If you want to play your PS4 online, you gotta pay for PS Plus. To soften the blow, Sony hands out discounts and even free games every month. Let’s take a look at August’s lineup.

PS4

Tricky Towers

Tetris pieces, tower building puzzles, and four-player local co-op all sounds pretty great. The Metacritic score of 68 definitely cools my interest, but it seems like a solid party/online game for free.

Please bring some form of Tetris Attack to any console please.

 

Rebel Galaxy

Fans of Privateer might find this one interesting. Battle, explore ,trade, steal, bounty-hunt, mine, (but you can’t fly up or down). I love sci-fi and am blown away by how under-served the space genre is. Rebel Galaxy isn’t a classic, but it’s worth a free download and a few missions to see if it clicks.

PS3

Yakuza 5

I’ve been looking for a chance to step into this long-running franchise before it hits PS4 so I’m obviously happy to see this here. A Metacritic score of 83 has me confident to dive in headfirst to the Yakuza universe and see what all the fuss is about.

I loved Shenmue, and this should be a nice fix while we wait several more years for Shenmue 3.

 

Retro/Grade

If you’ve only seen screenshots and thought this was just another retro Shooter, take another look. From 2012, Retro/Grade is rythm game set in a backwards Shoot-em-up. The premise has you controlling a pilot who must complete his perfect score in reverse to save the space/time continum.

With original music and an even more original premise, any fan of music games should find some enjoyment here.

Vita

Patapon 3

 

Speaking of rythm games, I’m very happy to see Patapon here. Greg Miller has been singing the praises of this title for years now. I love rythm games and if this one ‘tunes my drum’ I’ll be more than happy to check out the other two in the series.

Cross-buy (PS4/PS3/Vita)

Ultraton

It doesn’t get more retro-twin-stick-shooter than this. Right down to the color palette, this game will provide nostalgia overkill for a certain kind of gamer. While I don’t tear up at the sight of Ultratron, I still love good old games that test reflexes while providing colorful feedback.

And now that I can take it on my Vita for free, how can I complain.

 

 

Verdict

I’ve been wanting to try out Rebel Galaxy, Yakuza, and Patapon for quite some time now, so I’m quite content with August’s lineup. Even tetris/towers looks worth a play with some friends.

Offering a great selection every month is harder than it looks. My first PS Plus game was the transcendant Rocket League, making it tough to compare every offering since, which isn’t fair.

 

If Sony offers older classics, you run the risk of most gamers having already experienced them. If they offer something new, it’s a crap shoot on quality. Developers and Publishers are bound by NDAs to not give out any specific of the PS Plus deal, other than saying it’s a “nice boost” or “great exposure”. I’m assuming devs would make far more releasing the game traditionally if it becomes a hit, but some are taking the safer and less lucrative PS Plus option for the gurantee and exposure.

The key is variety, quality, and gamer expectations. If you can find one game per month that meets your specific needs you should be happy with that. Gamers have been paying for online for years now, free games are not mandatory. I’m far more impressed with the constant sales that drop prices to practically free. Thanks Steam!

What do you think?