Tuesday, May 3, 2016

New Western One Piece Burning Blood gameplay clips

Bandai's One Piece Burning Blood hits western stores in early June (digitally and at retail on the Vita and PS4) and here's a couple of new English language clips of the game in action to show the characters at top banter. There's a digital deluxe version that comes with the DLC up front.

That includes Six alternate versions of playable characters, featuring new special moves and outfits: Ace and Shanks in their classy black suits, Sabo dressed up as Lucy, Zoro wearing his well-know bandana and torn clothes, and Doflamingo and Trafalgar Law from their duel at Dressrosa. Eight new costumes: Nami, Robin, Hancock, Perona and Koala are joining the fight in their sexy swimsuits. There's also a young version of Whitebeard, a new costume for Law and Bon Clay cloned as Nami! Four customisable HUDs in the colors of Doflamingo, Sabo, Ace and Trafalgar Law.

99 Vidas gets a punchy trailer

Brazilian brawler 99 Vidas (99 Lives) from QUByte is getting close to its fighting weight as launch gets nearer. Riffing on classic arcade games like Final Fight, Double Dragon, Battletoads, Streets of Rage, it packs in a co-op mode for old-school multiplayer and a host of characters to play as.

Stranger of Sword City is the UK's No. 1 Vita game

Quite a few new releases haven't managed to dethrone Minecraft's never-ending sales in the UK, but Stranger of Sword City does the trick, but fails to bother any of the multi-format charts. With a revamped version hitting Japan, I wonder if we'll get a big update, or will NIS try and sell us that edition too?

Over on Amazon UK, Lego Avengers is tops thanks to its £14.99 price point with Stranger outside the top 10. Otherwise its the usual mix, but with typical mid-teen prices for most games, the Vita is looking quite the bargain if you can find a console cheap.

On PSN, we have Axiom Verge and Shovel Knight, thanks to its recent sale, representing the indies. New released Severed has 125 ratings and should join the fun when the chart updates.

1. Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth
2. Senran Kagura Estival Versus
3. Axiom Verge
4. Hitman Go
5. Day of the Tentacle Remastered
6. Shovel Knight

Pixel platformer Tower of Samsara has a Vita stretch

Things have been a bit quiet on the Kickstarter Vita front this year, is the old console just slowly drifting out of developers' plans? Whatever, here's one to back with Tower of Samsara, which my auto-correct is already calling Tower of Satsuma!
It features intense platforming and battling, environment manipulation and puzzles, choices, unique art style and online collaborative components. The game also presents a mix of lores from various philosophies - such as Buddhism, stoicism, Greek and Roman Mythology - which will resignify objects, actions, reality, life and death.
Another dinky pixel platformer, it has a €60K Vita and PS4 stretch goal, and looks like it would fit perfectly alongside Risk of Rain, it even has a soundtrack by the same muso. It could also be the first ever third-party game announced for Nintendo's NX if it gets enough backing! Get funding and check out what other Vita games you can back.

Delivery is listed as December 2018, which would make it the first Vita game listed for release that year, or even 2019 if there's porting delays.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Experience gets a new logo, we get a new Stranger of Sword City game

Japanese RPG development aces Experience Inc had a big press event before the Golden Week holiday and managed to sneak out a new logo and a new Vita game. Well, an update to Stranger of Sword City at any rate. I like the little progress line on the new logo, but otherwise its rather conventional.

The new game, out on the 21 July is an update with improvements in combat, items, careers, characters and a bunch of other stuff. It sounds like the original game (hitting the west any time now) met with a weak response and Experience has been hard at work fixing things.

Mighty No. 9 goes gold, Vita version to follow

After three years and one of the biggest Kickstarter campaigns of its time, Mega Man worshipper Comcept's Mighty No. 9 has gone gold. The major console versions hitting in June, leaving the Vita and 3DS versions to follow on after the porting teams at Abstraction Games and Engine Software have done their best. Hopefully Keiji Inafune is watching closely and not letting them off with a low-cost port.
A little more info in the MN9 blog post, with the neat little Golden Beck model, but I'm guessing it'll be well into the second half of the year before we see this in portable form.

Mages' pants raiding game offers 32 flavours

No idea what this game is really called, but its hitting the Vita in Japan, and likely nowhere else. The aim appears to be to get to see a series of girls in their pants by some of more peculiar means know to gaming.

Given some Japanese games, it actually looks almost boring, apart from the gun in one scene, and 5pb and Mages have but out some corkingly perverse titles between them. Apparently the game is called "Punch Line" which is I guess what happens to the guy if he gets caught being overly familiar. Anyway.... moving on!

Uppers comes back fighting fit

Marvelous' Uppers, the schooly brawler is back on the attack, after the publisher delayed it to balance the subject for the insane creatures that inhabit Japan's education system. How does a school day go buy without some almighty bust up, an outbreak of cosplaying or being teleported to a grim alternate dimension?

Anyway, add more punching, kicking and bigger score bubbles and we seem to have a game on our hands. There's already a demo out in Japan and the new video shows off a couple of new moves, so hopefully fighting fans will be more accepting of the game, with the team having just a couple of months until launch.

Pixel power drives the Longest Five Minutes

Nippon Ichi's World's Longest Five Minutes might not have the catchiest title, but for fans of pixel RPGs, it should hit the spot. It seems your ultimate battle against a demonic king is hampered as he wipes your memory, meaning while you start at the final fight, you spend most of the game in flash backs, relearning your skills and regaining your experience.

Not sure if that will translate well, but its a neat concept. The game is out at the end of July and continues to prove the Vita doesn't need insane polygon counts to have a good time.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Results season from Japan shows up some fun figures

So, the PS4 sold 40 million, big whoop! Sony's number fest now focuses solely on the big boy console, with the Vita barely mentioned. However, PSN sales are now growing fast and I'd like to think the Vita is chipping in, given the higher cost of most PSN games and the usual small premium, even on modest indie titles.

Follow ZhugeEX on Twitter for all the graphs and details, but out of Tecmo's recent news comes some decent Asian sales figures, across all versions.
With two of those coming west, those numbers should rise pretty smartly later in the year. I wonder how many DoA sales were from frustrated importers? Will update as more numbers come in from the various publishers. 

Compile Heart's 2016 roster featuring Mary Skelter

Mary Skelter is the Vita star of Compile Heart's 2016 line up (around the 1:30 mark) with a sneaky look at the new Neptunia game, Cyber Dimension Online, which doesn't have a platform attached to it, right at the end.

Here's a slightly longer teaser for Mary Skelter, although it still doesn't give much away.

More Otomate fun from Idea Factory

As ever, I have no idea what's going on in these trailers, but Idea Factory continues to role out the Otome titles for the Japanese market. Will they ever come west, who knows? Collar x Malice certainly has high production values in this more actiony-than-usual trailer, and a hefty dose of English!

Not so sure about 7 Scarlet, which definitely has a more run of the mill look to it. Given I rather enjoyed a couple of play throughs of Amnesia Memories, I think that western Vita owners could do with a little more otome in our lives.

The latest on some long lost Kickstarter Vita games

I've been diving into the depths of Kickstarter list and seeing what's happening on some of the projects I fancied or backed over the years.

First up, Game Atelier, who canned their KS project when they got backing, said earlier this month of a potential Vita version of Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom...
About platforms: We hear you loud and clear! There's PS Vita, WiiU and even more. We totally agree that these platforms need to get Monster Boy, too! However, it's impossible for us to work on all ports at the same time. Also, the game needs to sell well enough so we're able to finance the porting work as it can be very time consuming. Since we don't have any guarantee for success, we just can't announce additional platforms at the moment.

As if often the way, many projects are focusing on PC first. My much anticipated copy of SWDTech's Pixel Noir will have to wait awhile as the team is at:
Development on Pixel Noir is going smoothly! As of today, we're 40+% through our project plan for development of our initial, alpha systems.
Soul Saga is also storming ahead on the PC Steam version, but it looks like console owners will be waiting a while for our turn to play:
Soul Saga's development is cruising along and I'm crunching in as many humanly feasible hours as possible to get you the best game I can this year!

Cosmic Star Heroine is just about to hit PC beta, but still sounds very rough,  so still seems like there's some way to go before that ever lands on the Vita.

All is quiet on the MechRunner front with not much in the way of updates or social media comments from the arcade shooter team. We heard in January the PS Vita version was getting closer, so hopefully some news will drop soon. 

Being a bit more proactive is Alfonso Martin whose gorgeous Heart Forth, Alicia continues to astound. Check out his weekly livestreams of progress! 

As ever, let us know of any progress on Kickstarter or other crowdfunded games you're following. 

New Sword Art Online Hollow Realization trailer

Bandai has dropped a new video to show off the huge world of  Sword Art: Origin, teeming with new characters like Strea, Philia and the mysterious NPC Premiere who will stand alongside Kirito and Asuna in their many battles.

During their adventure, players will discover many different landscapes, such as the exciting Valley Map and its aquatic environment. But they will have to be careful, these beautiful landscapes hide terrible monsters among the environment. The game hits the west in Autumn.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Square Enix shows off Vita Dragon Quest Heroes II gameplay

Square continues to push the Vita in Japan, while having all but abandoned it in the west. We still live in hope for some Dragon Quest  Builders fun, but getting DQ Heroes II seems like a long, long, long shot.

Dive into YouTube and you can compare this video with a version running against the PS4, which is naturally smoother and shinier, with more detail, but the Vita version looks pretty tight, running at native res and 30 frames per second. There's a bit of pop-up here and there, but you can see that on the PS4 clip.