It seems like more and more these days, the games that Sony’s giving out for free to PlayStation Plus members are indie games that I don’t really like at all. ibb & obb continues that in spectacular fashion. Right off the bat, the first thing you’ll notice is just how beautiful the game is. It blew me away much like PixelJunk Eden did the first time I saw it. Unfortunately, I also found it to be about as fun as Eden, which is to say not at all. The heavy emphasis on co-op is what really bugs me. I’ve never really been much of a fan of co-op platformers, and the level of cooperation necessary to succeed in ibb & obb just makes the game not fun. It has a lot of great ideas, though, like how in online play you get a sort of paintbrush that allows you to communicate with your partner to conquer the various obstacles you’ll find yourself facing. If you’re a fan of indie games, it’s definitely worth giving the game a try, because the music and design of everything is beautiful. It’s just a shame that the gameplay isn’t as gorgeous.
It could just be me, but I don’t think Galaga Legions DX is really all that fun. Sure, it takes the approach that made Pac-Man Championship Edition DX one of my favorite games of this generation and applies it to Galaga, but it’s just not that much fun to play. It’s challenging and pretty, but even in the most action-packed moments, it feels boring. I’m not sure what it is, but it’s somehow missing that thing that made Pac-Man CE DX so much fun to play over and over again. If you do find the game fun, then you’ll be happy to know that it’s packed to the brim with all sorts of different graphic types and time-attack challenges. Some of the early missions are a little fun, but the later missions have such a large number of flashy enemies that it’s easy to lose track of yourself on the screen and get killed. Luckily, each level equips you with more than enough lives to make it through. Unfortunately, the game is never really fun for any of that to matter.
DuckTales is one of those games that almost every gamer older than 20 seems to have fond memories of playing as a child. Whether it was the music, the platforming, or the difficulty, it was something that stuck in your head. DuckTales: Remastered serves to bring back the fun and maybe even the frustration that you remember from those good old days. The redone graphics are clearly the biggest story here, as the game is just breathtakingly gorgeous. Everything is animated so well and does such an amazing job emulating the classic cartoon that it’s hard to not love it. It even brings back most of the voice actors from the original show to deliver all their lines perfectly. Now, I’ve heard a lot of people have been having trouble with the difficulty of the game, but to me it feels much easier than the NES version was. Even if you do have issues with the difficulty, there is an easy mode available. This game is really a testament to just how good a remake of an older game can be whenever real quality work is put into it. If you like platformers at all, then this is a must buy. No question about it.
Because I didn’t have access to a super powerful PC when it came out, I never played Crysis very much. After playing the PSN version, I can see I wasn’t missing a whole lot. The campaign is incredibly bland, so bland that it almost feels like a made for TV movie instead of what was a big budget game. While the graphics still look decent, it’s clear that the graphics were pretty much the main selling point of Crysis. The gameplay is really not as great as you’d expect, either. Despite wearing a top of the line nanosuit, the player is actually ridiculously vulnerable. Death literally lurks around every single corner, and while this does lead to some hilarious deaths, it doesn’t help the fun factor of the game all that much. Probably the worst part, though, is how powerful the enemies feel. Common enemies can very easily swarm and overwhelm you if you’re not extremely careful. If you ever decide you want to get into the Crysis series, just skip the original and head straight into Crysis 2 since it’s immeasurably better.
Labyrinth Legends is a cute, little dungeon crawler which tasks players with saving their newly wedded bride. The simple premise and visuals are incredibly deceptive, as the game is actually kind of difficult. None of the levels have checkpoints. While this does not pose a problem at first, as you progress through the game, the overpowered bosses and respawning enemies will drive you insane, forcing you to restart levels over and over again from the beginning. As you defeat enemies, you’ll be lucky enough at times to win loot, which helps boost your makeshift knight’s defense and offense, but these loot drops don’t come often enough to mean a great deal to the gameplay, and the items are rarely different enough from your original items to elicit any sort of excitement. By far, the biggest disappointment in this game is the controls. They’re floaty and not anywhere near precise enough. Dragging boxes for puzzles and walking on platforms especially proves to be seriously frustrating. You may be charmed by the look of this game, but trust me and don’t give it a chance. It’s just not worth the time or frustration.
Darkstalkers Resurrection is the newest installment in Capcom’s “fighting games getting a new coat of paint and online play” series (a series which has also given us MvC: Origins and 3rd Strike Online). The games included in this release are Night Warriors and Darkstalkers 3 which, much like the games included in Marvel vs Capcom: Origins, are extremely different from one another. Night Warriors is a traditional fighting game whereas Darkstalkers 3 is an experimental title that does away with traditional rounds and instead gives each fighter two bars of health. There are also great balance changes and different characters between the games, so there are a lot of reasons to play each one. Online play is probably the biggest deal in this title, though, with the already near-perfect GGPO system somehow being better than it was in Origins. There are next to no instances of lag or rollback even when playing friends that are across the country. If you have never played a Darkstalkers game before, then this is really the perfect entry point.