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Posts Tagged ‘Playstation Plus’

Instant Game Collection For Vita Next Tuesday

Next week, prepare to check one more item off the list of things that you’ve to been waiting to happen on the Vita.  You’re guessed it, next Tuesday PlayStation Plus is going go into full effect on Sony’s handheld system.  An impressive list of six games will be available to download for free if you’re […]

May Freebie Report: Part 2

When Sony first announced their PlayStation Plus program, I was skeptical that it would live up to their promises.  After being gifted a free month of the service, I tried it out to the fullest extent and I have to say that I’m hooked.  Each month, on the first Tuesday, they release a number of […]

Playing With Dolls the Double Fine Way

Since its release, I’ve been waiting for an awesome reason to sign up for PSN’s Playstation Plus rewards program.  Thanks to Double Fine, I finally got my reason.  Stacking, the newest game from the creators of Psychonauts and Costume Quest, is currently being offered for free to Playstation Plus subscribers.  I partook of said subscription and got my hands on Stacking and I’m glad to say that Double Fine has another wonderful game.

Based on Russian stacking matryoshka dolls and set during the industrialist age, this game is an puzzle game with the massive amount of charm found in all of Double Fine’s games.  You play as Charlie Blackmore, the smallest doll in the Blackmore set, whose entire family has been kidnapped by the nefarious Baron.  Traveling to different locales such as a cruise ship and a zeppelin, you stack inside other dolls, obtaining special abilities for each one.  At each location, there are objectives to obtain that advance the story forward and hi-jinks you can perform with the various dolls’ abilities.

Honestly, just exploring each of the locations and interacting with all of the characters is what makes this game tons of fun.  If you really wanted to get through the game quickly, it wouldn’t take you very long at all, but there’s so much there fun to be had just messing around.  If you want to jump inside a giant doll with a boxing glove and punch a seagull, you can.  If you want to jump inside a kodiak bear doll and run around scaring the crap out of everyone, that is also an option.

The thing that really gives this game legs are all the little extras it manages to pack in.  Each area has three main goals you can work towards.  There are unique dolls, that have awesome abilities, that it keeps track of every time you hop into one.  Each world has a set number of these unique dolls and collecting them all is quite fun.  Also, there are tasks called hi-jinks that you can perform.  Basically, it just comes down to using the dolls in the area to cause mischief and these stats are kept track of as well.  Finally, each area has a number of objectives to complete before you can move on.  To make it more interesting however, they have made each objective able to be accomplished in a number of different ways.

All of these different things come together in the form of a secret room in the main location.  For each world you visit, there is a mural, paintings and doll collections.  What is displayed here depends on how many unique dolls you’ve used, places you’ve visited and objectives you’ve completed.  While it would have been nice to be able to jump inside your collected dolls, I can definitely appreciate the collection aspect of this game.

All in all, this game is a puzzle/adventure game with a whole lot of character and heart.  It’s hard not to fall in love with the world and its characters.  I definitely recommend this game to anyone who enjoys a good puzzle and anything Double Fine has made.  Buy this game, especially if you have a PS3, but remember to sign up for Playstation Plus because you get it for free and the subscription is only three dollars more than buying the game itself.  Stack away and enjoy!

On the Plus Side

Sony’s Playstation Plus was first hinted at a while back when the company surveyed its customers with options for a payed premium service.  From the results of said survey, Sony released Playstation Plus and so far there have been mixed opinions on the service.  I am here today to look what has been good so far and what they could add to make the service even better.

The biggest thing about Playstation Plus is that there is a lot of value packed into the service.  From the moment you download it, with the discounts and free games that are available to you, the money spent on the service can almost immediately be accounted for if not exceeded.  While they haven’t quite offered Metal Gear Solid 4 for free just yet, the games that they have offered are at least worth a try.  As for the discounts, games have had some decent discounts so far and add-ons, themes and avatars have been offered for anywhere from half-off to free.  With all of this value, one could easily dive right in and make up the value of the purchase of the service rather quickly.

Another feature that has been impressive thus far is the extended demo service that they’ve offered for some of the major games they’ve put up for download.  So far it’s been Infamous and Red Faction: Guerilla that have been offered up this way.  Basically, you get to play the game real game for an hour to get a good taste of what that game is all about.  What’s even better about this demo is that it’s free to subscribers of Playstation Plus.  One final neat thing that you get as a subscriber is a little plus sign next to your name.  When friends are scrolling down their list, they’ll be able to tell that you have Playstation Plus.

While these things are all well and good, there are certainly additions that may make the service better.  One of the most obvious of these would be cross-game chatting.  It appeared on the survey, so Sony definitely has the feature in mind, at this point we’re just waiting to find out if they’re going to include it with their new service or try to offer it free of charge.  At this point, I would be perfectly fine with paying for the ability to chat.  Xbox 360 owners pay for that privilege and I can understand that the extra bandwidth required to let people do this might need to cost a little.

Another feature that would further improve the service, on the note of demos, would be allowing you to do a short trial of downloadable games as on Xbox Live.  It’s hard to know whether you’ll like a game sometimes just by the description and a couple of screenshots and it can sometimes take weeks or months for a demo to come out, if it comes out at all.

One last feature I would love to see would be cloud game saves.  I’ve had to reformat my PS3 a number of times and sometimes the saves that I’ve had were blocked from being moved onto my thumb drive.  It would be pretty awesome to have those files safe up on a server on the off chance that something happened to my PS3.

Playstation Plus thus far is a good service and you can find the value in there rather quickly if you look for it.  I know Sony is testing the waters right now and seeing how people react to it, so I’m very excited to see how the service continues to evolve throughout its lifespan.