Since dragging my internet out from the stone age, I’ve been dabbling with the PlayStation’s game streaming service PS Now. I was happy to find an offer on the PlayStation Store which allowed me to purchase a month’s subscription for £1! A sure bargain when compared to the regular monthly price.
What is PS Now?
PS Now is an online subscription-based service which allows gamers to stream a variety of PlayStation games at one monthly price. Here in the UK a month’s subscription to PS Now costs £12.99 ($16.21) while in America it costs $19.99 (£15.36). Now you may be thinking that the US is getting the worse end of the deal here, but it’s generally considered that the US PS Now service is far superior to its EU counterpart.
With that aside, I was pleasantly surprised to see some old school classics on the service ready to play right away. Playing retro games on newer TV’s is a hassle I prefer to avoid, so it’s nice to sometimes be able to play them through the convenience of my PS4. If you do decide to subscribe, here’s some retro games you might want to check out.
Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: LeChuck’s Revenge
I love the Monkey Island series! They’re cleverly constructed and genuinely funny. The second installment just so happens to be my favourite as well.
Monkey Island 2 Special Edition has been beautifully remastered from the ground up. It’s the same legendary game yet remade for the 21st century. It’s surprisingly easy to play on a controller as well.
If you’re new to the franchise, you’re certain to get stuck every now and again, sometimes for a very long time. Luckily there’s a new hint feature! Just hold the square button if you really can’t work out what to do next. Nobody’s going to keelhaul you for using it.
If you want to read more about Monkey Island 2 Special Edition check out Matt’s review.
Dark Cloud is another one of my favourite games and I talk about it way too much. This game combines RPG, dungeon-crawling and building simulation elements into one surprisingly satisfying game. It sounds like it shouldn’t work but for some reason it does and it’s incredibly addictive. Raid dungeons, kill monsters, collect weapons and gain allies on a journey to defeat an evil genie.
You can also play the second installment Dark Chronicle (Dark Cloud 2 in the US) on PS Now. If you find yourself loving the first one like I do, I highly recommend you check that out too.
As you might expect I’ve covered Dark Cloud in a post before. Take a look if you want to know more about it.
This one needs no introduction. In Crazy Taxi you play the role of a cab driver who really shouldn’t have a license. The premise is simple, pick up fares and race to a destination as quickly as possible.
The quicker you get there the more you get paid and you get bonuses for barely avoiding accidents. What sort of warped reality is this where a brush with death earns you a tip? But I digress, Crazy Taxi is an awesome game for those times when all you want to do is pick up and play.
Shadow of the Colossus Classics HD
To this day it blows my mind that Shadow of the Colossus was a PlayStation 2 game. Graphically and technically speaking, it had no business being a part of the PS2’s library.
Shadow of the Colossus pushed the PS2’s capabilities above and beyond. It’s almost as if it were made in the future and sent back in time like a terminator. Shadow of the Colossus has been re-released on the PS3 and PS4, it’s basically Sony’s answer to Bethesda’s Skyrim.
To progress through this game, you need to track down and slay colossus’. If you hadn’t guessed from the name yet the colossi (is that the right terminology?) are enormous! You actually have to scale these behemoths in order to defeat them.
This is a game that’s well worth your time. If you haven’t gotten around to playing one of the many releases yet, give it a shot. The version you’ll be playing is the HD release which came bundled with ICO, another awesome game which is also available to play on PlayStation Now.
I’m not really a fan of racing games, but Super Hang-On is an exception to that rule. For its time, Super Hang-On was really impressive and it’s still a ton of fun to play today. There’s a reason this was one of the Mega Drive’s most popular titles.
You can’t mention Super Hang-On without addressing its awesome soundtrack as well. In fact, it was the 4th release which Data Discs released on Vinyl. We love a good soundtrack here at Retro Review and Data Discs know how to pick ‘em! Check out our reviews of their first and second vinyl releases; Streets of Rage & Shenmue.
Is PS Now Worth Getting?
I can’t speak for the US PS Now games service, but from what I’ve heard it far outweighs the EU service. That’s only strengthened by the fact that it’s more expensive if you live in America. As for whether PS Now is worth it, you need to take a few things into consideration.
To use PS Now, you need a decent internet connection, dial-up isn’t going to cut it here. Before allowing you to use the service, your PS4 will run a connection test to see whether your internet is fast enough to use it. Right now, I’m averaging a 60mbps download speed and I’m able to run PS Now very well. I rarely run into connection issues unless my internet just so happens to be having an off day. If you’re able to set up a wired connection that’s only going to work in your favour.
You’re also going to have to consider the price. If you’ve got the money to burn, go for it! There are games on the service which are extremely long, and I somewhat suspect they’ve been placed there strategically. I personally wouldn’t recommend playing through a game like Oblivion or Fallout: New Vegas on PS Now. You’re going to get sucked into it and end up paying £12.99 a month for the privilege of playing a game that can be purchased outright for that price. Stick to the shorter games that you can breeze through if you can. That way you’re much more likely to get your money’s worth.