Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus hitting the Vita next Feb

That's the Japanese launch date, so not certain it will hit the western launch, although the game is pretty much done, so could hit at the same time. It features a new "hero" mode and adds touch controls, but is basically the game you know and love in a slightly new wrapping.

It will feature slightly smaller bite-sized level design to allow for gaming on the go and the rear touch panel can be used to charge up moves.

Ridge Racer DLC, some free, some priced, will extend the game

Traditionally, you played Ridge Racer for the first week of your new PlayStation's life, got it out to show friends and then left it for the odd nostalgia play. Not with the Vita version.- this baby will run and run thanks to the drip-feed DLC approach.

The list of content for Japan is as follows: (c/o Andriasang), the music packs are free (I'd be pissed off if I was charged for old music) with cars and tracks coming later and priced either individually or as an all-in-one offer (1,000 yen is about £8..50, $13)

December 22: 
Demo version
Music Pack 1 (music from Ridge Racer Type 4)
Music Pack 2  (music from Ridge Racer Type 4) 

January 12:
Music Pack 3 Ridge Racer V #1,
Music Pack 4 Ridge Racers #1  (the PSP title)

January 19:
Music Pack 5 Ridge Racers #2

January 26:
Music Pack 6 Ridge Racers #3

February 2:
Music Pack 7 Ridge Racer 6 #1

February 9:
Music Pack 8 Ridge Racer 6 #2

February 16: 
Ridge Racer Pass. Priced ¥1,600, this will let you purchase all DLC that will be released between February and May. Through February 29, this will be discounted to ¥1,000.

February 23: Car 1 Promessa, priced ¥250, and Course 1 Old Central, priced ¥400. These two will be free through February 29. Also due on the 23rd is Music Pack 10 Ridge Racer 7 #1, also free.

March 3: Cars 2 to 4, priced ¥250 each, and Course 2 and 3, priced ¥400 each. Music Pack 11 to 15, available for free. A "Medley" will also be released, priced ¥100.

April to May: Cars 5 to 8, priced ¥250 each, and Course 4 to 6 priced ¥400, Music Pack 16 to 19 free, and New Song Pack 2 and Medley 2 for ¥100 each.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sony Man shows off PS Vita features, doesn't justify memory card prices

Sony has popped up another video showing some of the creative juices that flowed behind the making of the peripherals. The first one was all about the cases, this one shows off the memory cards and headphones.

Pretty sure just because something is small, doesn't mean it should be so expensive, just saying!

Check out the final Lego Harry Potter combat trailer

Its the last game in the series, and the movies were full of wizardly combat on a grand scale. Things look a little cosier in this trailer, but all the main elements and scenes are present and correct.

Ready for one last foray into Lego Harry Potter's shoes? Of course you are!

PS Vita roars up the pre-order charts

With Joystiq reporting on near-riots as Hong Kong stores started taking pre-orders, its good to see the Web is a little safer for doing your gadget snagging. Not sure what basis this Preorder madness site has for its chart, but it has the Vita sitting pretty in second ahead of the likes of Star Wars: TOR and Mario Kart 3DS.

Not bad considering there's still another three months until its release in western countries.

PSP and PS3 up in Japanese sales, 3DS still king

The latest hardware sales figures from Japan show the 3DS way out in front still but slipping down week-on-week while the PSP and 3DS are racing up rapidly on the back of big releases.

3DS: 96,219 (-7,743) (-7.45%)
PS3: 41,069 (+18,150) (+79.19%)
PSP: 40,085 (+16,613) (+70.78%)
Wii: 13,613 (+1,831) (15.54%)

PS Vita hits Twitter

Last week someone from Sony tweeted, claiming to be doing it on a PS Vita. Here's the video of them showing off from last week's London PSV event. As its Twitter, its hardly the most inspiring of videos, but worth a peek of the service in action.

PS Vita memory, its price will be a lasting one

The PS Vita's custom memory cards have been a big annoyance for gamers since their unveiling. Sure, Sony need to make money back on the console. But charging $120 for the 32MB version is really going to cause a ruckus.

Gamestop in the US has listed its prices which are on a par with the Japanese pricing:

  • 4GB - $29.99
  • 8GB - $44.99
  • 16GB - $69.99
  • 32GB - $119.99
While these aren't wildly different to the list prices of current MemorySticks (Amazon has a Lexar 32GB of $159, on-sale for $98), there will be next to no discounts, making them a serious expense for some and a deal-breaker for others.

Of course, you can pick them up in a bundle which will save you a few extras bucks, but only the 4GB version has been sighted in these. At least it will be easy enough to start small and work up, assuming you don't have a mass of PSP games you want to transfer over!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Snakebyte offering Vita cases and accessories at launch

Snakebyte will have a complete range of Vita accessories good to go by launch. The line-up all looks rather generic and low on styling, but will include a:

8:1 Vita Game Case: Safe storage for up to 8 PS Vita game cards.

view:box  Vita Case: Case for PS Vita with stand for watching movies on the Vita and storage space for games and other accessories.

auto:ac  Vita Car Adaptor: Charge PS Vita on the go.

global:ac  Vita Universal Adaptor: Charge PS Vita via USB.

shield  Vita Screen Protector: Protects the PS Vita screen from dirt and scratches. Easy to attach, virtually invisible.

starter:pack:  Includes soft case, 8in1 game case, screen protector and wrist strap.

travel:pack:  Includes soft case, 8in1 game case, screen protector, headphones, car adaptor and wrist strap.

Great Battle Full Blast gets some action-packed pics

Namco's Great Battle Full Blast is due out in Japan next March and should bring some pretty intense combat action with its robotic heroes. Andriasang has a full 36 pack of screens, highlights below.

The game mixes up the Gundam, Ultraman and a few other famous armoured heroes in a side-scrolling brawl. The series dates way back to the SNES days and is ripe for a revival in these cross-over heavy days.

Madden 12 sacks the Xperia Play

Madden 12 rumbles on to Sony Ericsson's Xperia Play for a more controllable game of gridiron for just £1.92 via EA's current sale on the UK Android store.

What's STILL missing from the PS Vita line-up

Every time Sony has a get together, a few more PS Vita games are added to the line-up, but there is still a bunch of stuff missing. I won't even start on the sick joke that would be Gran Turismo Portable 2  but there are a few serious omissions.

First up, where's Sonic? There were a few suggestions that Sonic Generations was coming to the Vita, but you would think it would have been announced by now. Also, with the new Ace Combat ripping up the skies on PS3 and Xbox, you'd think that they could manage to cram a version into the Vita without too much trouble. Both series got some PSP love, so you'd hope news won't be too long in coming out.

In a similar bracket, but very far apart on the handheld scene are GTA and Saint's Row. The PSP (and even phones) got some GTA respect, but Saint's Row has been firmly on the big screen. With the Vita's power is GTA V a step too far, or how about a Saint's Row Remix bringing the best of the series to the Vita?

I'm pretty sure any unannounced sports games will migrate over in the goodness of time but I'd also expect to see the new SSX game and other extreme sports games making some moves on the Vita. What else is missing from the roster, or would make a good classic comeback from the history of gaming? Let us know.

Download the Lords of Apocalypse PSP demo now

Grab it here, I'm downloading it now - remember it'll probably be all in Japanese but most Square games are easy enough to bluff your way through.

Will update with thoughts and a mini-guide later. The download is only around 65Mb and should give us a nice idea of the mechanics.

Right, got it going. Click Start to get past the Man-of-deep-voice/girl-of-squeaky-voice intro scenes.

Choose a level, a weapon type and then your party characters and head out into the wilds. Run straight out the first door. There's some back on forth on the three parts of the map, so keep checking it.

In the play area, face buttons act as camera, stick moves you and your attacks are mapped to the icons on the lower right. Left trigger brings up health and other extras, right trigger is lock-on (useful on the bigger monsters).

Rush into an area, attack the nasties until you get the key or treasure chest to move on to the next area. Seems to be it so far, obviously missing out on all the stats and refinery if you could understand what was going on but still good fun.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Just the one F1 2011 pic. Why? Because its ugly!

Its not just me, pretty much everyone who has looked at these pics has recoiled in horror, some in disbelief that this is a next-generation title. The trouble is, I've seen the game played on a Vita and it looks okay. Its just these screens (particularly from this angle) are horrible.

These are the latest set from the Sony EU event and still look gross. If I was at Codemasters or Sumo Digital, I'd stop releasing pictures right now, they're not doing you any favours. (I'm sure it'll play great - but that'd still be like shagging Munch's The Scream.)

First up - this view is wrong. If its supposed to be from the driver's eyes then it should be lower down, F1 drivers look straight down the nose, not down into the cockpit. If its the roll-bar camera, then where is the helmet (see TV pic below)? And all the pics have this same odd view - just seems wrong. I know you can adjust the view but it's both wrong and ugly.

Also, everything is square - F1 cars are renowned for being sculpted and curved in all areas. Here we have square wing mirrors, square edges and where there is some curvature it looks like child's playdough efforts (especially the arms). Some of the other in-game pics show cars with more rounded mirrors, but if Lotus has gone all square

Anyway, I'm sure the game will play fine (see video) , but Codemasters is really not helping itself with these grim looking shots. I do wonder if they would be better off taking some photos from in front of the Vita where things do look a lot better!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ridge Racer Vita is cheap thanks to DLC

Ridge Racer will come at a bargain price for the Vita's launch, as the title only comes with three tracks (which can be run in reverse) and five cars. The rest of the content will be available as downloads (and I'm guessing most of it won't be free).

That's perhaps understandable in part, as it helps the publisher get around the second-hand games plague but will still likely annoy some gamers. It also explains why the game needs a memory card to play, although it does look gorgeous as a new batch of screens show.

Another slight downer is that Namco has confirmed the game runs at 30fps, not 60 - but that's hardly going to make a real difference, with the gorgeous AMOLED display showing off these great night scenes. 

New video shows off Urban Trials' grim landscape on the Vita

Just uploaded the intro video for the Moto X game from developer Tate which shows off the grimy urban wasteland you'll around, over and under, to pull off awesome stunts and avoid a nasty end - as with its rather grim looking final scene. Check out the in-game screens here.

Putty Squad squishes its way on to the Vita and PS3

Continuing our splurge of new Vita games news and pics here's another new game in the form of Putty Squad from System 3, based on the Amiga Putty game (and the SNES Putty Squad title) from way back when (on the same day that Codemaster's Dizzy reappears too - truly retro heaven). It features a stretchy blue blob as the hero and uses the Vita's interactive features to improve the action.

It has double the levels of the original, many secret levels, some activated only via location-based services. For example, going to a football stadium will unlock a correctly attired Avatar, visiting the natural History Museum will unlock an ancient Inca level or visiting the Science Museum will unlock an outer space level.

The rear touch-pad will be used to attack, expand and select items instead of using shoulder buttons and button combinations. Gamers will also be able to quickly zoom into the action for difficult jumps and even just to appreciate the detailed graphics even more. This can easily be done with a flick of a finger to or fro on the rear touch pad.

The PS3 and Vita versions will be fully compatible, allowing players to play one level at home and then continue their game on their journey to work, on their VITA! They will also be able to transfer and view Trophies. Additional features include:

Over 20 exclusive characters (enemies and allies) over and above the PS3 version. On top of that every character in the game has been remodeled in glorious 3D.

Intro/outro and inter level movies have been re-rendered and will be included in the game.

Multiplayer game-share options that allow up to four people to compete in tournaments, either versus or in Team Play.
Only one person needs a copy of the game in order for their friends to be able to experience Putty Squad, albeit in a limited fashion. When the link is severed the other players will no longer be able to play the game but they will immediately be given the option to buy it from PSN.

As described in detail later in the document, Putty Squad supports PSN Avatars in a big way.

Easy, constant access to online leaderboards.

New PS Vita Urban Trials screens

Continuing our splurge of new Vita pics here's the latest collection of images from the Vita's answer to Trials HD, Urban Trials from Tate Media looks the business.

New Vita Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 pics from the Vita

Continuing our splurge of new Vita pics here's the latest collection from Capcom's big, bad brawler. Bonus point if you can spot the Arthur the Knight from Ghosts and Goblins. Cudos to Capcom for providing their pics at the Vita's actual resolution!

See how LittleBigPlanet should be played on Vita

Also shown off at Sony's event was a fresh look at LittleBigPlanet. These pics show how the user will interact with the game, although surely it would have been easier to put up a video? Also think they could have used that five-million-dollar hand model to do the pointing.

New Gravity Daze pics from Sony EU pre-launch event

As you may have gathered from today's feast of news, there was a big pre-launch event held by Sony yesterday to show off the Vita, unveil new titles (Unit 13 and MotoStorm RC, Putty Squad plus a brief mention of Mortal Kombat Vitality), its 3G partner Vodafone and do some full-bore schmoozing.

There has also been a folder full of screens released which I'll put up as quickly as possible. Starting with some pretty new pics of Gravity Daze, showing off the excellent shading effects, background detail (love that pink to yellow sky) and the our heroine in gravity defying action.

Other pic collections: LittleBigPlanetUncharted: Golden AbyssHot Shots GolfUltimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3Urban Trials

PSN Store Update: BlazBlue vs Tekken

After the hetic U.S. update yesterday, things are a bit more refined on the EU store with a couple of releases hitting. First up is the gorgeous looking BlazBlue Continuum Shift II for £23.99 while for retro fans, Namco has put together PS One classics Tekken and Ridge Racer Type 4 (worth it for that classic trailer) for just £5.49.

Already got RRT4 and Tekken Dark Resurrection on UMD, so won't bother with that combo, especially as I felt rather downbeat about playing the original Soul Calibur on Xbox - it just didn't feel right. But its a nice idea, if Square would do some Final Fantasy or Tomb Raider combos, that'd be ace. 

Pure Chess looking gorgeous on the Vita

Pure Chess won't grab the headlines like Uncharted and MotoStorm, but if it moves as well as it looks, it could be bring the ancient game to a new pinnacle of visual interpretation. The UK developer, VooFoo, has just released this trailer which is really, really smooth.

Mortal Kombat Vitality hitting the Vita in 2012

There's been a few rumours of an MK title hitting the Vita and it was mentioned last night in a slide at Sony's London presentation that showed off all the European launch titles. That'll sit alongside MotoStorm RC and Unit 13 as the latest reveals as Sony hopes we can all hang on until February.

 No signs of screens, video or playable code, but there was this from a few months back.

New Uncharted: Golden Abyss screens show off your new lady friend

Boy its been a busy day, so far. So busy almost forgot to add these new screens from Uncharted: Golden Abyss. Andriasang has a full gallery but most look pretty muddy/generic. These two on the other hand show off the game's heroine in action.

Definitely looks like the hottest launch game on the Vita.

Sony promising augmented reality games on the Vita...

... well on your table, sofa, outside, wherever really! This new video shows off just some of what could be on offer. While some of them may be tech demos, it gives a good idea of what the system is capable of and just how it could change how we game in small but brilliant ways.


Team 17 having a PSN sale... Worm On!

Team 17 is having its own little Black Friday-week sale on the US PSN and among the PS3 content is this little gem for PSP wormers...

Worms: Battle Islands – PlayStation Portable – 66% discount off $24.99 = $8.49

Go grab it if you can and enjoy some wormage.

Unit 13 trailer shows off classes, team play

Its all go this morning, check out the Unit 13 pics here and then watch the trailer showing off the different types of role you can play in the co-op games. The action looks pretty tight, across busy looking levels.

The stab action looks rather weedy and non-spec-ops but otherwise this could be a bag of fun with the heavy multiplayer themes.

Codemaster's Dizzy returns to gaming

Okay, this isn't listed for PSP or Vita, yet - here's hoping - but any gamer of a certain age will appreciate the trailer for all its worth... However, as its an Android (and iOS) game we can mention it under the Xperia Play tag - hope it gets proper controls.

Start emailing or tweeting Codemasters demanding a PSN version now! The game will ship for phones on December 9th.

Latest pics and news on Zipper's Unit 13 for Vita

The first screens for Zipper's Unit 13 action game have hit for PS Vita and look pretty smart. The company has also made a few tweets about it, in response to questions, saying the game offers "competition through leaderboards and it does include co-op play, though not head-to-head death match."

So, are you ready to cooperate with other gamers rather than snipe their heads off? The game offers fast action, on-the-go gameplay, allowing players to move quickly into the action, choosing from one of six Operatives with unique abilities to tackle 36 action-packed missions across nine unique locales.

Missions come in a variety of sizes and difficulty. Some are smaller bite-sized battles; others are longer, more challenging, multi-objective missions that are a good test for any skilled shooter fan. As you make your way through the variety of missions, you unlock the right to take on the tougher High Value Target (HVT) enemy battles. After completing an HVT mission, you can share them with friends and nearby players through PlayStation Vita’s “NEAR” feature.

Like Ridge Racer on Vita, it will offer Daily Challenges to keep you playing, The Zipper team have used Vita’s Wi-Fi and 3G functionality to provide exceptional social gaming and competition with friends and opponents from around the world. Unit 13’s live notification interface, enabled through 3G, keeps players up to date on leaderboard positions, new “Daily Challenge” content, new unlocks, shared High Value Target missions, and challenges from friends as they move past you on the leaderboards.

The co-op modes will come with voice chat, so you can bark orders and apologise for fragging your friends!

I was hoping for some surprise announcements in advance of the launch and this along with MotoStorm RC are just the kind of the thing the Vita needs to get off to a roaring start.