Games Inbox: Is PS Plus Premium a waste of money?

So the first update for PS Plus Premium has been out one quarter and… two games?! And they’re PSP games I’ve never heard of, and I’m willing to bet nobody else has either. I resisted saying anything at launch, because Sony were obviously doing it on the quiet to ease themselves into it, but this is just pathetic. I mean, I’m paying for this and they’re taking advantage.

Premium is substantially more expensive than Extra and I thought I’d be getting a massive library of classic PlayStation games. Instead, it’s a relabelled PS Now and a tiny number of extra PlayStation 1 and 2 games on top. What’s going on? If they weren’t ready why’d they launch now? It’s not like they were going to miss Christmas or anything.

And why weren’t they ready anyway? Are they going to blame the pandemic on not being able to stick a few PlayStation 1 ROMs into an emulator? I usually think of Sony as being very organised and professional but I do not know why they’ve started wearing clown shows when it comes to PS Plus.

Multiverse of madness
Yes! Bayonetta 3 is coming out this year and now we have confirmation and a new trailer. Once again we see there’s nothing that publishers can try to keep secret that either age rating boards or job ads cannot spoil. Although in this case I guess it was Nintendo’s fault for updating their website early – as if the internet wouldn’t notice!

It’s all good though and I loved the trailer which seemed to show the game would have all the same amazing action as the last games and the same terrible plot and characters – but hey, I enjoy the cheese of it all. I suspect the nudity toggle is a ‘joke’ but I think it’s pretty obvious from the trailer that the game is going to be just as gory and adult (in a juvenile way) as before, which is great.

Also, isn’t it weird how suddenly everything is about the multiverse? Bayonetta 3 was first announced in 2017, well before Marvel started to use it, so how did suddenly every one start using it as a plot point? I can’t think of any movie before that which could have been the inspiration but maybe everyone suddenly started getting into hardcore physics at the same time? Whatever the case, I can’t wait!

Solar power
I work in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where for pretty much nine months of the year it’s north of 35 degrees… and throughout the summer hits the high 40s.

I have never had a heat issue with my Switch or PlayStation 5 turning off. The closest I got was leaving my phone on the dash when I was nipping to the shops and when I came back it had powered down due to the heat from the direct sun!

Keep gaming, stay inside!

GC: Are you using it outside though? We’re guessing you’ve got some pretty hardcore air conditioning going on.

Open the Files
RE: Magnumstache and AI: The Somnium Files. if you are already a fan of the Zero Escape series then The Somnium Files would be right up your street. Somnium structurally plays a bit like a Zero Escape game anyway; it’s a visual novel with light escape room style puzzles and multiple routes through the story that only open after completing other ones.

I personally don’t think it’s as good as the Zero Escape games but that’s just my personal preference; it’s still a well written and well-acted visual novel, with a compelling story that encourages exploring all branching paths of the narrative. Also, it’s full of Easter eggs and references to both Zero Escape and Danganronpa.

One thing to be aware of though: a lot of reviews on the internet highlight the performance on the Switch as not being great and although certain dialogue lines can be slow in loading sometimes it made no difference to me overall. I certainly didn’t find any lag in anything that required real-time inputs in any of the dream sequences at any rate.

It’s up to you if that would put you off but it isn’t bad enough for me to consider not recommending it. I think there’s a demo available on the eShop if you’re in doubt, but it’s definitely top tier stuff and well worth the purchase.
Eiichihoba (PSN ID)

High praise
For anybody who enjoyed the trailer for the game with the talking guns (High On Life) you might like Trover Saves The Universe, which has the same type of humour, like Rick and Morty, and can be played on a flat
screen or PlayStation VR.

As soon as the trailer started for High on Life I recognised the humour was exactly similar to Trover and then realised it was the same developer when I saw the name come up as Squanch Games. I really like the ending in Trover but I won’t spoil it! Trover has really strong language but there is a setting to turn the bad language down a bit!
Andrew J.
PS: The free games on Epic Games Store, from Thursday at 4pm, are Idle Champions Of The Forgotten Realms, which has been given away free before, and Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap, which hasn’t been given away before by Epic and is made by Dotemu, who made Streets Of Rage 4 and the recently
released Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game.

Steam of consciousness
I felt like chiming in on a few recent topics, one someone wrote about a while ago regarding the Oculus Quest 2. I got one at launch and to be honest it’s a very good piece of kit, I just never use it. Novel is probably the word I’d use but longevity isn’t.

Easy difficulty, I feel like this conversation is on easy difficulty. I don’t want to get into the whole entitlement discussion but Is it really so hard to understand everything isn’t for you and that’s OK? People don’t have to change what they do to accommodate you, perhaps they are as passionate about their point of view as you are, will you change yours? Well let’s leave it at that shall we, each to their own I’d say. No offence GC, but I’ve started filtering out some of these letters (including some of mine) because it is getting tiresome.

I love Halo, but I’d prefer it to be about humans instead, because aliens are silly and third person is obviously better [are you sure you didn’t mean to type ‘I hate Halo’? – GC] so come on 343, make me and everyone else happy all together. You are people after all, why is that so hard?

Finally, the subscription thing. I realised this when I spent £60+ a month in HMV before Spotify and the like. I used to listen to whole albums and appreciate, maybe that says more about music nowadays but you have a sneaking suspicion it’s more to do with the model of the business. Really hope gaming doesn’t end up like that.

Well, any who, rant over. Will be funny to read this when the sun and adults beverage has worn off and swear I never wrote it. Let’s all be nice to each other, especially here, where I and so many others grew up.

GC: OK, but we do discourage writing in about multiple topics in a single email. It becomes unfocused and leads to less letters overall.

Back and forth
Whilst reading the arguments for and against an easy mode in games, I’m left utterly perplexed by how passionate people are who are against the idea.

I’d like to ask these readers, if an easy mode was added and it doesn’t affect your playthrough, why do you care so much?

I’m not interested in Souls games even with an easy mode, so I’m not coming from a place of bias, but even they must see that the more sales From make, the more money they have for future games. Plus, won’t the ‘real’ Souls player play the game on the normal difficulty regardless of what options are available.
Capt Krysis

Final victory
Finally beat Elden Ring’s menacing Malenia after like 90 attempts (at level 156). Gosh what an arduous, knife edge battle that was. The agent of bloom and dooms movements and attacks were so graceful and maleficent, even quite erratic. The fact that her health is replenished a little with every hit she lands dissolved my resolve a few times!

As with most players, her Waterfowl Dance attack – a succession of swift, sweeping airborne strikes – annihilated me numerous times. That panic dodge inducing technique felt like a hurricane of toothed blades and calamitous pain.

I got lucky and managed to nullify her Waterfowl Dance animation a few times but found that throwing a freezing pot item at her just as she’s about to initiate the attack delivers the desired effect of circumventing foretoken death. ‘Let’s tango then!’, is what I’d say in my head to boost one’s morale.

Amazing boss though, one of the most memorable in the pantheon of Soulsbornekiro greats in my opinion. As with all the hardest bosses in FromSoftware’s games, it’s incredibly rewarding to finally vanquish a formidable foe after studiously examining their patterns, adjusting your strategy accordingly, your muscle memory eventually going into overdrive as you anticipate and respond to attacks with more efficacy and claw closer to sweet victory every time. The sense of elation after I cleansed the woeful warrioress was immense.

Special shout out to the Mimic Tear for having my back…
Galvanized Gamer

Inbox also-rans
Bayonetta 3 out on the same day as Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3? Why do companies do this to themselves? I just don’t get it. That’s have a quick recap of big name games coming out in November: God Of War Ragnarök… that’s it. Why? Why not release Bayonetta a couple of weeks later and have almost the whole month to yourself? Crazy.

I hope the new Mario Kart 8 DLC tracks have anti-gravity sections in them. That was the only thing wrong with the last set.

This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Campbell, who asks what upcoming game are you most looking forward to?

We’ve just passed the halfway mark of the year, and what few not-E3 preview events there were are all done, so what upcoming game are you most excited about at the moment, whether it’s coming out this year or not?

As long as the game has been officially announced you can talk about anything you like, but do explain why it’s caught your imagination and what more you’d like to know about it before it’s released.

What are you most looking forward to in the second half of 2022 and how bothered are you by the smaller number of releases, compared to previous years?

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Cliff Morton


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