PS Plus October Games: What should you be playing?
October is coming close to its end, and with it will go another collection of games made available at no additional cost to PS Plus members. While the gesture sounds very generous on paper, we have more than once run into some bad apples.
But it would be a crying shame for unassuming gems like Rocket League and Unfinished Swan to go unnoticed before their time runs out. So, for your consideration, we took a look at some of October's PS Plus titles. Here's what we thought of them.
Super Meat Boy
An instant classic back in 2010, this hardcore platformer pays homage to the 8-16 bit generations of gaming, with hyper-precise controls and brutally difficult gameplay. Lead Meat Boy through an arduous journey of 100+ levels to save Bandage Girl from the relentless Dr. Fetus. But be warned: Super Meat Boy demands the highest of platforming precision and endurance of the soul - for you will be slaughtered again, and again, and again.
Though many may walk away frustrated and defeated, those who persevere and rise victorious will be graced with the triumphant glory known only to champions of games like Contra, Mega Man, and of course, Super Mario Bros. Though the new PlayStation edition was unfortunately neutered of the original soundtrack, Super Meat Boy otherwise stands as an incredible platformer and a befitting ode to games of old.
It easily gets a YEA from me for free games you should be playing.
Kung Fu Rabbit
To call this game a Super Mario Bros. clone would be a disservice to the man in the red cap. Kung Fu Rabbit is a fun game only in its likeness to the thousands of 2D jumpathons before it. Throughout this pitiful platformer, you navigate a meant-to-be-cute rabbit through three worlds of twenty levels each, making the game's content on par with any standard Mario title.
Unfortunately, these uninspired levels are so trivial that they only take an average fifty seconds to beat, even if you go for all four collectible carrots strewn about each level. As you collect carrots, you unlock extra levels in the Bonus world, but this only served to create a stronger incentive for avoiding the collectibles, as I didn't want to play any more of this silly sidescroller.
The controls are semi-fluent, and the content is plentiful, but uninspired enemies and mediocre level design earn this hopper a NAY.
KickBeat sounds like a perfect fit for Sony's mobile console - a stylish rhythm game based on beating up baddies martial-arts style to rockin' hip hop. Though the rhythmic input feels satisfying upon first watching your calculated button taps translate to killer kung fu combos, the gimmick quickly loses its appeal after enduring track after track of generic rap/rock, even with the game's short list of levels.
With superior rhythm games available through the store's PSP catalog, KickBeat does little to stand out amongst previous entries in the genre.
I enjoyed the style, and would love to see similar things done with a better tracklist, but for now, I'm giving KickBeat a big kick in the NAY.
If you asked a few years ago, many would have said the point-and-click adventure genre died with Tim Schafer's Grim Fandango ("and good riddance" others might grumble). Last year, however, the same creator took to Kickstarter and brought us Broken Age: a playfully witty and humorous game with two distinct stories and protagonists.
Both adventures feature memorable characters and classic point-and-click puzzles. Though some puzzles often teeter between challenging and obtuse, these all-too-familiar frustrations are easily avoided with a helpful hint system. With the "I'm stuck" moments bypassed, and a price tag of zero, there is no reason to skip out on this charming and compelling story.
For any lingering skepticism, please refer to this YEA.
Upon first taking control of the Botanical Utility Droid (BUD for short), I found him clumsy and awkward to navigate. But after getting a sense of the climbing mechanics and BUD's sensitivity to momentum, guiding him through his efforts to grow the Star Plant back to the mothership became less tedious and more endearing. Soon after that, BUD was soaring.
Grow Home is a 3D platformer that embraces the genre's intrinsic imprecision and creates a simple, yet often awe-inspiring adventure of an E.T.-like critter trying to find his way home. Your goal is to climb and grow the Star Plant upwards through three hovering islands to reach the mothership for refueling. Navigating these floating islands by climbing, leaf-bouncing, and flower-gliding is a joy, especially when coupled with the exhilarating risk of falling back to the earth.
There are some buggy hiccups from time to time, like glitching through objects and semi-frequent drops in frame-rate, and the low-budget graphics cause some monotony.
But overall, Grow Home had me jumping from Star Plant to floating island with a resounding YEA!
What did you think of these games? Will you be picking any of them up yourself? Which PS Plus games have you found yourself playing beyond its featured month? Sound off in the comments!