Tagged: PlayStation Plus

Of 2014: The “Free” Games


One thing I tried to do in 2014 was come up with a better term for the games you get when you keep a paid membership to a service.  Calling them “free” games and putting a major emphasis on the quotations is the easiest but it isn’t being totally honest. Rights-limited-access Games, no. Fringe Benefit Games, no. I dunno, I guess we just keep calling them “free” and everyone agrees that we all know they aren’t really “free”.

Despite finally getting some goods from Microsoft, 2014’s “free” games weren’t all that great. They basically served as confirmation that I didn’t like a bunch of games I was curious about. Aside from Binding of Isaac I won’t be re-upping my memberships to hold onto access to many of these games. Here’s just a quick thought on each as I run down the list of all the “free” games I played.

Ooh! What if we call them Gimme Games? No? No.


Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Another pleasant indie puzzle platformer. Played alone it’s not so much fun so I stopped.

Crimson Dragon
All the fun of a Panzer Dragoon game crippled by the constant nagging of modern free-to-play design; microtransactions, limiting “energy” and repetitive grinding.

Love the art style and setting but the control never feels reliable enough to enjoy the dressing.

Max: The Curse of Brotherhood
The analog sticks stand in well for the traditional motion controls and the game presents an enjoyable, if mild, physics-powered puzzle platformer.

Strike Suit Zero: Director’s Cut
A sterile and boring space shooter with all the fun of anime nonsense for a story.

Super Time Force
Neat time mechanic and internet humor. Despite being only a few hours long it still felt like it overstayed its welcome.

Volgarr the Viking
Yup, that’s Rastan alright! A great, punishing throwback of an arcade game.


PlayStation 3 and Vita

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth
1000% more secrets! I like everything they did with this long-in-development expansion… except for the music.

Borderlands 2
More like Bored– eh, you get the joke. I don’t like Borderlands.

Doki-Doki Universe
A unique adventure game akin to Scribblenauts or LittleBigPlanet. You might learn something about yourself too.

Not as bad as I initially felt about it, it’s a decent way to kill 35 seconds and maybe unlock something new.

Muramasa Rebirth
Umm, just not my thing anymore. Loved the art though.

My Singing Monsters
Sculpting a tune over a series of days was neat. Ultimately just another F2P “game” I bored of quickly.

Ultra gorgeous art, frustrating control. Really a shame because I wanted to dive deep into this one.

Quiet Please
An enjoyably simple adventure game with an appreciably simple goal.

Smart As…
… an idiot. This game made me feel pretty dumb. It also took way too long to load and restart.

That sure is Tempest. I’m no good at Tempest.

Unit 13
Almost up to snuff with the action of a Splinter Cell or Metal Gear, this Vita launch game is pretty bland and I dropped it pretty quickly.




Of 2013: The PlayStation Plus Recap List


I enjoyed more of the “free” games from PlayStation Plus in 2012 but I still think the annual membership is worth it. After nearly two years I have dozens of games to play on both PlayStation 3 and Vita and some of them I’d never have touched if it weren’t for the Instant Game Collection offered by Plus.

On top of the games below I took advantage of some Plus-subsidized sales to pick up Sound Shapes, NiGHTS, The Unfinished Swan, Guacamelee and Spelunky at a discount. I also realized the perfect way to re-up every year is by asking for a 12-month subscription card for your birthday; then those “free” games really are free! Here’s all the games I managed to download and play in 2013 (with 2013 releases in bold):

  • Foosball 2012
  • Closure
  • Chronovolt
  • Joe Danger 2: The Movie
  • Demon’s Souls
  • Malicious
  • Sleeping Dogs
  • Knytt Underground
  • The Pinball Arcade
  • Star Wars Pinball
  • Dokuro
  • Disgaea® 3: Absence of Detention
  • Tekken 6
  • Plants vs Zombies
  • Mega Man 9 & 10
  • NBA Jam: On Fire Edition
  • Ibb & Obb
  • Hotline Miami
  • Galaga Legions DX
  • Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
  • Urban Trial Freestyle

With similar games and discounts promised for PlayStation 4 and continued support for PlayStation 3 and Vita the value of PlayStation Plus is hard to beat. Oh, and you’ll need it anyways to play PS4 games online so go ahead and grab those 12-month cards now before the price inevitably goes up in 2014!

Of 2012: The PlayStation Pus Recap List

There were a lot of people on the fence about Sony’s paid PlayStation Plus service until E3 2012 when they redoubled their efforts and sweetened the deal. Like many, I bought a Plus membership within weeks of the announcement and suddenly realized how little hard drive space I had on my PlayStation 3. Here’s everything I got to play in those three months ( * denotes a game released in 2012):

  • *Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown
  • Warhammer 40k: Space Marine
  • Hard Corps: Uprising
  • Choplifter HD
  • LittleBigPlanet 2
  • Sideways: NY
  • Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light
  • Renegadge Ops
  • Pac-Man Championship Edition DX
  • Just Cause 2
  • *The Walking Dead 1-2
  • Outland
  • Bloodrayne: Betrayal
  • *Double Dragon Neon
  • Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game

Purchased individually that’s a helluva lot more than the $18 I paid for three months. Granted, it’s all locked away now that my membership has lapsed but it was a great deal for the slower Summer months. Sony’s E3 gambit paid off and I’m now a fan (if not currently a subscriber) of PlayStation Plus.

Trying it also helped me realize that it’s a lot like Netflix instant streaming for games. You may not find the absolute newest, hottest games you’d want to play but it gives you a rotating menu of stuff to discover. I’d never have bought most of these games but having them handed up month after month I was more than happy to give them a whirl and I think that’s great.

UPDATE: My sister got me a 12-month subscription card for my birthday so I’m officially back on PlayStation Plus but for the purpose of this post I’ll not update the list.