Thursday, April 24, 2014

Another sweet month of PlayStation Plus is May.


On some forums the other day, a fellow remarked that they couldn't bring themselves to subscribe to PlayStation Plus, knowing that all the games they get "free" are, essentially, just rentals as long as you have a Plus subscription.

And yeah, that's totally true.  Once you let your PS+ subscription lapse, you lose access to any game you downloaded free through PS+ (if you then re-subscribe, you regain access to every game you got free through the lifetime of your subscription - and there are tons of great PS+-only sales).

The free games were never my impetus for PS+.  In 2010 and 2012, I suffered two catastrophic PS3 errors that wiped all of my saved games.  The posts were literally titled "oh God no!"  When it last occurred, I lost my saves for... one or two games.

Game like



which, y'know, represents some measure of investment.

I resolved I would never again lose saved progress, but who was I - some crazy person who would manually backup their saved games once a week?  I'm not a maniac.

No, I subscribed to PlayStation Plus, which basically turns your PlayStation Whatever into a digital gaming butler.  When I get home from work, I turn on my PS3 and it says (with a smooth British accent), "welcome home, Sir.  I've taken the liberty of uploading any new saved games to online storage, and downloaded any new patches for the games you own."

And it's like, thank you, Jarvis.

The free games are just a bonus.  A sweet, sweet bonus that has significantly broadened my gaming horizons, as I check out critically-acclaimed titles I never would have, and supplement my gaming library with digital versions of important titles (particularly precious on Vita) - and PS+ in May is, yet again, a sweet month for PlayStation Plus freebies.


Stick it to the Man!, coming to the PS4's Instant Game Collection, is a pleasant old-schooly adventure game with a nicely weird sense of humor.  Taking place in a world of paper cut-outs, one poor schmuck gets bonked on the head with a top-secret thing that grants him the magical power of giant, pink piece of spaghetti coming out of his head - which he can use to mix-and-match the 2D items of his world, and listen in on the thoughts of anyone within spaghetti-reach.  It's very entertaining - but, I'll admit, doesn't have the smoothest design.

In the mean time,


The PS3 gets Puppeteer, that gorgeous-looking and critically-divisive platformer from last Fall.  This is exactly why I love Plus's freebies - a game I've always wanted to try, but not enough to spend money on.

The PS3 also gets PES 2014, which I gather is a sports game of some variety, and - much more importantly,


Skullgirls Encore! Woo!

Skullgirls, you should know, made a lot of waves when it arrived in 2012 - an indie fighter with gorgeous 2D sprites, tournament depth and a lot of originality.  Released by Konami on PSN and XBLA, developer Reverge Labs continued to support the game through updates and decided to do up an Indiegogo campaign to see if they could gather backing to produce DLC characters - they asked for $150K, they got almost a million dollars - and happily forged ahead.

You don't have to know Skullgirls
to know this .gif.
Around this time, Konami started acting like a dick, and the developer broke with them, citing their "unresponsiveness" when it came to getting patches out for the game.  They hooked up with publishers Marvelous AQL and CyberFront, and re-released Skullgirls on PS3 and 360 as Skullgirls Encore.

I've always wanted to try it.  It looks so cute and silly and awesome, but if it's not Virtua Fighter, for some reason, I'm no good at fighting games.  But I want it.

And this month, I shall have it.  I almost wanna' go buy it so this delightful dev gets more money - but if it turns out I love it, I can always toss 'em some bucks via DLC, 'cause that Squiggly looks all kinds of awesome/cute.

Finally,


the Vita gets Limbo (awesome) and Surge Deluxe.  Now... I wouldn't be too hyped about Surge Deluxe if I didn't know who developed it - but I know it was developed by FuturLab.  These guys have a weirdly prescient handle on how, precisely, to make a fun and addictive game and - again - I've always wanted to check it out.

Again, the free games aren't the reason to subscribe to PS+ - they're just one hell of a bonus.

Skullgirls!  Woo!


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