Monday, October 20, 2014

Kan Colle Kai the Vita's most wanted

Now that Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is out, you'd think Famitsu's most-wanted list in Japan has a little more room for Vita games. But no, there's very little making big pinging noises on the radar, with Kan Colle Kai "This Ship Breaks", announced over a year ago, the top Vita hit.

Even reasonable big series like Phantasy Star and God Eater are way down the bottom of the list, suggesting that the Vita won't get much in the way of big sales at the critical end of this year. There's been no real update to the Kan Colle Kai site, although the date has moved to early 2015, so I wonder what the recent hype has been about it, can't say I've noticed anything.

Anyone seem something about it? All I know is its a naval fleet sim, probably with lot more characterization than any western effort would have. UPDATE: Apparently its based on a browser Flash game with over 2 million players.

1. [PS4] Final Fantasy XV – 670 votes
2. [3DS] Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire – 603 votes
3. [PS3] Persona 5 – 526 votes
4. [PS3] Tales of Zestiria – 361 votes
5. [3DS] Final Fantasy Explorers – 368 votes
6. [3DS] Bravely Second – 351 votes
7. [PS3] Dragon Quest Heroes – 302 votes
8. [PS4] Kingdom Hearts III – 292 votes
9. [WIU] Super Smash Bros. for Wii U – 280 votes
10. [PS4] The Evil Within – 263 votes
...
18. [PSV] Kan Colle Kai – 170 votes
...
22. [PSV] Phantasy Star Nova – 130 votes
...
24. [PSV] God Eater 2 Rage Burst – 116 votes
...
26. [PSV] Persona 4: Dancing All Night – 113 votes
...
30. [PSV] Samurai Warriors Chronicle 3 – 102 votes

FIFA 15 still tops on Vita Chart

Akiba's Trip runs away from the high end of the Vita chart like a pantsied vampire and there's not much happening to replace it. There are re-entries for Pets and Ninjago (at 19) suggesting kids are picking up a few Vita's but sales must be tiny at that end of the chart.

1 - FIFA 15 EA SPORTS 1 4
2 KILLZONE: MERCENARY SONY COMPUTER ENT. 3 59
3 BORDERLANDS 2 2K GAMES 4 21
4 TEARAWAY SONY COMPUTER ENT. 8 48
5 LITTLEBIGPLANET PS VITA SONY COMPUTER ENT. 10 107
6 FINAL FANTASY X/X-2 HD REMASTER SQUARE ENIX 5 31
7 THE RATCHET & CLANK TRILOGY SONY COMPUTER ENT. 6 16
8 UNCHARTED: GOLDEN ABYSS SONY COMPUTER ENT. 9 134
9 CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS DECLASSIFIED ACTIVISION 18 87
10 CHILD OF LIGHT UBISOFT 15 15
11 LEGO MARVEL SUPER HEROES WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 12 48
12 FOOTBALL MANAGER 2014 SEGA 11 28
13 ASSASSIN'S CREED III LIBERATION UBISOFT 7 100
14 AKIBA'S TRIP: UNDEAD & UNDRESSED NIS AMERICA 2 2
15 re PLAYSTATION VITA PETS SONY COMPUTER ENT. - 9

Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (C)2014 UKIE Ltd

Over on Amazon, there's not much shuffling among the best sellers, as we all wait for Freedom Wars and Tales of Hearts R.




Things are a little crazier on the Vita's own best-seller list with the full price Need for Speed somehow at the top. Who knows how that happened?



Bigben brings a bunch of board games to the Vita

A quick Monday morning peek at the ESRB lists produces a few new Vita games that might cheer up those of a logical, more relaxed, mind frame. There's a new Solitaire, Mahjong and Chess game heading our way, with a bundle.

Will they be as good as the spectacular Pure Chess, the many Mahjong games, but I don't think the Vita has Solitaire (unless its buried in PSM). No sign of a release date, so expect more news soon, nothing on the company site, so far.


Diabolik Lovers visual novel is quite the party

Diabolik Lovers Vandead Carnival is an update of the PSP visual novel, that got its own anime 12-part series. This is the second release in the series and hits Japan in December. It sees a girl, the Haunted Dark Bride (the subtitle of the first episode), uncover a mansion with six potential suitors. Meet the cast on this Sony Japan page and find out more on a Wiki page, There's mysteries to be revealed and multiple happy (or not so) endings to be enjoyed.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Race the Sun and Don't Die, Mr Robot dated for Vita

Race the Sun, the atmospheric looking flyer will hit the PS4, PS3 and Vita next week in Europe on the 22nd, running at a smooth 60fps on all formats. It adds in some exclusive content in the form of the Labrinthia world which is trickier but slower than the main game.

The idea of FlipFly's game is to keep up with the sun, as you solar-powered craft doesn't go well in the dark, and it looks suitably spartan.



Offering a little more levity is Don't Die, Mr Robot (formerly Avoid Droid), which lands the following week on the 29th with some fast-paced, fruity arcade action.


Fate/Hollow Ataraxia gets a new trailer (JP)

Hitting Japan at the end of November, Kadokawa and Type-Moon's Fate/Hollow Ataraxia comes with a very soulful theme song, for once, plus a limited edition on the way. It's all neatly captured in the latest trailer which is rapidly gaining views, suggesting it could be a decent seller for the Vita.

The game follows on from the Vita update of the PS2 RPG Fate/Stay Night. An off-shoot, Fate/Extra CCC graced the west thanks to Ghostlight, but it might be a stretch to get these over here. Still, we live in hope.


More themes appearing for free on PSN

In all the rush to enjoy Minecraft and the other recent games this week, you  may have missed the arrival of more free themes for the latest PS Vita firmware. So, grab them from the PSN Themes page and brighting up Vita's display with Tearaway and Uncharted the first two games to get the treatment.

Hopefully Japanese developers will brighten up their games with these, and if we're lucky enough to get them too, cool! It'd also be cool to see some FuturLab and other indie efforts to make this more than just another quirky, but underused feature.


Dengeki Fighting Climax finally gets an interesting trailer

After quite a few duds, this is more like it from the Sega team creating Dengeki's 20th anniversary brawler. We've got a bit of action going on, some cool and quirky moves from hoops-loving Tomaka Minato, a neat Sonic level background.

It is still a bit tutorial heavy, but the team definitely seem to be pushing a learn-before-you-buy approach.  Expect plenty more clips before the Japanese launch in November, there's the latest batch to go with this one over on Famitsu for Kirito, TsukasaNami Miyuki, Taiga Aisaka, Himehiiragiyukina, of Satomi RenTaro.


Enjoy a spot of Jaggy Racing on PSM

The flood of weird games makes it harder to spot anything interesting on Sony's PlayStation Mobile page. But here's one that landed on the store recently, Jaggy Race from Tiz777. A puzzle racer, it is a port of an iOS game but comes across well on the Vita with physical controls, is only £2.39 and well-rated.

Note, if you are a PSM developer, drop us a tweet so I can cover your game, its getting harder to find them out in the melee.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Live app coming to PS Vita in 3.35 firmware update

Hot on the heels of the pretty useful 3.30 update, comes another decent jump, all the way up to 3.35 for the Vita and PS TV, to go with the PS4's 2.0 major update. It will add various features including four-player Remote Play support to PS TV, so I guess you can have a gang of friends round with their own DualShocks.



Along with the behind-the-scenes stuff, the Vita will also get the new Live from PlayStation app, so they can watch live gameplay streams from lucky folk using their PS4 systems. No date for this yet, but it will come with more features, some interesting comments in the PS Blog piece.

BLASTR soon to non-violently confront Vita owners

Currently an intriguing-looking PC game in development in Australia, BLASTR will head to the Vita among other consoles via the porting power of Unity at some point in 2015. The student developers have put up a handy mock-up to show it will look, but I'm deeply tempted by the mix of arcade and puzzle action, which is best explained on the site, while you can follow progress on Twitter.



Dengeki Fighting Climax puts up no resistance

I'm still not 'getting' this game, as mentioned in the first trailer post. This clip still doesn't sell itself to me, why would anyone post a clip of a training session against a static opponent? It is hardly selling the best features of the game.

Still, we get to see a good repertoire of moves, but I think the animation is all a bit stilted. And, while the backgrounds are cute, it does all look rather tame compared to the western brawlers that have lit up the Vita. Sure, there's all the characters that Dengeki die-hards will love, but still not clicking for me.

Chaos Rings III gameplay action (possible spoilers)

After September's exquisite trailer, here's a gamer having a good play-through of Square's Chaos Rings III trilogy pack on the Vita. There could be spoilers, should this package ever make it west or if you plan on playing the iOS versions some time. Kind of reminds me that I should get back to playing FF-X for a while, but it was very heavy going. I wonder if this is a little lighter on the exposition?

Any fans impressed with this off-shoot, or is it more a case of Square padding out the roster with easy ports?

Game on for the set-top box sales battle

So, the battle is officially on for the living room gadget of choice. Google has just dropped the Nexus Player, shipping early November and Amazon's Fire TV should be an easy gift idea. Apple will join today (hopefully) with a radical update of the Apple TV, probably redesigned to bring iOS games to the big screen without the need for AirPlay from your iPhone (rendering this neat little chart totally out of date).

Which of these is most likely on your family's Christmas shopping list? They all have strengths and weaknesses, depending on what you want to use them for, and nothing is the "perfect" solution. Yes, Apple can stream games and content, but that's not "on" the device. What is clear is that the PS TV with the Vita's four-year old technology is starting to lag behind the newcomers, with buyers having cutting-edge expectations - or do you?

Things could (and should) change as more apps arrive for the PlayStation TV, but time is running short if it is to make a positive impression in the real world, now the marketing shine has been blown off. With incompatible games, limited media services, poor Remote Play network performance, things already seem grim. I'd also want to see just how much performance power the Nexus Player's Intel chip can put against the others.

There's also the likes of the Chromecast and other diminutive gadgets to consider in an increasingly crowded space by the TV. Just imagine if Sony had launched PS TV a year ago in the west? Just imagine a TV set with six HDMI ports!


Notes: Updated to correct some memory and storage details, an early version did list all media services, but looked ugly and repetitive! 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Google's Nexus Player, another box to challenge the PlayStation TV

Sony can't or won't run the PlayStation TV as a proper set-top box. There's no Netflix at launch (or at all in Europe), with conflicting reports on if it will ever work. Add in no HBO, no iPlayer, etc, and it seems Sony only wants you to use its cack-handed Movies Unlimited service. Widening reports suggest its Remote Play feature isn't all that good, and its games roster is hampered by random incompatibilities or license restrictions.

Putting another boot on PlayStation TV's jugular comes Google's Nexus Player to join the crowded micro-STB market, launched alongside the latest Motorola-built Nexus 6 and a HTC Nexus 9 tablet, it is another effort by Google at the living-room market after the arse Google TV project. It will be available in early November. And, if Apple launches a gaming-enabled Apple TV today, then suddenly every box for your TV does games, and in a less fussy way than Sony's device.


The Nexus Player is a $99 sleek puck-style device with a small remote and an optional game controller ($39) for all those Android titles. It comes with 8GB of internal storage, unlike Sony's crippling memory card concept, and offers superfast 802.11ac Wi-Fi. It plays all the major media services and plays at 1080p. At least the total price is comparable to the US PS TV bundle, including memory.


Sony's only saving grace here is that Nexus Player will only be available from Google's own store. The difference is, millions of Android fans are aware of the device launch due to the interest in the phone and tablet. Sony's PS TV launch was barely registered by most of the tech sites.