The March, 2016 PS Plus games are upon us and the team at Zero1Gaming is here to help you sort the hits from the misses. Once again, the Plus line-up is looking a bit thin on the ground when it comes to AAA content, but does this month’s offering of indie titles contain any hidden masterpieces or is it just a bucket full of offal. Read on to find out.
Broforce – (PS4)
Broforce is a ridiculous side scrolling 2D shoot ’em up, featuring a motley cast of “Bros” in a pretty hilarious parody of action movie characters from the 80’s and 90’s. Your mission is to use gratuitous violence to save fellow Bros and wipe out the bad guys. You can take on the guise of various icons such as Rambro, Brominator, B.A. Broracus and, my personal favourite, Ellen Ripbro. Each Bro has their own special fighting style and weapons, making gameplay varied and enjoyable. As absurd as the premise may be, Broforce is my favourite title from this month’s PS Plus offerings. It’s fast paced, insane action is matched by it’s testosterone injected caricatures and over-bro’d narrator. It’s also quite challenging and invokes that same feedback loop that the developer introduced in Hotline Miami, where every time you die, you simply need to give it one more go. Play it now! PLAY IT!!!!
I think the creators of Galak-Z watched a lot of Battlestar Galactica, and that’s no bad thing in my book. In what seems to be a trend of late, this game is a twin-stick space shooter in the vein of Asteroids or Super Stardust HD (seen below). I honestly thought I was not going to like the game, but along with the beautiful anime stylings, Galak-Z has a pretty compelling hook. And that is that you must complete three missions in a row without dying in order to progress to the next level. Each time you die, the missions are randomly reset. Surprisingly, instead of being infuriating I found the mechanic keeping me coming back again and again. Upgrading your ship, weapons and special abilities, and blasting the hell out of bad guys, is a lot of fun. Perfect for whiling away an hour or so. Worth a play.
Super Stardust HD (PS3)
When I first jumped into Super Stardust HD, the frenetic mess of colours and sounds on screen was a little overwhelming. However, as I spent more time tinkering with this Asteroids-esque twin-stick shoot-em-up, I found myself getting into a groove. However, by the third or fourth planet I found myself losing interest. It’s a pretty game, but mechanically it’s nothing new or particularly interesting, Miss.
The Last Guy (PS3)
The last place one would expect to find originality is in a zombie game, and yet The Last Guy feels innovative and different. In the midst of a zombie apocalypse, ‘the last guy’ is tasked with rescuing as many civilians as possible from various populated regions. At its core The Last Guy is a top-down puzzle game in which the player has to navigate areas in order to pick up screaming people who form a long train behind them. Each level is completed by getting a specific amount of people (usually 1000) to an escape zone. Dotted through-out each level are various kinds of zombies and monsters that will decimate the line of people, and the player has to be strategic to navigate the maze-like levels and guide the mewling cattle-people to the designated escape zone. It’s addictive and extremely satisfying to play and a must for anybody with a PS Plus subscription and a PS3.
Flame Over (PS4, PS3, PS Vita) – Played on PS Vita
Continuing the twin-stick trend, Flame Over brings us the exotic and exciting world of firefighting. The graphics are simple (read dated) and the controls are a little funky, but it’s a pretty decent proposition. On each level you must work your way through an area, putting out fires – so far, so simple. There are two types of fires, requiring the use of either the water hose or the extinguisher (both of which get depleted and need refilling periodically). The fires also attack you with fireballs and it doesn’t take much to put you down. There are also items to collect and people to save which, were it not for the poor controls, would make this a solid recommendation. However, I found myself dying a lot purely because of the crappy camera. If you can master the right stick movement/camera control, then Flame Over might be fun, but it’s never going to hold your attention like last month’s Helldivers.
Reality Fighters (PS Vita)
The best feature of Reality Fighters is its use the Vita’s cameras. Use the front camera to attach a photo of yourself to your in-game fighter. And use the rear camera to play out your fights in “augmented reality”, such as on your coffee table, or while you’re on the crapper. Past that however, and Reality Fighters is just a run-of-the-mill button masher – and not really a very good one at that. After about five fights I’d already had enough. The augmented reality spin is amusing the first time, but in the end it adds very little to the overall experience. Pass.
Written by Sebastian Young and Joseph Butler-Hartley
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Sebastian has been playing games since the age of 8, cutting his teeth with Nintendo and Sega, and now can usually be found dying repeatedly in online FPS’s. Really, he should just quit. Open world RPG’s and grand strategy games also see him lose his sense of reality for several months of the year. You won’t find him on twitter though since he lives in a cave