PLAYSTATION NETWORK (PS3)
Sony's online store may not be as huge as Microsoft's - yet - but the choices are more original. You won't find so many half-hearted ports littering the virtual shelves here. Game developers actually take a leap, and the results can be exhilarating. Unfortunately, they can also fall flat on their face. Again, good is above the big screen; bad is below.
flOw ($8) - The evolution of life - and gaming - occurs right before your eyes in this unclassifiable and unexplainable experience. Although you probably won't play the game for long, the simple yet mesmerizing visuals and controls guarantee that you'll load it up every time a friend needs to be impressed.
Everyday Shooter ($10) - Ignore the title. This one-of-a-kind experiment in art, music and - yes - game design is much, much more than a shooter... and clearly deserving of better adjectives than "everyday." "Breathtaking" and "groundbreaking" come to mind.
Super Stardust HD ($10) - Yup, yet another shooter. In space, even! Super Stardust may be more traditional than flOw and Everyday Shooter, but it's perhaps the most purely fun and addictive of the bunch. If you're looking for the PS3's answer to Geometry Wars, this is it.
PAIN ($10) - The goal of the game is to launch a screaming, flailing man out of a catapult and force him to slam into as many excruciating obstacles along his flight path as possible. Hilarious crotch hits earn you extra points. What more can you possibly need to know?
Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection ($20) - The best entry in one of the best fighting franchises of all time, Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection wowed PSP owners earlier year with over 30 characters, over 15 levels and an infinite amount of arcade-quality ass kicking. Now you can download that same package onto your PS3 - $20 is a steal.
DO NOT DOWNLOAD!
Go! Sports Ski ($3) - A motion controlled skiing simulator sounds pretty cool, right? Three bucks sounds like a pretty amazing deal, right? Wrong and wrong again. Designed to showcase the power of SIXAXIS, this bare-bones, non-functioning tech demo makes you want to throw the controller out a window instead.
Rampage World Tour ($5) - This game was fun when you were a kid, wasn't it? Smashing all those buildings and eating all those pedestrians? Take our advice and leave those cherished memories alone. In reality, Rampage - especially this version of Rampage - is a frustrating and repetitive bore fest. If you didn't realize it back then, you will now.
Super Rub a Dub ($7) - From Sony's official product description: "Guide your ducklings in colorful water filled tubs to clear each stage safely away from sharks." Ugh. "60 ducktastic-themed stages." Blech. "Fully controlled by the SIXAXIS wireless controller." Noooooooooooooo!
PixelJunk Racers ($7) - Good idea. Bad to mediocre execution. We like the idea of racing itsy bitsy cars on a Hot Wheels-style toy track, frantically switching lanes to avoid collision with the dozens of other vehicles. Problem is, we can't actually manage to do it because the controls are so tough to master.
Nucleus ($10) - Remember all those great arcade-style shooters we talked about above? This isn't one of them. Nucleus strives to strike that same old-school chord, but the ship is slow and the presentation is dull. Plus, the human body setting kinda makes us feel sick.