Playstation Network Wrap-Up for June 1st, 2010

It’s heading into June, and that means one thing for me personally: roller hockey season is starting up again. This is a good thing for me because it keeps me sharp (as a referee) until it’s time for ice hockey to start up again, the money’s not bad, and it keeps me in shape throughout the summer. However, it’s also a bad thing because I got home at 1AM, then realized I had to do this piece, and tomorrow’s Xbox wrap-up is going to be a similar rush. Actually, I should say “today’s” piece, because a combination of getting home late, skating on a 31C roller hockey floor, and playing demos caused me to collapse into a heap before I could get this piece going. Thank goodness for editing, or else this piece would have been the first part of this paragraph and then a series of “ddddddddddddd” from where I face-planted the keyboard.

Translation: to hell with the witty lead-ins. Let’s get this shit over with.

The big name to hit the service this weekend is Tecmo Bowl Throwback. Quite simply, this is a remake of the SNES version of Tecmo Super Bowl with 3D models, with the catch being that going from modern to the full SNES game is only a button press away. Doing this in the middle of gameplay seamlessly shifts between modes, with very few noticeable differences in gameplay. There’s no demo of this game available on the PSN, but not only is there on Xbox, I actually own the full version. I can recommend this for fans of the older games, because while it’s not the best version of Tecmo Super Bowl – I’m partial to the NES game – it’s still very good, and the only real differences between modern and classic mode I can find are that field goal kicking is easier in the older game, and it’s a bit easier to judge where you’re going in classic mode as direction changes are instantaneous. Still, this is a great package for $10, with or without the NFL/NFLPA license.

Also on the service is Planet Minigolf, a $10 mini golf game that celebrates having sixteen themed courses and a course editor. There’s a trailer video of the game on Sony’s blog, and in this 2:23 trailer, I counted thirteen seconds of actual gameplay footage, with over a minute being dedicated to showing celebrations and “witty” commentator comments. Needless to say, I wasn’t impressed, and when I noticed there was a demo, I didn’t go in with high expectations. They were justified, as the gameplay is *BRUTAL*. There are three different control schemes, but three click and analogue are preferable because they give more “style” points. No control style is really good, because it’s so hard to determine power; most of the time is going to be spent overshooting easy shots, especially in analogue control. I finally got frustrated on about the seventh hole and ended the demo. If I can’t even get through your nine hole demo, then your gameplay needs to cook a lot longer than it did. With that said, good on these guys for putting a demo out! I wouldn’t have bought the game anyway – their gameplay trailer showed me that they had a lot to hide with the game itself – but more companies need to put their demos out on day of release.

There’s also a PS one Classic that was a pretty decent release back in ’98: N2O: Nitrus Oxide. The best way to describe this game is to marry Tempest and WipeOut together, though the look of this game makes me think it’s a bit more psychedelic than WipeOut. The big thing about this game was that it had a soundtrack done by electronica group The Crystal Method, and though I am not familiar with them – that sounds more like DJ’s milieu – it was a big deal because the game was able to be taken out and listened to like a regular CD, something I’m almost positive the PSN game doesn’t allow. My issue with the game itself is that the graphics are simply too dated; I had trouble distinguishing what I had to shoot with the rest of the stage, which is something I’m certain a HD remake would fix. To be fair, I also think the PS3’s smoothing technology would do a world of good on this, so call this a recommendation for the game, but if you like the kind of music that The Crystal Method is known for, I would just buy the game on eBay; you’ll probably pay $10 (on average) more for it, but if you like the music, it’s worth it.

This is going to blow your minds, but that’s it for new content this week. Normally, this would have me foaming at the mouth, but just get a load of the games being mentioned in the permanent price drop section, because they speak for themselves:

Ape Escape: On the Loose Permanent Price Drop (now $9.99, original price $15.99)
Hot Shots Golf Open Tee Permanent Price Drop (now $9.99, original price $15.99)
SOCOM: Fire Team Bravo Permanent Price Drop (now $9.99, original price $15.99)
Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow Permanent Price Drop (now $9.99, original price $24.99)
Twisted Metal: Head On Permanent Price Drop (now $9.99, original price $19.99)
LittleBigPlanet PSP Permanent Price Drop (now $19.99, original price $39.99)
Resistance: Retribution Permanent Price Drop (now $19.99, original price $39.99)
Secret Agent Clank Permanent Price Drop (now $19.99, original price $39.99)
Gran Turismo PSP Permanent Price Drop (now $19.99, original price $39.99)
Soldner-X: Himmelssturmer Permanent Price Drop (now $7.99, original price $9.99)
Mahjongg Artifacts: Chapter 2 – Minis – Sale (now $1.99, original price $4.99)
Stand O’ Food – Minis – Sale (now $1.99, original price $4.99)
Obscure: The Aftermath – Sale (now $14.99, original price $29.99)

There’s some BIG names in that list. Gran Turismo, I reviewed, and while I was bearish on it at $40, I’m more comfortable with it at $20. Be wary of Secret Agent Clank; it’s a big name, but Aaron Sirois killed it. As for Hot Shots Golf Open Tee, Aaron reviewed the second game, and stated that there wasn’t a lot of “crossover” between the first and second game, so for $10, this seems like a good purchase. For Soldner X fans or shooter fans, not only is the price of the first game down, they’re bundling the two together for $18. We’ve received a code for Soldner X-2, and I’ll be the one bringing that review out within about a week.

While this is a short week for new content, the bevy of price drops will keep people that were put off by the high cost of entry on the PSP’s AAA names busy, so it’s best to keep the new content for another week, I think. Good show overall. Until next time, this is Christopher Bowen, who suddenly finds himself in a time crunch. Could someone tell me what it’s like to sit back and play a game solely for entertainment again?

The full Playstation Network update is under the cut.


Updates

Ape Escape: On the Loose Permanent Price Drop (now $9.99, original price $15.99)
Hot Shots Golf Open Tee Permanent Price Drop (now $9.99, original price $15.99)
SOCOM: Fire Team Bravo Permanent Price Drop (now $9.99, original price $15.99)

Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow Permanent Price Drop (now $9.99, original price $24.99)
Twisted Metal: Head On Permanent Price Drop (now $9.99, original price $19.99)
LittleBigPlanet PSP Permanent Price Drop (now $19.99, original price $39.99)
Resistance: Retribution Permanent Price Drop (now $19.99, original price $39.99)
Secret Agent Clank Permanent Price Drop (now $19.99, original price $39.99)
Gran Turismo PSP Permanent Price Drop (now $19.99, original price $39.99)

Soldner-X: Himmelssturmer Permanent Price Drop (now $7.99, original price $9.99)
Mahjongg Artifacts: Chapter 2 – Minis – Sale (now $1.99, original price $4.99)
Stand O’ Food – Minis – Sale (now $1.99, original price $4.99)
Obscure: The Aftermath – Sale (now $14.99, original price $29.99)

Downloadable Games

Tecmo Bowl Throwback ($9.99)

The legend is back! Tecmo Bowl Throwback is a remake of the classic Tecmo Super Bowl, with the same rules and fast-paced gameplay as the original, but with the option to play it in brand new high definition 3D graphics. Switch it back to old school in real time with the same graphics and music from back in the day!
ESRB Rated E
File size: 213 MB

Planet Mini-Golf ($9.99)
With 16 courses rich in detail and gameplay, online play, and the ability to create and share courses with other players, Planet Mini-Golf offers the ultimate high-definition minigolf experience.
ESRB Rated E10+
File size: 743 MB

PSone Classics

N2O Nitrous Oxide ($5.99)
Pilot your Tunnel Runner into the Nitrous Oxide filled tubes of Neptune and destroy the emerging race of genetically mutated super warriors who threaten planet Earth. Download this PSone Classic today!
ESRB Rated T
File size: 70 MB

Game Demos (free)

Planet Mini-Golf Demo
With 16 courses rich in detail and gameplay, online play, and the ability to create and share courses with other players, Planet Mini-Golf offers the ultimate high-definition minigolf experience. Try out the free demo now!

ESRB Rated E10+
File size: 417 MB

Add-on Game Content

Dead To Rights: Retribution GAC Pack ($4.99)
“GAC Pack” features four new modes of play, including the all new Assault on the 87th Precinct and Riot Control Mode. In Assault on the 87the Precinct, take control of 3 different type of GAC soldiers in their efforts to liberate Grant City’s 87th Precinct. In Riot Control Mode, fend off waives of GAC assault forces as Jack and Shadow while playing for style and speed to achieve a maximum score. Also in the GAC Pack, new skins for Jack and Shadow, Action Mode which turns rounds into explosive rounds, Noir Mode allowing for replay of the game with authentic Noir Visuals, Trophies and Scoreboard support.
File size: 639 MB

Lost Planet 2 Map Pack #2 ($4.99)

Explore two extra battlefields in this Map Pack for LOST PLANET 2. “Dockyard Battle” takes the fight to the overland battleship construction site seen in Episode 4 of the Campaign mode, while “Frozen Wasteland” is a remake that returns you to the frozen tundra of the original game’s fan-favorite map.
File size: 65 MB

Record Of Agarest War: Item Pack 15: Emperor Kit ($1.99)
Contains [Altis Rod], [Ring of Epsilon], [Heaven’s End], and [Imperial Guard]. You might be referred to as “Emperor” by your friends if you equip them all…
File size: 2.33 MB

Record Of Agarest War: Item Pack 16: Legend Kit ($1.99)
Contains [Rage Blaster], [S.O.C.], [Extra Frame], and [Chaos Frame], which are believed to have been created by a legendary blacksmith. This legendary power could be yours…
File size: 2.33 MB

Record Of Agarest War: Points Pack 5: Additional PP ($4.99)
This will increase your PP by 1,500PP! PP are shared points for your entire party and can be used to increase anyone’s stats. You’d have to defeat tons of enemies to collect this much PP. Don’t miss this opportunity!
File size: 2.33 MB

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

  • “Sex Type Thing” by Stone Temple Pilots ($1.99)
  • “Between The Lines” by Stone Temple Pilots ($1.99)
  • “Plush” by Stone Temple Pilots ($1.99)
  • Stone Temple Pilots Track Pack ($5.49) – Downloadable Track Pack featuring “Sex Type Thing,” “Between The Lines,” and “Plush” by Stone Temple Pilots. 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: 34 MB – 51 MB (singles), 121 MB (track pack)

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

  • “Don’t You Evah” – Spoon ($1.99)
  • “Got Nuffin” – Spoon ($1.99)
  • “I Turn My Camera On” – Spoon ($1.99)
  • “Trouble Comes Running” – Spoon ($1.99)
  • Spoon Pack 01 ($6.99) – Build your Rock Band library by purchasing this song game track pack: Spoon Pack 1. This pack includes “Don’t You Evah”, “Got Nuffin”, “I Turn My Camera On”, and “Trouble Comes Running” by Spoon.
  • “Alive” – P.O.D. ($1.99)

Rock Band Network

  • “Disengage” by Suicide Silence ($1.99)
  • “Forever In Your Hands” by All That Remains ($1.99)
  • “Get the Hell Out of Here” by Steve Vai ($1.99)
  • “The Future Soon” by Jonathan Coulton ($1.99)
  • “The Most Beautiful Girl (In The Room)” by Flight of the Conchords ($1.99)

File size: 17 MB – 30 MB (singles), 85 MB (track pack)

Bundles

Soldner-X 2: Final Prototype + Soldner-X: Himmelssturmer Bundle ($17.99)
The ultimate shoot “Ëœem up experience for your PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system. This bundle contains both Soldner-X games (Soldnet-X 2: Final Prototype & Soldner-X: Himmelssturmer) in one
attractive package.

File size: 2.32 GB

Avatars

Super Street Fighter IV Avatars (x3) ($0.49)
File size: 109 KB – 122 KB (each)

Soldner-X 2: Final Prototype (x5) ($0.49)
File size: 100 KB – 131 KB (each)

Soldner-X 2: Final Prototype Avatar Bundle ($1.49)

File size: 531 KB (each)

Game Videos (free)

Pulse 6/1 Edition
File size: 317 MB (HD), 536 MB (1080)

Call Of Duty: Black Ops Debut Tease Trailer
File size: 36 MB (HD), 60 MB (1080)

Medal Of Honor – Leave A Message Trailer

File size: 68 MB (HD)

Death Track: Resurrection Trailer
File size: 75 MB

Red Dead Redemption – Revolution Trailer
File size: 54 MB (HD)

Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days – Arcade Mode Trailer

File size: 69 MB (HD)

LittleBigPlanet 2 – Announcement Trailer
File size: 91 MB (HD)

ModNation Racers: Spotlight – Huck Gee
File size: 231 MB (HD), 394 MB (1080)

ModNation Racers: Spotlight – Kevin Butler

File size: 132 MB (HD), 230 MB (1080)

PS3 Themes

ModNation Racers: Launch Theme 1 (free)
File size: 2.41 MB

ModNation Racers: Launch Theme 2 (free)
File size: 2.11 MB

ModNation Racers: Launch Theme 3 (free)

File size: 1.90 MB

Voodoo Crucifixion ($1.49)
File size: 5.98 MB

Flower Fantasy ($1.49)
File size: 6.09 MB

Futbol Premium Theme ($1.99)
File size: 4.90 MB

Say Cheesecake ($1.99)
File size: 3.30 MB

UFC Dynamic Theme ($2.99)
File size: 10 MB

Wallpapers (free)

Soldner-X 2: Final Prototype Wallpaper 5
File size: 180 KB (SD), 919 KB (1080)

PlayStation Store for PSP

PSP Minis (also available from PS3 Storefront)

Telegraph Crosswords – Minis ($2.99)
ESRB Rated T
File size: 8.49 MB

Game Videos (free)

Pulse 6/1 Edition
File size: 50 MB

ModNation Racers: Spotlight – Huck Gee
File size: 39 MB

ModNation Racers: Spotlight – Kevin Butler
File size: 22 MB

PSP Themes (also available from PS3 Storefront)

ModNation Racers PSP: Launch PSP Theme 1 (free)
File size: 605 KB

ModNation Racers PSP: Launch PSP Theme 2 (free)
File size: 598 KB

ModNation Racers PSP: Launch PSP Theme 3 (free)
File size: 592 KB

Armored Core Last Raven Custom PSP Theme (free)

File size: 563 KB

Voodoo Crucifixion PSP Theme ($1.49)
File size: 461 KB

Flower Fantasy PSP Theme ($1.49)
File size: 652 KB

Futbol PSP Theme 1 ($1.49)
File size: 434 KB

Futbol PSP Theme 2 ($1.49)
File size: 383 KB

Vampires PSP Theme 3 ($1.49)
File size: 407 KB

Vampires PSP Theme 4 ($1.49)
File size: 465 KB

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