DLC Digest: Sonic 4 Episode 2, PixelJunk 4am, Deus Ex, Dragon's Lair, Kirby's Dram Land 2, Bird Mania 3D
|20th May 2012||Matt Bailey|
SEGA seem to be doing episodic gaming in the style of Valve, with a gap of 19 months between Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I, and this week's release of Episode II. The first part was a little disappointing according to our resident Sonic expert Andy Daniel, but hopefully things will pick up with the introduction of Tails in this one. Yes, I know what I just said. It is initially available on the Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network, with versions for Windows (via Steam and other digital distribution services), iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 7 on the way. Unlike Episode I, there won't be a version of Episode II on WiiWare, apparently due to "hardware limitations". Sales may also have been the issue. It's 1200 Microsoft Points (£10.80) from the Xbox Live Marketplace, and £9.99 from the PlayStation Store, though oddly a trial version is only available on the former. On either platform, however, if you own both Episodes I and II you gain access to "Episode Metal", featuring extra levels and a playable Metal Sonic.
The next entry in the excellent PSN-only (well, almost) PixelJunk series is a little bit different. While each game - except for sequels - tends to cover a different genre in a retro manner, PixelJunk 4am is a music creation tool, mixing a variety of different tracks, altering the tempo, and generally enjoying the visual spectacle on-screen. It's all controlled by the PlayStation Move controller, so a Move and a PS Eye camera is a requirement to play. Your performance is also broadcast live over the PSN, and in fact there's a free viewer available for all just to watch others. The game/tool itself costs £6.49 and is exclusive to the PS3.
Classic first-person action/stealth game Deus Ex is the star retro game this week, with the PS2 version appearing on the PlayStation Store for PS3 owners. Eidos/Square Enix's game is available for £7.99. Also on the Store is Outlaws of the Lost Dynasty for £3.99, which is a classic fighting game that previously hadn't made the trip from Japan to Europe. It's compatible with the PSP and PS3 as it's a PSone classic. Over on the 3DS there's another return for Kirby with Game Boy classic Kirby's Dream Land 2 for £3.60. It features the debut of his animal friends, and plenty more platforming. Lastly in retro gaming release is Dragon's Lair, the LaserDisc adventure game that has appeared on pretty much every platform. The Xbox 360 is a latecomer, but now for 800 MSP (£6.80) you can also check out a game which has divided opinion for many years from the Xbox Live Arcade.
Bird Mania 3D is the new game on the 3DS eShop this week, an action game which seems more at home on iOS, but does cost just £1.80. It's joined by a demo of Rayman Origins, the rather late 3DS release of the fantastic platformer. It's a lot emptier on the Wii Shop Channel with no new WiiWare games or Virtual Console releases, but there is a new WiiWare demo - 2 Fast 4 Gnomz. Lastly, there's a couple of new minis on the PlayStation Store; Nom Nation for £1.74 and Velocity for £3.99. These are playable on the PS3, PSP and PS Vita, as always, and in fact aside from a couple of bits of DLC are the only new PS Vita items on the Store. Hopefully next week will offer more to owners of Sony's latest handheld which is experiencing a bit of an empty spell.