Fight for the future

Polite Plea: After almost seven years and 7,000 articles, you may have noticed the number of stories slowing down here. Time moves on, but I'll always keep posting, as the Vita becomes the new Dreamcast.
However, I do need a new Vita as my launch day model is starting to show its age.
Since I don't have the time or content for a Patreon or YT channel, please consider clicking an ad to help reach my new Vita fund!
Once reached, hopefully in time for Christmas, I will remove all adverts, leaving this island of Vita life an ad-free oasis!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Enjoy 20 minutes of Little King's Story on the Vita

Heroic Youtuber Skyghene22 has spent a good while in the company on new Japanese Vita release New Little King's Story on the PS Vita. In it you build up your resources and do a fair amount of strategy in between the role-playing elements as you grow a town in an attempt to take back your old kingdom.

 
Crank up the quality to 720p for a better look.

Mortal Kombat kicking off on Vita on May 4

In one of the shortest news releases ever, Warner announces the arrival of more violence on the Vita. NetherRealm Studios today confirmed that Mortal Kombat will be released on 4th May in the UK.



Mortal Kombat for PlayStation Vita system provides an on-the-go fighting game experience with brand new gameplay features and tons of new content developed exclusively for the revolutionary handheld system.  Mortal Kombat delivers an all-new Challenge Tower mode with 150 brand new missions, including Touchscreen Fatalities, X-rays and more.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

DigiMon World Re:Vitalize keeps the PSP flame burning

I guess DigiMon games sell by the bucketload, and would expect little less for the next PSP outing, which just looks like Invizimals without the AR or Brian Blessed to me. The Namco title is due out in the summer in Japan and Andriasang has a host of new screens and artwork to enjoy.


The title was announced late last year and will challenge gamers with yet more beastie raising, training and battles. Hope it has solid online modes to keep the Monster Hunter crowd happy. 

Official: 2011 was a rubbish year in Japanese gaming.

In 2010, the PSP sold 2.6 million units in Japan. During 2011, it could only manage 1.6 million. Sure its nearing the end of its life, but there is still huge amounts of new software being produced for the PSP. On the plus side, there are now over 18 million PSPs in Japanese hands, so around one in six of the population owns one (although almost one in four own a Nintendo DS).

The Vita managed 620,000 sales in its first three months and even if it holds steady at 10K a week will happily sell over a million in its first year. But, as with the 3DS, expect sales to start to rocket once the big hitters like Monster Hunter and Phantasy Star appear, and there's that almost inevitable price cut later in the year.

But while hardware sales are in flux, software sales really took a dive. In 2010, the two biggest games in Japan sold four million (Monster Hunter Portable 3) and five million (Pokemon Black/White). In 2011, only one game managed to squeak over the 1.5 million mark (Mario Kart 7).


Hardware: 170.24 billion yen (-0.3%)
Software: 272.28 billion yen (-9.8%)
Overall: 442.52 billion yen (-6.4%)


So, the final revenue figures (from Media Create) make for pretty sombre reading, down almost 10%. And with retailers going bust in Europe and America lagging on sales, it looks like 2012 will be just as hard globally. Will new ideas and characters bring a revival in a market obsessed with sequels, or is gaming going into one of its regular slumps?




Imageepoch's Sol Trigger looking hot on PSP

Imageepoch's Sol Trigger has an official site up with some great looking art and screens. A shame the screens are so dinky, but take a look at the site to check out their potention


There's also a video with some gameplay
The clips you can check out over on NicoNico 


The game is down for release sometime in 2012, and given the effort to make it stand out from the herd of JRPGs, it'd be great to see it hit the west.

Unchained Blades whirling on to Sony PSP

While the PSP continues to go great guns in Japan, there's still a fair hope of getting some of the better games over in the west. Xseed is the latest to do some JRPG with a version of Unchained Blades headed to the PSP.



The twist in this tale is that players can try to convince enemies to join their side during battles as a former Dragon Emperor tries to regain his lost throne (or something).

Little King's Story gameplay video

After yesterday's arty, but non-gameplay trailer, check out the game in action now in the latest video. It shows some of the touch controls and that very Nintendo colour palette. The game is out tomorrow in Japan and could be the Vita's first shot at a No. 1 since launch.




Orgarhythm and Dokuro get sites, new PS Vita games on the way, finally!

If there is some big crisis in Japanese game development, then the PSP and PS Vita provide a rich vein for the defence. Its just a shame it takes so long for us to see them. I'm thinking Grand Knights History, Gravity Daze and now Orgarhythm.



The music/strategy game from the Space Channel 5 dude, unveiled yesterday now has an official site with a couple of laid-back tunes to enjoy (hold your cursor over the music note to swap, Elyata is fine, 430 grates after a while [about 10 seconds, actually]). Check out the first pics here.

Another PS Vita game getting an official site is Dokuro, which brings a rather Tim Burton style to the (guessing) puzzle/platform game. Not much info there but expect it to populate in the coming weeks.



Finally we have Namco's teaser site for a PSP game that seems to be for Hunter x Hunter, a very popular manga, which should sell by the truckload. While none of these may be classical AAA titles, invention and style (in the case of the first two) will go a long way to building an audience.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Latest sales charts from Japan, better news for the PS Vita?

The latest Media Create charts are out and show Little Busters sneaking into the Top 20 for the Vita while the PSP continues to roll out the hits with Yakuza Black Panther 2 in at No. 2 behind the juggernaut of Nintendo's Kid Icarus

01./00. [3DS] Kid Icarus: Uprising <ACT> (Nintendo) 132.526 / NEW
02./00. [PSP] Black Panther 2: Yakuza Ashura Chapter <ADV> (Sega) 104.937 / NEW
03./01. [NDS] Pokemon + Nobunaga's Ambition <SLG> (Pokemon Co.) 65.046 / 237.073 (-62%)
04./00. [PS3] Devil May Cry HD Collection <ACT> (Capcom) - 43.791 / NEW
05./00. [PS3] Ninja Gaiden 3 # <ACT> (Koei Tecmo)  29.797 / NEW
06./00. [PS3] Attouteki Yuugi: Mugen Souls # <RPG> (Compile Heart) 23.004 / NEW


On the hardware front, the Vita is up a few hundred sales to 10,300, bringing it to 630,000 lifetime sales in Japan. The fact the PSP has six games in the charts to the Vita's one explains why the older machine is still selling twice as many units.

Hardware

3DS    94.011
PS3    25.750
PSP    19.875
PSV   10.302

Gravity Daze passes the 100,000 sales mark in Japan

Sony director K. Toyama has just tweeted that the PS Vita exclusive Gravity Daze has passed the 100,000 sales mark through both physical and digital sales. The translation reads it... "has topped 100,000 in sales + DL domestic shipment. Gravity Daze has continued to sell gradually while sober!"

A second tweet says he is looking forward to the US and European launches. As are we mate, as are we. The game's additional levels and DLC content should keep buyers coming and

PSN Store Update for PS Vita, Shinobido demo and mucho DLC

Bit bare this week on the EU store with a new demo for Shinobido: Revenge of Zen being the only real event. I'll give it a try when the store updates.



There's some music DLC for Ridge Racer, levels for Katamari, some new cars for MotorStorm RC, more voices for BlazBlue and cards for Dynasty Warriors Next.

JRPG Arc the Lad II is out for PSone - if only Sony would hurry up and kick in the PS Vita's firmware update that lets us play those classic gems.

Rocketbirds to get boosted on PS Vita

PSN classic Rocketbirds (Hardboiled Chicken) is making its way from the PS3 to the Vita via Ratloop Asia. The stylish action game will reach us later in the year and hopefully has some neat Vita-specific touches too.


Idiot Squad hitting PSP minis today

Once you get past the intro, this looks a teeny bit like the Dreamcast's Chu Chu Rocket... but that's no bad thing. And, even if its a passing resemblance, it looks like a fun sheep-based tactical game from developer Hydravision. Coming to PSP minis today in the PSN update.

Watch Ragnarok being played online (PS Vita)

The new Raganarok Odyssey patch is out in Japan and you can see how it works in this handy narrated video (c/o skyghene22) that shows off a couple of missions and the social scene in action. On the negative side, its a shame to see the Japanese equivalent of the Please Wait screen still sticking around but the game looks really fun, if you like hacking at the ankles of giant beasts.



Crank the vid up to 720 and watch in full screen, pretty much like being there. Clearly sounds like the game was made for multiplayer, so hope it launches that way over here.

USN PSN update gets Supremacy MMA and a Resistance AR app

Yesterday's PSN update for America got the new Supremacy MMA title for the Vita, weighing in at 1.34Gb and an awesome looking fighting game. There's also a neat teaser for the upcoming Vita Resistance Burning Skies title in the form of an augmented reality viewer that seems to only offer some static images via the discomfort of your own home.



Also, check out the Atlus PSP sale offering some essential gaming for Vita owners


Atlus drops US pricing for PSP titles to encourage Vita owners


Yesterday's update on the US PSN has some decent offers for Vita owners looking to broaden their collection via some PSP titles. Among the ATLUS classics dropping in price is the complete PSP system Persona collection, which includes Persona®3 Portable, regarded as the second-best PSP system of all-time by gamerankings.com.  Also being discounted are Hexyz Force and the  Dept. Heaven PSP collection, a host of genre-twisting RPGs and SPRGs with breathtaking visuals and innovative gameplay from celebrated developer Sting.  Other affected titles include the acclaimed RPG  Crimson Gem Saga, the hardcore dungeon-crawling RPG  Class of Heroes, and the action-packed brawler Kenka Bancho: Badass Rumble.


"Whether you're a PSP system owner who has watched ATLUS RPGs from afar, your eyes glued to your pervy game-watching binoculars but your wallet unable to open itself for the cause, or perhaps you spend your evenings making sexy time with the two nubs on your new PlayStation Vita," commented Aram Jabbari, Manager of PR and Sales at ATLUS, "Now you can dive into a library of critically acclaimed ATLUS PSP system games that delivers hundreds of hours of deep, compelling RPG adventures and promises to thoroughly satisfy your hardcore gamer cravings."


The full list of participating titles: 
Class of Heroes - now $14.99 (was $39.99)  
Crimson Gem Saga - now $14.99 (was $29.99)
Hexyz Force - now $14.99 (was $29.99)  
Kenka Bancho: Badass Rumble - now $14.99 (was $39.99)
Knights in the Nightmare - now $14.99 (was $29.99)
Riviera: The Promised Land - now $9.99 (was $14.99)
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona - now $19.99 (was $39.99)
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 2: Innocent Sin - now $29.99 (was $39.99)  
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable - now $19.99 (was $39.99)
Yggdra Union - now $9.99 (was $14.99)

New Little King's Story trailer out

Konami has shown off a new trailer (no gameplay) of the PS Vita's updated edition of the Wii game. It comes with a new storyline to play through and online modes like ranking play, co-operative item creation and other treats to make use of the Vita's connectivity.



Downloadable content will include uniforms to appeal to the Japanese gaming audience, with stockings and tight fitting outfits high on the list, judging by some artwork doing the rounds.


Space Channel 5 developer bringing new rhythm action game to Vita

Tak Hirai, who worked on Sega classics Shenmue and Space Channel 5 is bringing a new music game currently titled Orgarhythm (which brings instantly to mind Woody Allen's Sleeper) to the PS Vita via his own company, Neilo, to be published by Acquire in Japan this summer. We'd hope for a western release, unless its too impenetrable (and the game has been categorised as hard to describe by those working on it) but it will be a co-op and multiplayer title.

The news comes from Famitsu magazine, with nothing on the site yet and Tak's twitter is mostly foursquare check-ins right now, but mentions his passion for audio-based experiences. The company's only product out now is a GREE Idol title, but Neilo's newly revamped site does put a big emphasis on sound and music. Should be interesting to see what they come up with.



UPDATE: Some pics have appeared on Famitsu showing off the game in action. Looks highly distinctive, anyone seeing the merest hints of Patapon in 3D meets C&C?


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Hey Sony, here's your 'things to fix' list on the PS Vita

Any Vita using PlayStation fan should know where this article is going, but Sony needs a firmware update pretty soon to prevent some handhelds getting thrown and broken.

1. Golden Abyss and the Black Market map of confusion.

What the hell happens? Tap the map on the Live Area screen, it takes you to near, you press the near button and nothing happens. I get warnings about not leaving Near and returning to the game, there's certainly no treasure. What are you supposed to do, it makes no sense? Then you finally go back to the Black Market app, there's no items to trade, I finished the game, I should have something right? Then it asks you to "post updated trade offers." Confusing is not the word.

If games are supposed to link to apps, then the handover needs to be fluid and end in either a positive result or a "nothing to see here, go back to your game" message. Don't leave users hanging, confused or how about you just ditch Near as there's more confusion in this app then the rest of the Vita's utilities put together.

2. That "Please wait" hell

This screen can appear three or four times on some games. Plus a couple of bonus "connecting to PlayStation Network" screens as well. If a game needs the network, just an icon in the corner will suffice. Don't ruin the integrity of the game with these horrible interruptions. I don't know if its lazy game programmers or a Sony-enforced message, but make it stop please!

3. Memory is king

With the PS Vita hamstrung by those silly over-priced memory cards, why isn't the size of each file clear marked as the very first thing on each PSN entry? Why isn't there a little memory card icon similar to the battery charge one showing how full it is, or more practically, how much room is left. Why wait until you've paid for the game or chosen the app and tried to download before giving you a warning that there's not enough space.

I hope all of these issues can be fixed by a little bit of firmware trickery. But with more games planning on using Near to trade goods, like Phantasy Star, that app needs a great deal of work. It really feels like someone at Sony had a good idea but didn't quite know how to execute it, especially with the two different models of Vita to confuse things.

Anything else you'd like Sony to address?

Monday, March 26, 2012

PS Vita Charts (UK boxed sales)

With Chart Track still unable to do its job properly and add digital sales from PSN, or give us detailed numbers,  here's a vague idea of what's selling in shops for the Vita, up to the 24th March. Uncharted and Unit 13 swap places near the top, in the only change to the top 10, but F1 2011 should have got a boost from the start of the new season.


1 - FIFA FOOTBALL EA SPORTS
2 ^ UNCHARTED: GOLDEN ABYSS SONY COMPUTER ENT.
3 UNIT 13 SONY COMPUTER ENT.
4 - RAYMAN ORIGINS UBISOFT
5 - WIPEOUT 2048 SONY COMPUTER ENT.
6 - F1 2011 CODEMASTERS
7 - EVERYBODY'S GOLF SONY COMPUTER ENT.
8 - VIRTUA TENNIS 4: WORLD TOUR EDITION SEGA
9 - LITTLE DEVIANTS SONY COMPUTER ENT.
10 ASPHALT INJECTION UBISOFT
11 DUNGEON HUNTER: ALLIANCE UBISOFT
12 ARMY CORPS OF HELL SQUARE ENIX
13 ULTIMATE MARVEL VS. CAPCOM 3 CAPCOM
14 MODNATION RACERS: ROAD TRIP SONY COMPUTER ENT.
15 RIDGE RACER NAMCO BANDAI GAMES
16 REALITY FIGHTERS SONY COMPUTER ENT.
17 LUMINES ELECTRONIC SYMPHONY UBISOFT
18 - LEGO HARRY POTTER: YEARS 5-7 WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE
19 NINJA GAIDEN: SIGMA PLUS KOEI
20 re DYNASTY WARRIORS NEXT KOEI

Silent Hill Book of Memories delayed to May

Originally listed as a PS Vita launch game, the not-quite Silent Hill game is getting push further back into the summer as developers continue to tweak the title. A tweet from Konami says "Unfortunately Book of Memories has been delayed. Stay tuned for a more formal announcement."

Given the largely muted, sometimes hostile, response to this release in the series as a multiplayer action game, perhaps they're taking some time to refocus the title and add some more Silent Hill magic and less crap generic game we added a big brand to.

Expect more of an update soon, retailers are now listing it at 31 May, but if Konami doesn't know, then stores certainly won't.

Gravity Rush pulls in more content, levels

Not only is Gravity Rush the Vita's first innovative game, its also leading the way in the amount of content coming down for a "big" title. With new costumes, missions and challenges, there is plenty to keep Kat fans happy and interested in the game way beyond the basic package.



Japan gets two updates in April, more pics here. I still want the skin for my Vita.

Ragnarok Odyssey gets full online play, more quests

With Phantasy Star Online heading to the Vita and upping the stakes for crossplay, looks like Ragnarok needs to get its skates on. And, the first expansion launches today adding full online modes beyond the current ad-hoc support plus the ability to trade goods with Near.



The new missions plus news of further expansions should help keep the community growing and we happily await a western launch. Check out some more screens and news at Andriasang.

Phantasy Star Online 2 free to play, new screens

Some fun news from Japan overnight (c/o Andriasang) from Sega says that Phantasy Star Online 2 will be a free to download game across the PC and PS Vita. You'll probably still have to play for a boxed copy (that is assuming it comes out here) and I reckon a game that big will need its own dedicated 16GB memory card once you start buying the expansions, extra content and custom gear where Sega will make its money back.


There will also be a smartphone version which you can share your content with, but the Android and iOS versions will be separate and distinct games, whereas the PC and Vita versions will allow crossplay so you enjoy the same game at home/office/on the go.


These early Vita screenshots also released over the weekend show a consistent interface to the PC version, so with cloud saving (presumably) it really will be pick up and go. That will also help Sega fight cheaters but, more importantly, allow PSV users to battle with their PC friends at the same time.


I enjoyed the Japanese PSP demo of the previous version a few years back and the Dreamcast original, but the time is finally right for a big cross-platform move and the Vita looks like the appropriate device to extend our gaming off the big-screen seamlessly to the road - perhaps its time to get a 3G Vita when this launches next Spring. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

BlazBlue goes adventuring for Arc's next release

At an event in Japan, Arc System Works, developer of the BlazBlue series, announced a new game currently called "Xblaze" which could be an adventure based on the crazed plot of the fighting games, or at least a related saga.



Check out a little more detail and some screens at Andriasang, there is no word on the target system but since Blazblue made it to PSP and Vita, I'd say it stands a good chance of appearing on the portable. Whatever the final title, the game is due for a Winter release.


Friday, March 23, 2012

Accel World gets a trailer (PSP/PS3)

We first got word of Namco's Accel World last month and now a trailer has popped up to show the weedy kid using accelerated brain waves and rather lithe looking mech suits to make his way in the world (you know, the usual).



The game is due out later this year, looks like a Japan-only effort. UPDATED: Video removed... more details soon.

Persona 2: Eternal Punishment site up, great box art

Andriasang points us in the direction of the new Atlus site for the upcoming PSP Persona title, just have that site  running in the background and I bet the ambient music will increase your productivity by at least 15% - maybe. There's a movie, some screenshots and a peek at the cracking artwork for the boxed game.


We await news of a western release with great interest, given Ghostlight's success with the series over here. Hopefully the download version will be Vita compatible, pretty sure the other Persona titles on the EU store are. The first in the series is there (Shin Megami Tensei) for just £7.99 right now if you want to get into the series.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

US PSN site reveal's Vita first month of sales

While we don't get any numbers see what the most popular downloaded PS Vita games are from the US store:


1.) Escape Plan
2.) Super Stardust Delta
3.) Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack
4.) Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
5.) Plants vs. Zombies
6.) Rayman Origins
7.) Uncharted: Golden Abyss
8.) Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus
9.) Hustle Kings
10.) Dynasty Warriors Next

Good to see the innovative titles at the top and that gamers aren't afraid to download the big stuff in numbers either. Wonder if there's much difference around the world's stores?

PS Vita getting some top notch foosball action

Grip Games (the folks behind the cracking Impossible Game and a host of PSP minis) are bringing table football to the Vita and the PS3 with crossplay. That should help bring that post-pub/SU vibe to our screens with a range of table designs and other tweaks.



The game will be a download title on PSN, available soon. Some screens and social links here.

PS Vita Review: Uncharted Golden Abyss

A month after getting my hands on my Vita and this game, I've finally had the time to finish the job, and its been quite the thrill ride. In fact, if I had the space and time, I'd probably rush out to get a cheap PS3 and the previous games in the series, so endearing is this instalment.

But, this is my first introduction to the world of Nathan Drake, a character who is a clear spiritual successor to Lara Croft and who spends more time than is healthy hanging off ledges and swinging on ropes than is good for anyone. With a fair bit more gun play than Tomb Raider, most of the adventure is split into two types of level, shooting and clambering, with a few places where the two collide to kinetic effect.

The game's bedrock features, picking up new weapons, letting them off and leaping from ledge to rockface, to pillar and so on becomes first nature very quickly. Once you get into the meat of the game, some Vita-specific features come into their own. Climbing up and down the ropes by tickling the rear touch pad is one of the more natural moves, and the QT fights in slo-mo let you appreciate the detail in the graphics.

Looking for Clues

Aside from doggedly following the plot, laden with double-crosses, rescues and much peril, most of the fun comes from peeking into every nook and cranny for all the hidden loot, usually signified by a tiny glint. That job becomes a lot easier with the Black Market treasure map you can pick up in the Store, which shows you where they all are. But, on your first run, try to find as many as you can, following your own instincts.

I'm not sure about the fun or benefit of some features like taking scenic photos as one of the sub-missions, but again, anything that has you take time to look at the intricate level of detail in the world on a portable is a good thing.

Uncharted isn't really a game to play just to win all the achievement trophies on offer, but there are certainly plenty to be had, if you fancy fist fighting your way through the game, or being a head shot king. It's a shame there aren't a few more skill-related ones like doing certain levels in a particular time or finding some cleverly hidden almost inaccessible areas, but the main game is way too enjoyable to be worrying about that.

I was rather concerned at some of the lower scores from proper reviewers when I decided to buy this with my Vita, but as a demonstration of the handheld's power it is way ahead of everything else I've played and there's a very good reason it is listed as PCSF00001 on the side of the box. Uncharted does prove the Vita can do the big console games, and very well. (As a demonstration of that power to other developers, it will take some time to see if they agree and bring their key titles across to the Vita, something in a battle of limited resources and budgets, I'm not sure it will win on.)

But as a game for mere mortals like me to play, this is a hard driven, fiercely plotted story that's well paced, acted and brought to the small screen. Bravo to the developers for doing such a good job on a pivotal launch title, I look forward to running through a few more times to pick up all the bits I missed.



Developer: Sony Bend Studio
Price: £34.99
Score: 9/10
Progress: Completed on Normal
More Vita reviews

PS Vita Review: Treasures of Montezuma Blitz

I loved the PSP mini version of the full game, but this is a stripped down, faster-paced edition -- denoted by the Blitz title. In this version, you have just a minute to throw together lines of three or more tokens by swapping adjacent pairs.

The touch controls are simple, just swipe one token to the next, but take careful aim when in a rush as its easy enough to move the wrong one, with unintended consequences. The more you get together in sequence, the more points you get and by creating lines with gems in you can increase the score multiplier.

Play the game enough and you can level up which allows you to use totems or bonus icons on the board to increase your scoring power, extend the clock or create more destructive moves. Slowing you down is a play limit, which gives you five goes in a row, then you need to wait a bit for the life meter to replenish. Or you can pay 79p/99c for an upgrade - a very smartphone like feature.

Also, don't spend all your gems on totem upgrades, as each game costs gems to play and you might have to pay for more once you run out, or wait for your daily scratchcard where you can win some more credit. One neat option will let you share, if you have a friend online, they can gift you some funds via Near (a subtle touch).

UPDATE: Here's a tip, don't play it for a few weeks, when you come back, you get stacks of credits and double-points, and will probably never have to pay an IAP again.


Immediately likeable and great fun to play, there's no excuse not to try it as its free and it makes a great "quick play" game you can have a quick burst on before putting away for something more involved. My only complaint is that manual has nothing about the gameplay at all and the tips provided aren't really clear enough, if you're new to the game -- but it won't take too long to figure everything out. It should also clearly point out the paid-for elements before you start, something that some are finding rather a rip-off.

Oh, and I hate when your Vita goes into Standby mode and the game has to re-find the network with the requisite battery of Please Wait screens - it looks really ugly and unclassy. Something either Sony or the developers need to fix.

Developer: Alawar
Price: Free
Score: 7/10
Progress: Level 40
More Vita reviews

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

PS Vita maintains 10K sales a week in Japan, PSP games chart rampage

As posted earlier, there's a couple of good games out next week that might move some Vita systems, but for now the PSP continues to offer more with three new entries in the top five, and therefore do far better. Shining Blade comes in at No.2 behind the latest Pokemon.




[NDS] 01. Pokemon + Nobunaga's Ambition(Pokemon Co., 12.03.17): 172,027 (NEW)
[PSP] 02. Shining Blade (Sega, 12.03.15): 122,257 (NEW)
[PSP] 03. Madoka Magika Portable (Namco Bandai, 12.03.15): 62,408 (NEW)



[PS3] 04. One Piece Pirate Musou (Namco Bandai, 12.03.01): 34,600 (780,508)
[PSP] 05. Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side Premium 3rd Story (Konami, 12.03.15): 27,717 (NEW)
[3DS] 06. Hatsune Miku and Future Stars Project Mirai (Sega, 12.03.01): 18,341 (105,017)
[3DS] 07. If I Were in a Sealed Room with a Girl I'd Probably XXX (D3, 12.03.15): 18,291 (NEW)
[3DS] 08. Mario Kart 7 (Nintendo, 11.12.01): 17,064 (1,581,089)
[3DS] 09. Monster Hunter 3G (Capcom, 11.12.10): 16,924 (1,314,720)
[NDS] 10. Mario & Sonic at London Olympics (Nintendo, 12.03.01): 16,183 (82,924)
[3DS] 11. Super Mario 3D Land (Nintendo, 11.11.03): 15,801 (1,419,455)
[3DS] 12. Harvest Moon Hajimari no Daichi (Marvelous AQL, 12.02.23): 12,331 (137,217)
[PS3] 13. Street Fighter x Tekken (Capcom, 12.03.01): 11,611 (70,082)
[PS3] 14. Winning Post 7 2012 (Tecmo Koei, 12.03.15): 11,524 (NEW)
[PSP] 15. Amnesia Later (Idea Factory, 12.03.15): 10,936 (NEW)



[PS3] 16. Legasista (Nippon Ichi, 12.03.15): 9,820 (NEW)
[3DS] 17. Metal Gear Solid Snake Eater 3D (Konami, 12.03.01): 9,027 (47,401)
[PS3] 18. Gundam UC (Namco Bandai, 12.03.01): 8,871 (60,540)
[PSP] 19. Winning Post 7 2012 (Tecmo Koei, 12.03.15): 8,455 (NEW)
[PS3] 20. Mass Effect 3 (Electronic Arts, 12.03.15): 8,142 (NEW)

Hardware sales

3. PSP: 18,633 (16,176)
4. PSV: 10,021 (10,041)

Vita games score well in Famitsu, New Little King Story Up Next

The PSP and Vita go head to head in this week's Famitsu with both versions of the popular Pro Baseball Spirits returning for another run, with the Vita version getting two 10s. New Little King Story also scored well. Is either game likely to give Vita sales a nudge?



[PSP] Sengoku Hime 3 Tenka wo Kiri Saku Hikari to Kage: 6, 6, 5, 6
[PSP] Pro Baseball Spirits 2012: 9, 9, 9, 8
[PSV] Pro Baseball Spirits 2012: 10, 10, 9, 8
[PSV] New Little King Story: 8, 8, 8, 8


EU PSN Update: Montezuma and the endless DLC

If you've got Ridge Racer's Gold Pass then help yourself to a few more downloads to pad out the thin gaming experience, otherwise its to the Halls of Montezuma you go (hey, its free - give it a shot) which was great fun on the PSP, and just about every other device its been on!

PS Vita Games

Treasures of Montezuma Blitz (Free to Play)
Treasures of Montezuma Blitz is a stunning shiny new puzzle game, using the unique abilities of PlayStation Vita to bring you a fresh experience of new-age fun!



PSP Games

Both Monster Hunter games are now just £7.99

PS Vita DLC
BlazBlue Contiuum Shift Extend
Prices: £4.79 €5.99 AU$9.95
System Voices Makoto Type A,B
System Voices Tsubaki Type A,B

Ridge Racer
Add-On Car 03 ‘Dignistar’
Add-On Car 04 ‘Fatalita’
Prices:£1.19 €1.49 AU$2.45
Add-On Course 02 ‘Sunset Heights’
Music Pack 11
Music Pack 12
Music Pack 13
Music Pack 14
Music Pack 15
Prices: £1.99 €2.49 AU$4.25

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

US PSN Update: Sumioni hits the store, more MotorStorm DLC


PS Vita Games
Sumioni: Demon Arts ($19.99)
Take control of Agura, a Sumioni, or “Inkdemon”, who’s been called upon to white out a blot of evil upon feudal Japan. Guide him through 2D side-scrolling levels and unleash his powers by drawing brush strokes on the touchscreen.
File size 288 MB

PS Vita Add-Ons
MotorStorm RC MISCHIEF Vehicle Pack 1 & Singles (Vita DLC cross entitled with PS3) ($0.49-$0.99)
File size: 100 KB – 400 KB

MotorStorm RC SPECIAL Super Car – Wasabi Lightning (Vita DLC cross entitled with PS3) ($0.25)
File size: 100 KB

BlazBlue: Cse – System Voice Arrange Makoto Type-A, Type-B (Vita DLC cross entitle with PS3) ($5.99)
This is a system voice by Tomomi Isomura, the voice of Makoto Nanaya.
File size 100 KB

Ridge Racer Add-On Car 04 Fatalita (Free For Gold Pass) ($1.49)
Add a new machine to your game with the manufacturer ASSOLUTO’s FATALITA!
File size 3.3 MB

Ridge Racer Music Pack 14 Remix #2 (Free)
Enjoy 4 remixed songs from RAVE RACER!
File size 34.5 MB

PS Vita Apps
Music Unlimited 30-day trial (Free)
PS Vita Videos
The Tester Season 3 Episode 7

Resistance Burning Skies gets a new arty trailer.

Sorry Zipper, but Unit 13 is pretty much a warm up for the main act in the PS Vita's first round of shooters. That being Sony's own Resistance Burning Skies where a humble fireman is the hero, as opposed to some hulking squaddies



The new trailer is half-art/half-kill-shot-fest but promises bags of proper twin stick action with extreme peril and  death by axe. What's not to like? The story starts in August 1951: The Attack on America Begins.......Set in a brutal, alternate 1950s universe, Resistance: Burning Skies puts you in the centre of the first Chimeran invasion of America. You play as New York firefighter Tom Riley, who responds to a routine 911 call and comes face-to-face with the brutal Chimera in the initial days of their invasion on the east Coast of the US. He is separated from his wife and daughter and must make the decision to takes up arms against the invading force to locate them. Resistance: Burning Skies has been built from the ground up for the PSVITA and will be the first portable FPS to give you true, Dual-Analog control.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Icon Games talk about PS Vita development and Sony's policiies

Icon has a decent history of smartphone and PSP mini game development, and is toying around with the PS Vita. Some recent blog posts (parts one and two) have discussed their efforts and suggested a few things Sony could do to make publishing easier and better.

A few key phrases:


BUT…It all ran at about 5 FPS! Not too much of an issue though as we added it all in a very non-optimal way initially, just to get it up and running. So the last few days have been spent on some serious optimisations, with a fair bit of back-and-forth with SCEE tech guys (thanks chaps – much appreciatedJ). We’re up to around the 20 FPS mark now but we’ve had to make a compromise and drop SSAO – although we’re looking at adding AO into the light map baking pipeline, which would then make it a ‘free’ effect (i.e. not taking up any GPU time).

Our suggestions to Sony: We’d like to suggest relaxing IPA a little (or ideally removing it completely) and for Sony to encourage all type of game experiences from AAA through to bite-sized casual gaming experiences (PSVita Minis PLEASE!). Also – let us Minis publishers release Vita specific enhanced versions of our existing Minis.  

Any other smaller developers twiddling away with their Vita kits? Let us know how its going.

Marvel Avengers Pinball tilts on to PS Vita

Marvel is chucking a host of its heroes including the Hulk, Iron Men and more of the Averngers on to the Vita in a new pinballer. Developed by Zen Studios, the PinballFX folks, there's loads of extra visuals to perk up the table outside the traditional dot screen effects.



Features include:


Marvel’s The Avengers table reflects the events of this summer’s highly anticipated blockbuster, pitting all six Avengers against Loki’s invasion of Earth. Nick Fury commands the team of Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, each character represented by a customized ball that echoes his or her own appearance and power set.

Hulk Smash! After the Hulk’s banishment to outer space, he returns to Manhattan to seek revenge against the Illuminati and wage war against the X-Men, Iron Man, the Fantastic Four and Doctor Strange in World War Hulk.

The Silver Surfer and Adam Warlock enlist Earth’s Mightiest Heroes – including you – to recover the six Infinity Gems from Thanos and save the universe in The Infinity Gauntlet. The intense pinball atmosphere heightens as each Infinity Gem produces a special effect on the table, such as literally flipping the table upside down with the Reality Gem.

The Avengers must defeat Odin’s long-banished brother, the Serpent, and free the world from the grip of chaos in Fear Itself. Featuring a table design unlike any to date, Fear Itself utilizes magnetic energy in ways no one has ever before experienced on a pinball table.

Surge Concerto, what the hell is it?

I've seen the video...



... and there's some screens floating about and there's even a Facebook page, but I really don't have the faintest idea exactly what this game, developed by Gust, is.

Apparently you need to raise the doe-eyed young lady in some fantasy world but that's pretty much it on the info front. Sounds unlikely to get a western release, but that's no excuse for some better info not being available.

There's a Flash site here showing a release date of the end of April but not much translates so I can get the slightest idea what the game is really like. Update: Found an oldish story here that hints at some of the gameplay.

Friday, March 16, 2012

iFixit tears down the PS Vita, good repair score

iFixit are the screwdriver wielding demons of the web, tearing apart any and all technology. It's latest teardown review is the PS Vita which gives us all a good look at the insides of our beloved consoles.



More importantly, the site reckons the Vita is pretty easy to fix if things go wrong, rating it an 8 out of 10 and they have some interesting comments about the design and construction.

How to choose your own PS Vita lock screen

The Vita's backgrounds can be customised pretty easily, but you can also change the front lock screen of the handheld. First copy over your chosen picture to your Vita, or download it from the browser. Tap the Photos icon, tap the bottom right icon, tap All, pick the right photo you want as your lock screen.



Then, tap the bottom right ",,," button and choose Use as Start Screen. Voila, when you next use your Vita, that picture will be the first thing you see. Check out sites like DeviantArt and PSVitaWallpaper for some dedicated examples.

PS Vita wins a red dot design award


Sony Computer Entertainment has been recognized for innovative design by the prestigious red dot awards by Germany's Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen. With more than 4,500 entries from over 58 countries and regions this year, the red dot design awards is a big thing for design aficionados.



Judged by an independent jury of 30 international experts, the PS Vita was among several Sony products that won red dot awards for design quality: "To be recognized for our commitment to product design by leading industry experts is a fantastic achievement for SCE", said Andrew House, President and Group CEO, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.  "We are particularly thrilled with the reaction and expectation to the recently launched PS Vita in North America, and Europe, the ultimate portable entertainment system, especially the introduction of innovative new ways to play and interact. Winning a red dot award for product design further establishes PS Vita as the must-have portable entertainment system across the world."

Gravity Daze, the early years, a 2008 concept video

All games start out as sketches and concept renders or video. Here's a very early look at Gravite, as it was known then, which was originally going to be a PS3 title. You can see the main concept demonstrated which hasn't changed that much and the highly stylised art.



Haven't seen any vehicle play in any of the trailers yet, but hope to enjoy the game when it comes out in a couple of months.

Ragnarok Odyssey hits 150,000 demo downloads, new game unveiled

If the PS Vita is off to a sluggish start in Japan, no one told the developers of Ragnarok, GungHo, who are celebrating 150,000 downloads of the demo. Not sure how many of those have converted into digital sales, but the community will be looking forward to the next DLC update.



Click to about 2:20 on the video though and there's a sneak preview of a new game, Dokuro from Team Gajet with a highly distinct Gothic look and art style - more to come on this soon.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Lego Batman 2 DC Super Heroes trailer

Warner Games is throwing some of DC's finest heroes into the melting pot of LEGO bricks for the next Batman game. Catwoman, Superman and others join in a battle against the nastiest roster of villains who are trying to tear down Gotham City. Expect a lot more heroes to show up in the run in to the launch.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Unit 13 sells in Japan, latest Vita sales figures

The PS Vita sold another 10,000 odd units this week in its home country, while the PSP ticks over nicely around the 15-16,000 mark. New release Unit 13 managed to repeat its U.K. sales feat, landing in at No. 15. At least in Japan we can see the sales figures and the game sold over 8,000 - not bad for a brand new and very western game.

Elsewhere, Tales of the Heroes: Twin Braves broke through the 100,000 mark on the PSP, while the budget version of Monster Hunter Freedom 3 goes over the 200,000 mark.

FIFA Worldwide Soccer gets a release tomorrow in Japan along with the well rated Little Busters and Ninja Gaiden Sigma coming next week with New King Story out at the end of the month. Which should keep things running until the inevitable Monster Hunter Vita announcement in April.


How to protect your PS Vita, casing the cases!

After the first few weeks of looking lovingly at your PS Vita, naked as nature intended, you've probably noticed the first tiny scuffs on the metal rim, ugly smears on the screen or worse. You finally realise its time to get some protection and there's plenty on offer in the big wide world.

For a start there's the official PS Vita starter pack with not one but two cases (well a wrap around case and a pouch) along with a wrist strap, cloth and screen protector. Generally available for £19.99, that's the first line of defence for my PSV, but nothing I'd be happy using for deep storage or heavy travel.



A little more protection comes in the form of 4Gamers.net's range of pouches and travel cases with a neat colour detail. Excellent value from only £10 and officially licensed too.

For those looking for something a little tougher there are a number of companies offering hard plastic shells, I really liked my Logitech case-of-indestructibility on the PSP, but with the Vita, they all look rather clumsy, even Mad Catz's Armor Shell effort, even though its only £7 on Amazon.


Finally, if you want to look a bit different, Thrustmaster has some very neat cases for the Vita, available either as an Uncharted styled design, or in plain black. With bags of padding, this is the ultimate resting place for a Vita to avoid it going to that other ultimate resting place for dead consoles.

Today's PSN PS Vita Update: Touch my Katamari demo and more MotorStorm

Get ready to run down the PSN store and grab the Touch My Katamari demo which tumbles into view today. There's also the MotorStorm RC expansion (with a 50% discount for Plus members) covered yesterday plus some bits and bobs for Army Corps of Hell



Hopefully the video store will also honour the result of the Facebook poll and let us rent Cowboys vs Aliens for just 99p. For PSP games, Tomb Raider Legend and Split/Second Velocity are both down to £7.99 (not sure on Vita compatibility).

Little Busters and Yakuza rate well in Famitsu

Across the other, other pond, the PSP continues to roar along in Japan, with decent scores for a host of games including the new Yakuza and another DJ Max title, while the Vita version of the PS2's Little Buster's (a visual novel series) also gets a decent reception.

PSV Little Busters! Converted Edition: 8, 8, 7, 7
PSP Yakuza Black Panther 2: 10, 10, 9, 9
PSP DJ Max Portable Black Square: 6, 7, 6, 7
PSP Little Witche Parfait: 6, 7, 5, 7
PSP Hakuoki Musouroku: 8, 7, 8, 7

My Vita's first crash, memory card panic


Got a bit of a scare last night as my Vita did its first Kamikaze act, just as Golf started to load everything froze and a reboot gave me Sony recovery options but gave me no real solution. Check out the tweetstream (from the bottom) to see the raw emotion and naked pain of the incident....


As you can see, by the simple act of removing and reinserting the memory card, the problem went away. But is it going to come back? Will it get worse? Will it really wipe my data (doing a backup right now just in case). Are Sony's memory cards not all that hot.

Anyway, advice of the day, if this happens to you, remove and replace the card and hopefully everything will be alright. P.S. Sony never bothered replying...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ready to enjoy some Cowboys vs Aliens on your Vita for just 99p?

There was a recent Facebook poll for the cheap rental of the week between Super 8 and Cowboys & Aliens. It looks like Cowboys & Aliens is well on its way to winning, and as of tomorrow, you should be able to download and enjoy the Daniel Craig  for less than a quid on the PSN.


After the free South Park episode a few weeks back, which was hardly the right sort of content to test out the Vita's display, perhaps this cheesy piece of Sci-Fi will better show off the Vita's video prowess. Actually the poll is still live if you fancy a vote, but A&C is pretty far ahead.

Get ready for a Retro City Rampage, for a price

Notice how the best games on the Vita cost £5+, none of this 99p business, yet. Well expect that mark to move a little higher when V-Blank brings us Retro City Rampage later this year. The game which plays like an old-school Grand Theft Auto title is packed with sprite-based explosive action and violence.


Retro City Rampage 2012 Teaser Trailer from Vblank on Vimeo.

The dinky sprites won't mean a dinky price tag with developer Brian Provinciano happy to slap a $15 (£10) price tag on the game. As long as the game delivers, I'll be happy to pay up. But it begs the question was the year (or two) of the 99p game just a passing phase as we embraced smartphones - now that games developers realise the potential and worth of their creations on app stores for any device (and RCR will be out on pretty much every platform) - are things looking up in terms of price and quality. I certainly hope so.

Evolution shows off the MotorStorm RC Pro-Am expansion pack

Getting to grips with all the tracks and medals in the first MotorStorm RC release? Nope, me neither - but I am in the 100s of medals. Anyway, get ready for a whole new host of events with the first update. It'll be out later today in the US and tomorrow in Europe for just a few quid.




It will let you expand your MotorStorm RC experience with an all-new Festival set in an impressive skate park! 16 challenging events, 4 new tracks, 8 new vehicles and 4 PlayStation Trophies to collect. This really is the Vita game that keeps on giving.

Monday, March 12, 2012

PS Vita Review: Everybody's Golf

Aka Hot Shots Golf for our American friends of Minna No Golf in its homeland, Everybody's Golf was one of the first games I got for my PSP (in its original Japanese). The Vita version doesn't seem to have changed all that much with the addition of trophies and the online challenges, being the highlights.

Jazzing up the real sport with some avant garde costumes, and the race to collect the best in clubs, balls and evolve your own character, the golf kind of takes a back seat as you aim to beat your own records by mastering the course and your equipment. With a gentle learning curve, you can achieve your golfing destiny at your own pace and never feel flustered by the game (except in the quickfire rounds where there's a time limit on each shot).

With its familiar swooping camera angles, cute voices and constant encouragement, the only worry about the Vita version is the apparent lack of innovation, the desire to notch up the zaniness or any other attempt to move things on. Perhaps this is one game where everything is as comfortable as it'll get, which is fine with me, but in that case it should be a lot less expensive.

Developer Clap Hanz
Price £34.99
Score 7/10
Progress Maxed out first two characters

Persona 2: Eternal Punishment trailer gets an airing

Ready for your next bout of teen angst, demons, the odd Zeppelin and someone who looks a bit like a young Davina McCall? Get ready for the new instalment of Persona 2, coming to Japanese PSPs via Atlus.


PS Vita Review: Ridge Racer

We've been here before, when Digital Polyphony ripped the guts out of the single player experience of the PSP version of Gran Turismo. And, it comes as rather a horrible surprise to find out that the same thing has happened to Ridge Racer, an eternal staple of Sony's games machines.

Instead, along with the initial three tracks and five cars (which will be expanded by plenty of DLC, so I'm not worried about that front) we have some watered-down global challenge called the Planetary League that I'd like to call cockamamie, except you might think that makes it a bit interesting.

Alas, Ridge's multiplayer is not interesting, it is the digital equivalent of watching paint dry - white paint at that, on an already white wall. Basically, whatever racing you do try, be it a single player spot race against seven opponents, a time trial or an online game, your points count towards the scores of your "team," chosen at the start of your career.

If online is the focus of this game, why does it take an age to get into a race? Assuming there is even a race at your level to be found? If there was the slightest bit of camaraderie, or a creak of tension, in and between the teams, this would be great. But it's not, everything from the menus to the news "videos" is as bland as the pep-talks from the mechanic back in Ridge Racer Type 4, something to be skipped and ignored.

In the real world, racers have punch-ups, teams steal ideas left, right and centre, on-track actions have recriminations afterwards -- all of this would have been brilliant in a game, but Namco has left us with an anodyne shell, the skin of Ridge Racer that can be pricked with ease by a bored gamer. And, its hardly fair, my first ever online race was against two VIP competitors with far faster cars, how is that in any sense matchmaking?

MotorStorm RC showed perfectly how to blend racing, online and social. All Ridge has to offer is a weak points, experience and upgrade system that reduces the series' breathless type of racing to grinding in a newbie dungeon. Perhaps in one of the future updates, new racing features will cause a revisit to the game and the score, but for now, stick with MRC, which has that magical ingredient called "fun" which is nowhere to be found here.

UPDATE: The game has been updated to v1.02 with fixes to some download courses and other graphics tweaks. But nothing is being done to fix the core game, the match-making or other issues. If you enjoyed it, please revisit the game and download some more tracks and cars, we might even get some of those cool car skins the Japanese are getting, but please Namco - fix the damn game!

Developer Sony/Namco
Price £16.99 (PSN)
Score 5/10
Progress Finished initial races, free DLC incoming!

Sony's Power Sale for PSP/Vita owners

By now, Vita owners should have picked up all the big launch games they wanted (and make sure you get MotorStorm RC, Mutant Blobs Attack and Super Stardust Delta too). In the lull before the next batch of big titles, Sony has put up a huge number of PSP games on sale, many of which are Vita compatible from £7.99.

Titles in bold will run on the Vita, titles underlined are one's I'd recommend to Vita owners if you're unfamiliar with the PSP's line up - while some (like BlazBlue and Dynasty Warriors) have been superseded by Vita titles.


Ace Combat Joint Assault, Armored Core 3 Portable,  Armored Core Last Raven Portable, Armored Core Silent Line Portable, Army of TWO: The 40th Day, Asphalt : Urban GT 2, Bakugan: Defenders of The Core, Ben 10: Protector of Earth, BIGS 2, BlazBlue Continuum Shift 2, Blazeblue Calamity Trigger Portable Blood Bowl, Brothers In Arms D-Day, Castle Rustle, Chessmaster: The Art Of Learning, Corpse Party, Cover Girl, Crystal Mines, Dante’s Inferno, Despicable Me, Driver 76, Dynasty Warriors 2, Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce, FIFA 11 Free Running, Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2, Gladiator Begins, Gods Eater BurstGuilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Lunar: Silver Star Harmony
MLB 2K9, Manhunt 2, Metal Slug XX, Michael Jackson The Experience, MYST, MYTRAN WARS, Need For Speed Most Wanted 5-1-0, Prince of Persia Rival Swords, Prince of Persia The Forgotten Sands, Prince of Persia: Revelations, Pro Cycling 2010: Tour de France, Rugby League Challenge, Samurai Warriors: State Of War, Shin Megami Tensei: Persona Full Game, Splinter Cell Essentials, Street Riders, The Red Star, THE WARRIORS, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 10, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Predator, Tomb Raider Legend, Warriors Orochi, Warriors Orochi 2, Ys I & II Chronicles, Ys Seven, Ys: The Oath in Felghana


Looking on the Vita's store, there's a load more games listed in the price drop page, including some Disgaea, Prinny and others, so check it out just in case one of your favourites isn't mentioned above.

Unit 13 sneaks in at 15 in UK Charts

While all the hoopla goes on over Mass Effect 3 (I'll buy it once I've finished No's 1 and 2) the Vita is drifting down the order in the charts, with a decent presence in the teens. Still, Unit 13 did a decent job as a new entry, beating Metal Gear on the 3DS.


*11 RAYMAN ORIGINS – UBISOFT
12 BATTLEFIELD 3 – ELECTRONIC ARTS
13 THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM – BETHESDA SOFTWORKS
14 JUST DANCE 3 – UBISOFT
*15 UNIT 13 – SONY COMPUTER ENT.
*16 UNCHARTED: GOLDEN ABYSS – SONY COMPUTER ENT.
17 UFC UNDISPUTED 3 – THQ
18 BATMAN: ARKHAM CITY – WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE
19 SAINTS ROW: THE THIRD – THQ
20 RAGE – BETHESDA SOFTWORKS
21 FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 – SQUARE ENIX EUROPE
22 UNCHARTED 3: DRAKE’S DECEPTION – SONY COMPUTER ENT.
23 SKYLANDERS: SPYRO’S ADVENTURE – ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
*24 FIFA FOOTBALL – ELECTRONIC ARTS


Given the drop off in sales figures, it probably only sold a few thousand on launch, but at least I saw it in GAME, whose troubles continue today. But again, this doesn't include digital sales.

Phantasy Star Online 2 for Vita gets pictured

After all the PC screens during the Vita event last week, and a  brief trailer, there are now a few early screenshots in the wild showing off the developer's task in bringing the game as close to the PC version as possible.


There's a couple more pics over on Andriasang but Sega is keeping a lid on expectations with the game not due out until 2013.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Phantasy Star Online 2 gets a Vita trailer

Just bask in the rendered glory of it all. Swords, check! Magic, check! Giant frikkin' space ships check. Everything from Sega's PC and PSP titles should make their way into this version.



The PSP version of Infinity sold over 300,000 copies last time I checked, so expect a Vita version to do some hefty business for the console.

Street Fighter x Tekken's awesome mad trailer

As if Marvel vs. Capcom and BlazBlue weren't enough, along comes SFxT to challenge your fighting prowess, a special nod goes to the host. The game is out now in Japan, headed our way pretty soon.

Metal Gear Solid HD Vita in screenshots

After the chaos of the earlier Sony video event (we're a multinational corporation, lets just chuck some videos with the barest glimpses of the games on YouTube), Konami has offered up a decent collection of screens of the Metal Gear Collection HD on Vita. you can find the whole collection on Andriasang, but here's a few tasters.






Cracking new Ridge Racer Idolmaster car skins

Japanese Ridge Racer players can tart up their car with the ladies of Idolmaster to make a visual statement out on the track. These expensive, if impressive, skins


So, while the game is fairly (although its way down my list due to some far better and cheaper titles) Sony and Namco will rake in the cash from the extra content and new stunts like this.  


See the cars in motion and there's more imagery in the original Japanese article

PS Vita at GDC, AR gets an outing

I thought Sony would be bringing more news to GDC given that the Vita is shiny and new. But all I've seen so far, of substance, is this AR demo being hyped over on Engadget.



 Is this what gamers want to see, or would we rather be looking at a damn big game with robots and death?

Hey ho, let's go... all the news from Sony Japan's Vita event

Sony is announcing a bunch of new Vita stuff in Japan right about now, check back here for all the new titles, content and other treats it has in store...

Okay, first up is a new 5 minute video up, hosted by DJ Taro... introducing each product. then there's a bunch of more detailed videos for each game, chatting to the producers/designers with a few clips of each game. Adding the videos as quickly as possible.



Up first Sega's Phantasy Star Portable 2, which will be compatible with the hugely popular PC version in Japan, allowing gamers to play at home on a big screen and then carry on, on the move. Sounds like a big winner.


Next, some Persona 4: The Golden


A quick peek at Legend of Heroes


Now Metal Gear HD, this is fast and furious - coming June 28.



Who doesn't like a little Gundam Seed Battle Destiny in their lives?



There was also a special message from Keiji Inafune, announcing that he is working on a Vita project, coming soon. Then something called Project Discovery, based on user generated content




Okay, that was more of a rush through than I was expecting... there was also a clip of what I think was Battle Brawlers and something on the UMD prograam. So, overall amount of knowledge gained minimal. Phantasy Star did pretty well on PSP, but its no Monster Hunter, roll on Captivate next month.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Persona 4: The Golden website is bright you're gonna need shades

Step back into your Austin Powers' booties for the official Persona 4 website (Japanese version, but lots of English) which is a heck of a lot of colour for just one game. Let it load (its worth the effort) and take a peek at the characters, some screen shots, a collection of Twitter icons and a whole lot more to come in the run up to launch.



This game comes hot on the heels of the announcement of a new Persona 2 title for the PSP, Eternal Punishment, which you can pray to Ghostlight for a western release.

Ghostlight stuns with a Fate Extra collectors pack

Wow! Is all I have to say about the box of greatness that Ghostlight has packed together for the EU launch of the JRPG Fate Extra. Take a good look at this pic and you'll see what I mean. The long serving PSP community have been well served with some great Persona bundles, but this looks a cut above even those.


The Imageepoch and Type-Moon RPG promises a different take on the Fate/Stay Night universe and is due out soon. Check out Ghostlight's blog post for more.

BlazBlue winning the brawler war on Vita

While there are plenty more contenders to come, BlazBlue Continuum Shift Extend is currently ruling the roost on both Metacritic and PSN as the top Vita beat 'em up. Rating 83 on Metacritic, its only a few points ahead of current arch rival Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 - but seriously fighting game makers, shorter titles are needed.



I'll have a review up shortly, but the visuals on the Vita's screen are truly something to behold. Here's hoping it holds up against the likes of Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter x Tekken.

Sony's Music Unlimited comes to the Vita

I'd rather we got a Spotify app or some other services, as Sony's woeful media offerings have always turned me off. However, for better or worse, Music Unlimited is now available on the American PS Vita PSN store,  bringing with it endless music for a monthly subscription.



To be fair, the app looks pretty decent but I hate any and all services that think they know what I might like and I always find "genres" to be way too limiting. However, I might give it a go in the spirit of adventure when it arrives in the UK.

Grab the PSP Yakuza: Black Panther 2 demo now

Famitsu has access to the demo for Sega's new PSP Yakuza title, grab the 255MB file here and give the game a whirl as it'll never show up on western shores (unless there's a Vita remix?).



The demo is pretty chunky and includes several things to do. There's a combat tutorial, the first part of the story mode up to a boss battle, and an exploration section to let you run around Osaka. Finally there's everyone's favourite, the Hostess Club where you can meet some of the game's ladies.

Downloading (rather slowly) right now, Tweet me if you have any trouble with in. Install instructions are on the Famitsu page, but you should know the drill by now.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

iPad 3 launches, still not the gaming threat it could be

Apple just wrapped up its iPad 3 launch, although it is now called plain-old "iPad." The third-generation iPad is packed with quad core technology and a lovely retina display, with games a natural way to show off its chops.

While there were two games shown off, a new Infinity Blade title called Dungeons from Epic and Namco showing off an Ace Combat-alike called Sky Gamblers (which has been out for some time, this must be an iPad 3 specific update) - there was less of a focus than I expected, although they had a lot to cram in.

Despite the fact that iPad 3 will sell more in one day than the Vita will in its first year, I don't think gamers need be overly worried, yet. However, Apple is clearly prodding a stick in the gaming hornet's nest and expect plenty more news from them in 2012.


The Infinity Blade Dungeons trailer goes all Diablo, or Ruin on your ass

Apple also had to cram in the new Apple TV box, other creative apps, and it did say 2012 has just started. But even so, with all that technology, you would have expected Apple to demo some games that would really shake the gaming market. I think Sony and MS just breathed a large sigh of relief.


Not quite core gaming is it?

UK store site leaks GTA, Monster Hunter, Innocence R and Type-0 HD for Vita

Play.com, a UK game retailer has put up, and then taken down (rather quickly) links for four new PS Vita games likely to be announced at Sony's event on Friday.

UPDATE: A Play.com staff member says only the MH3 entry was real, while the others never existed, someone create fakes based on the one valid entry. Still, we live in hope.

The titles are no real surprises, but still good to hear, they are:

  • Monster Hunter 3,
  • GTA Vice City Stories,
  • Tales of Innocence R,
  • Final Fantasy Type-0 HD

Tales of is already out in Japan and GTA was rumoured a week or so ago. It would make sense for HD versions of the Final Fantasy and Monster Hunter games to head our way. The Monster Hunter page is still up at the site with some horrifically bodged up artwork.

Any one of those games would goose sales, but all four should give the Vita a healthy kick in the right direction on any continent. Monster Hunter on the PSP sold over four million copies and gamers will be eager to continue their adventures on the Vita.

EU PSN Update for PS Vita: Unit 13 vs. Harry Potter

This week's PSN update is practically unreadable due to some made formatting and categories. So, for Vita users, here's what's coming up:

Full Vita Games (both out on Friday)

Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7 £34.99
Unit 13 £29.99

Here's the latest Unit 13 training video:



Vita DLC
Blazblue Continuum Shift Extend.
    System Voice Arrange Litchi Type-A,B £4.79

Dynasty Warriors Next
    Various Cards £0.79 each

Ridge Racer
     Promessa car £1.19

Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3
     Ancient Warrior Pack £1.59

Vita Demos
Everybody's Golf


Unit 13 out today, go buy this high-value target!

Here's the press release as Sony spouts off, I love the demo but will wait until the boxed copy hits the stores on Friday to save screwing further with my poor abused memory card. My one issue with the "loaded with authenticity" bit is the feeble takedowns with a knife - zero realism there!

UPDATE: Okay, even the PSN edition won't launch until Friday, how quaint!

Unit 13 Explodes onto PlayStation Vita: Dual-analogue controls and 3G connectivity combine for a portable shooter without compromise...

Players join the ranks of Unit 13, a counter-terrorism squad deployed with only one objective; complete the mission. Missions focus on contemporary ‘ripped from the headlines' scenarios creating an experience that is loaded with authenticity.



Unit 13 takes advantage of all the input and connectivity features PS Vita has to offer. Dual analogue sticks offer bona fide shooter controls on the go, and SIXAXIS combines with front and rear touch to offer an intuitive, immersive experience.

The 3G connectivity of PS Vita are at the core of Unit 13 and bring all-new challenges and ways of playing to the genre. Missions are concise, intense, and non-linear, allowing for a huge variety of approaches depending on the player's favoured style. Coupled with a five-star scoring system, each mission has huge replay value. 3G allows on-the-go online leaderboard access to check how performance rates against PSN friends, or any player in the local area or worldwide. If your friends overtake you in the leaderboards, 3G will alert you instantly.

An always on connection is also essential to acquiring High Value Target (HVT) missions. These are rare mission alerts that only appear for a limited time. Players use 3G connectivity to access these anytime, anywhere. Once played, HVTs can be passed onto others via near or to PSN friends.

Each day players are briefed with a Mission of the Day delivered directly to their PS Vita wherever they are via 3G. As with the game's standard missions these will challenge players to find the best way to complete the objective, ranking their performance via online leaderboards.

PlayStation Suite closer to opening on Vita

The long, drawn out process of PlayStation Suite development rolls on with news of an open beta next month, following on from last year's closed beta. When it finally launches, developers can bring a host of games to the Vita and Android devices via a cheap SDK similar to how Apple's app development process works.



The games should play on any PlayStation Certified devices which currently include the Vita, Xperia Play, S1 tablet and a few other devices. While Suite is a good idea, Sony is so far behind the times on this now, its almost embarrassing. That and the feeble support for the Android PS store has left the company way behind the curve. Probably better to launch the whole service now in open beta (which never hurt Google) and get games out there for people to play.