Sunday, November 30, 2014

Fate Hollow Ataraxia's opening movie rocks up

An interesting crew of characters come together in this opening scene for the latest Fate game from Type Moon. Fate/Hollow Ataraxia just launched in Japan and is an update to the PC original visual novel, with the rest of the series on PSP. It looks fun, and there's web translations of the original if you fancy giving it a go on import.

Friday, November 28, 2014

What's hot on the Vita in Japan

While the west goes all giddy over Black Friday sales, in Japan it looks like gamers are planning ahead for next year already. While the new Value Packs are the most popular hardware, Amazon Japan's most popular Vita titles are:

Sword Art Online Lost Song (Out March)
Phantasy Star Nova (Out now)
God Eater 2 Rage Burst (Out Feb)

Since none of these look like getting a western release, perhaps SAO, we can only look on enviously while Sony tries to repackage old games and maybe try and squeeze the odd title out of its first-party studios.

Europe's PSN gets a decent load of Vita game deals

For the first time ever, Call of Duty on Vita is probably worth picking up at £12, while plenty of other games including new titles like Akiba's Trip and FIFA 15 have great discounts and PS Plus subscribers get to save even more. Looks like the US wasn't so lucky, but I'm sure their time will come.

See the sales hardware deals here.

PS Vita Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed – Was £32.99/€39.99/AU$59.95, now £14.99/€19.99/AU$24.95 20% additional PS Plus discount
Atelier Totori Plus: The Adventurer of Arland - Was £34.99/€39.99/AU$54.95, now £15.49/€18.99/AU$28.95 10% additional PS Plus discount
Blazblue Continuum Shift Extend - Was £19.99/€24.99/AU$32.95, now £5.79/€6.99/AU$10.45 20% additional PS Plus discount
Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified – Was £44.99/€49.99/AU$69.95, now £11.99/€14.99/AU$22.95
FIFA 15 - Was £34.99/€39.99/AU$54.95, now £14.99/€19.99/AU$24.95
Gravity Rush - Was £11.99/€14.99/AU$22.95, now £3.29/€3.99/AU$5.95 10% additional PS Plus discount
Invizimals: The Alliance – Was £19.99/€19.99/AU$24.95, now £11.99/€14.99/AU$22.95 10% additional PS Plus discount
NAtURAL DOCtRINE - Was £34.99/€39.99/AU$54.95, now £14.99/€19.99/AU$24.95 20% additional PS Plus discount
Persona 4 Golden - Was £34.99/€39.99/AU$54.95, now £11.99/€14.99/AU$22.95 20% additional PS Plus discount
Ragnarok Odyssey ACE - Was £24.99/€29.99/AU$44.95, now £9.99/€12.99/AU$19.45
Rayman Legends – Was £24.99/€29.99/AU$39.95, now £11.99/€14.99/AU$22.95 10% additional PS Plus discount
Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time – Was £14.99/€19.99/AU$24.95, now £11.99/€14.99/AU$22.95 10% additional PS Plus discount
Soul Sacrifice Delta – Was £24.99/€29.99/AU$44.95, now £11.99/€14.99/AU$22.95 10% additional PS Plus discount
Unit 13 - Was £11.99/€14.99/AU$22.95, now £6.99/€9.99/AU$14.95 10% additional PS Plus discount

More shouty shouty Gundam Breaker 2 action

Keeping the mech vibe rolling, even as the world gets bored of yet another Transformers movie (except for the DinoBots), Bandai keeps pumping out the action for Gundam Breaker 2. There's more yelling, more swords, more emotion and lots of mechs continuing to pummel each other.

Is there no other type of advertising allowed for these games? Apparently it celebrates the news parts for some mechs, but spotting them in among all the gun and movement effects requires expert knowledge.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Vita finally gets a Minecraft bundle

Not sure if this is official, or just an Amazon deal, but you can pick up a new PS Vita and Minecraft for £149 on Amazon UK, starting Friday. Given the game was the third biggest Vita launch ever, this could help shift a few consoles, even if its only parents trying to shoo kids off their consoles when they hog them for Minecrafting sessions.

It is already ranking at #66 in the console most wanted list (way higher than most Vita stuff gets) and with a little promotion could do some good. The bundle was posted a couple of days ago, but I haven't seen one anywhere else. No sign of one on the Amazon US site where Borderlands is still the only current bundle.

UPDATED: In the Black Friday deals, on the UK site, the bargain of the day is the Mega Pack with 10 games and an 8GB card for £129.99 (price is wrong on the ad below). There's a LEGO bundle at the same price on Argos, but the site is down.

Vita sales dive ahead of its biggest week of the year

So, the whole selling to girls idea collapses pretty quickly as sales of Vita and Vita TV fall by 50% in a week, with no major releases. Guess those pink consoles and stack of romance games will be sticking around on shelves for some time to come.

However, there's hope yet as Phantasy Star Nova, and limited edition Vita and Vita TV go on-sale this week. That's alongside Fate Hollow Ataraxia and Great Odeo Blacksmith, all of which should provide a decent boost to sales. With the Vita only 25,000 sales ahead of last year, it will need stellar sales for the rest of the year to stay ahead of the trend.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tales from the Borderlands out for big formats

Looks like Vita owners may have to wait some time to get their hands on another Borderlands adventure, as the lead formats are out the gate already with Episode One, and there's little sign of movement on the portable front.

Still, enjoy the trailer and get ready for the wasteland fun that only Telltale and Gearbox can cram into an adventure.

Steamworld Heist gets a distinctive soundtrack

Having got into Steamworld Dig thanks to PS+, I'm more than happy to pay up for Steamworld Heist, should it come to the Vita (it is listed as multiple platforms for now). As development progresses, it looks like the soundtrack is coming along brilliantly, with Steam Powered Giraffe providing the first track.

Chill out with Last Inua's launch trailer

This is from the Mac/PC version before you get too uncalm, but a Vita version of Glowforth's Last Inua has been on the cards and should follow to the portable at some point. Filled with icy but loving detail, it looks like a great platform adventure to add to the roster and is certainly high on the atmos factor.

If you like the soundtrack, you can listen to that on Soundcloud.

Kadokawa teasing two new RPGs for PlayStation

Teased at a recent Kadokawa event, these 2015 titles could be on any format, but they look RPG-like judging by the vectors, swords and so on, and Kadokawa has plenty of experience in this field. There's also the small matter of DRPG (dungeon RPG) tagged on the first one and SRPG (strategy RPG), any guesses?

Pocket RPG to light up the Vita

Pocket RPG from Tasty Poison Games is coming to the Vita from iOS and Android, bringing some much needed 3D dungeoneering with three character classes, a range of items to upgrade to and a focus on action, rather than endless exposition.

Its a few years old, but the Vita edition looks looks pretty smooth, if primitive and the dual-sticks are perfectly suited to its arcade nature. Wonder if the company's shooter Neon Shadow will also make it to Vita, perhaps if this sells decent numbers.

Girls and battleships game, Kan Colle Kai gets a first trailer

They might be tied down with battleship chains, but that's no worries for Kadokawa's girls of Kan Colle Kai where having an aircraft carrier strapped to your arm is no hassle. Announced over a year ago, there hasn't been much news since and the trailer doesn't really give much game play idea away.

But, since its based on a browser game, I don't think we're looking at a 3D spectacular here. The strategy game is scheduled for release next year and hopefully we'll see some gameplay next time.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Hatoful Boyfriend sets its beady eye on the Vita

Have pigeon fanciers ever had their own game? If not, then this isn't it either as its a pigeon dating game. One that has seen some rather good reviews, so don't cluck off right away. Based on a Japanese visual novel, this western interpretation being developed by Mediatonic, it explories the struggles and insecurities of the only human student’s search for love at a prestigious school for birds.
Romantics will encounter a feathered cast of characters and try to coo a suitable love interest. Those with darker tastes might discover something altogether more sinister. Follow your heart as you choose your path and go on starry-eyed dates, but be wary of fowl twists and turns along the way that could turn your love life upside down.

The game is out in early 2015 and will cost around €8.

Review: Aqua Kitty DX: Milk Mine Defender

Another graduate from the school of PSM, Aqua Kitty (trailer) gets a gameplay and graphically up-rated version for the big league PSN on Vita and PS4. The premise is simple and a well-trodden one for Defender fans, scoot left or right around the level, protecting your milk mining kitty buddies from the nasty robo-enemies.

Your ship can get a couple of upgrades, to boost its power but whatever you have, wave after wave of robots will be on your case. They get bigger, nastier and the screen gets busier as you dodge, weave and try to protect your buddies. With a mix of modes including Normal, Arcade and Infinity, there's plenty to play but its the same challenge, and there's a distinct lack of the DX-Factor to grab you for longer play.

What is there is very good, with great chip-tune music, chain kills to boost your score and local co-op (for the PS4 only). In game explosions are pretty and the visuals are clean and striking, but it feels like Aqua Kitty could deliver a little more.

For a start, the radar is tiny and the indicators are smaller still, looking up in a busy moment means near certain death. It wouldn't be too hard for some big arrows, more strident sounds or other indicators to help find your miners in distress. The weapons also feel a bit under powered, DX should mean power-up-up-up and add a little insanity in the game.

With leaderboards and trophies added its well worth adding to your Vita's list of shooters, but isn't quite up there with TxK, Gravity Crash or Pixel Junk, which give you that little bit more pizzazz and oomph. Still, definitely worth your time and perfect for quick blasts of nostalgic shooting action.

Score: 7.5/10
More reviews
Price: £5.49
Dev: TikiPod
Progress: Enough milk for a latte

Is Phantasy Star Nova a donkey?

Sega seems to be asking the question with a quirky new video that mixes some regularly-shown footage of Phantasy Star Nova with some donkeys at rest. Having just complemented Japan on its advertising taste, not sure where this is going, but its still better than anything Europe puts up. Perhaps this is just a marketing thing that us non-marketing types don't get!

Minecraft maintains one-ness on the Vita chart, beating Hatsune Miku sales

Minecraft sticks to the top of the Vita chart with cement-like tenacity, holding off the surging FIFA and newcomer Hatsune Miku whose launch trailer I forgot to post last week. She lands at No. 5, so I hope lots of digital sales are going on to keep Sega interested in the format!

Perhaps she did better than the PS3 version which only enter the PS3 chart at No. 26. Between them, they failed to dent the top 40, which doesn't sound good for any future projects. Overall, Minecraft PlayStation edition is down to No. 9 in the all formats.

1 - MINECRAFT: PLAYSTATION EDITION SONY. 1(last week) 2 (weeks on chart)

Check out Front Wars on PSM

Do you have a hankering for some Advanced Wars, or Battle Isle, style combat? Front Wars looks good on PSM, evolving from an iOS title, its a little more expensive but comes with none of that dumb in-app purchase nonsense.

Actually looks good enough for an upgrade to a full Vita title, if the developers are so inclined. Anyone else spotted any PSM gems recently, don't have the time to try them out and the PSM store is so frustrating these days.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

One Piece Unlimited World Red's Prestige DLC-filled trailer

One Piece is a great piece of anime theatre, but the games, not so much when it comes to western releases. Still, the recent Unlimited World Red adventure is now available in a Prestige Edition on PS Vita and PS3 with all the DLC and extras thrown in.

It weights in at 1.6GB and a hefty £45 price tag, but it looks great and, if you want the next One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 game to come west, probably needs to sell in decent quantities.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Save us from Sony's advertising department

I've seen the Vita ads aimed at younger players on Disney XD channel, and I get and understand them. I've seen the recent Sony Japan adverts and see what they're trying to do. So what in the name of all that's Holy is Sony Benelux trying to do with this piece of crap?

EDIT: Since Sony has pulled the video, it was basically a sexy female doctor doing Viz level jokes linking the Vita to playing with yourself, go figure!

Did Sony fail to see the whole sexism and gamer-gate storm recently? Isn't Sony Japan trying to sell a whole load of Vitas to girls, at least recognizing that they play games? Just as I was about to head out for the weekend on a vaguely happy note, Sony manage to drag the tone down!

Don't just ban this sick filth now, but make sure the creators never work in gaming again!

UPDATE: Looks the ad was pulled from Sony's YouTube channel, but really, why was it ever made in the first place?

Aqua Kitty DX sparkles with a new Vita trailer

The original PSM game from TikiPod is getting tarted up for a Vita and PS4 release next week. Check out the new trailer for all the better graphics, while keeping a cute retro feel, trophies, new modes and other extras. Loved this first time around for its fun Defender-like approach, with a feline twist.

God Eater 2 Rage Burst's new-ish trailer

The major update to God Eater 2 was unveiled at TGS back in September, this revised trailer has an extra 15 seconds of footage in it. Having compared the two, there are some very subtle differences, lights in buildings are a different colour, there's a proper release date at the end and perhaps a few extra frames here and there, plus a link to the offical site. Can you spot the other differences?

Phantasy Star Online 2 update's epic trailer

While all the fuss is about Phantasy Star Nova this week, PSO 2 is getting yet another update with new content. A new video from Sega shows off what the game might look like on a PlayStation 6, but I suspect the gameplay is more grinding and slightly less grand in scale than this representation, but enjoy it while you can and, if you play it on import, enjoy the experience.

Did notice that PSO 2 is working now on some servers around the world outside of Japan, so if you want to jump on-board, give it a shot with a Japanese PSN account. This update will hit Japan on December 12.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Telltale's Game of Thrones gets a proper trailer

We've been teased enough by Telltale Games and its story set in the Game of Thrones universe. Now a proper trailer is out to give up some of the goodies. Based on the award-winning HBO television drama series, Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series tells the story of House Forrester. Caught up in the events of The War of the Five Kings, they are placed in a precarious position where members of the household must do everything they can to prevent the house from meeting its doom. 

Some cast members of the series will reprise their roles in the game. While players will control five members of House Forrester in their story, the series will have them interacting with fan favorite characters throughout the season, including Tyrion Lannister performed by Peter Dinklage, Cersei Lannister performed by Lena Heady, Margaery Tyrell performed by Natalie Dormer, and Ramsay Snow performed by Iwan Rheon. Additional cast members will appear in later episodes.

The release still says other platforms to be announced, but I'm guessing the Vita is still a safe bet.

Sony Japan does Vita advertising properly

While Sony Europe pretends the Vita is for kids, only marketing it on Disney channels (as far as I've seen) Japan is taking a more open-ended approach, showing off the whole range of Vita games including Minecraft, PS Nova, Baseball and others. Sure, there's young people in it, but it has less of that "kiddie" dynamic.

Samurai Warriors Chronicles 3 trailer gets Vita-fied

I may have posted a 3DS trailer last week, or might not, too scared to look! If I did, here's the new Vita trailer from Koei, Tecmoand Omega Force to rectify matters. Its all in Japanese, but you get the gist, pick a character, and start slaying the endless enemies.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

How did the new pink Vita help sales in Japan?

The answer is, it almost doubled them, from 10K up to nearly 20K according to Media Create, not massive but a healthy boost in this quiet patch for releases. Dengeki Fighting Climax managed to sneak into the chart at No. 9, shifting 25,000 units, 10K down on the PS3 edition, while the girl-friendly fairy story Hanayamata: Yosakoi Live managed 6K in sales.

Out today in Japan is the new Monster Hunter Frontier G6 update and a host more girl-friendly games as the Vita tries to get some mojo back. Next week comes Fate/Hollow Ataraxia.

Monster Hunter Frontier G6 shows off its chops in new video

Men in small hats with big swords, its all going on in this Capcom trailer for the latest monster update to the Frontier part of the series. Hitting the PC, Vita and PS3, its getting a boxed release to goose interest and does look fun, says a deprived westerner looking on sadly.

Kadokawa's Durarara gets a stylish trailer

Yes, its just another Japanese visual novel with relationship issues all over the place, but the Vita is a bit light no news at the moment. And, this popular source anime and manga seems to be pretty popular, so enjoy the smooth tunes, pretty art and annoying shouty man voiceover.

I think this is the second title in the series, probably an uprated version of the PSP title and yes, I know there's supposed to exclamation marks all over the place, but tough! Its out early next year to coincide with the TV series.

Firefly Diary (htol#NiQ) gets a premium western edition

Arriving in February, NIS America brings up the Japanese take on all these ethereal indie wandering games that seem to do rather well. Despite the gibberish title, Firely Diary, as I'm sticking to from now on, looks like a pretty decent effort and package (for the US).

The puzzle action game will be available February 24 in North America as a PlayStation Vita exclusive! Digital copies of the game will be available on PSN and physical copies will be available exclusively for the US through the NIS Online Store. This title will also be available in Europe on February 25 as a digital-only release.

In this atmospheric game, you use the Vita’s touchscreen and rear touch pad to navigate a young girl through dangerous ruins. Two fairies—one operating in light, and the other in shadow—must work in tandem to uncover this girl’s memories and save her from the darkest of fates.

Rollers of the Realm gets a launch trailer

Rollers of the Realm from Phantom Compass is now available on the PS4 and PS Vita in the Americas for $9.99. The PSN versions will be on sale for 10% off for the week after launch. The PS4 and PS Vita versions will be released in Europe on Nov. 26 for €7,99 and for the week following launch, will be €6,99.

Enjoy the new launch trailer, seems a shame to launch this into the Vita's best games patch of the year, but it definitely has some unique qualities.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Minecraft on Vita shakes up the UK chart, a bit

Three whole new entries in the UK Vita chart today. With Minecraft on Vita managing to be the most successful launch on the PlayStation, doing better than PS3 and PS4. It was also the third biggest ever Vita game launch after Uncharted and the original FIFA Football. Shame there's no bundle or physical version! It can't stop the overall Minecraft PS version dropping a place on the UK chart, but still boosted sales by 79%, whatever that equates to?

Tales of Hearts R is in at two, while Batman 3 (without the DLC thanks to cheapskates Warner) manages to dislodge Killzone but not FIFA.

UPDATE: On its own the Vita version of Minecraft managed to make it into No. 15 in the individual formats chart, an impressive achievement, given there are three FIFA 15s and four CoDs ahead of it. (Make it No. 8 if you strip out the duplicates.)


Vita's big winter games score well in Japan

There's a right old battle between the 3DS and the Vita in this week's review scores, but I think we know which game will sell millions of copies. Phantasy Star Nova is just a point behind Pokemon, but even the with limited editions, will struggle to keep up with old Pikachu.

Visual novel Code Realize also does well, while it seems odd for Great Edo Blacksmith to be so well rated, given the shallow dating offering that Nippon Ichi is selling it at. Guess that's Famitsu for you. Between the three Vita sales might get a tickle, but will it hit the highs of this time last year? I doubt it.

Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire (3DS) – 9/10/9/9
Etrian Odyssey II (3DS) – 9/9/9/9
Phantasy Star Nova (PSV) – 9/9/9/9
Hero Bank 2 (3DS) – 9/9/8/8
Code:Realize – Sousei no Himegimi – (PSV) – 9/8/8/8
Great Edo Blacksmith (PSV) – 8/7/7/8

Sega's Phantasy Star Nova advert is full of surprises

Nice to see Sega getting into the PlayStation 20th anniversary vibe. With the game on-sale very soon, here's a TV spot from Japan showing just how eager player's friends will be to get involved. All seems a bit excitable for an "RPG", but hey, if Phantasy Star Nova needs yelling loons to sell it, then so be it.

Note, they're not playing on the limited edition models, or the Vita TV, perhaps that's something Sony will be pimping in the coming week.

Update: The game scored nines across the board in the usually glowing Famitsu review.

Friday, November 14, 2014

PlayStation TV gets price cuts in America

The PlayStation TV and the LEGO Movie bundle have both had price cuts on Amazon's US site. Down to $99 for the game, 8 GB card, DualShock 3 controller and PS TV unit, or just $79 for the unit, which seems rather a false economy.

That's only £50 for the core unit or £63 for the bundle so if you have a friend/relative or someone who can import it for you, UK gamers would save a fortune!

No idea if this is part of a seasonal sale, or Black Friday deals, or Sony just trying to shift some stock. No chance of this in Europe where the device has only just launched at £84, to absolutely no marketing or effort on Sony's part. I do love that if you search for PlayStation TV in the Vita section of Amazon UK you get nothing but Japanese imports, the official model is firmly linked to the PS4 section.

Will see if price cuts appear anywhere else. Of course, while the Vita only has the 3DS to worry about, the PS TV is fighting a whole host of new micro consoles and TV gadgets.

NIS's Great Edo Blacksmith gets an opening trailer

Is this the Japanese answer to Spelunky? A old digger, mining the hills for the best metals to impress his girl with? Not quite, in typical Japanese fashion Great Edo Blacksmith looks more dating game than exploring, with no hint of the questing elements in this trailer. There are a few pics in previous stories, so don't get too worried yet.

Could the sexy element help sell this all new game, something of a rarity these days, or will it be another Vita here today, gone tomorrow release?

PlayStation Now may go subscription-based, some time

Sony has mentioned that it is working on improving the PlayStation Now service, which is still lumbering around the States in Beta. Updating fans on the PS Blog, they mentioned that "Yes, A subscription plan is being worked on, and I’m very excited about it. We see it adding a complimentary option to rentals as a way to enjoy immediate access to PlayStation 3 games via PlayStation Now. More details coming in the near future!"

That still sort of ignores the grim reality that for older stuff people aren't going to pay per-game pricing, when they finally add PS2 and PS1 games to the mix. And that only very keen gamers will pay the hefty rates for current games, and overlooks the masses who own most decent titles.

Recent additions to the PlayStation Now list include: EA's Mass Effect 2, Mirror’s Edge, and Dead Space 3, which must be fun on the Vita. Still no mention of it arriving in Europe. This along with the PlayStation Vue TV service could bolster's Sony's revenue for mininal effort, so quite why it is taking so long, who knows?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Sony Japan celebrates 20 years of PlayStation

Sony Japan shows off its highlights, as the PlayStation brand hits 20 years,  with a PSP, a PSP Go and a Vita or two in the mix - expect them to be erased in any western version. Plenty of games on show too, you know - before the industry became madly obsessed with three or four franchises and dam the rest.

Also note the lack of indies, guess Sony Japan isn't quite ready to acknowledge that future yet. My own favourite would have to be Ridge Racer, which kicked the whole thing off.

Tales from the Borderlands gets trailed by Telltale

Telltale must be busy bunnies at the moment, not only are they working hard at Game of Thrones, but there's another Tales from the Borderlands adventures on the way. Its not confirmed for Vita, yet, but since most of the company's output has hit the handheld, eventually, we should be good for some more Borderlands fun in the not-too-distant future.

Pretty sure we won't be getting The Pre-Sequel despite all the hard work done on getting Borderlands 2 over to the Vita. Unless someone knows something?

$250,000 gets Rocket Ranger Reloaded for the Vita and PS4

A Kickstarter project with very good prospects? Rocket Ranger is a much loved 16-bit action adventure from Cinemaware, that the team are tarting up for the modern audience. Having already hit $11K in its first hours, there's a good chance it could hit the $250K stretch goal mark for the console versions, which includes the Vita and PS4. That's a decent reason to be optimistic.

The pledge page has plenty of goodies, as you'd expect as the team which had to have a couple of tries to get Wings Reloaded funded. Hopefully the epic Defenders of the Crown will also get an update one day.

PlayStation Vue not coming to Vita owners, yet

Do Sony employees have to urinate on a Vita before they're allowed into the building in the morning? Is that the way it goes now? Sony just announced a new cloud TV service coming to the States called PlayStation Vue for the U.S. and the Vita doesn't even get a mention on the Sony press release.

It is in beta, and coming to PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 users (with iPad coming soon and other Sony and non-Sony devices later). I mean, most media apps are tiny, it is not a massive effort to support your own platform first? Especially the Vita, which is great for watching TV in bed, while most people already have a cable box with catch-up, a TV dongle or micro console bolted onto their TV, making the PlayStation consoles also-rans in the media game.

Not only is Sony so late to the content game, aside from the joke of a Movies Unlimited service, but ignoring your own platform where it would most make sense is pretty bat-shit crazy. Then there's yet another damn Sony service to pay for, although this is non-contract,, isn't PSN and PS+, then PlayStation Now enough? 

I'm sure there's a few loyal fans who must have all-things Sony, but really - just provide the Netflix app in Europe or bolt this into the PSN subscription and we'll be fine, but another bill - Sony is starting to act worse than your cable company. Also, despite the press release's long list of features, it does nothing new, whatsoever - unless America can't watch live TV through an app somehow.

The beta is rolling out around some US cities. It will launch properly in 2015, I guess Sony believes the Vita will be all but dead then, so perhaps that's why they aren't bothering? Will Vue come to Europe? Given the fragmented market, at least not for a long time. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Tales of Hearts R launch trailer celebrates its arrival in the west

Tales of Hearts R launches in Europe and the US this week, check out the official launch trailer of the subtitled game, hope to get hold it soon for a review, but the scores so far have been pretty positive and higher than Freedom Wars, which suggests Sony needs to stop making monster hunting games and come up with a good RPG series for the Vita.

We are Doomed shoots the Vita dead

Sony has announced another indie shooter coming to the Vita, We Are Doomed from Vertex Pop is coming to the PS4, then the Vita sometime in 2015. It looks suitably over the top, as a twin-stick shooter where you zap polygon baddies with an insanely overpowered laserbeam.

It features a unique lo-fi (not retro!) aesthetic, with bold shapes, glitching geometry and neon colours. And of course, the madly overpowered weapon can be charged into a SUPERBEAM, which is when things get a little absurd.

Fantasy Hero: Unsigned Legacy Announced for Vita

This video popped up last week, but I never read a peep about it. Arc System Works, the folks behind the BlazBlue games will bring Fantasy Hero: Unsigned Legacy to the Vita late this year. The game was first shown in Japan at TGS 2013, it packs in robots and monsters in equal parts and seems to focus mostly on action with some upgrades, hopefully we'll hear more soon.

While Sony unveils yet another damn indie on the PSN blog, you would have thought that it would spent some more time and effort bringing games from major developers to our attention.

Alawar brings jocular jousting to Vita and PS4

Oh dear, if you've seen this on the iPad, then you'll at least know to run far away from its heavy use of in-app purchases. Its a jousting game where the player needs to conquer enemies to upgrade their armour to fight stronger enemies, etc. Three years on, while it got decent ratings on the App Store, is it something we really need to spend time on when we have Spelunky, Velocity and so on to play?

It does offer multiplayer and cross-save across PS4, Vita and PS3, but since the iPad version is free, why pay (it doesn't say what the price is on the PSN post) for it?

Vita sales clinging on to respectability in Japan

This week saw no big game releases, and the Vita's hardware sales slid to just under 10,000 according to Media Create, nudged back into 5-figures by some 600 defiant Vita TV sales.

Perhaps those Vita TV sales will rise as more Japanese gamers hear about the crazy GameTech device that adds a 7-inch screen and four triggers to make a super-Vita. Overall Vita remains just ahead of PS4 in Japan on weekly sales, but now needs big sales from Phantasy Star Nova bundles and the pink edition Vita to match or beat least year's solid end of year run.

Monster Hunter Frontier G6 hits Japan

Japanese gamers get another does on Monster Hunter with the G6 update goes live next week, with a host of new beasties, weapons, special quests and locations, including a huge black tower called "Tenro" with changing properties and many traps.

Check out the JP PlayStation page for a list of the new features, armour and so on, as Capcom keeps feeding the PC and Vita gamers stuck with this version of the series.

The updated game is getting a boxed release in Japan for 5,800 yen, which might shift a few more copies, but with the underwhelming original Vita releases sales, I can't see much excitement forming.

No Vita on Black Friday means black death for the handheld

Ouch, its been coming, but there's no Vita, Vita games or even a logo on Walmart's big Black Friday brochure or Best Buy's or CostCo, which is pretty much where a quarter of a billion Americans stare, when trying to decide what to buy this Christmas. There's nothing in the kid's section where some recent Vita games have focused, or even in the gun section to try and confuse NRA members.

Of course, there are other stores, but where WalMart leads, the rest generally follow. So, no sales boost for the Vita this Christmas. Even more so, as it looks like there's no Sony price cut to even try and goose sales.

See you in indie heaven, kids!

New Phantasy Star Nova gameplay clip

Once you skip past the first three minutes of stuff we've all seen before in the many, many very similar PSN trailers, there's some new gameplay to enjoy in the remaining six or so minutes of this clip, including multiplayer action and lots of bug bashing.

The Sega/Tri-Ace product has seen some 200 staff working on it, so it should be both a polished story and a cracking hunting game. Still no news of a western release though. The game hits Japan in a couple of weeks with some cool Vita and Vita TV bundles to boost hardware sales.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Enjoy Hyperdimension Neptunia's Rebirth2 opening video

The second RPG adventure from Idea Factory starring the console generation girls offers a new story, a newly revamped battle system, newly voiced characters, and new playable characters to improve on the PS3 original.

It should offer a refreshing gameplay experience for long-time Neptunia series fans and newcomers to the series. The game gets a physical and digital release early next year.

Vita games stuck on the indie Roundabout?

Here's yet another PC indie making the move to console and handheld. Roundabout is the debut title from No Goblin, In Roundabout, you need to pick up passengers and drive them to their destinations, but there's a twist.

Your limo has a drift issue that causes it to keep spinning in circles! To move around in Roundabout, you need to time your limousine's movement with the constant rotation in order to curve around obstacles, buildings, and more.

Set in 1977, Roundabout tells the rise to fame story of Georgio Manos, arguably the world's most famous revolving chauffeur. While driving players around the town of Roundabout, players will learn about the dizzying highs, terrifying lows, and secret loves of a revolving limousine driver.

DekaVita lets the PlayStation TV go portable

You own a Vita right? You might own a PlayStation TV. But, why not plug that PlayStation TV into a portable screen to create a PlayStation Vita TV! That's the slightly mad idea someone at GameTech in Japan, who make all kind of console and handheld extras, has had for around $170 or £108 (special offer, plus your PS TV, of course).

UPDATE: This thing could be genius, it is jamming the Vita tweet streams, and is way more discussed than official products like the Phantasy Star Nova bundles, the pink Vita model, or pretty much anything.

With a 7-inch IPS screen and plug-in connectivity, its not full-HD, with only 1024*600 res (which is probably no better given then larger screen than the Vita's 960*544 display), but has all the buttons (including four triggers) to play Vita games and Wi-Fi to Remote Play your PS4 titles. It can also act as a PS3 controller. 

While its not quite the PlayStation 4 Portable that I dream of, with full HD, its a step in the right direction, and who knows, if it sells, Sony might pick it up and run with the full fat version. Check out the official page of the DekaVita, which does, if nothing else looks a bit more comfy than the standard Vita.

GameTech is taking pre-orders now, note if they don't hit enough, then the product won't be made, but it seems to be going gangbusters on social media, so here's hoping!

Y2K RPG to bug the Vita

Having wowed the indie scene with their Gameboy-inspired RPG Two Brothers, AckkStudios is now working on a slightly more modern RPG, dragging themselves all the way up to the year 2000. Read the dev log for the latest information, and Sony will bring it to the PlayStation Experience event in December on PS4 and Vita.

Since the Vita is now dead to major games looks like inspired retro is the way to go, and this has some hallmarks of LucasArts adventures blended with some turn-based RPG action. But indie doesn't mean small on content, the game has a 400 page script and an impressive visual style.

Based around the infamous Y2K code bug, it tips the characters into strange new realms called Soul Space with a special grinding dungeon to help characters level up, without running through the same old levels.

It definitely sounds inventive and, if the combat and story are compelling enough, should be a fine addition to the Vita's indie roster. With this and Blackhole on the way, guess Sci-Fi fans are all set for the next few months.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Games of Thrones teases with a Telltale trailer

How will the bloody, sexy, politically charged and brutal world of HBO's Game of Thrones translate to the small screen? How will it blend the worlds of Westeros as read in the books and seen on the screen?

None of that is revealed in this teaser trailer, but you can be sure this will be a big deal for crossover gaming as Thronies (or whatever they're called) come to try and live out their fantasy by interactive means. Telltale will have a hell of a job on their hands to get the mix right, can't wait to see it. And the game is confirmed for Sony platforms, which should mean the Vita.

Hope you're all buying Wolf Among Us and Walking Dead season 2 to make it worth their while. Episode One (of six) will be called "Iron From Ice." We've also got Tales of the Borderlands to look forward to.

Freedom Wars heads to jail in the UK chart

Ouch, I know it did a lot of pre-orders, but Sony's last major Vita game (probably) Freedom Wars (see the review scores for the game) couldn't stick to the top of the Vita chart for longer than a week, even with its thorny appendage. It is already down to No. 3 behind Killzone and FIFA. That's why no one is developing for Vita in a big way!

Did any other console (except a Nintendo) have a launch game, Uncharted, in the top five nearly three years after launch?


The only other new entry was Muppet Movie Adventures at No. 20 suggesting that even kids aren't buying Vita games. With Batman and Minecraft out this and next week, after that it's pure Japanese on the schedule, at which point even having a Vita chart remains pretty much useless.

Will Assassin's Creed Rising Phoenix rise again?

Funny one this, there's a screenshot from Assassin's Creed Rogue popped up on obscure Japanese and Brazilian blogs over the weekend, showing off a "Coming Soon" tab on a Rising Phoenix poster. That was supposed to be a Vita game, accidentally revealed some 18 months ago, then pretty much canned.

Note that both Liberation and Rogue came from Ubisoft Sofia, who were the most likely candidates to develop Rising Phoenix. So, are they blowing off the dust on the Vita version, or are they reusing those assets for another platform? I can't see a Vita game on the cards personally, but it'd be pretty cool to see, given that Liberation got a HD remake on PS3. If not the Vita what do you think its for?

Or, is the Sofia studio just reminding its masters that it has potential projects in the pipe to avoid being shut down like so many other developers? Or is it a "funny" joke from the coders who wasted who knows how much time on the project?

UPDATE: Apparently the original pics were hoaxes, so this could well be Ubisoft's little joke... just another kick to the fragile hearts of the few million remaining Vita owners. Guess I should remove it from the TBA release list. And probably stop doing this blog since there's clearly never any major releases, ever.

Watch the Vita vanish into a Blackhole

Czech developer Fiolasoft has revealed its Blackhole (English page) that looks like a cheery Sci-Fi platform adventure. The recent trailer with jolly music and characters, see gravity playing tricks on you and your team as they explore a strange alien world. See the site for some pics and more videos, and let's hope the translation is as fun as the original sounds.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Don't monkey with Baboon! on the Vita

First uncovered back in July, Baboon will hit the Vita like a big angry ape, offering a range of puzzle and platform. While it comes from Spain, the game has a distinctly Japanese feel with top tunes provided by Hideyuki Fukasawa who was behind the music for many titles including Super Street Fighter IV.

Looks kinda fun, but makes me wonder if anyone fancies dragging Toki back to life, that was a fun arcade game that got a HD remake a few years back. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

MechRunner release takes aim at 2015

The cool looking robotic/tank shooter MechRunner will get an early 2015 release as the developers plan to bring the shiniest vehicles and shootiest gameplay to the PS Vita and PS4 versions. If you were a multiplatform backer of the Kickstarter project, a PC version should emerge this side of Christmas.

They explain in a new backer post that, "MechRunner will be released on PS4 and PS Vita early in 2015. We still need to work out the specific dates with Sony, but the move to 2015 is a combination of where we feel we are in development on those platforms and how/when Sony feels that the game will get the most exposure and support. Experience (and Sony) tells us that we don’t want to be lost in the 2014 Christmas shuffle. We would love to ship something earlier just for our backers, but unfortunately that’s not possible."

More half-arsed bundle misadventures from Sony

While Japan gets Phantasy Star Nova bundles and American gets Lego Movie PlayStation TVs, Europe is dumped with possibly the worst Vita bundle ever. The so-called Heroes Mega Pack comes with the following crud, two updates on 20-year old games, two low-rent conversions and a PSP original, and few real heroes among them.

Worise, there's no sign of a Minecraft bundle that could actually have made a difference to Sony's Vita fortunes. To be fair, there's a lot of content in there, and a lot of fun to be head, but it really shows Sony's struggles in stark relief to all the great 3DS bundles and games coming out. With an 8GB card at €199, I can't see many getting too excited.

Worms Revolution Extreme: The first game in the classic turn-based strategy series to come to PS Vita. Enjoy new features, beautiful graphics and classic gameplay.

Ratchet & Clank: Follow the wise-cracking mechanic Ratchet and his robot sidekick Clank in their first adventure, as they go from unwitting heroes to the baddest baddie-blasting duo the universe has ever seen.

Jak and Daxter: Precursor Legacy: Team up with a dashing hero and his sassy sidekick as they fight against dastardly outlaws.

Lemmings Touch: Control the fate of the lovable Lemmings using the PS Vita touchscreen to assign them jobs and abilities.

LocoRoco: Get your LocoRoco on the move using simple tilting and jumping controls. Eat, grow, roll and bounce through weird and wonderful environments as you solve puzzles, discover secret areas and bump into crazy characters.

Flyhunter Origins buzzes into life this month

3D bug adventure Flyhunter Origins will grace the Vita later this month for just £4.99 on PSN and offering a fresh take on the microcosm genre. The team at Steel Wool games has a deep background in CG movies (Bug's Life, anyone?) and this looks like quite the fun arcade adventure.

Take on the role of Zak; a bumbling alien spaceship janitor and wannabe Flyhunter. He works on board the Flyhunter Crew's legendary spaceship; 'The Frog', but deep down he longs for an exciting adventure of his own...

Somewhere in Earth's orbit, while the Flyhunters are deep in cryo sleep; The Frog's important cargo of extremely rare insects is mysteriously jettisoned into space, crash-landing back on Earth. It seems that the clumsy janitor Zak is the only one around to save the day. Can this accidental hero swap his sweeping brush for a super-cool fly swatter and take on the role of daring Flyhunter? Hurry! Help this little dude hunt down these expensive bugs before "The Investors" find out they're missing.

Big Ben brings Rugby 15 to Europe

Remember when pretty much every sport was available on every console, you could play cricket, endless games of football, American sports and so much more. As far as I can tell the Vita has one football game, one funny golf game, an NFL and MLB game, some tennis, Jonah Lomu and that's about it.

Brightening that dismal line-up a bit is Big Ben with an EU version of the Aussie developed (I think) Rugby 15. Already delayed from an autumn release, and I recently read about another delay, so I'm not sure if that will affect this version, it should hit early next year.

Features include, an Aviva Premiership Rugby license, TOP 14 and Guinness PRO 12 which  unites the best teams from Wales (4 teams), Ireland (4 teams), Scotland (2 teams) and Italy (2 teams) in a single league.

See Samurai Warriors Chronicles 3 in action on the Vita

Here's a hefty 15-minute look at the new Tecmo game hitting Japan in early December. Based on the 3DS series, our version will look a lot better and comes with new scenarios and combat systems as well as over 50 characters from Samurai Warriors 4,

Ultimately its the same old massed battles with your hero laying waste while surrounded by ridiculous odds. If that's your kind of then, then keep an eye out for a western release as Tecmo continues to support the Vita.

Phantasy Star Nova explodes in new mag scan

This week's Japanese magazines are out and here's a scan of Phantasy Star Nova from Sega and Tri-Ace looking pretty awesome. The game appears to be Sony's main hope of hardware sales for the Vita this year with a range of Vita TV and Vita bundles.

As with Freedom Wars, the focus seems to be on battling big monsters above anything else, do you think gamers will get bored of this singular battle theme sooner or later? Original full-size image here.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

All quiet in the Japanese charts

A couple of new entries on the Media Create chart this week, but nothing rampaging up near the top of the chart. Note the campaign to get Labyrinth of Grisaia to the west, starting soon hopefully.

06./05. [PSV] Jikkyou Powerful Pro Baseball 2014 (Konami) - 12.576 / 63.412 (-75%)
13./00. [PSV] Grisaia no Meikyuu: Le Labyrinthe de la Grisaia (Prototype) - 4.652 / NEW
14./09. [PSV] Super Hero Generation (Bandai Namco) - 4.026 / 20.828 (-76%)
18./00. [PSV] Dramatical Murder Re:code (Nitro+) - 3.133 / NEW
20./11. [PSV] Chaos Ring III: Prequel Trilogy (Square Enix) - 2.790 / 22.193 (-60%)

On the hardware side, Vita sales are back on the slide, and now looking pretty dismal compared to last year with just over 11,000 Vita TV and Vita handhelds sold. If things don't pick up in the last 8 weeks, the Vita could crawl over a million sales, after a stronger, more promising, year so far. 

We do have Sony's girl gamer effort starting soon with the pink model, new Value Bundles and Sega's Phantasy Star Nova bundles to give things a kick, but I can't see last year's highs being matched. 

Who will develop for the Vita if Sony won't?

Reports from visitors to EGX and other events say Sony had consigned the Vita to a dark corner of its massive PS4-dominated stand. Fair enough, the PS4 sells loads, it deserves prominence. However, Sony won't talk about, or promote, the Vita. Dismissing it during the recent FIFA 15 promotion, doing some half-hearted kids marketing and refusing to promote it at major events.

Even in Japan, larger developers are reducing features, delaying releases, all part of a seemingly inevitable decline. So, simple question: In a world where the Dreamcast is still supported, and developers code games for the MegaDrive or 8-bit computers, who and what do we need to build some viable Vita games?

Immediate help lies with friendly-to-Sony indie developers. However, Sony is already promoting PS4 as its lead indie machine, and it won't be long before incentive dries up for a Vita (or PS3 for that matter) version.

As we move into 2015 and beyond, that leaves non-aligned indies. While it is good to see a decent number of Kickstarter projects add Vita stretch goals, there's only so many Vita users with limited funds. Also, more games are starting to fail than succeed, and while some projects continue through self or other funding, there's only so much that can be done on a tiny budget.

Fortunately, development is a lot easier these days with Unity, the PSM Studio DevKit, GameMaker and other systems let anyone create. That means novices, homebrewers and bedroom coders can start getting their fingers dirty on the Vita, and while few will produce saleable titles, that's a start.

Initiatives like could see the next generation of developers getting together and starting new projects for some potentially raw and exciting new ideas about games.

Beyond these small pools of potential, I don't know where you look for future Vita games. By 2016 will anyone still care? Especially if Sony pulls the unwanted hardware from western shelves. If you've ever fancied learning to code, now is probably a good time to start.

Vita PlayStation Plus Line-up shrinks to a pixel on the landscape

This was never going to end well! With so few Vita games coming out, it is largely thanks to Cross Buy titles that we're getting any fun in the coming months across both the US and EU stores.

UPDATE: One interesting change on the EU update is the news that games on PS+ will be yours to keep forever, rather than just when your subscription expires. Not sure if that's for old titles, but the new ones seem to have no (or very distant [2023]) expiry dates. Of course, this could be a legal issue in one territory, or just a Sony cock-up.

On the plus side, we know know what not to buy. Certainly these games are great, but with the launch roster shrinking, even for indies it seems, the Vita's days of meaningful contributions (baring repeats) have to be numbered. Things aren't so bad if you have a PS3 or PS4, certainly getting closer to the tipping point to upgrade.


The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth (trailer) and Steamworld Dig on PS4,
Frozen Synapse Prime (apparently not Cross Buy) and Luftrausers on PS3,
The Hungry Horde and Escape Plan on PS Vita.


Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition (PS4)
Secret Ponchos
More TBC


inFAMOUS: First Light (PS4)
The Swapper (PS3 and Vita)
More TBC

Just remember to pick up Spelunky, Pix the Cat and Rainbow Moon before they vanish later today.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Binding of Isaac ties up the Vita with new trailer

I've heard a lot of good things about The Binding of Isaac from Nicalis, but know next to nothing about the actual game, it looks kinda weird and quirky in this new trailer, guess we'll find very soon indeed. The game is out in the US now and Europe tomorrow for PS4 and Vita.

As Final Fantasy Type-0 looks so good, Vita owners stiffed on Agito

Square in Japan has announced an indefinite delay on Final Fantasy Agito+ landing on the Vita, bumping it from its proposed January release to whenever, if ever. That's pretty worrying given the game is just another mobile port that Square should be pretty good at tarting up these days.

Fair enough, Square's commitment to visual quality is pretty tough, but I can't really see what was once a PSP game, need that much work, since the original assets should have been at a far higher quality anyway. If you want something nice to look at to numb the pain, here's how Type-O is progressing, the Vita game that never was, for about an hour.

Don't mention Share Play to your German friends!

I mentioned Share Play once, but I think I got away with it! If that reference passes you by, never mind! The basics are that Sony's Share Play service for PS4 in Germany is limited to those within the country, so no trans-European or global gaming for those with a Bavarian postcode etc. The details are buried in the very fine print in Sony's T&Cs.

Why mention this on a Vita blog? Because the technology is basically the same as Remote Play, and its not too hard to imagine Sony trying to get PS4 users to herd their Vita friends into upgrading by letting them have a shot at some PS4 titles, particularly ones that aren't too heavy on the buttons.

This is down to crazy German restrictions to keep out violent games, and is nothing to do with Sony, who are only following orders.

Would you be happy to Share Play on your Vita, or does that just seem like another feature the handheld doesn't need tying it to the PS4 when we'd rather have some actual games of our own?

Phantasy Star Online 2 passes a million Vita users

Sega's grim and shrinking financials show a company rapidly falling by the wayside, miles behind the bigger players. Still, on the plus side, PSO 2 now has over a million Vita users in Japan (just imagine how many they could have if they localised the damn thing).

They don't say how many are active users, but since the content keeps coming and the figure dates to September 2014, it could be even higher. Chain Chronicle V is also doing well, but only helping that series' performance as "stable" according to Sega's report (PDF). With operating income down 53% year on year, where will Sega end up next year?

The company is restructuring and reducing its forecasts, and also lowering the number of 2015 releases from 10 down to six, which doesn't sound great. If you look at the chart, its easy to see that sales of console and PC games are tiny compared to those of smartphone games. No mention of Phantasy Star Nova, which Sony is giving a promotion push for with new hardware bundles at the end of the month.

Alien Isolation and Football Manager 2015 (no Vita version this year) will help shore up foreign sales, but 2015 is looking very bare for the company.

See Hatsune Miku as never before

Ms Miku has been out and about recently, on tour, on talk shows and pushing out beyond the boundaries as a mere video game squeaky singer. Here's a whole new look to her, based on the rendering and video genius of Square's Tetsuya Nomura. Perhaps she'll look like this in a PS5 adventure game, who knows?

Check out Call of Duty Advanced Warfare remote play on the Vita

If you have a PS4, then here's how to play a decent FPS (apart from Killzone) on your Vita. It looks and plays fantastically (assuming you have decent WiFi), and has decent Vita control settings to make up for the lack of buttons. I still dream of a new PS4 Portable with all the buttons and a HD screen, but until then enjoy this. And, if you don't own a PS4, time to start saving or begging for Christmas.

c/o Marc the Geek

Monday, November 3, 2014

Review: Don't Die, Mr Robot

The Vita has been on a run with quirky fun arcade games recently, add Don't Die Mr Robot (formerly Avoid Droid) to the likes of Pix the Cat and Futuridium. The aim of the PlayStation Vita release is simple enough, guide Mr Robot around to dodge the nasties that come in from the edge of a level, then grab the fruit when they appear to create a ring of death to wipe them out, and create chains of fruity destruction.

With various modes, you can play this game for kicks, for high scores, or just to relax with an ambient soundtrack in chill out mode. In the main modes things get hectic pretty quickly and surviving for more than a few minutes is an act of skill, making this a great short-burst game to enjoy.

Alongside Arcade Mode are Remix and Time Attack modes to extend the fun a little. With a gorgeous clean design, hypnotic visuals and plenty of smirk inducing enemies (and hats), there's lots to love. It does feel a little unfair at first, requiring pixel-level accuracy as you try to thread Mr Robot's way though the rows and lines of enemies, until you realize the closer you get to enemies the more points you get with a graze bonus.

Even with laser beams limiting your options, snakes hunting you down and other nasties, its perhaps not quite as intense as Pix the Cat. However, this is still worth picking up for a quick blast and can be horribly addictive. It is also PlayStation TV compatible if you want to blast it on your big-screen.

Score: 7/10
Dev: Infinite State
Progress: Panicked and ran away
More reviews

Freedom Wars can't break into the all-formats chart

No surprise that Freedom Wars is top of the Vita chart, but there's no sign of it in the all-formats top 20 (waiting to see the top 40 list), and still no reviews from major sites, (plenty of fan sites have them though) can anyone smell conspiracy here? Although, as if any review will get noticed this week as the major sites fawn all over the latest Call of Duty remake (okay, I'm a bit jealous).

UPDATE: Stop the press, Freedom Wars managed to break into the top 40..... at No. 39!

No surprise that Minecraft is top of Sony's most popular PSN Vita chart and over on Amazon Minecraft is also the only representative in the all-formats 100 best sellers, currently at 53. Despite Sony Japan and partners putting major development chops into the game, I've seen no marketing from Sony Europe, So, again, if there was ever a time where you could stick a fork in the Vita as a developer's machine, this is it. Indies, ports and imports all the way folks.

UK Vita Chart...


Charts compiled by Chart Track, (C)2014 UKIE Ltd

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Ubisoft shows off Tetris Ultimate's battle mode

Not much to say about this really, its the most famous game on the planet and its coming to the Vita with multiplayer modes bolted on when you get bored of trying to beat your personal high score. The various modes were revealed last month, across Vita and 3DS, and the game is due out soon. Oddly the game doesn't appear on Amazon's US site, are they getting digital only?

Review: Run Sackboy, Run!

Okay, this is new. Seeing the Sony branding on an iOS game. I've had a short blast on Sackboy's endless runner on the iPad and am now writing the review on the iOS device, is this really the future? A Vita version is coming, but why wait?

UPDATE: Only five months on, the game finally hits the Vita! Guess Sackboy wasn't running fast enough, its a 294MB download. Naturally there's a sackful of fun trophies to grab with some fairly challenging ones for dedicated players, otherwise it all looks the same as the iOS version reviewed below

The free-to-play game itself is the usual branded cash-in on the genre, with themed levels, lots of dinky goals to achieve, plus LBP's stickers for a bit of distinction and the ability to get extra content for the core PlayStation games.

It feels a bit less thrilling than the Vita's runners, like Jetpack Joyride, perhaps because of Sackboy's slightly plodding nature, but throw in the jetpack, shield and progressively challenging levels and it's still fun to explore and enjoy the textured nature of his world. It does play better on the iPad rather than a smaller iPhone as you can enjoy the scenery more.

Tap to jump, hold for a big jump and swipe to rush away from the pursuing monster is all you need to do, while learning the levels and finding the goodies and collecting multipliers to ramp up the score. I dread to think how the Facebook integration will work on the Vita, but it works fine here.

Vibrant fun, there's some minor in-app purchases but it feels pretty light. I guess the Vita edition will be identical but I'm not hanging around. As a diversion, this is neat and the tie into the main games is something that most others can't offer, but really, its just another endless runner with little imagination in the mechanics. 

Score 7/10
More reviews
Price: Free to play
Dev: Sony
Progress: Some

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Got a minute to watch this Minutes trailer?

Red Phantom Games adds to the Vita's roster of quirky puzzlers with Minutes, the video does a better job of explaining things than I can, and it comes with a seriously addictive soundtrack. So, give that a twirl and get ready to burn more of your life on another insane puzzler that's out next week in Europe. It's Cross-Buy with PS4, so great news all round,