This is one of the offering’s from PS+ this month, and I’d actually been quite looking forward to playing it, having heard good things – I remember one friend in particular, who’s judgement I trust, saying how much he enjoyed it. Well, it’s indeed a blast to play, feeling like what a Gauntlet game should feel like, with a similar perspective as the original, but with current-gen sheen and controls. I love it, and I’ve still only played alone, and I see that there’s online multiplayer, so I’ll probably give that a try soon. Just a good ol’ time slicing things, moving through dungeons, and picking up gold. And yes, the classic lines are all in there.
Yet another PS+ free game I was happy to get, I’m having a lot of fun with CounterSpy so far. I remember that it got so-so reviews when it came out, but I was always really attracted to the stylish art direction, 2D gameplay, and, well, I just really like spy stuff. I’ve only had a chance to play a couple of levels so far, but I liked what I experienced. I also like that the 2D gameplay changes up a bit when you go into cover (becomes close to 3rd person perspective). I may end up noticing more flaws as I play more, but so far I’m happy to be playing it.
Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty
Yet another great PS+ release this month, this time the updated version of Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee, called New ‘n’ Tasty. Abe’s Oddysee was one of my favorite PS1 games, and I even played it again 3-4 years ago on PSP. How’s this update? Fantastic. This is more than just a simple HD upgrade, as it looks like everything was rebuilt from the ground up, and the visuals are stunning. It’s the same gameplay I remember, and I’m still having fun playing it, so that’s all good. I did notice that the voice acting was redone, as it does feel like Abe’s “hello” is a bit different, but we’ll let that slide. A definite must-play title, especially if you’re new to it.
Even though I’ve played a few of them, I was never really that into the Tony Hawk games – or even the Skate series, which I admittedly liked better, the first one – but I was interested to play the first OlliOlli when it came out, as the 2D gameplay looked refreshing. I never got around to playing it, but thanks to the PS+ releases for March, I’m playing OlliOlli2 on PS4 (I downloaded the Vita version as well, but haven’t tried it yet) and so far I’m really enjoying it. It starts with the great soundtrack – more chill, less skate punk/rock – and a beautiful minimalist aesthetic that looks beautifult. Gameplay-wise, it does take a while to get used to things – I keep wanting to push the analog stick down when I land, instead of the X button – but the fact that I keep playing the levels over and over is a clear sign that it’s got me hooked.
Just take a look at the screenshot above. This game has such a fantastic look to it, and the greek/roman history geek in me just can’t get enough of it. In terms of gameplay, it did take some to get used to it – at first I didn’t really like the way the character controlled, with puppet-like movement, but you eventually get a feel for it, and I started also feeling that it made sense within the context of the aesthetics. I’ve only played a couple of hours so far, and since it’s a Metroidvania type game I’m sure there’s still tons I haven’t seen. So far, I’m really enjoying it, and since it’s one of the PS+ titles this month, there’s not reason not to give it a try.
Castle of Illusion
The HD remake of this game was a recent offering on PS+ – I’m not sure if it’s still available – and I’m sure glad I gave it a whirl. Although I’m well aware of the original, I don’t think I had ever played it, and so never had any particular attachment to this. The first thing that really surprised me is how gorgeous this game really is, even on PS3. I was expecting something like the recent Ducktales remake, which looks fine if rather basic and flat, but here we have something that is quite lush, with a painted look and great use of shadows. The gameplay is nothing special, but I’ve always had a soft spot for platformers, and so I’ve had fun playing this, mostly to see what all of the levels look like.
Stick it to the Man
This is the PS4 offering from PS+ this month, and I’ve been having a blast playing it (I think I’m almost done). It’s basically a modern take on the point-and-click adventure genre, and so the game is all about encountering characters and solving puzzles, which amount to you finding items, and then giving them to the proper character. What’s great – and weird – is how it plays. You manipulate the level by moving platformer style, but to interact with characters and things, you have a psychic tentacle floating out of your head. With this, you can read people’s minds – with the “thoughts” being voiced from your PS4 controller – and you also use it to pick things up, or even to swing up on hooks found throughout the levels. Add to this a cool illustrated aesthetic and some fun dialogue, and you get yourself a pretty great package. And hey, it’s fee, so there’s no reason not to try it at least.