Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Steamworld Heist going all-platforms in 2015

Not much to glean from the teaser to Image & Form's new title, other than it could be a corker, and the aim is grand theft stardock! Not much more in the brief FAQ either, except that this is more of a spiritual successor to Steamworld Dig, offering turn-based, roguelike, combat and it will come to all formats (hopefully including Vita) in spring 2015.

Looks plenty good to me, with some great robot character pics... anyone remember Ice Pirates?

New Freedom Wars pics show off a big nasty

Sony has popped out some screens for Freedom Wars, showing off a couple of the mechanoid beasties you'll face in battle. There were a few other shots, but a quick costume change and some untranslated text really don't make for gripping visuals.

Neither were there any helpful descriptions or explanations, so read what you will into the pics and be grateful you aren't on Sony's massively overstretched and clearly exhausted Vita PR team!

Seriously, this game is out in six weeks and Sony think they can just fart out some screens direct from old Japanese press packs, claim great coverage and that'll do? Where's the box art, those cool tee-shirts, some localied footage, anything to suggest Sony gives a damn?

Alongside Minecraft, this is the biggest Vita release of the year, right? Does it look like anyone at Sony cares or is attempting to better the Vita's situation? I'd hope to see some effort in the run up to release, a proper campaign, some social buzz, but as a start - this is an appallingly feeble effort! Oh, IGN has a 3 minute video preview, shouldn't that have been part of a proper press pack?

The lack of effort does show, I've seen a few smaller Vita sites run these pics, but none of the major sites seem to have bothered - it really is as if Sony PR has given up trying. As much as I'd love to be proved wrong, there's no sign of that perception changing. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Ars Tactica brings the battle to the Vita

With all those Tactics games on the PSP; Final Fantasy Lion Wars, Ragnarok Tactics, Tactics Ogre, I wonder why the trend didn't continue to Vita? One company having a go is Ars Tactica who have turned up on Square Enix's crowd-funding page today to get interest in Dragon Tournament, a PC and Vita title, with the possibility of Indiegogo funding if they get enough interest.

Why not Kickstarter? Perhaps Square's interest might see something bigger come of this project? You need to login to register your interest, but you can use Facebook, Steam or Square access. There's a month to go, but please give them your support now.

I mentioned the Unity-powered briefly back in the spring, but things seem to be kicking into gear now with it taking shape well. Dragon Tournament offers a deep and interesting battle system. There's bags of quests, character development and crafting to enjoy - hope it all fits on the Vita!

I enjoyed the FF Tactics game, but can't say I got massively deep into it, any aficionados want to weigh in on how kosher this looks?

Danganronpa 2 dethroned from the UK Vita chart

As Killzone enters its second year of life as the Vita's best first-person shooter, it celebrates by nipping back to the top of the UK retail chart. Last week's top game, and the latest big Vita release, Danganronpa 2 is already down to three. That's a slightly weaker performance than I'd hoped for, while Disgaea 4 is already out of the top 10. Wonder how the special edition did?

With Minecraft cleared for launch, expect that to be the Vita's next big new game, alongside the laughable FIFA 15 bundle.



Minecraft for Vita still go for launch

As Microsoft splurges the cash for the game's publisher, Mojang, the team tries to assure everyone that it is business as usual for the firm's stand-out title. Minecraft will appear on the Vita, will continue to be supported. But as for any notion of a Minecraft 2, I think that's pretty much a Microsoft play thing now.

As for Notch, he can do pretty much whatever he likes once he leaves, hopefully he'll keep the Vita (which he mentioned he rather liked) in his thoughts for whatever comes next from Mr. Persson. Notch's personal statement says the deal is about preserving his sanity.

From the company's post:

What about the other editions of Minecraft? Will they stop being developed? 

There’s no reason for the development, sales, and support of the PC/Mac, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Vita, iOS, and Android versions of Minecraft to stop. Of course, Microsoft can’t make decisions for other companies or predict the choices that they might make in the future.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

See Red Goddess in action

Red Goddess, one of the Vita's increasing number of Kickstarted titles is coming along nicely with new characters and updates stacking up. Check out this in-progress gameplay video showing a sweet looking world.

Perhaps brighter reds and more goddessness would be appreciated, but with some mean-looking creatures to defeat, it does look like a decent challenge. Done when its done, see more on the site, it'll also grace the PS4 and Wii U.

Its a funny old Vita-less landscape in gaming

What an odd end to the week. Microsoft, languishing behind in the console sales race is splashing out $2.5 billion on Mojang to secure Minecraft 2 for its mobile devices, while Sony which is romping ahead in the new-gen stakes admits that the Vita is done as a big-name games machine,

Fergal Gara, Sony's UK boss, said of the Vita, "It's trucking along with year-on-year growth. We're seeing a bit of reflected glory from PS4. So there is a traction in remote play. It's just found its niche. It's not the biggest niche in the world but it does a damn good job, and therefore it trucks along quite nicely."

While its good to hear realism, his narrow focus does miss out all the good stuff coming from Japan, but most importantly shows a massive lack of thinking outside the box (for want of a better term). It also seems odd that another interview with Andrew House manages to omit the Vita completely, are these guys even trying?

Where's the licensing of the Vita's game engines to third-parties or the mod crowd to get some new content coming in? Where's the adverts with 100 BEST INDIE GAMES, EVER (in the style of Now That's What I Call Indies). Where's a page on Sony's PSN blog to highlight upcoming kickstarter games? They can borrow mine, dammit!

Sure, Sony as a company is a mess, compared to Microsoft with over $80 billion in the bank thanks to Windows/Office etc. But if PS4 is raking in the cash, Sony should still be budgeting a little of that to the Vita, rather than this limp-wristed approach.

We saw it with Borderlands, sales took off and Sony couldn't keep up the stock. If the same happens with Minecraft, Sony is in no position to take advantage of the few breaks it gets. And is too much to ask for Sony to pay for just that one big name remake/remix/spin-off game a year that the userbase would flock to, garnering press interest and decent sales?

Friday, September 12, 2014

Toukiden gets a trailer for the update to the update

Somewhere in Tecmo's Omega Team labs is a small team of monkey's belting out content for Toukiden in all its versions like there's no tomorrow. The original game had loads of DLC, the updated Kiwami, extreme, edition is now getting extra content too, and they must be reaching the limits as now we have the game's cats wearing silly hats and halos.

Sure there's some monsters, gear, missions and other stuff, but what the world really needs is cats with hats, alright! If you don't like cats in hats (you wierdo!) then this extended trailer has all those monsters and demons rampaging around.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

LittleBigPlanet gets a Marvel edition

Sure the little fella is headed to the PS4 for his next big adventure, but Sackboy and friends aren't abandoning the Vita totally, with the free endless runner game on the way, and this little remix. A boxed copy of the original game with some Marvel DLC thrown in is a pretty limp tie-up, but every littlebighelps!

Packing in Iron Man, Captain America, Daredevil, Dr. Octopus, Thor, Spider-Man, Elektra, Ghost Rider, Venom, Hulk, Punisher, Green Goblin, Black Widow, Star Lord, Iron Fist, Nova, Black Cat and Hawkeye!, they'll seem a bit out of place in most LBP original levels. There are some Marvel themed mini-games, but hopefully there are plenty of more suitably designed levels to download from the community. Does Stan Lee make an appearance I wonder!

Looks like Vita owners not getting LEGO Batman 3 DLC

File under "eventually, this was inevitable", but it looks like the minor versions of LEGO Batman 3 including the Vita and 3DS editions won't get access to the Season Pass or the cool DLC coming for these games. Amazon has the Vita version as £5 less than the main versions, which is little consolation.

The DLC will be available individually, but there's no sign of that being available to portable owners, although the 11/14 EU release date is still some way off. Warner Bros is adding the Season Pass to flog extra content after first sale, which is fair enough, from a money-grabbing perspective. But, it could at least offer it across all the games.

Only the major consoles and PC are getting the pass. The DLC will add an extra 40 new playable characters, vehicles, missions and achievements to the roster including Bane, classic Batman and more. Why they couldn't be in the core game (which I think has some 150 odd folk anyway) will be a business decision as Warner tries to milk these games for all they are worth.

The first three packs; Dark Knight, Batman 75th Anniversary and Man of Steel Pack, cost £2.55 while a season pass gets you all six for £12.79, a saving of £2.50.

Sony's Tokyo Game Show page goes live

Naturally, there's not much to it yet, but this is where all the (any, some) good news should land when we wake up in the morning of the 18th to find out what, if anything, kicked off. Expect the major focus to be on PS4 as Sony tries to get that moving in Japan.

Of course, Sony has already announced a bunch of stuff at its early September event, and has listed the games it will be showing on the floor. All that leaves it what games it has yet to announce and if there's any new hardware updates coming to help boost Vita sales in the right direction.

Don't forget Sony is sponsoring the indie corner this year, which will hopefully see the Japanese get with the indie scene in a bigger way.

Danganronpa Another Episode, gets another trailer

The bear facts of the matter are that the Danganronpa games represent most whacked-out courtroom games ever seen. But, not resting its laurels, Spike is pushing the boundaries with an even whackier 'shooter' action adventure, with the maddest characters from the first game lined up in a freakish nightmare.

Set between the first two games, expect loads more to it than making the Monokuna army dance with your mega phone. Just hope we get the plushie or reversible bears that the Japanese are getting. The game is out in a couple of weeks and a western release has to be on the cards. To highlight how big this game could be in Japan, the average Vita story gets 30 to 50 tweets from Famitsu readers. This one has 1,650 and growing. Seems like a very big deal over there.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Vita heading to Valhalla for virtual bartending job!

Okay, this game is actually called VA-11 HALL-A, but I wasn't putting that in a title. Somewhere between Tapper and William Gibson is this way-off-the-reservation title from Sukeban games. Even the trailer doesn't give much away, apart from a couple of recipes, but for those of us getting fed up with the endless roguelikes, it looks like a dystopian break from the abnormal.

A Vita version is mentioned on the game's factsheet, but it looks like early days yet with a PC prologue doing the rounds. Drinks are on Wolfgame who are handling the Vita port!

EU PSN Vita game and sale roundup

A quiet week after the recent smorgasbordgasms, but there's still plenty to play and bargain hunt on the Vita, with old, new and borrowed from PS one or PSP all in the mix. What grabs your fancy from the list?

New games

Hyperdimension Neptunia Rebirth1 £32.99
Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate £34.99

Deals of the week

WRC 4 £9.99
Machinarium £1.99

EA Sale

FIFA 14 £14.99

Retro sale (highlights - see full list here) most have extra 10% off for PS+

PS One

Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain Was £4.99/€5.99/AU$8.95, now £1.49/€1.75/AU$2.65 
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night Was £7.99/€9.99/AU$14.95, now £3.99/€4.99/AU$7.55 
Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped Was £3.99/€4.99/AU$7.55, now £2.49/€2.99/AU$4.55 
Crash Bandicoot Was £3.99/€4.99/AU$7.55, now £2.49/€2.99/AU$4.55 
Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back Was £3.99/€4.99/AU$7.55, now £2.49/€2.99/AU$4.55 
Destruction Derby Was £3.99/€4.99/AU$7.55, now £1.69/€1.99/AU$2.95 
Driver Was £1.99/€2.49/AU$3.75, now £1.19/€1.49/AU$2.25
Fade to Black Was £3.99/€4.99/AU$7.55, now £1.69/€1.99/AU$2.95
Fear Effect 2: Retro Helix Was £5.79/€6.99/AU$10.45, now £1.49/€1.75/AU$2.65
Fear Effect Was £5.79/€6.99/AU$10.45, now £1.49/€1.75/AU$2.65
G-Police Was £1.99/€2.49/AU$3.75, now £1.69/€1.99/AU$2.95 
Grandia Was £6.49/€7.99/AU$11.95, now £3.29/€3.99/AU$5.95 
Guilty Gear Was £3.99/€4.99/AU$7.55, now £1.69/€1.99/AU$2.95
Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver Was £4.99/€5.99/AU$8.95, now £1.49/€1.75/AU$2.65
Metal Gear Solid Was £7.99/€9.99/AU$14.95, now £3.99/€4.99/AU$7.55 
Resident Evil 2 Was £7.99/€9.99/AU$14.95, now £3.99/€4.99/AU$7.55 
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis Was £7.99/€9.99/AU$14.95, now £3.99/€4.99/AU$7.55 
Resident Evil Director’s Cut Was £7.99/€9.99/AU$14.95, now £3.99/€4.99/AU$7.55 
Ridge Racer Type 4 Was £3.99/€4.99/AU$7.55, now £1.69/€1.99/AU$2.95
Silent Hill Was £5.79/€6.99/AU$10.45, now £2.49/€2.99/AU$4.55


Ace Combat Joint Assault Was £7.99/€9.99/AU$14.95, now £3.29/€3.99/AU$5.95
Metal Gear Solid Portable Ops Was £8.99/€10.99/AU$16.45, now £3.99/€4.99/AU$7.55 
Monster Hunter Freedom Unite Was £7.99/€9.99/AU$14.95, now £3.99/€4.99/AU$7.55 
MotorStorm Arctic Edge Was £6.49/€7.99/AU$11.95, now £3.29/€3.99/AU$5.95 
Persona 3 Portable Was £24.99/€34.99/AU$44.95, now £9.99/€12.99/AU$19.45 
Pursuit Force Was £6.49/€7.99/AU$11.95, now £3.29/€3.99/AU$5.95 
Resistance: Retribution Was £6.49/€7.99/AU$11.95, now £3.29/€3.99/AU$5.95
Tekken 6 + SoulCalibur:Broken Destiny Was £11.99/€14.99/AU$22.95, now £5.79/€6.99/AU$10.45

Vita outsold by Xbox One in Japan

That's a headline that probably won't be repeated again, so I though I'd put it up there. The newly launched Xbox console sold 25,600 while the Vita (and PS TV) managed a rather lowly 15,300 between them. The Vita will certainly be looking for some spikes in the coming weeks, but its usually new hardware that does the job, and the new pink model doesn't arrive until mid-November, which makes TGS all the more interesting.

On the software side, Toukiden Kiwami and Love Live! stick around in the top five with much reduced sales. Out this week are Chain Chronicle V and budget-priced Criminal Girls and Gundam Breaker 1.

01./03. [3DS] Yo-kai Watch 2: Ganso / Honke (Level 5) - 63.401 / 2.422.146 (-8%)
02./00. [3DS] Dragon Quest X Online (Square Enix)  - 52.375 / NEW
03./02. [PSV] Toukiden: The Age of Demons Extreme # (Koei Tecmo) - 26.599 / 105.983 (-66%)
04./04. [PSV] Love Live! School Idol Paradise Vol.1: (Kadokawa Games) - 12.856 / 72.566 (-78%)