Playstation Plus – January 2015 | First Contact

Let’s do things a little differently this month. I’m going to list them in order of rank. Meaning the ones I enjoyed the most at the top and crap games at the bottom.

The Swapper

The Swapper (PS4/PS3/Vita)

It’s funny how in the same month that there’s a bit hoo ha about a AAA title in the line up, the most entertaining game of them all is the smallest, simplest and completely under the radar game instead.

I think of all the PS+ releases so far this is the one where I’ve put the most time in from the moment I first started it and went back to it over and over again. It’s also the first game where Cross-Play has really worked for me and so I’ve been jumping happily between the PS4 in my man cave, the PS3 in the lounge and the Vita when I can’t sleep at night.

Calling it a physics puzzle game feels slightly wrong as it’s not really about physics. I find it similar to some parts of Braid in execution. Essentially you have a cool sci-fi gun that generates clones of yourself and then you can transfer to that clone much like creating portals in Portal. Actually it’s a sort of side-scrolling blend of Portal & Braid now that I think about it.

The puzzle part comes into play in that you can only have up to four clones and they move with your primary body so you need to keep track of them all. Then beyond that you get limitations per puzzle area where you either can’t create the clone in a certain place or can’t transfer to it without first hitting a switch or getting to a certain location.

It might sound boring but the Dead Space like setting with an excellent soundtrack and mystery story that tells you more and more as you go along really makes you want to play more and more. Then of course there is the challenge of cracking all the puzzles.

It’s not terribly difficult but can be quite challenging when you get stuck. However it’s one of those games where the moment you get one puzzle it often explains how to do another so you get that three in a row kind of thing going. Also, you aren’t forced to complete each and every puzzle to progress so if you really get stuck you have the option to just move along.

The only problem I have with this game is that your characters doesn’t turn left or right as you move him and that you need to do so using the right analog stick and moving the crosshair all the way over. I guess it makes sense though with regards to doing certain puzzles.

My other problem isn’t the game’s fault at all, but Playstation itself. Cloud Syncing is a bit of a broken mess considering it doesn’t just auto-sync in a regular timely fashion or when quitting the game or anything logical like that, but either relies on a manual sync from you or the usual overnight thing based on the schedule. More than once I found myself wanting to play on the Vita and then not having the latest data stored.

  • Nice and small at ~392MB so everyone should get it as this is a must play title.

Prototype 2

 

Prototype 2 (PS3)

How one earth can I put the older PS3 title above the still almost new and shiny AAA title on the PS4?

Partly I suspect because I never played Prototype 1 and I did play Infamous : Second Son. Therefore Prototype 2 just seems like something new and fresh and dare I say more exciting. Also the more “organic” premise seems somehow cooler than the super hero style of what is essentially an Infamous clone.

Ordinarily I would say I don’t see the point of going back to play PS3 games when you have a PS4, but in this case I’m very keen to put some time and effort into this game and see where it goes.

Ultimately it’s a third person action hack and slash with bad ass super powers…so Infamous but more with mutation powers. Your character also appears to be more anti-hero than hero by default, but I played far enough to see that this might just be the perception they create at first and that it changes through the game.

Game also looks pretty amazing for an “old” PS3 title and runs very well.

  • It’s very big at 12.1GB but unless you are really bandwidth starved it’s well worth the download.

First Light

inFAMOUS First Light (PS4)

 

As I said above, I just didn’t feel that interested in First Light having played Second Son.

It doesn’t start in a particularly exciting manner that begs me to play more of it and I question what their motives were in making it. If you didn’t play Second Son and this is a sales pitch for that game then it doesn’t make much sense at all.

If you did play Second Son then the character isn’t really all that interesting and suddenly has a much heavier Boston-accent which I just don’t recall from the “full” game.

Somehow it does seem to look ever so slightly prettier and seems to run faster than Second Son.

As freebies go it’s certainly not a bad game and I understand that it’s much shorter and more condensed so it shouldn’t feel like as much of a grind. Based on first impressions I would feel a little bit ripped off had I payed for it as it really should have been a DLC for people who already played Second Son.

  • 9.3GB download and obviously if you only have a PS4 this and The Swapper are your only options this month and decent ones at that.

Ducktales

DuckTales: Remastered (PS3)

I was looking forward to this one purely based on nostalgia.

As nostalgia goes it pretty much always bites you in the ass.

Not to blame the game for that, it does exactly what it promises, I just think I’ve moved on and don’t quite enjoy it nearly as much as I expected going back in time.

Pretty standard take no prisoners traditional platformer. Lose your lives and start at the beginning again. At least the game can now save which means you don’t need to play the entire thing in one sitting.

It’s remake sure but not in the proper modern day HD re-textured sense. It’s more of an upscaled remake so don’t expect any modern day CG or 3D-rendered graphics.

  • At 643MB unless you are really desperate to play this again I would just skip it.

Duke Nukem

Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition (PS3/Vita)

I almost didn’t want to download this purely because I know the game well and felt it’s a bit pointless doing so.

However I started it up on the PS3 and initially I was disappointed that it’s not really a remake as much as it is an emulation of the original and therefore looks exactly the same as it did almost twenty years ago when I first played it.

It’s a first person shooter re-release from 1996 which was deemed quite mature back then but in modern times seems more childish than anything else.

It looks like ass, it plays like ass, but it’s 18 years old and therefore can be forgiven for that.

Oddly, even though I struggled with the rigid controls at first, I found myself still playing it and hour later which says it all.

As a trip down memory lane it was great fun and therefore the asstastic graphics are actually a very good thing reminding you of exactly how things used to be. Playing it with a controller rather than mouse and keyboard does feel quite different and changes the essence somewhat.

I doubt I’ll be playing it any further, but for what it is I did really enjoyed myself.

  • 1.2 GB trip down memory lane if you have bandwidth to spare. If you’ve never played it before, then you probably shouldn’t bother now.

Woah Dave

Woah Dave! (Vita)

Another game that tries way too hard to be retro by looking like crap. I’m sorry, but I just can’t let that go.

Basically a Bubble Bobble meets Mario jump from one platform to another while dodging enemies or jumping on their heads.

Honestly couldn’t be bothered to play it longer than it took me to die the first time.

  • It’s only 45MB so if you can’t help yourself at least you won’t be bandwidth-less after downloading it just to delete it again.

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