Cheap games are nice, but which ones should you actually pay for?
Henry Gilbert, host of Cape Crisis, is here to tell you all about great deals. And no this isn’t a plug for the Laser Time Patreon – though I suppose that just was one. Nope, I’m writing this very timely article to make you all aware of Sony’s newest PSN flash sale. Compared to Microsoft and Nintendo, PlayStation is on of the most aggressive publishers when it comes to digital sales. And though I’ve seen wider selections before, this is a pretty good crop of fantasy-based games, even if you may not be totally sure what to buy.
Have no fear, because I pulled together a quick list of the 11 most intriguing games on the sale until Monday morning – there are some movies in there too, but I can’t in good conscience suggest anyone watch The Hobbit. Of the multiple adventure, arcade, and RPGs worth downloading from this sale, here’s my 10 favorites. Oh, and if you need to fill your digital wallet, don’t forget Amazon sells digital PSN credit – buying it there also helps Laser Time at no extra cost to you!
Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen (PS3, $13.20)
Don’t let the name confuse you – this is indeed the unexpected Capcom hit from a few years ago, only with a big fat add-on. If you skipped this one for whatever reason, it’s the most fun game about climbing up monsters to stab them since Shadow of the Colossus. Does the game have too many menus and on-screen text? Maybe, but a little over $13 to travel this expansive fantasy world and its lengthy DLC campaign is a good deal if your PS3 is still plugged in.
Telltale’s Game of Thrones Season Pass (PS4/PS3, $12.50)
I know you aren’t as cool as me, so let me tell you about a real niche, underground series most miss out on: HBO’s Game of Thrones. The brutal fantasy world of political maneuvering got its own game from Telltale, a developer also known for showing fans brutal consequences. This half-priced season is the cheapest you’ll find it outside Steam, netting you the three currently available episodes and the three still to come for more than 50% off. Get in of GoT before people jump on the bandwagon!
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (PS3, $3.75)
Come for the novel control scheme, stay for the emotional catharsis! This 2013 game got all kinds of deserved acclaim, and its unique approach to single player co-op still feels revolutionary. And the game’s plot digs a whole lot deeper than the whimsical graphics may lead you to believe – look, I don’t want to say much more. If you’ve avoided spoilers for this long, I’d hate to be the one to ruin it before you get it for less than $5. Side note: Why the hell isn’t Brothers on new-gen consoles yet?
New Little King’s Story (PS Vita, $5)
Few played Little King’s Story on the Wii, so the publisher put it on a can’t fail system – the Vita. Even if many missed it, this JRPG-ified approach to RTS games is still adorably fresh years later. If you wish Pikmin also involved grinding job skills, New Little King’s Story is for you.
Valkyria Chronicles 2 (PSP, $5)
Yes, some fans of the first Valkyria Chronicles (including me) felt this PSP sequel to the gorgeous PS3 original was a major step down for the burgeoning series, but that doesn’t mean this can’t stand on its own. Valkyria Chronicles 2 got tons of acclaim, popping up often on best PSP games list. The only real issue with paying $5 for this gem is that it’s PSP only – sorta. As was helpfully pointed out in the comments by Jonovision, you CAN play this on your Vita, you just have to buy it on PSN, download it to you PS3, THEN transfer it to your Vita. A whole lot of needless steps, but it can be done!
Myst (PS Vita/PSP, $2.40)
Travel back in time to an age of mysticism, wonder, and early CD-ROM technology in this rerelease. Rebuilt for Sony’s handhelds, now a whole new generation can explore this puzzling island of secrets. It hasn’t aged terrifically, but as a $2.40 history lesson, that’s pretty darn cheap.
New Adventure Island (PS3/Vita/PSP, $1.20)
Remember when Hudson Soft made games? Those were the days. I miss them so much that I’m even ready to play a lesser Adventure Island entry for the TurboGrafx-16. This Master Higgins title is among a trio of TG-16 games on sale, and at a little over a dollar apiece, the price may as well be zero for these lesser-known retro releases.
Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara (PS3, $4.50)
Enjoy Dragon’s Crown, Castle Crashers, or Guardian Heroes? Well, this D&D arcade game from Capcom is where those RPG-brawler fusions all began. After licensing Dungeons & Dragons for coin-ops, resourceful devs found a way to deepen the beat ’em formula by adding XP and loot. Unavailable officially for year, who knows how much longer this classic combo will be on sale, especially for this cheap.
Vandal Hearts: Flames of Judgment (PS3, $3)
Vandal Hearts is a tactical strategy game cast in the isometric mold befitting of its retro charm. Coming from a time when Konami tried to make games for people instead of phones, this game has been long overdue for a mark down, and $3 is just the right price, even if the art style isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
Soul Sacrifice (PS Vita, $4.50)
If you owned a PSP in its later years, there’s a good chance that if you played anything on it, you played Monster Hunter. Then Capcom’s venerable series went exclusive to the 3DS, leaving the market wide open for a hunting game on the then-new Vita. Soul Sacrifice comes from some talented ex-Capcom people, and ups the grim tone of MH for its violent multiplayer battles.
You’ll find more gems on there if you keep digging, but those 10 are a great place to start. And again, if you need more digital PSN cash, getting Amazon’s digital PSN credit is a simple and easy way to get more online cash while also helping Laser Time at no extra cost to you. And if you want to see more PlayStation appreciation, watch Laser Time’s live reactions to Sony’s E3 event!