playstation network

Only on PSNStarting today, Sony Computer Entertainment America will be releasing a selection of PS3 exclusive downloadable games. Also kicking off is a deal to help save on the PSN exclusvies. Sony is offering up $10 in credit when you reach $60 in purchases from the PlayStation Store during October 2011. From Sony Computer Entertainment: “Spend $60 on games, movies, avatars, PlayStation®Home items, PlayStation®Plus subscriptions; and you’ll receive $10 in November via a redeemable voucher.”

Here is a summary of the games and their release dates, from SCEA:

October 4:

  • Eufloria – Developed by Omni Systems, Eufloria is an addictive ambient game of space exploration and conquest, plant growth and bio mechanical evolution. Explore a beautifully realized universe rendered in a style that is unique and compelling. Conquer asteroids in deep space and use their resources to literally grow and nurture semi-organic plants and creatures to do your bidding.
  • Rochard™ – Developed by Recoil Games and published by Sony Online Entertainment LLC, Rochard is a unique gravity-defying, side-scrolling, puzzle-platforming, astro-mining action adventure game. Featuring a resourceful hero, ominous villains, rugged machinery, big explosions, even bigger stunts and sharp one-liners, Rochard tests players’ coordination and wits as they use gravity to their advantage, changing it at will to solve environmental puzzles and advance through each level.

October 11:

  • Sideway: New York™ – Developed by Playbrains Inc. and published by Sony Online Entertainment LLC, Sideway: New York is a 2D adventure platformer set in a 3D world. Sideway offers players the chance to leave their mark on the city as they help rescue friends and defeat Spray, a sinister tagger who wants to dominate both Sideway and the real world in this unique side-scroller.

October 13:

  • Sodium Collection – This PlayStation Home value pack includes the SodiumOne Pilot’s Jacket, which unlocks the full 50-level tank combat Salt Shooter game, and weapon upgrades for your SodiumOne tank. Also included is a variety of upgrades for Sodium 2: Project Velocity, a high-speed, free-to-play, futuristic multiplayer racing game exclusive to PlayStation Home, and the wildly-popular Blaster’s Paradise personal space, which hosts a tabletop version of Salt Shooter. Buy from the PlayStation Store and play in PlayStation Home.

October 18:

  • Okabu – Developed by Hand Circus, Okabu is an action-puzzler, where players will guide Kumulo, Nimbe and four cloud-flying heroes as they battle to save their people and their world from the industrialized threat of the Doza. Dive into a hyper-tactile toybox world filled with a huge number of puzzles, playthings, adorable creatures and devious machines spread across an epic co-op campaign.
  • RocketBirds – Developed by Ratloop Asia, RocketBirds offers players the chance to annihilate an evil penguin regime in this cinematic platform adventure game offering full solo and co-op campaigns with stereoscopic 3D support. Destroy enemies with a slew of weapons and illuminate the secrets to his past while uncovering the real enemies of Albatropolis.

October 25:

  • inFAMOUS: Festival of Blood – Developed by Sucker Punch, inFAMOUS: Festival of Blood explores the darker side of the inFAMOUS universe as vampires swarm New Marais, and revered superhero Cole MacGrath has been bitten. To save his soul and city, he has just one night to find and kill the head vampire. inFAMOUS: Festival of Blood features hours of new gameplay, PlayStation®Move compatibility, themed environment settings and new characters/enemies.
  • PixelJunk Sidescroller – Developed by Q-Games, the popular PixelJunk series goes old-school with a completely retro side-scrolling shooter that reinvents the genre from the ground up while maintaining that nostalgic feeling. Dodge flurries of alien bullets and strategically upgrade weapons while battling through sweeping stages full of hazardous fluid and endless shooting mayhem.

For more details and to see a preview of the upcoming Sony PSN exclusive games, visit us.playstation.com/psn/only-on-psn.

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SNK Arcade Classics PSP Minis
Available for: PSP, PS3
Official website: neogeostation.snkplaymoreusa.com

Developer G1M2 has released a series of eight SNK Playmore arcade games from the ’80s on the PlayStation Network. The PSP Minis games (which can also be played on the PS3) mostly fall under the shooter category, from top-down to side-scrolling, with a few other genres mixed into the foray. The mix of games shows a good view of SNK’s initial history of arcade gaming culture. Read on below for review recommendations of eight PSP Minis SNK games, which are now available for $2.99 each from the PlayStation Store.

Ikari Warriors

Ikari Warriors (PSP Minis)
Ikari Warriors is one of SNK’s original hits in the USA and garnered a cult following throughout the ’80s. This version on the PSP keeps most of the game’s fundamentals intact. While the lack of dual rotary joysticks from the original arcade cabinet can become a nuisance, the auto-aim feature helps retain the 360 feel while shooting. The gameplay can be unforgiving with hordes of enemy soldiers bombarding Ralf and Clark with a hail of gunfire, so prepare for the frustration of most ’80s & early ’90s shooter games. While the difficulty seems like a detractor, it is actually quite fun. Ikari Warriors is best enjoyed with a second player and played on the PS3.

Ikari Warriors recommendation:

Recommended download!

Marvin’s Maze

Marvin's Maze (PSP Minis)

The game Marvin’s Maze seems on the surface like the offspring of PAC-MAN and two-story building with a series of elevators. It also seems like a simple game, but can be highly addicting in its challenging nature, and is a great action-puzzle game. Marvin has two ways to win in this G1M2 port of the game by SNK: either complete the decimation of the required amount of “Robonoids” (located at the screen bottom) or by collecting the dots on the screen. There are special “power-up” dots which, like PAC-MAN, allow you to destroy an enemy. In this case, Marvin is given one-shot rather than a specific time of invincibility. I found Marvin’s Maze to be a fun game to play and enjoy in retro fun with the family.

Marvin’s Maze recommendation:

Recommended download!

Ozma Wars

Ozma Wars (PSP Minis)

Ozma Wars is among the first original scrolling shooters, which was released in 1978. The premise is quite simple: shoot enemy ships on their way down towards your spacecraft. While the gameplay won’t garner any accolades, it should be noted the history this game set. It is one of the first games to use levels and also the inclusion of the life/energy counter or bar. The monochromatic color palette may bore some but it should be noted that this game is straightforward and nostalgic fun.

Ozma Wars recommendation:

Maybe.

HAL21

HAL21 (PSP Minis)

HAL21 was released in 1985 and is another shooter game that stands out in its own right. The vertical top-down shooter is action-packed and while it may have too many sprites on-screen for some to bear, this game will test one’s hand/eye coordination to the max. HAL21 is highly reminiscent of Galaga, for those who are wondering what game it is comparable to. I found the challenge enough to warrant the purchase of this downloadable game from SNK and worth trying out for an exciting two-player shooter.

HAL21 recommendation:

Recommended download!

Athena

Athena (PSP Minis)
Athena is a side-scrolling platform action game. Players assume the role of a warrior princess roaming throughout various levels, taking on the denizens of enemies scattered throughout. The game features various upgrades such as armor and weaponry, which seems appealing at first but is rather grueling due to the fact that you end up downgrading equipment if you run into some by mistake – highly annoying. While Athena includes some delightful characters and environments, this is a game which some may or may not enjoy due to better arcade platformers of the time.

Athena recommendation:

Maybe.

Sasuke vs. Commander

Sasuke vs. Commander (PSP Minis)

Sasuke vs. Commander places you in the role of Sasuke, a warrior tasked with protecting the local Shogun from the Ninja. While the game’s name comes off as slightly appealing, little interest will come from playing this G1M2 port of the SNK Playmore original. Sasuke vs. Commander comes off as a horrid Space Invaders clone set in feudal Japan, but due to the original year of release can be slightly forgiven. While a complex attention to detail shouldn’t be expected, the game’s bland settings and shooting falling pixels (not sure what the enemies are) make this game a chore. Unfortunately this is a game I would not recommend to anyone.

Sasuke vs. Commander recommendation:

Skip it.

Guerilla War

Guerilla War (PSP Minis)

Guerilla War, another overhead shooter, is in the vain of Ikari Warriors. The gameplay in this game of two unnamed soldiers (in Japan, it’s supposed to be Che and Fidel) invading a Caribbean island. It is super noisy, highly frenetic and has a demanding level of skill. All the things a ’80s arcade cabinet shooter should be. G1M2 did well on this port of SNK’s classic arcade game. It has retained most of the Japanese originals graphics, characters and locales. While the inclusion of political figures may not sit well with some (many games in the ’80s and even today dabble in those subject areas) the game is still an enjoyable pixelated romper stomper.

Guerilla War
recommendation:

Recommended download!

Vanguard

Vanguard (PSP Minis)

Vanguard is a multi-directional shooter. While the Star Trek-like theme music and game concept made me want to like it, it left me seeking more. Vanguard on the PSP and in the original featured a spaceship attacking oncoming waves of assailants while utilizing firepower in four directions; in this case triggered with the four face buttons on the PSP. The game becomes extremely simple with energy fields, which appear nearly every time your first one runs out. The energy fields allow you to fly into enemies and destroy them. I believe this one feature made for a game that was far too redundant in the idea of being a challenge and made for a lackluster playthrough. Vanguard will be hit or miss with some gamers, being a predecessor to the style of shooters like R-Type. That, however, may be enough to draw in gamers who enjoy the genre who would like a taste of shooter history.

Vanguard recommendation:

Maybe.

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Thanks to SNK Playmore and Michael Meyers Public Relations for making this review possible!

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Dead Island (PlayStation Home)

Pretty soon, your PlayStation Home getaway will be thriving with the undead. The PS3′s virtual space will be filled with zombies and more from the anticipated game, Dead Island. Among the PlayStation Home distractions from the undead is a PlayStation Home co-op mini-game (which will unlock an in-game Dead Island exclusive “Exploding Meat” weapon), taking snapshots with zombies, completing a zombie survey (which unlocks 4 free PlayStation Home rewards) and more.

Dead Island box art - PS3Here is what Deep Silver had to say on the exclusive Dead Island PS3 items, which can only be obtained by participating in the PlayStation Home events:
“Certain items in the PlayStation 3 system version of the Dead Island will only be obtained through this PlayStation Home event. Each week will introduce more levels and unlockable content including a premium PlayStation Home reward “Exploding Zombie Outfit” for players that pre-order Dead Island directly from Home’s Central Plaza and the aforementioned “Exploding Meat”, a powerful weapon for use in Dead Island that can only be acquired by surviving the PlayStation Home onslaught.”

A specific date on the Dead Island activities in PlayStation Home was not announced, but watch for it before the game’s release in September. See several screenshots of the Dead Island environments in PlayStation Home below, or here in fullscreen. Pre-order Dead Island for the PlayStation 3 here (or via PlayStation home when it launches!).

 

Source – Deep Silver

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AMY (PSN)

If you have been following coverage from AMY, you already know that this is a horror game to watch for. Lexis Numérique keeps anticipation high, and fans on edge, with a few new pieces of artwork released from the game. See the artwork here, or further below.

The latest artwork from AMY showcases what you will encounter in the game, including metro stations and hospitals as well as soldiers and Father John. The animated model of Father John shown at E3 demonstrated the high level of detail being put into the downloadable game. Father John has his own agenda for taking control of the “viral” outbreak caused by a comet, as well as the soldiers. As Lana, and guided by Amy, you are smack in the middle of it. For more details on AMY, read up on our E3 2011 preview here.

AMY is estimated for a fall 2011 release on the PS3′s PlayStation Network as a downloadable game. Watch for more details on AMY at the official website, www.amy-thegame.com, and the official Facebook page for AMY.

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Castlevania Harmony of Despair screenshots (Xbox 360, XBLA)

PlayStation vampire hunters have been watching from the sidelines as XBLA gamers have been playing Castlevania Harmony of Despair. That will soon change, as today Konami has announced that Castlevania Harmony of Despair is coming to the PS3′s PlayStation Network “later this summer.”

The PSN release gets an added bonus. Konami’s press release stated, “Also added into the PlayStation version is the “Beauty, Desire, Situation Dire” Map pack, which is known as the Pyramid of Ruin level as well as downloadable characters Julius Belmont and Yoko Belnades, all available with the regular purchase of the game.”

An exact release date and pricing is still to be announced. Keep a lookout for more details from www.konami.com.

Source – Konami

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