Not sure if you heard the news just yet, but the PlayStation Store has added an Indie Games category.
Obviously, this category is specifically designed to house independently made creations, several of which have already been widely revered. You'll find the likes of Journey , The Unfinished Swan and the recently released Guacamelee! In celebration of the announcement, Sony has offered discounts on select titles, and new deals will be available every week.
Now, let's get something out of the way: I know indie games are very chic these days, and that if you say "indie," everyone automatically assumes that translates to "hidden gem." But for very much the same reason that "locally grown" can mean jack squat in the grocery industry, all games with tiny budgets and three or four people in the development team don't turn out like masterpieces. In fact, many of them suck. Let's be honest.
We just don't hear about the ones that suck; we hear about the true diamonds in the rough. And there's nothing wrong with that, because at least it draws attention to originality and innovation, which is admittedly severely lacking in the big-budget productions. We're seeing some fresh ideas on the horizon and a new generation typically ushers in new artistic and gameplay styles, so that's good. And we shouldn't just dismiss all big-budget titles as being cut from the same mold. Uncharted isn't arguably the best franchise of the generation because of small budgets; they spent a lot of money, had a lot of talent, and voila.
But in the world of indie games, it can be really entertaining to find those diamonds in the rough. It almost reminds me of the olden days, when QA testing didn't really seem to exist and renting video games at the local store was a total crap-shoot. We didn't have the Internet in those days; the best we could've hoped for was some fuzzy screenshots in Nintendo Power or something. And of course, with the industry being a small fraction of its size today, a whole lot of really, really atrocious games actually made their way to store shelves. Young'uns today don't understand that; they don't get that today, we rarely – if ever – see completely broken games on the market.
With indie games, you could end up with a joke. In fact, it's very possible. But it won't be "broken" (even low-budget titles have to go through some rigorous testing) and besides, you'll see all sorts of fresh ideas. If you're really pining for something different, checking out the selection of Indie Games on the PSN is the way to go.
At the very least, it'll make you smile.