$3.79 – Tested on PlayStation Vita (Game was purchased)
Shiro-kuro Gattsuri Tsukeru Kuma is a Rock/Paper/Scissor game with a small twist. Literally the game’s title translates to “To One’s Heart’s Content, Black and White Wearing Bears” and it is pretty much that. All you do is play Rock Paper Scissors until you have had your fill. I should note that the EU and NA PlayStation Mobile stores have incorrectly romanized the Japanese name as “Hakkiri”.
There are a few different ways for the RPS action to go down. There is Situation mode, Free mode, Group mode, Bear RPS and Net RPS. I will briefly describe each of these.
Situation Mode has the bears deciding what you should do in a variety of situations. For example, Who should pay the dinner bill or Should we do shots of alcohol. While this seems like it would be useful, the game seems to take ages to load. So there is no real practical use for it.
Free Mode is just choosing Yes or No. So it is pretty much like a Magic Eight ball, except you might randomly see two bears making mean faces.
Group Mode has the bears splitting up teams or picking winners from a group. Again there is no real practical use for this because of loading times.
Bear RPS has you picking a side in the White Bear vs Black Bear battle by choosing Rock, Paper or Scissors. I haven’t mentioned this yet, but each time one of the bears wins it gains points. Shiro (White) Points can be used to battle online while Kuro (Black) Points are used in the games store.
Net RPS is the games asynchronous online mode. You set up what your bear will choose in the Set RPS menu (use can also equip items here, but I have no clue what they do as the game tells you nothing). After you have your rounds set you can pick a person to battle from the list. It will compare your preregistered selections for each round and pick a winner. While it is nice to see a PSM game with some sort of online, it is rather bare bones.
And that is it really. This just scream to be freemium (pay to buy items for the RPS battles) yet they are charging close to $4 for it. Let’s ask the bears if you should buy this game. The answer.
$3.29 – Tested on PlayStation Vita (Game was purchased)
Surge is the third game coming to PSM by FuturLab, the developers of Coconut Dodge and Velocity for minis. It is a twitch puzzle game and really shows why I love FuturLab’s stuff so much.
First off the game is insanely addicting. I remember when I got an early build of it months ago, I think I might have played it for a good 3 hours before I finally had to put it down. In Surge you are drawing lines to connect stacks of like colored blocks as quickly as possible. When you touch the screen a line of electricity is drawn and it follows where ever you move your finger to. This is how you will be connecting the like colored blocks. The controls are really snappy and the hit boxes on the blocks seems to be just the right size.
But if you happen to run into a block that doesn’t match your line will be broken and you will have to start drawing again. This may sound easy, but you are crunched for time. The more and more time you take the bigger the pressure build up becomes. If you happen to clear a row of blocks you can touch the edges of the screen to release the pressure and also gain a nice little bonus of blocks of that color.
Another reason the game is so addicting is because Surge has online leaderboards. After each of your games, if you are connected to Wifi or 3g, you can submit that score to the boards. If you aren’t at the top, the game even grabs a score so you can chase after it. This really bumps up the replay factor.
Power-ups will make and break your score as you are chasing down the top of the list. They range from things like score multipliers to a frenzy mode which turns blocks all the same color. It will have you trying to finish each stage as quickly as possible while also minding what you are hitting. As with most FuturLab games, the music is superb. The electro feel of the music perfectly fits and never becomes annoying.
FuturLab really know how to make something that is entirely great to play and Surge is no different. The game really is a showcase for what you can do on the PlayStation Mobile platform.