on the editing side. I should rename this demo “Not Available In This Version”, and I feel they could have given us a *somewhat* better look. Regardless, kart racing fans should look into the demo at least.

The second big demo was for Tiger Woods PGA Tour ’11. This was a much more fleshed out demo, as EA is known to do. The Ryder Cup is in this year’s game, and the demo actually simulate a quick one with three holes from Celtic Manor, which was nice. Furthermore, to tout the new XP system, all XP gained in the demo will transfer over to the full game, which makes your created golfer better. They’re making “drop XP on whatever you want!” sound like it’s an amazing system, but I remember things like this working in the 16 bit era. What I’m really interested in is how they’re going to get some semblance of balance back into the game. Playing online in Tiger Woods has been useless for years unless you routinely shoot into the 50s – yes, 50s – because the game has been exploited to death. The new “focus” bar is looking to improve that, as it looks to ensure that people only power boost, add spin or boost their accuracy at opportune times. Unfortunately, I can see this meaning that everyone either 1) purchases DLC to make their golfer super orgasmic out of the box, or 2) just takes Tiger Woods. I’ve not been high on the Tiger Woods series in years – not one game we’ve seen on the new systems has been as good as ’06 on the PS2, at least to anyone actually paying attention – and I’m not 100% sure this is going to break the trend. It’s a nice try by EA, at least.

Third, we have a demo for a game that was also released this week, a rarity on the PSN: a demo for Rocket Knight. I remember picking up the original Rocket Knight Adventures for the Genesis recently, figuring it was just another mascot game from the 90s. It was absolutely amazing; well put together, colourful, full of personality, and challenging. It was a great game, and Konami’s brought it back. This time around, your character is easier to control, and I flew through the demo – two full stages! Hear that, Square-Enix? – in no time. I definitely want more. I am not sure really how else to describe how games like this work, but imagine a really good arcade game from the early 90s – if you’re too young to remember that, picture how all of us talk about the arcade version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and use your imagination – and there you go. It’s $15 to purchase the whole game, and I will be doing so.

The fourth demo is Iron Man 2, which is for a game that’s already out. Unsurprisingly, A.J. Hess didn’t review it highly.

Another PS3 game being released this week is The Price is Right. For $10, you’re basically buying the Wii version of last year’s game. Unfortunately, The Price is Right 2010 is a much better game, adding a lot of TPIR games into the mix; as it is, there’s only 19 pricing games in this version (each show features six of them), and though it’s nice to have video and show highlights of older shows, a lot of those can be found on Youtube, or even on CBS’s website for the newer version. I’m not one of those people that MUST watch TPIR with Bob Barker hosting, but the initial Wii version wasn’t very good. However, that version initially sold for $40; at $10, if you’ll excuse a lazy line, the price might be right for most.

It also should be noted that Sam & Max: The Tomb of Sammun Mak is out for those that bought the collection. Again, this is not something one can individually purchase; you have to purchase the entire collection, or nothing at all. Mohamed Al-Saadoon gave a somewhat positive write-up to this episode.

Lo and behold, we also have a PS one Classic, and it’s not a crappy casual game that came out at the end of the system’s lifespan! In fact, it’s a big name! Unfortunately, anyone picking up Bomberman Fantasy Race thinking it’s going to be another classic Bomberman game is going to be sorely disappointed. Instead, this is a racing title where you ride an animal to the finish line. The controls are very spotty, and while it’s nice to have an unlimited supply of bombs to attack with, the controls screw everything up so hard that it’s hard to get any real fun out of this title. This is for serious racing or Bomberman fans only, though those two audiences are mutually exclusive for the most part.

On the PSP, we have a BIG name release: Prince Of Persia: The Forgotten Sands. This is a return to the Sands of Time canon, which happens to coincide directly with the new movie. Metacritic’s been somewhat tepid on it, but I’m hearing a lot of scuttlebutt from other DHGF staffers – i.e., people I trust – who are saying that it’s very good. It should be noted that the biggest complaint I’m hearing about this game is that it’s too much like The Sands of Time, so if a direct sequel to that is your thing, this is worth the money. Though, for $40, I would look for a UMD version before downloading a 508MB game.

In terms of sales and price drops, the Spring Fever sale is for Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, at 50% off for $7.50. Anyone who doesn’t own this by now should; it’s a great way to bring back a classic, especially for online gamers. The single player AI is a bit goofy – bad case of Mortal Kombat Syndrome – but if you like playing against others, this is easily worth the money. I have a suspicion that anyone who wants to own this owns it by now, but one warning for those that don’t: get an arcade stick if at all possible. You will not be competitive with the fanatical online players if you do not. Also, two classic Williams arcade games are available at permanent price drops: Joust and Championship Sprint are both $2. These are great prices for these games, though the ports are pretty bare-bones. Since the minimum PSN purchase is $5, I recommend putting aside money for these when buying something else.

Four demos! A PS3 game for the causals! A not totally sucky PS one game! A big PSP release! What a week! Until next time, this is Christopher Bowen, who is ignoring all of this in favour of the surprisingly good Last Rebellion.

The full PSN update is under the cut.


This week Spring Fever celebrates the Street Fighter Franchise. 50% off Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix ($7.49; reg. $14.99). Offer good through Monday, 5/24.

Updates

Joust Permanent Price Drop (now $1.99, original price $4.99)
Championship Sprint Permanent Price Drop (now $1.99, original price $4.99)

Dynogems Sale (now $1.99, original price $2.99) *Offer good through Monday, 6/7

Downloadable Games

Rocket Knight ($14.99)
Sparkster makes his triumphant arrival on next-gen consoles with Rocket Knight, the newest entry in the beloved 2-D side-scrolling rocket action series. Our favorite opossum hero returns home after 15 years to find the kingdom of Zephyrus in shambles. Use your wits and Sparkster’s trusty rocket pack to dodge and defeat a menacing wolf army threatening the lives of the people.
ESRB Rated E10+
File size: 429 MB

The Price Is Right ($9.99)

Come on down to play the fabulous Price Is Right game! Feel the thrill of playing in Contestant’s Row and through different pricing game challenges, including Plinko, Cliff Hangers and Punch-A-Bunch and many more of your favorites. Try your luck as you spin the Big Wheel for the chance fabulous prizes and a huge pay-off at the Showcase! Featuring authentic theme music, stages and Rich Fields’ announcer audio create a true-to-show experience!
ESRB Rated E
File size: 890 MB

Sam & Max” Episode 2: The Tomb of Sammun-Mak (free with purchase of Episode 1)
Epic 5 Game Saga
After facing a pillaging primate from outer space in the series premiere, Sam & Max cross paths with even stranger characters in this episode “” their own great-grandparents! In this game, the strange Devil’s Toybox at the center of the trouble grants even greater and stranger powers, in a mystery with a transcontinental-railway whodunnit and a true riddle of the ages – one that only Max’s new emerging psychic gifts may solve.

ESRB Rated T
File size: 482 MB

PSone Classics

Bomberman Fantasy Race ($5.99)
Race at the biggest amusement station in the Galaxy and compete against wacky animals. Download this PS one Classic today!
ESRB Rated E
File size: 149 MB

Game Demos (free)

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 Demo
Play the Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 11 demo and collect Experience Points to hit the ground running with your golfer in the full version! Plus, collect even more Experience Points by sharing with friends. Within the demo, play 3 holes on 2 brand new courses, Liberty National and Celtic Manor, and also experience 2 brand new features – customizable Ryder Cup matches and a brand new game mode called True Aim. Screens featuring the myriad of new features for Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 11 are also included. Download today!
ESRB Rated E
File size: 1.68 GB

Rocket Knight Trial
Sparkster makes his triumphant arrival on next-gen consoles with Rocket Knight, the newest entry in the beloved 2-D side-scrolling rocket action series. Our favorite opossum hero returns home after 15 years to find the kingdom of Zephyrus in shambles. Use your wits and Sparkster’s trusty rocket pack to dodge and defeat a menacing wolf army threatening the lives of his people. Download this demo now!
ESRB Rated E10+
File size: 429 MB

Iron Man 2 Demo
Download the Iron Man 2 demo. Suit up as Iron Man or War Machine. Check out THEIR incredible firepower and powerful NEW melee moves as you take on EPIC enemies from the Roxxon corporation. Full game out now!
ESRB Rated T
File size: 1.53 GB

ModNation Racers Demo
Be among the first to test drive ModNation Racers on the PS3 system! In this free demo you’ll experience kart racing for a new generation as you boost, drift, and race your way through the Alpine Drop track, and with up to 4 player offline split screen. Plus, preview the game’s revolutionary Creation Station tools! Create your own Mods, Karts, and Tracks which can be saved and imported to the full game later! Download this free demo today!
ESRB Rated E

File size: 985 MB

Add-on Game Content

Dragon Age: Origins – Darkspawn Chronicles ($4.99)
The city of Denerim, jewel of Ferelden, girds itself for war. As a hurlock vanguard, you alone hold the power to make thralls of your fellow darkspawn and drive them into the heat of battle. Heed the archdemon’s call-Denerim must burn!
File size: 341 MB

Split/Second – All Vehicle Unlock ($2.49)

Instantly unlock all Split/Second vehicles and get a full garage without needing to win any credits in season mode!
File size: 5.47 MB

Split/Second – Time Savers Pack ($4.99)
Unlock all vehicles, game modes & tracks for the ultimate Split/Second experience! Instant access to all the explosive game content!
File size: 5.47 MB

Split Second – All Track And Mode Unlock ($2.49)
Unlock all track & modes without playing through Season Mode. An instant collection of all content for Quick Play and Online racing!

File size: 5.47 MB

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 – Specact Assault Kit Upgrade Pack ($1.99)
Special Activities Unit. Unique uniform and a camouflaged M16A2 gives you a visual edge on the Battlefield. The pack also includes 3 new awards and one Trophy.
File size: 100 KB

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 – Specact Engineer Kit Upgrade Pack ($1.99)
Unique SPECACT uniform and a camouflaged UMP-45 gives you a visual edge on the Battlefield. The pack also includes 3 new awards and one Trophy.
File size: 100 KB

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 – Specact Medic Kit Upgrade Pack ($1.99)

Unique SPECACT uniform and a camouflaged MG3 gives you a visual edge on the Battlefield. The pack also includes 3 new awards and one Trophy.
File size: 100 KB

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 – Specact Recon Kit Upgrade Pack ($1.99)
Unique SPECACT uniform and a camouflaged M95 SNIPER gives you a visual edge on the Battlefield. The pack also includes 3 new awards and one Trophy.
File size: 100 KB

Record Of Agarest War: Item Pack 7: Academics-And-Sports Kit (free)
Contains [Magic Blade], which increases both magical power and physical damage; [Partisan] and [Battle Frame], which dramatically increase physical damage; and [Shiny Fang], which is used for combining items.
File size: 2.33 MB

Record Of Agarest War: Item Pack 8: Power Up+ (free)
Assorted items that are more powerful than the generic [Power Up]. Contains two each of [STR UP+], [VIT Up+], [INT Up+], [AGI Up+], [LUK Up+], and [Max. HP Up+]. Just wait until you use them!
File size: 2.33 MB

Record Of Agarest War: Item Pack 11: Massacre Kit ($0.99)
Assorted equipment that raises certain abilities to superhuman levels. Contains [Magic Hand], [Vajra Rod], [Carrot Sword], [Madu], [Ymir’s Claw], and [Hidden Seeker].
File size: 2.33 MB

Record Of Agarest War: Item Pack 12: Animal Kit ($0.99)

Contains [Chicken Emblem], [Hiyoko Charm], [Mugen’s Claw], [Sarnga], [Soul Sucker], and [Revive]. Perhaps this will show you what it feels like to be an animal.
File size: 2.33 MB

Record Of Agarest War: Points Pack 3: Reinforcement Point Pack ($4.99)
A set containing 500,000G and a whole lot of ability points (500PP, 5,000TP, and 250,000EP). Is this what you need to become invincible?
File size: 2.33 MB

Record Of Agarest War: Points Pack 4: Additional G+Ep ($3.49)
It’s a bonus package of G and EP with a whopping 5,000,000G and 1,000,000EP! EP points can be used for equipment and to reinforce active skills. With this, you can upgrade your characters however you want!
File size: 2.33 MB

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

  • “Livin’ On The Edge” by Aerosmith ($1.99)
  • “Love In An Elevator” by Aerosmith ($1.99)
  • “Rag Doll” by Aerosmith ($1.99)
  • Aerosmith Track Pack ($5.49) – Downloadable Track Pack featuring “Livin’ On The Edge”, “Love In An Elevator”, and “Rag Doll” by Aerosmith. 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: 42 MB – 59 MB (singles), 156 MB (track pack)

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

  • “Beat It On Down The Line” – Grateful Dead ($1.99)
  • “Cumberland Blues” – Grateful Dead ($1.99)
  • “Scarlet Begonias” – Grateful Dead ($1.99)
  • “Throwing Stones” – Grateful Dead ($1.99)
  • “Touch Of Grey” – Grateful Dead ($1.99)
  • “U.S. Blues” – Grateful Dead ($1.99)
  • Grateful Dead Pack 03 ($9.99) – Build your Rock Band library by purchasing this song game track pack: Grateful Dead Pack 03. This pack includes “Beat It On Down The Line”, “Cumberland Blues”, “Scarlet Begonias”, “Throwing Stones”, “Touch Of Grey”, and “U.S. Blues” by Grateful Dead.
  • “A Girl Like You” – The Smithereens ($1.99)
  • “Only A Memory” – The Smithereens ($1.99)

Rock Band Network

  • “Days Without” by All That Remains ($1.99)
  • “Energy” by The Apples in Stereo ($0.99)
  • “He Sleeps In A Grove” by Amberian Dawn ($1.99)
  • “Sequestered In Memphis” by The Hold Steady Fake ($1.99)
  • “Talk About” by Dear And The Headlights ($0.99)

File size: 17 – 60 MB (singles), 204 MB (track pack)

Game Videos (free)

Pulse 5/18 Edition

File size: 252 MB (HD), 438 MB (1080)

Brink: Container City Preview Part 1 Trailer
File size: 187 MB (HD)

Brink: Container City Preview Part 2 Trailer
File size: 176 MB (HD)

Brink: Container City Preview Part 3 Trailer
File size: 190 MB (HD)

Brink: Freedom Of Movement Trailer
File size: 162 MB (HD)

Soldner-X 2: Final Prototype Trailer
File size: 80 MB (HD)

Dante’s Inferno – Trial Of St. Lucia Editor Trailer
File size: 207 MB (HD)

Dante’s Inferno – Trial Of St. Lucia Trailer

File size: 50 MB (HD)

Dragon Age: Origins – Darkspawn Chronicles Trailer
File size: 39 MB (HD)

Blacklight: Tango Down – Madness Of War Trailer
File size: 62 MB (HD)

The Price Is Right Trailer
File size: 15 MB

Lead And Gold Gangs Of The Wild West Release Trailer
File size: 45 MB (HD)

After Burner Climax Launch Trailer
File size: 32 MB (HD)

Section 8 Tutorial Video Trailer
File size: 75 MB, 205 MB (HD), 367 MB (1080)

ModNation Racers – Hero Showdown Trailer

File size: 80 MB (HD), 135 MB (1080)

ModNation Racers PSP – Behind the Scenes
File size: 165 MB (HD), 280 MB (1080)

Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep Teaser Trailer
File size: 45 MB (1080)

PS3 Themes

Non-Game Themes: Phineas And Ferb Premium Theme ($1.49)

File size: 3.77 MB

Non-Game Themes: Surrogates Theme ($1.49)
File size: 6.4 MB

Beach Breeze Dynamic Theme ($2.99)
File size: 3.03 MB

Desert Sunset Dynamic Theme ($2.99)
File size: 3.77 MB

Mountain Escape Dynamic Theme ($2.99)
File size: 3.97 MB

DP Space Odyssey Dynamic Theme ($2.99)
File size: 4.81 MB

Music

echochrome Soundtrack ($2.99)

File size: 71 MB

echochrome Piano Remixes Soundtrack ($2.99)
File size: 45 MB

echochrome Soundtrack Bundle ($4.99)
Download a bundle featuring the original soundtrack with 13 tracks, plus the Piano Remixes with six additional tracks, and receive a special bonus.
File size: 1.78 GB

PlayStation Store for PSP

Downloadable Games (also available from PS3 Storefront)

Prince Of Persia: The Forgotten Sands ($39.99)
This new installment in the critically-acclaimed franchise marks the return to the Prince of Persia Sands of Time storyline. Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands includes many of the fan-favorite elements from the original series as well as new side-scrolling gameplay innovations designed for the PSP (PlayStation Portable) system. With Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, choose your power and unleash your destiny!
ESRB Rated T
File size: 508 MB

PSP Minis (also available from PS3 Storefront)

Manic Monkey Mayhem – Minis ($4.99)
ESRB Rated E

File size: 16 MB

Supermarket Mania – Minis ($4.99)
ESRB Rated E
File size: 36 MB

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

LittleBigPlanet PSP – Turbo! Level Kit ($5.99)
PLAY, CREATE, SHARE…Everywhere. Put the pedal to the metal with this massive vehicle-based pack. Race, battle and bounce your way through six completely new levels. And the fun doesn’t stop there, with hundreds more bits and pieces to fill your Popit, you can create turbo-powered vehicular contraptions of your very own. NOTE: Manual Update required

File size: 1.15 MB

The Eye Of Judgement – Card Expansion Pack Volume 3 ($1.99)
Expand your digital card collection with the third add-on card pack! Give your duels an upper hand with 5 unique cards not found in the full game, including rare and ultra rare cards. Add these cards to your deck for unique combinations to win battles against the computer, or head-to-head online against other players. Unlike other cards, these can’t be traded or earned any other way. Download the add-on cards today!
File size: 1.51 MB

BUZZ! Quiz World PSP: National Geographic: Undersea ($3.99)
The world famous National Geographic archives brings you the ultimate quiz on aquatic trivia. This BUZZ! Quiz World quiz pack for your PSP or PSPgo system features hundreds of new questions about everything undersea to play in any of your favorite BUZZ! Quiz World game modes. Download this quiz pack today and turn your party into the ultimate trivia showdown.
File size: 98 MB

Game Videos (free)

3D Dot Game Heroes Full PSP Trailer
File size: 7.87 MB

Pulse 5/18 Edition
File size: 42 MB

ModNation Racers – Hero Showdown Trailer
File size: 14 MB

ModNation Racers PSP – Behind The Scenes Trailer

File size: 26 MB

PSP Themes (also available from PS3 Storefront)

Non-Game Themes: Surrogates Theme ($1.49)
File size: 507 KB

Non-Game Themes: Alice In Wonderland Premium Theme ($1.49)
File size: 597 KB

Non-Game Themes: Tinker Bell And The Lost Treasure Theme ($1.49)

File size: 610 KB

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