Monday, July 16, 2018

Ratalaika and Appnormals bringing Stay to the Vita

Wow, that's quite some press release claim: "To experience a game like STAY, is to juggle life and death." Whatever, its another cool-looking game headed to the Vita.

Protagonist Quinn has found himself in quite the tricky situation and he is going to need your help if he is to survive and make it to one of STAY’s seven different endings and if that’s got your interest piqued, you can learn even more about STAY, with the details below:

Quinn is a hapless soul who has only gone and got kidnapped and left forsaken in a derelict building, on the verge of ruin. With only a PC to keep him company in his multi-ending pixel-art adventure, although players can’t control him directly, they can control his actions via communication and keep him company. Discovering who is responsible for Quinn’s kidnapping and why he was taken in the first place, is no small task.

If you walk away from Quinn and STAY, not to return for a good few hours, due to real time, hours will pass in the game as well. If left on his own for too long, in this 24 Chapter long game, Quinn can lose all trust he has in you, start acting desperate and even go insane.

The game plays for eight to 10 hours with around 40 ways for poor old Quinn to die.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Sigi A Fart for Melusina gasses the Vita in September

What a neat way to end what's been the first of the really quiet summer weeks in gaming. While checking out on yet another mystery trophy listing, some more news nuggets dropped as I got in touch with the developer for some clarification and detail.

First up, Pixel.lu, a Luxembourg-based developer has a bunch of games in the pipe. Confirmed on Vita for a 7 September release is Sigi: A Fart for Melusina, an 8-bit-style retro Ghosts and Goblinsy jaunt with blistering gameplay.



Even more exciting is Plutonium Pirates, currently being ported by @Pinkerator who is checking to see if the Vita can handle this more modern-looking title. If things work out, and with Vita there is no guarantee, this should land later in the Autumn.

Hopefully, if they sell well enough the developer might bring its other titles currently under development our way. 

Punch Line Cheermancy Edition for Vita announced

Do you want a pigeon mask with that? Asked no one ever! But you will get one with the Punch Line Cheermancy Edition. And what do you put in a visual novel collector's edition about a student who cannot handle the sight of girl's underwear? Well, Rice Digital is offering the usual soundtrack, book, collar and a pigeon mask, naturally!


The official description of the £79.99/$99.99/€99.99 out this Summer package includes:

Physical game in collector’s box
Stunning, premium 128-page artbook featuring CGs and concept artwork
Chiranosuke’s cat collar and pendant
Japanese Punch Line logo keychain
The official soundtrack
Full-size rubber pigeon head mask!

Order the EU version here, or the US version here.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Review: Super Destronaut DX

Wow, way to go with the love/hate thing. On first load, Super Destronaut DX welcomes us with sharp retro polygon front-end screen offering a bunch of fun-sounding game modes. But, select one, and a giant purple/brown turd of a spiral transition wipes the screen, and I feel rather sick about the whole thing, eeeeew! That's officially the worst effect I've seen on a Vita game, but moving on...

The Battlezone-style landscape you first see in any mode is rapidly filled up by your usual alien invader fleet, wibbling across the screen. A few new weapons aside, it could be 1980 all over again. The game modes vary your objectives, but essentially, you shoot wave after wave of mildly animated aliens, ramping up a multiplier.

As they fall, you can shoot grey wrecks for more points, and need to dodge any wreckage that lands as it drifts down the landscape at you. It's a big shame that's all the landscape is used for, some ground based targets or a sub-game would be great fun!

Weapons including lasers, rockets and bombs are gained when shooting the orange larger alien, usually tucked away at the top of the fleet. These are vital for passing most of the challenges, but since it is down to the luck of the draw on what aliens appear, some you just won't pass until the right fleets appear. At least each level ends with a better jazzier, transition than that first turd-athon!

Enemies fling rockets and missiles at you at various angles, so there's a few patterns to learn, but really this is a five minute joy-ride at best. As with many Ratalaika games, it throws trophies at us, and you can easily gain another Platinum before breakfast, and you don't have to complete the game to get it - boo!

With online scores, there's a little extra challenge, but the game is decidedly lacking in that DX-factor. The Barry Dunne provided voice work does add a neat touch, among a smattering of pixel effects, and there's hardcore mode for masochists. But everything else should be ramped up a few notches to make SDDX stand out more.

Note, unless it is well hidden, our version lacks multiplayer, despite what it says on the Vita PSN page.

Score: 6/10
More Reviews
Price: £3.99 (PSN)
Developer/publisher Ratalaika/Petite Games
File size 133MB
Progress: Platinum

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Zanki Zero sells well in Japan

The Vita version of new Spike Chunsoft aquatic RPG Zanki Zero sold 9,111 copies, landing at No 7 in the new Media Create chart, two-thirds-ish of the 15.5K on PS4 for a decent 24K+ overall launch. That makes it more of a shame the Vita version isn't coming west, especially as Aksys continues to pound out the Vita releases.


On the hardware front, Vita sold 3,444 just a fraction down on last week, running par with the latest 3DS and 2DS models. Out this week are free-to-download Dark Quest 5 (below, Dungeon Hunter in the west) and Radio Hammer Station.




Review: Waking Violet

Puzzle games on handhelds have been massive both in sales terms (Tetris on Game Boy) and in building cult status (Chips Challenge on Lynx) etc. Near the end of the Vita's life comes the tricksy Waking Violet to charm the socks off gamers. Thanks to Mixed Bag and developer Marco Mastropaulo, it is a fun and challenging sign off.

Waking Violet sees our heroine, in her cut cat-hat, trapped in a dream with increasingly tricky puzzles between her and reality. Moving cube blocks around, she must open doors, get past traps and unlock gates. Nothing too radical, but delivered with a part ambient/nightmare mood that both disturbs and pushes the player on.
Waking Violet

Hub rooms allow you pick different puzzles if you get Violet stuck, but you'll need to solve each one to win the key to move further. Switches, obstacles and water are just some of the things preventing her progress, with each room needing you to trigger a portal to escape. Throw in the odd Pac-Man and Bomberman mini game and there's plenty of fun crammed into a quite small game

To help, Violet has some clever tricks up her sleeve, including fireballs to destroy blocks, wind to pull blocks toward her (normally, she can only push them), teleports to create alternative versions of herself and a limited time where she can walk on water. These are all powered by potions, with limited supplies, so there's only a single solution. If you do get stuck the pause menu will offer a hint.
waking violet
Opening doors, sliding on water, all part of the fun

Finally, if you stuff something up completely, left trigger sends Violent back in time, step-by-step until you can try another route to escaping that level.

THE HALF STEP, REMEMBER THE HALF STEP

The trick to Waking Violet, above any similar puzzlers, is that Violet can move blocks a half-step, obstructing two things at once. When you've been hitting your head against the wall playing the game as you would any other, this nugget of information suddenly becomes very relevant. Remembering it will help get past those two lighting orbs, or block ghosts from grabbing Violet!
Waking Violet

Deeper levels mix all of the elements in to multi-sequence puzzles, with ghosts roaming around once the portal is triggered to cause further chaos. Another handy feature is zoom out mode, so players can see the whole level in one screen.

Loading is rather slow on the Vita, and the game moves at a slightly chugging pace. That and the dark tones might not be to everyone's taste. However, as a puzzle challenge, there is lots to like and 40 plus levels to conquer making it a great portable play title.

Score: 7/10
More Reviews
Price: £6.99 (PSN)
Developer/publisher Marco Mastropaulo/Mixed Bag
File size 243MB
Progress: 75%

God Wars expansion, Labyrinth of Yomi incoming

If you're enjoying Kadokawa's God Wars: Future Past, get ready for more with Labyrinth of Yomi, a major expansion heading to west, August 31 (EU) and September (US). Featuring a new story, battles and characters, at $19.99, it'd better be a lot of content, even for fans of the main game.


I'd share some more content, but NIS America is bigging-up the Switch Complete Legend version, so there's red logos over everything!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Tetra's Escape slots into place on Vita

What do you get if you cross Tetris and a puzzle platformer? French studio, ABX Games has the answer with Tetra's Escape, a curious-looking title where the tetromino shapes must be used to create a safe passage to the end of each level.

Trophy listing is already up, so expect a release soon, and get ready for plenty of star and trophy collecting along the way to truly complete each level across six worlds.




Ready for launch - Super Skull Smash GO! 2 Turbo

Retro games deserve retro adverts, right? Even if that's not quite your thing, check out this new look at Super Skull Smash GO! 2 Turbo, offering crazed pixel platform action, out next week.

From Poppy Works and TACS Games, SSSGO!2T finds the Kingdom of Bones in need of a hero, but you'll have to do! The Evil King is up to his old tricks again, unleashing hordes of skeletons, zombies, ghosts and vampires.

Run, jump and super-skull-smash your way through the kingdom purifying the land as you go. Battle giant robot skeleton bosses and avoid deadly traps. Journey through the eight unique lands in the Kingdom of Bones bashing monsters and solving puzzles as you go. Earn bonus hearts and find hidden secrets galore!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Aksys still delivering new Vita games with Death Mark and Code Realize

Anime Expo has long been a friend to the Vita and Aksys was there to fire possibly the last shot in support of the Vita. Coming our way "soon" are visual novel Death Mark with a physical release, and in 2019, Code Realize: Wintertide Miracles.

Death Mark scared the pants of Japanese gamers last year with a grim modern tale set in and around Kujou Mansion. The Code Realize content is a fan disc, bolted on to the original game with extended stories and endings. Will update when I see an official press release with some more detail. In the mean time, here's some gameplay from the Death Mark demo...

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Trailer Trash Thursday, Battle Princess Madelyn, Fate Extella and Radio Hammer Station

A good mix this time out, check out the latest Kickstarter update for Casual Bit's Battle Princess Madelyn with plenty of gameplay. There's yet more Japanese Fate Extella DLC with fresh costumes for heroes Nero, Altera, Elizabeth, Nameless, Gilles, Darius, & Lancelot. Finally a fresh look at Radio Hammer Station with some great-sounding tunes, which really should be coming west, given its already in English.

Will update if any new videos pop up!




Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Japanese Vita sales perk up in latest Media Create chart data

Vita sales are now officially in "quirky" territory, where big jumps can happen for no obvious reason. Why sales are up over 1,300 from last week to almost 3.5K this is anyone's guess. A period Otomate visual novel, Shinku no Flame hit the latest Media Create chart at No. 13, selling 4,641 but the likes of Zanki Zero (out tomorrow) shouldn't be getting people that excited, should it? Or, perhaps importers are starting to have a real impact on sales?

If you do want a chuckle, remember that Ys VIII sold 45K on launch for the Vita in 2016. For its Switch release, it managed less than 6.5K! Then again, Switch dominates the top of the chart with Mario Tennis Ace and Minecraft.


Last week's data - Tune in next week for more chart craziness.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Chicken Range has the Vita in its sights

With trophies popping up on Exophase, looks like this plucky title will soon hit PSN for the Vita (digital only). Described by publisher Funbox (who gave us Space Hulk a few years ago) as as a fun and quirky shoot-em-up, you need to take down the poultry using pistols, AK47, RPG’s, alien ray guns and other weaponry.

Priced at £14.99 and also coming to PS4, it had better have decent design values. The play field is twice as wide as the screen, so you must be constantly moving your aim side to side in order to track down targets. To increase the difficulty, the chickens throw eggs at the screen to obscure the player’s field of view. Once your screen is covered in egg, its game over!


During each level, ammo crates drop at varying intervals which will refresh your ammo levels and “Shino”. Carry up to 3 weapons with you; only 4 are available in the earlier levels, the remaining weapons will unlock as you progress through the levels. The game contains 15 different levels. Each level introduces different baddie chickens with varying difficulties to kill them due to enhanced protection gear. Chicken types include Riot Police Chickens, Tank Chickens, Ninja Chickens, Helicopter Chickens and many more!

Friday, June 29, 2018

Japanese PSN Vita top sellers

Since Sony pretty much has done away with the western PSN top seller updates for Vita, here's a peek at what's hot on the handheld in Japan's digital store. I wasn't aware of this list until Experience's director mentioned them in a recent tweet to celebrate Sword City (thanks to that hefty discount) going to No. 1.

Good to see the likes of Undertale and Salt & Sanctuary doing well also. Wonder if we can get any numbers on those sales?


Meet the ladies of World End Syndrome

Arc System Works' latest has all the essential elements you need for a visual novel, a train journey, the sound of the sea, some wonky piano music and line up of squawking, breathy and enthusiastic ladies bidding for your attention.

The game is out at the end of August, no word or sign of a western release, on any format, but I guess A Vita version would be a no-go.