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PS+ Rundown for January 2019


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#1 sefjwm

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Posted 01 January 2019 - 05:48 PM

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The new batch of free PS+ games are about to drop.  Here’s my quick rundown of what they are, my thoughts about them and what the trophies are like.  Remember, even if you don’t have the system yet or are unsure about whether you’d like the game, always go to the PSN store online and “buy” all the free games every month.  They will get added to your account and you can download them anytime in the future as long as you have an active PS+ subscription.

 
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Steep - PS4
Retail - $29.99
What is it - Steep is a winter sports game that takes the standard skiing and snowboarding and throws in some wingsuits and paragliders.  It also replaces the standard levels and tracks with giant, open world mountains.  There are set challenges but the main game is about creating your own lines and paths down the mountain.  Play and share with friends in this online experience.
My thoughts - Ubisoft was trying to tap into our nostalgia for games like SSX Tricky and 1080 Snowboarding but they overestimated the demand.  Steep reviewed ok and continues to receive support but it didn't sell as well as expected.  There aren't a lot of winter sports options and "extreme" sports in general aren't very popular anymore so this is one of the best options available.
Trophies - This is an online only game so you will need the internet and an active PS+ subscription to get the trophies.  It's a "do everything" type of platinum which includes completing things like drop ins, regions, stories, memorable moments, points of interest and challenges.  It seems like a lot but it's not too bad and will take around 40 hours... if you are good.  Getting gold medals in all the challenges is difficult and the time to platinum Steep can go up dramatically depending on skill.
 
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Portal Knights - PS4
Retail - $19.99
What is it - Portal Knights is an RPG that takes place on different randomly generated worlds.  You and up to 3 friends can play online together and build fortresses, craft weapons, fight monsters, and level up your heroes to take on even harder foes to become the best of the Portal Knights.
My thoughts - There are many Minecraft clones out there and like most, Portal Knights puts more emphasis on combat and exploration over building.  I'm a huge fan of Minecraft and other survival/building games.  The split screen co-op is a welcome feature and this will definitely get play in my family.
Trophies - Portal Knights is a mining and building game which means the platinum is going to take a long time and require a lot of grinding.  You will need to mine over 50,000 blocks throughout the game and upgrade all of your crafting stations.  The RPG aspect of the game will require hitting max level, defeating all of the bosses and completing 200 quests.  Everything should be relatively easy but will take a decent time investment.  The only difficult trophy is defeating the final boss without getting hit.  Expect to spend 100 hours achieving the platinum.
 
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Amplitude - PS4, PS3
Retail - $19.99
What is it - Amplitude is a sequel and remake of a 2003 PS2 game with the same name.  It's a music rhythm game where you pilot a ship along multiple tracks, each representing a different instrument.  You shoot the notes along with the music to build up multipliers and after a short while a track will degrade forcing you to another instrument.  Multiple licensed tracks and in house produced songs are included.
My thoughts - The original Amplitude is what led Harmonix to be one of the premier music game developers.  Unable to secure funding for a remake they went to Kickstarter and were able to almost immediately surpass their goal.  Any fan of rhythm games should definitely play this and everyone else should at least give it a try.  It looks like this is also going to be a crossbuy title despite only mentioning PS3 in the announcement.
Trophies - Amplitude is a rhythm game with very difficult trophies.  You will need to beat the Expert difficulty in one sitting without failing or retrying.  If you make a mistake you will need to restart the entire campaign.  The next difficulty, Super, will allow for mistakes but instead of 15 songs you will need to clear all 30.  The time to platinum is hard to estimate.  Either you are good enough to beat everything or you need lots of practice.  It's going to vary greatly based on skill.  The average person will probably spend 30+ hours getting this platinum.
 
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Fallen Legion: Flames of Rebellion - PS4, PS3, Vita
Retail - $19.99
What is it - Fallen Legion is an RPG that focuses heavily on chaotic, real time battles.  You lead a group of 4 warriors with different weapons, magic and fighting styles.  Battles play out on a side scrolling level where you simultaneously control each fighter using different buttons on the controller.  Between fights you choose between cards (with choices) that will affect the story and the fights you are involved in.
My thoughts - Unfortunately, one of the only things I can say about this game is the developer has an awesome name, YummyYummyTummy.  Fallen Legion wasn't a very popular game and there isn't much to go on.  The user reviews are mixed and there seems to be multiple reports of bugs and performance issues, especially on the Vita.  You may want to pass on this one.
Trophies - With so few people playing this game and the trophies being incredibly obtuse, it's difficult to judge the platinum for this game.  There are a couple trophies based on decisions you make and each requires a full playthrough to achieve.  The exact steps needed to trigger the required events for the trophies are also not confirmed.  The rest of the trophies are based around combat and story and seem like they would come naturally.  My best guess is 60+ hours and a moderately difficult platinum.  That's if you can get past the glitches and game performance issues.
 
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Zone of the Enders HD Collection - PS3
Retail - $34.99
What is it - The Zone of the Enders games take place in the future on and around the Jupiter colonies.  In each game you pilot an orbital frame called Jehuty, one half of a super weapon.  Combat takes place over the colonies where you hunt down enemy forces and engage them with projectile and melee weapons.  Protect the civilians and defeat your enemies to prevent the BAHRAM forces from getting control of the ultimate weapon.
My thoughts - I own almost every version of these games but never had the time to beat them.  Like many people, I bought the original game because it contained a demo of Hideo Kojima's more popular Metal Gear Solid 2.  The gameplay is a little dated but the games have a passionate fan base and I did enjoy the little I did play of them.  
Trophies - The HD Collection contains both Zone of the Enders games and each of them has their own platinum.  Both games basically just require completing every mission with the highest ranking.  In general this means keeping all civilians alive, preventing colony damage and not using continues.  The first game is going to be harder because there are also difficulty requirements.  The second game can all be done on easy.  The games aren't very long but may take 2-3 playthroughs to get everything.  Even then, it's probably only going to take about 15 hours for each game.
 
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Super Mutant Alien Assault - Vita
Retail - $9.99
What is it - Super Mutant Alien Assault is an action game where you fight on single screen, randomly generated levels.  Humans are fleeing a destroyed Earth and you are a robot protecting them while they sleep.  You have to fight through waves of aliens bent on killing them all.  The longer you take to clear each wave allows the aliens to mutate into more powerful forms.  Jump world to world and keep the last of the human race alive.
My thoughts - This looks competently done but is a bit too simple and repetitive for my tastes. Even with randomized levels and multiple weapons, the game still repeats a lot of the same stuff over and over again.  Definitely a game only for those who really like this rogue-lite style of gameplay. 
Trophies - Trophy hunters may want to skip this game.  There is no platinum and nobody has the 100%.  The trophies with no achievers don't even seem to be the harder ones.  That could mean bugged requirements but I haven't seen any confirmation of that.  There are only 12 stages total so I wouldn't expect this 100% to take more than a few hours but the game is hard and not having anyone with 100% is worrisome.
 
 
Happy New Year everyone, and welcome to all the new Playstation owners!  Sony is starting off the year not with a whimper and... not really with a bang either.  It's a decent month of big and small games but you may want to avoid the Vita titles this month.  There seem to be issues with them.


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#2 DIM10

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Posted 01 January 2019 - 06:08 PM

I will try portal knights. if possible, build trophy world :thumbsup


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#3 sefjwm

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Posted 01 January 2019 - 08:26 PM

From the looks of the trophies it's not a good candidate for a trophy world like Minecraft.  It's more progression based than task based.


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#4 Cactuarism2

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 05:36 AM

adding fallen legion to my eternal backlog


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