Friday, May 22, 2015

Updated EU Vita PSN Top Sellers, Helldivers wins!

The top sellers this week on the European Vita store show Helldivers popping back into the No. 1 spot with their bundle offer, deposing Shovel Knight. The 'chart' is also back up to 10 games strong, not sure what happened last week. Need for Speed and Another World are on sale, well worth picking up.

1. HellDivers Heat Bundle (Sony)
2. Shovel Knight (Yacht Club)
3. Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment (Bandai Namco)
4. Need for Speed Most Wanted (EA)
5. Minecraft (Mojang)
6. Another World (Digital Lounge)
7. FIFA 15 (EA)
8. Broken Age (Double Fine)
9. Hotline Miami 2 (Devolver)
7. Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD (Square)

Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth3: V Generation western trailer

Arriving late June, It’s time to Nep-Nep like it’s 1989. Neptune’s been sucked into an alternate dimension of Gamindustri! In order for her to escape from this late ‘80s world, Neptune will have to collect enough shares to open up the path to her own dimension. Sounds easy enough – except a nefarious alliance called the Seven Sages wants to rid Gamindustri of all CPUs, including Neptune!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Latest Airship Q gameplay clip

I've been wading through the indie release list, checking what's still coming, what's quietly died on the vine, and what's made some progress. First of these, and most notable for being the largest profiles Japanese indie is Airship Q from Miracle. Check out the latest gameplay clip from a couple of days ago.

The feline themed sandbox game mixes crafting adventuring and battling airships in the sky. It still only has a "2015" release date, but should be nearing completion.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Samurai Warriors 4 II battling to the Vita this October

Koei has announced Samurai Warriors 4-II will hit the Vita in October. A hero-focused saga, it tells the stories of the series' noble warriors through 13 new chapters. These chapters revolve around nine characters introduced in Samurai Warriors 4, three fan-favourites from previous titles and a brand new addition (Naomasa Ii - pictured) to the samurai roster.

The game will feature many new and improved features as the battle, action and character development systems have been revamped. It also introduces a highly challenging and richly rewarding mode called: the Endless Castle. Players can choose to enter and struggle to survive for as long as possible, or to play against the clock and see how far they can get up the castle’s increasingly difficult levels!

Sales fall flat in post-holiday Media Create chart

Back to the slump after Golden Week as sales of everything plummet with the PS4, new 3DS and Vita (plus Vita TV) only just peeking over 11,000 sales each. Worse for the PS4, the latest remaster of FFX-HD only sold 15,900 copies - dismal compared to the boost it gave the Vita in games and hardware sales.

Minecraft soldiers on at No. 3 on the Media Create chart, shifting another 11,000 copies, but with no new entries, its as dead as some doo-doos. There's just a bunch of visual novels out this week, while Cross Anjou might spark some life next week, having picked up a decent Famitsu score Nobunga's Ambition also hits, that's just been confirmed for western release on PS4 and PS3, but I'm not sure the delayed portable edition will follow.

Steins;Gate gets a character trailer

Meet the people who inhabit the crazy world of Steins;Gate. The highly-lauded visual novel tale of time travel hits the Vita in early June in Europe. It features an unlikely bunch of nerdy heroes and rogues. The 5b and nitroplus game, published by PQube, has pre-orders for limited editions at Game (with an art book) and Rice Digital (with a metal robo-gonk), with the basic edition on Amazon UK.

The cast includes:

 Okabe Rintaro Eccentric, self proclaimed mad scientist and founder of the ‘Future Gadget Lab’ – a small group of friends who have an ambition of overthrowing the rule of the world.

Mayuri Shiina Okabe’s long-time friend, Mayuri enjoys creating cosplays and works part time at a maid café. She is always cheerful and positive – greeting everyone with a friendly ‘tuturu!’

Itaru Hashida An experienced computer programmer, super-hacker and Otaku, his affection for Faris can often lead him say crude and inappropriate things out loud.

Makise Kurisu An extremely talented neuroscience researcher at an American University, Kurisu is drawn into Okabe’s world because of her scepticism of his experiments.

Faris Nyannyan The most popular waitress at the Maid Café ‘Mayqueen Nyannyan’ and a mean RaiNET player, she is very much the object of Itaru’s affection.

Moeka Kiryu A mysterious and shy young woman, Moeka rarely speaks – instead preferring to communicate through text messages, even if her friends are in the same room.

Suzuha Amane Athletic part-time assistant at the workshop belonging to Okabe’s Landlord, Suzuha has a keen interest in Okabe’s work. She enjoys riding her bicycle.

Luka Urishibara Shy and feminine, Luka is often mistaken for a girl. As a result he is incredibly self conscious and unsure of his true feelings.

Sony's on-the-move EU sale slashes Vita and PSP prices

You can get huge savings on a host of PSP and Vita games this week on the EU PSN store, with typically 50%-70% off the likes of Call of Duty, Breath of Fire, Daxter, Persona 2/3, Gran Turismo, LocoRoco and Patapon. The full list is:

Asphalt : Urban GT 2 [PSP], Asphalt Injection, Best of Arcade Games Deluxe, Best of Board Games Deluxe, Breath of Fire 3 [PSP], Broken Sword 5 – the Serpent’s Curse: Episode 1, Broken Sword 5 – the Serpent’s Curse: Episode 1 and 2, Broken Sword 5 – the Serpent’s Curse: Episode 2 , Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified, Capcom Classics Collection Reloaded [PSP], Capcom Puzzle World [PSP], Darkstalkers Chronicle [PSP], Daxter [PSP], Gran Turismo [PSP], Gravity Rush, Harvest Moon: Hero of Leaf Valley, IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey [PSP], Innocent Life [PSP], Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier [PSP], La-Mulana EX, LocoRoco [PSP], LocoRoco 2 [PSP], Mega Man Maverick Hunter X [PSP], MotorStorm Arctic Edge [PSP], MUD – FIM Motocross World Championship, MXGP – Compact to full game upgrade, MXGP – The Official Motocross Videogame, MXGP – The Official Motocross Videogame (Compact), Patapon [PSP], Patapon 3 [PSP], Persona 2/Persona 3 Portable bundle, Persona 3 Portable, Pure Chess, Reality Fighters, Riviera [PSP], Rugby 15, Shin Megami Tensei: Persona Full Game [PSP], Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, Super Stardust Portable [PSP], Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow, Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror [PSP], Tomb Raider: Anniversary [PSP], Tomb Raider: Legend [PSP], Trails in the Sky, WipEout Pulse [PSP], Worms: Battle Islands and WRC 4 FIA World Rally Championship

Vitamin Z to fuel the Vita

Namazu Studios is getting ready to unleash vegetable death on the Vita in the form of Vitamin Z. An endless shooter, you need to zap mutated fruit and veg to keep them at bay. It looks pretty simple, but actually uses the Vita's touch and tilt features to aim the gun that's bolted to the floor in the middle of the screen.

Set across many levels, you descend into this science lab gone bad, with a kick option if they get too close and lots of sub-missions to carry out. There's power-ups and extra weapons to pick up, the game first came out on iOS, so will probably have in-app purchases, but looks like a fun addition to the Vita.

Review: Race the Sun

The Vita has a stack of demanding twitch games for us to enjoy, but Race the Sun from Flippfly at least adds a new perspective to the endless runners and xVania games out there. Built in Unity and cast with a chrome sheen, your solar-powered glider simply has to keep up with the setting sun, nothing else matters.

You can do that either by plotting a true-as-possible course through the mazes, mountains, traffic and other obstacles across the three worlds (and the bonus Void). Or, you can weave in between them to collect tokens and power-ups, always risking a sideswipe with an object that will slow you down, or a full-frontal impact that will leave you as putty on the landscape.

To add some variety, the map changes every 24 hours, so you have just enough time to master a set of levels, before it all shuffles around. You can complete the many sub-missions the game has to offer, "crash x times," "collect x things," or "travel so far" and you can get extra slots for power-ups, decals for your ship or other goodies. But, with the purity of gameplay, with a semi-Arabic-sounding trance soundtrack, and that early arcade feel to the scenes, you really only focus on the road ahead while calculating the risk of deviating from your flightplan to grab a power up.

Race the Sun isn't quite perfect, with very slow world loading times, the ability to roll the ship seems a bit random, sometimes the sound cuts out or isn't patched together quite right, and the menus and loading screens are horribly basic.

The biggest issue is a not-quite-total confidence in the controls, meaning what you thought should be a twitch left and right to dodge through a couple of small gaps might end up with you slamming into a wall. That might be by design, but I was left quite a few times with the feeling I'd been robbed.

Still, this is just as gripping in its own way as Spelunky, Flame Over and Jetpack Joyride, with each region adding a new level of complexity. Kudos goes to the developers for acknowledging their Kickstarter backers in such a cool way on the credits. As I read it, sales were slow for the PC original, hopefully the developers have found better support from the PlayStation community across Vita, PS3 and PS4, and their next project may grace the Vita's screen.

Score 7/10
More reviews
Price: £7.39
Dev: Flippfly
Progress: 17th Hole

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Review: Hyperdimension Neptunia U Action Unleashed

The jangly guitar, the squeaky voices - yes, its another adventure into the world of Neptunia to rescue the console CPU girls from their latest drama. This time, journalists (spit!) are invading the land and trying to get exclusive stories about their adventures. So far, so squeaky!

Yet, in a twist from the previous turn-based games, most of which I found so annoying as to be instant deletes, this one offers real-time enemy smiting action in the vein of Pirate Warriors or Dynasty Warriors. For each mission you need to move from area to area, or sit in one location and bash the bejeezus out of anything that comes near. It is highly repetitive, but fun, and the crystal clear, primary colour visuals really pop off the OLED screen.

Npetunia U is still quest-based, so there's the usual bit of banter around each mission, but its clear to see what level missions you should take and which ones to avoid, until the girls have leveled up a bit. With the hordes of cookie cutter enemies all over the screen, it can be hard to see what you're hitting and what's hitting you. Sometimes, the girls clothes fall off, which means its time to switch characters. (I can't believe I just wrote that) and as you hit more creatures, your EXE and special move gauges fill, allow you to deploy the big stick actions.

While it looks good, some missions require whipping literally hundreds of the pests into oblivion, or taking down a mildly-threatening boss with a million whacks, which can't be fun for anyone. Most missions take two of the girls and their neophytes into action, so you can mix up battle styles and combos to vary things, but its really just chop, chop, chop. Regardless of ranged weapon or melee, weak or strong attack,

Between missions, you can explore the city and meet the girls, with a host of scenes to move the plot along, they also open up more quests! With plenty of quests, the game moves along at a fair old pace, and the vibrance and happy tone of the game makes it easy to keep going despite the repetition and lack of character development. Besides, how can complain about hitting a space invader with a lobster over and over?

It really is hard not like Nep U, despite the shallow gameplay and story. I really have no idea what most missions were about, most just end collecting a chest or hitting the right kill number. However, going along for the ride seems to be part of the fun. There are some issues, the enemy life bars are hard to see in the throng, and you can spend some time hitting a dead beastie that was just waiting for its vanishing animation to trigger.

If you're into the deeper core of the Neptunia universe them I'm sure you'll giggle at every twist and turn and knowing wink from a character. For the rest of us, its prettified clobberin' time, which is no bad thing. overall.

Score 7/10
More reviews
Price: TBA
Dev: Compile Heart
Progress: Teenage level dreams

Monday, May 18, 2015

Persona 4 Dancing All Night dancing with Denon

Guess Apple's Beats can go suck it, as Atlus partners with Denon to bring some higher-quality audio (or is it marketing) to the Persona 4 Dancing All Night game. Let's face it, these must by mighty tight headphones to stay on during all that twirling, throwing down and throwing shapes, its a shame they're not available in Persona-esque colours either - that wooden effect one looks particularly horrible.

Shovel Knight dominates EU PSN Top Sellers

I've given up on the UK retail chart, what's the point of any chart that doesn't include digital downloads? Not there has been much in the way of change in physical sales for months. So, that leaves the Vita's own Top Sellers list, is it me or has Sony trimmed this list down to seven games.

Just checked, and yes it did used to be a top 10! Please check your Vita and see, or perhaps the others games haven't sold enough to count?

1. Shovel Knight (Yacht Club)
2. Broken Age (Double Fine)
3. Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment (Bandai Namco)
4. Minecraft (Mojang)
5. Nidhogg (Messhof)
6 Hotline Miami 2 (Devolver)
7. Titan Souls (Devolver)

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Meet more of Lost Dimensions' psychic heroes (or traitors)

Lost Dimension, despite the generic plot and cookie cutter characters does seem to have an interesting premise behind it, with half of your specially selected ninja-skill psychics apparently set to betray you at any turn.

Here we meet another bunch of the crew. Do any of them look like they belong a little too much in those 'superior race' outfits? Any dodgy hint of an accent? Or, would that be too obvious?

Hopefully the battles are bit more involved than these clips show, or is this just one of those games that's really hard to show off in a short video? Don't think I've ever asked so many questions of a game, guess we'll find out when it releases in July with all that free DLC.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Deception IV trailer ramps up the Stupid Deaths

Tecmo's The Nightmare Princess, aka Deception IV is stomping her high heels (and the other weapons at her disposal) on all manner of enemies in the latest set of misadventures for all kinds of unfortunate heroes. It truly looks great fun, but how long will the 'ha-ha' last?

This episode sees Velguirie, a wickedly sadistic, and infernally mischievous devil daughter take centre stage. She must lure humans into the demi-plane between the dreamlands and the waking world and use traps to ensnare their souls. The game hits stores mid-July

The girls of Persona 4 Dancing All Night show their cossies

ZZ Top may have sung about Legs, but these girls know how to use them. This clip shows off the swimwear DLC for Persona 4 Dancing All Night, and shows Atlus aren't afraid to debase their characters a little for the boys. Chie, Yukiko, Rise and Naoto are all game, but at least there's no excessive jiggling going on.