Archive for the 'PSN Games' Category

09
Oct
10

Space Invaders: Infinity Gene

God damn it.
It’s been a busy week. There’s a lot of planning going in for me right now, as you might have noticed, the weekly post got delayed again.

I’m still waiting for Vanquish to show up and our keyboardist to finish Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, so in the time being, I’ll give you a review of a classic upgraded to fit 2010.

Space Invaders was created by Tomohiro Nishikado in 1978 and was produced and distributed by Taito.

It is as simple as it is addictive and in a time were Star Wars, The War of the Worlds and similar sci-fi adventures were popular, defending bases against aliens in a videogame was pretty awesome.
Space Invaders: Infinity Gene is the newest installation of the game, first released for the iOS in 2009 and was recently released for XBLA and PSN this year.

This neo-retro version introduces an ‘evolution system’, which grants the player new moves and different fire power to choose from before starting their game, to name a few. When you play, you gain points and when these points reach up to a certain amount  (shown as a blue bar in the stat screen between the levels) your ship will evolve. After a while, the evolution will also add bonus levels, music that you can listen to from the bonus menu, et cetera.

…and since I mentioned it – the music:
It is not very surprising that the soundtrack is made up of minimalistic techno, bearing much resemblance to the soundtrack for Pixeljunk: Eden.
However, if you’re into this kind of music (which I am) you will enjoy it for more than just some aural ambience for the game.

The trophies are, as ecpected, pretty weak. It is a PSN game after all.
Some of them got that retro feeling to them, as the  one requiring you to get a high score of 10.000.000 points.
Apart from that, there are some other “gain-a- certain-amount-of”-trophies mixed in, not to mention the “beat-the-game” trophies. You got one trophy for each difficulty and there are five of them. FIIIVE! (Said in a dark, sinister voice, trying to sound like the narrative at the title screen of Resident Evil 5.)

To sum it up, this is a fun game, but I doubt it will live for long. You’ll probably spend a few hours playing it (I’ve done aprox 8 so far) but there are other shooters that I’d drastically prefer, as Gradius…FIIIVE! for the Playstation 2.
By the way, when will they release an equally good Gradius on the PS3…?

Why all the base are belong to us…

“Back in my days…” – Neo-retro is the new black.

Uhn-tiss, baby – Great music. I want the soundtrack.

What’s a checkpoint? – It’s challenging and not crap-easy.

Darwin were on to something – The evolution system is addictive.

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06
Sep
10

Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game

I was browsing through the Playstation Store, when I stumbled upon the demo of this game.
Sooo, let’s see… Big, fat pixels in HD, 8-bit music…yeah.
Yeah I’m hooked.

Written by Bryan Lee O’Malley, Scott Pilgrim is a comic in six volumes, that started in 2004 and the 6th book was finally completed this year.

The story takes place in Toronto, where the 22-year old boy Scott Pilgrim lives. He is the bass player of a band called Sex Bob-Ombs (SMB2, anyone?) and together will Stephen Stills (the talent, guitarist and singer) and Kim (female rough neck and drummer) they try to become famous. In the midst of this, Scott meets Ramona Flowers, to whom he falls in love. The only this standing between Scott and Ramona are her seven evil exes that he has to defeat in order to date her.

A movie has been released, based on the comic and the game was produced and co-released with the movie. As soon as the game was available for download, I got the demo and tried it out. My expectations were met and surpassed.

The music is written by the band Anamanaguchi and is a strange, but ingenious combination of chip tunes and punk rock. I’m not a huge fan of punk rock, quite the contrary, but this is actually really good. The soundtrack was released in the US just a few days ago and I’m looking forward to get my hands on that. Check out their MySpace page here.

One of the first things that come to mind when playing this game is the challenge. Not that the enemies are particularly hard to beat, but the levels are intriguingly long. When you level up (oh, yes, it’s one of those games) you gain new abilities which comes in handy when dealing with exes and other frantic brawlers. If you use these techniques right, you shouldn’t have much of a problem maiming your way through. The controls are really simple and easy-to-use, so the only one you can blame for messing up, is yourself. Well, except for the counter move. It more like a 50/50 chance to succeed with that one.

Another great add-on to the game play are the several shops that you pass by on your journey. You can eat sushi, fajitas, drink coffee, energy drinks, etc. Every item gives you a few points in either strength, defence, speed and/or willpower, topped with some extra experience points. When I played River City Ransom (beat’em up for NES) I enjoyed the small shops you could enter and buy food and beverages, so when that part returns in this game, 21 years later, I’m getting a fuzzy, nostalgic feeling inside.

Since I have a Ph.D in trophy prostitution, I checked out the trophy list pretty quick and I must say – this is the weakest link in this game.

No co-op trophies, no knock-out-50-enemies-with-thrown-bottles-trophies, etc. You have one trophy for clearing the game with Scott, but what about the other three characters? I’d like to have trophies for, let’s say, “beating the first level without losing a life”, “beating the second level…” and so on. The aforementioned “throwing bottles trophy” got my senses tingling as well. You only have two boss-related trophies, which leaves five bosses out. That’s a bummer, if you ask me.
That put aside, I think it’s a great game that manage to capture that cozy retro feeling and since I am such a huge sucker for pixels, this goes down as AWESOME in my book.

The game is packed with gamer easter eggs. As the picture above suggests, the NES gets its fair share of tributes throughout the game. It’s Super Mario, Kirby and Mega Man, to name a few. If you get this game and have a history (and hopefully a present) that involves NES games, you should recognize the details as they occur.

And last but not least – Read the comic!
For the love of all that’s funny and/or holy, read the comic
before you play the game! You’ll enjoy the game sooo much more if you do so, trust me. I believe it’s a good order to start with the comic, play the game and last but not least, see the movie.
Comic-game-movie!

Why Scott Pilgrim kicks ass…

Bookworm True to the comic.
Take fighting to a new level Experience points. Period.
Gucci who? Anamanaguchi’s music is awesome!
Hip to be Square Pixel perfection.