Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The best PSN update since the Vita's launch?

It would be hard to argue with this lot as the Vita has one of the better days in its brief existence, a shame the US gets Ragnarok and LEGO Lord of the Rings way ahead of us, but I'll settle for this lot for some time to come. Just one question Sony, why update the store on a Wednesday if the games don't come out until Thurs/Fri depending on area? Madness!

Assassin’s Creed III Liberation (£39.99) (Out now)
Introducing Assassin’s Creed III Liberation, the stunning new chapter in the Assassin’s Creed saga, exclusively for PlayStation Vita handheld entertainment system. The year is 1765. During the lead up to the American Revolution in the north, Spanish forces plan to take control of Louisiana in the south – but they have yet to reckon with Aveline, a deadly Assassin who will use everything in her arsenal to win freedom for her land and people. File Size: 2.7 GB

Need for Speed: Most Wanted (£39.99) (Out Friday in the UK)
To be Most Wanted, you’ll need to outrun the cops, outdrive your friends, and outsmart your rivals. With a relentless police force gunning to take you down, you’ll need to make split second decisions. Use the open world to your advantage to find hiding spots, hit jumps and earn new vehicles to keep you one step ahead. File Size: 2.2 GB

Silent Hill: Book of Memories (£24.99) (Out Friday)

Smart As.... (£19.99) (Out Friday)

Virtue's Last Reward (demo)

Sly Cooper celebrates dressing up for Halloween

He might not be due for a while but there's no reason for the furry in-development hero not to celebrate the witching hour, or at least the spirit of dressing up for an occasion, as demonstrated by this new video from Sony.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Assassin's Creed III Liberation scores now coming out

If you follow my tweets, you know this game is in the post, so it'd better be good. The reviews are out and its a mixed bag of scores so far from the low sevens to the high eights. At which point, I wonder if the reviewers are playing it from a standalone perspective or comparing it to the full-fat games.

Kotaku - Yes
Just Push Start – 8.7/10
Gaming Trend - 84%
Game Informer – 7.75/10
Hardcore Gamer 4/5
IGN – 7.2/10
Games Radar 3/5
1UP - "C"
Cheat CC 4.8/5

A few reviews cite some bugs and crashes, but since the main ACIII game is getting a day one patch for 40+ fixes, I guess a Vita patch won't be far behind. .Some folks already have their copies, what do you think of it? These come hot on the heels of Need for Speed scores, which I think was looking the better bet.

John Cleese is Smart As... are you?

Here's a quick video from the PSN blogs highlighting comedy legend and Python hero John Cleese's involvement in the Smart As... brain training game, which is out this week on PSN. It looks fun enough and a cut about the free fodder that Sony has put on the Vita, hope its not over-priced though.

Need for Speed: Most Wanted reviews out, any for the Vita version?

The big sites are going live right now with their reviews of Criterion's big NFS title. With the Vita version claimed to be almost the same as the big boys, we should be able to take cues from these reviews as to how good it is.

NowGamer 9.5/10
CVG 7.5/10
IGN 9/10
EuroGamer 8/10

No sign of a Vita dedicated review yet, but will update as scores come in. Ahh, here they come:

PocketGamer Silver Award - "An extremely impressive handheld version of a console hit, but one not without some serious compromises. Still, it's one of the best racers of the year and it's in your pocket. Can't complain"

Weseeinpixels 8/10 - "This is by far the best looking title on the little console, the best racer and a no doubt must buy for anybody looking reignite their love of the Vita."

GamerSciz 8.9/10 - Good graphics, fun addictive gameplay and having different race types keeps things fresh not to mention it's a living breathing true open world.

TheVitaLounge 5/5 It’s a near perfect amalgamation of both the Burnout and Need for Speed series, Criterion have simply outdone themselves and set a massive bar from which not only racers, but all Vita games will now have to compare to. This is what the Vita can do. 5/5

New Ragnarok Odyssey launch trailer

Its a bit dinky-sized and rather low res (hey, this is the HD age right?) but there's a new trailer up for the Vita's best hope at some monster hunting until Soul Sacrifice turns up. Remember this game isn't out in Europe until 2013 (come on Xseed, get a move on), so import it now if you fancy joining in the wars.

A new level for Let's Fish just ruins the atmos

Looking a little bit like Angkor Wat, here's the last level to be revealed for a fishing game, yep even they get level  dripfeeds now. Wired Productions' game will certainly be unique on the Vita and if the gameplay matches up to the stylish presentation, well worth a try.

More pics here.

Assassin's Creed III Liberation out now on US PSN

Not sure why the early start, and you'll have to search for it by name, but you can now get ACIII Liberation from the American PSN store. The folks on NeoGAF seem rather excited by this, doubt the EU store will update until the appointed hour tomorrow, but might be worth a search.

I pre-ordered on Amazon so will wait patiently for the dispatched email to hit at 4PM meaning it won't hit a sorting office, then for the postman not to show up etc, etc.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Stein's Gate opens on the Vita

The PSP has already been graced by the visual novel Stein's Gate, to roaring sales (65,000 opening). Now the Vita gets a double dose with Steins Gate and a fan disc expansion available separately. What's Stein's Gate? There's a decent explanation of the anime here and the official Japanese site is here.

They'll ship next March with a limited edition bundle in the mix. That should give the Vita a neat little boost with developer 5pb at the reins, and with 999 doing well and getting great reviews over here, there's slightly more chance of us getting a western version this time. Here's a video from the PSP version.

Elvira rises to tease Vita pinball players

The US PSN is getting a new pack for the Pinball Arcade game, bringing the Mistress of the Night to the series with a couple of her spooky tables (one this week, one next). There's a couple of tips on the PSN post, plus a pic of the lady in question if you're a little young to know who she is.

New games storm the PS Vita top 10

Okay, that's not exactly a hard task, but there are a whacking three new entries in the top 10 while LBP Vita continues to kick the feeble FIFA 13 in the shins, while Uncharted proves its portable game of the year Golden Joystick credentials by rounding out the top three. Expect things to shake up completely over the next month.

2 - FIFA 13

Tales of... a new site for the latest remake

Tales of Hearts R is a new Namco remake for the Vita, presumably based on the local success of Tales of Innocence R. There's a new site up with just the one rather underwhelming pic on it and a 2013 release date.

The original DS game never made it out of Japan in 2008, no real hope of this one seeing the light of western days either. The remake goes all 3D and adds new content and a character.

Friday, October 26, 2012

EU PlayStation Plus news coming for Vita owners soon

Sony's PlayStation Plus update preview has a little mention at the bottom that PS Vita owners should pay attention to:
"And Crysis 2 is but the tip of the iceberg. Look out for more details of the rest of the November Plus content very soon, including details of the service’s impending expansion to PS Vita. We’ve got some fantastic titles coming your way!"
With news that Japan is starting to get PS+ content already out, looks like we're not far off from having own little corner of the PS subscription service. Will it be worth it? Well it'll have to be pretty impressive to make Vita owners cough up, and the Vita line-up isn't exactly studded with golden games that Sony can offer.

Uncharted Golden Abyss wins best handheld game at Golden Joysticks

The Vita is a winner, its official! Drake's handheld odyssey, Golden Abyss beat out a couple of Mario titles to win the Golden Joystick. It was present by a robotic Stephen Fry, controlled by the real thing and an all-too-real Ed Byrne at the live awards broadcast on YouTube.

The best selling Vita game by far, it deserves the credit and if you've put it aside, whip it out for another go in  celebration.

Vita games and info that people search for

As there's no news, here's another worthless stat. After 2,200 stories, approaching a quarter-of-a-million views and having been around for a couple of years almost, here's what people search for on Google to find this site.

Hardware leads the way, with (hopefully) furious demands for NBA 2K13 on the Vita marking the first game, followed God Eater 2 and Hatsune Miku showing a lot of interest in Japanese games we'd like to play too.

Need for Speed's got game and gas in a new launch trailer

This is just showing off, as the cars of Need for Speed go up against the police in a hopeless mismatch. Not much evidence of the Vita version bar a logo at the end, but with all the promises, how can it be anything less than fantastic?

WRC3 officially out for the PS Vita, win a rally gaming seat from PQube

I thought this was out already, but there you go. Milestone has announced that WRC 3 FIA World Rally Championship for PlayStation Vita is out now in stores. It features:

  •  All of the 54 official teams of the current season 
  • WRC Experience game mode which will feature Single Stage, Single Rally and 2012 Championship 
  • WRC Online game mode which will allow an amazing multiplayer experience for a never-ending Rally game 
  • 6 different Rallies (Rallye Monte-Carlo, Rallye de France - Alsace, RallyRACC-Rally de EspaƱa, Acropolis Rally, ADAC Rallye Deutschland and Wales Rally GB) 
  • 3 official categories (WRC, WRC 2 and WRC 3) 
  • 11 official cars 
  • Analog stick support 
  • Respawn 
  • Touch Screen support 
  • Trophy support 

Free DLC with 3 exclusive new tracks: Rally Guanajuato Mexico, Rally Argentina and Rally de Portugal will be out in a few weeks. UK Publisher PQube has a chance to win a rally gaming seat on its game page.

Panic! Alien Slime Monster heading to PSM

Thumbs Up and Green Hill’s upcoming game Panic! is a new PlayStation Mobile title providing unique gameplay with plenty of action, comedy and surf music to keep you coming back, slime and slime again. Played vertically, one of several PSM games that do this thanks to its smartphone bent, you need to prevent the slime oozing over your people.

But whatever you do, try not to Panic! The game requires quick thinking and fast reflexes to defend the city against a giant alien slime monster. Help survivors escape the city by creating blockades, toppling houses, dropping bombs and throwing buoys to save those about to be swallowed by the slime!

A bit more detail on the game's Facebook page.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Take a blurry look at LEGO Lord of the Rings on PS Vita

It looks like the Vita version of Lord of the Rings will be more like the Nintendo handheld versions, rather than the console editions that it could likely handle. Traveler's Tales have a fair  bit to answer for in this respect, but at least the Vita is getting some LEGO titles.

Japan's PlayStation Plus offering throws free Sumioni at Vita owners

As promised, the Vita is getting its own slice of PS+ action. in Japan, then next upgrade will offer the "Ink Demon" game Sumioni from Acquire as the first freebie along with a couple of PSP titles including Crazy Taxi. Sony promises at least 11 games a month free for the 5,000yen a year (or 500yen a month) service. 

Hopefully western gamers will start getting these offers soon, although with the dearth of Vita software, there will be slim pickings at first, but at least we should be able to get a huge line-up of PSP and PS one classics out of the deal. 

Demon Gaze, staring at Japanese PS Vita owners soon

Kadokawa games has another RPG on the way for the Vita, unveiled in Famitsu. Aside from the decidedly  generic looking character art, it mixes RPG and a bit of the life features found in the likes of Persona, with a mildly raunchy dating element.

There's a teaser site on and some more pics on Famitsu.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Quite a line-up on this week's PSN Vita update

The Vita is definitely seeing some awesome signs of life in all the little pockets of that gaming stores. Remember these days folks, because in a few weeks time the taps will shut off. I think the publishers could knock £10 off each of those prices, but otherwise tuck in folks.

PS Vita

Street Fighter X Tekken
Price: £39.99/€44.99

Super Monkey Ball: Banana Splitz
Price: £29.99/€34.99 (only £15 on Amazon)

MUD – FIM Motocross World Championship (releases Friday 26th)
Price: £31.99/€39.99

Pure Chess Halloween Treat Bundle
Price: £4.99/€6.19

PlayStation Mobile

Price: £2.59/€3.29/AUD5.45

Rock Boshers DX
Price: £2.19/€2.79/AUD4.75


New Little King’s Story
Angel & Demon Set (£1.49/€1.75)

Pure Chess Halloween Chess Set
Prices: £1.59/€1.99

Street Fighter X Tekken
Various character swap costumes and gems

The final Persona 4 Golden trailer before launch

Not sure if this isn't just an amalgam of the previous snippets, all thrown together with a neat indie-pop song, but you can't ignore the appeal of the game. Going bag me an import copy I think, along with plenty of other Euro-types, which makes me wonder if the EU release will stumble (except for the no-speak-a-the-English) brigade.

A new Generation of Chaos title riles the PSP

Just when you though the PSP might slip quietly away in the west, NIS America brings Generation of Chaos: Pandora's Reflection to PSN next year. It looks very different to the Aedis Eclipse GoC title and will hopefully be a bit more accessible.

In February 2013, dark clouds will blanket the withered skies and block out the sun; cracked earth and choking fog rule the land. This colourless world, showing no signs of life, is known as Hades. The barren land is blasted by chilling winds that cut to the bone...

This is where we meet our heroes-Yuri, a young girl cursed with a disease draining her life away; and Claude, her protective older brother who will stop at nothing to save her. As they travel in search of a cure, they find themselves embroiled in a conflict that will determine the fate of the world and, just maybe, the fate of the siblings. They’ll lose old friends, meet new friends, and travel on a path that will lead them to the very doorstep of destiny...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Orgarhythm hits the US PSN, video explains it all

Orgarhythm has shown that you can get a game from Japan to the west without spending a stupid amount of time in gestation. But what the hell is this game exactly? This video kind of explains it all as you empower your little warriors with the spirit of rhythm.

Let the PS Vita's game frenzy commence, Christmas is coming early

For a short time, Vita owners won't be able to complain about there being no new games out for it.

This week sees the launch of Street Fighter x Tekken and Super Monkey Ball: Banana Splitz. Next week sees Need for Speed: Most Wanted roaring onto your OLED screens while Assassin's Creed III: Liberation sneaks around the back and stabs it in the back.

Then, November brings up PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale and Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified, plus treats like LEGO Lord of the Rings, Sonic All-Stars and Virtue's Last Reward, to bring the year to a, hopefully, roaring close.

After that, who knows? The 2013 release list is pretty bare. We're promised a Bioshock game, but with no date, Killzone looks good and Europe will be catching up on Ragnarok Odyssey and Persona 4 in early 2013, which should keep things rolling, while Yoshida-San says there more unannounced games to come.

But, for once, lets not worry about that, just form orderly queues and enjoy the Vita's first Christmas with the top entertainment on offer. That means no bitching in the forums, no port-pleas for non-Vita games and no rancid reactions to the odd grim review here or there. (I'll give it about 45 minutes).

The full Battle Royale trailer shows some fight

As expected, all those recent teasers have been stitched together to show off a real world battle of PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, and a good job it does too pitting Sackboy and other PlayStation heroes against the God of War himself.

Does it sell the mayhem and action in the game? Perhaps not, but I imagine there will be a few versions kicking around.

Street Cricket 2 bowling out Indian PSP gamers

The original Street Cricket was a big hit in India for PS2 and PSP gamers, and the sequel is coming soon for those formats. Developed by Trine, I have no idea why the game didn't make it over here (you know, the home of the sport), although recent cricket titles have been pretty low key.

Still, good to see the PSP getting some interest around the world, and while the game seems a modest update with new animations, shots and levels, I wouldn't mind getting hold of it. Some screens over on the source article (CricketGaming).

Monday, October 22, 2012

Another PlayStation teaser ad cleans up... The Aftermath

This is now officially a damn good tease... hot on the heels of the previous two (The Arrival and The Reload) we're now shown a bit of the after-after-party, with the cleaner picking up a curved blade from among the mess.

Pure Chess getting a time limited Halloween set

Just to show Chess isn't a game up its own arse, VooFoo is bringing a spot of seasonal jollity to its Pure Chess title with a spooky Halloween DLC set. Following on from last week's free Battalion set, for a limited time only, gamers can buy the full game and receive the Halloween game pack for free, as part of the Halloween Treat Bundle.

The bundle will be available to download between 23rd October and 7th November on the U.S. store and 24th October and 8th November on the E.U. store. Existing owners can purchase the Halloween game pack individually for £1.59 in the U.K./$2.49 in the U.S. and €1.99 in Europe.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Another sneaky Sony teaser trailer - Get You!

Following on from last week's tease, our box office lady is helping out a WWII hero this time, with a nice little "Get You" message on the register. What other hints are buried in the trailer, which is best watched at 1080p.

One in four Japanese Vita owners has Persona 4 Golden

Figures from Atlus' parent company in Japan suggest that 260,000 Japanese gamers have picked up Persona 4 Golden for the PS Vita, and with just over 1,000,000 consoles sold over there, that means it has a rather neat attach rate of 1-in-4. Hatsune Miku isn't far behind on 200,000+ sales.

If only a few more Vita games had that kind of magnetism, the console might be selling a bit better. You also wonder why Atlus US has spent so long in getting over to the American and Europe. How many Vita owners will have given up by the time the game finally arrives?

While comparisons aren't really appropriate, the likes of the original Halo had a 33% attach rate and Mario games are probably 50%+. Sony will be sorely disappointed by the sales of all of its big franchise games with only Uncharted selling any big numbers (around 750,000 worldwide, and still being promoted in the latest Vita adverts). The next highest Vita game is Gravity Daze with around 1-in-8, but that excludes digital sales.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Criterion boasts it crammed the entire PS3 game of NFS Most Wanted onto the Vita.

In a new PSN blog post, Criterion says of the Vita version:

PS Vita represents a huge step for us. We managed to crowbar the entire PlayStation 3 game onto the system. Almost all the races and events, the online play (albeit with four players rather than eight) and the massive open world is right there in the Vita version, plus a few more that are exclusive to the system. That’s pretty cool on its own, but everything you do on your PS Vita copy earns you Speed Points, inching you closer to that top spot on your friends Most Wanted list.

Sounds pretty good to me, wonder if it will get a bundle too? UPDATE: A Criterion Q&A moves "entire" down to about 98%, as some events were too long for the Vita, but have been replaced with exclusive content. Not bad at all.

So, you're buying a PS Vita! A guide to the best games to buy

With massive games like Black Ops: Declassified, Need for Speed: Most Wanted, Persona 4: Golden (In America) and Assassin's Creed III: Liberation, sales of Vita should be heading skywards in the coming weeks and over Christmas.

But once you've got stuck on, or tired of, your shiny new game, there are hundreds of other titles you can download for the Vita across various categories. So, if you're a new PS Vita owner (or are planning on getting one) here's my personal list from across the board.

My reviews page has detailed thoughts on some of these choices. Quick hint: PSN isn't the best place to buy any newer titles, but has some good sales for older ones, especially PSP games. Check out PS Vita at Amazon, or for the best prices, other stores are available, your mileage may vary.

PS Vita Games

Gravity Rush: The Vita's first major original title and thing of beauty. You don't even have to play the game or the many challenges much, just enjoy defying the laws of physics and explore the beautifully crafted cities with heroine Kat and her feline friend. (This game is well ahead in the PSVR game of the year poll)

WipEout 2048: The last game from Studio Liverpool and a finally crafted racer as you'll even find. And you can play your PS3 owning buddies in multiplayer races too. Don't forget to pick up the Fury expansion pack to expand this game to mega proportions.

LittleBigPlanet Vita: Sackboy in the palm of your hands is a brilliant thing, and the level designer with touch controls is genius. Either way you can have near endless fun exploring the user-made levels or building your own long after the official game is done and dusted.

Unit 13: Until Black Ops shows up, the Vita is a little light on shooters, with  Metal Gear HD being a decidedly sneaky affair. So, give Unit 13 a go, with tightly constructed missions, and plenty of intense action, it proves a handheld can do an FPS.

Metal Gear HD: Two of the best games ever for the price of one. Meet one of gaming's more enduring heroes and enjoy (or relive) his adventures fighting those batshit crazy super-enemies.

Bonus Picks: Lumines Electronic Symphony, Uncharted, Virtua Tennis, Disgaea 3 and any one of Mortal Kombat, BlazBlue or Marvel vs. Capcom.

AVOID: Ridge Racer, FIFA 13, Asphalt Injection

Budget PS Vita Games

MotorStorm RC: Literally endless fun across a huge range of challenging courses, trying to get the medals and beating your friend's times.

Escape Plan: Another Vita exclusive, quirky and great fun, if you like watching your characters die repeatedly.

Sound Shapes: A disco in a puzzle box meets an arcade game, strange but compelling stuff.

Sunflowers: The sunniest game on the Vita by miles, pure simple fun

Pure Chess: Learn to play, take on friends, or just admire the glorious HD visuals.

Bonus Picks: Super Stardust Delta, Burn the Rope

AVOID: Doctor Who, Foosball 2012

Free PS Vita Games

Ecolibrium: Grow and maintain your very own ecosystem within the confines of your Vita.

Treasure of Montezuma Blitz: Don't pay for the extras, just have the odd burst of this addictive gem.

Treasure Park: Challenge other games to simple Minesweeper likes challenges.

Augmented Reality

PulzAR: A decent effort at a tense puzzle game set on your own table top or living room.

Cliff Diving: A fun little free diversion, worth a couple of plays to see your diver disappear through your table.

Reality Fighters: A brawler with a sense of humour that brings the action into your house or street

PlayStation Mobile

The newest arrival on the Vita store offers cheap games that you can also play on some Android devices. You're guaranteed quick bursts of fun with:

Fuel Tiracas, Super Crate Box, Hungry Giraffe, Aqua Kitty, Beats Slider, Rebel and probably most of the others too.

Sony PSP Games

There are hundreds of PSP games you can download for your Vita at knockdown prices, to be enjoyed with mildly filtered graphics on the bigger screen and improved controls. It would be a huge list to pick even the best, but my favourites are:

Persona 3 Portable, Tomb Raider Anniversary, Monster Hunter 2 Freedom Essentials, Commander: Europe at War, Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, Flow, God of War, Innocent Life, LocoRoco 2, Patapon 3, Patchwork Heroes, Resistance Retribution, Sid Meier's Pirates, Split/Second Velocity, Tekken 6, Tron Evolution, (hey, its £2!)  and Valhalla Knights.

Sony PS One Games

Although thre aren't as many games as there are for the PSP, the curation level means this list would be even longer than my PSP games list, suffice to say there is many year's worth of gaming across endless classic genres and franchises from Final Fantasy to Parasite Eve, Metal Gear, Resident Evil and more.

Even the Vita can't drag some of the games out of the visual mud but some like the original Rayman and Crash Bandicoot really sparkle on the OLED screen.

So, despite the negativity, there are hundreds of great games to play on your new Vita. And I'm sure I've missed a few, so let us know your favourites.

More shiny adventures from Sega for PSP, meet Shining Ark

Just when you think the PSP is finally going dark in Japan, along comes another new game to give it a sales kick. The next Shining title from Sega is Shining Ark, an RPG with plenty of traditional appeal and decent (for the PSP) visuals.

With the usual mysterious character turning up on the isle of Arkadia, there are tales of drama and high emotion to come. A teaser site has just opened, so expect more concrete details soon. The game's predecessor Shining Blade sold 125,000 on launch earlier this year. 

Aveline tells her story in Assassin's Creed III: Liberation trailer

Girl with attitude? Check! Here's Aveline's potted history in a new trailer. If you like the music, you can listen to the soundtrack via this link and get yourself in the mood for one of the Vita's most important releases.

Will the millions of AC fans rush out and buy a Vita to extend their journey in this series, or will they sit tight in the suspicion that it will only do modestly, and Ubisoft will release it next year on PS3 and Xbox to recoup their losses?

Arcade Puzzler BreakQuest gets a new trailer

New BeatShapers PSP/Vita/PS3 mini title BreakQuest has got a neat new trailer for its American launch. A shame the game isn't the 3D-shooter bit in the logo sequence, but it still looks like a decent arcade puzzler.

The game is out on the EU PSN for £3.49 and looks worth my time.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Listen to the entire Assassin's Creed III Liberation soundtrack

Just head on over to this French site and click on a track from the Winifred Philip's composed soundtrack. It has a slightly more feminine tone to it than the Connor edition game, but that makes it a bit more listenable and a bit less Pirates of the Caribbean, if you follow my ear?

Can't wait for the game to hit the shelves in just a couple of weeks. Remember to vote for it if you're a fan in the PSVR game of the year poll.

Sony revisiting Michael for its All-Stars advertising?

Remember last year's epic "all-Sony's-heroes-in-a-bar" toasting a gimpy gamer advert? It looks like that theme will be used again to market PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale as a new teaser called "Reload" hints rather broadly at:

Need for Speed Most Wanted blurs the lines between game and reality

The Top Gear team is filming near us right now, but even they couldn't put this lot together as the real world clashes with the virtual in EA's new advert for Criterion's Need for Speed game due out in just a couple of weeks...

Nihilistic to become nStigate, going digital, Vita loses another developer

Okay, you can start the jokes here. But, Nihilistic seems to have tried damn hard of CoD Black Ops: Declassified and even Resistance isn't a bad game, just uninspired. Even so, the company is quitting the world of big box games and heading to the digital market.

The new entity, nStigate will focus on download and mobile games according to a report by CVG. That pretty much puts a stop to any efforts for DLC for Black Ops, unless someone else picks up the mantle. Nihilistic's switch follows hot on the heels of Sega's Hardlight Studio and Starhawk developer Lightbox in moving to iOS.

This means that Nihilistic, having developed games for other IPs, now likely loses the chance to come up with its own unique title could have been based on those experiences. Also, a lot of Vita development skills are either going to be heading elsewhere or will be refocused, even in Declassified isn't great, it represents the best we have in FPS (perhaps until Killzone turns up) and losing it will be a further blow to the Vita's feeble development roster.

Let's hope Declassified is a great farewell for the company, rather than another cause for grumbling and bitching. Although with the ridiculous levels of expectation and overgrown sense of entitlement from the online gaming community (guilty as charged) that's highly unlikely.

What this rush is starting to sound like is the early FPS days when splinter groups from major developers were springing up all over the place with the killer shooters. Led by Ion Storm, where are that lot now? Exactly!

Get the facts on Street Fighter x Tekken

Looking for more of a rumble on your Vita? Capcom seems to have things covered with the handheld iteration of the console game, with all the bugs hopefully wrinkled out. The company has just put up a features list with all the details.

  • 55Playable Characters – In addition to the core roster of 38 characters from the console version and the 5 exclusive characters from the PS3 version, the PS Vita version will arrive with a free download code for the 12 new playable characters: Blanka, Cody, Dudley, Elena, Guy and Sakura from the Street Fighter side, and Alisa Bosconovitch, Bryan Fury, Christie Monteiro, Jack-X, Lars Alexandersson and Lei Wulong from the Tekken side. 
  • Cross-Platform Play – Portable gaming has reached a new level. Cross-Platform Play allows PS Vita players of Street Fighter X Tekken to compete against PS3 players. 
  • Multiplayer Mayhem – Pick your battles and compete against others locally, online through Wi-Fi networks, or through the PS Vita’s 3G connection. 

Vita Exclusive Features:
  •  Augmented Reality: Pose and take pictures of your favorite characters, and then place them in real life photos. 
  •  Front and Rear Touch Panels: Create the size and positioning of extra buttons on the front and rear touch panels, and customize these with different moves. Also, menus now work with the touch screen.  Near: Customize the costumes of your characters, and share them with other Vita owners that pass by. Collect other players’ custom costumes. 
  • KO Monument: Collect trophies from the players you beat and build the ultimate KO monument. 
  • Ad-Hoc Fight Request: Turn this mode on to automatically challenge other Vita owners in your area. Share replays after the battle. 
  • Gallery Mode: Collect different sounds and movies from the game, and play them in the gallery. 
  • And… 38 Free Alternate Costumes! In addition to receiving the 12 new characters for free, PS Vita players can also redeem (via the same download code) free alternate costumes for the core roster of 38 characters 
  • PS Vita and PS3 Data Sharing – All DLC purchased on the PS3 version can be used on the PS Vita version, and vice versa. Additionally, edited and customized data on the PS Vita version can be transferred between both the PS3 version and PS Vita version as well.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A varied bunch in this week's PS Vita PSN update

You can take your choice from this lot of classics and oddities in this week's EU PSN update. Leading the way is the demo for Sega's Super Monkey Ball game. Then, we have new budget title in Burn the Rope, plus two old-minis tuned up for PlayStation Mobile OMG-Z and Cubixx. And don't forget the free Battalion set for Pure Chess owners.

Killzone Liberation is a corking PSP game I guess you play on the Vita, while Rising Star has a fantastic bundle offering some two Harvest Moon, three Valhalla Knights games, Blazing Souls Accelate and Half-Minute Hero for a bumper price.

PS Vita
Burn the Rope
Price: £3.19/€3.99
File Size: 31.9MB

PS Vita demo
Super Monkey Ball Banana Splitz

PlayStation Mobile
Price: £2.39/€2.99/AUD4.95
OMG Zombies
Price: £2.39/€2.99/AUD4.95

Killzone: Liberation Price: £6.99/€7.99

RSG’s Magnificent Seven
Including two titles from Rising Star’s flagship series, Harvest Moon, three insane instalments from the Valhalla Knights universe and two classic Rising Star Games RPGs, Half Minute Hero and Blazing Souls Accelate. Price: £39.99/€49.99

When Vikings Attack pillaging your Vita in November

Clever Beans has just dropped the release dates and pricing for the Viking rampage game that should bring a smile to any gamer's face. Available with Cross Play and Cross Save on the PS3, it will be available on the 7th November in Europe and 6th Nov (US); priced at £7.99 (UK), €9.99 (Europe), $9.99 (US).

Your job is to defeat the Vikings that have turned up centuries late to ravage your modern town, sounds simple, looks brilliant.

Latest Famitsu scores, SFxT rated

The latest issue of Famitsu is out with scores for a bunch of PS Vita and PSP games. FIFA 13 gets an improbably high score on the Vita, but Street Fighter does the business along with the cardboard mech game and a new Idolmaster on PSP that will probably sell the highest come launch.

Borderlands 2 (PS3/360) – 9/9/9/10
FIFA 13 (PS3/360) – 9/10/9/9
Forza Horizon (360) – 8/9/10/9
Street Fighter X Tekken (PSV) – 9/9/8/8
Cardboard Senki W (PSV/PSP) – 9/9/8/8
AKB48 + Me (3DS) – 8/9/8/7
The Idolm@ster Shiny Festa: Honey Sound (PSP) – 8/8/8/8
FIFA 13 (PSV) – 7/8/7/8
FIFA 13 (PSP) – 6/6/6/7
Pia Carrot e Youkoso!! 4: Natsu no Kioku (PSP) – 6/6/5/6

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Let's Fish for art and images for the Vita's piscatorial pleasure

Wired is bringing SIMS neat-looking fishing title to western river banks, and has put out some new imagery to show the unique style and presentation of the game. But, will the Vita be as fun to use as a rod compared to the legendary Sega Bass Fishing controller?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Chronovolt still charging up for Vita, new pics

I first heard about Chronovolt at the start of the year, and it had pretty much dropped off the radar. But the developers, PlayerThree are still hard at work and a couple of new pics have emerged on their Facebook page (which also has some character art and world sketches to view).

Considering these types of games usually look rather simple or follow some high-tech style, these organic looking worlds are very impressive. Definitely one to keep an eye out for!

Sony's way out of Vita-hell, license it to Microsoft?

This isn't a new idea (I posted something along these lines last year) but surely if the Vita is still struggling along in the west, why not license it to Microsoft, who can release their own version?

Put out the same hardware, call it Xbox Go or something similar, with an Xbox Live store button added on an MS-skinned interface, and Microsoft could do all its own work on first-party licenses. Both Sony and MS share revenue from hardware sales while developers would soon have a far bigger market to sell to, bingo!

Sure, this hasn't really happened since the 3DO days, but with threats including open source games hardware coming from Valve, cloud gaming and iOS, Microsoft could do with covering another base, while Sony could do with the revenue and a hand expanding the Vita's installed base.

Also, Microsoft lacks the advanced second-screen that Sony and Nintendo now have for their main devices. This helps them play catch-up in one go and is a lot better than MS's many screens concept which shows no sign of life. True, all this couldn't happen overnight, but as a concept, could happily tag along with the XboxNext launch.

Halo Portable would sell bucketloads, Forza Horizon players could take their games on the go, and other Microsoft products, especially older IP, would get a new lease of life in portable form. Any game just needs a "compatible with MS Xbox Go and PS Vita" sticker to avoid market confusion and gamers get the best of both worlds in one format.

With such a deal, Microsoft and Sony can but up a block on Nintendo's dominance, while covering off these new threats. Yep, its a mad idea, and unlikely to ever be discussed by the folks at the top of either company, but I think it makes sense, especially the longer the Vita continues to bump along.

Pure Chess getting a free Battalion set and DLC soundtrack

In case Pure Chess slipped off your memory card, the game is still going strong with updates, the next one of which will be free to tempt you to reinstall, or buy the game if you missed it at launch (review). VooFoo Studios and Ripstone are giving DLC set "Battalion" for free for both PlayStation3 and Vita.

Recent paid sets have included Forest and Roman themes, all of which look gorgeous. The name of the new set was picked via a Twitter competition and the new content coincides with the release of the official soundtrack. Pure Chess enthusiasts can now listen to the beautifully calming sounds of Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin and Satie to relax your mind and keep your head in the game, for just £3.99.

The patch has improved gameplay and added the ability to challenge a player from a ranking board to a game of play by mail.

Spy Hunter trailer gives the game away

I think I'd like this game, I'll definitely like it when it is only £10-£15, which is what it looks worth to me. The trouble is, it costs £34.99 on PSN which is almost as offensive as the £39.99 for FIFA 13. It might be a bit more tempting if there was a demo, which I assumed since the PSN listing says "Spy Hunter Full Game" which suggests there would be one.

I can't see one yet, and if they're delaying the demo, that usually means the game isn't all that hot, which I wouldn't mind, as a little bit of vehicular mayhem doesn't have to be a work of genius, just being fun will do - but how can I tell? Definitely one for the budget rack I think.

Malicious Rebirth can stop looking like Gravity Rush

I took one look at this picture and assumed it was an update for Gravity Rush at first. Then the translation kicked in, and it turns out this is a bunch of new screens for Malicious, an update of the PS3 game from Alvion.

 Check out the article for a new nasty in the form of Marishiasu with a vicious bite, whirling axes and a missile attack. The game is out in Japan soon, no word of a western release, although it should be easy enough to play.

Japan getting cheaper PS Vita 3G bundles

According to a Sony Japan press release, gamers over there are soon getting limited edition cheaper PlayStation Vita packs. One is called the "PlayStation Vita 32GB Bonus Pack" and will cost ¥34,980 while the "PlayStation Vita Starter Pack" will ship a week later and cost ¥29,980 with a copy of Everybody's Golf and a 4GB card.

Both are 3G models, so I guess Sony is more or less giving up on the WiFi version over there, given the more social nature of Japanese gaming. Hopefully they won't be that limited, and are shipping a week apart in November to give a semi-seasonal boost to Vita sales.

Another look at Need for Speed Most Wanted played on a Vita

Despite there still  being no official video or screens from EA (who I may as well now have to refer to as the "Anti-Vitaistas") the game is out there being played by press and public. The latest showing is at New York Comic Con where some folks have captured Criterion's racer in action.

Like the first video, its a little blurry, but still looks smoking hot, fast and detailed. Some commenters have said the game is a bit jaggy, and if I squint, I can see some edges here and there, but in racing games you rarely have time to admire the scenery. Definitely looks a must-get to me!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Black Ops Declassified comes with free CoD PSP game

When you rush out to buy Black Ops on the Vita, you'll get a little bonus in the form of a PSN code for Road to Victory, one of the PSP off-shoots.

This offer has been confirmed for the US, hopefully it will hit Europe too. As a little sweetener, it's not bad, as long as its not an apology for an inferior main product.

Would be a neat idea for other games too, offering PSone or PSP titles from a series.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Sega Studio ditching Vita for iOS/Android development

Add another one to the list of where-are-they-now developers for the Vita. Sega's UK-based Hardlight studios had a Vita game in development, which has now been put on hold. This might be until the Vita reaches a better user base, or it might just crumble into history.

The developer instead will be focusing on smartphone or tablets games for iOS and Android, aka "where the money is." There is no hint of what the game was about, but with the developer having access to lots of Sega IP and a remit to innovate, it could have been something pretty cool.

<insert usual hopeful comment here> that the Vita will sell well enough in the run up to Christmas and the project will get back underway.

Rainbow Moon Vita development gripes on PSN

Having announced that the lovely-looking Rainbow Moon is coming to the Vita a while back, there's now a chat up on PSN with the usual back and forth, but one interesting point about the cross-development:
Have you enjoyed developing for the PS Vita? 
Marcus Pukropski: Well, we haven’t finished yet! To be honest, I thought it would be easier, because lots of people said the hardware was very similar. But in the end there were so many differences in the operating system that we practically had to re-write most of the engine. And that of course takes more time.

Which sounds like Sony's promises of easy code portability might not be quite what developers were expecting. Any other devs care to share on this one?

NAX Music Player appears on video

The Vita's upcoming free spiced-up audio player, announced last week from ARC System Works, has made an appearance in this lifestyle-heavy Japanese advert. Ignore the arty shots of people and the media player kicks into life before everything blends into one.


The web link at the end leads to a site with plenty of English if you want to find out more.

BreakQuest Extra Evolution hitting PSP and Vita

Some developers are still doing work on the minis front despite the arrival of PlayStation Mobile, next up is BeatShaper's BreakQuestion EE, which is an update to a 2009 mini title.

BreakQuest is back and is twice the fun! Stunning visuals and shapes, energizing physics and exciting sounds! Enjoy 100 ?ompletely redesigned action-packed levels, each featuring own colorful design, elements behavior and visual effects. BreakQuest: Extra Evolution is an enhanced and improved version of original BreakQuest, one of the best break-out games of all times, created by Nurium games. In addition to the energizing gameplay of its predecessor, the game boasts a superior physics concept, new art style and cool sound. Breaking bricks has never been so fun! More pics on the game's site.

  • 100 exclusively designed levels with new stylish art 
  • Ten unique evil bosses to defeat 
  • New space shuttles, each with special abilities 
  • Endless Gravitor and unique energy shield mechanics to help player controll the ball 
  • 21 achievements for an outstanding performance to reward player 
  • New power-ups and bonuses to smash and crash blocks 
  • All new music tracks, created by the SandS band

See WRC3 in action on the Vita

It looks like racing games really are the Vita's forte, despite what Ridge Racer tried to do. Both World Rally Championships 3 and NFS:MW look pretty hot from the shakycam footage we've seen so far. Here's a first look at WRC 3 from Milestone running on the Vita and it doesn't look to far off what the previous footage has shown.

How many Personas do you want on your Vita?

Atlus has gone a little bit over the top and come up with 16 new character videos for the upcoming (in North America) Vita hit. I have no idea what made me pick this out of the herd (note that 17 rating kids!), you can find the rest handily on one page over at Gematsu.

Street Fighter x Tekken gets a workout at New York Comic Con

The latest brawler to stomp across the Vita's screen is due out in a week or so, and Capcom has been showing it off at the NY Comic Con event. Looks pretty hot and will add to the Vita's excellent line-up of fighting games.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

US PSN blog hints at some big God of War news on Monday

While everything is big in the God of War world, what could be on the cards for Monday's big news, as teased by the US PSN blog?
We just wanted to share that little tidbit for you to tide you over until next week. Hopefully it helps you make your decision on God of War: Ascension, so head over to pre-order here. We’ve got something big coming on October 15th, so be sure to come back and check the PlayStation Blog Monday afternoon and see what it is.
It might just be another new mode to go alongside multiplayer on the next instalment, it could be a Vita collection of the original or the PSP games, or it could be a whole new adventure just for the Vita. Remember Yoshida was hinting at there being some unannounced Vita games in the pipe, could that be one of them. Check back Monday for the final word. Love that collector's edition though!

Smart As... quiz game finally hitting the PS Vita

Cripes, the end of October is going to be busy... add Smart As..., the PS Vita's version of brain training to the list of games slamming the stores and PSN that week. That's on the US PSN store, the EU won't be far behind, getting it on the 31st.

There's another video on the PSN blog link, so check it out, are you ready for some inter-cranial adjustment before the winter kicks in, or would you rather be playing Assassin's Creed III or Ragnarok?

Sony updates the PS3 PSN store design, new Vita and PSP sections

Sony has taken the wraps off a new PS3 front end for the store, with carousels, better visuals and a better look for SD TV users. According to VG24/7, the store goes live next week and...
PS Vita and PSP integration sees two separate catalogues of content for those devices. Dumville explained that the vast majority of PS Store users browse by PS3 content and so this separating of home and mobile console offerings will allow them to browse only content that is relevant to them. The search function will still return results for content across all platforms.
Hopefully the Vita will get a redesign soon, fixing the silly long lists, clusters of DLC that you have to download individually and so on. I had some ideas back here.

Japan gets the Vita's e-Reader and comic book store

As the PSP comic book store closes quietly down, the Vita one opens up (in Japan, anyway) with a new app available for the Vita, and the likes of One Piece, Fate Stay Night and other mangas available for download. Looks like a neat app and can't wait for a western release.

So, is Gaikai the end for the PS Vita and a way out for Sony?

Lots of tech and big-name sites are doing "yippees" at the prospect of a load of big-name PS games appearing on other formats through Sony's acquired Gaikai service. With the company hiring for Android and iPhone developers, that's pretty much a guarantee that the service will soon be on all mobiles and tablets.

While it opens up huge subscription revenue opportunities for Sony, it means that if Vita doesn't show signs of life in the next year, it can be quietly retired and all dedicated handheld gaming will be in Nintendo's court. All Sony has to do is claim lack of support (which is true) and Vita will quietly retreat to the back of the company's gaming drawer.

The likes of LBP, Uncharted, Killzone and others are splashed across the Gaikai site, suggesting Sony would go full bore with the service, and why not with hundreds of millions of Android and iPhone users out there? Going where the money is makes pure sense.

Hopefully, the Vita will perk up over Christmas and into 2013, but the release list isn't exactly looking healthy despite Yoshida's promise of more unannounced games to come. Ironically, today, Sony is celebrating 5 million PS3 sales in the UK. With the best will in the world, the Vita will probably struggle to reach one million and has only just crept over that mark in Japan.

With gamers holding out for one game to boost the Vita. If Capcom won't play ball, then why would Sony bother to drag out its lifespan beyond next Christmas? Sony will deny any end-of-life until the Vita's dying day, but the gloom is very much in the air.

Shoot Many Robots nixed for PS Vita, a microcosm of its problem

This isn't exactly news, but I was tidying up the release schedule when I came across an odd title in the list. A quick check on the progress of Shoot Many Robots revealed that the developer can't find a publisher to get it on the Vita. That's despite Ubisoft having put it out on Xbox and others.
Forum Q: Seems like porting SMR to the Vita would be a no-brainer—the game would be a great fit for the platform.
Forum A: Agreed! But it isn’t happening any time soon. We’d have to get a publisher to fund the project and right now there aren’t interested parties :[
That sounds like a microcosm of the Vita's problems now, even though Ubi brought a decent number of games to launch, it is looking for guaranteed big hitters (AC III) and nothing else, at least until the Vita has sold a few million units.

Games that have a modest fan base, or would widen the number of titles aren't getting a look in. While its unlikely that anyone would buy a Vita just for SMR, what other gems aren't being picked up that could help do some good?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Nihilistic lists fixes/features in upcoming Resistance 1.02 patch

While Resistance: Burning Skies isn't everyone's favorite FPS, Nihilistic is still trying to make the game better and mentioned a new patch during its CoD Black Ops tweet jam the other day. I asked the developers what features will be included and they've posted this list.

Resistance: Burning Skies patch 1.02:

  • MULE adjustment, 
  • Stat reporting to, 
  • MP connection fixes, 
  • MP scoring fixes, 
  • Various SFX bugs, 
  • Added Southpaw mode, 
  • Direct launch into game lobby from Party support.
Hopefully the game will come down in price soon and more players will pick it up, I'd rather not see it buried in the wake of Black Ops. 

Start warming those fingers up to play DJ Max Technika Tune

Okay, I think the PSM game Fuel Tiracas might just be a warm up for the monstrous levels of dexterity required for Pentavision's DJ Max Vita game. With the Limited Edition already sold out in the States, expect this to be one of the Vita's more expensive purchases as importers crank up the price.

Nihilistic tweets Vita Black Ops and mentions Resistance Patch

In a mammoth Twitter session, Nihilistic went through a lot of the Vita Black Ops weapons and features, and what's missing. For instance, there's no holographic gun sights due to the time that the game is set in. They also mentioned a Resistance patch will appear before the new game ships, and any requests for Zombies, DLC and future patches or DLC have to go to Activision (and will largely depend on sales).

What we won't get is killcam, the ability to pick your teams but there is Auto-run. Also, you won't be able to remap controls off the touchscreen. The confirmed MP maps are: Nukehouse, Shattered Range, Rocket, Container and Intel. A final nugget, in response to one question, Nihilistic says the U.S. version of the Black Ops has gone gold, not long to wait!

Weapons include: Carbine (aka Commando), AK47, M16, Gali,l M14, FAMAS, MP5K, Uzi, AK74u, PP19, RPK, M60, Stoner, l96a1, Draganov, Stakeout, SPAS-12, Striker, ASP, Python, Scorpion, CZ75, Mac11, Strella, China Lake, RPG Launcher, Underaction Launcher, Ballistic Knife, Crossbow, Tomahawk, Frag Grenade, Semtex, Bouncing Betty and Flashbang.

Weapon attachments are: Weight Balance, Improved Grip, Adjustable Stock, Quick Draw Handle. Extended Barrel, Tactical Knife, Bipod, Underaction Grenade, Extended Mag, Supressor, Rapid Fire, Red Dot Sight and ACOG.

Finally your perks are: Sleight of Hand, Lightweight, Hardline, Jammer, Cold Blooded, Fast Hands, Hard wired, Toughness, Dead Silence, Flak Jacket, Surplus and Marksman.

For a portable, that's a decent amount of content, certainly something to look forward too. But, since no new screens were shown off or put up, we'll have to hope the game has improved on the early shots after the developer's recent paint job.

Summon Night 3 and Sol Trigger blazes away on the Japan games chart

Sol Trigger got a lot of coverage earlier in the year, but went a bit quiet in the summer. However, it is now out on the shelves as one of the last big PSP releases. The game lands at No. 4 in the charts behind Summon Night 3, a budget-price remake from Namco and the horde of Resident Evil 6 zombies and the new Pro Evo.

01. [PS3] Resident Evil 6 (Capcom) {2012.10.04} (¥7.990) - 634.933
02. [PS3] World Soccer Winning Eleven 2013 (Konami) {2012.10.04} (¥7.980) - 223.884
03. [PSP] Summon Night 3 (Bandai Namco Games) {2012.10.04} (¥3.990) - 51.455
04. [PSP] Sol Trigger (Image Epoch) {2012.10.04} (¥6.279) - 42.037  
05. [360] Resident Evil 6 (Capcom) {2012.10.04} (¥7.990) - 41.652 

On the hardware side, the Vita has now crept over 1,000,000 sales in Japan, but Sony won't be in a mood to celebrate as it only managed sell around 8,000 this week. 300,000 of those sales came on the launch weekend, leaving nine months for it to accrue the rest. The venerable PSP managed double that and is now approaching 20 million sales in Japan. 

Madden 13 to get a big PS Vita update

What should we call it now? Madden 13.1? Anyway here's the details of the update, fixing crashes, bringing smoother gameplay and other improvements, shipping in a week or so. I guess that FIFA 13 will probably get some similar treatment, trying to make these dodgy releases a little more palatable for gamers. Also, do we have en EU release date for Madden 13 yet? Where the hell is it!


Noticeable hitches during cut scenes in between plays, which caused a drop in framerate, have been improved.
Call Your Shots on Defense can now be called during the Offense’s walk to the line instead of having to wait for the Offense to be set.
Gameplay camera adjustments. Cameras should now be closer to the field.
Call Your Shots camera can be accessed during the pre-play walk to the line and will indicate when it is able to be used after the players get set.
Out of memory crash has been fixed when loading in and out of games.
Fixed Left Stick issue during playcall when trying to scroll.
When the user exits from a playbook to a package and starts scrolling, the selection will now move to the top.
Coin toss cameras have been reworked.


Overall online stability improvement.
Various issues that may cause a user to disconnect from another user have been addressed.
Unranked games will now influence player skill points.


Team Records have been updated for the previous NFL season in Franchise Mode.


Various commentary issues have been addressed.
Fixed music stacking issues during gameplay.


Sky textures during dusk have been improved.
Clear and Smoked visors will now show up correctly in game.
Players that had graphical issues where their skin was appearing glossy have been addressed.
Sideline players now have been assigned numbers.
Removed unsupported player equipment.
Cut scene camera issues have been fixed.
Dolphins’ alternate uniform pants issue has been corrected.
Players’ uniform pants flickering issue has been fixed.
Stadium wall texture issues fixed.
Fixed player model chin strap not being attached to the player correctly.
Cowboys Stadium texture issues resolved.

Mad Catz Kunai Vita and PS3 headset now available

With a different look, but the same styling for each console, Mad Catz is kind of playing across the board here, but if you want the Vita model, white and blue in a Tron-style it is. Or you could go for the black Wii U model, I'm pretty sure they're all the same.

Whatever, they're available now from Amazon and other stores for under £50 and offer confortable listening to your games with a microphone for Skyping or in-game chat. More details on the MC site.

New Little King's Story gives users a DLC dilemma

I'm pretty much against "fluffy" DLC packs, costumes and the like shouldn't be paid for, but if you do like that kind of thing, Konami has two options for New Little King's Story. You can either cough up $20 for everything in one go, via the Ultimate Pass, or pay as you for the releases over the coming weeks.

They'll include DLC costumes, special weapons, life and strength power-ups and more at a cost of $1-$3 each. I'm guessing the game hasn't set the charts alight, it is down at No. 70 on Amazon's Vita chart (and only stumbled into the Vita top 20 at No. 19 before vanishing again). So if you do like the game and want to support Vita development, perhaps DLC is the way to it. Either way get used to a lot more of this stuff in your Vita games.

Legend of Heroes Trails in the Sky rated in Famitsu

The Vita's latest updated Legend of Heroes RPG in Japan picks up a good score from Famitsu with a 33, while Shrien (an update on a Nintendo DS RPG, I think) does even better with a 34. There's a neat limited edition of Heroes with a figure, Vita pouch, cloth and audio CDs, which might help nudge sales along.

Shiren the Wanderer 4 (PSP) – 9/8/8/9
The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky (Vita) – 8/9/8/8

I started playing the PSP version of Trails in the Sky, but got waylaid by Persona 3 Portable, I suppose I might get back to it one day...

Treasure Park gets an update, now less impenetrable

Treasure Park looked so simple on the surface, and when you got into it - its pretty fun, but the reliance on Near and the Vita's tiny user base made getting going rather more of a chore. A new update allows you to play infinite practice mode to get used to the game, and to find sheets from your PSN friends, wherever they are - not just on Near.

Not sure if the update is live in Europe yet (not appearing on my home screen) but when it kicks in, it might be worth trying the game again if you got fed up with it first time around. Thanks to Sony's @yosp for the update.

More unannounced Vita titles to come - Yoshida

Sony's worldwide studio boss and top tweeter (@yosp) Shuhei Yoshida mentioned in an interview with Famitsu, that there are a few still unannounced Vita games. The obvious question is what are they? The slightly more pragmatic question is when will they be announced?

Sony still owes us another Gaming Heaven event, from the one that never materialised in the summer. But if they're all Japanese games, then its unlikely to excite the western market given the poor rate at which they make it over here.

What might happen is Sony will ship all the big winter games (ACIII, BloPs and so on) and then hold an event later in the year to unveil its 2013 line-up. What that will include is your guess, with the perennial favouites likely to top of everyone's list.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Persona 4 Golden gets another teaser trailer

Americans get all excited at the prospect of almost imminent Persona gratification. Everyone else get ready to import like a major drug dealer. Here's another trailer showing off some of the game's newer features in all their anglicised glory.

Get ready to Rampage around Retro City

Here's a new trailer to celebrate the imminent launch of indie-smash (literally) Vblank's Retro City Rampage on the Vita and other formats. Having just watched Indie Games The Movie, I have a new appreciation for the effort that goes into these puppies and will be queuing up for this one.

PS Vita wins T3 Gaming Gadget of the Year award

Shiny trophies might not mean much when hard, cold, sales are what is need to thrive in the market. But Sony should get some free advertising and a nice shiny badge to put on the PS Vita boxes as it won the Gaming Gadget of the year award at T3 magazine's award ceremony.

It was up against the Nintendo 3DS, OnLive console, Alienware X51 PC and NVIDIA's 3D glasses. Phone of the year went to the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the overall Gadget award went to the Google Nexus 7. Will the award really help sales? I'd imagine the top game bundles on the way for Christmas will do a lot more for them.

Orgarhythm hitting the west for God-based rhythm strategy

Quite why some games take years to make it west from Japan is a mystery. Okay, some have loads of voice work to translate and get actors to repeat. Others suffer from the developer or publisher not thinking there will be an audience, guess they don't read forums or blogs. But with those same publishers trying to squeeze every last yen or cent out of a game, you would think there is more of a concerted effort all round.

Anyway, occasionally, there's a good and fast swing from one continent to the others. Here we have Neilo's Orgarhythm winging its way to America on 23 October thanks to XSeed. The rhythm/action/rpg game will hit the PSN in a couple of weeks.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Aveline and Connor, hiding in a tree, a-s-s-a-s-s-i-n-a-t-i-n-g

There is perhaps a little more to Assassin's Creed III Liberation and the big console version than you might think, this new developer post hints that the two will meet and there may be scope for some sort of interaction.


How they'll meet, what they'll interact with and what they could exchange remain a mystery for now.

Invizimals coming to the PS Vita and your TV screen

Spanish developer Novarama promised to develop Invizimals exclusively on the Vita last year, and now the fruit of the that labour is slowly being unveiled. And, it will be fronted by a new TV series which will presumably aim to create a Pokemon/Digimon vibe.

The series is due to launch next year, which means the game might be quite far out. But it looks like retaining the same themes as the PSP titles, finding invisible animals via the power of a handheld, plus you get to travel into their world via the power of a magical portal.

LittleBigPlanet continues to show FIFA 13 who's boos

The latest UK Vita chart is a victory for quality gaming over tawrdry dross and poor marketing. If EA can't be bothered to do a proper update then it doesn't deserve to chart at all, but in a weak market like the Vita's, No. 2 will do fine. I mean, how few copies is Uncharted still selling after 33 weeks on the chart?

2 - FIFA 13 EA SPORTS 2 2

LBP debuted at No. 6 in the all formats and is still in the top 15, with FIFA 13 keep top spot there from Resident Evil 6.

If Sony were ever to pay for an IP, this is it, Angry Birds Star Wars

Due to be announced fully later today and slated for Android and iOS, here comes potentially the best (or worst) crossover since Aliens vs Predator. I have no idea how much Sony would need to pay to get it on Vita, or PlayStation Mobile, but it would be worth it.

Given the Vita lacks any Angry goodness, come on Sony, cough up and shamelessly appeal to the masses for once.

Virtue's Last Reward trailer: stick, or twist the knife in

The demo seems to be getting a good reception on the US PSN store, although many are saying it is best to have played the first game. But, even so, this visual novel treatment brought to us by Rising Star Games looks like a gripping saga of trust and betrayal as you make decisions that affect the plot.

What's your PlayStation Vita game of the year?

Okay, this is my own 2012 PS Vita Game of the Year Awards. Sure, we're approaching the big release season, so some of the contenders aren't out yet, but we know pretty much who's made the effort and who hasn't. So please pick your favourite and spread the word.

At launch we had:

Uncharted: Golden Abyss: Proof the Vita could carry a full console title.
WipEout 2048: The perfect WipEout game? I'd like to think so
Virtua Tennis 4: 60FPS, superb detail and Andy Murray

In Summer:
Gravity Rush: If you want to be original, you can on the Vita!
Mortal Kombat: All the Vita's fighters are top  notch, but this has that gory, fun edge

LittleBigPlanet Vita: So cute and creative
Need for Speed: Most Wanted: Could be the racer to own on any console
Assassin's Creed 3: Liberation: The game that cold actually help sell a few Vitas?
Street Fighter x Tekken: Looking like the biggest and best fighter yet

PS Vita Game of the Year free polls 
Bonus Vote:

Best PS Vita mini/budget/PSM/augmented title free polls