The digital delights of Sony’s scrumptious PlayStation Network service know no bounds. Aside from letting punters compete in online gaming, stream films, browse the Internet and more, its premier attraction rests in the copious supply of downloadable games ripe for the picking. From PSN exclusives to PSOne Classics, minis and plain old add-on content, Sony’s online space is chock full of goodies battling it out for your hard-earned digital dollars.
Welcome back to another installment of Inside PlayStation Network, where every Monday – Friday we’ll pluck a PSN release—be it new or old—and put it in the spotlight for a thorough dissection. Fancy getting a new PSN game but don’t know what one to plump for? Perhaps this feature will help. Didn’t realize that a game was available in your region until now? We've got you covered. Or, perhaps you were musing over what those lucky Japanese folk were tucking into over in the Land of the Rising Sun? You can be sure our coverage will extend to those rare regional exclusives as much as those firmly embedded on the public consciousness.
Still, to kick things off, we decided our inaugural entry should focus on something that’s fresh in everyone’s minds. Join us now as we migrate to the zany antics of the latest iPhone phenomenon to make the transition to PSN—Angry Birds.
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Region(s) available: North America
Angry Birds emerged as one of the most significant—and indeed, surprising—success stories of 2010. Originally released for the iPhone, Rovio’s critically acclaimed puzzler proved a colossal hit among consumers—over 50 million punters have flocked to the game since release. Not content with penetrating the portable gaming space, Angry Birds now looks set to migrate to other forms of entertainment—we’ve heard rumblings of a TV series and movie adaptation, for example—and arrived on the North American arm of Sony’s online service on January 4, 2011.
So, what exactly has the flock in such a flutter? The answer is simple: Pigs. But not just any pigs. Nope, they’re evil pigs. Apparently the slippery swine have pinched the birds’ egg supply, which has understandably ruffled a few feathers—hence why the birds are so cheesed-off. Naturally, the flock can’t let this lie, and so they embark on a quest to eliminate the pesky porkers—and that's your story. The aim of the game is simple. Utilizing your trusty slingshot, gamers home in on their target(s) and fire one of their feathered friends at enemy pigs, taking them out in one clean swoop. However, your efforts are compounded by the fact enemies are typically snuggled tightly in a protective hut made of wood, glass or other such materials, making them difficult to fix on. As such, you’ll have to send your bird bulldozing through the makeshift shelter itself, dispatching the pigs in the ensuing avalanche. Pork chops anyone?
Thing’s aren’t as cut and dry as that, though. Rovio’s acute puzzling sensibilities have resulted in an ample sprinkle of strategizing, too. For one, pigs come in all shapes and sizes, each one varying in resistance to damage—there’s small, medium, large and even pigs packing protective headgear and armor. Fortunately, you’ve also got access to a bevy of birds, which, depending on the color, possesses special abilities of their own. For example, the blue bird splits in to a group of three, and the black bird, bizarrely, explodes. Depending on the situation, it’s your job to utilize the best one for the job, and exploit your enemy’s weakness to ensure maximum carnage. As such, there’s myriad ways to tackle each stage, not to mention a lingering incentive to improve upon your performance in order to rack up bonus points. The game looks the business too, sporting a simplistic, yet eye-catching aesthetic that suits the comical capers perfectly.
Angry Birds is available now to download on the U.S. PlayStation Store, with plans for an Xbox 360 and Wii release in the pipeline. Join us tomorrow as we take another peak Inside PlayStation Network.