Sony dives into the 'best of' category with their Best of PlayStation Network Volume One, which includes four titles that did well on PSN.
Good idea? Perhaps. Let's talk.
Four of the biggest PSN games have made it to disc, a concept that isn't new to the gaming world, as many companies have done this with their best games in the past. Capcom has an entire download dedicated to their best arcade hits from the past, so the formula works really darn well. What Sony has put together with this first of many (it says volume one after all, so it's safe to assume there will be more -- hopefully there will be) isn't a bad package from their greatest PSN games to date. Here's what you're looking at with Best of PlayStation Network Volume One:
When Vikings Attack - What I find remarkably entertaining about this game is that its simplicity makes it addictive and interesting. If you've never heard about this one, here's the deal -- Vikings randomly attack a town, you get a group of people together to pick up objects in the town and throw it at the vikings. You do this through out the entire game, which by my text sounds incredibly boring, but there's just something about it that really makes it fun. It could be the fact that the vikings are grumbling the entire time you're fighting (randomly grunting things). It could be the fact that at one point of the game you get a giant pickle to throw at the vikings. Or, it might be the fact that there are so many different ways to get rid of the viking horde that you'll forget that you've been doing the same thing over again and again. Regardless, this oddity deserves praise and Sony rightfully gives it a spot on the first volume.
Sound Shapes - If Loco Roco and Patapon had a child, it would be Sound Shapes. This is a music-based games that provides some tough challenges that literally have our hero making beautiful music. The best way to describe it would be to defer you to Eric Layman's review of the title back in 2012 for the Vita. It's a fun platformer that will challenge your intellect and make you think on the fly. Creative and addictive are the best words for this one.
Tokyo Jungle - Mankind has gone the way of the Dodo bird. The animals of the world have taken over the earth, and must struggle to stay alive in a world full of danger. You play a variety of animals that have to thrive and survive in a hostile Tokyo. It's an interesting game that isn't exactly perfect, but the need to survive, hunt and mate keeps it all together and interesting. This is sort of a platformer that plays a lot deeper than you would think. It comes in multiple modes (survival and story are the strongest) and will have plenty of depth to warrant your time. Plus, when is the last time you got to play a deadly hunting/killing machine like the Pomeranian. Weird game, but definitely worthy of this collection.
Fat Princess - Is it strategy-based? Yep. Is it real-time? Yep. Do you get to find cake and feed it to princess? You bet your fat princess ass you do. While not the most stable of gameplay, Fat Princess is a highly addictive real-time strategy-based game that brings the wacky, bloody two-team fighting style to your PS3. You use resources and fighting power to build and capture bases that earn you points, which eventually leads you to victory. Along the way, you get to choose from four different classes of warriors (more with DLC) that give you certain abilities to help out your team in certain ways. Wacky and weird in the story category, the game seems to go on forever sometimes. Our last review of this game was from Eric Layman and can be found here. It definitely belongs on the volume.
All of these games are solid for a first volume release. I think when Sony's future volumes release, you'll probably find a better variety of games (come on, Journey!). Until then, the first volume is fun and quite good overall. There's enough here to keep you entertained for a lengthy amount of time, and there's certainly enough here to keep it going. When Vikings Attack and Fat Princess are two online games, which adds an element of depth to the titles, as well as value.
Having said that, you might be wondering why you would drop $39.99 on this collection. First, if you're a disc collector rather than a digital download sort of person, this might be reason enough. Being old and old school with my gaming, I like having physical copies of games in my library. I've seen Terminator a billion times and completely don't trust technology to work the way it should, or keep my stuff intact (I mean, my hard drive could crash, Sony's hard drive could crash (kidding) and Snake Plissken could shut off the world's power sources -- what then???). So, if you're paranoid about this digital download stuff then this might be the right way to go.
In terms of pricing, if you check how much each title is on PSN then you'll understand the discount. Here's a breakdown:
Sound Shapes - $14.99
When Vikings Attack - $9.99
Tokyo Jungle - $14.99
Fat Princess - $7.49 (free with PlayStation Plus)
Total (before tax): $47.46
So, you're saving a little under $10 with this purchase. Now, if you don't want all of these games then you would be better off purchasing them individually. You lose the disc element, but you save money in the long run. Anyway, it seems that Sony didn't package any terrible title in with this first volume of Best of PlayStation Network, so it's definitely worth the price of admission, at least in my opinion.