Tag Archives: Darksiders

My problem with the instant game collection from PlayStation Plus


In this post, I’m going to complain about free games. Well, not just free videogames, but also time, specifically the fact that I just don’t have as much of it as I once did during my high school and college days. If you’re not interested in reading about a grown man whining over the fact that he ultimately no longer has the sort of lackadaisical lifestyle that allows for gaming on end from noon to night, you might want to click away. Really, it’s okay.

Right. So, a full free year of PlayStation Plus came with that classic white PS3 bundle I bought a few weeks ago. This is why that bundle is also dubbed “the instant collection,” though instant is relative to how fast you can download giant-sized videogames. With PlayStation Plus, you can immediately log on to the PlayStation Store and begin downloading a swath of videogames for both the PS3 and PS Vita. I’m only going to list the PS3 titles here, but check out everything I’ve now downloaded and installed since becoming a Plus member:

  • Closure
  • inFamous 2
  • Little Big Planet 2
  • Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One
  • Guardians of Middle-earth
  • Darksiders
  • Megaman 9
  • Megaman 10
  • Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition
  • Dungeon Defenders
  • Anomaly: Warzone Earth
  • Quantum Conundrum
  • Payday: The Heist
  • NBA Jam on Fire Edition
  • The King of Fighters XIII
  • Retro City Rampage
  • Foosball 2012

Oh boy. That’s…um…carry the six…yeah, that’s 17 games. With a new addition every week, I guess. And that’s not even including the straight-up free-to-play games, like Jetpack Joyride and DC Universe. In short, there’s a lot to play, so long as you remain a Plus member, which I’m definitely doing for at least a year.

Of the list above, I’ve sampled a few and simply only downloaded and installed the rest. With hopes of playing them soon. Maybe not today or tomorrow or even next week. But some time in the near future. I tried out Mega Man 9 for a few minutes only to remember that I’m horrible at all Mega Man games save for Mega Man Legends. For Darksiders, I played up to nearly the same part that I did on the PC version, which is not very far, shortly before you gain wings. Lastly, I’ve played an hour or two of Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One, which is not very good for a Ratchet & Clank game, especially when you are playing it solo. The humor and colorful characters are still there, but the gameplay is severely linear and not at all welcome to customization. You follow a path, and you shoot enemies along it with a generic gun. Pretty disappointing.

Now, many of these above games are full-fledged titles, like InFamous 2 and Little Big Planet 2, with potentially a ton of content to absorb. Story, collectibles, side quests, level requirements, and so on. Others, like the smaller Closure and Retro City Rampage, seem more quickly accessed, but still present several hours worth of playing. Regardless of size, I am trying to remain focused on only a few games currently. I mean, I’ve still only put like eight hours into Ni no Kuni, and that’s a game I really really want to play more of. Thankfully, they aren’t going anywhere soon, but then again, more is going to get added to my instant collection, multiplying like Gremlins, until there’s too many to keep track of. At least that’s how I see it.

In short: too many games, not enough time. Woe is me.

Roll dice to read text in Crimson Shroud

crimson shroud roundup impressions

The obvious truth is I play a lot of games, but not all for an extensive time. I actually end up trying more games than you could probably guess, but only just that–for a dabble. An hour at most, or just seeing if it runs on my computer and messing around with it for a few minutes. I thought about maybe doing a roundup post, where I could talk a bit about each game I’ve dabbled in recently, but to constantly have a stream of content here on Grinding Down, I’ll just continue to give them a post each until I run out of things to say. For those curious, here are a few games I’ve played at varying lengths over the last couple weeks: Darksiders, Offspring Fling, Torchlight 2, Snapshot, Titan Quest, Vessel, and Wario Land 4. Sure there’s more, but can’t seem to remember any at the moment, a problem you get when you only try a game out briefly and then move on.

Now, I have been playing one game I bought back in late December a little more, and that lucky prize is called Crimson Shroud. It’s for the Nintendo 3DS and was the last part of the Guild 01 collection, a project from Level-5 that collected four very different games under one heading. I didn’t pick up the other titles, as they didn’t interest me, but bringing pen-and-paper dungeon-crawling to the portable system sounded like a fine idea. I mean, for one thing, I never have to worry about dice rolling off the table or doing any math to make sure I added them up correctly. That, my friends, is well worth the entry fee.

So, plot-wise, Crimson Shroud takes place in a realm where magic was discovered during the Dark Ages after war broke out, which changed lives dramatically. Giauque and his band of Chasers–people who hunt down gods and deities–are searching for a relic that will bestow upon them “The Original Gift”, which is said to be inside the Sun-Gilt Palace of the Rahab. Now, truth be told, I got all that from looking up a description online; I’m positive this is conveyed within the game’s text at some point(s), but it’s rather hard to see the forest for the trees. Text is presented in huge chunks over top of your characters on the top screen, as well as told in second person, much like a DM might do, with all the dramatic flair you would expect. That said, a lot of it is boring to read, and really bogs down the pacing. It also doesn’t help that the characters are literally game figurines, meaning they don’t move or emote in any way, other than you being told that they do. I rushed through most exposition, as it is more exciting to battle and explore the ruined castle than listen to someone describe how old those walls look or the screechy sounds heard on the other side.

To me, the plot is this: explore dungeon floors, kill goblins, gain loot, and move on. Which is enough. Like I said, it’s more fun battling than reading the somewhat unclear narrative, even if the battle system appears a bit basic at first. There are many ways you can customize your three characters–Giauque, Frea, and Lippi–with different gear or special abilities, and you can also add to attacks or effects by rolling combinations of 20-sided, 10-sided, 6-sided, 8-sided, and 4-sided die. It’s surprisingly more fun than it sounds, rolling die on your 3DS. You can attack with your weapon, use magic, use a special skill gained from gear, or use an item, and depending on how well you did, you gain some MP to spend next turn or continue saving up. In the end, you are given a list of gear to pick from, but you only have so many Barter Points to spend, so you have to select carefully. Characters don’t gain levels, so getting better gear is vital to surviving tougher fights.

Just finished off the Zombie Minotaur last night and looking forward to what the next floor holds. Not in terms of story, but rather encounters and lootable treasure chests. Frea needs some kind of offensive magic spell like woah.