Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Getting my money's worth (or "Free PSN stuff!")

First up is Rag Doll Kung Fu: Fists of Plastic, a downloadable title normally $9.99, now free for a week courtesy of Sprint. Playing this dreck, I think I have a better idea now of the dilemma that reviewers must go through when they receive free goods from publishers. Knowing that I'm giving the developers nothing back for this free game, I feel bad now for calling it wretchedly awful, which it is. Just imagine an extremely limited Smash Bros. knockoff with none of the characters nor any of the other appealing qualities of Nintendo's game. My amusement with it didn't last even as long as the load times, let alone the seven minutes spent downloading it.

Moving on, Sony is giving away "Chamber" apartments (a $4.99 value) in the PlayStation Home beta. I had had zero interest in Home before this, but the enticement of limited-time free stuff finally encouraged me to check it out. What I found was a stripped-down and charmless version of Animal Crossing that involves spending real money. While the graphics are impressive for a project that Sony itself seemingly lost all faith in midway through development, there's nothing to do in this virtual world but dance in place, rearrange my default furniture, and admire my Chris Redfield ornament. Why can't I at least display my trophy collection? I wish it had been better integrated--more like the Nintendo Miis or Xbox 360 Avatars--as a part of the PS3 front-end. As it is, I don't see myself spending a lot of time in here.

Finally, Capcom has temporarily slashed the price of Bionic Commando Rearmed to $4.99 to coincide with the release of the new retail PS3/360 game. While the demo had seemed a little beyond my abilities, this is just the right price to finally get me on board.

All these deals are supposed to be active until tomorrow (May 21), so get them now if you're interested.

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