New month, new free games on PlayStation Plus. There are some awesome titles dropping this month including critically acclaimed crime drama/karaoke simulator, Yakuza Like A Dragon. So, without further ado let’s see what PS Plus has to offer for the month of August.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 Deluxe Bundle (PS4, PS5)
Nostalgic gamers were thrilled when the comprehensive HD remasters of these two classics were released on September 4th, 2020. All the characters, levels, tricks, and combos were updated for a new generation of players to experience while keeping the core gameplay that made this game a legend in the first place. The beloved original soundtrack is present, with a few added songs for newer audiences, and the games looked stunning. But even with all these upgrades, it is clear what made Pro Skater work has been there from the start.
History of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2
The original Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater was released on the original PlayStation on August 31st, 1999 by now-defunct game dev Neversoft. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater revitalized the skate game genre (and sport) with its tight, arcade-like gameplay, crude humor, and stellar soundtrack. The game gave you ten pro skaters to choose from, including the titular Tony Hawk. The goal of each level was to collect video tapes (remember those?) and pull off combos during a set amount of time. After two minutes the skater would revert to the start. Players had the ability to pull off incredible, satisfying tricks and string together insane combos. It was just plain fun.
The second game in the series had a lot to live up to and boy howdy did it meet expectations. It remains one of the best-reviewed games in the history of the PlayStation and for good reason. It keeps the same gameplay and tone as the first game but added new tricks, bigger more detailed levels, and updated graphics. This, mixed with controls some of the tightest controls gamers had ever encountered, shot the game into the stratosphere.
- Break skateboarding boundaries, show off your own style, and be part of the next generation of skaters and creators with Tony hawk's Pro skater 1 + 2.
- Skate as the legendary Tony hawk and the original Pro roster, plus new pros
- Hit insane trick combos with the iconic handling of the Tony hawk's Pro skater series
- Play all the original game modes and go head-to-head with local 2-player modes
- All the Pro skaters, levels and tricks are back and fully-remastered, plus more.
The HD remake of these classic games was able to pull off something that few remasters can. They melded the impeccable gameplay of the first game with new modern tweaks that make the game accessible in this day in age and the fans loved it. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 is the fastest game in the franchise’s history. It sold over 1 million copies in its first two weeks and was met with positive reviews across the board. So, if you’re interested in taking a trip back to the era of DC shoes and the dulcet tones of Les Claypool, Pro Skater 1+2 are at your fingertips.
Yakuza Like a Dragon (PS4, PS5)
Yakuza Like a Dragon is the seventh installment in the main cannon of the long-running Yakuza series. While the game kept a lot of the zany side quests and basic tone of the other games in the series, it was a major break from tradition in several ways. First, players no longer inhabited the boots of Kazuma Kiryu, dawning instead the swagger and red suit of Ichiban Kasuga. This is the first game in the mainline series to ditch Kiryu in favor of another protagonist. And though this was a big change an even bigger one was in store for fans.
Like a Dragon Development
Until Like a Dragon, every game in the series had been an open-world Beat ‘em up with a few RPG and life sim elements sprinkled in there. Like a Dragon is the first game in the series to be a fully turn-based RPG. This was, no kidding, initially a joke. The developers, Sega, released a gameplay trailer that featured turn-based combat. Longtime fans lost their collective minds, but not all did so in a bad way. When the deviation was confirmed to be an elaborate April Fool’s joke, some fans were genuinely let down and made it known they would totally play a turn-based Yakuza game. And so, in the last year of production, developers ditched the beat ‘em-up play style in favor of a full-fledged TBRPG.
The thinking at Sega was that if it didn’t work, they would just go back to the traditional gameplay style for the next game. But it did work, the game received mostly positive reviews and sold very well. The game sold somewhere around 3 million copies worldwide and became the best-selling Yakuza game internationally.
While the game did debut a turn-based combat system it still had elements from its beat ’em-up roots. You can move around and use elements in the environment during combat, so the action stays kinetic like in previous titles. Plus, it still has the all-important karaoke mini-game because if it lost that fans would riot. This game is available today on PS plus.
- Ichiban Kasuga, a low-ranking grunt of a low-ranking yakuza family in Tokyo, faces an 18-year prison sentence after taking the fall for a crime he didn't commit.
- Never losing faith, he loyally serves his time and returns to society to discover that no one was waiting for him on the outside, and his clan has been destroyed by the man he respected most.
- Confused and alone, he embarks on a mission to discover the truth behind his family's betrayal and take his life back, becoming an unlikely hero for the city's outcasts on his journey.
- Experience dynamic RPG combat like none other. Switch between 19 unique Jobs ranging from Bodyguard to Musician, and use the battlefield your weapon. Take up bats, umbrellas, bikes, street signs, and everything else at your disposal to crack some skulls!
- When you're not busy bashing heads, relax by hitting up the local arcade for classic SEGA games, compete with locals in a no holds barred go-kart race around Yokohama, complete 50 substories, or just take in the scenery of a modern-day Japanese city.
Little Nightmares (PS4)
This is the only PS4 game in the bunch, but it is worthy of its company. Actually, I wouldn’t know, I got one look at those monsters with the long arms and decided my time with this game was done. That is to say, this game is very, very creepy, which means fans of puzzle platforming and horror are in for a real treat. The game is undeniably charming, you play as a tiny girl with an adorable yellow raincoat named Six as she traverses a large, horrifying world. The game features tough platforming and cerebral puzzles that get harder as you go. And there are lots of extremely scary monsters along the way.
While I can’t speak to the game myself, I fear-quit (is that a thing?), I can say that it was very well received when it first came out. The game’s creepy vibe, excellent platforming, and mysterious plot lead it to sell over 2 million units. It also spawned a sequel that ratcheted up pretty much everything from the original. It had a longer story, new characters, even more, challenging puzzles, and of course, much scarier monsters.
Little Nightmares is well worth the download if you’re in the mood for a self-contained creep-fest.
- Little Nightmares
- Little Nightmares Secrets of The Maw Expansion Pass
- Embark on a Grim Adventure: Immerse yourself in an interactive dark whimsical tale that will confront you with childlike fears and question any preconceived idea you had.
- Visit the most Intriguing Dollhouse: Explore a disturbingly charming world set apart by its distinctive art signature, offering a prison to escape from and a playground to revel in.
PS Plus Extra and Premium Updates
For members of the higher PS Plus tiers, there are a few extra treats in store for the month of August.
Game Catalog New Games
If you dig Like a Dragon and decide you want to replay the whole series, you’re in luck. The first three Yakuza games in the series are entering the game catalog this month. First up is Yakuza 0, which is actually the 6th installment in the main cannon. However, it is a prequel story that takes place before the main game. For players new to the Yakuza series, this game is a decent entry point for the story but you might want to start at the beginning
Luckily the next game is Yakuza Kiwami, a remake of the original Yakuza game. This game follows the same story as the original Yakuza but also adds more context and lengthens some cutscenes. It also updated the combat system to be more in line with the modern style of Yakuza games.
Sony must really be on a Yakuza kick, the next title is Yakuza Kiwami 2, which is, you guessed it, a remake of the second game in the series. Like the first Kiwami, Kiwami 2 is a remake of the original with updated graphics and gameplay. Fans of the Yakuza series will be thrilled, I know I am!
Another cool thing coming to PS Plus higher tiers is a free trial of Roll 7’s wild skater-shooter Rollerdrome. The game is set in a dystopian future where the blood sport Rollerdrome has become the favored pastime of the masses. The protagonist sets out to find the secrets of one of the giant corporations that now rule. The gameplay is an interesting mix of third-person shooter and rollerblading. The free trial and all the other higher-tier updates will be available on August 16th.
- A Hard Boiled Crime Drama: The story follows Kazuma Kiryu as a junior yakuza member who finds himself in a world of trouble when a simple debt collection goes wrong and his mark winds up murdered.
- Fight Like Hell: Kiryu and Majima can each switch between three brutal hand-to-hand combat styles on the fly to create the most fluid beatdowns ever experienced in a Yakuza game.
- Kiryu and Majima will find themselves interacting with many of the colorful denizens of Tokyo and Osaka in some of the most absurdly comedic and heartwarming tales from the red light district.
- Languages: Enjoy the original Japanese voices and new English text.
- English (Subtitle)
Game Updates Recap
Before I go and inundate myself with Yakuza games, let’s do a quick rundown of what PS Plus has to offer.
PS Plus Essential Tier
- Yakuza Like a Dragon (PS4, PS5)
- Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 (PS4, PS5)
- Little Nightmares (PS4)
PS Plus Extra and Premium Tier
- Yakuza 0 (PS4)
- Yakuza Kiwami (PS4)
- Yakuza Kiwami 2 (PS4)
- Rollerdrome (free trial, PS4, PS5)
Leaving the Game Catalog
The following games are leaving the game catalog this month:
- Killzone Shadow Fall leaves on August 11th
- NBA 2K22 leaves on August 31st
- WRC 10 leaves on August 31st
So, that’s everything on offer for PS Plus members this month. If you are interested in last month’s titles read our update for July 2022.
Last update on 2022-09-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API