June PS Plus IGC Review
Welcome to the second PS Plus monthly review. In keeping with tradition, we've gotten six titles this month, two of which are absolute must-play games. The review was later than usual this month due to the extravaganza known as E3 but better late than never and we will be back on a more regular schedule in July! But on with the show.
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (PS4)
First up this month is one of those absolute must-play games I alluded to, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes. If you are unaware (or understandably confused) as to what Ground Zeroes is, well it's essentially a standalone prologue to the upcoming Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.
Much like the infamous Tanker demo released before MGS 2: Sons of Liberty, Ground Zeroes aims to get you accustomed to the gameplay mechanics and insane story you will get in The Phantom Pain. The main story mission can be completed pretty quickly but there is a lot to do in this mini-sandbox, which shows off the incredible graphics and updated AI of the series.
If you're interested in, or plan on getting The Phantom Pain on September 1st, there is no better time to pick up Ground Zeroes and find out what you are in for.
Skulls of the Shogun: Bone-a-fide Edition (PS4)
Next up on PS4 we have something entirely different. Skulls of the Shogun is a turn-based strategy game about a famed Japanese shogun who must fight through the Samurai Afterlife and avenge his murder/betrayal.
Ray Joshi, of developer 17-Bit, describes the game better than I ever could; Skulls of the Shogun is "scientifically engineered for lightning-quick rounds, thoughtful strategic play, and a frequently inappropriate sense of humor with its tongue planted firmly in cheek." Said Joshi. "And whether you’re into single or multiplayer, Skulls has you covered."
The game boasts an impressive 36 multiplayer maps and 10-hour campaign underneath its cute but deadly art style. So there's plenty here for any strategy fan.
Super Exploding Zoo (PS4, PS Vita)
Super Exploding Zoo is a game from the team that brought you Hohokum - which was part of last month's IGC. It may look adorable but, as the name suggests, Super Exploding Zoo is a crazy arcade action game about killing invading aliens with exploding animals.
Super Exploding Zoo could also be described as a puzzle game but one that isn't overly challenging. You round up a squad of exploding animals, defeat the aliens on the level and rescue eggs, which in turn give you more animals. If you enjoy bizarre arcade/puzzle games, which is best served on the PS Vita, this game is for you!
Futuridium EP Deluxe (PS4, PS Vita)
Futuridium EP Deluxe is described as an "old school shoot 'em up". Truth be told the game looks and plays very similarly to infinite runner Race The Sun, a game that was free in last month's IGC, albeit much more stylish.
Again, if you enjoy incredibly fast-paced shooting/flying in a 80's jumpsuit style world, then Futuridium is for you!
Call of Juarez: Gunslinger (PS3)
The Call of Juarez series is a strange beast; from jumping time-lines to jumping quality. Thankfully, Gunslinger is the best game in the series to date. Clearly benefitting from being digital release only, and therefore not having AAA demands to meet, Gunslinger was a far cry from the original games in the series.
Gunslinger is a first-person shooter set in the Wild West. The story tells the tale of legendary bounty hunter Silas Greaves, and is regaled by several drunks in a saloon. The unique thing about the story mode is that you will be playing the game while a particular man narrates, only for the game to freeze while another man cuts in and says that "ain't how it went down". So the game can be pretty funny and non-linear in its storytelling but that helps make it a very memorable experience, there's also a few twists along the way.
Gunslinger also has a great cel-shaded art style and Red Dead Redemption-esque (Or GUN-esque) slow-down mode for shooting. All in all Gunslinger is the second game in this month's IGC that I label as must-play, if you haven't picked it up yet it's definitely worth dusting off your PS3 for.
Cloudberry Kingdom (PS3)
And finally we have a rogue-like 2D side-scrolling platformer that's as tough a goat's knees. Cloudberry Kingdom may sound nice and sweet but it's a truly difficult platformer that features procedurally generated levels.
Sure the lack of a story or any real charisma hurt the overall presentation of the game but the rather addictiveness of the levels make it worth checking out. Somewhat reminiscent of Spelunky or Rogue Legacy, albeit lacking the overall greatness of those titles, Cloudberry Kingdom fits the rogue moniker while boasting difficulty the likes of Super Meat Boy would be proud of.
All in all a decent month for PS Plus. The two awesome titles of Ground Zeroes and Gunslinger really lift the overall evaluation to a much higher scale. Skulls of the Shogun, Futuridium and Super Exploding Zoo are all fairly new titles, while Gunslinger and Cloudberry Kingdom are both 2 years old at this point. It's a little disappointing to see a game so similar to Race the Sun be released in the subsequent month but it's not so bad when you consider Games with Gold has given away the same game 3 months in a room now, here's looking at you Pool Nation FX. As always, there's something for everyone in this month's IGC.
Total Cost of the IGC: $94/£60