Toys/Gaming Thursdays (1)

Ok, new post feature thing!

Every Wednesday the PSN Store gets updated. If anything tickles my fancy, I’m going to blog about it. Last night’s update was awful but as a I never got round to doing the one from the week before, I’ll do it now!

I love my PS3. Perhaps too much. I like what some of the mainstream developers are doing but what I really really like is what some of the independant guys are doing and the PSN only titles are a really good way for these guys to get their work out to the masses without as big a cost as a packaged product.

I was dubious at first about downloadable content (DLC) but I’ve kinda given in over the last 6 months. Sure I can’t trade it in, but at only £8 a title, I’m actually ok with that.

So first up was the Hustle Kings snooker pack. For a couple quid you can update the existing pool game (which is brilliant) to include snooker. I LOVE snooker so this is really cool. I bought it straight away and I am definitely not disappointed.

Me and snooker games have an interesting history.

I think it started out with Parlour Games on my Master System. It had billiards. In 2D. Check this out:

That’s super lame right? Still, for the times it was addictive.

Then I got a PC and I had this mate who had an uncle who worked for the local cop shop. Whenever they did piracy raids, they’d keep some for evidence and the rest would be distributed amongst the force, who in turn would duplicate and distribute to friends and family. I kid you not. Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary ladies and gentlemen!

So I managed to get hold of a copy of Interplay’s Virtual Snooker. They made pool too but as a different game which was exactly the same! Now we’re into 3D and check this out:

Sexy huh?!

That’s been pretty much it for me for the last…oooo…14-15 years I guess. Another reminder I’m getting incredibly old!

Then along came Hustle Kings. Look at the difference:

Put that in full screen and be amazed. It’s a truely wonderful game! It handles really well, the rules are well structured, the sound effects are fantastic, the difficulty is more balanced than the pool which is interesting. I still can’t believe that the full game and this expansion comes in around £10. There are £40 games on the shelf right now that don’t come close. Sure they have licensed players but does anyone really care that much? It’s just snooker!

The next title I looked at, I’ve mentioned before. Planet Minigolf. It was launched in the US on Tuesday and I read a review over on IGN and it wasn’t too good, mentioned a few flaws. I downloaded the demo and couldn’t find anything wrong with it. It’s a true blooded effort! It’s nice and faithful to the concept of minigolf. See:

The power ups are a really nice touch. I haven’t bought this yet, been playing too much snooker, but it’s a steal at only £6.29. In fact, I’m gonna go buy it now. I may update this with a proper review after playing the full game but for anyone else, go get the demo and love it. It’s 9 holes which I really wasn’t expecting. Thanks guys!

Finally, something I don’t often do is go back and play a game on a harder difficulty. Sure it’s more challenging but when you’ve been through the story once, it’s a bit boring. I think the only thing I completed fully was Goldeneye on the N64, on all four difficulties! Someone please remake this in HD!! I decided to play Modern Warfare on the next difficulty. It’s the third one. I forget what it’s called. It’s really hard! It might actually add to the story in this instance and it has been a while since I played it first time round so maybe I’ll get a few surprises.

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