Hello, and welcome to volume five of impressions! This week I will be going into a few PlayStation 3 games that caught my eye back in the day. This is the last month that Sony is giving away PS3 games as part of PlayStation Plus, so what better way to send off the console than with a dubious selection of titles from the system.
Mugen Souls was developed by Compile Heart and published by NIS America in 2012. The main protagonist, Chou-Chou, plans to conquer the universe by subjugating the seven worlds it comprises, as she thinks the planets look pretty. The plot is strung together loosely with a number of event scenes that are scattered around the various worlds that Chou-Chou visits with her vassals, Altis and Ryuto.
Compile Heart also developed the Hyper Dimension Neptunia series. As with most of their games, Mugen Souls features large maps that the protagonists wander around. Combat is turn based, though characters are able to move around the combat field to position themselves for area-of-effect attacks. The game features many over the top mechanics that would not be out of place in a Disgaea title, such as Moe Kill, a method of killing enemies without fighting and getting powerful items from them. New characters are recruited during the story, but peons can be created and fused together to create powerful custom characters for the player.
I picked this up due to the similarities with Disgaea I did not get far into the game though as I decided to pick up all the free DLC for the game on the PlayStation store. This mistake meant that my characters gained massive amounts of power and made half the combat in the game trivial. The other half of combat is focused around ship battles, though this is works differently to the overpowered characters I had making my progress in this area rather slow. This problem lead to me putting the game down, though the sequel, Mugen Souls Z, was free with PS Plus last year and may tempt me back.
Ghostbusters: The Video Game
This 2009 title is the movie sequel that fans wanted. Set in 1991, two years after Ghostbusters II, Ghostbusters: TVG sees the player join the team as a new recruit. When a large PKE shockwave hits New York City and releases many captured ghosts, the Ghostbusters, now official city contractors, must head out and capture some familiar faces in a story that visits locations from the films as well as new areas that tie into the lore of the franchise. Not only are the original cast are back to lend their voice and likeness to the characters, Aykroyd and Ramis, who wrote the films, also aided in script doctoring for the game.
Ghostbuster: TVG is a third-person action game in which the player tracks and captures ghosts. Play revolves around using various Ghostbusters gadgets to discover paranormal activity that will lead them to ghosts. Combating ghosts is done by using Proton Packs to weaken them before throwing out a trap to capture them. The Proton Pack can be upgraded over the course of the game to unlock new firing modes and enhance its capabilities. The UI is very clean with all relevant information being displayed on the Proton Pack.
I bought this game at launch, though I did not play much beyond the tutorial. My son became interested in Ghostbusters a couple of years later and we sat down to play it together. The game was truly a fantastic experience for the both of us, as I delighted in explaining how each level tied into the films, whilst my son took control and had fun shooting ghosts (or wrecking the environment). Many of the achievements in the game are movie quotes, so when these popped up we would take a break to dig a clip of the quote upon YouTube. I probably remember the game more fondly because of this, but I feel it still stand up to replays today.
As a series SSX has never really needed a plot. Pick a character and race down a mountain against friends. SSX makes an attempt at a story by having returning rider, Zoe Payne, gathering nine of the best riders to conquer nine deadly descents in order to raise funds via livestreaming. However, a former SSX member, Griff Simmons, is seeking to conquer the nine descents himself, leading to a race against time to see who will conquer the world first.
SSX tasks players with performing tricks as they race down various mountain courses. Tricks fill a boost bar that allows the player to move faster. Filling the bar puts the player into ‘Tricky’ mode in which they have unlimited boost and can perform ‘Uber’ tricks. Stringing together multiple tricks raises a combo bonus that awards extra an extra multiplier after a time once players stop performing tricks. Should the player crash whilst building a combo then the multiplier is lost, though players can reverse time (costing them points) to fix their mistakes. Explore mode allows player to tackle global events and rack up extra money to buy new boards and gadgets.
I was a massive fan of the SSX series on PlayStation 2. My brother and I had hours of fun playing SSX Tricky together, so I pre-ordered SSX at launch. The game played as well as I hoped, though it lacked any sort of local multiplayer. Global events were a sort of online multiplayer, though two people could not challenge each other at the same time. Friends could see each others scores on any given track allowing some form of competition, though playing courses solo led to little replayability and I fell off the title pretty quickly. The game was given away on PS Plus later, though access to global events required purchasing an online pass that was given away with new copies of the game.