Rock Band Unplugged

Key events

Probably no more Rock Band PSP DLC

"Planned slate" is now finished.

MTV Games has said that it has "run through our planned slate of Rock Band Unplugged DLC", meaning there probably won't be any more.

Trine, Bomberman head PSN refresher

Lots of special offers, too.

The long-awaited arrival of platformer Trine headlines the Thursday PSN update this week, followed admirably by Bomberman Ultra and Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 - Commander's Challenge.

PSN update: Smash Cars, Battle Tanks

PSN update: Smash Cars, Battle Tanks

Plus Buzz! Home space and loads of DLC.

The PS3 Store refresher boasts new games, demos and DLC aplenty, while PlayStation Home opens a new Events Space for Buzz!

Get questions right and a tomato will be lobbed at a rotating Buzz statue. Get 10 questions right in a row and you will unlock a tomato head to put on your Home avatar.

Smash Cars and Battle Tanks are the low-key PSN additions, although their price - 12 and 8 respectively - is steep. Conversely, Crash Commando has had a price-cut to promote new content added today.

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Rock Band Unplugged

Rock Band Unplugged

Plug in, baby.

Now that rhythm-action gaming is synonymous with peripherals, it's easy to forget that for ages all we had was buttons. Ordinary buttons, on an ordinary, non-amusingly-shaped controller. Going back feels terribly strange, as your fingers struggle to work their way around the PSP at speed, but after a while you get used to the controls, a fuzzy nostalgia sets in, and Rock Band Unplugged starts to become a quiet obsession.

That nostalgia is largely down to how closely Rock Band Unplugged echoes Harmonix's first titles, FreQuency and Amplitude, in terms of the way it's played. It's not just a straight transposition of the grown-up Rock Bands to a portable format, which would probably have been the easier option - instead it's a different gameplay concept, one that's a bit more old-fashioned and decidedly single-player, demanding concentration and precision as opposed to bluffing through solos and band camaraderie. In its way, though, it's no less entertaining.

Notes scroll towards you on the screen on a vertical plane, as will be familiar to anyone who's played a rhythm-action game since 2005. But instead of playing along to one instrument and matching as many notes as you can, like in Rock Band proper, you switch between all the instruments in a track with the L and R buttons, hitting all of the notes in a phrase with d-pad left, up, triangle and circle buttons before moving on to the next.

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PSN update: Monster Hunter and more

PSN update: Monster Hunter and more

Rock Band Unplugged demo, for example.

PSP demos for Monster Hunter Freedom Unite and Rock Band Unplugged lead the PlayStation Store refresher this week. The former is being thrust on Europe by both Capcom and Sony as the pair try to spark a Japanese-style frenzy when the game launches in late June. The latter, while we're on topic, has face-button presses instead of instrument peripherals. Rock Band Unplugged is also out in late June.

There are samplers for CellFactor: Psychokinetic Wars and Inferno Pool - the two PSN game offerings this week. CellFactor is an FPS and Inferno Pool is a pool (the one with cues) game. Try them. Go on.

We like the look of the 2000 AD-themed costumes for LittleBigPlanet because we like comic books, and we feel we ought to mention the inspirationally named Ferrari Challenge "Pack of 5 New Cars and 1 Track".

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