Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Killzone Mercenary getting an open beta in August

If you weren't lucky enough to get an invite to the closed beta for Killzone Mercenary, then you won't be too upset for too long, as an open test will be taking place in August. Check your emails now to see if you were one of the lucky few to be accepted for the closed beta, otherwise, start checking your memory card for enough room (around 1.2GB) for the open one.


PSN Update, like a little summery Christmas...

Certainly a good week to own a Vita with loads of goodies coming our way, although the only big games are the freebies to PS Plus Subscribers. Guessing Invizimals will appear in the UK Store on Friday, and the PSM update isn't half bad, can heartily recommend iBomber.


PSVita games

Invizimals: Hidden Challenges
Pixeljunk Monsters: Ultimate HD
Superfrog HD

PlayStation Plus freebies

LEGO Lord of the Rings
When Vikings Attack

PlayStation Mobile

iBomber Defense
Ten By Eight
Roll In The Hole

Also, although EA is holding a Need for Speed sale, there's no sign of the Vita game joining the huge list of PS3 content. However some recent releases have joined the summer sale along with usual suspect Persona PSP titles (which you really should buy).


Retro City Rampage (Cross-Buy) Was €11.25/£8.99/AU$16.95, now €4.99/£3.99/AU$7.35

Drawslasher Was €4.99/£3.99/AU$7.35, now €2.49/£1.99/AU$3.65
Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members

WRC 3 FIA World Rally Championship Was €34.99/£29.99/AU$47.95, now €14.99/£11.99/AU$21.95
Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members

Urban Trial Freestyle Was €9.99/£7.99/AU$14.45, now €4.99/£3.99/AU$7.35

Star Wars Pinball Was €9.99/£7.99/AU$14.45, now €4.99/£3.99/AU$7.35
Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members

Dragon's Crown, not that valuable in Japan?

Combined, Dragon's Crown on the PS3 and Vita sold 175,000 but that lagged behind the latest Pheonix Wright adventure for the 3DS. To me those sales numbers don't look that high, especially after reports of the game selling out. Either Atlus low-balled on the release numbers, which seems strange for such an expensive game.\

Toukiden finally dropped out of the top 10, but has now crossed the 200,000 mark which puts it into serious Vita hit territory. While on the hardware front, it looks like DC help shift another 5,000 odd Vita consoles as the format hit 19,866 sales for the week. More than it does across most of Europe in a month!, if some national figures are to be believed.

02./00. [PS3] Dragon's Crown (Atlus) {2013.07.25} (¥8.190) - 104.359 / NEW
03./00. [PSV] Dragon's Crown (Atlus) {2013.07.25} (¥8.190) - 71.083 / NEW
17./07. [PSV] Toukiden # (Koei Tecmo) {2013.06.27} (¥6.090) - 8.253 / 208.170 (-36%)

To celebrate the game's imminent U.S. release, there's a new trailer, Europe stand by to import like the good old days. 


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Real Boxing enters the ring in August

After quite the delay, focusing on an iOS release, Vivid is finally ready to bring Real Boxing to the Vita, and it has quite the ratings disclaimer. Contains Violence, Blood - which pretty much hits the spot for pugilists.



The game is out at the end of August, kick the video into HD for the best view.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Speculative game alert: Star Wars Rebels

The successor TV cartoon series to the Clone Wars, Rebels is due to hit the small screen next year, and a first teaser image was shown at a recent fan event (art below, the focal ship is a Ghost). With its younger-viewer focus I'd expect to see at least one game, similar to the PSP's Clone Wars title, ignoring any possible LEGO off-shoots hit the Vita and 3DS.


With some 20 Star Wars games cancelled over the life of LucasArts' existence, hopefully Disney will be a little more forthcoming with its digital entertainment, and the Vita would be an ideal format for an arcade adventure game based on the adventures of the formative rebels.

Hopefully the Vita will be selling better by the time such a decision from the bean counters is due, and has a few more hits behind it. But who wouldn't want to go whizzing around the galaxy, fermenting the rebellion?

Tearaway release date pushed back a couple of weeks

One of the highlights of the release schedule has been the day that Tearaway, a truly original Vita title arrives. Media Molecule has put up a blog post to the let the world know that the date has been kicked back a few weeks into November, which is no big deal, given the gaming goodness of the holiday release season. The long and short of it is here:
We are now in the final stages of development, and have come to the realisation that we need a little more time than we anticipated to finish the game; to tie all of the mechanics, story and amazing visuals together into the adventure that we want you to play. To give us that time, we’ve decided to move the release date by one month, from mid-October, to November 22nd.
 

August looking busy for U.S. Vita owners as Dragon's Crown and Walking Dead rock up

Here's a list of games expected for release across western Vita systems. The differences are pretty painful for us Euro-types, With Dragon's Crown not coming until November, but the other delays shouldn't be that long.

PlayStation Vita Games

North America

Dragon’s Crown (Retail & PSN) – August 6th
Mystic Chronicles (Added to PS Vita Store) – August 6th
Little Acorns (PSM) – August 6th
Divekick (PSN) – August 20th
The Walking Dead: Season 1 + 400 Days (Retail & PSN) – August 20th
The Walking Dead PlayStation Vita Bundle (Retail) – August 20th

Europe

Little Acorns (PSM) – August 6th
BreakQuest: Extra Evolution (PSN) – August 7th
Floating Cloud God Saves the Pilgrims in HD (PSN) – August 7th
Rayman Legends (Retail & PSN) – August 29th (EU), August 30th (UK)

PlayStation Portable

North America/Europe
Sweet Fuse: At Your Side (Retail & PSN) – August 27th (NA), August 28th (EU)

Starlight Inception nears beta status, Vita-heavy update

Escape Hatch has put out another newsletter for its Kickstarted project space combat game Starlight Inception (full trailer here). The good news is the developers are close to a beta release, due in the next week or so, according to the team. 

Going into beta now, means the release date of the end of August is unlikely to be reached, but I'm sure we'd all rather see feedback from the beta implemented for a better game than the usual shoddy rush jobs by certain big-name publishers. November looks like being the new release date. If you invested in one of the higher tiers for the game, then you can be expecting something like this cool model as part of your package. 



For those interested, leader programmer, Adam Larson, has contributed to the latest update, with some focus on efforts toward the Vita version, which naturally enough has to be a little more focused than the PC edition: 

Since the last update we’ve made great progress on many fronts including Vita optimization, PC graphics, performance, and gameplay improvements. As you’ve probably seen by now we released our first trailer, and the feedback has been amazing. There has also been some really great suggestions and we are listening. Controls were brought up as still looking rigid by some of you. We would like to say controls have been improved greatly since the trailer, but we hope to do even more. Just from your feedback, we made changes that make it look and feel so much better. We want to thank each and every one of you for your kind feedback, it really motivates all of us to put out the best possible project. 
As we’ve been building scenarios in each level as well as setting up cinematics and driving the flow of the story, we’ve found a lot of things we want to improve in the AI. That has been one of our current goals, and it’s going to be ongoing throughout the project. We’ve also really been pushing towards getting our multiplayer maps built and ready for full testing. We are working on different strategies and gameplay elements to really enhance the multiplayer experience. Vita optimization has been ongoing, but we feel like we are finally making good progress on it. Just today we got most of the levels loading and running on the Vita. We still have a few shaders that need to be optimized for the Vita as well as some meshes the artists are working on. Overall though the Vita is looking awesome, and is very close to being fully playable from beginning to end. Some of our maps are very large, and it has been quite a fun challenge to get everything working. 


Dragon's Crown selling out in Japan

According to translated tweets, spotted over the weekend, Dragon's Crown is doing better business than Toukiden managed in Japan, with the game nigh on impossible to find in stores. Of course, there's the digital version for gamers to download, but I don't think they count in the major Japanese charts.


Certainly it sounds like the game is on course for the top spots in the chart, although the PS3 version is likely to beat it to No. 1. It went on sale on the 24th and as the most expensive Vanillaware game ever at over $1 million, the only question is just how many were shipped? It looks like the Vita is getting two hit games on the bounce though, which can't be a bad thing for hardware sales. Next up, God Eater 2 in November.


J-Stars Victory VS trailer brings gurning heroes to the Vita

Namco's J-Stars Victory VS combat title is trading heavily on a lot of familiar faces in the early marketing with Luffy from One Piece among the heroes kicking butt and taking names. This latest trailer adds to the roster and shows off some of the fun moves in this highly kinetic looking title.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Set the date, Sony's Gamescom press event confirmed, what to you want to see?

After yet another E3 blow-off, Sony will be looking to make amends for Vita owners at Gamescom, but with a whole new PS4 and some unrevealed titles to show, it will be a tough act to juggle the needs of promoting three devices in the 90-odd minutes. Anyway, that date for your diary is Tuesday, August 20th, starting at 7pm Central European Time (6pm in the UK, 1PM EST or 10AM PST - I think).

Personally, I think a modest price cut is coming, maybe down to £129 in the UK with some bundle refreshes, or at least price cuts for memory cards. For games we'll see the new Assassin's Creed formally unveiled, a very quick peek at FIFA 14, maybe Shahid's "big title" and perhaps a few western announcements of Japanese titles, a couple of new 2014 games announced and a highlight reel of indie hits. Any more than that, and any longer than 8 minutes and I'll be surprised.

What do you expect/hope or want to see? Let us know in the comments.


UK Vita devs outstrip PS3 and PS4, but way behind iOS

Develop magazine has put together an ebook on the hot 100 UK developers. While browsing through it, I was pretty surprised to see the Vita just ahead of both PS3 and PS4, but not at all surprised to see the huge lead for iOS and Android, with PC and Mac also still well ahead.


I'm not sure when the data was compiled, but with top Indies on the list like FuturLab alongside established brands like Guerilla Cambridge in the list plus newcomers like Roll 7 and Mike Bithell, you wonder how much of that statistic is down to Shahid Kamal and team's hard work.The natural question would be, how long will they stay working on Vita if sales don't pick up and the PS4 and Xbox One continue the indie love in?

Note, a lot of companies in the directory at the end, aren't games developers but design services who "dabble" in games at best. Which makes you wonder about the credibility of some of the other areas in the book.

Ms. Germinator to clean up your Vita screen

You can't fool gamers by sticking a "Ms." in front of your old game and sticking a bow in the character's hair.

Oh, apparently you can. Creat Studios sequel looks pretty similar to the original game that arrived just a few months back. The rating has gone up from an "E" to a "10+" though, suggesting that its perhaps a little more filthy, or perhaps its the hefty use of eyeliner.



The original had a hefty price for a puzzle game at £7.99, perhaps Creat will see a little more sense this time around, particularly if there's a hefty reuse of code. I'm still waiting for Puzzle Bobble please.

Danganronpa Reload gets a site, new trailer

The crazed bear and his cohorts are back on the Vita, upscaling from the PSP with more trials and madness. The Spike Chunsoft games did a roaring trade on the PSP and should help keep the Vita rolling along nicely. The new site looks pretty neat with lots of content to come.



The first game is set at a high achievers school where the pupils have to murder another student and escape to flee the mad bear and his plans. Finding the killer is your aim, with similar high-jinks take place on the island of Jabberwock in the second game, with the investigation taking place in an Ace Attorney style.

Visual otome novel Sweet Fuse coming to western PSPs and Vita

Since the recent news has gone all Japanese again, I might as well throw in a PSP story to keep things in balance. Aksys is bringing a Sweet Fuse mystery visual novel from Idea Factory to western audiences. The game ships on August 27, for PSP in the U.S. (on Amazon with a pre-order gonk) and Europe on PSN, so you should be able to play it on your Vita.


Set in a theme park, there's a bomb threat that can only be countered by playing in a sick week-long game among the rides and games, which sounds pretty neat. Official site here.

Exstetra gets a teaser trailer, a costume change, a kiss and an arrow

Kids talk, they transform into warriors, have a tentative kiss and lose off an arrow. No need for you to watch the video now is there. What does it all mean/? Who knows as this is a new endeavour from Furyu, but this video is the least impressive element of the game's marketing so far.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Milestone announces WRC4 for the Vita

Well, they kindly produced WRC3 (and MotoGP) for the Vita, so there's not much to be lost by moving the next version along too. At least it suggests Milestone saw enough sales to make it worth the effort. Anyway, WRC 4 will offer a new mix of elements, based on community feedback, with high graphical detail and real in-game sound.

The main features are loyalty to the license, an exciting game experience, accessibility for first-time players and a dynamic and competitive online game mode. Among new features of this 2013 edition, players will have the chance to experience new lighting conditions, new weather effects depending on the stage, and a brand new Career Mode to put the player into real driver’s shoes. Realism and immersion are two of the most important pillars of the development, with impressive 3D environments and an HDR system that will grant the best in-game performance.

The game will be out in October, expect some visuals soon.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Pixeljunk Monsters HD gets a launch trailer

The Pixeljunk team have packed both mobile and PS3 games with fun and character, and now the Vita gets a go with a HD version of the PSP/PS3 game. While it might look a little simplistic, its the gameplay where it counts and Monsters should have plenty of that to keep us entertained.

Japanese weekly sales show Toukiden hanging tough

Running along after Famitsu's mid-year sales comes this week's chart from Media Create. With Dragon's Crown out today, there won't be any fireworks until next week, but we still see Toukiden selling well enough to hang about the top 10, something rare in the world of Vita and now approaching the 200,000 sales mark which should make it the best-selling Vita game this year.

07./06. [PSV] Toukiden # (Koei Tecmo) {2013.06.27} (¥6.090) - 12.953 / 199.916 (-38%)



Vita hardware sales are down around 1,000 to 14,400, but Dragon's Crown should give things a sizeable boost. The PSP is just about 20 weeks of sales away from crossing 20 million units in Japan. 

Famitsu reveals 2013's first half sales leaders, Soul Sacrifice the Vita's biggest

Having charted the fall and rise of the Vita this year, Famitsu is putting out the half-time numbers for the biggest selling games. Sony's portables won't worry the 3DS which has multiple million sellers, but the Vita is starting to match and out-accelerate the PSP, which should lead to a switch in development focus.

With Toukiden still selling, expect its figure to rise and expect God Eater 2 to trounce them all as the most wanted game by far.

PS Vita

1. Soul Sacrifice – 180,000
2. Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus – 130,000
3. Toukiden – 120,000

PSP
1. Sword Art Online Infinity Moment – 190,000
2. Pro Baseball Spirits 2013 – 150,000
3. Summon Night 5 – 120,000

Note Media Create figures (which my figure is based on) and Famitsu numbers differ, so the two may not align.


See God Eater 2 at play

With the demo version hitting Japan ahead of the November launch, here's a video of the demo levels being played by the dev team. There's also a guide to starting the game (creating characters etc) on Famitsu, not that this will be new to most of us.



If you want to watch live, there were quite a few streams over on Twitch.tv, although they seem to have tailed off now. Instead here's an English run through in super HD with YouTuber GadgetgirlKylie over two parts.

Soul Sacrifice gets patched to v1.20, heavy on the multiplayer fixes

Here we go, for those still complaining about the issues with multiplayer, it looks like this patch should fix most of those problems.

Solo Campaign Updates:
New Fellow Sorcerer Chapter (Heretic Saviour)

 Multiplayer Updates:

  • You can now check players ‘Magic and Life level” from the online room list
  • Online room names can be longer
  • You may now change an online room’s settings from within the room itself
  • You will now receive a notification when you become the host in a new room
  • You may now check the pacts page from within an Online room, even if you are not the host
  • You may now check other players’ details even after readying for a quest
  • Added more quickly selectable phrases to use in chat during quests
  • The chat display will now open automatically when a joint cast spell or an area healing spell is initiated
  • In quest functionality: During quests, a compass will now display the general direction of enemies, allies, and archfiends
  • You can now skip the animation that plays at the start of a quest by tapping the screen
  • When a joint cast spell or an area healing spell is initiated, all players will be notified with an icon


Portraiture Changes:
• The “select offerings” menu layout has been changed
• A warning message will now appear when consuming boosted offerings in the “fuse offerings” menu
• You may now check offering rewards, in addition to the pact title and monster name, from the list of phantom quests. use the triangle button to toggle the info

Lore:
• ”Sanctuarium” has been added as an entry in “history and myth”

Other:
• The version of the game can now be seen on the title menu
• Other minor changes have been implemented

Bug Fixes:
• Other minor bugs have been fixed

Chaos Rings lands on PlayStation Mobile, available now

A trio of PSM games for Vita and Android devices are up on the PSM store now, led by Square Enix's Chaos Rings. It commands a hefty price tag of £6.49 but is a known commodity among mobile circles offering a solid Final Fantasy adventure on the go.

Both less than a pound, Attack of the Mutants from Tim Collins is a very retro space shooter with a pizza theme, while fishfishfish is a Japanese puzzle game revolving around a cat-girls consumption of her favourite food.

Demon Gaze gets a western site

As promised by NIS America, here comes Kadokawa's Demon Gaze to the west, with a shiny new website and everything. There's only a few screens and details at the moment but expect the information to ramp up as it approaches the early 2014 launch date.


UPDATE: Amazon is now showing 25 April as the UK (March 25 in the US) release date for Demon Gaze, can't wait!

Dragon's Crown multiplayer battle arena shown off

Bored of slaying beasties over DC's many beautiful levels, then change focus and kick the crap out of your fellow adventurers in the battle arena which pits player vs player and will allow gamers to hone their battle skills before being toasted by the dragons and other nasties.



Another bonus feature is the Labyrinth of Chaos which looks like it acts as challenge mode, offering ever harder battles for big rewards. The game launches in Japan today, so get ready for some big sales news.

New footage of Killzone Mercenary in action

Here's nearly nine-minutes of Killzone on the Vita in action, looking every pixel the big-screen game on a portable. From diving through a city to the usual combat fun, for me it has that almost old-school Quake 2 feel to it, which is no bad thing, but with all the modern trimmings.



Anyway, crank it up to HD and enjoy. Not long until release now, and the endless joy of proper multiplayer. And someone has kindly shared screens of their playthrough of the same level here.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Warriors Orochi HD remake pics shine bright

Tecmo seems to be coming along nicely with its HD updates of the Warriors Orochi 2 titles. The latest screens up on the home site look pretty spangly with a fistful of new characters to join in the pummelling and sword play.





Persona 3 movie Spring of Birth gets a spooky trailer

Persona 3 Portable on the PSP introduced me to the series and Persona 4 Golden remains one of the best games on the Vita. But why play the game when you can watch the movie? It looks like it follows the basic pattern of the games, with bad stuff happening after midnight and the gunshot-invoked creatures to fight the nasties.



I'm sure this will get a quick subbed western rip, if not a full release to capitalise on the series' popularity over here.

High School of the Dead to jangle Japanese gambling nerves

Yes, its only a slot machine game, but Slotter Mania V Academy Apocalypse High School of the Dead is hitting Japanese Vita screens in October. It looks like a game that seems to up the ante, story wise for those dedicated to gambling machines in Japan, wouldn't mind giving it a go, just for something a bit different.



A new Mind 0 advert, move goddammit move!

I used to play text adventures, static image point-and-click graphic adventures, RPGs with flip-book style progression. But they seem positively animated compared to Acquire's latest Mind-0 trailer that is positively rigid with rigormortis. That said, it must have some merits as Famitsu has scored the game 30/40.

I hope the characters shown in the ad have bags of unique details, quirks, and a story of biblical proportions to take gamers down, because this is the most immobile portable game I've ever seen. I know there's battle scenes (and I'm wondering why they aren't in the ad) but even they seem pretty turgid.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Phantasy Star Online 2 Episode 2 launches in Japan

Hot on the heels of the TV spot comes news that PSO2E2 is now live for Japanese gamers, or westerners who've set up their accounts. The PC/Vita game is ready to rock with loads of new features including improved character design, new environments and monsters to battle, as shown in a new 7-minute video. Not sure if this gets a physical release or is purely a download update for the Vita.



The game has some 2.5 million players, and still no western release dates have been confirmed.

Atomic Ninjas running amok on the Vita


Grip Games (creator of the Impossible Game) brings us Atomic Ninjas this summer on Vita and PS3, a 2.5D multiplayer action game, in which the player controls super-powered ninjas in frantic online matches against other players or bots. While the game relies on traditional jumping and shooting mechanics, it offers several twists that will make Atomic Ninjas unique and original.

The players are unable to directly kill each other. Instead, they must outsmart and outflank their opponents and kill them using various environmental hazards and obstacles. Each one of the seven arenas is like a playfield with infinite number of possibilities to eliminate the competition. The most malicious players will be the most successful ones. Atomic Ninjas is not just about twitch reflexes, but also about malevolent creativity, playfulness and exploring the game’s possibilities.

God Eater 2 goes straight to the top of Japan's pre-order most-wanted list

Namco's God Eater 2 appeared on Amazon Japan last week and the Vita version has shot straight to the top of the most-wanted chart, out-pacing the PSP edition which sits at No. 11. Sure, the game isn't out until November but the level of interest has to be good news, given the lack of you-know-who-Hunter.


The fact Vita games are now out-stripping their PSP counterparts, as happened with Toukiden, is also a further indication that Japanese developers will move their focus to the Vita. The portable version of Dragon's Crown is only a few spots behind the PS3 version, so should do well on release this week.

Here's that PS Vita summer campaign video in English as a price cut looms

Found this in various continental European languages a couple of weeks back, now its finally out in English, helping Sony promote the Vita as a summer-holiday essential for the kids with the mega bundle. Interestingly over the weekend, Sony's Annual Report suggested that a price cut could be imminent, saying.



"For PlayStation Vita, we aim to secure sales and profit growth through various hardware sales initiatives and the release of compelling software titles." Of course, that could just mean more bundles, but the comment found on page 10 of the report hints that at least Sony has some kind of plan.

The mega bundle is No. 2 on Amazon's best-selling Vita chart, not a difficult achievement, but isn't in the top 100 on the video games best-sellers, suggesting its not grabbing that much attention, or the campaign hasn't kicked off yet? Has any seen the ad on TV?

LEGO Movie and Marvel Super Heroes caught on film

Who knows how cut down the Vita versions will be, but here's a look at the latest LEGO titles in action, hopefully we'll get more than the 3DS port, but who knows? Certainly, there's more scope for cool features from the Lego Movie game while Stan Lee will appear in the Marvel game, which is great news for the old geezer.



Friday, July 19, 2013

Freedom Wars artistry, tough on crime

A few pieces of art and bags of new screenshots from Sony's Freedom Wars are doing the rounds on Famitsu, showing off the smart characterisation. Among all the epic battle pics, notice at the bottom of the page there are some indoor screens, hopefully this game won't play out against that rather generic city backdrop.



PSO2 Ep.2 Gets a TV ad in Japan

Not a patch on the earlier Ragnarok advert, but here's Sega continuing to push the new features in its major update to Phantasy Star Online 2. Episode 2 offers Japanese gamers new megabeasts, characters and dancing chicks to entertain players.



Any chance of us getting Episode 1? Pretty please.

The Vita Facebook app gets an update

Just some quick app news to round the week off, the Vita's social media app has been tweaked and now supports people and places who can be tagged in a post, plus bug fixes and other twiddly stuff, including a new icon. I sometimes use the app when my phone is dead, or am just in Vita-mode, it isn't bad if you've never tried it, but it is way behind the iOS version with those funny chat balloons and other stuff.


Gung Ho's genius Ragnarok Odyssey Ace advert will fly over your head

As regular readers will know, I'm bemused by most Japanese advertising, but then its not really for us. This time, however, Gung Ho has got it spot on with a damn near perfect commercial to hype the monster-sized battles you can fight in Ragnarok Odyssey Ace.



Makes me want to grab the original version and give it a damn good thrashing. Assuming this version will follow its predecessor west, after its August Japanese release. Some gameplay trailers and news here.

Laughing Jackal has a jolly-looking hero for its next Vita game

Who is Blaze Carruthers? That's the question Vita gamers might want to ask, as Laughing Jackal, the folks behind OMGZombies and other fun indies, get set to unveil their next title. 


All we have so far is a tightly cropped image of a cartoon moustache, perhaps in a Southern Gent style, and an angular chin, and a hashtag to follow. Doubtless more will be revealed soon, but for now recent tweets from dev Alisdair Evans suggest the importance of rooms, walls and furniture... could they have got the Ikea license?

Halfbrick's next game Colossatron stomping the gaming world

With Jetpack Joyride already available on the Vita, and Fruit Ninja also on the way, I wouldn't be shocked if Halfbricks' next game also headed our way, given Shahid's sterling indie efforts for Sony. Colossatron Massive World Threat puts the Earth's finest against the usual planet squashing robo-monsters, except we get to play the monster, looks like great stuff!

Tecmo still pushing Toukiden with new video

Toukiden continues to sell in Japan, and to keep the masses happy, new adverts and videos are showing off the game's stacks of content. This time we get a peek at the NPCs, villages and towns as well as some combat action. Definitely looking forward to the western release for this!

The Walking Dead sets its undead sights on the Vita

I played the first episode of Walking Dead on the Xbox, but am delighted I stopped, so I can enjoy the rest of it, plus the 400 Days content on my Vita, mostly fresh. Here's a PS video with the developers discussing how it all works. Make sure you listen through to the end for what could be an invaluable tip that suggests more zombies will be headed our way.

Capcom welcomes Strider back on PS4

Looking forward to playing this on my Vita via Remote Play, Strider was one of the classic 8-bit arcade games with his all-action sliding, leaping and range of weapons. He's coming out of retirement on PS4 thanks to Capcom. Hopefully they won't screw up the remake as happened with Bionic Commando, but with all the power of PS4, it will be a struggle to fail.



Also good to see a chunky seven minutes of footage off the bat rather than some pissy tease and reveal, spread over days or weeks, which is starting to get really annoying.

From the press release: Remaining true to its roots, Strider features the same franchise hallmarks of fluid, lightning quick combat and ground-breaking free-flowing traversal that inspired many of today’s third person action titles. Strider further builds upon this pedigree by endowing the player with a vastly expanded arsenal of moves and weapons to acquire and use, while slicing their way through a massive, interconnected and rich game world.

The year is Meio: 048, on an alternate dystopian future of Earth. The whole planet suffers under the oppressive, iron-fisted rule of the mysterious and omnipotent Grand Master Meio. An expert in sabotage and assassination, Hiryu is the youngest ever recruit to attain a Special A-Class in the hellish Strider training program, and is the only man capable of achieving the mission to eliminate Grand Master Meio.

Ace Combat Infinity, had a Vita logo, now doesn't?

Namco finally unveiled Ace Combat Infinity overnight in Japan, and the site apparently had a happy little Vita logo to go alongside the PS3 version. That has since been removed, suggesting either that Namco really like to screw with Vita owners, or are pretty dumb.

Either way, here's the trailer, and we can live with a tiny glimmer of hope that this game will be Vita-ready at some point in the future.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Worms Revolution eXtreme wriggles on to the Vita

Team 17 recently announced Worms 3 for iOS only, but fear not. A Vita game is on the way in the form of Revolution eXtreme, as revealed on the PSN blog. Offering local and online multiplayer battles for up to four players, there are three game modes: including Deathmatch, Forts and Classic

New for the Vita (and PS3) is the a Cross-Gifting feature, Treasure Mode! Which lets players unlock 10 special gifts using a lock and key system. Meet the requirements in either offline Versus or online battles to receive a key and connect to a friend’s PlayStation 3 system with the corresponding chest to unlock the treasure!


Other than that, looks like the same old Worming goodness, and great to see it on Sony's portable.

New God Eater 2 trailer keeps it short and sweet

With the news that there will be a few bundles for Vita owners, here's a quick snippet of the game in action thanks to Namco with the release date of 14 November. The game will also hit the PSP, but as we've seen with Toukiden, Vita versions are the higher sellers now, so hopefully gamers will be starting to upgrade in force for the better experience.



And here's the boxart showing off the usual massive weapon and monster combo.


Sega's top-secret Project 575 is for the Vita, but what is it?

Famitsu is reporting that Sega's Project 575 is a Vita title, coming in 2014 and also available for iOS - in a modified form. The translated text seems to suggest it is some sort of song creator program, more news as it becomes slightly less opaque, Sega has a Nico launch event later today. With talk of haikus and singing, it could be rather arty, based on the teaser videos.

UPDATE: Getting some sensible versions of that now, Sega's event has concluded. Gematsu reckons the game is actually called Song Builder 575, "In the game, lyrics flow on the screen while the main characters dance and sing. As the lyrics pass, there are blanks for players to fill in by choosing words that seem to fit. Because it uses Vocaloid, the game sings it in real-time no matter the word you pick. Players can enjoy the game however they like, find the best combinations, or just use words they like to make the song original." And here's a new trailer...




Now all we need is that secret Capcom game or the Namco Ace Combat title to be for the Vita and it'll be a pretty smashing week.

Mutant Mudds gets a Vita version

Mutant Mudds from developer RenegadeKid is an 8-bit (16-bit if you want to be charitable) style scrolling platformer with the geekiest looking hero I've seen for a while. Already out on iOS and Nintendo platforms, with 6 levels, chiptune soundtrack and in-and-out-the-screen trickery.

 

Tecmo firing Samurai Warriors HD Remakes at the Vita

Where would the Vita be without HD remakes? Well, we're getting a few more of them with Tecmo bringing some budget-priced PSN download only remasters to the Vita from the Samurai Warriors series. There are two version, Xtreme Legends and Empires, with Empires taking a more strategic approach. Video from the originals below.



The PS2 games from Omega Force are: Samurai Warriors 2 with Xtreme Legends HD Version Download Version priced at 3,000 yen  and Samurai Warriors 2 with Empires HD Version Download Version at 2,700 yen.



Most of this series has made it west at some point, so guess we might just see them offer a digital version for western gamers. With the series now up to

Tip of the day, recover memory card space with a game save clear out

Here's a scenario for you. You go to PSN, see a small indie or PSM game you want, but don't quite have enough storage space for it. You  might the have the "Less than 40Mb" warning flashing in the corner. But, you don't want to delete any of your existing games. This tip could help, other advice articles here.

Launch Settings and choose Application Data Management

Tap Saved Data (PSP/PlayStation/other)

Tab the "..." in the lower right

Choose Delete and pick the save files for any games you no longer play, tap Delete to remove them.

Deleting them can easily free up a vital few extra MB of storage. If you need more space, you could always copy your Vita's saved games files to PlayStation Plus' cloud storage option (better than just deleting them), other places you can find some wasted space are screenshots stored in the Photo app.

Star Wars Angry Birds flocks to the Vita

I'll call this game SWAB, because that's what you'll need to stem the blood loss you'll spontaneously develop, when you see the price for it. Allegedly $40, for an iOS game that's free (with in-app purchases) that's hopefully a place-holder price, because publisher Activision is otherwise having some sort of chuckle normally associated with EA Sports Vita editions.

Perhaps the pricing, even with the delight of extra levels, is because most multi-device owners will already have, so is focused purely on slack-jawed consumers who are so dumb they think the term smartphone precludes them from buying one. Even so, that's a bit of a piss take. No sign of it on the UK store.

Dragon's Crown confirmed for Europe (several weeks after we'll have imported)

Ouch, while trying to sound cheery in its press release, NIS knows it has screwed up here, with the EU release of Dragon's Crown taking places months after the U.S. release which is coming just weeks after the Japanese one.

Will EU gamers sit idly by when the game will be easily importable through partner retailers on the likes of Amazon UK. We can already get the U.S. version of Muramasa, at not overly inflated prices. So why should this be any different. Anywhere, here's the beef:

NIS America is proud to announce its partnership with ATLUS, a brand of Index Digital Media, Inc., to publish Dragon's Crown™ throughout Europe this fall for both the PlayStation®3 and PlayStation®Vita consoles. Developed by Vanillaware and directed by George Kamitani, Dragon's Crown is a multiplayer action beat 'em up from the developers of Princess Crown and Odin Sphere. Dragon's Crown features breathtaking visuals that bring the fantastic characters and monsters to life with fluid artistry. Players can engage in local or online co-op play for dozens of hours of intense, dragon-slaying action.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

PlayStation Plus adding two Vita games in August

Yay, for once I own neither of these games, so can stock up on a clutch of great new Vita fun, following on from current goodies, Unit 13 and Ninja Gaiden. Arriving soon are LEGO Lord of the Rings and When Vikings Attack, both joining the PS+ service at the end of this month, as part of August's line up.

Toukiden continues to sell in Japan

Toukiden is sticking around the Japanese Top 10, both on PSP and Vita, but with a clear margin on the newer console, suggesting now is the time to switch development, for all those still producing PSP titles. On the hardware side the Vita shifted another 15,000 units, but all eyes are on Dragon's Crown launch next week as the next big mover.

06./02. [PSV] Toukiden # (Koei Tecmo) {2013.06.27} (¥6.090) - 20.853 / 186.963 (-52%)
07./03. [PSP] Toukiden (Koei Tecmo) {2013.06.27} (¥5.040) - 19.262 / 118.404 (-42%)




God Eater 2 getting many special editions in Japan

The most wanted Vita game in Japan, God Eater 2 is arriving in demo form next week in Japan, but the big release later in the year will be trumpeted by three different versions. I can't find any artwork or images of the bundle content, but guess they'll look pretty cool.
  • There's the full hardware bundle, called the PS Vita X God Eater Fenrir Edition that packs in a skinned Vita, the game and the usual accessories
  • A Famitsu DX Pack will come with a soft toy, posters, calendar and, naturally, a glass. 
  • Finally, something called the Lala BitMarket Premium Blood Enlistment (translation insanity perhaps) edition will include a charm bracelet, badges and other trinkets.

Dragon's Crown rates well in Famitsu

Atlus' Dragon's Crown gets this second highest score in this week's issue of Famitsu, with the game the big hope to drive Vita sales this month, which should encourage those that haven't already pre-ordered. The game is behind God Eater 2 (more on that in my next story) on Japanese gamer's most wanted lists, but never underestimate the selling power of huge cleavage and massive swords.

Make what you will of the PSP game which seems to be the latest in a series of epic stories.

Dragon’s Crown (PS3/PSV) – 9/8/9/9
Toki No Kizuna: Hanamusubi Tsuzuri (PSP) – 8/7/8/6

Mind 0 continues to push the static

Another trailer for Mind 0 shows yet more inanimate pictures of characters talking, and when it does get animated and 3D, you get what looks like the same bit of combat we've seen in a previous video. This really isn't selling the game.



All the interesting characters and sub-plots that the game is claiming can't rescue it, if there's nothing to catch the eye. Perhaps I'm spoiled by whizzy, all-action RPGs like Persona, but I'm really struggling to see the must-have wow factor in this one. More on Famitsu with more doe-eyed heroines and weapon-toting school kids.

Hermit Crab in Space leads a pincer movement of PSM games

Sony is pushing a new space shooter, Hermit Crab on its blog today ahead of the PSN update, one of about six new games on the mini service. With his modular little ship, the crab must fight his way home through unfriendly space.



Also on the store now are Feed Me Oil, which comes from Chillingo on iOS and Android.


Flapper Princess is a platform-style game, if a pricey entry (£4.49), while the hand drawn beauty of Apocalypse Defense is just (99p), there's also BlockBuster (another breakout clone) and a sexy looking free-to-play RPG, Adventure Bar Labyrinth, where you pay for items.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Runner2 from BitTrip to get extra DLC on Vita

Currently out on PS3, Runner2 is coming to the Vita thanks to the folks at BitTrip, and it'll come with a new bunch of DLC that's being launched. It comes with a host of familiar characters from popular indies including Raz (Psychonauts), Quote (Cave Story), Josef (Machinarium), Dr. Fetus (Super Meat Boy), Spelunky Guy (Spelunky), and Invisible CommanderVideo as playable characters in Runner2.



Known as the Good Friends Character Pack, the developers promise that it will indeed be available for the Vita version when it ships. More on the US PSN blog.

Stealth Inc comes with free Vita DLC for early adopters

The awesome looking Stealth Inc. from Curve lands on the EU PSN update next week. Pick it up in the first couple of weeks and you get as a bonus the DLC that would normally be a little extra, offering 20 new levels to enjoy. There's also a chance to win a Vita with a fun contest, seems a bit redundant for us, but there you go.


No word on the price yet, but there's a little more info on the EU PSN Blog.

Mystic Chronicles telling a classic RPG story on PSP and Vita

Natsume brings Kemco's classic-style Mystic Chronicles RPG for both the PlayStation Portable and PlayStation Vita. Featuring retro-style graphics, story-driven quests, and a unique battle system, it is launching today on the US PSN for $14.99.

UPDATE: This is now life on the EU PSN, for £11.99
"We’re very excited to see how the North American audience will enjoy this retro-style RPG," said Hiro Maekawa, President and CEO at Natsume. "With customization, a guild workshop, a unique Guardian Beast system, and a cast of classic characters, Mystic Chronicles is a fantastic title for all fans of the 16-bit RPG era!


Mystic Chronicles follows the story of a mysterious youth, Lux, adopted by a small village. Lux has just begun his training to join the Holos Guild, a society charged with ridding the world of troublemakers. However, a chance meeting with a young girl sets in motion a series of events that sets Lux on a far more serious quest than just defeating ornery forest creatures! Could Lux end up being the savior of the entire world?!

LEGO: The Movie game heads to the Vita

So there's a LEGO movie happening next year, in an attempt to sell the bricks without those expensive Star Wars, superhero or Lord of the Rings licenses. The fate of the brick-based world will be in your hands in game form, once you and the family have seen the big-screen version.



In a scenario drawn from the film, The LEGO Movie Videogame puts LEGO kids into the role of Emmet, an ordinary, rules-following, perfectly average LEGO minifigure who is mistakenly identified as the most extraordinary person and the key to saving the world. Players guide him as he is drafted into a fellowship of strangers on an epic quest to stop an evil tyrant, a journey for which Emmet is hopelessly and hilariously under-prepared.


“We’re thrilled to be able to give kids the joy of reliving Emmet’s adventures in becoming virtual Master Builders with The LEGO® Movie Videogame,” said Tom Stone, Managing Director, TT Games Publishing. “Players will be taking on the ultimate mission to save the LEGO world and use their virtual building prowess to build unimaginable sets and creations.”

In The LEGO® Movie Videogame players will be able to collect and use LEGO instruction pages to build construction sets or harness the awesome power of the Master Builders to virtually build extraordinary LEGO creations along the way. With more than 90 characters inspired by the film and 15 exciting levels, kids can build and adventure like never before. Will this one match the big console versions? Probably not, but we can hope.

Sony's Video Unlimited changes service conditions, anyone care?

While most of us wait for the European appearance of the the Netlflix app for the Vita, Sony is still plugging its pudgy Video Unlimited service. Some recent changes, via ShackNews, to the terms and conditions mean that you can now redownload content without paying for it again (you know, a basic consumer right) and files are tied to the account, not just one piece of hardware (welcome to the 21st Century Sony).


The fact Sony wasn't doing this up-front shows how ill conceived their service is, and while Netflix doesn't have all the latest movies, there's more than enough content to keep me happy for a flat fee, Perhaps Sony needs a rethink about the whole service. Also, when I get a PS4, I'd expect all content at 1080p, wonder if VU does that?



Ragnarok Ace gets an Assassin for sneaky killing

The super-update to the popular Ragnarok Odyssey is getting pretty loaded with new features including an all-new Assassin character who uses stealth and guile to do damaging attacks from up close with twin swords. Their Ace-level skills include:

  • Surprise attack: a point blank area of effect attack that stuns all the enemies in range.
  • Back Road: attacks the enemy while increasing avoidance.
  • Backstab: does more damage if it hits the enemy rear
  • Stick: throwing frontal attack
  • Soul Breaker: powerful frontal attack but reduces your AP



Lots more info and pics on him, the mage and other content at Dualshockers.

Muramasa Rebirth launch slipped me by, normal or limited edition?

So busy looking into the future, I completely failed to notice that Muramasa is now available on the Vita (as a US import admittedly, that'll be why I missed it, but why wait? And its not notably over-priced). The question is, do you want the normal version or the Limited Edition? That comes with a pouch, artwork, decal skins for your Vita, which is pretty tempting.



Note, only three of the regular version in stock on Amazon, sure you can find it elsewhere though.

Soul Saga funding complete, headed to Vita

Disastercake has announced that Soul Saga: Episode I's crowd-funding Kickstarter has been successfully funded, more than tripling its original funding goal of $60,000, with 5,631 unique backers and a total of $195,528 pledged to the project. Why not enjoy a little of the soundtrack while you read the comments from the press release...



Thousands of backers have voiced their feedback and suggestions for the project, helping to tailor the adventure to the gamers who have helped make the J-RPG dream a reality. Many fans have spread the word and showed their support for the title in a variety of creative outlets, such as Richie Branson's 'Soulful Saga' nerdcore rap, DeviantArt artist ryuuen's fantastic Soul Saga fan art and YouTube user Berglund Gaming's Wii U speed drawing video of Taro, a Toki shaman.

The project's backers have helped shape Soul Saga: Episode I into an exciting and ambitious project, enabling the title to be released not only on PC, Linux and Mac but also PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and Wii U!

Disastercake's Mike Gale would like to thank everyone who has supported the Kickstarter project, especially the backers, without whom the development of Soul Saga: Episode I would not have been possible.

Kickstarter RPG Liege gets a Vita version as a stretch goal

Its all good on the Vita crowd-funding front these days as Kickstarter project Liege from Coda Games joins the likes of Soul Saga and others with a portable version. The game offers a modern re-imagining of the classic 16-bit RPG with focus on story, artwork and tactics.



It has already reached double its original funding aim of $15,000 with 12 days to go, but why not chip in to help reach the $52,000 needed for Vita and PlayStation 4 versions. Liege has just under two weeks to hit that mark for a Vita version, so spread the word.

Hatsune Miku gets a Vita ESRB rating, western release ahoy?

While Japan ramps up for the second edition of the Hatsune Miku Project Diva F, it looks like Sega has seen sense, or is being a bit brave, and giving the portable songstress a go in the west. An ESRB notice for the Vita version (Sega had already announced the PS3 version) is doing the rounds, suggesting that we will get to tap-along-a-song with the Vocaloid wonder and her friends.


Now if we can just get a hurry up on PSO2, Sega will have done its duty impressively and deserves a massive pat on the back from Sony.

Monday, July 15, 2013

New Killzone Mercenary screen

Sony has released a few shots of its upcoming PS4 and Vita games, with just the pic of Mercenary in action for Vita owners to drool over. I say action, well, there's an enemy trooper on the prowl, eye visor smoking orange (you'd have thought that it would have ruined his vision) and gun primed. Hope these guys aren't pathetically easy to kill, if he looks that mean, he should put up some resistance.


How the east plays Vita (Hong Kong PSN downloads)

Here's what our Asian friends in Hong Kong are playing on their Vitas, showing off their close-to-Japan status and some familiar names. Information comes from the HK PSN blog, which I'll pay more attention to in future. The tweet I found it on says that Ragnarok has been in the top ten for over 11 months now.

Top 10 Best Selling Games in Jun – PS Vita

1 SOUL SACRIFICE (Asian Localized Ver.)
2 ONE PIECE KAIZOKU MUSOU 2
3 TOUKIDEN
4 Assassin's Creed III Liberation
5 LIMBO
6 OBORO MURAMASA
7 Persona 4 The GOLDEN
8 Ragnarok Odyssey (PlayStationVita the Best)
9 Rayman Origins
10 MALICIOUS REBIRTH

Gamasutra reckons UK Vita owners buy only 7,500 games a week

Based on estimated sales data for the first half of 2013, Gamasutra has put out numbers that suggest Vita owners buy only 7,500 Vita retail games a week on average, selling just under 200,000 copies of the likes of CoD, FIFA, AC3 and the other chart toppers in six months, games outside the top five probably sell only a handful.

Most of that is down to lack of releases, and with hardware estimates (from other sources) are put at around 2,000 units a week, that's pretty grim reading for any publisher looking to promote a Vita title. Which leaves Sony clinging on to this unannounced "big" third-party title that Sony's indie-God Shahid Kamal mentioned a few months back.


With no Bioshock, the remote chance of a GTA V Stories (and I mean remote), what else is left? Tomb Raider or Fallout? Even if you put in a high estimate for digital downloads (say 40%), Vita numbers make grim reading, and while Dragon's Crown might get some interest (bet the tabloids are standing by for some free hype), the chances of any one game "saving" the Vita is unlikely.

10 days until Dragon's Crown goes on-sale in Japan, a Vita-seller for the summer?

July 25 sees Dragon's Crown go on-sale in Japan (just a week or so before the U.S. release), the game has been marketed to the Gods and back, with endless daily coverage, massive cleavage and a deep game underneath it. The question is will it be a Vita seller or another middling-hit like Muramasa and Toukiden (where I get all excited about a game selling 100K in one week).


It has been high on Amazon Japan's pre-order list for some time, suggesting interest is there, but the big question is how high can it go, and will it sell hardware? There are no bundles that I've seen, so it'll need to beat at least 150,000 which is a "good" number for a decent Vita game, to meet existing owners needs.
After that, I guess you're looking at about 20,000 new Vitas sold for every 100,000 sales.

Of course, putting a spanner in the works is the PS3 version, which could sap Vita sales and interest, although its best hope remains in Japan where portability is king. The Vita version sits in the top 15 games on Amazon Japan's hourly chart, the top three on Rakuten books, both just a couple of spots behind the PS3 version.

Any thoughts or predictions on numbers for this appreciated.

FIFA 14 teasing cover stars, just tell us if the Vita version is a rip-off again

EA are dragging it out again, with another pseudo-marketing campaign with the "who'll be on the cover?" tease. Frankly, all I'd like to know is are there any new features in the Vita version or will it be the barest of updates or tweaks again? You know, some actual information that's useful to gamers, still you can't expect that kind of helpfulness from a publisher can you?

SuperIcon's Vektor Wars, loving vectors on the Vita

SuperIcon (Life of Pixel) is hard at work on Vector Wars, developed in Unity, it was announced last week and is confirmed for the Vita among other formats. Check out the dev blog link above for details, but its a little similar to Vektropolis, which seems to have fallen off the radar, and looks pretty spiffy.


From the early peek, it seems to offer a great-looking city to explore and engage in combat around, with bags of detail and effects that bring the old vectors to life. Throw in a bit of compelling story and plenty of action, and we should have a great game on our hands. 
From the post: "I used to love the old 80s style computer wireframe sequences and visual styling from movies like Escape from New York, Terminator, Tron - bright super saturated computer wireframe imagery. Also the classic early vector 3D games like Elite, Starglider, Mercenary & Battlezone - I spent many happy hours playing those games and I don’t think I’ve ever topped that feeling of immersion from exploring those early 3D worlds."


Check back later, the developers have promised some new screenshots and perhaps a video of the game in action, just for you!

Indie monster grabbing game Collectems planned for the Vita

Only the press release to go on for this, but yet another fun sounding indie coming our way.

Today, indie game studio The Layabouts formally announced Collectems, a monster-collecting RPG. The goal of the project is to combine influences from classic RPGs with modern roguelike elements and a focus on player choice, exploration, atmosphere, and replayability.

UPDATE: Lots of hits coming this way as news source rediscover this game, a year from the original story, development is still in progress, with an update from March discussing the second hero, Aspen. Will check with the team and find out if there's an ETA.


Assuming the role of an adolescent in the relatively isolated Tamota Peninsula, players venture into a land where strange mutant creatures called Collectems have ravaged the natural ecosystem. Taken in as anything from household pets and workplace assistants to biological weapons of mass destruction, they captured the hearts of millions, becoming a full-blown culture-defining phenomenon. A fire at their father’s business, coupled with his mysterious disappearance, leaves the player responsible for a lifetime’s worth of debt. In order to pay back what is owed and rebuild the company, they set out into the world, using the unique capabilities of their Collectems to earn a profit.

Features:

  • Explore a variety of interesting locales in the order of your choosing, charting a path across this non-linear landscape.
  • Discover various different Collectem species of multiple types, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.
  • Enjoy a randomized experience each playthrough, where the layout of the environments and the location of different species, opponents, & loot are different every time.
  • Battle a team of carefully trained Collectems in strategic turn-based battles, where death is permanent and planning is key.
  • Allow your fallen Collectems to live on by infusing their DNA with those still alive, passing on moves, traits, and abilities.
  • Shape the strategy of your business as you see fit over the course of the adventure, investing money earned from battles to build new Collectem-enhancing facilities.
  • Customizable difficulty options allow you to differentiate individual runs through the game.

Collectems is being actively developed for PC, Mac, and Linux, with PlayStation Vita also being targeted. No plans for availability, release date, or additional platforms have been finalized at this time. Further details about Collectems can be found at the official project website, collectemsgame.com. For any additional inquiry, visit The Layabouts at wearethelayabouts.com for contact information.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Disgaea 4 Return hitting Vita in 2014

The list of top Japanese games hitting the Vita in 2014 keeps growing with a revamp of the PS3 game arriving from Nippon Ichi to follow on from the Afternoon of Darkness lunacy that launched with the Vita.

UPDATE: A video arrived in September, guess I missed it, showing off some characters and not much else.


The tactical RPG genre is well supported in Japan, but Nippon Ichi is also happy to bring games west and enjoys packing all sorts of goodies into them.

Sony and Take 2 still talking Bioshock Vita

Yep, one of the darker moments in the Vita's history remains, lurking in a corner like a bad smell. Ken Levine tweeted yesterday that talks are still on-going between the two publishers over what is rapidly becoming a footnote in gaming history.

https://twitter.com/iglevine/status/355874911627124736

Which begs the question why he bothered standing on a Sony stage back at launch announcing that Bioshock was coming, which he must have known wasn't a done deal. 

Is some faint hope of a whole new chapter worth the corporate crap we were sold? Or should we give up and move on, assuming no one to pay $20 million plus to make a game that is market-limited to sell less than a million copies.

Friday, July 12, 2013

New Dragon's Crown trailer shows the nuts and bolts

Take yet another peek at Atlus' Dragon's Crown in action, with a bit more art and some of the menus, settings and systems that drive the game. Sure, its all in Japanese but the points are pretty easy to get across and, as ever, the game continues to look like one of the most gorgeous creations.



From potions to weaponry, talent cards, pets and skills and other goodies, this is so much more than a hack-and-slash side-scroller.

Vita "hacked" claim, site already taken down

My heart sinks with this news, as the continual battle between official firmware and hackers is likely to be kicked into high gear on the Vita.

Yet another hacker/chancer "Dong Lu" is claiming to have hacked the Vita, offering jailbreakers the chance to play pirate Vita games, or just some spam, or a virus. Since the site has already been taken down, I guess there's no harm in showing the video (which has also been flagged (by me), so may vanish at some point). It claims to offer a quick two minute download that will open up the Vita to play free Vita and PSP games.



I'm sure the exploit, if real, will emerge in hacker circles soon enough. But, eventually a heavily promoted jailbreak is likely to appear, and with the Vita on a profit knife-edge as it is, Sony needs to be able to kill it quickly, as mass piracy would kill off developer interest in a heartbeat with so many other devices to code for.

That'd be a great shame as Sony has courted all those indies to the fold with games that hardly break the bank. Here's a couple of pics if the video does vanish. It showed no detail on what the exploit or hack is, even so, expect a firmware update pretty quickly if there is a genuine risk to the Vita's security. If you do want an open gaming system, buy an Android or a Ouya and one of the compatible gaming controllers!



Square Enix pimps Million Arthur card game with a little jiggle

It's a card game, how could you sex that up? Ah, I forgot we were dealing with the Japanese here. Even those static little cards have jiggling cleavage to tempt the game into paying more for the micro-transactions (I guess). The smartphone game that hit the Vita in Japan back in April keeps getting new content to keep gamers playing, and frankly, you can see why this will help it keep on rolling.



Here's the original release trailer showing off a little more about the game.

Sony promotes its Vita Mega Pack in new advert

Only uploaded in French and German so far, but language is hardly an issue here as Sony waves its heroes at the kids along with the 10-game-bundle-bargain. Will this summer bundle tempt parents to splash out on a Vita, will the ad get seen outside of this blog? Given Sony's wimpy marketing of late, who knows?

Namco Bandai game tease frenzy, two titles being announced soon

I didn't post a story on Namco's new Ace Combat Infinity flight game, since I figured that would be an unlikely release for the Vita, despite the success of the PSP versions. But with a second new title from the company being teased for reveal next Friday, at least one of them stands a chance of having a portable version.


Make what you will of the countdown site. Given the ambiguous nature of these things it could be anything from a new Marble Madness (who does own the rights to that now?) game to a Katamari-set-in-Tron title. What do you get from the shiny smoked glass shapes? Anyway, hopefully one of these two will be a Vita game, and something way beyond how Namco arsed up Ridge Racer.

UPDATE: The non-Ace Combat game now has a "For 3DS" tag on the site, so I guess we can count that one out, all hopes rest on a vita fighter sim then!

Crash Bandicoot games go cheap in Naughty Dog sale

Naughty Dog's sale on PSN is good for PS3 owners, with all the Unreal games getting a bit of a chop. But since the Vita's proper Uncharted: Golden Abyss game isn't on the list (although I'd hope most of you own it already), why not enjoy some of the splendid Crash Bandicoot titles from the PSone days.


What's Crash Bandicoot, some young 'uns are asking? Take a peek...


The spin-off card game, Fight for Fortune is in the sale if that gets your fancy, including both expansion packs for £3 plus change for PS+ users. Might give that a go. Full sale details here


Invizimals: The Alliance looks pretty amazing in action

It looks like Novarama has finally found the perfect machine for its fun blend of augmented reality pokemonics and animal action. Watch as this tiger runs around the floor, clings to the Vita, runs off down the ceiling and so on. Excellent stuff, if only the gameplay (which was often a little off on the PSP version) matches these effects, it should be truly awesome, think the kids will love it.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Superfrog HD hopping to Vita this month

We've known its been coming for a long time now, but now we have some confirmed details from Team 17. It will be a cross-buy, cross-play title with LBP-style Vita play on the PS3. There's also those lovely Trophies and Leader board support.

Superfrog HD is out on the 31st July via the European PSN for just £6.49/€7.99. It features enhanced graphics, 24 new levels based on the original designs, 24 original levels that can be unlocked and more.

There's also an Endless Runner mode, Cross-Controller Support – Play on your PS3™ system using the PS Vita as a controller to gain an advantage as secrets are displayed on the PS Vita’s screen. Why not try going through one of the portals on PS3™ and watch as Superfrog is transported to a hidden area you can then access on your PS Vita!

If you were hoping for some Vita-based Worms action, it looks like the next game, Worms 3, is iOS-only. Which is a big shame, but it might spread elsewhere after launch.

New Legend of Heroes Update to Zero Evolution hitting the Vita

Wasn't there another Legend of Heroes game announced the other day? Yes there was, in the form of Trails of Blue. I'm pretty sure this is a different game, another update to an existing title? Certainly, a story has just published on Famitsu with this trailer and lots of Japanese tweets are getting rather excited. Can someone more into their JRPGs tell us the difference please?



It seems to be an update with full voice acting and is due out next year.

Some Super Robot Taisen and Wars clips to brighten your day

Namco Bandai is putting out some short clips of SRT "Pride of Justice", and its mini companion Super Robot Wars, that are headed to the PS3 and Vita. They don't make much of a news piece on their own, so I've slammed them together, not that they give a massive clue to what's happening, but still cool.



Spanish developer Revelo offering classic arcade action in Baboon!

Relevo is a newly certified Vita developer, having previously made mobile games, set up in the Basque part of Spain. Its first PSN project is Baboon! for the Vita, offering a mix of puzzles, strategy, and fun levels. The demo has apparently already won independent awards and is a great fit for a portable game playing audience, offering depth, original characters, simple controls and non-stop fun, and with pirate monkeys in a game, how can it fail?


In the game, you control Tumbili, a little monkey that bombs himself so he can proceed to the goal at the top of each stage. With different kind of bombs that have various effects, many worlds to explore and tons of puzzles to solve, “Baboon!” is going to be a fresh and funny addition to the PS Vita game catalog, and it is expected to be released next year.

Dragon's Crown shows off its artbook and a new combat video

There's no point in being one of the best looking video games on the Vita if you're not going to show it off. So, check out the game's artbook, with one example below, an exclusive for pre-orders, likely in the U.S., but maybe elsewhere.



And if that's got your juices flowing, here's yet another new video from Atlus showing off three minutes of combat in action across the range of characters. Truckloads more art, pics and videos in previous stories. But even with the huge exposure, I'm still deeply keen to get into this game.

Ratchet and Clank heading into the Nexus with a grand trailer

Those teaser images from the last few days have finally resolved into a new Ratchet and Clank game from Insomniac. At the moment its down as a PS3 title, but there's no reason to expect it won't arrive on the Vita in some form, given R&C's previous history on portables. It certainly looks the business in the first trailer.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Sony's mystery game tease gets teasier...

Hot on the heels of the eclipse image, comes a new pic, adding the phrase "Heroes Return" which suggests yet another fricking sequel. The image now looks more like a sci-fi rocket engine and some rocky plateau, which could be anything really. Suggestions are now its an Insomniac project which limits your choices a bit.