Friday, June 28, 2013

Soul Saga kickstarter funded, Vita a (not very big) stretch goal

Independent video games development studio Disastercake, has announced that Soul Saga: Episode I (Facebook page here), has been funded on Kickstarter, exceeding its target funding goal of $60,000 with 16 days left to go.

Disastercake is now working towards reaching as many stretch goals as possible before the campaign ends, with the Vita version only needing an extra $20K, and the campaign has two weeks left to run. UPDATE: Guess the press release got to me late, as the Vita goal has also been reached. Top stuff! Add this to Starlight Inception, as successfully funded Vita titles. Delivery is estimated at July 2014.


Soul Saga: Episode I is an immersive story-driven RPG drawing inspiration from classic J-RPG series such as Final Fantasy, Persona, Breath of Fire and Suikoden. Soul Saga: Episode I provides players with intricate environmental puzzles, and a dynamic turn-based combat system, accompanied by gorgeous, colourful 3D worlds and starring a cast of characters brimming with personality and depth.

More Soul Sacrifice monsters and quests for Japanese pain-dealers

This really is the game that keeps on giving, if you like pain and suffering. Japanese gamers get another dose of tortured DLC soon, with metal giant warrior demons, angry barbed babies and other content up for grabs, shouldn't be too long before they hit western stores.

Jeff Minter tweets first TxK Tempest Vita pics...

As well as teasing users that buying a PS Vita and a PS4 might be a good idea, just noticed that Jeff Minter ha posted pics on his Twitter of Tempest xK in action on the Vita, plus some beer! He's even been playing the game with Sony's own indie-god Shahid Kamal.


Not sure how close this is to completion, but it looks like a higher-resolution, more nuanced, version of my fondest Jaguar memories. Hope he's kept some of the original music in there too. If ever there was a day one buy, for any Vita owner, this is it, alongside Killzone obviously. Update: More pics on his blog.


Wonder what the PS4/Vita link could be? Multiplayer on this across two screens would be great fun, if you don't have two Vitas to hand like they do!

GAME pre-order goodies for Killzone Mercenary go live

Yep, troll down to the shops to beat the 2-hour(ish) download time or the endless wait for the postman, and the need for a new memory card, and you can pick up some fun goodies with GAME's pre-order bonuses for the best Vita game likely to ever exist (maybe).
  • GAME Exclusive ISA Light Machine Gun: Draw first blood in a brutal interstellar war with the M224-A1 Light Machine Gun. Tool up and take down your enemies with the powerhouse weapon of the ISA. 
  • Blackjack's Briefcase Pack: Double XP - pocket twice the normal experience points from all contracts, bonuses and pay-offs during your first two days of single and multiplayer gaming action. Cash Pay Out - splash a load of Vektan Dollars on new weaponry before you even step onto the battlefield.
Then again, Killzone is £10 cheaper on Amazon, but with no goodies, so what you gonna do, punk? Not sure how long that's been live, or if anyone still shops at GAME, but a Sony email nudging me in that direction just turned up. Let me know if anywhere else has it cheaper? 

Total Recoil hitting the Vita in July

This looks so familiar, wasn't there a series of 3D0 games that tried this kind of perspective and theme? Failing that you can always go back to Ikari Warriors or Commando. Anyway, this Android (more kudos to Shahid for getting it over) game is being ported and hopefully improved for the Vita.



It looks like great fun and there's a blog post on the US PSN with some art and screens, and a Facebook page to follow for more information.

Conception II trailer introduces more heroes, knickers

Conception II seems like a pretty straight forward update to the dungeon crawler for the Vita and 3DS of the PSP original, which was a decent seller in Japan. This trailer shows off the cast, their choice of weapons and undergarments, and lets us in  on the August release date. Spike discussed bringing the original game west, not sure if that ever happened (its not on the EU PSN), let me know if it did.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Indie shooter Gunslugs heads to the Vita

Another day, another indie game pops up for the Vita. Up top we have the, rather wimpy looking Android version of OrangePixel's Gunslugs being played, and below is an early Vita version from port-wrangler Abstraction, who did the goods for Hotline Miami. Definitely a lot better with actual controls.



The action is a bit reminiscent of many 8-bit titles including the funky Cobra, while the squat characters have a certain charm of their own. Not sure what license they have to add features to the game, but hopefuly it'll get a little extra factor added in.

Jikkyou Powerful Pro Baseball 2013 to hit cuteness out of the park

Or not, yet another in the endless series of cartoonish slugger titles is due in September on PSP, Vita and PS3. Konami is providing some new features in this update but its difficult to imagine what you can cram into this sport that hasn't already been done long before.

More pics over on Dengeki, bet these guys don't spit tobacco and gum all over the place.

10-game Vita bundle to tempt new players

Sony's recent 8GB card with 10 PSN games to download offer has been bolstered by the release of a complete bundle including the Vita console. Retailing for around £169, that's a pretty good deal compared to the launch Vita price of £230 with one game and the memory card.


And the ten games are pretty solid from across the spectrum of Vita (and PSP) titles, let's face it, even Lemmings is still cool. So, feel free to recommend this to a friend or relative. It is currently available on Zavvi.

Help get AeternoBlade on PS Vita via Indiegogo

Malaysian developer CoreCell, (behind Wicked Monsters Blast! and Crazy Strike Bowling) is bringing AeternoBlade to the Vita, if it gets enough sponsorship through Indiegogo. The game is a 3D side scrolling action platform game, also coming to 3DS and other platforms. It needs to hit $60,000 for the Vita version to get made. If you're into your Castlevania-style games then this could be one worth chipping in for.


The player follows Freyja on her epic quest for vengeance through countless dimensions. The game has 44 days to get funding and has just started out, so please invest if you think you'd enjoy this kid of game. Check out the video for all the game details.


Toukiden goes anime

With the game getting great reviews and looking like a slick piece of monster mashing action, it likely doesn't need much help to sell. But that won't stop Tecmo Koei and Omega Force from trying every marketing trick in the book, so take a gander at a trailer for the game's own anime.



Why the constant need for an eye-patch toting character? Never understood that theme?

JRPG frenzy, new Exstetra information rolls in

You wait for a JRPG for, oh about 15 seconds, two minutes, and then two turn up at once, with Chronos Materia being the other. The rather charming Miss below is the heroine in Exstetra, Ryouma Narusawa is an evil-energy absorbing, perfect-bottomed, Pantene'd lass, if ever there was one.


The game is set in Amasia, a future where poor old Tokyo has been zapped with some funky energy and trashed (yep that bit of ruined city, just past her boobs, easy to miss I know) then fused with other areas of the planet. By sucking up the "Ex" energy from the demons that have caused this global trauma, she can use it help rescue the ethereal creatures who can save the world.

Chillingo joins the PlayStation Mobile fraternity, iBomber Defense and Feed me Oil inbound

With some great games, and a fair volume of titles, arriving on the PlayStation Mobile side of PSN in recent weeks, perhaps there is hope for this slightly-maligned Vita and Android format. It will certainly get a lift as Chillingo has signed up to publish games for it.


Don't expect much in the way of new titles, at first. It looks like we'll be getting a steady stream of current hits including Feed Me Oil, Little Acorns, iBomber Defense and Roll in the Hole. But if there's enough interest it's not a massive challenge to bring new releases in parallel with their regular mobile equivalents.

I've played a bit of iBomber in the past, and that's likely the most core gamer friendly of them, but I'm sure the others all have their own quirks.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Two Vita games chart in Japan, sales up 3,000

With The Last of Us sat proudly on top of the latest Japanese charts, Compile Heart's Idol Neptune PP does some business for the Vita in at No. 5 with almost 30,000 sales while Koei's Winning Post 7 manages around 4,500. That effort, plus a couple of PSP games charting sees the Vita shift 13,400 this week, the only console moving in the right direction.

With the overall market still heading down is Japan settling in for the waiting game until PlayStation 4, or is this the bleak future for consoles (except the 3DS) in Japan. The PSP is now just 80,000 sales away from 20 million in Japan, which will be a decent achievement for the old stager.

PSN hosting a cracking PSone sale

Dig out those classics for another lease of life on your Vita, check out this list of next-to-free titles available. Any favourites among this lot? I find Silent Hill pretty unplayable now, not sure why Tomb Raider is there when the anniversary PSP version is available but Crash Bandicoot and MediEvil are still pretty awesome.

Resident Evil 1, 2 and 3 Bundle Was €14.99/£11.99, now €7.99/£6.49
Silent Hill Was €6.99/£5.49, now €4.99/£3.99
Spyro The Dragon Trilogy Was €9.99/£7.99, now €4.99/£3.99
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night Was €9.99/£7.99, now €4.99/£3.99
Metal Gear Solid Was €9.99/£7.99, now €4.99/£3.99
Mickey’s Wild Adventure Was €5.99/£4.79, now €2.99/£2.39
Tomb Raider Was €5.99/£4.79, now €2.99/£2.39
Tomb Raider 2 Was €5.99/£4.79, now €2.99/£2.39
Command & Conquer: Red Alert Was €4.99/£3.99, now €2.99/£1.99
Crash Bandicoot Was €4.99/£3.99, now €2.49/£1.99
CTR: Crash Team Racing Was €4.99/£3.99, now €2.49/£1.99
Destruction Derby Was €4.99/£3.99, now €2.49/£1.99
Fear Effect Was €6.99/£5.49, now €2.49/£1.99
Guilty Gear Was €4.99/£3.99, now €2.49/£1.99
Jumping Flash Was €4.99/£3.99, now €2.49/£1.99
MediEvil Was €4.99/£3.99, now €2.49/£1.99
Oddworld: Abe’s Exoddus Was €4.99/£3.99, now €2.49/£1.99
Rayman Was €4.99/£3.99, now €2.49/£1.99
Rayman 2 Was €4.99/£3.99, now €2.49/£1.99
Spyro The Dragon Was €4.99/£3.99 , now €2.49/£1.99
Syphon Filter Was €4.99/£3.99, now €2.49/£1.99
Tekken 2 Was €4.99/£3.99, now €2.49/£1.99
Twisted Metal Was €4.99/£3.99, now €2.49/£1.99
Warhawk Was €4.99/£3.99, now €2.49/£1.99
WipEout Was €4.99/£3.99, now €2.49/£1.99

Hot, hot update for PlayStation Mobile titles

Not had a look in the PSM tab for a while? There's been some pretty good stuff lately, but this week's update tops that with ease. Mononoke Slashdown is a bright and bold sword game, while Floribund a fun and cheap tile game. But the stars of the show have to be Bike Rider DX which has gazumped OlliOlli as an on-wheels runner.


Finally, Cytus Lambda is a free-to-try rhythm tap game. One payment accesses all the content if you like it. At 329Mb it is one of the bigger PSM games but seems worth the investment in space.

Sony proclaims its love for indie Vita developers

A short and sweet video to announce the new indie channel that should go live with today's PSN update (and the much-awaited Hotline Miami) plus a lload of the upcoming highlights that were shown off at E3. Basically this is Shahid Kamal's CV showreel, top job to him and his team.



Follow him on Twitter to see all the awesome indies he's talking to about games that could come our way in the near future.

Sega's Project 575 game spills some red beans

Okay, if Project 575 isn't the next Hatsune Miku game, or something close, I'd be pretty shocked. Check out the game's Facebook page for a new update with a video showing a red shilouette (an earlier trailer showed a green songstress) called Masaoka, and some tunes playing away.



Since we're not even getting Hatsune on the Vita (cheers, Sega) (and assuming this is actually a PlayStation title and not some mobile silliness) don't expect this to come west.

Chronos Materia from Gust crossing the social/RPG divide on Vita

Splashed across the pages of the new Dengeki magazine, Gust's next PS Vita game focuses on easy-to-play mechanics and seems like a less-than-threatening foray into an adventure where fates can be changed to adjust the story. Quite how that works remains to be seen, but hopefully this marks the end of a drought in recent new game news.

With Atelier having hit western PSNs recently, wonder what the odds of this making it over here are?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Hotline Miami hitting EU PSN store today for Vita

It isn't there yet (4PM UK, and now PSN is down for scheduled maintenance) , but keep checking the blue skies for Dennaton's brutal and fun homage to Miami Vice and 8-bit action for £7.29 as a crossplay PS Vita and PS3 game. Hotline Miami is a high-octane action game demanding sharp reactions and a creative approach to navigate a gauntlet of 20 multi-screen missions.

A punishing—yet addictive—experience with 35 weapons to unsafe, the game features a gritty, retro visual style, a driving soundtrack, and a surreal chain of events that will have players questioning their thirst for blood. Hotline Miami for PS3 and PS Vita introduces trophies and leaderboards for each level, ranking friends and players worldwide based on score, with a note on which mask was used to achieve it.

Vita getting some Pixel Junk Monsters Ultimate HD

Double Eleven, the team behind LittleBigPlanet Vita will bring Pixel Junk's tower game to the Vita later this summer as part of a new development deal. The long-standing classic tower defence title will remerge with better visuals and content.


Expect more from this partnership in the future, but for now get ready to add this to Fieldrunners 2 and other tower titles about to grace the Vita.

If Sony does a Vita 2, meet its ideal screen in the Xperia Z Ultra

How technology has moved on. Check out the specs for Sony's latest smartphone. A 6.4" 1920*1080 HD display, powered by a 2.2GHz SnapDragon quad-core processor (GPU not specified), with cunning battery management, cool camera and bags of tricks, and its waterproof.

If Sony wants to reinvigorate the Vita, then the guts of that phone should be perfect for a next-generation model. Proper HD movies, better graphics (upscale existing games), better battery life, and if they could keep the Android and phone features then it becomes a proper multi-function gadget.

While that's probably a remote thought, Sony is going to have increasing problems selling the Vita against the current range of superphones and tablets, so why not go big and challenge the market? And if you can keep it waterproof - gaming in the bath!!!!

The Xperia Z Ultra was announced today and should be on-sale in the coming quarter. I'm sure there's several decent reasons why this can't happen (price, Sony being Sony, etc), but we can dream right?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Sony giving Skype credit away to Vita owners

Subscribers to Sony's Inside Vita newsletter got a little extra bonus today, up to 40 minutes ($1, £0.62) worth of calling credit to use on the Vita app (works on the web or mobile version too). Naturally the aim is to get Vita owners using the app on their system, so why not give it a go.


Its unlikely that new subscribers will get it, but the mail has proved useful in the past, and as Sony ramps up its marketing, could become a useful source of extra goodies.

Sony promises a Vita show at Gamescom

Having slipped back into its bad old ways at E3, Sony is promising bigger and better things for the Vita at Gamescom in Germany, in a couple of months. The pretty obvious question at that point is will Sony find room in its PS4-heavy keynote to drop some new Vita games into the mix.

Talking to Hiphopgamer, Rey Gutierrez, Video Director for Sony, said "We blew it out of the park this E3 with PlayStation 4 but PS Vita has so much more to go, we've got so much more love to show at the showcase and I can safely say Gamescom is definitely going to be a PS Vita show, so you'll see."

Even if Sony is bringing the big guns, the handheld needs more third party support, beyond the stirling efforts of the indies. So, we'll get all hyped up again in August and wait to see what legendary games Sony has to show. Not even going to play "let's guess what'll be on show" this time, and then there's Tokyo Games Show for one last stab at Vita greatness, before it begins 2014 as a gamer's curio.


Go compare... Toukiden on the Vita and PSP, and see the Vita demo in action

You know, the PSP is still a pretty potent machine, as these images comparing the two versions of Tecmo's Toukiden show. Sure, the Vita packs in all the extra detail and smoothness, but for a near nine-year old machine, the PSP effort still looks pretty good.


The demo is out in Japan, and here's a run through of the Vita version on YouTube by GadgetGirlKylie across several clips. Lots of detail and features to look out for.

Ride the beast in Dragon's Crown

Pets are an increasingly in-demand feature in games, from the endless herds in Warcraft to the dog in Call of Duty. So, why not take one into battle in Dragon's Crown? Here's the Sorceress on a sabre-tooth mega-tabby and the Elf going bronco on a fire-spitting raptor, what's not to like? And has this game got any more tricks up its sleeve?

Friday, June 21, 2013

Zeboyd indie RPGs may appear on the Vita

Zeboyd have released several cool indie RPG titles in the past, but are moving onwards and upwards to Unity development, which, they note, opens up the Vita as a system they'd like to develop for. Already in their archives are Breath of Death VII and Cthulhu Saves the World. Not sure exactly what the next title will be, but it could easily be added to the list of Vita's indie essentials. Their plan is:

Creating a new RPG engine on Unity is a lot of work (which we started earlier this week) but won’t be nearly as hard as starting from scratch since we do have our old RPG engine to use as a reference point. However, we’re not going to stop with just replicating our old engine’s functionality in Unity. Some of the improvements we’re hoping to add include: Larger, more animated sprites (think Chrono Trigger). More interactive environments. Improved User Interface. A particle system for enhanced visual effects. On-map battles (no separate battle screen) & enemy groups that detect & chase the player. We also have some fun ideas for gameplay (picking and choosing some of the best elements from our past games while adding some new ideas as well) but we’ll save the details on those for later.
Breath of Death VII: The Beginning

Dragon Ball Z set to battle on European Vita systems

Namco have been pretty light on Vita games for westerners since the handheld's launch (Katamari, Ridge Racer and Shinobido), but you will soon be able to sit back and enjoy the crazed world of Dragon Ball Z on the go. With multiplayer battles, team brawls and characters from across the different versions, it should rock. No word if the Vita version will be limited from the main console edition, but I'll welcome Namco back in my gaming collection happily if they promise to bring more games over.


More info, pics and stuff on the Japanese official site.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Epic Mickey 2 gets a trailer, still not convinced

Given the lacklustre reviews for the original console version, I'm umming and ahhing over this even at £13 on PSN. But this trailer might convince you, or not. It doesn't look too bad, if anyone has played it, let us know.

Sony selling memory cards with 10 (download) games

To goose memory card sales, Sony has bundled 10 download titles with its 8GB card. That's not going to help proper games in dire need of a cheaper 32GB card, but it could make a neat present. The games include a mix of full Vita titles, AR and PSM games including LBP, WipEout, Hungry Giraffe, Lemmings and others.


A regular card is £25, while this one goes for £34.99, so if you're missing some games, check it out.  There also appears to be a kids game bundle in the works, but no details on that yet. 

Unit 13 coming free to PS+ next month

The PlayStation Plus service has provided a steady stream of games for Vita owners, trouble is most of probably owned all the good ones. Unit 13 would have been snapped up by shooter lovers, but the rest of us are probably still waiting for Killzone to provide the definitive experience.

I tried the demo, which was okay, but never really felt sold on the game. So, yes, I probably helped kill the developer Zipper (sorry about that). Still, I'll definitely be downloading it next month when it hits the EU PS+ service on July 3 to keep  me going until Killzone day. Here's a HD trailer:



Not too sure if all those online features are still running. Note, Rayman will be leaving PS+ at that point, so sign up and grab it if you don't already have the Vita's most fun platformer.

Vita enjoys a busy week on the PSN Update

The recent post silence was in shock at Microsoft's complete lack of conviction in its own product! Carrying on... there's bags of stuff on the latest PS Vita store update, with a heavy cartoon slant, shame I'm broke right now.

Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power Of Two (available from 21st June in UK/IRE) Price: £11.99/€14.99

MotoGP 13 Price: £29.99/€34.99

The Jak & Daxter Trilogy (available from 21st June for UK) (Cross-Buy) Price: £19.99/€29.99

Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy  (Cross-Buy) Price: £11.99/€14.99
Jak II: Renegade (Cross-Buy) Price: £11.99/€14.99
Jak 3 (Cross-Buy) Price: £11.99/€14.99

Lego Legends Of Chima: Laval’s Journey (available from 21st June) Price: £24.99/€29.99

OMG HD Zombies! Price: £2.99/€3.59

Snow Light, a western visual novel to turn pages on the Vita

This seems to be a French title, and we know what creative geniuses they can be (still waiting for a Captain Blood remake). Snow Light comes from West Dragon Productions and OG Zone, who are behind the Dragon and Weed series. It started out as a PSP homebrew effort and has grown into a full, rounded and charming looking title.


Snow Light is a 2D action/ infiltration game (homebrew) taking place in a futuristic universe where you play a top assassin. The narrated story has cinematic action sequences and looks like a pretty slick adventure.



Not too much in the way of information, but here's a snippet from the prologue : February 2051, several months after the fall of Five Industry, a giant economy, defense, telecommunications company, an anarchist nicknamed the Black Mask organizes a nuclear attack against the United States.

Exstetra gets an opening trailer of +1 genericness

Announced not too long ago, this upcoming RPG trailer from Furyu shows a tiny bit of anime that's so generic it could be from any RPG in all Japanese history. No sign of the actual game, but if they're going to be this bland in a teaser, then I don't think this is the game to rattle the market.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Olli Olli rolls into action on the Vita at E3

Another indie hit in the making? Or just another skate of the mill endless runner? Olli olli looks pretty action packed and now a more complete version has been in action at E3, with plenty of ways to score and lots of challenges to complete.

MotoGP 13 video from the Vita version

All the previous videos of this game in action were from the big consoles, but here's the Vita version of Milestone's simulator going for a spin. While a lot of the gloss has gone, there's still the in-helmet view and smooth enough animation of the riders. Pretty sure it'll look better on the Vita's screen, so pretty tempted.



The devs say: "The PlayStation Vita version of MotoGP 13 has exactly the same content of the home console. We want to put the authentic and real MotoGP atmosphere into it. Our aim was basically to offer an "on the go" experience for playing the game everywhere. I'm sure players will enjoy it.".

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Valhalla Knights gets an E3 trailer, looks old

The trouble with all the new shininess on show at E3, is that old-style games really look old, and while Valhalla Knights has been happily plowing its own furrow in gaming, it now seems really dated with tired scenery, bland characters and by-the-numbers battles. Still, if you like those endless generic scraps, looting (no sign of the evil looting animation here) and building up your character and its skills, then this is definitely one of the dozen similar games for you.

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Further adventures in Killzone Mercenary video

Yet more video coming out of E3 for the fantastically looking Killzone Vita title from Guerilla Cambridge. There's a few minutes of chat and plenty of looks at the single player game in action, to follow on from all yesterday's MP footage. Killing for money and pulling off cool attacks or combo kills for more money is certainly incentive, just hope the pay scale for the cooler weapons provides plenty of replay value.



I'm not watching all the clip, want to keep plenty of this game fresh for day one.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Batman Blackgate captured in action at E3

Hmmm, can't see much replay value in the Vita's Batman Origins game and the combat still needs a lot of work, but it does look pretty slick with plenty of detail, lots of zoom and suitable numbers of bad guys to "Thwock" and "Pow", although I guess that doesn't happen much in this version.



There's another play video from earlier with some cutscene action here.

Dragon's Crown E3 trailer puts all the pieces together

We've seen near endless videos of the different characters of Dragon's Crown in action, now we get to see them all fighting alongside each other. As well as a look at the wider game world and mechanics, beasts, characters and awesome effects. This does look like the quite the experience and I can't wait to get racking with my trusty party.


Latest Famitsu scores from Japan

A host of PSP and Vita games get the Famitsu grilling as the launches line up after some quiet weeks (see previous story). 

STORM LOVER 2nd (PSP) – 9/8/7/8

Winning Post 7 2013 (PSV) – 8/7/7/8
Koibana Days (PSP) – 8/7/7/8
Kami Jigen Idol Neptune PP (PSV) – 8/7/7/7
Ro-Kyu-Bu! Himitsu no Otoshimono (PSP) – 7/7/6/7


Vita sales slide below 10K in Japan, all waiting on Toukiden

Valhalla Knights 3 continues to stick around in the Japanese Media Create top 10, now having moved close to 60,000 copies in a major lull in the Japanese charts. The lack of activity has seen most hardware drop, and let the Vita slide to around 9,700 sales, its lowest in quite some time and with no real big releases in sight.

Winning Post 7 is out next week, always reasonably popular and then the Toukiden game and bundle which could shift some units is out at the end of the month, and that's it until August/September time.

Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes now £10 in PSN E3 sales

There's been an update the PS3 heavy E3 sale on PSN, with Batman PSP and Batman 2: DC Super Heroes Vita being added to the line-up. Even though its the non-full fat version, still a decent game, and at this price hard to argue with. Many more PS3 games listed here. Not sure if there's anything new due out this week, will update if something pops up.

Open Me, aka the box game, opens up at E3 for the Vita

Originally seen in a few crazed Japanese adverts, this is coming west and offers a distinct and quirky take on the power of AR. A PSN title, could it finally see gamers dusting off those AR cards (I recommend PulzAR if you haven't tried them.)

Hohokum trailer adds to the Vita's sense of fun

More trailers as E3 gets ready for its second proper day. Some of the backgrounds in this rather pastel-tinged game look rather like the new iOS 7. The game has an ambient feel to it with some flocking and other interesting mechanics, can't say much more than that without a test drive.

See Killzone Mercenary in action on a PS Vita

Should see a lot more videos like this over the next few days, here's Killzone in MP action. What framerate worries? Mercenary looks pretty slick with plenty of legroom in this level. There's bags of detail in the world, I even like the menus.



UPDATE: Sony has confirmed Killzone Shadow Fall on the PS4 will happily run on the Vita, so we two KZ games this year, kinda (guess who just pre-ordered a PS4 :)

Rayman Legends whacks out the Vita

Crank this trailer all the way up to 1080p, go fullscreen and imagine what it'll look like on the Vita's sexy OLED. Yep, Rayman and his host of off-the-wall friends are back in a new, bigger, better series of adventures, nice one Ubisoft.



UPDATE: Rayman gets not one, but two trailers with this one showing off a swimming and underwater lair section.

Hotline Miama E3 trailer, fighting the bad fight

In the old days, this would have had the tabloids screaming, now its just another retro indie, over-the-top, shooter, but one with very good credentials that has bludgeoned the critics into submission. Therefore its a very welcome addition to the Vita and should arrive soon in a glaze of in-glory.

Tearaway E3 trailer finally shows a decent use for the rear touchscreen

Now that's interaction! Tearaway really is the Vita's "special one", an effort of craft and love that shows just what the handheld can do, and a title that has the power to excite both long-in-the-tooth gamers and the next generation. If only this had been a launch title rather than the rather limited Little Deviants, who knows?

Flower E3 trailer blooms on the Vita

This, I hope, is very much a case where the real game will look a lot better than this trailer, which seems rather flat in colour terms. Even then, you can't deny its beauty and the impact the original had, so definitely a day one buy.

Check out Batman Blackgate in action on the Vita

Footage is starting to come in from the show floor at E3, here's someone having a quick play on the Vita's entry into the Batman series, looks pretty smooth.

Tecmo Koei trails Toukiden and Atelier Meruru at E3

Yep, the Japanese are still drip-feeding the west with a decent line-up of action and RPG goodness. Here's the E3 specific trailers for Toukiden (rather short, and probably a rehash of the Japanese ones) and Atelier Meruru Plus: The Apprentice of Arland, which seems a lot further along, due September.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

EA press release confirms FIFA 14 for Vita, don't get any hopes up

EA's press release for all the shiny new features in the next-gen FIFA 14 also mentions portable versions, but only in passing, and only really confirming what we already knew on the release list.

FIFA 14, developed at EA Canada, will release worldwide within the next 12 months on Xbox One and the PlayStation 4, and is available for pre-order** now at http://www.origin.com and other retailers. A version of FIFA 14 will also release on the Xbox 360® games and entertainment system with Kinect™ from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system with PlayStation Move support, Windows® PC, Nintendo Wii™, Nintendo 3DS™, PlayStation®Vita handheld entertainment system, PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, and PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system in North America on September 24 and worldwide on September 27. FIFA 14 on mobile will be available on iPhone®, iPad®, and iPod® touch as well as Android devices this fall. Other mobile platforms will be revealed later.
Don't expect anything other than a barebones update for the Vita, if there was anything to talk about, you might think EA or Sony might just have mentioned something during their E3 presentations.

PS Vita suffering from Contrast issues

Okay, Sony does have some new stuff for the Vita, tucked away in the depths of E3, this game is called Contrast. A platform/puzzle adventure that blends an olde three dimensional-world with that of elaborate shadow landscapes to create a surreal gaming experience.



Releasing in Q4 2013, developed by Compulsion, Contrast allows players to shift in and out of shadows to uncover hidden truths that could prove life-altering to a troubled family. Interesting, yes. Will it sell the Vita? No.

New Final Fantasy X HD trailer flutters its eyelashes

Oh, so pretty, so pretty and gay! Yep, the long long road of gestation for any Final Fantasy game, even just a tarted up version is almost done, well it should be done in the next six months. Check out the new video from Square showing off the songs, high-fiving and odd nasty that gets in the way of the all the pouting and doe-eyed looks. Also, some new pics are over on VG24/7



The latest word from the developers is that FFX is 80% complete and FFX-2 is 65% complete, wonder if they'll stagger the Vita releases just to get the first one out on shelves?

Well that sucked! One free-to-play game and some DLC, big whoop!

That shocked silence overnight was my flabber being ghasted that Sony once again has failed to deliver at E3, all but killing the Vita as a core games machine. Sure, it'll trudge on with indies and the odd first party title, plus some crumbs from the table of Japanese gaming, but really folks, stick a fork in the game old bird, 'cause she's done.

Apart from looking like a slightly open box of chocolates, the PS4 looks all right and is clearly Sony's focus going forward. The total lack of third-party Vita news is the real killer. Don't get your hopes up for Gamescom or much at Tokyo Games Show, nothing to see here, move along. And never, ever believe a Sony spokesperson, ever again (paraphrasing "Oh, we boobed last E3, we won't make that mistake again!!!!!"). Note, that's not aimed at Shahid, he's the man!

Looking forward to a lively indie scene on this blog, bring them on! On a happier note, a few trailers for already-announced stuff are dribbling out the rotting corpse of E3.



Monday, June 10, 2013

Spain gets a Vita MotoGP bundle

Spain is bike mad, and why wouldn't they be with herds of riders at the tops of the three classes, hopefully Spanish gamers are also bike fans as the country is getting a MotoGP bundle with Milestone's game to celebrate the success for the likes of Pedrosa, Lorenzo and the rest of them.


Wonder if us Brits will be offered a cricket bundle? Oh we can't because the only portable console cricket games are out in India... shame.

Destiny of Spirits announced for PS Vita, free to play exclusive

First announcement out of E3 is a battle game for the Vita from Q?, the people behind Lumines. An online free-to-play title, it seems to offer plenty of characters, elemental and stat-based play and cards or other boosters. More soon.







Big Vita reveal coming today (before the Sony show)

Geoff Keighley has tweeted a big reveal will be made for the PS Vita later today, but ahead of the main Sony show which happens at 2AM UK time. The reveal will be livestreamed on Spike TV at 4:50 UK time, any bets on what it will be? A price cut, a new game or some big new service?


There's a GameTrailers live stream starting soon as the west coast gets moving. Likely a third party title, will Activision be taking the wraps off a new CoD or Black Ops game, will Ubisoft show the next Assassin's Creed Phoenix Rising title or will it be something all-new from an unexpected source?


OMG Zombies getting blown away on the Vita in HD

Might have missed this last week, with all the upgraded PSP minis going on, its hard to keep up. Anyway, OMG Zombies from Laughing Jackal was fun on the PSP and looks even better now with more to do, better visuals and different zombies to splat.



Should be out next week on PSN.

Sega shows off Phantasy Star Online 2 Episode 2

Its hard to keep up with the updates for Sega's online game, guessing Episode 2 is a whole different thing to all the previous micro-chapters and content updates. The company has dropped a huge load of images and news over on Dengeki, some of the best pics below with new bosses, character types and other goodies. The game is celebrating 500,000 Vita downloads and we hope for a western release date at E3.


New weapons and a new planet will also feature in the update, which should be available from Mid-July for Japanese gamers.


Ragnarok Ace gets an opening movie

The Japanese gaming bandwagon rolls on, ignoring E3 as best it can, chucking monster hunting like games with ever larger dragons and other monsters at local gamers. Ragnarok Odyssey Ace packs all the content from the first version plus some new stuff.



Will pick up the western version of the original should the price go down, but it looks like most folk are holding out for PSO2 Portable or 2015 when the Vita might just get a real Monster Hunter game. Still this looks good and if it comes west soon enough, could grab some more fans. 

Deathmatch Village trailer brings cheery combat to the Vita

Poland's  Bloober brought us the cheery Army Men puzzle and has now turned its attention to what looks like a cross between Worms, PS All-Stars and Cannon Fodder with Deathmatch Village. Create slightly-half baked characters, zip around the level in search of targets, and pigs! Looks like it could be a lot of fun.

No proper Silent Hill on the Vita? No worries, here's Forgotten Memories

Now that the Unity engine is available for Vita developers, the first games are starting to make their way over from other sources. In this case, we're getting an iOS psychological horror, explore and shoot game Forgotten Memories that looks pretty much in the Silent Hill vein.

UPDATE: Game cancelled!



Not too sure about the wibbly-wobbly cam in this early demo footage, but you can't go wrong with a tooled-up lady fighting off shadow demons.

Friday, June 7, 2013

PSN Charts for May, a whole lot of sacrificing going on

Hey, Americans do like toilet humour, as Men's Room Mayhem sits at No. 2 behind Soul Sacrifice in their PSN download chart. Its good news if you're an indie dev in Europe as nine out of the ten games are PSN-only releases, while Americans still seem happy to buy big-name games from the online store.

Top 10 PS Vita Games (US)

Soul Sacrifice
Men’s Room Mayhem
Guacamelee!
Jacob Jones and the Bigfoot Mystery
Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault
Urban Trial Freestyle
LittleBigPlanet
Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
Metal Gear Solid: HD Collection
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale

Top 10 PS Vita Games (EU)

Soul Sacrifice
Jacob Jones and the Bigfoot Mystery
Machinarium
Farming Simulator
Guacamelee!
Nun Attack
Men’s Room Mayhem
Draw Slasher
Urban Trial Freestyle
Jetpack Joyride

Further adventures in Japanese Ad-vita-ising

Yep, another video in the series of how many Monster Hunter clones can you cram on to one format? I guess they're choosing whether to save or sacrifice this one!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Hatsune Miku comes west, what is Sega PR thinking?

On a U.S. PSN blog post, Sega has proudly announced Hatsune Miku is coming west, for the PS3. But the staggering thing, at no point in the process behind this decision, did they go, "hey, we're posting this on the Sony blog, they might ask about the Vita version, shouldn't we have an answer prepared?"

Instead we have fluffy responses to those many requests that did appear like "I don’t have any news on a VITA version, sorry! But I will be reading all the comments and sharing them with others at SEGA." And this is despite the fact the Vita's DLC is part of the PS3 version, which means most of the translation work has already been done: "The PS3 version automatically includes the six “extra songs” from the Japanese VITA DLC. They’re on the disc!"


Now, I don't work in PR (I have a soul) but surely at some point there was a meeting (perhaps two) and someone asked what their response to a very obvious should be? If not, they shouldn't be working in PR either, even if that answer was "we will gauge user reaction" or "yes/no/maybe/watch this space." Anything except the dopey non-answers provided today.

Perhaps Sony and Sega will roll out the Vita version during their E3 shows, but if they do, having trailed the PS3 version like this, any surprise is ruined. Dumb move, Sega!

Skype, Facebook App updates for the Vita

A few of the Vita's social apps have had recent updates, with the Facebook app now launching the appropriate app when you click on a link. For example, YouTube when you tap on a YT link, If only the other apps (Twitter and the browser) would now switch to Facebook when needed.


Skype has also had an update and will now run in the background and you can answer a call while playing a game by pressing the PS button.

Get access to the Killzone Mercenary demo through PS Home

On the E3 channel in PlayStation Home, there will be the opportunity to grab some cool digital goodies, like themes and content. None more interesting than access to the Vita-only Killzone Mercenary. Of course, if you don't have a PS3, then you're likely out of luck, unless they also go through the usual Sony beta program that let some of us play LittleBigPlanet and All Stars.


Check out the multiplayer maps revealed yesterday, more about this Home stuff on the PSN blog.

FIFA 14 trailer shows off its tricks

While we can't expect EA to muster up a spokesman to say "hey, we're making an effort this year!" Hopefully, well a tiny part of my soul hopes, the Vita version of FIFA 14 will have some of the features being packed into the big-screen versions, as shown in this slick trailer.



The game is due out in September and with Pro Evo not coming to handhelds, as confirmed by Konami, it'll be the only game in town. I've yet to play FIFA on the Vita outside of the original demo, so come on EA, do the right thing this year.

As an aside, FIFA 13 is now down to £12-15 on Amazon, making it probably worth picking up if you didn't get the first version.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

PlayStation Mobile continues the games rush

Wow, not only games but some decent priced ones too. Anyone played these yet on Vita or Android? I'll track and track down some videos or reviews to bring some light to these new games. I've already discussed Cardboard Castle, but is anyone grabbing these, or despite the recent rush, is PSM off most people's radar?

Cytus Lambda is a rhythm tapping game, which looks like it will come with loads of content.


PS Mobile

Boss Rush: £1.19/€1.49
Cardboard Castle: £5.49/€6.99
Chiebura: £0.79/€0.99 (quirky Japanese shooter)
Cytus Lambda: £9.69/€11.99
Hyper Reminder: £2.19/€2.79 (this is a to-do list app)
MineSweeper £1.59/€1.99 (go figure)
Sukelook £1.19 (calendar app)
Sword of Rapier: £3.99/€4.99 (combat game)

Hardware sales flat in Japan, Valhalla Knights and Haiyore! Nyaruko-San charting for Vita

Another slow week in Japan sees sales flat for the Vita and most consoles. Valhalla Knights sticks around in the chart, while the Vita's new entry, at No.11 is one of those quirky games that we'll never get to see. The PSP manages the highest entry with Norn9, again something truly odd.



01./04. [3DS] Friend Collection: New Life # (Nintendo) - 59.104 / 1.044.088 (-1%)
02./03. [PS3] Resident Evil: Revelations (Capcom) - 32.193 / 134.866 (-69%)
03./01. [3DS] Shin Megami Tensei IV # (Atlus) - 30.424 / 218.987 (-84%)
04./02. [PS3] Kamen Rider: Battride War # (Bandai Namco Games) - 20.076 / 148.735 (-84%)
05./07. [3DS] Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon (Nintendo) - 19.649 / 750.953 (+3%)
06./08. [3DS] Animal Crossing: New Leaf # (Nintendo) - 16.870 / 3.249.710 (+9%)
07./00. [PSP] Norn9: Norn + Nonette # (Idea Factory) - 14.836 / NEW
08./05. [PSV] Valhalla Knights 3 (Marvelous AQL) - 11.128 / 51.485 (-72%)
09./00. [360] DoDonPachi Saidaioujou # (Cave) - 9.344 / NEW
10./06. [PS3] Terraria (Spike Chunsoft 8.460 / 28.322 (-57%)
11./00. [PSV] Haiyore! Nyaruko-San: Nafushigatai Game no You na Mono # (5pb.) - 6.836 / NEW


Coconut Dodge Revitalised hits PS+ for free

FuturLab's other PSP mini hit Coconut dodge was just as much fun as Velocity, even if it didn't quite have the scope of the shmup title. Enjoy it again, or first the first time now on the EU PSN update, for free if you're on PS+, or for just £1.99 otherwise.


Even in its uprated form, the game is just 49MB, so won't make a dent in your memory card..

Phantasy Star Online hits 500,000 Vita downloads.

Well other a third of Vita owners in Japan seem to be playing this game as the digital version hits the half-a-million point in around four months of availability. With constant updates, new episodes on the way and a huge amount of kit to pay for and try out the game seems to be one of the Vita's brightest titles. However, to temper that excitement, Sega noted that it had been downloaded 350,000 times in the first few weeks of availability.

Still no official word on it coming out in the west, but you'd think that with modest overheads of an all-digital model, it would be an attractive proposition for Sega, or heck, just release a boxed-version at a modest price.

Dragon's Dogma free-to-play spin-off hitting the Vita

Dragon’s Dogma Quest from Capcom will be landing in Japan later this year, offering a free-to-play, micro-transaction based take on the big-league RPG with bite-sized gameplay and online only. Exploring, fighting, creating small questing teams and slaughtering away with your friends.

Nice to see Capcom is still showing some interest in the Vita, more news to come soon. Not sure if these quests will be linked into the main game or if it will be an all-new affair. Images to come soon, but its a 2D game before you get all excited.

Killzone devs show off multiplayer maps

Guerilla has shown off the six multiplayer maps (with more likely via DLC) that will get Vita gamers finally engaging in some raw and competitive MP action. The full list is over on of the dev site with a neat overall shot of each level.  For example:

INLET


The Corinth River provides the epicentre for the ISA’s invasion of Helgan – the beach area around the jetties and sluice gates being just the latest area to see action. The terrain is pockmarked with craters, trenches and discarded cargo creating a feeling of being in the middle of “no-man’s land”. A partially destroyed road bridge spans the battle area giving an advantageous but exposed elevated position from which to survey the battle zone.

Features:

  • An open and free form area, there are very few defined routes and considered, tactical movement is required to stay alive.
  • Extreme lines of sight open opportunities for snipers and other long range weapons to be highly effective.
  • The wide open terrain offers little in the way of cover from aerial VAN-Guard attacks, but a broad selection of hard cover points for on-foot engagements.
  • This war torn landscape is perfect for setting traps, ambushes and flanking the enemy team.



PSN puts up a PSP classics sale

Some of the best PSP games are now onsale for a bargain £3.19 on the EU PSN. Definitely going to get Resistance Retribution and Patapon for my Vita.

LittleBigPlanet Was €7.99/£6.49, now €3.99/£3.19
God of War: Chains of Olympus
God of War: Ghost of Sparta
MotorStorm Arctic Edge
Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters
Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier
ModNation Racers
Resistance: Retribution
SOCOM: Fireteam Bravo 3
Patapon 2
LocoRoco 2
Killzone: Liberation

Note these games are only £2.55 for PS+ subscribers, so even more value.

Montezuma Blitz erroring for Vita gamers

Tuned in for a quick game of gem busting and found it won't play. Many other users are having a similar problem. In lieu of a proper fix, the suggestion is to go to Settings and Untick the option in your Wi-Fi settings to "connect automatically". That will stop the game trying to hit the server allowing you to play.

You can undo that change once you've played the game for normal service. Likely the problem is something to do with the game's servers, so keep checking back for info on a proper fix.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

What's written in the world of Gravity Rush

I've been playing Gravity Rush a lot recently (as you'll know if you follow me on Raptr) and enjoying the fantastic world that Kat gets to explore. But what's with all the stylised writing all over the place? That was one of many questions unresolved, but one player has spent some time investigating.



Figure out what's being said on the architecture and notices around the areas like Pleajeune and Auldnoir  in this handy article,

FieldRunners 2 storming the Vita soon

It was great to get the first Field Runners on the PSP, long before I owned a smartphone, and now the sequel will make its way to the Vita thanks to Subatomic Studios. The game has only recently been released on Android, and packs in bags of new features. Sure, I have the iOS HD version for iPad, but that doesn't have trophies.



Sure, it'll likely cost a little more than the phone/tablet versions, but with the Vita a tiny market in comparison, Subatomic will want to see some money for their conversion investment. A little more info on the PSN blog.

Stick it to the Man, platform-style on your Vita

Okay, as an indie game and given the current retro theme, I was expecting this game to use stick men in an ironic capacity. But, no, judging by the video from developers Zoink, we have some fully fledged, highly stylised characters, all being rather rude to each other by ripping their body parts off and swapping them around or ripping the scenery to pieces. File under definitely different.

Exstetra a new Japanese RPG hitting Vita in October

The Japanese text talks about the fusion of two different Tokyos, with the kids wearing school jumpers in one realm and knight's armour in another. Some Messiah is destined to unite them and the usual amount of love interest and endless monsters to fight will pace the game.

Exstetra will hit Vita and 3DS in October, developed by Flue who previously worked on Unchained Blades

Monday, June 3, 2013

Plants vs Zombies 2 announced, lumbering out in July

There's no confirmation this will hit the Vita, but the over-priced original was top of the PSN chart for so long that I wouldn't be surprised to see it turn up sooner or later. And, with Sony's new-found love of indies (even though Popcap is now an EA entity), it'll likely appear on as many devices as possible.

There wasn't much that developer, Popcap, could do with the strict recipe of the original that would leave it as a genuine sequel. So, this time instead of tweaking the game mechanics, they've tweaked the timeline with new levels appearing in different eras thanks to a time-machine in the garage.



Lazy? Yep, but the original was fun enough and the new game will be out in July first on iOS for iPad and iPhone for those who are missing their zombie fun. Those versions will be free-to-play, but I'm pretty sure the Vita version will arrive feature-complete but at a price.

Little Big change at the top of the PAL Vita chart

Nothing to see here, move on. These games could be selling only a few hundred copies each and no one would ever really know. There are no new big releases this month, with only Moto 3 and Lego Chima on the release schedule, plus the usual smattering of indie goodness.

POS. TITLE PUBLISHER LAST WEEK WEEKS ON CHART

1 = LITTLEBIGPLANET PS VITA SONY. 1 37
2 = NEED FOR SPEED MOST WANTED EA GAMES 2 31
3 + FIFA 13 EA SPORTS 4 36
4 - VIRTUA TENNIS 4: WORLD TOUR EDITION SEGA 3 55
5 = SOUL SACRIFICE SONY 5 5

On the EU PSN store, the Top Seller games are currently:

Guacamelee
Ragnarok Odyssey
Persona 4 Golden
Call of Duty Declassified
Assassin's Creed 3 Liberation

Sony US sweetens the Vita deal with $50 vouchers, but where are the mega games?

Sony still won't cut the price of the Vita, but is trying a new tactic to shift some units with several stores offering $50 gift cards to buyers in the States. Stores include Amazon, Target and Best Buy, but there's no sign of any offers over in Europe, despite some recent price-trimming on the hardware (now down around £160 on Amazon).

With E3 just around corner now, news will dry up beyond the known games at the show. Recent updates suggest we'll finally be seeing Warrior's Lair, plus more of the Vita's last few big games. It is the unknown games that Sony will really need to get the Vita moving though, anything less than a decent CoD, GTA or some dragon smashing-type game.