The Offerings 5/22/14: We're Losing Velocity!
Every month, Xbox Live Gold members and PlayStation Plus subscribers can download select games for free from their service of choice. Almost all gaming websites report on the free games given to PS+ and XBL Gold subscribers - that’s good; the more people that know what’s headed their way, the better - so from here on out, we will too. But with a twist.
I’ve been keeping a spreadsheet of the games offered through PlayStation Plus' Instant Game Collection (Xbox Live's Games With Gold only offers one title at a time at the moment, so there's currently not a reason to maintain a sheet for the service). The Offerings will feature the games currently available and, at a glance, the average rating of each game (via Metacritic), average time to complete each game (via HowLongToBeat's combined average times), and a breakdown of available Trophies by type (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum). This gives you quick access to see if a game is well received, if it's something bite-sized or if it's meaty enough to sink one's teeth into, and an idea of what Trophy gains are available (if that's your thing).
The departures of Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons and Unit 13 this week made room for Puppeteer and Surge Deluxe. In a way, this is quite a week for FuturLab - as one of the developer's Vita titles enters PS+'s offerings (Surge Deluxe), another (Velocity Ultra) is on next week's chopping block. That said...
The Chopping Block
PlayStation Vita gamers have until Tuesday, May 27, to snag Velocity Ultra. Velocity is a unique take on the shoot-em-up (shmups!) genre. The uniqueness comes by way of this one weird trick wherein you can teleport across the screen to avoid collisions, get to a power-up, or just plain proceed through the level.
The game is a total gem! And while our very own Brent Felsing says the Trophies are "fair, but not easily obtained," he finds the soundtrack to kick all kinds of butts. We both share a love of the game as a whole, but we're not the only ones; Metacritic's average rating of Velocity suggests it's among some of the best games the Vita has to offer, so don't miss your chance to get it while the getting's good.
Sticking with FuturLab, Surge Deluxe is a strictly touchscreen controlled affair where you match color tiles in a timely fashion to clear a level. It's fast-paced and frantic, thanks to a neat vent mechanic that keeps your fingers dancing around the screen as you progress through the levels. In the 30 or so minutes I played, I picked up four of the game's seven Bronze Trophies, but I will need practice and determination if I plan on going back to earn more of them. Or just time, since estimations suggest exploding 100,000 blocks could take around 20 hours.
Puppeteer has been part of my backlog - my digital pile of shame - for months. The game received generally positive buzz in the press, but came out at kind of a crap time (a week before Grand Theft Auto V - not that the main demographic of GTA encapsulates in its entirety the demo for an action-platformer like Puppeteer). And with Sony's infamous style of marketing blitz behind it (little-to-no marketing at all), the title could only get lost in the sea of bigger blips on peoples' radars.
Since Puppeteer has a spotlight on it thanks to PlayStation Plus, and now that it's accessible to every PS+ subscriber who owns a PlayStation 3, I invite you all to join me in playing through the game over the next two weeks. I've set the goal of completing the game in two weeks based on the time it should take to complete (about 10 hours). It's not unreasonable to finish the game sooner, but I wouldn't ask any of you to invest more than an hour a day, though I encourage you to do so if you'd like. I'm going to keep my progress in the Forums, but if you'd like to see my progress via Trophies earned, hit me up on your PlayStation console of choice.
Xbox Games With Gold
And for you Xbox gamers, Saint's Row: The Third is still available until June 1 as long as you have an active Xbox Live Gold membership.
I'll be updating this as new games hit these services, or if any significant changes should occur. In the meantime, let's talk! Let me know in the comments if there's any information you think I should mention when I update The Offerings.