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PS+ Rundown for January 2017
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.
This War of Mine: The Little Ones - PS4
Retail - $29.99
What is it - This War of Mine is a war survival game where you are trying make it through alive. The problem is you are not a soldier; you are a civilian. During the day you are tasked with working on your shelter and taking care of a community of other survivors. At night you have to go out and scavenge for supplies. To make things worse there are also children in your group. It's a grim depiction of the horrors of war for non-combatants.
My thoughts - This game has been in my PSN wishlist for months now and I almost bought it the last time it was on sale. It was considered for game of the year awards and has stellar reviews on all platforms. The only reason not to play this is if you really don't like games with depressing themes.
Trophies - The platinum for this game isn't too hard but it's one of those games where almost everything can be missed. It's going to take multiple playthroughs to get everything and a guide is very useful during your cleanup playthroughs. It's recommended to play a couple times without guides to experience the game and get used to how it plays. Then use custom games and specific setups to focus on groups of trophies that you missed.
Day of The Tentacle Remastered- PS4, Vita
Retail - $14.99
What is it - One of the best point and click adventure games from the glory days of LucasArts remastered for the PS4. In this one Purple Tentacle wants to take over the world and you need to stop him by jumping through time in a portable toilet. The game features the original graphics, sounds and controls as well as the upgraded version of the game.
My thoughts - I grew up with an Apple computer so I missed all of the LucasArts games my friends really loved. They are slowly remaking them all for PS4 and I've enjoyedthem so far. The humor is a little cheesy but still holds up pretty well. If you liked Monkey Island or Grim Fandango, definitely play Day of the Tentacle and be ready for Full Throttle coming out later this year.
Trophies - So far all of the LucasArts remasters have had really easy platinum trophies. They also have all had a ton of missable trophies. The majority require you to do things not required by the main story so a guide is recommended. The game can be rushed through in about an hour so play through once for the story and then use a walkthrough to rush the remaining trophies.
The Swindle - PS4, PS3, Vita
Retail - $14.99
What is it - The Swindle is a procedurally generated heist game. You are a thief that hacks into systems to steal money and then escapes before the police arrive. Your main target is a surveillance program that will ruin the careers of all thieves. As you rob the randomly generated companies you are upgrading your skills and gear to go after the surveillance software before it goes live.
My thoughts - I have never heard of this game until now but it looks interesting. Unfortunately it seems there are a lot of complaints about the controls and glitches in the game. I'll give it a shot but Invisible Inc. from last month is probably a much better, albeit different, game about stealing.
Trophies - The 100% for The Swindle looks to be a difficult one with a couple glitched trophies making things even more frustrating. Having random levels can also make some of the trophies more difficult than they need to be if you are unlucky and get bad level configurations. Being a cross save game you can abuse the save system however to mitigate some of the difficulty.
Titan Souls - PS4, Vita
Retail - $14.99
What is it - You have a sword and one arrow but have to kill a bunch of gigantic titans. This is Titan Souls. As you go through defeating the titans you collect the souls they were protecting on your way to unravel the truth behind them. Each boss has a different way to beat them and you need to experiment with each to figure out their weaknesses.
My thoughts - This game looked really good when it was first announced and I'm excited to play it. It's a boss rush game so there isn't much adventuring or anything beyond killing bosses but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
Trophies - Titan Souls is a very difficult game. It will require a lot of practice on each boss as you will eventually need to beat it on hard without dying. There are also speedrun, no rolling and other difficulty playthroughs so expect to play this multiple times. The speedrun is a 20 minute one so at least each time through doesn't take too long. After these and all the boss specific trophies (which can be obtained while practicing the bosses) you will be awarded with a relatively rare platinum trophy.
Blazerush - PS3
Retail - $9.99 ($2.49 on sale)
What is it - Blazerush is a multiplayer, combat racing game. There are multiple cars and weapons to use as you race and destroy your friends. It supports couch co-op and online multiplayer play where you can drop in and out of races at any time.
My thoughts - Not exactly shovelware but there doesn't seem to be much here. It has ok reviews so if you are looking for something to kill time with your friends it could be a decent option. It was just on sale for $2.49 so don't expect too much. It does have a PS4 version but it looks like this won't be crossbuy for PS+.
Trophies -There is nothing but a bunch of bronze trophies for this game (21 in total). Most are for beating the game, grinding out points, and completing some different tasks. One does require online play and the servers are completely dead. The PS+ bump will help get you an online match so play it right away if you are going for this. Otherwise you will need to find a boosting partner.
Azkend 2 - Vita
Retail - $7.99
What is it - Azkend 2 is a match 3 game using hex tiles with hidden object sections.
My thoughts - Not much to say here. Could be good for killing time or taking a break from the more rigorous titles in your backlog. Great for super casual gamers.
Trophies - There is not platinum for this game and almost nobody has the 100% for it. It looks like one of the trophies is heavily RNG dependent and could take 10+ hours. Almost nobody has the game yet, so as more people start playing it because it's on PS+ there may be new strategies emerging.
We almost had every game this month offering crossbuy but even though 2 on the list have crossbuy it looks like PS+ will only offer them on one system each. They're the two bad games this month so you may not be missing much anyway. Like last month there are smaller but highly praised games in the list. If you hate indies (technically the two main games aren't even indies but I'm tired of arguing with people) then just focus on all the game you got for Christmas. For everyone else, this is a good month for some cool games.