Playstation Plus: What’s Worth Downloading – Update #9

Well, we’re back with the 9th update of Playstation Plus and unbelievably, for the second update in a row, it’s a pretty good week for PS+ subscribers. I used to call the column “Playstation Plus: Is It Worth the Money?” but since we’re almost four months in with this update, I can honestly say it’s only worth the update if you are one of three types of gamers:

1) You have barely downloaded anything from the Playstation store prior to using the service. Oddly enough the less loyal a customer you are to Sony, the better PS+ works out for you as chance are the people with either a big wallet or a lot of love for the PS3 have bought a lot of the few good games that are offered on the service. If you’re this type of gamer you’ll more than likely get your money’s worth with the service

2) You don’t mind a coupon service. Primarily Playstation Plus has turned out to be a purveyor of coupons. As in, you the consumer, have paid money up front to pay a little less money down the road on various discounted games throughout your subscription. If you’re this type of gamer it will be harder for you to get your money’s worth unless you buy a LOT of games through the Playstation Plus discount, but it’s feasible.

3) You view PS+ as a RENTAL service or a way to try out a lot of free second and third rate downloadable titles. This is probably the best way to view PS+ if you don’t want to spend any money on the discounted games. Most of the minis and PSOne titles haven’t been very good, but at least they are free and you know better to actually PURCHASE them through the service. At the same time, we’ve gotten some fun games like Zen Pinball, Critter Crunch and Mushroom Wars for free. These are all games you’ll be able to get a lot of use out of with your subscription, and yet you won’t feel bad for not buying them when you let your PS+ subscription run out. Besides, those three games, which are well worth buying on their own at $9.99 each if you don’t have PS+ total $30 and that’s more than half your subscription rate for the year (or 15 month plan depending on if you were an early subscriber) . Just remember this is a RENTAL service and that when you let this expire, you’ll have to buy these games on their own if you find you love them.

If you don’t fit into one of these three categories, PS+ really isn’t worth your money or your time. This is simply because you won’t get your $50 out of it.

Because we’ve figured out whether or not Playstation Plus is worth the money and who it best benefits, we’re changing the name of the column simply to “Playstation Plus – What’s Worth Downloading.” This is more to help those of you reading this decide if something is worth your time as well as well as space on your PS3’s hard drive – especially those of you with the earliest PS3 models.

With this week’s edition, we’ll be continuing with the same format. We’ll take a quick look at the Playstation Plus lineup for this week and then break it down into six categories:

1. Already own, but would have purchased without PSPlus if I hadn’t.

2. Already own, but regret purchasing.

3. Don’t own, but would have purchased w/out PSPlus.

4. Wouldn’t have purchased, but downloaded due to PSPlus.

5. Wouldn’t bother downloading this regardless.

6. Discount isn’t enough to make me pull the trigger.

So there we go. Six possible categories each PSPlus item can fall under. Then at the end of the column we’ll see if I got my $3.33 for the mouth out of it.


Playstation Plus Update for October 5th, 2010

Wired Skulls Theme (Free & Exclusive to PlayStation Plus Subscribers)
Bubble Trubble (Free to PlayStation Plus Subscribers, original price $4.99)
Qore Episode 29: October (Single Episode) (Free to PlayStation Plus Subscribers, original price $2.99)
Wakeboarding HD Dynamic Theme (Free to PlayStation Plus Subscribers, original price $2.99)
Heavy Rain Origami Dog Avatar (Free to PlayStation Plus Subscribers, original price $0.49)

Alien Breed: Impact (PlayStation Plus Price $11.24, original price $14.99)
Wakeboarding HD Game w/ Dynamic Theme (PlayStation Plus Price $7.99, original price $9.99)

Arcade Hits: Outlaws of the Lost Dynasty (PlayStation Plus Price $3.00, original price $5.99)
Magical Drop F (PlayStation Plus Price $3.00, original price $5.99)
Tomb Raider (Playstation Plus Price $5.00, original price $9.99)


Now, granted, when I first looked at it, I thought this was a pretty weak update as well, especially compared to the one we got a fortnight ago. But let’s take it on its own.

1. Already own, but would have purchased without PSPlus if I hadn’t.

Arcade Hits: Outlaws of the Lost Dynasty
Magical Drop F

-Now you’re probably asking yourselves how I could already own these games then they just hit the Playstation store with this update. Well the answer isn’t that I imported these, even though long time readers know I am an import gamer. It’s that I already own both games in English for other consoles. You get a version of Magical Drop on the Data East Collection for the Nintendo Wii, along with fourteen other games. I own Outlaws of the lost Dynasty for the Sega Saturn under its English localization name Dark Legend. Both are pretty fun games, but since you can get them in English for the same price (Dark Legend), or bundled together with a bunch of other games for under twenty bucks, I’d definitely go those routes first. Now if you don’t own a Sega Saturn or a Nintendo Wii, then yes, by all means download these games, especially with the Playstation Plus discount price knocking these down to only three bucks each.

2. Already own, but regret purchasing.

Nothing. This is all minor stuff I’d have passed on if I had to spend money on it.

3. Don’t own, but would have purchased w/out PSPlus.

Again nothing. This week’s lineup isn’t as awesome as week 5 or the update two weeks ago, but there’s nothing truly horrible either.

4. Wouldn’t have purchased, but downloaded due to PSPlus.

Wired Skulls Theme – I downloaded this because the preview image looked kind of cool and it was free. Then I saw it and deleted it immediately. Besides I have a ton of free themes and after seeing how many I had, I cut back to ten with this update, including deleting this one. By far the best theme released on PS+ so far was last update’s Shades of Autumn. Otherwise I stick with my Trinity Universe, Fallout 3 or Disgaea 3 themes. Don’t bother with this.

Bubble Trubble – There’s no way in hell I’d pay five dollars for a mini. That’s a bit crazy. That’s the same cost as what I played for Suikoden, Castlevania Chronicles and the like. However, when I sat down to play this, I actually had a lot of fun with it. This is a really cute and colourful puzzle game with some neat physics to play with. By far the best PSP Mini you can get from Playstation Plus is still Kahoots, but this is an easy second.

Qore Episode 29 – If you’ve been reading this column for a while than you already know how much I hate Qore. It’s poorly produced and you’re just watching little more than extended commercials for video games and blu-rays. It’s not very informative, the hosts are awful and the thought that someone would pay for this outside of a Playstation Plus subscription disturbs me. However, since it’s free it’s worth downloading ONLY for that reason and reminding myself why the Internet is both free and a better source for information. After all, Qore will NEVER say a bad thing about the games they talk about. It’s an attempt to get you to buy them rather than actual inform you of what’s a worthy purchase after all. These are worth getting for the themes and demos packed in with the download but nothing else. Even then, I’d say download ONLY if you’re interested in the pack-ins. It’s a gig and a half after all.

Wakeboarding HD Dynamic Theme – I downloaded it, but as far as dynamic themes go, this was pretty crappy. Don’t bother with it.

Heavy Rain Origami Dog Avatar – Free doggie, but I prefer the crane avatar for Heavy Rain that we got earlier this year. It’s probably the second best free avatar provided to you after the crane too, but really – who changes there avatar regularly or even pays attention to it?

5. Wouldn’t bother downloading this regardless.

Wakeboarding HD Game w/ Dynamic Theme – God damn, Sony is really pushing this game isn’t it. Almost every week there is something about it. Too bad it sucks. There’s no way I’d pay money for this. Don’t waste your money people. DON’T WASTE YOUR MONEY.

6. Discount isn’t enough to make me pull the trigger.

Alien Breed: Impact – $11.24 is an odd price isn’t it? Anyway, more than $9.99 on a PSN release is something I hesitate greatly on. If this was $9.99, I’d have grabbed it. Instead I’m going to wait until I’ve spent more time with the demo to decide if it’s worth purchasing or not. Right now I’m leaning on the side of no, hence it’s here.

Tomb Raider – Really? Five dollars for Tomb Raider? And that’s the discounted price? You can get the actual PSX disc for that much on Ebay. Just go for that. Plus, I already have this on my Saturn and even then I only own it because it was free and someone gave it to me. If it was $2.50…maybe. But that’s only if my Saturn copy broke or something.


So there we go. At first glance this looks like a poor update, but you’re getting a really fun Mini for free that usually costs $4.99, and so if you purchased the 15 month subscription like I did, you already got your $3.33 for the month out of just that. Add in a nice Heavy Rain avatar and two pretty decent PSX import titles for only three bucks each, and you’ve got yourself a decent week. It’s not the greatest, but it’s pretty good compared to some really horrible Playstation Plus updates we’ve had in the past. Call this fortnight’s update a slightly positive one.

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