Inside PlayStation Network - Weekly Recap (February 14 - 18, 2011)

Welcome to the first in our weekly recap pertaining to all things Inside PlayStation Network. Every MON-FRI, PSU shines the spotlight on a piece of content plucked from the digital delights of Sony’s online service, be it a chunk of DLC, PSOne Classic or regular PSN release. In case you’ve missed out on any of this week’s entries, here’s the chance to catch up and see what titles we dissected under the microscope.

Monday – Pac-Man Championship Edition

It’s somewhat disconcerting that the majority of us at PSU Towers are as old (or in some cases, older) than Pac-Man, but we’ll lament the passing of time to another day. The pertinent point is, however, the pint-sized yellow fellow packs one hell of a punch. As one of the most iconic industry IPs around, Pac-Man’s been around the block a few times, appearing in a myriad of adventures dating back to his inception in the eponymous 1980 arcade classic. The series’ simple, yet overwhelmingly addictive formula has endured itself to over two generation’s worth of gamers, and remains synonymous with all things game-related to this very day. Here, the original template is revamped for the HD era in creator Toru Iwatani’s final offering before his retirement under the moniker of Pac-Man: Championship Edition. Indeed, it's a fitting culmination to an illustrious career if ever there was one (Click here for full article).

Tuesday – Plants vs. Zombies

Over the past 40 years or so, zombies have found themselves up against a diverse menu of the very best and worst humanity has to offer. From punks, civvies, and cops to rowdy Red Necks and bullish army types, being undead at least has its advantage: the world is a sumptuous smorgasbord ripe for the picking. Last time we checked, however, our shambling friends didn’t face any backlash from peeved-off plant life. Still, that’s exactly what the premise is here with Plants vs. Zombies; an idiosyncratic, yet immensely addictive tower-defence romp from the prolific PopCap Games. Here, a homeowner and his neighbour – “Crazy Dave” – must fend off the invading shambling Hordes of Hades using a myriad of vegetation matter (Click here for full article).

Wednesday – Command and Conquer

Ask any PC purist to name one of the most influential home computer games on the market, and you can bet your bottom dollar Command and Conquer’ll pop up at some point. Having clocked up over 30 million sales since its inception in 1995, WestWood’s pioneering real-time strategy series helped flog the genre to a whole new audience, with mainstream success hitching along for the ride. The inaugural game in the series is unequivocally one of the all-time greats, and its impact on the industry was nothing short of profound. Unsurprising it is then, to see that the franchise has continued to rake in strong sales to this day, and, despite some patchy releases, remains just as popular as it was among RTS aficionados’ as it did back in its heyday. Despite being largely synonymous with PC users, a couple of the more prolific entries made the transition to PlayStation in the mid-late 90s, starting with the eponymous ’95 debut (Click here for full article).

Thursday – Calling all Cars

Conceived by God of War father David Jaffe, Calling all Cars acts very much like a bite-sized offshoot of esteemed motor mash ‘em up, Twisted Metal. A fitting diagnosis perhaps, seeing as how Jaffe was also responsible for the cult classic car fest. Indeed, the premise holds a distinct sense of familiarity about it. Players view cel-shaded shenanigans from a 3rd person, bird eye perspective, with your overall objective being to chase down and apprehend a group of convicts who have absconded from prison. That’s easier said than done, however, as there’s also a band of other bounty hunters eager to get their mitts on the fleeing criminals. You’ll rake in points for capturing convicts, with the overall winner determined by who has nabbed the most points (Click here for full article).

Friday – Fighting Force

Ever wondered what classic brawler Streets of Rage would look like if it made the transition to 3D? Well, you might want to take a gander at Fighting Force. Originally conceived as Streets of Rage 4, the game was supposed to be released exclusively for Sega’s beleaguered Saturn console back in the mid-90s. However, Sega and Core ultimately didn’t see eye-to-eye on the subject of multi-format development, so the Streets of Rage moniker was ditched, Core renamed the title Fighting Force, and released it on PlayStation, PC and N64. Saturn didn’t even get a look in. Despite the name change, however, the whiff of Sega’s acclaimed 2D Genesis beat ‘em up remains ever lingering throughout, with Fighting Force adopting much of the series’ trademark components (Click here for full article).

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