recommendations Archive


These Are The Games To Pick From Sony’s List Of Free PS3/PSP Titles For PSN Outage Reparations

Sony’s finally begun the process of rolling out reparations for its millions of consumers that were affected by the Great PlayStation Network Hack Of 2011. Whether or not you’re happy with Sony’s response to the whole fiasco, they’re still offering up free stuff, so you may as well take advantage of it. Before we get to the fun stuff, be sure to enroll in the AllClear ID PLUS identity theft protection that Sony is paying for all PSN users. If you’re a PS3 user, you get to pick two out of the following titles: (We’ve included a quick one line description of each game)

  • Dead Nation – 2D twin stick action shooter kind of like Robotron or Geometry Wars with zombies
  • inFAMOUS – Third-Person open world action game. Think Grand Theft Auto if you were the only super hero in town.
  • LittleBigPlanet – A 2D platforming game (Think Super Mario Bros.) with up to 4 player cooperative play. You can design your own levels and play ones designed by other players.
  • Super Stardust HD – Traditional 2D twin stick action shooter in space with lasers and powerups.
  • Wipeout HD + Fury – A fast paced futuristic racer with weapons. Think Mario Kart meets F-Zero with even more speed.

All things being equal, we would pick up the titles in this order:

  1. LittleBigPlanet
  2. inFAMOUS
  3. WipeoutHD + Fury
  4. Super Stardust HD
  5. Dead Nation

For what it’s worth, inFAMOUS and LittleBigPlanet were originally $60 retail titles, while the other titles were downloadable games ranging  from $9.99 to $19.99. Despite that, all of the games Sony offers are all quite good and hit a wide variety of genres. At the end of the day, you can’t really go wrong with any of the titles – they’re all good games in their respective genres. If you’re in the mood for a racer, definitely pick up WipeoutHD because it’s quite possibly still the most thrilling racer on any video game system. If you’re looking for something to play with your kids or someone who doesn’t play video games all that often, be sure to pick up LittleBigPlanet because it’s essentially a cute 4-player Mario-like platforming game. PSP owners can choose from two of the following games:

  • LittleBigPlanet (PSP) – A portable version of the PS3 game – it’s got completely different levels if you were worried about getting both LittleBigPlanet titles.
  • ModNation Racers – A GoKart racer (Think Mario Kart), but with the ability to create and share your own racetracks like LittleBigPlanet levels.
  • Pursuit Force – An arcade combat-racer where you’re a rookie cop chasing criminals.
  • Killzone Liberation – A top-down isometric view action title with cover-based gameplay similar to Gears of War.

In full disclosure, of the available PSP titles, we’ve only played Killzone Liberation. However we can wholeheartedly recommend that title if you’re an action fan — it’s surprisingly provides similar gratification to playing a third-person shooter on a console. We’ve also read up on reviews for the other titles and if it were up to us we’d rank them in this order:

  1. LittleBigPlanet
  2. Killzone Liberation
  3. ModNation Racers
  4. Pursuit Force

Again, feel free to pick by your desired genre, though we think there may be a marked quality difference between the first two titles and the last two ones. Other than the games, Sony is also offering a package that includes the following:

  • A selection of “On Us” rental movie titles will be available to PlayStation Network customers over one weekend, where Video Service is available. Those titles will be announced soon.
  • 30 days free PlayStation Plus membership for non PlayStation Plus subscribers.
  • Existing PlayStation Plus subscribers will receive an additional 60 days of free subscription.
  • Existing Music Unlimited Premium Trial subscription members will receive an additional 30 days of free premium subscription.
  • Additional 30 days + time lost for existing members of Music Unlimited Premium/Basic subscription free of charge for existing Premium/Basic members.
  • To welcome users Home, PlayStation Home will be offering 100 free virtual items. Additional free content will be released soon, including the next addition to the Home Mansion personal space, and Ooblag’s Alien Casino, an exclusive game.

Since Sony hasn’t announced which movies will be available through the “On Us” program, we can’t really give any recommendations on that front. We can, however, still say that PlayStation Home is still a complete waste of time.


December Bonus with Hot Arcade Games 400 MS Point Rebate

Microsoft is offering 400 MS Points ($5) back if you buy any two LIVE Arcade games they have listed. It’s a decent deal if you’re looking for some games to play.

Here’s my picks (with genres):

  • LIMBO – single player puzzle platformer
  • Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light – 2 player co-op action/puzzle
  • Super Meat Boy – single player challenging platformer
  • Monday Night Combat – multiplayer online team shooter/tower defense hybrid
  • Shadow Complex – single player 2D adventure (like Metroid/Castlevania)

There’s more titles, but these are the ones I’ve played through and can whole heartedly recommend. Be sure to follow the directions in the link, you need to download a Gamer Pic before you can take advantage of the discount.

Read: December Bonus with Hot Arcade Games –


The Holiday Video Game Season Is Here

It’s started a little later than usual for me this year, but this past Tuesday marked the official start of the “every week there will be an awesome new game released” season. (Yes, Halo Reach was released in mid-September, but there was just such a long gap between that and this week that I’m going to consider that like having dessert an hour before the buffet line opens.)

This week we had three solid retail titles come out: Fallout: New Vegas, DJ Hero 2 and Vanquish. Next week we’ll see Fable 3. The week after is the Kinect launch week as well as Call of Duty Black Ops. Then the storm really comes with Donkey Kong Country Returns, Goldeneye, Epic Mickey, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Gran Turismo 5, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, then OH MY GOD THIS IS NEVER GOING TO END.

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What I’m Listening To (February ’08 Edition)

It’s that time of the month again. Here are my top 5 favorite records I’ve been listening to in February.

The Airborne Toxic Event – ?

Track to start with: Sometime Around Midnight

If there’s one song you listen to all month, make it The Airborne Toxic Event’s Sometime Around Midnight. It’s been on repeat on my Winamp ever since I bought it off Amazon the other week. Sometime Around Midnight starts off with a symphonic string melody that fades into a soft guitar introduction. As the vocals and percussion come in, the song gradually builds a crescendo of sound into an intense, almost Arcade Fire – Intervention-like swell into head bobbing, belt-it-out bliss.

No, the album isn’t called “?”, the title just hasn’t been revealed yet. This Los Angeles quintet’s quickly garnered a lot of buzz recently amongst show-goers and local radio stations. Singer Mikel Jollet, has a smooth baritone voice that reminds you a fair bit of Morrissey with a splash of Win Butler intensity in there to keep you in check. Only four recorded studio songs have been released thus far and they showcase the band’s spectrum of sounds, from Franz Ferdinand-like danceability on “Does This Mean You’re Moving On?” to contemplative melodies (“Wishing Well”) to simply… epic (“Sometime Around Midnight”).

Operator Please – Yes Yes Vindictive [AU Import]

Track to start with: Just A Song About Ping Pong

Five-piece band from Australia, these kids are lots of fun. Operator Please takes the exuberance of The Go! Team and focuses it with the brattiness of The Donnas and the confidence of Shirley Manson.

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What I’m Listening To (January ’08 Edition)

One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to stop being jaded about music and actually listen to new stuff. It’s a good thing I did, because theres a bunch of really awesome records out now. I hope this continues on throughout the year and I can make these posts a regular feature.

The album art/title will take you to the Amazon product page for the CD. The Myspace link will let you listen to some songs. I’ve made it a point to put my favorite song pick so you know which track to go for if you’re in an impatient mood.

That being said, here are my favorite new records of the first month of 2008 (after the jump):

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