Reminder – If you are a PS Plus member, remember to add the games to your library each month, you don’t HAVE to download them. Even if you don’t think you’ll ever play it, it is worth having in your library just in case. You never know what is going to take you by surprise!
On my quest to play all sorts of different games, I have decided it would be fun to go back and play through my library of PS Plus games that I have never even looked at. I am (eventually) going to go through each month, from most to least recent, trying out these games and having my say about each one. I do hope this can be helpful to someone but if not, at least I’m finally trying these games!
P.S. I am only going to go through the PS4 games for now. Between my huge backlog and my slow old console, I’ve decided that will be best. Since I am not yet playing the PS3 titles, I am going to write a quick summary from the info I find from my friend Google, just for my own future benefit/anyone curious about the full months line-up!
PS4 – Tales from the Borderlands
Tales from the Borderlands is an episodic space opera game, developed by Telltale Games. It is based on the FPS series Borderlands, delivered in the usual story driven way of other Telltale Games, with lots of decision making and QTE’s. We follow our main characters, Rhys and Fiona, as they risk their lives on the shady planet of Pandora, in their quest for riches. You don’t have to have played any of the Borderlands games to enjoy this story and in fact, I would encourage going in blind. I did and I had an absolute blast discovering this new world and characters as the story went on.
Tales from the Borderlands is the first game that I already own that has popped up on PS Plus. And to be honest, I am not even mad. In fact, I was happier than I should have been. I was so pleased that other people will hopefully get to experience the same joy that I got from this game. Not only were there some great visuals, the story was engaging, the characters were all likable for their own reasons, the dialogue was fantastic and the humour was the best in any game that I have ever played. Months down the line and I still get a huge smile on my face just thinking about this game. Now, after catching up on a few more Telltale Games I can confirm that this is still my favourite and it is probably going to go down in history as one of my favourite gaming experiences ever.
Wait. Please don’t buy into my hype, I think one of the reasons that I loved it so much was because it was such an unexpected Gem. Just go and play it and see what you think, I really don’t think you will be disappointed (unless you hate story based, interactive movie type games. Then you’ll hate it.). Plus, if you are into trophy hunting, it’s the easiest platinum you’ll ever get! I wrote a full review at the time of playing. If anyone is interested, check out the Game Reviews section!
PS4 – Alienation
Alienation is a campaign shooter/RPG, developed by Housemarque. It is set on a future Earth, which has almost been taken over by aliens. Being the noob that I am, I’m not even sure the technical term for this kind of shooter. In Third Person Shooters the camera is usually over the shoulder and it’s most definitely not a First Person Shooter. It is not a Top-Down game either, yet there are other games like it, so it must have a name. It is a 3D game where the character is on the screen but you aren’t playing from their point of view. How’s that? Dear God, I need to learn some more lingo.
Onto the game itself. It is an online game where you can either team up with strangers or friends, play solo, or play with others in your own home. Couch co-op is so criminally underused in general, I really appreciate that this game has it but sadly I doubt that I will ever use it. The RPG elements include choosing your class and assigning skill points. There are also unlockables and more customisation as the game goes on. The campaign screen is a stylish, futuristic map of the world and your missions will show up as and when you get to them. I imagine that as you go on you will travel all over the world which will provide an interesting variety. The controls are twin-stick, being that the left stick controls your character and the right stick aims your weapon. I only did one mission and decided quite quickly that I would not be carrying on, simply because it is not my type of game. The mission that I did included going from A-B numerous times, killing everything in my way. If that sounds good to you then you really should try it, I am just learning more and more each day that I am not so keen on games that are solely about combat.
PS4/Vita – Laser Disco Defenders
Laser Disco Defenders is a colourful, side-scrolling, arcade shooter developed by Out of Bounds. You play as a band in an intergalactic music war. The controls are straight forward twin-stick, but the game itself is surprisingly challenging. Every shot fired stays on the map, creating the interesting challenge of not only avoiding your enemies shots, but avoiding your own. There is the main story where you complete objectives to unlock rewards, and there is endless mode where you can see how far you can get before getting a Game Over.
If I am being completely honest, this is not my kind of game at all. Sadly, arcade type games are lost on me. It can be the coolest version available and I wouldn’t even know because I just don’t enjoy the game play. I completed a few objectives but even the funky story and visuals – which seems to have been created when the writers were high in the 70’s – can’t pull me in enough to enjoy it. I do think this has an interesting spin that would be a great challenge to fans of the genre, but I am less of a ‘one shot one kill’ type and more of a ‘hail of bullets’ type gamer, which apparently seems to be my downfall. There is no platinum trophy but a lot of them are very rare. How you interpret that, of course, is up to you.
PS4/Vita – Type:Rider
Type:Rider is a charming side-scroller puzzle game developed by Ex Nihilo. I have got to admit, from watching the trailer I didn’t think I was going to like this game. I don’t mind time sink puzzle games on the move so I assumed it would be an ok game for Vita, but I wasn’t bothered about having it on my PS4. I started up the game and was immediately impressed with the atmosphere, even in the tutorial. You go through each level, collecting letters of the alphabet, and asterisks which unlock pages of your books. The books take you through the history of language and typography, which is also reflected in the level design. Honestly, I have never thought about where our language came from but I am absolutely fascinated, and I will never look at fonts in the same way again. I haven’t played an ‘educational’ game since my school days, but if you are ever in the mood for learning something, I definitely suggest giving this game a go.
Not only are there the regular levels to finish, there are also speed runs and hidden collectibles, giving the game some replayability. It could definitely keep you entertained for a long flight or a few commutes if you use a Vita. Again, there is no platinum trophy but it seems easy and interesting enough to 100% without grinding at all. Overall, this game has exceeded my expectations and I am actually looking forward to completing it, even if it is only to read more of the interesting history. I feel like if you took Sonic the Hedgehog, gave it a dark, historic ambiance, added some education and displayed it in a museum, you would get Type:Rider.
Edit: It was only after continuing on with this game that I realised how absolutely infuriating it can be. The balls move very slowly and the whole balance mechanic just doesn’t sit right with me. As much as I appreciate that they are trying to be creative and implement new mechanics each level, some are just downright annoying and distracting. I have now characterised this game under – things to play when I want to raise my blood pressure.
PS3 – Blood Knights
Blood Knights is a Hack and Slash RPG developed by Deck13 Interactive. It seems to have the same camera style as Alienation (not first or third person, or top-down… hopefully you know what I mean by now) but also is a vastly different game. It is set in a war between humans and vampires.
PS3 – Port Royale 3: Pirates and Merchants
Port Royale 3 is a business sim/resource management/strategy game developed by Gaming Minds Studio. It is the third in the series following its two predecessors, and is set during the 17th century in the Caribbean.
Summary – I feel like, since I am supposed to be open minded, I am actually becoming less tolerant of games that I don’t immediately like. But yet in both months there has been a nice surprise that I never would have picked up, and it’s a funny coincidence that they are both Vita titles. As far as the overall months go, I am already spotting a trend. One story based game, one online shooter, one quirky portable game and one arcade shooter. It will be interesting to see, not only whether the new up and coming months follow this trend but whether the previous months do too.
Note to Playstation/Sony – You know I asked to be able to edit the trophy list last time? Well I have another problem, just as important, first world and OCD as the first one. Please let us organise our Library. Folders on the main screen is great and all but folders in the library would be so much more useful. I have 127 games here and probably half of them are demos. So that’s my request, folders in library and the ability to delete demos. Or just the first one would do then I could put all of my demos into a folder.
How did you enjoy May’s line-up? Love it? Hate it? Hidden Gems?