Playstation Plus: Is It Worth the Money? -Week 5

After four weeks of me being a bitter crotchety old gamer railing about how awful Playstation Plus has been and how gamers should be revolting against the service, I’m happy to say that five weeks in, Sony has finally got their act together with the best lineup of titles offered so far to PSPlus subscribers. Of course, the question remains as to whether this is a fluke and things will go back to the craptastic levels they were at for the previous month or if Sony has finally stopped screwing with their most loyal and paying customers.

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

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 Updates for the Week of July 27th

Critter Crunch (Free to PlayStation Plus subscribers, $7.99 normally)

Syphon Filter (Free to PlayStation Plus subscribers, $5.99 normally)

Kahoots (Free to PlayStation Plus subscribers, $4.49 normally)

Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped (PlayStation Plus price $3.00, original price $5.99)

Super Street Fighter IV PSN Avatar Bundle (Playstation Plus price $4.99, normal price $17.15 for all purchased separately)

It’s a small offering compared to previous weeks, but this small amount is still better than the previous four weeks combined. Let’s take a look where everything falls.

1. 1. Already own, but would have purchased without PSPlus

Critter Crunch – In my opinion Critter Crunch is the single best PSN exclusive game out there and it’s something everyone should either own or have at least experienced through the demo. Now it sucks that the first truly awesome game on PSPlus is one I already own, but it’s still free for those that haven’t and you should all take advantage of it. Capybara Games is one of the best independent studios arrived and it’s a damn shame more people haven’t purchased this game (or tried their puzzle spin-off of the Might and Magic series. If you’re reading this and you don’t own this game – buy it! It’s only seven dollars and it’s a purchase you won’t regret. If you have Playstation Plus and you don’t download this, then you are in need of serious psychiatric help. Bottom line? A free copy of Critter Crunch is the best
Thing offered by PSPlus yet and I just hope Capybara gets some sort of payment for doing this.

2. Already own, but regret purchasing

Nothing. Let’s move on.

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

Nothing. Although had there been a demo for one of the games we’ll see in category four, it would have been here or in category one instead.

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

Syphon Filter – I never played the original on my PSX and I still haven’t gotten a chance to play this “PSOne Classic” port, but I’ve only heard good things about it so I’ve always been curious. Not six dollars curious, but curious nonetheless. Now that it’s free I’ve downloaded and I look forward to seeing if the original deserves its reputation or if age has tarnished it. This is a far superior choice that the lackluster Rally Cross PSOne “Classic” that was offered last month and which Sony should be ashamed of for even calling said game a classic. Speaking of Rally Cross, if you go into the Playstation Plus section on the PSN Store, you’ll see it’s no longer available there. Don’t worry, if you really want it, it is still free to PSPlus subscribers; it’s just that you’ll have to hunt down the game manually and download it there.

Kahoots – $4.49 is pretty pricey for a PSP Mini. Weren’t these supposed to be $2.99 and $3.99 when they were first announced? Regardless, a free game is generally a guaranteed download for me unless it’s in a genre I can’t stand or I’ve played it before and found it horrible. From the descriptions and screenshots of Kahoots, I’d have never downloaded it, but had there been a demo, I’d have played it and then purchased the game out right. This is a fun and downright weird puzzle game featuring some creepy Elmo-esque voice overs and the musical stylings of a creature called Pegbeast. It was weird, but addicting, and I loved it. If my subscription to PSPlus ever expires, I’ll end up purchasing this for sure. Since it’s free, you should download it and enjoy it yourself.

5. Wouldn’t bother downloading this regardless

Super Street Fighter IV PSN Avatar Bundle – Look, I love Street Fighter, I use an Akuma avatar for myself on PSN already and this bundle saves you roughly twelve dollars. With that in mind, you may be wondering why this is under category five. Well, it’s simple – who the hell needs 35 avatars, and who the hell will ever use that many? This is a case of something looking like an awesome deal on the surface but is really a way to just get you to spend far more money than you normally would on a product. A gamer might purchase one or two avatars in their lifetime for the PSN. 35? Not bloody likely. But when you are offered a bundle of 35 for $4.99, you probably find yourself saying, “What a great deal.” The truth is, that it’s really just a way to get an extra $4-$4.50 out of a gamer. Remember this avatar bundle costs as much, or even more than, some games. Would you rather have a game, or a collection of static art junk no one looks at or cares about anyway?

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

Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped – fifty percent off a game I hated as a college kid is not going to entice me to purchase it. At free, I MIGHT download it. Three dollars is still way too much for a game franchise whose best moments involved commercials of a furrie harassing Nintendo rather than the actual gameplay itself.

So there you go! This was a great week for Playstation Plus Subscribers and I personally downloaded $10.48 worth of games, one of which I will buy if I ever dump my PSPlus subscription. This brings me up to $57.90 in free downloads over the past five weeks. Again, that looks good on paper as I have now downloaded content that has a greater combined dollar amount than my Playstation Plus subscription, but remember, this is the first week where I found something worth keeping AND I already own the crown jewel of PSPlus options already because it was on sale for five bucks a few months back and I had to grab it.

Again, Critter Crunch is a must have and Kahoots is surprisingly addictive and a fun little puzzle game. I can’t comment on Syphon Filter yet, but it received high praise in 1999 and it’s certainly worth downloading to see how it’s aged.

Congratulations Sony, it only took you five weeks to stop anally fisting your consumers and give Playstation Plus subscribers something to make them glad they forked over $49.99 to you. Now let’s cross our fingers and see if you can keep this momentum going. God knows PSPlus subscribers deserve it after the previous four weeks of creamed crap you served to them.


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