Welcome back to Network Scorecard, where we pit the two major console networks head to head and see who ends up with the best offerings for the week. The battle continues between Xbox LIVE and PSN, and as always, anything can happen. Like last week, for the sake of this competition, we are including the elite memberships of both networks. That means Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus memberships are in play. However, mobile gaming is not being considered here, so we will not be including any PSP updates. Summer is coming to a close as the kiddies are going back to school. We can’t turn back time, but we can turn our gaze to this week’s updates, so let’s get right to it.
Round 1: Game Demos
- Vanquish Official Demo
- Dead Rising 2: Case Zero Trial
Castle Crashers is full of the fun, however, it’s already been on XBLA for some time. It’s difficult for me to give points to PSN when they’re just playing catch up. The Vanquish Demo cancels itself out by being on both platforms, so that leaves us with the R.U.S.E. Demo vs. Dead Rising 2: Case Zero.
For me, all-out zombie action beats RTS strategery, and XBL just barely takes this first round.
Round 2: DLC
Both Networks This Week:
- BioShock 2: Minerva’s Den, $9.99/800 MP
- Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days: Alliance Weapon Pack, Multiplayer Mask Pack (Yes, mask- not map), and The Doggie Bag (Take on new heists with 3 new maps and 5 new weapons).
- Split Second: Elite High Octane Supercar Vehicle Pack, Elite Livery Pack (FREE), Elite Ryback Cyclone Special (FREE).
- Guitar Hero: P.O.D. Track Pack.
- Rock Band: Country Pack 04. This pack features nine country songs, by artists including Keith Urban, Sugarland and Reba McEntire.
- Rock Band Network: Five separate songs by bands Bang Camaro, Let’s Get It, Every Avenue and more. For the record, my money’s on Bang Camaro.
- ModNation Racers: Lil’ Tinker Mod & Kart, $1.75, or separately for $.99 each.
- MAG: Characters Slot B, $.99/month, and Characters Slot C, $.99/month. These single characters slots allow you to create and build another soldier each.
- Yakuza 3: Challenge Pack, $3.99.
- Crackdown 2: Toy Box, FREE, 560 MP for other additional content, available Sept 2.
- Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11: Favorites Course Pack (1600 MP), Fantasy Pack (800 MP), New Courses Pack (800 MP).
We’re seeing decent DLC updates this week, with a new BioShock 2 level, Kane & Lynch 2 goodies, Split Second vehicles, and the ubiquitous music game song packs. Taking these shared items out of the mix, we are basically left with a jab-fest. Add-ons for a sequel that is itself really just more of the first game doesn’t win the day, so not much kudo’s for Crackdown 2: Toy Box. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 is nice for golf fans, but I’m not exactly jumping out of my chair. However, PSN brings a jab combo with extra character slots for MAG, which allows players to side up with a different PMC and still keep their main character intact.
My criticism aside, in all fairness Crackdown 2 content makes this a better week for XBL. However, this round goes to PSN for the combo jabs from MAG and Yakuza 3. That leaves us tied so far, with one round apiece.
Round 3: Downloadable Games
- Castle Crashers, $14.99
- Sam And Max Episode 5: The City That Dares Not Sleep, FREE with purchase of full season.
- PSone Classics: Theme Hospital, $5.99
- Dead Rising 2: Case Zero, 400 MP (XBL Exclusive).
This time, PSN plays catch up with Castle Crashers. This game is nothing but good times, however, it is already available on XBLA. Sam and Max looks like cartoony fun, but is not really earth shattering to hardcore gamers. This will really come down to how good Dead Rising 2: Case Zero turns out. The trailer for this prologue to Dead Rising 2 looks good, and an excellent selling point is that your status and all of your collected items carry over to the full game when it is released. Assuming they fixed the awful save-game scheme from the first title, this game puts XBL over the top, and they take our third round. Now we have a fight here, people! We don’t want to miss any action, so let’s move on to the final round.
Round 4: Sales & Special Values
- Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix is on sale for $7.49 (regular price $14.99).
- Sam And Max: The Devil’s Playhouse: The full season is on sale for ten dollars off, at $19.99.
- The following regularly priced $9.99 games are all on sale for $5.99: Digger HD, Mushroom Wars, Cuboid, Interpol: The Trail of Dr. Chaos, Mahjong Tales: Ancient Wisdom, Hamsterball, and Magic Orbz. (Select games are discounted further for PS+ subscribers.)
- Worms is on sale for $6.49 (regular price $12.99).
- Smash Cars and Wakeboarding HD are going for $8.99 this week (regularly priced at $14.99).
- The sale on Minis this week: DYNOGEMS, $1.99 (regular price $2.99), Tehra: Dark Warrior, $2.99 (regular price $4.99).
Deal of the Week: Alien Invasion
- Save 33% on Zeno Clash, get it for 800 MP.
- Alien Breed Evolution, save 50%, and get it for 400 MP.
- Galaga Legions, 50% off at 400 MP.
This week looks to be an improvement over last week’s yawnfest. Although XBL offers nice savings on their alien invasion games, PSN simply brings a flurry of punches with the sheer quantity of their deals. Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix is the uppercut PSN needed, and XBL loses the round, barely being saved by the bell.
Final score this week: This outing makes history, as we end up with our first draw here on Network Scorecard. Both networks ended up with two rounds each. Dead Rising 2: Case Zero won both the Game Demos and Downloadable Games rounds for XBL. However, PSN rallied with its MAG characters slots DLC and sheer volume of game sales. As Summer comes to a close, we don’t want the Fall to be boring, and this week started things off right. That’s what we want to see boys. Let’s hope they continue to bring it next week. Don’t miss out, check back next time for another scorecard and another sizzling batch of network updates.
So, Ranters, what do you think of this week’s network offerings?
Source: PlayStation Blog, Major Nelson