Playstation Minis - a few quick hit reviews

So recently, I picked up Playstation + for a few months on something of a whim. I wanted to transfer some save files, there were a few deals that caught my eye, so basically I did the 'responsible' thing and spent $17. Given the headaches I got from trying to re-up my Xbox Live Gold account recently (more on that soon), I figured maybe I would get something more out of this.

So far? I've been pretty pleased with it. I've gotten a handful of free games, and it's exposed me to some Minis I probably wouldn't have tried otherwise. Here's a quick rundown on the recent ones I've taken a shot at:

Street Smart - okay, this game is clearly an older titles made before more notable 'beat 'em up' titles. This was probably an arcade cabinet game and not something designed for the PSN by any means. The title is pretty much throwaway. I played through it once. Very simple one on one fights against 8 opponents across the country with very basic attacks. I kept thinking it was meant to be a quarter eater. 1/10

Alien Zombie Death - This is a fun and simple game, but really only in limited doses. It's a very basic shoot 'em up style title with pretty cool visuals. It's a very basic 2D shooter where you use square and circle to shoot to a side while you move about taking on hordes of aliens that continually fly at you. It's nothing fancy, but considering Minis are lower budget games that are usually designed to be 'quick fixes', this one was decent. 7/10

Speedball 2 Evolution - I kept thinking of the old Genesis game, Mutant League Footbal. You have a couple of teams that can score points for disabling opponents, hitting various targets in and around the arena, and for scoring actual goals. High score wins at the end of the timer. The premise is not bad, but the execution is a bit lacking. The graphics aren't bad, but players are completely nondescript and it's hard to tell one from another. Also, what could be sports title with a bit of strategy usually devolves into just beating up players from the other team with slide tackles because you'll earn more points that way than if you try to actively score. There are some cool RPG-like elements where you are in a league, with prize earnings, that you can put into your players to better them. Still, there's a lot to learn right off of the bat, and the after a few games I grew a bit bored overall. Not a bad effort, just not a great one either. 5/10

Age of Zombies - Yup, you can tell a couple of these titles were acquired around Holloween. Anyway, this is another shooter style game, but with more of a twin-stick/Smash TV feel to it. The game is pretty accessible, and there is a lot happening on the screen at once. I actually liked little touches like the voices and the music for different time periods. Sure, the game is not terribly deep, but for a quick fix pick up and play Mini? This is just about perfect. 8/10

1000 Tiny Claws - Here I've saved the best for last. This is a cool little game where you run around using a sword to knock bugs off of the flying platform you are on. There's openings in the platform, at the edges of the platform, and you can power up a special attack or just whack them until they're on the back, waiting to be knocked off of the edge like little (okay, sometimes big) crawling hockey pucks. The story is a bit ridiculous and the game's actual controls could be better. It would likely have felt better using the analog stick and not the D-pad, but it's easy to pick up and play, great in small bursts and is so far my favorite of the Minis I have gotten to play.
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