Top 5 Can't-Miss PSN Titles
We've seen plenty of gems on the PlayStation Network but with so many available these days, what should top your list if you're a new PSN subscriber? Or maybe you just need to catch up...either way, there are five fantastic downloadable titles that everyone absolutely must try.
It's arguably still the best downloadable game out there; it's definitely a full racing title in brilliant high-definition; it debuted at $19.99 on the PSN but it was worth every cent. With blindingly fast - yet always silky smooth - gameplay, a stiff challenge (that has since been lessened thanks to a patch), and plenty of diverse challenges designed to test your reflexes and overall skill, it's a must. Even if you're not a big racing fan, you still gotta try this very rewarding and impressive experience. Oh, and the multiplayer is pretty damn good, too.
The second offering from thatgamecompany (TGC), Flower is still something you have to see to believe. It's not so much about mind-bending visuals - it's pretty, but it's not the prettiest piece of DLC out there - and it's not about innovative control (we've used the Sixaxis in that fashion before). No, it's the concept. It's the very idea of controlling or even being the wind and guiding an increasing stream of flower petals in an effort to restore and rejuvenate extremely pleasant natural landscapes. It's just so relaxing. Bring on Journey, guys!
If saying that it's Excitebike for a new generation isn't doing it for you, perhaps the most fitting praise for Joe Danger is this: it's just ridiculously fun and ridiculously addictive. Why? Well, there really isn't anything wrong with it. The controls are nearly perfect, the level design is excellent, the satisfaction factor is crazy high, and the pervading atmosphere of colorful amusement will make you grin. The basic description of the game - some retired cartoon-y Evel Knievel jumps and flips down a course and picks up stars and coins - doesn't do it justice. Just try it.
It might just give you a headache, but that's part of its genius. The "what you see is truth" philosophy works wonders and can twist your mind into knots; at first, it seems simple enough: turn and rotate the camera just so in order for a little stick figure to reach his intended goal. A wonderful classical score will accompany this seemingly straightforward walk along a black-and-white path. But oh, the puzzles begin to hit you hard very soon and before long, you're shaking your head in perplexity. The whole thing is just plain brilliant.
A brick-breaker of the highest caliber, Shatter features one of the best soundtracks you'll ever hear and several great twists on a tried-and-true puzzle/action formula. Control your "ball" by "sucking" and "blowing," grab unique power-ups, face off against tricky bosses, and even tackle entirely new stage formats (horizontal, vertical, and even circular). It's as slick as slick can be and endlessly entertaining, so it needs to be part of your PSN library. Magic Orbz is also lots of fun in a different way (and we recommend that one, too), but Shatter is in a brick-breaking class all by itself.
There are other awesome PSN titles out there; we don't want you to forget about great stuff like Cuboid, Trine, Soldner-X 2: Final Prototype, Fat Princess and Braid. But the above five...you just don't have a choice. Try 'em.
6/25/2010 Ben Dutka