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Every summer both Microsoft and Sony have been putting special summer promotions for downloadable games. Sure, Sony took a while to get one started for Playstation Network, but Microsoft has been doing it since 2008 on Xbox Live Arcade as we seen some of the best downloadable games this console generation be released around this time such as Braid, Castle Crashers, Limbo, and many more. Let's see what Sony's Playstation Play and Microsoft's Summer of Arcade has in store on their respected online marketplaces this year.
Starting with the games advertised. Playstation Play games include, Stealth Inc: A Clone in the Dark, which is essentially the PS3 and Vita version of Stealth Bastard.
Cloudberry Kingdom, is a platformer that uses a set of algorithms to procedurally generated levels that can be adaptive to player skill, in-game character abilities, and alteration of game physics.
Ibb & Obb, is a cooperative puzzle game where in the bottom half of the world gravity is reversed, enabling ibb and obb to walk on both sides of the horizon. Warps allow you to move from one half to the other. You’ll have to find your way through the levels, surfing on gravity, soul hopping enemies, and collecting diamonds.
DuckTales Remastered, well this game needs no introduction. It is a platforming classic returning in HD glory that I have fond memories of playing on the NES.
All four are games I'm excited for for different reasons, and perhaps plan on buying. They’re solid titles with differing amounts of hype behind them. In fact, most of the games were even showcased at E3 2013.
Microsoft’s Summer of Arcade has Brothers, is a puzzle game whereby you control both brothers at once as you experience co-op play in single player mode, like never before. Solve puzzles, explore the varied locations and fight boss battles, controlling one brother with each thumb stick.
Charlie Murder, from the creators of the XBLA hit, The Dishwasher, Charlie Murder is a 4 player coop brawler/RPG set during the coming punk rock apocalypse. The game will feature character building, randomly generated loot, team up moves, and Live multiplayer.
Flashback, is a science fiction platform video game remake of the original 1992 Flashback. The development team considers a remake and expansion of the original. Improvements include features from both player feedback and improved technologies since 1992, e.g., a new skill system that trades points for skill improvements and character customization. The story has also been expanded and the graphics updated. The story adds new dialogue, plot twists, and voice acting.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is a third-person brawler game set in New York City where players can go through action-packed adventures as Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael.
So the game lineups are fairly equal when it comes to covering ground in game genres such as puzzle games, platformers, and action, but I can't help but think that Playstation has done a far superior job marketing their indie games through E3, which allowed me, as the consumer, to pay attention to these new games that are arriving on the PSN and get excited for it. The game themselves however are fairly equal in quality at this point. When Microsoft lets journalists play their games, they come away very impressed. Brothers specifically has outstanding preview coverage, and Flashback looks to be a fantastic remake of a 90's classic. If Microsoft would scramble to get on the consumer's good side, these games would get a lot more attention because they look outstanding.
Maybe it's not the game lineups that your are the most interested in, perhaps prices, and value proposition is where your head is at. The PLAY 2013 games and Summer of Arcade games will be priced at full when they hit their respected markets. Nothing unusual there. There’s a difference, however, that has me more excited for Sony selections. PlayStation Plus members get a 20% discount if they pre-order those games. So Stealth Inc., Cloudberry Kingdom, and Ibb & Obb each become $7.99, and DuckTales Remastered drops to $11.99. For games that people are already going to purchase that's a fairly nice bonus. The pre-orders also come with a PS3 theme for each game, which awesome if you like collecting themes.
And last, but not least, if you buy two PLAY 2013 games, you get $3 back. Buy three, and you get $6. Buy all four and Sony gives you $10. At which point, if you’re a PlayStation Plus member, you're essentially "buying" DuckTales Remastered for free.
Sony has just become so consumer friendly that it becomes difficult to resist. If Microsoft would take the consumer friendly route that that Sony has, it would go a long way. What do you plan on purchasing and why? Let us know in the comments below.