Thursday, July 30, 2015

Yoru no Nai Kuni videos look pretty sweet

Tecmo Koei has put up a couple of clips of Gust's RPG adventure Yoru no Nai Kuni which looks pretty stunning. Not only are the usual static talking characters all gorgeously animated and ebbing and flowing along with the conversation.

Yes, its all from the PS4 version, but the Vita edition should still be pleasing on the eye. Still waiting to hear from Tecmo if this will get a western release. The name alone, The Land Without Night would make it a must-buy - with the Japanese release hitting in September.

PS Plus in August shows Vita library running out of steam

August sees the PS+ line up change looking pretty diminutive. The Vita is getting one newish game, Stealth Inc. 2, well it came out in April. One recent game in Castle Storm and one ancient, but great, game in Sound Shapes.

Things aren't much better if you have one of the big consoles, with a limp Tomb Raider spin off, Limbo and God Of War hitting the roster.

Still, Stealth Inc. 2 and Sound Shapes make PS+ well worth it for the month, with the sequel to Stealth Inc offering more brilliant puzzle and platform action.

Yes, summer is usually a pretty dry month for releases, but what are the chances that the line up will continue to wilt beyond this, bar the odd new and free from launch indie?

There's also the slightly ominous trickle of Vita games being skipped or cancelled. While there's still enough in the launch list to keep us happy, it will only take a few more to fall by the wayside and things will thin out considerably.

There's also the juggernaut that is PS4, with Sony announcing great shipment figures in its latest quarter. That will gain more attention from developers and as the PS4 hits its stride fewer will be interested in making a compromised Vita edition.  

The Criminal Girls are back with a new trailer

Criminal Girls 2 isn't going to advance any genre very far, but that was hardly the point. The original was borderline smut for teenage boys, or disturbed men, and its unlikely this will vary from that template.

The dead/undead girls must find the real criminal among them in a vaguely fun RPG, while atoning for their own sins with hefty amounts of tickling, spanking, jiggling of boobs and so on. The limited edition version rams this home with a sleep eye mask with one of the girls arses on it, and an optional whipping crop.

There's a bit more detail in the RPG visuals this time around, with things looking a lot less pixelly, but I seriously doubt there will be much effort to expand the gameplay.

Dengeki Fighting Climax gets American limited edition

Arriving in October, Sega is bringing Fighting Climax west with its roster of manga characters from the likes of Sword Art Online and Durarara! While the EU version will be digital only, the Americas get a modest limited edition with a soundtrack CD.

The North and South American versions will have a special launch edition that includes a Bonus Edition Soundtrack CD from notable SEGA composers, including Teruhiko Nakagawa, Naofumi Hataya, Kenichi Tokoi, Jun Senoue, and others. This CD Soundtrack will only be available for retail pre-orders and a limited number of launch copies!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Vita now a firm third in Japan hardware stakes

Over the last six weeks the Vita has been pretty much locked in third or fourth place on the hardware sales front in Japan. That's behind the 3DS and more recently the PS4, with the odd Wii U good week getting in the way, according to Media Create.

With Sony Japan reticent to share any Vita game news this year, is it now focused on the PS4 too? Unless TGS has the odd bombshell or three, I think we can officially end Sony's big-league participation in its own product.

On the software front, Makai Shin Trillion nudges into the top five, but isn't exactly setting the chart alight, while Minecraft sells another 10K but drops out of the top 10 for the first time.

05./00. [PSV] Makai Shin Trillion # (Compile Heart) 18.506 / NEW 
11./09. [PSV] Minecraft:  (Sony) 10.180 / 263.487 (+3%)
14./08. [PSV] Taiko no Tatsujin: V Version (Bandai) 8.277 / 66.959 (-34%)
19./00. [PSV] Vamwolf Cross # (D3 Publisher) - 3.369 / NEW

Iconoclasts brings style and nostalgic platform action to the Vita

A game five-years plus in the making, Joakim Sandberg has spent ages refining the world of Iconoclasts, in which Robin and her crew of explorers take a journey across the wondrous world.

With Bifrost helping out on coding duties, the action platformer is packed full of gorgeous touches and magnificent sights. There's some more info on the PSN blog, but this looks like a must-buy for all gamers who fancy a trip back to the 16-bit era.

Summer sales open up across the PSN territories

Both Europe and the US PSN are having summer sales, starting this week. Here's the EU listing for Vita owners with a few newish games, but mostly old stuff, with the odd extra discount for PS+ subscribers.

PS Vita Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z Original price £24.99/€29.99 Offer price £9.49/€11.99
Killzone Mercenary Original price £14.99/€19.99 Offer price £6.99/€9.99 
Lemmings Touch Original price £7.99/€9.99 Offer price £3.99/€4.99
Looney Tunes Galactic Sports Original price £19.99/€24.99 Offer price £11.99/€14.99
Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy – Full Game Original price £34.99/€39.99 Offer price £19.99/€24.99
PlayStationVita Pets Original price £19.99/€24.99 Offer price £11.99/€9.99
SpongeBob HeroPants Original price £29.99/€39.99 Offer price £14.99/€19.99
The Amazing Spider-Man Original price £34.99/€39.99 Offer price £11.99/€14.99
The Walking Dead: Season Two – Season Pass Original price £15.99/€19.99 Offer price £6.49/€7.99
The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season Original price £14.99/€19.99 Offer price £5.79/€6.99
The Wolf Among Us – The Complete First Season Original price £19.99/€24.99 Offer price £6.49/€7.99
Uncharted: Golden Abyss Original price £19.99/€24.99 Offer price £5.79/€6.99
Unit 13 Original price £6.99/€9.99 Offer price £3.99/€4.99
WipEout 2048 Original price £11.99/€14.99 Offer price £5.79/€6.99
FIFA 15 Original price £34.99/€39.99 Offer price £9.99/€12.99
Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed Original price £34.99/€39.99 Offer price £19.99/€24.99
MUD – FIM Motocross World Championship Original price £6.99/€9.99 Offer price £3.99/€4.99
MXGP – The Official Motocross Videogame Original price £14.99/€19.99 Offer price £6.99/€9.99
Putty Squad Original price £19.99/€24.99 Offer price £3.29/€3.99
Rugby 15 Original price £29.99/€34.99 Offer price £11.99/€14.99 
Worms Revolution Extreme Original price £11.99/€14.99 Offer price £5.79/€6.99
WRC 4 FIA World Rally Championship Original price £24.99/€29.99 Offer price £6.49/€7.99

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Actual Sunlight will light up the Vita

Games about grown-up themes like depression and angst are pretty thin on the ground, but here comes Actual Sunlight. A Canadian game, it has been rebuilt in Unity 5 for the Vita and will be arriving soon.

Not much is obvious from the trailer, but there are plenty of lets plays of the original PC version if you want a look, but since its a short story, you'd probably be setting yourself up for some unfortunate spoilers.

The game is out on August 11 in the States, no word of an EU release.

Get a deep vision of Lost Dimension

NIS America, or Atlus, depending on who's publishing Lost Dimension for you, have popped up a new trailer showing off the game's deep vision mode that helps you peer into the minds of your colleagues, one or two of whom are traitors to the overall cause.

That's to defeat a bad guy known as The End, as if they couldn't be bothered to explain the game in terms of even the slightest complexity. See previous clips and screens for more detail. Here's the launch trailer...

Hopefully adding a slightly Danganronpa twist to this horribly vanilla looking tower-climbing, monster-bashing fest will make it slightly more palatable. The game hits stores at the end of August in Europe, out in the US today.

Dragon Quest Builders video is very, very Minecraft

Square just showed off a few minutes video of Dragon Quest Builders on its live event video (hopefully a replay will appear soon). In the clips we have some mining, some home building and a little bit of combat.

There's also what looks like NPCs to live and work in your village, where it seems you can build Inns and other useful social structures.

All of it was welded into the Minecraft template, down to the crafting table, which doesn't scream of originality. At the same event, Dragon Quest Heroes II was dated for next spring.

Catch the replay now, DQ Builders starts around the 28 minute mark!

Tri-Ace and Spike bring new RPG Exist Archive to the Vita

I thought Tri-Ace was done and dusted, but they're still going with Spike for a new RPG just announced for the Vita, with a big splash in the new Famitsu out later this week. Now much information to be gleaned from the mini-scan, except that 12 people are fighting their fates, or some such.

Hopefully a site will go live shortly after, so we can get a proper look, but if you squint a bit, there's lots of pretty worlds being drawn and some typical RPG action to enjoy.

Puzzler Dreii brings balance to the Vita

One of the more interesting games of recent years is now heading to the Vita in an upgraded form. Dreii is a peculiar puzzler requiring language and mutual help. Described as "collaborative physics conundrum"

The official site has a little info, but like the game itself, its rather enigmatic. Here's a clip from the original Drei, which was a hit iOS and Android game. The new version is coming to multiple platforms, but a Vita edition is most welcome, arriving this autumn.

Bandai shows off Gundam Conquest V in card, robot, strategy action

Part real time strategy, part card game, part robot battler, Bandai's Gundam Conquest V tries to show off a lot of game in a couple of minutes. Still, we're probably better off waiting for a pure game play clip to figure out in the intricacies of the game.

The multiplayer aspects look fun, but have to hope that's in online not local mode for the game to stand any chance of doing that in the west, not that I think we'll get this one. Out in a month, pre-order bonuses include some extra cards.

Here's a slightly longer video taking a look at the bots trying to bring down a defended position, it doesn't look the most tactical of games, but hey' at least a few words are in English for importers.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Handball 16 sportsing up the Vita in autumn

Don't sneer folks, Handball is a huge sport in Europe, especially in Spain (one of the Vita's few bright spots) Germany, Scandinavia and the eastern states. So, BigBen's Handball 16 title could do quite a bit of business across the continent. Seems to be an update to the PC Handball Challenge series.

And with the Vita so short of sports games generally, hey - why not give it a go? The game is due out in autumn (countries not specified) and has one arty trailer to its name, hopefully the game will match that ambitions. A couple of early screens are over on the game's Facebook page.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Snail's W3D Android handheld console coming September

Amazon US has a 29 September release date for Snail's 3D handheld that was first announced earlier this year. Packing an Octacore MediaTek CPU to drive a killer 1080p IPS screen, it could be pretty good for gaming, if there were any mega Android, beyond the usual freemium fluff, games on the way. (Maybe there are, I don't really care).
However, the $399 price tag will probably kill this stone dead, and then interested gamers can pick it up for $199 as they try to clear stock in early 2016. Then again, it does have microSD cards, so can piss all over the Vita in that respect!

The scary thing is all the shit devices (and the Xperia Play) below the main listing, do people actually buy these knock-off monstrosities?

China opens up console sales across the nation

China's closed market was opened up to the new consoles in Shanghai last year, but the country will now allow console sales across the nation. Presumably there will still be strict content controls, with the nation currently huge fans of morally-safe online role playing battle and fantasy games on PC.

To this end, Sony will be having another announcement, after its delayed and limited launch last year of PS4 and Vita in China. That's at the ChinaJoy trade show next week, although with the limit on what types of games can be played, and China's obsession with PC and mobile gaming, the joy of a billion plus more potential customers might be tempered by most of them not giving a hoot.

Unfortunately, with China's stock market fast going down the toilet, will the country's newly minted potential consumers soon be more worried about where their next meal is coming from, rather than silly little entertainment gadgets like these.

Nnooo's Blast 'Em Bunnies is one of the first western games to get a confirmed release over there.
“China is a relatively new market for PlayStation and we’re excited to be bringing Blast ‘Em Bunnies to the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita there,” said Bruce Thomson, Business & Marketing Director at Nnooo. “It’s also new territory for us and we’re partnering with Shanghai-based publisher Circle Entertainment who know the market well."
That PR guff-speak at least shows how companies can positively partner with local companies to make an impact.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Resident Evil 2 Revelations dated for August

Start polishing your favourite anti-zombie rounds, the Frima-developed version of Resident Evil 2 Revelations is due to hit the Vita on August 18 in the States for $39.99, and hopefully the same week in Europe.

The release is digital only, which is a major shame, can't see them getting away with that in Japan, and features most of the original version features according to the PSN blog with multi-device co-op. No sign of how big the download will be.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Dragon Quest Builders game looks so cute

What do you think, the first Vita game to sell a million? What's not to love about Dragon Quest meets Minecraft (which is probably the closest we have to a million seller).

The official site has the first screens up (sorry, missed these yesterday when I was out in the real world) and they look fantastic. Sure they're PS4 shots, but as long as the gameplay holds up on the Vita, I'd imagine it doing great sales. 

Hatsune Miku joins the cast of Dancing All Night

Well, I guess we could have filed this one as inevitable, squeaky vocaloid queen Hatsune Miku has been unveiled as a DLC character for Persona 4 Dancing All Night, arriving in the Japanese version next month.

Her song will be called Heaven, expect a video of Ms. Miku in action soon, but for now we have some art and a screen to enjoy.

Net High gets a super-bright intro trailer

Don your shades, 'cause this one is brighter than the sun, and it has a familiar palette to another popular school-based RPG on the Vita. Marvelous' new RPG is out in November and this clip follow's on from May's teaser.

Meet the characters over on the latest Famitsu article. The aim of the game is to bring down those who are overly boastful about their lives online, which would be a great real life activity.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Vita sales 200,000 down on 2014 in Japan, where's the big spike coming from?

We're into the summer slump now with not much happening on the Media Create chart, and Vita sales drifting gently lower again. However, looking at the bigger picture, comparing the sales so far over this year and the last two years, the Vita is already 200,000 sales down on 2014, and 50,000 down on 2013's numbers.

Nothing seems to have moved the Vita since the last God Eater, and while there's another one on the way, most titles seem mildly popular at best. Will Sony Japan try and pull out an ace for the Vita at Tokyo Game Show, or will it follow its western counterparts and let it drift to focus on PS4?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Vita gets a mention in WRC 5 trailer

Since development had moved on from Milestone in Italy, there was some doubt if the new version handled by BigBen would hit the Vita. That said, I had it on the release list anyway, but, the logo is there at the back of this trailer, even if it is in quotes, so consider it official.

The trailer gives incredibly little away about what features will be in the game, hopefully the coders can cram in plenty of modes and detail for Vita racers.

Japan puts its stamp on the Vita

Japan is swimming in four million Vita consoles, so to make each salaryman's edition slightly different, ignoring the 40 odd variants available, Sony will now engrave a Vita or Vita TV with a message for you, rather like Apple used to do with iPods back in the day.

Perhaps "You are not alone" would be a good message, with the text going anywhere on the back panel or edge of the Vita or on the front of a Vita TV.

See the PSN Japan blog post for more details and examples. Expect this service to come west when you can legitimately put "hell has frozen over" on the back of your handheld, despite the English Helvetica examples they use.

World Trigger: Borderless Mission gets some gameplay clips

Its a bleak world in the realms of Namco's Borderless Mission. Mikado City is home to empty train stations, whole estates devoid of life. Probably because of the huge organisms floating around them, demanding to be battled to a pulp. Such a shame that the first few seconds, with that blue cyber tinge to it looks so cool!

But it seems to be the main failing of the Vita that it can't add some life to its games, Assassin's Creed and Akiba's Trip being the obvious exceptions. So, in these pallid towns, your team battles the bugs, with story mode for those who care why you're battling them, and the inevitable  Battle Mode multiplayer for those who just want to go out and whack things.

The game is out in September, I'm not sure I could summon up much enthusiasm for a western release for a game that looks so flat and unimaginative.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Corpse Party: Blood Drive ready for pre-order

Marvelous will ramp up the dread with a new Corpse Party game later this year. The download version will cost £29.99 while a limited edition version with CD and art book will cost £44.99.

The game itself is an end to the Corpse Party series, that started on the PSP. This edition features a top-down 3D perspective and lets players roam the nightmarish high school. By dodging, disarming, running, solving and interacting with the larger world, players must survive and discover what lies at the core of the events happening at Heavenly Host Elementary.

Most of the indoor screens are too dark to show much action, so here's a couple of the brighter ones.

Odin's Sphere all new for Vita from Vanillaware

Atlus and Vanillaware have revealed what looks like a sequel of sorts to Dragon's Crown, with a party of young adventurers taking on a series of giant scaly beasts across Vanillaware's trademark 2D scrolling plains.

Actually, Odin's Sphere is a total remake and re-imagining of a PS2 title. It looks a bit more role-playing focused than the battling action of DC, with a single character focus, and perhaps a bit leass thigh and cleavage! Still, I'm guessing there's plenty of character swapping and class progression to enjoy

The game, subtitled Leifdrasir, will arrive in Japan in early 2016, on Vita, PS4 and PS3. It looks like a pretty good bet for a western version as Atlus are handling publishing duties.

UPDATE: That didn't take long, Atlus has confirmed the game for a 2016 US release, with a slight name change to "Leifthrasir." No word on Europe so far, but that shouldn't be too far behind, even if its a digital only release.

Next Order DigiMon game gets a site

While we wait for Cyber Sleuth (or was that a Scooby Doo adventure?) in the west, Japan is revving up for a new 2016 DigiMon adventure. It seems Namco is revving the series gets back up to speed on the Vita.

Take a peek at the Japanese site for a peek at some early art, on DigiMon World Next Order. There will be plenty more to come in the months ahead, In the meantime, Cyber Sleuth will hit the US and Europe later this year.

Friday, July 17, 2015

US PSN flash sale kicks off

Save a bunch of sci-fi games in this weekend's US PSN flash sale. Is Lumines sci-fi? Still, Gradius, Soldner and TxK are well worth picking up.

Alien Breed PS Vita $2.50 $9.99
Another World – 20th Anniversary Edition PS Vita $1.60 $7.99
Aqua Kitty – Milk Mine Defender Dx PS Vita $3.15 $8.99
Bit.trip Presents… Runner2: Future Legend Of Rhythm Alien PS Vita $2.00 $9.99
Final Horizon PS Vita $4.55 $12.99
Frozen Synapse Prime PS Vita $4.00 $19.99
Futuridium Ep Deluxe PS Vita $2.50 $12.49
Hyperdevotion Noire: Goddess Black Heart PS Vita $16.00 $39.99
Hyperdimension Neptunia Rebirth1 PS Vita $6.00 $29.99
Hyperdimension Neptunia Rebirth2 PS Vita $16.00 $39.99
Kick & Fennick PS Vita $3.20 $7.99
Lumines Electronic Symphony PS Vita $8.10 $26.99
Metrico PS Vita $2.80 $13.99
Pixeljunk Shooter Ultimate PS Vita $3.00 $14.99
Proteus PS Vita $3.50 $13.99
Race The Sun PS Vita $3.50 $9.99
Söldner-x 2: Final Prototype Complete Bundle PS Vita $3.25 $12.99
Stardrone Extreme PS Vita $1.00 $3.99
Switch Galaxy Ultra PS Vita $4.20 $11.99
Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack PS Vita $2.00 $7.99
The Swapper PS Vita $3.00 $14.99
Titan Attacks! PS Vita $2.40 $11.99
TxK PS Vita $2.00 $9.99
Gradius Collection PSP $5.00 $19.99
Star Wars: Battlefront II PSP $2.00 $9.99

Dungeon Travelers 2 will take you to class

From Fighter to mage, scout, maid and speiler, Dungeon Travelers 2 has a bunch of classes and sub-classes that you can fine tune for a happier dungeon exploring experience. All of which you can muck about with, to your heart's content.

You have the option of resetting the character's skill points and redistributing them as you see fit. Drop all those points into a new skill to see how it performs at max level. Doesn't work well in combat? Reset and try something new! Characters will always be reset to level 15, 30, 45, etc., so try something new if it doesn't fit in with your party's composition. And because they're sub-classes instead of a true new class, players can experiment with hybridization to find plenty of viable combat synergies!

The game is due out in August in the States, and Europe in the autumn.

Atelier Sophie gets a first look trailer

Gust continue to do the Vita proud, with a new Atelier tale, about a girl and her book/girl, as you can see from this first peer trailer. There's some very tiny snippets of in-game action, but enjoy the tinkly piano and the quality artwork that make up the rest of it.

The game is out in September, and could be a decent hit for the Vita.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Infinite Stratos 2: Love and Purge singalonga trailer

As visual novels keep picking up fans in the west, here comes another effort from 5pb for Japan. Infinite Stratos 2 features more investigative girls trying to keep the peace in school, with what I thought were stomping great mechs kicking about the place. Not that you'd get that from this clip where the usual love and romance dominate.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Vita sales flat in Japan as Taiko no Tatsujin drums into the charts

Bandai's Taiko no Tatsujin (Drum Master) is the only big entry for the Vita this week in Japan, tapping away at No. 3 with just over 46,000 sales. That's way below the 3DS big hitting duo of a new YoKai Watch and Phoenix Wright, but not bad for a near casual title.

01./00. [3DS] Yo-Kai Watch Busters: Red Cat Team / White Dog Squad (Level 5) - 693.538 / NEW
02./00. [3DS] Great Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - (Capcom)  135.690 / NEW
03./00. [PSV] Taiko no Tatsujin: V Version (Bandai Namco) - 46.101 / NEW

Minecraft sticks in the top 10 for the Vita, shifting another 11,000 plus, and now almost at 250,000 boxed copies. You can see why Square are so keen on their Dragon Quest Builders game. All that action helps the Vita shift another 14,250-ish units in Japan, just down on last week's numbers.

Call of Duty on £9 on EU PSN sale, plus a load of bargains

There's another mixed bag sale hitting the EU PSN today. Top of the list, no matter how limited the game is, is Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified for just £9.00/€10.00. Sure its a huge download with some big patches, but it has to be worth a shot at that price.

On the indie side, you can pick up a host of bargains. If you don't own them, then you absolutely have to pick up Spelunky, TxK and Sine Mora, with further discounts for PS Plus subscribers.

BIT.TRIP Presents… Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien 50% off Original price £5.79/€6.99 Offer price £2.90/€3.50 PS Plus price £2.32/€2.80

Broken Sword 5 – The Serpent’s Curse: Episode 1 60% off Original price £9.99/€12.99 Offer price £4.00/€5.20 PS Plus price £3.00/€3.90

Broken Sword 5 – The Serpent’s Curse: Episode 2 60% off Original price £9.99/€12.99 Offer price £4.00/€5.20 PS Plus price £3.00/€3.90

Draw Slasher 40% off Original price £3.99/€4.99 Offer price £2.39/€2.99 PS Plus price £2.00/€2.50

Eufloria HD 50% off Original price £7.99/€9.99 Offer price £4.00/€5.00 PS Plus price £3.20/€4.00

Flyhunter Origins 50% off Original price £5.79/€6.99 Offer price £2.90/€3.50 PS Plus price £2.32/€2.80

Fruit Ninja 40% off Original price £3.99/€4.99 Offer price £2.39/€2.99 PS Plus price £2.00/€2.50

htoLNiQ: The Firefly Diary – Full Game 30% off Original price £11.99/€14.99 Offer price £8.39/€10.49 PS Plus price £7.19/€8.99

Joe Danger 2: The Movie 40% off Original price £6.49/€7.99 Offer price £3.89/€4.79 PS Plus price £3.25/€4.00

Lets Fish! Hooked On 40% off Original price £7.99/€9.99 Offer price £4.79/€5.99 PS Plus price £3.20/€4.00

Nihilumbra 40% off Original price £7.39/€8.99 Offer price £4.43/€5.39 PS Plus price £3.70/€4.50

Nun Attack 30% off Original price £1.99/€2.49 Offer price £1.39/€1.74 PS Plus price £1.19/€1.49

OlliOlli 60% off Original price £7.99/€9.99 Offer price £3.20/€4.00 PS Plus price £2.40/€3.00

Poltergeist: A Pixelated Horror 30% off Original price £6.49/€7.99 Offer price £4.54/€5.59 PS Plus price £3.89/€4.79

Sine Mora 70% off Original price £7.99/€9.99 Offer price £2.40/€3.00 PS Plus price £1.60/€2.00

Spelunky 60% off Original price £11.99/€14.99 Offer price £4.80/€6.00 PS Plus price £3.60/€4.50

Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack 50% off Original price £5.79/€6.99 Offer price £2.90/€3.50 PS Plus price £2.32/€2.80

TxK 50% off Original price £5.79/€6.99 Offer price £2.90/€3.50 PS Plus price £2.32/€2.80

The Fall Price:£7.99/€9.99/$14.95

PlayStation Now hits open beta in UK, but not on Vita

Sony has announced an open beta for its PlayStation Now subscription streaming service for UK customers. Those on PS3 and PS4 can jump right in. Those using a range of Bravia TVs, can join in the fun later today.

Vita users, I'm afraid we're out in the cold, with the press release not even mentioning Sony's handheld. There's still a Vita on Sony's PlayStation Now page, but that's probably just a legacy.

New Sony 4K TV buyers can get a free DualShock 4 controller 30 days free (of a beta service? how kind!) via a Sony offer.

The beta has a range of games priced from £2.99 and £7.99 to rent for 48 hours or 30 days. Examples include, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, The Last of Us and God of War: Ascension from Sony, Bioshock Infinite, Final Fantasy XIII, Tomb Raider Underworld and others from third parties.

Farewell PlayStation Mobile, you crazy mixed-up kid

PlayStation Mobile (PSM) bites the bullet later today (or whenever Sony finally decides to pull the plug). If you have time, go have a quick peek at some of the insanely amateurish (dong), some insanely cheap and brilliant (A Healer Only Lives Twice), and some quite high profile (Final Fantasy Chaos Rings) titles on the pages.

Here's my list of must haves and free games to pick up, but for now it is time to wave goodbye to Sony's cockamamie idea of an indie service. I suppose it made sense a few years ago, as an easy way to get games that were headed to Andoid on the Vita, and to appeal to new developers.

Clearly it never took off in a big way, but like the PlayStation Minis program, it helped bring some decent games to the Vita (Life of Pixel probably being my favourite), so we should be grateful for that. It also gave us access to a load of Japanese and other foreign indies that we would otherwise have never got a look at thanks to Sony's stupidly region limited main PSN store.

However, then Sony cut off the Android comparability feature, for reasons known only to the loons at HQ. And now the whole service will shuffle off into the night, neatly bookended by the bright and positive launch heralded by FuturLab and TikiPod titles and ending with the blissful carnage of Necrosoft's Oh Deer!

At least Sony has given plenty of warning, so if you did buy some of the more expensive games you've had time to download them. Yes, there's some crap in there with a few one-star ratings, but with plenty of quirky, fun, and serious games across many genres. Is it really worth killing the idea stone dead?

With no search and limited discovery features, yes the store was a mess, which is all Sony's fault, and the lack of love and promotion lies firmly with Sony. Such a shame, after they had got the scheme moving with what was quite a big push at the time.

Hopefully some of the better games will come to native Vita, with trophies and a bit more polish, but while you can, there's plenty of free, or below a £/$/€ games well worth picking up.

Finally, a big congratulations to any developer or home coder who got their game up on PSM, it may not have been the success you were hoping for, but hopefully it was the start of something great for you.

God Eater Resurrection first video, more news today

There's a whole load of GE Resurrection news hitting Japan today, with a feature in the print issue of Famitsu, scans likely to appear later.

There's also a trailer on Nico Nico (the world's worst video service) a quick glimpse of the action and characters, but nothing to get too excited about. Okay, found a better version on Bandai's YouTube page.

The game is an expanded remake of the PSP's God Eater Burst, hitting PS4 and PS Vita later this year.

More pics here! Also floating around is news on the anime, manga, the soundtrack, and probably the lunch boxes too.

Check out the Ray Gigant opening movies

Hitting Japan in just a couple of weeks, Ray Gigant has had plenty of gameplay clips in recent weeks. Now Bandai reveals its opening movies and the big, bad and dangerous to know monsters that form the core of the RPG's battles.

The Experience developed title looks pretty slick and moves on from its traditional RPG games of recent times. There's three opening movies for the different characters, check them out.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The End of Lost Dimension is already here

Strange, the game isn't out until the end of July, but already Atlus is showing us The End.... Except he's the master villain responsible for the Pillar that you team has to climb up, even as they tear each other apart due to all the villainy and treachery among their ranks.

There's a lot more to Lost Dimension than those bland uniforms, and endlessly dull trailers have suggested, just hope the game keeps it all together on release. 

Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess gets a launch trailer

Deception IV hits EU stores this week and Tecmo has a new trailer of the naughty mistress and her cunning plots to put an end to the many fools that would challenge here. It all looks rather fun with huge and ludicrous deaths lined up.

Is it really fun though? Don't recall seeing many reviews for the previous Deception IV: Blood Ties title, will have a dig and see what the scores were. Remember, you can still pre-order for some extra DLC traps.

Tekken X Street Fighter still in development

Way down at the bottom of my release list sits Tekken X Street Fighter, a game up there with Half Life 3 in vapourware terms. However, the game is still a goer according to producer Katsuhiro Harada, with next-gen platforms a target and some sort of surprise feature promised for gamers in the latest Famitsu.

If the Vita is still on the platform list is one question that isn't answered, but given Bandai Namco's support for the handheld, there's still a degree of hope, if not confidence.

With all the other big hitting brawlers on the market, the time is probably ripe for another crossover, but reading between the translated lines, I suspect a 2017 launch would put this out of the Vita's range.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Black Witchcraft bringing arms to the Vita

The trouble with all these indies is its easy to miss a few. This video came from May and I don't think I've ever seen or heard of Black Witchcraft until now. It packs a feisty witch with a boat load of guns and ammo against a host of undead and other monsters.

Developed in South Korea by Quattro Gear, it packs in RPG elements and some pretty slick gunplay. Could easily be a hit, and will hopefully make it out before Christmas.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Japanese Vita video overload, Ray Gigant and Tokyo Xanadu in action

Falcom's Tokyo Xanadu is looking pretty cool in this latest snippet ahead of the game's September release. Slightly less succinct is one of those slightly too-keen Japanese let's play videos of Ray Gigant from Bandai.

The gameplay kicks off around the 10 minute mark, I do love the big demons, but hopefully the pace is bit better than this crew make it out to be.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Review: Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved

Why hasn't the PS Vita got a HD screen? Why! Why! Why! It might sound odd shouting that three and a half years into owning one, but this is the first time it really matters to me.

Look at those crinkly lines, look at those jaggies, its enough to make me try and rip out the screen and try and replace it with an iPhone 6 display, something Sony should have at least tried by now! Or, I could just get the iOS version, without controls, not sure I'd like that.

Also, how are you supposed to take good screenshots on an intense twinstick shooter? I would use PR shots, but they're all 3Kx2K bullshots at 4MB an image, so don't fall for those pics on the Sony blogs! Instead, I apologise for these poor efforts, if I grab any better pics I'll update them.

Moans over, fortunately, the rest of the game is polished enough to help me overlook the Vita's ageing OLED technology, and Geometry Wars 3 is quite the experience. Beyond the main Adventure mode, where you dive into increasingly tough challenges, meeting new challenges and enemies, GW3 is full of side new tricks and diversions to keep you hooked.

Whichever version you play, from the purity of Pacifism mode to the Classic and Hardcore modes, there's plenty of challenge with levels starting out flat, then wrapping around 3D models to add depth to the battles.

Enemies start out with the direct approach, trying to ram your ship to end your mission, take a life or eat up a bit more time. Then they get a bit random, zigging and zagging around the level, before growing tails, and many other tricks.

Aiming to hit the three-star challenge scores to open up all the cool new toys is a big part of the game. If you're a bit of a fudger when it comes to arcade games, the fun might not last too long. Still, you can be pulled in by the soundtrack and the stellar level designs, and keep trying hard just to see what happens next, with boss baddies, and more cunning level designs to try.

With bags of challenge, its amazing how much you can get out of a game where all you do is move and shoot. There's your own scores to beat, the online leaderboards and unlocking the various power ups. Yes, it should look better in the HD era, and there's no way it sticks to 60fps when the screen gets busy. Still, well done to Lucid Games for getting this PS4 title running in any decent shape on the Vita and adding the neat two-on-one-screen multiplayer mode

Score 8/10
More reviews
Developer: Sierra/Lucid
Progress: Still trying to take good screenshots

Sony giving away a PS TV with 1TB PS4s

For a limited time, Sony UK is offering a free PlayStation TV gadget when you buy one of the new swanky 1-terabyte models through various pre-order partners. How long until they appear in McDonald's Happy Meals?

Having written down the value of them in the corporate accounts, Sony can pretty much give them away with anything to get rid of the stock. Anyone know if they're still making the things? They sell less than a 1,000 each week in Japan, and I can't imagine them keeping going beyond 2016.

The model goes onsale next week, but I'm hanging on for the new low-power model and hopefully a price cut this winter.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

New western Persona 4 Dancing All Night trailers groove out

Persona 4 DAN comes west later this year and Atlus is trying to match the insane video output of the Japanese counterparts with lots of early footage. Here's Rise and Yo grooving on down, hope the game does better than it appears to have sold in Japan.

As far as the story goes, players get pulled onto the Midnight Stage when the spotlight turns to mega-idol Rise and her group, Kanamin Kitchen. Members of the band have disappeared and it's up to her friends to mount a rescue mission - where the Shadows can only be defeated by dance.

Dancing all Night sales head off to bed

Looks like 100,000 is about the limit for Vita games these days as the Persona 4 exclusive title spin off's sales collapse down to 13K in Japan's latest Media Create chart.

That's enough to keep it in the top 4, ahead of Minecraft on the Vita, which shows just how something new and different can do, as that approaches 250,000 boxed sales (and over 500,000 including digital). No wonder Square are keen on the Dragon Quest Builders idea. The only new entry is Zettai Geigeki Wars from Acquire, shifting a tiddly 2,831.

As a result Vita sales are down to 14,800 on the week, at the bottom of previous years' ranges. Whatever your views on success of Dancing All Night, its hard to see major developers pushing ahead with big Vita projects if they won't sell massive numbers.

Curses 'n Chaos trailer brings the pixelly carnage

Tribute Games has delivered some lovely-looking pixel titles to the PlayStation family, but looks to have stepped up their game with Curses 'n Chaos. Packing in huge monsters, plenty of weapons and ways to use magic and powers, it should be fine addition to any retro gamer's collection.

Steins;Gate 0 gets a sneak peek trailer

Have you played Steins;Gate? If not check out my review and pick it up - in store, not the over priced PSN version. I've only managed a few of the endings, but intend to return to it soon.

Given its continued sales success in the UK, and imminent launch in America, hopefully PQube will bring this and the Chaos;Child games our way too.

Here's an early look at Steins;Gate 0, the "true sequel" which hits Japan later this year. It seems to have most of the same cast, suggesting even more playing with time than the first visual novel.

Dragon Quest Builders is a Minecraft clone with RPG features

The Vita is already getting a DQ game in the form of Dragon Quest Heroes II, but Square's coming on strong with a Minecraft clone/rip-off in the form of Dragon Quest Builders. It will also land on PS4 and PS3, so there's hope for some Cross Play.

There's only a teaser site, and a single image for now. I don't see a Mojang logo, so its not a licensed version - what are the chances of a Microsoft law suit?

I guess making a proper RPG in this type of blocky environment is differentiation enough, but surely smarter developers will be moving on from the block-based approach and coming up with a new angle?

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

New Mystery Dungeon trailer and song

Spike Chunsoft revs up the retro with Mystery Dungeon, a randomly generated dungeon crawler hitting Japan soon. Reveling in its pixelly goodness, this should be a lot of fun if Spike can stretch for a western release.

Geometry Wars 3.0 lines up on the Vita

Grab this month's new free game for PlayStation Plus subscribers now on the EU PSN. Or, you can pick it for for a rather costly £13.99. Subscribers can also pick up the sublime and fun Mousecraft (think Lemmings with bigger whiskers) and Entwined, making it a pretty good month, as long as you haven't picked up the later two games before.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Art genius or digital vomit? Meet Myriad

Okay, this could be great, or you could need a lie down in a dark room to get over it! The game is Myriad from a one-man-and-his-musician indie from Norway. They go by the name Bifrost and there's a new post on the PSN blog about it.

The aim is just to destroy the nasties by building up and detonating the level, I like a spot of Faithless or Storm as much as the next gamer, but there's a fine line between visual raving and trance in Jeff Minter's TxK to what I fear this could be. Hope there's a demo so we can try it before buying.

Crows Burning Edge to punch you in the face

Here's a quick sneak peek at Crows  Burning Edge, coming to Vita and PS4 from Bandai. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, it is based on a series of mangas that spawned a few movies. Set in a rough and tough boys school, it seems the ideal fodder for a decent brawler.

The Vita could always do with a new fighting game, hopefully there's more than just vanilla fisticuffs here.

Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth3 burps at the Vita chart

Managing a new entry at No. 3, ReBirth 3 is pretty much the only thing of interest in this week's Vita Uk sales chart. It didn't trouble the all-formats chart and since it only went on-sale on Friday, has probably sold literally 'some' copies.

LEGO Jurassic World sticks at No. 1 with Minecraft holding firm at No. 2. Interestingly, Microsoft has a new version of Minecraft out for the Windows 10 launch. Is this the start of MS moving it away from other platforms? Unlikely but who knows. FIFA lurks like a bad small at No.4,  J-Stars is down to No. 5, and Stein's Gate drops down to 6, but is still hanging in there.

Zero Escape 3 heads to the Vita

Only a press release and a few bits of imagery first up, but expect plenty more for a game that's got the Vita community feeling pretty perky over the weekend. The game was supposed to be unveiled online at an Aksys AX2015 panel, but the feed failed, here's a catch up of that event.

Many government organizations have dismissed our urgent warnings regarding the upcoming game event called Zero Time Dilemma. Recent intelligence has escalated our plans and we have come to the decision to contact gamers about the dangers directly. Our ultimate goal has always been to protect the public from the horrific consequences we have foreseen, but it appears our mission to prevent it from occurring may have failed. It is imperative that you make every effort to prepare yourselves for the oncoming deadly game, so that you may survive the coming apocalypse.

An antidote for the game is predicted to be created, but much further down this timeline, and as such there is no defense from its effects. It will be most easily identifiable on Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita handheld entertainment system, though it is transmittable through the air so the spread may increase even more rapidly through the PlayStation Store.

Do not be tempted by familiar faces, fully voiced cinematics, multiple endings, or voices in both Japanese and English, as those are signs that the apocalypse is nigh. We suggest that you put extensive effort into improving your puzzle solving skills, as they will be vital to your survival.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Slain confirmed for 2016 Vita release

Indie retro slasher fest Slain from Wolf Brew was funded on Kickstarter with a possible Vita version. That's now been confirmed by the dev team (all two of them) with a new trailer featuring all the blood you could want on a Friday morning, and a cracking theme by ex-Celtic Frost (Swiss metallers) Curt Victor Bryant.

A gothic combat-puzzle platform adventure, it sees you in the bloody boots of Bathoryn, a hero in a Gothic world, seeking to liberate seven great towers from their deadly overlords. Bathoryn must battle his way through a doomed land packed with gruesome pixel art foes before ascending (or sometimes descending) each tower, defeating puzzles, traps and monsters alike.

At the heart of each tower, he must confront a mighty overlord. Defeat it and Bathoryn’s quest continues. Fail, and you’ll die gruesomely – mauled by werewolves, disintegrated by floating monstrosities, squashed by great weights or torn apart by hidden blades. And you will fail…

Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth confirmed for western Vita release

As widely expected, Bandai has announced Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth will get a western release on the playStation Vita and PS4. Then news came out of Anime Expo, which has already produced more games for the Vita than E3.

It won't arrive until 2016, but that's a happy thought to hibernate through the winter with. More info to follow, once I'm sure this isn't a dream. Well done to everyone who signed that petition! The PS4 will get a retail version, while its only coming to digitally to Vita, but I'll take that!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Danganronpa can do disco too

The would-be victims and deranged bear folk of Danganronpa aren't immune to a little tuneage, as NIS America gets ready for the western release. Landing in early September, Another Episode throws a different slant on the Danganronpa adventures and this musical intro interlude sets the theme neatly.

Question, how many musical styles can you hear in the track?

Japan waves new trailers around like confetti

What Vita gaming crisis, Japan can afford to throw around new game trailers as Nekoburo Catsblok shows off its tinkly tunes and whiskery gameplay. Can't help but think that's going to be extremely addicitve.

Spike is up next with a new look at Grand Kingdom, with characters, battling and tactics all getting a look in. Due out in October there's some excelling looking pre-order gear.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Dancing All Night waltzes into Japanese chart

Ouch! After all that marketing and hype, Persona 4 Dancing All Night can't even break through the 100,000 barrier. With over four million Vita owners in Japan that makes it less than 1-in-40 buying the biggest new Vita title of the year.

UPDATE: Actually, the Famitsu chart lists it as selling 80%-100% of its initial stock, so perhaps it was just Atlus being cagey about the release. Hopefully they have plenty more stock to get out to stores to keep the game high in the charts.

Add in digital downloads, plus the hardware bundle, and Atlus might have a slightly better sounding number to announce soon.

Chaos;Child makes a modest entrance in the top 10, while Minecraft soldiers on stoically, selling around 10% more copies than last week. The Media Create chart shows four Vita games in the top 20. Next up for the Vita, God Eater Ressurrection in November!

01./00. [3DS] Fire Emblem Fates: Black Kingdom / White Kingdom (Nintendo) - 260.675 / NEW
02./00. [PSV] Persona 4: Dancing All Night # (Atlus) - 94.036 / NEW

08./06. [PSV] Minecraft: PlayStation Vita Edition (Sony) - 10.896 / 220.589 (+12%)
09./00. [PSV] Chaos;Child # (5pb.) {- 10.325 / NEW
14./00. [PSV] Shinobi, Koi Utsutsu (Idea Factory) - 6.762 / NEW 

On the hardware front, at least the release gave the Vita a shot in the arm, almost doubling sales to around 24,000. But, that's still down on previous summer spikes and leaves the Vita down 150,000 compared to sales at the half way point of the year.