Game Demos Are (Mostly) Dead. Long Live Beta Tests!

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Back in the day, game demos are something to look forward to. Demo discs were incentives to pick up a gaming magazine. Trying a small portion of a yet unrealeased game, or a game just out but still on the fence on picking one up. Only the lucky few can travel to game events and conventions that have all these demos, so having these discs are a boon.

As time went on, gaming conventions are more available all over the world-there’s a convention in Singapore last year- and demos are considered more cost-prohibitive than ever. Selling a game by showing a vertical slice is not a worthy gamble it seems, as marketing now focuses on making hype videos, pre-order bonuses, and, surprise surprise, open ‘beta’ tests.

It seems that the trend on offering a chance to ‘beta’ test a highly-anticipated game before release instead of releasing a bite-sized game demo. Look at the PS Store’s list of game demos available, it is sparse.

But why the sudden change of trends? And why ‘beta’ is wrote in quotations? Honestly, the current usage of the term has grown diluted by the day, and let’s discuss that.

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[PS Plus Reviews] March 2016 Quick Roundup

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Well, this is a bummer.

So let me get this straight, the line up for this month’s free games for active PS Plus subscribers is great. But the only ones that lines up with my taste this month are the two PS4 indies. The PS3 and Vita have a better offering than the ones in the US and Europe, but unfortunately I cannot find enough time to slog through the other two PS3 games due to personal commitments. So only two reviews this month, like what I did in January.

With that out of the way, let’s get through the list, shall we?
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[PS Plus Reviews] March 2016- Broforce

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Disclaimer: This post is made as an entry for PS Asia’s PS Plus Junior Reporter competition. The points and views raised in the review however are not affected in any way.

‘Murica!

Broforce is the winner of last month’s Vote 2 Play campaign, where PS Plus members got to vote for either three games to be available for free this month. This patriotic side-scrolling shooter, made by an indie team based in South Africa, is all about blasting terrorist and patriotism, with a side of bro puns. The Broforce is an ensemble cast of bros- no matter the gender- all based on action movies/TV series with a bro pun as their name. Sort of like The Expendables.

Oh wait, they did a cross-promo when that movie came out, The Expandabros.

While there’s ton of fun to be had with the shooting- destructible environments! Explosions! Cool abilities!- the PS4 port suffers from a technical perspective, and the nature of the game being an Early Access title on Steam beforehand had made the game lacking some cohesiveness.

I have a lot to complain here, but still, Broforce is a ton of fun!

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[PS Plus Reviews] March 2016- Galak-Z The Dimensional

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Disclaimer: This post is made as an entry for PS Asia’s PS Plus Junior Reporter competition. The points and views raised in the review however are not affected in any way.

There’s a certain charm to old 80’s cartoons, more specifically English-translated anime. It’s stylised in a way, with cool sound effects and music. So is he 80’s in general. VHS tapes were the main media format, and recording the cartoons on them were the way to go watch them over and over again, although the sound and image can get distorted a bit, but bearable. The 80’s were also when space-themed games are popular, and like all games during those days, can be quite difficult and punishing in design.

Now roll all those sentiments I’ve mentioned into a game and you will wound up something like Galak-Z, a rougelike space shooter with twin-stick controls and slick presentation.

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