This is another of this month’s free games from PlayStation Plus (like Tiny Troopers Joint Ops), and it’s been a pleasant surprise to play it. I knew absolutely nothing about it, and so it came as a nice surprise to see not only a beautiful and colorful game like this, but one that’s fun to play too. Think Bit.Trip Runner, but with more focus on selecting certain colors as you pass through obstacles and the like, with a lot of lane switching. It gets pretty intense even on the normal difficult, and although I completed the first world, I’m not sure how long I’ll last, as this type of game usually demands a lot of course memorization, and I’m not sure I want to devote a lot of brainspace to that (which is the same reason I stopped playing Bit.Trip Runner 1 and 2, games that I really liked as well). But take the time to try it out, it’s nicely done, and looks really pretty and cartoony.
Last night I started playing through this month’s free games from PlayStation Plus – Stories: The Path of Destinies I’ve already played through and hugely enjoyed, while Invisible Inc. I played a bit of on my Mac, and I do plan on giving the console version a try. First up I played Tiny Troopers Joint Ops, and found myself having a lot of fun with it – I played through the first campaign, and stopped at the start of the second one only because I wanted to try the other games too. Nothing too complex, but it reminds me a bit of a more cartoony/arcade-y version of the old Commandos game on PC, that I really liked back in the day.
I’ve always been curious about the Tropico games, but have never played one until now (thanks, PlayStation Plus). The sim genre is admittedly not one I get very excited about, but I have had fun with some in the past – I never go really deep with them though. I’ve just gone through the tutorials so far in Tropico 5, and so far I’m finding it nice and slick, with the despot banana republic setting a fun one. I don’t expect I’m really going to get sucked into playing a lot of this, but I’m happy to have the chance to try it out, and who knows, I might end up liking it more than I expect.
Also in the PlayStation Plus lineup this month is Switch Galaxy Ultra, which from the screenshots looked pretty awesome to me. Although it looks like a hover racer, it’s a bit more limited than that, and instead plays more like the grinding levels in a Ratchet game. I haven’t spent that much time with it, but the first few levels were fun enough. I’m not quite sure how much time I’ll end up playing this, but I’ll definitely give it another play session or two.
On top of all the games I’ve been able to play courtesy of the “Friends of Nintendo” Humble Bundle, it’s also the start of a new month, which means new games from PlayStation Plus. I was quite looking forward to playing Table Top Racing – I sure love me some racing – and after putting in a bit of time, although it’s OK (especially for the price of free), it just hasn’t drawn me in enough to want to continue playing it. In the end, it just doesn’t really do anything better than Mario Kart 8, and so I’d rather just play that some more (which I still do). It’s not a bad looking game though, but I’m not sure if the balancing is quite right – I fully upgraded my first car, and on the second cup already hit races that I found impossible to win.
Another game from this month’s PlayStation Plus lineup that I was quite looking forward to playing is Shutshimi – like I said, I really like 2D shooters. I’ve just played a bit of it, and right now I’m not sure if I’m missing something, but I’m a bit underwhelmed. It’s a neat idea, to play the same (or very similar) short levels, but each time with a wacky mod (slow, fast, upside down, etc.), but the lack of variety in what I was facing felt a bit boring. Maybe I unlock more variety by playing a lot more? At the very least, I don’t feel like it’s giving me a lot at the start to really want to play a lot longer.
This is one of the offerings from this month’s PlayStation Plus lineup, and one that I was quite looking forward to playing, as its the first original IP from Armature (born out of a few developers who worked on Metroid Prime leaving Retro Studios). After reading about it, I figured it would be right up my alley – an overhead space shooter (and I sure love shooters) that is done in multiplayer. I went through the tutorial, which was all good and fine and neat, but then when I played through my first real match with live players, I found myself constantly dying, and frustrated at the lack of progress I was making on the map. Maybe I was just unlucky and faced off against people that had been playing a lot more than me (even though I was playing it on the day of release), but it did turn me off a bit. I’ll give it a few more matches though, to see if I can get into some sort of groove.
I’ve just had a quick taste of Nom Nom Galaxy – also part of this month’s PlayStation Plus lineup – but it definitely feels nice to be playing a PixelJunk game again (my last one was Shooter 2). It’s not generally the style of game I’m attracted to – building/developing – but just like I wasn’t really into tower defence games before PixelJunk Monsters, I’m hoping the same will happen here. So far, I’m definitely enjoying the game’s aesthetics (always a PixelJunk strong point) as well as the humor.
I first experience Nova-111 a few years ago at BitSummit in Kyoto, while also recording a PechaKucha presentation with its creator, Eddie Lee, and I really liked what I played. I’ve finally gotten around to playing the full game – it’s offered this month as part of PlayStation Plus, and I’m playing the PS4 version – and I sure am having fun with it. First off, I love the aesthetics they’ve given the world. Although you basically control a ship through a grid overlay, the background world and enemies you encounter really have a great style. As for the gameplay, it’s surprisingly addictive to move around, and decide on the best way to defeat enemies – it’s what I’d call quick-turn-based (like you’d experience in old roguelikes), so enemies only move when you move (with some exceptions), and so part of your strategy is to deal with that. Really fun stuff, and I’m looking forward to seeing what game we’ll be getting next from Eddie.
Of the new PS4 offerings through PS+ last week, this is the one I’ve played the least, but I was curious to see how it looked, and unsurprisingly, it looks great. I played the original Trine – on PS3 I think – and it’s a game I had fun with. I like platformers, and I like the fantasy setting here, and the switching you do between warrior, archer, and wizard. As with the original, it is sometimes a bit awkward to use some of the powers with a controller – like drawing blocks to materialize for the wizard – but it’s not deal-breaking. I’ll probably wait until I’m done with PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate before I fully jump into this.