[Friday Five] PSN Downtime’s Collateral Damage
Friday Five is a new feature we’re starting where we make a list of five notable things in certain categories. We really don’t think that any list will ever encompass everything in the gaming universe, so it’s probably best to make a list of honorable mentions rather than a be-all and end-all list. Feel free to share your own thoughts on what other notable mentions we may not have included!
With the recent downtime for the Playstation Network, lonely gamers have been out of luck for their daily dose of gaming. Of course, there are games that have a great single-player experience, but with the recent advances gaming has made, online multiplayer has been more integral than ever to the gaming experience. How will gamers cope with the loss of social interaction via video games? Here are five games that took the hit the hardest.
Little Big Planet 2
This one’s easy. The gameplay in the series is simple and never really warrants the $60 purchase, but user creativity and a thriving community of level designers give the game much needed longevity and replay value. Some of the levels challenge the very limits of players’ imagination, recreating old favorites and sprouting stories that players have never encountered before. Of course, this feature would be nonexistent without the Playstation Network. Oh wait…
Super Street Fighter 4
This classic fighting game series is well known for burning holes into kids’ wallets back in the days of the arcade. Slowly, with the fall of arcades, players are left with nowhere to go but online play against friends and online strangers alike. For the past two weeks though, players had no one to play at all. Let’s face it, it’s unlikely to find any players living within a reasonable distance, so offline play is out of the question. Single player options are a bore with the repetitive, brainless AI. Guess this game’s out of the rotation for a while.
Marvel vs Capcom 3 almost made the cut, but weak netcode meant that I rarely bothered playing the game online to begin with. Although Arcana Heart 3, which has great netcode, won’t be getting much action until PSN is back up either.
Call of Duty: Black Ops
First person shooters tend to have both a strong single and multiplayer experience. However, single player never really lasts as multiplayer and will get boring eventually. This marks the perfect time to hop onto the internet! As with most shooters, there are a variety of options to choose, but the most notable would have to be the zombies mode. Players can group up into teams of four and survive through onslaughts of zombie attacks. Of course, without online, that’s impossible. The whole teamwork aspect of zombies and competitive atmosphere of deathmatch is gone. Single player campaign again, anyone?
Of course, this applies to any other shooter as well. But Black Ops stands out if only for the survival instincts that kick in when teaming up with friends against hordes of zombies.
Sure, it may not be as widely used as other “games,” but there’s no denying that Playstation Home would be absolutely unplayable without the internet. The videos players can watch in the game’s theaters, game-inspired environments, and mini-games are totally inaccessible! Whether or not that’s a loss is really up to the reader, though.
It just came out! It came out merely days before this downtime. Although Portal was primarily a single player experience, Portal 2’s multiplayer makes up almost half the total game time that you’ll be experiencing. In fact, it was probably one of the most interesting features that players were looking forward to. If you got the game at launch, you were lucky enough to get in a couple of hours. But if you waited…well, I’m sorry.
Needless to say, internet gaming has become a big part of our lives for gamers everywhere. It’s a shame that the network had gone down, taking these games with it. Hang in there, Playstation 3 owners. Someday, you will go back to blasting zombies and riding skateboards in a virtual park with your avatar.