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PSN's Hidden Gems

NOTE: This originally posted in the PS3 forums but the topic was deleted due to a TOS violation, so I added here instead. Please read, enjoy, and contribute. ;)

Hey, people, I've recently been DLing the a bunch of PSN titles because curiosity has finally gotten the best of me. I've been interested in a lot of different titles that have been up for a long time now, but have never really known enough about them to take the plunge. I feel we aren't talking about PSN games enough. Even this very website fails to review most of them let alone say anything about them at all.Originally I wouldn't have cared that we don't talk about them, because until very recently I didn't know there was really that much to say. Well, folks, it turns out there is.

I've recently discovered that the PSN has quite a selection of useless garbage. I found that out the hard way. However, hidden there in all that pixelated waste just happens to be some of the most raw fun I've had on my PS3 in a while. I'm not talking about being entertained. I'm saying I felt like a giant, goofy kid with a effortless smile stretched across my face and my eyes wide open to take in all the bright colors. Y'know... fun!

So, I would like to share with you guys my various findings as well as urge you to do the same. Know a good PSN game? Tell us about it, please! (could've saved me a fortune... )

1. Invincible Tiger: The Legend of Han Tao - Awesome. Remember all of those crazy kung fu movies that came out in the '70s with all the lightning fast kicks and hoardes of shirtless samurai falling to their knees everytime they got within 5 feet of the hero? Well, now you get to play 'em! Han Tao looks great in its grainy retro film look and plays incredibly well. The controls are very responsive and super fast. There are a lot of different enemies that are introduced throughout the game and you'll be faced with hoardes of them at a time. Its a 2D side scroller, but you can move all around the screen like a monkey on amphetines. You can climb from different platforms via trees, vines, flag poles, lantern chords, and the like in a flash and have to remain doing so to space yourself out from the goons. Its pretty easy at first and the move set isn't very deep at all, but it gets harder as you progress and what little Han can do is more than enough fun to keep you playing. I really wish someone would have told me about this one sooner.

2. Smash Cars - Dude, this could have easily been a full priced game. For the playability, graphics, and customization features alone Nintendo would have charged your $40 for it. You basically play as these really small trucks (like RC car size) and you can customize them with different bodies, paint, decals, and glass tint. The mechanics are over-the-top. Its pretty fast, and the boost is VERY effective. The handling is insane and you can jump off ramps to get some pretty good air. You increase your boost by smashing things. Hince the name, I guess. It may not be the best racer out there, but its the most fun I've had on virtual wheels since Mario Kart 64. Seriously. Its definitely a worthy buy, but don't let your 4 yearold see it. Mine likes it more than I hoped.

3. Battle Fantasia - I think this one is a bit pricier than usual downloadables, but if you're a fan of anime, JRPGs, or fighting games in general then this gme should be worth the price for you. From what I've played so far it has a pretty decent little narrative to it, but its nothing too fancy. Basically its the kind of thing you'd expect from a fighter. The move set is pretty shallow, but all the moves are executed easily enough and most the characters move pretty fast. There are one or two characters that are kinda slow without having enough power to justify it, so there is some underbalancing in the characters. That said, where this game really shines is the art and the characters. Its just so much fun to look at. The characters are all very uniquely designed and are celshaded in really bright artsy colors. There's a kid in knight armor who fights with a firey hot chainsaw sword (with a v-twin engine!), there's a goth'd out chick with a smiling skull on the top of her scepter, theres a freakin' rabbit who's a world famous wizard, and there's a viking who's so fat he takes up half the dang screen. This game has tons of character and is charming to boot. Graphics do entertain (otherwise paintings would be pointless) and you'll enjoy plenty of it here while being pistol whipped by a cowboy with a dunce hat for a face.

There's plenty more and I'll probably bring them up pretty soon, but I want to finish playing them before I recommend them. I'm not suggesting that these games are going to be that great for everyone, but they're definitely great games in general and are worth a look. There are, of course, the obvios games like Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, Braid, MvC2, and Flower that everyone should check out but lets not overlook these other great games. I could also mention several PSN games that I found no value whatsoever in and pretty much suck like The Watchmen games, Flock, Wakeboarder HD, and Rocketmen. Feel free to post any failures you've come across as well. A head's up is always welcome.

Well, go get some of them PSN cards and do it to it, people. There's fun to be had!