We do a lot of writing around here about the PlayStation Plus Instant Game Collection. It is easily one of the best deals in the video game world, getting a new game or two for free every week with a subscription. Who could possibly say no?
For as good as we have it, Sony in Japan does things a little differently. Sure gamers receive a free game every week, but the choices are vastly different than what is offered here in America. Typically, we get a few helpings of the latest and best indie games and a AAA budget game from a few months back that most people might have missed.
For example, this May we were gifted Velocity Ultra, which I am having an absolute blast with, and we are also scheduled to receive Stick it to the Man! on the PlayStation 4, The Puppeteer, Pro Evolution Soccer 2014, and Skullgirls Encore on the PlayStation 3, and Surge Deluxe and LIMBO as our mobile helping on the PS Vita. It’s a decent balance of big budget, indie, and mobile games to cover all fanbases.
Japan, on the other hand, does as Japan does and focuses more on Japanese games. First and foremost, the most obvious difference is the number of games, in which Japan has 17 that have gone/will go for free in May! 17 free games!
On the PS Vita, Sony will offer Sengoku Hime 3, Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz, and the leader of the pack, everyone’s favorite bug slaughtering simulator, Earth Defense Force 2017 Portable.
Unlike the rest of the world, Japan still acknowledges that this little device called the PSP once existed as well, and it will be offering Puyo Puyo 20th Anniversary, a cool deal, and a crappy looking RPG called Tir na Nog. I’ve never played it or even heard of it, but a quick YouTube search easily shows that I intend to keep it that way.
The consoles have been struggling lately in Japan with the dominant presence of mobile gaming, but the Instant Game Collection still shows a little promise. The PlayStation 3 doesn’t do anything too special with lame releases like Fighting Vipers, Matt Hazard: Blood Bath Beyond, and Sangoku Hime: Senkou no Taika, but the PlayStation 4 rectifies these three games with the fabulous Don’t Starve Console Edition.
I’m hoping beyond hope that Japanese gamers give this free game a go, despite it not being Japanese. It would do well for console owners in this country to test the American indie market because its own console scene isn’t exactly up to snuff.
Nine games accounted for, so where does that leave the remaining eight? This is where Japan exceeds in that it gives away free classic games. Everything from PlayStation to the TG-16, you’ll be able to find some of your favorite childhood hits.
This month sees the release of Ys III: Wanderers from Ys, the third entry in my latest gaming obsession. I’m loving diving into this series. Also available on the TG-16 is Valis, a generic side-scrolling action game based on a generic magical girl anime that would go on to produce a much better SEGA Genesis game.
On the PlayStation front, we get a much larger helping of Western games like Spyro the Dragon, Crash Bandicoot, and Twisted Metal EX. Classic Japanese offerings are Ape Escape, My Cooking, and an interesting game called Panekit, which I am now really tempted to track down and try out.
So how about it? Is Japan’s Instant Game Collection the better deal? 17 games for the Playstation Plus Instant Game Collection seems a little like overkill to me, but the focus on classic titles is certainly a welcome addition. The Vita has some nice choices because I love me some Super Monkey Ball and Earth Defense Force 2017, but the Japanese console games are downright offensive. Matt Hazard? Really?
I’ll have to say we have the better deal with fewer but more quality choices. I would love a free PlayStation game every week or even access to the TurboGrafx 16 library, but the PlayStation Store’s classics are cheap enough in America to not require free releases every week.