Wednesday, September 30, 2015

PlayStation Plus for October - divisive at best

Last month looked pretty grim for Vita owners and this month's PS+ roster doesn't seem much better. We will get adventure Broken Age, Super Meat Boy, Kickbeat and cheap as chips mobile port Kung Fu Rabbit, all of which have their merits, but there's nothing that will get anyone overly excited.

More on the EU PSN blog.

Another good sales week for Vita in Japan

Sony sold another near-as-dammit 20,000 Vita units last week in Japan according to the Media Create chart. That was on the back of three new entries in the games charts, with Utawareru Mono (False Mask) leading the way, while Resident Evil makes a hasty exit to the bottom of the chart, so that was worth it!

PS4 sales have collapsed to just 4,000 this week as Japan waits for its price cut to kick in. If the Vita keeps this rate up it should easily pass 800,000 sales for the year. That's as sales have followed the overall trend but there have been none of the big spikes from previous years.

04./00. [PSV] Utawareru Mono: Itsuwari no Kamen (Aqua Plus) 26.252 / NEW
07./00. [PSV] Genkai Tokki: Moero Crystal (Compile Heart) 18.721 / NEW
13./16. [PSV] Minecraft: PlayStation Vita Edition (Sony) {2015.03.19} 10.770 / 343.434 (+31%)
16./00. [PSV] Hakuoki: Shinkai - Furi no Shou (Idea Factory) 10.064 / NEW
20./10. [PSV] Resident Evil: Revelations 2 (Capcom) 5.765 / 21.698 (-64%)

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Persona 4 Dancing All Night gets a US launch trailer

While Europe waits, and waits... get a move on Atlus!

Play with the magic spells in Atelier Sophie

Gust is showing off more clips off the lovely looking RPG Atelier Sophie. Here's a couple of minutes of magic in the making. With all the fun ingredients in your typical magic book and a hefty cauldron. Just tell me she's not this squeaky all the way though?

Omega Labyrinth artwork peers out from around the bra

D3 has exposed the final cover artwork for Omega Labyrinth, and its pretty tame stuff for a game all about growing breasts (can't believe I just wrote that). The RPG's twitter feed has some far less subtle art cards if you fancy a peek.

The actual RPG elements look pretty solid, from the few screens that are doing the rounds, a shame the focus is mostly on the boobs aspect (can't believe I wrote that either!)

I guess, as with the Criminal Girls games, you play around the 'kinky' bits as best as you can, unless you're really into this stuff - but I can only recommend that the real things are far more fun.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Sony sees no hope for a Vita successor, but doesn't blame itself

Over the weekend Sony pretty bluntly ruled out a sequel to the PlayStation Vita (at EGX on EuroGamer). At the event, Shuhei Yoshida is quoted as saying in response to a question about Vita 2 "the climate is not healthy for now because of the huge dominance of mobile gaming."

On that basis, and with the new iPhones selling 13 million in a weekend, the climate will never get healthy, so no Vita 2! But that doesn't come as much of a surprise. Kotaku already points out that Sony did its best to kill the Vita, not mobile gaming. Doubtless, lots of others are having their own say.

I stick by my thoughts a few months ago that now the Vita isn't actually Sony's to kill. Since Sony has abandoned the current Vita (in terms of no Sony studio is making a game for it), its down to indies, us as KickStarter investors to keep it going. That's even as major publishers including Bandai Namco, Koei Tecmo, Atlus, Sega continue to invest and support it.

Sure, these are Japanese publishers where the Vita can still sell 20,000 units a week, but those games are coming to western audiences. Something Sony seems oblivious to, having ditched Gravity Daze 2 for Vita.

So, Sony won't do a PSV 2 because it has already dumped the Vita  - and it abandoned the Vita despite there still being a profit to be made (those other publishers aren't doing this out of charity).

Worse, even when Sony saw the drift to mobile and free to play. Rather than picking up the popular FTP micro-transaction titles, it rushed out its own random products with no marketing. These either didn't work on launch (Invokers Tournament), and then shut them down when no one came to play (Destiny of Spirits).

It dumped the Vita despite having an Uncharted engine, a Killzone engine (and with third parties building Assassin's Creed, Call of Duty, Need for Speed and other engines) for the Vita. Those code bases could be used by other developers to create a raft of western-style games at lower costs, and yet Sony, or the other western third parties, don't seem keen to let them try.

Naturally, Sony's PR department will claim a mistranslation or that @yosp didn't mean it quite like that - but without even worrying abour the Vita 2, Sony continues to harm the original in new and unusual ways.

Thoughts welcome.

Attack on Titan screens escape TGS

After that rather disturbing trailer, Tecmo Koei has let lose some new screens from the Attack on Titan game. The game still lacks an official title, but will come to western gamers at some point in 2016, and if the Vita can keep up with these pacey visuals, should be something to look forward to.

X-COM Enemy Unknown gets a PEGI rating

The worst case of unannounced game that everyone knows about gets even more ludicrous. European rating board PEGI lists XCOM: Enemy Unknown Plus with a 18 rating. The release date is down as today, which isn't happening but who knows since T2 currently is more worried about pimping the next WWE game.

The near three-year old iPad title, and possibly the update Enemy Within was listed by the American rating board earlier this month. If Take 2 is going to bother with an announcement for this and Civilization 2 Revolution (rated by PEGI back in May) then Paris Games Week is the only big show left. Still, with no official word so far, frankly, the company could drop them on PSN and never fart a bean.

New One Piece Burning Blood screens

Hot on the heels of the western release news and the new trailer comes a host of screens from the big console versions. Looks pretty lively with the usual mix of cel and heavy effects work.

Twitch viewer app coming to the Vita

First the Crunchyroll app appears out of nowhere, now Twitch has announced the Vita will get a viewer app later this year - no broadcasting. The news came out of the weekend's TwitchCon event that showed off a first look at Minecraft: Story Mode and much more gaming fun.

One Piece Burning Blood sails west from Bandai

Announced at TGS for Japan, Bandai has just confirmed that the latest installment for of the One Piece series is coming west. Burning Blood will arrive on the Vita and other consoles in 2016. Developed by the Spike Chunsoft, Bandai claims it offers a new experience for the series, based on fan feedback.

The trailer does look pretty similar to previous efforts, with a mano-a-mano focus, but if using Logia Devil Fruits and “Haki” for massive special moves sounds a good way to bring down the fiercest opponents, then you should be pretty happy. Luffy, Ace, Sabo, Law, Crocodile, Enel, Bartolomeo and Doflamingo are confirmed as playable, with plenty more news to come.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Vita doubles sales in a hectic week in Japan

With Tokyo Game Show and the Silver Week holiday, Japanese gamers must have been on a bit of a spree. Vita sales more than doubled to over 20,000 as plenty of new releases hit the Media Create chart.

The major entries were:

05./00. [PSV] World Trigger: Borderless Mission (Bandai) - 23.334 / NEW
10./00. [PSV] Resident Evil: Revelations 2 (Capcom)  - 15.932 / NEW

13./00. [PSV] Saki Saki National (Kaga) - 13,698 / NEW
14./00. [PSV] Sengoku Musou 4 Empires (Koei) - 13,056 / NEW

Borderless Mission did well despite poor reviews, Resident Evil did as well as it could, since the Vita version is incredibly late to the party, and compromised by Sony's poor development efforts. Some romance novels and other manga fun giving the Vita six games in the top Media Create top 20, with more further down the list. 

Feast your eyes on these World of Final Fantasy screens

Square has just passed over a mega dump of English language screens for the upcoming World of Final Fantasy. The game will hit PS4 and Vita in 2016, and looks mightily impressive.

Get down on the Farm with your Vita

Farming Simulator 16, developed by Giants Software, hits the Vita on October 6th, and brings a load of new features for virtual farmers who enjoy the muddy life!

Farming Simulator 16 invites you into the challenging world of a modern day farmer: animal husbandry, planting, harvesting, trading crops. Players own a farm in a vast, open world. As your career progresses, you will have access to a huge selection of farming vehicles and machines, faithfully recreated from the biggest names in the industry.

Farming Simulator 16 brings a host of new features, like new animals to breed, as sheep are now joining the indispensable cows! Also, get your hands on brand new vehicles and equipment from the most famous farming brands, and harvest two new seed types: sugar beet and potatoes! Or, try a new activity: forestry, coming with its own dedicated machinery, all of this for the first time on PlayStation Vita.

HTR+ Slot Car Sim looks the biz

The Vita has seen a few efforts at fun car racing. Apart from the awesome MotorStorm and Sonic Racing, none really seem to have taken hold. Table Top Racing is probably the closest we've come to micro-car fun recently.

Looking to change all that is HTR+ Slot Car from Brazilian developer QUByte Games. The game has hit mobile, PC and Mac in the past, but really looks the part on a Vita screen. If it plays as good as it looks, then hopefully the company will bring its other titles to Sony's handheld.

There are 20 tracks, 3 skill levels, a track editor and plenty of bonuses to unlock.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

More digital discounts hit EU PSN

I'm too tired to type after that PS One list frenzy (it was either that or stick 40 Vita screen shots together). So, here's the latest European PSN digital offers of the Vita in screenshot form, with newcomers Hatoful Boyfriend and Nova 111 grabbing decent discounts.

No idea why Duke 3D is listed twice, but Terraria is now a must-buy at that price.  

The EU PSN PS One sale list in full

Alongside the latest digital discounts, there's a major sale going on across the dusty shelves of the PSN's historic PS One archive. If you use your Vita to shop, you won't have a clue as the Retro deal doesn't show on the Store app.

Since Sony apparently can't be arsed to detail the offers, and as I can only find a few short lists of people's favourite games, here's the full list of PS one games on the Vita store with its current price. Obviously these will change if you're reading this beyond the end of sale date (7 October 2015)

Some games aren't being discounted yet, like the Final Fantasy titles, but their time may come as Sony often juggles games in and out the list over the weeks.

The offers that are there expire on 7 October, so get going. I've highlighted what I think is a sale, or just seems a good deal to me.

I noticed that some PS One games don't show up on the Vita store, notably EA titles, shout if you see any more via the PC or PS3 store.

While we're in retro mode, where the hell is Chrono Cross? I think that's on the US store. Feel free to list anything else that's a glaring omission. And, on the flip side, is there anything we have that America doesn't.

40 Winks, Atari, £3.29
A Bug's Life, Disney, £3.99
Airboat Racing, XS, £3.99
All-Star Boxing, Midas, £3.69
Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare, Atari, £2.00 (doesn't show on Vita app)
Alundra, Monkey Paw, £2.00
Arc Arena, Monkey Paw, £2.00
Arc the Lad 1, Monkey Paw, £2.00
Arc the Lad 2, Monkey Paw, £1.80
Arc the Lad 3, Monkey Paw, £2.00
Arcade Hits: Shienryu, Monkey Paw, £3.99
Arcade Hits: Sonic Wings, Monkey Paw, £3.99
Atlantis and Hercules, Disney, £7.99
ATV Racers, Midas, £2.49
Bishi Bashi Special, Konami, £2.00
Blockids, Monkey Paw, £3.99
Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, Square, £2.50
Bugriders, Atari, £3.29
Buzz Lightyear, Disney, £3.99
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Konami, £3.20
Centipede, Atari, £3.99
Cho Aniki, Monkey Paw, £3.99
Constructor, System 3, £2.49
Cool Boarders, Sony, £2.00
Cool Boarders 2, Sony, £2.00
Crash Bandicoot 2, Sony, £2.00
Crash Bandicoot 3, Sony, £2.00
Crash Team Racing, Sony, £2.00
Critical Depth, Atari, £3.99
Destruction Derby, Sony, £2.00
Dezaemon Plus, Monkey Paw, £2.00
Disney Toy Story 2, Disney, £4.49
Disney Toy Story Racer, Disney, £4.99
Disney Hercules, Disney, £3.99
Disney Atlantis, Disney, £5.35
Driver, Atari, £1.99
Everybody's Golf 2, Sony, £3.99
Fade to Black, EA, £2.00 (doesn't show on Vita app)
Fear Effect, Square, £5.79
Fear Effect 2, Square, £5.79
Fighting Force, Square, £3.99
Fighting Force 2, Square, £3.99
Final Fantasy V to IX, Square, £7.99 each
Front Mission 3, Square, £4.99
Future Cop, EA, £2.00 (doesn't show on Vita app)
G-Police, Sony, £1.00
GaiaSeed, Monkey Paw, £2.00
Galaxy Fight, Monkey Paw, £3.99
Gex: Deep Cover Gecko, Square, £2.50
Gex the Gecko, Square, £2.00
Gex 3D: Enter the Gecko, Square, £2.50
Grandia, Game Arts, £3.25
Gubble, Midas, £2.99
Guilty Gear, System 3, £3.99
Gunship, Atari, £3.99
Hardcore 4x4, Urbanscan, £1.99
International Track and field, Konami, £2.00
Jet Rider, Sony, £2.00
Jet Rider 2, Sony, £2.00
Jigsaw Madness, XS, £2.49
Judge Dredd, Urbanscan, £1.99
Jumping Flash, Sony, £2.00
Klonoa, Bandai, £2.00
Kula World, Sony, £2.00
Kurushi Final, Sony, £2.00
Legacy of Kain, Soul Reaver, Square, £2.50
Lilo & Stitch, Disney, £3.99
Little Mermaid, Disney, £3.99
Magic Carpet, EA, £2.00 (doesn't show on Vita app)
Metal Gear Solid, Konami, £4.00
Mickey's Wild Adventure, Disney, £2.50
Miracle Space Race, Midas, £2.49
Missile Command, Atari, £3.99
Monsters Inc, Scare Island, £3.99
Motorhead, Urbanscan, £1.99
Motor Toon GP, Sony, £2.00
N2O, Urbanscan, £1.99
Namco Heritage Bundle (Ridge Racer Type 4+Tekken) £2.90
Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus, Oddworld, £2.00
Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee, Oddworld, £2.00
Pandemonium, Square, £2.00
Pandemonium 2, Square, £2.00
Parasite Eve II, Square, £5.79
Pong, Atari, £3.99
Populous: The Beginning, EA, £2.00 (doesn't show on Vita app)
RageBall, Midas, £2.99
Rally Cross, Sony, £2.00
Rascal Racers, Midas, £2.49
Rayman, Ubisoft, £3.99
Rayman 2, Ubisoft, £3.99
Reloaded, Urbanscan, £3.99
Reel Fishing, Natsume, £3.99
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, Capcom £7.99
Resident Evil: Director's Cut, Capcom, £7.99
Ridge Racer Type 4, Namco, £2.0
Sheep, Empire, £3.49
Silent Hill, Konami, £2.90
SimCity 2000, EA, £2.00 (doesn't show on Vita app)
Snowboard Racer, Midas, £2.99
Spin Jam, Empire, £3.99
Sports Superbike 2, Midas, £2.49
Sypro Trilogy, Sony, £4.00
Streak, Atari, £3.29
Street Fighter 2 Alpha, Capcom, £3.20
Street Fighter Alpha, Warriors Dreams, Capcom, £1.50 (doesn't show on Vita app)
Suikoden, Konami, £2.00 (doesn't show on Vita app)
Suikoden II, Konami, £2.00 (doesn't show on Vita app)
SuperStar Dance Club, XS, £2.49
Syphon Filter, Sony, £2.00
Syphon Filter 3, Sony, £2.00
Syndicate Wars, EA, £2.00
Tall Unlimited, Monkey Paw, £3.99
Tekken 2, Namco, £2.00
Tekken, Namco, £2.00
Theme Park, EA, £2.00
Tom Clancy's Rainbox Six, Ubisoft, £3.99
Tomb Raider, Square, £2.50
Tomb Raider Chronicles, Square, £2.50
Tomb Raider II, Square, £2.50
Tomb Raider III, Square, £2.50
Tomb Raider Last Revelation, Square, £2.50
Tomba!, Monkey Paw, £3.25
Twisted Metal, Sony, £2.00
Urban Chaos, Square, £3.99
Unjammer Lammy, Sony, £2.00 (doesn't show on Vita app)
Vagrant Story, Square, £4.99
Vib-Ribbon, Sony, £2.00 (doesn't show on Vita app)
Warhawk, Sony, £2.00 (doesn't show on Vita app)
Wild Arms, Sony, £2.00
WipEout, Sony, £2.00

Update: Oh look, Sony finally put up a sale list for the PC store, should make things a bit easier. 

Seraph of the End trailer hits the road

Okay, of all the places in a lovingly created game to show off your battle scene, who picks a road? A stretch of grey tarmac and some white lines, that helps demonstrate the brilliant world we've created - thought no one ever!

Yet, that's what we get in Seraph of the End, subtitled Origin of Fate, from Bandai. Look at all the detailed character art, the animation, the stinky, rock-strewn, road. Anyway, the game lands on 17 December in Japan - hopefully better battle scenes are available.

Check out the official site for a few more goodies

Dead of Day is a zombie Kickstarter RPG

The Kickstarter treadmill is starting to get back into action after the summer off and here comes Dead of Day from Trebuchet Games. It sounds like a brilliant concept, using FTL's Dungeon Master template and throwing in virus-laden zombies against a patchy bunch of survivors.

However, I wouldn't be too excited, just yet, about that Vita stretch goal. A few questions pop up immediately.

Can you use the name "Dead of Day" for a zombie game without George Romero's lawyers getting slightly miffed? Especially when I've already typed Day of the Dead about five times!

Is a £10K PC base goal and then a £100K Vita stretch realistic, considering their line of:
At £100,000 we will make a Vita version of the game. It requires us to do big changes to the graphics and code to make this work but we think it'll be awesome.
To make the game work on VITA we would need to do some graphic rework, but the majority of the cost to us would be from the fact that the software tools we are using doesn't create Vita games natively, so we would have to get a programmer to convert it for us. Unfortunately this is not cheap
Given that logic, I (lazily sitting here on my unambitious ass) wouldn't have added the Vita goal to their Kickstarter, but made it a different project once the PC/Mac version is complete. It does sound like a lot of work for the modest Vita market.

Finally, you'd better be seriously good if you're comparing your game to Dungeon Master, one of the finest 16-bit titles ever made. Dead of Day had better be top notch.

That said, good luck to Trebuchet, and I hope Kickstarter helps make their dream game a success. See all the other Kickstarter projects for Vita in action.

Digimon World Next Order serves up a battle trailer

Just a note, when my autobiography gets turned into a movie, I want this theme playing as I drive off into the sunset in one of those ludicrously big American 50s cars. Thanks to the composer on Digimon World Next Order for sorting that out!

That aside, check out the new gameplay clips. It starts with a run around the environments we've already seen, with the whole day/night thing. But then, it bursts into some battle action (the first clips of these I recall seeing) - with all kinds of Digimon popping up to help combat the google-eyed nasties.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Minecraft updated on the PS Vita, Doctor Who figures inbound

Mojang has put up a blog post with the latest update to the Vita version of Minecraft. Not much going on, but the 56MB patch adds the Doctor Who skin pack trial, which comes on the heels of the Star Wars content from August

Change log for Patch 1.20 - September 23rd 2015

Added Doctor Who Skin Pack Bundle Trial content.

Fixed a memory leak causing frame rate issues.
Fixed an issue causing signs to go blank for network players.

Change log for Patch 1.19 - August 28th 2015 (in case you missed it)

Added Star Wars Classic Skin Pack Trial content.
Added Star Wars Rebels Skin Pack Trial content.

With Minecraft by far the best selling Vita game around the world, hopefully Mojang will keep rolling with the changes!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Koei confirm Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires, Attack on Titan coming west

Tecmo Europe's Twitter feed has been a source of joy today, confirming that Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires is arriving on the 25th November! They also casually noted that Attack on Titan will come west at some point, and mentioned there's still hope for Yoru no Nai Kuni.
There's an update to the official site for the Vita edition. Of course, that leaves us hanging for Toukiden 2, but Japan is on holiday now after TGS and it might take a while for all ends of the company to plan deeply into 2016.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Danganronpa Ultra Despair Girls cling on in the UK Top 5

Those pesky Monokuma are still roaming around the upper end of the UK chart, hopefully providing enough sales to make it worthwhile for NIS America to bring Danganronpa 3 to the west. Steins Gate also pops back into retail chart, but Borderlands 2 and Lego Chima ping back into the top 10.


Information: (C) UKIE/ChartTrack

Over on Amazon's Vita Best Sellers list, FIFA 15 is tops, showing that EA really should have dragged another fake update out of the series. It looks like any game at £13 or under instantly gets a sales boost, but most serious games are holding their price.

Rally Copters does it old school on the Vita

Decent week for cool releases, with Rally Copter joining Heroes of Loot on PSN. No one but me remembers Airwolf and Blue Thunder right? Will, here you get to guide them and their relatives across fiendish vector mazes, performing mad stunts and tricks to complete all the objectives.

This cross buy title looks like a blast with super-fine controls and reflexes required!

UPDATE: Now has a PEGI release date for PS4 and Vita in March

Steins Gate 0 gets an official trailer

After a sneaky tease earlier in the month, here's the full intro trailer for Steins Gate 0, a continuation of the mad, bad and dangerous to know bunch of inadvertent time travelers and their gooey bananas. The game hits Japan on 19 November, and hopefully after the huge (by Vita market standards) western response, will follow.

A look at TGS games from the stage or floor shows

Now the event is over, Tokyo Game Show floor footage, gameplay videos and other content is rolling across the Internet, with lots of varying quality clips of the Vita/PS4 titles to come.

Overall it was definitely a show that breathed plenty of new life into the Vita, assuming everyone still reading this blog is into their Japanese games and regularly prays at the altar of NIS, Bandai, Koei and Atlus for western translations.

I'll add more videos as I find them!

Dragon Quest Builders (starts around 15 minute mark)

Gundam Extreme Force

Tokyo Xanadu

Hatsune Miku Diva X

Friday, September 18, 2015

Lumo, an isometric love affair for Vita owners

While Microsoft may have the Rare/Ultimate collection on Xbox One, 2016 will see Lumo arrive on the Vita. Coming from Triple Eh? based in Finland, it has very English roots and is steeped in the classics like Underwurlde, with hints of Atic Atac, Uridium and Nebulus.

While this video is almost nine months old, it gives a good hint of what's to come, with the game being published by Rising Star Games, which has a neat blog post up on the latest about the game. They're so keen to get it to a wide audience, that's the reason its coming to the Vita where those visuals should really pop on the OLED.

Another creaky old Vita bundle out of Sony Europe

Given that there are no more Sony developed games for the Vita, I'm not sure why they are still selling the hardware, But, here comes another Vita mega pack bundle for Europe, even if it seems suspiciously familiar.

Whatever, you get Uncharted, Tearaway and LittleBigPlanet to download on the provided 8GB stick, presumably some poor kids will get this for Christmas and cry at their parents cause they wanted a PS4 or Xbox One.

Vita prices are all over the place at the moment, so keep checking for bargains.

Official site for new Namco shadowy mystery title opens up

Going under the WIP title of "Project City Shrouded in Shadows" which sounds pretty mysterious in itself, Bandai has a new game in the works from the Disaster Report folks, who presumably are fed up with real life imitating their games, and denting sales.

Classed as a survival action game, and hitting PS4 and Vita in 2016, it sees the titular shadows threatening the citizens, which leaves plenty of room for light-based destruction, based on these detailed pics from the site.

Dynasty Warriors Online Z connects with the Vita

Already rocking some Three Kingdoms strategy on PS4, PS3 and PC, the online version of Dynasty Warriors will land on the Vita in a couple of months, adding yet more historical battling to the platform.

Very much a Japan-only affair, the ability to take those massed battles and strategies on the road will go down well among commuters and students. The game is free to download with a subscription needed to keep playing.

Zodiac Orcanon Odyssey looks resplendent at TGS

Continuing the roll of good Vita news out of Tokyo Game Show, Western producer Kobojo has brought in more top Japanese talent for the art on its JRPG. CyDesignation, a Japanese game design and production company led by renowned artist Hideo Minaba, is providing the art direction for Zodiac: Orcanon Odyssey.

The CyDesignation team joins other esteemed Japanese developers who have contributed to Zodiac: Orcanon Odyssey, including Kazushige Nojima (writer, Final Fantasy VII) as scenario writer and Hitoshi Sakimoto (composer, Final Fantasy Tactics) as composer.

The Vita release is due for early 2016, while the game is on show at TGS in its iOS edition.

A new trailer shows off some of the action, which looks suitably hand-crafted.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Vanillaware's Odin Sphere looks suitably radiant

Odin Sphere from Atlus and Vanillaware looks pretty special in its reimagined guise, with gorgeous art, brilliant animation and a deft touch with the palette. It looks like a game that will be easy to fall in love with, especially with the characters introduced in this new TGS video.

Tokyo Ghoul: Jail gets a TGS trailer

It would be simpler at this point to list the games arriving in Japan that haven't got a new trailer just for TGS, even if the game is making a big splash at the show or not. Here's one for Tokyo Ghoul which is out at the start of October.

The new clip shows off some game play screens and sets the scene to the game's soundtrack tune. Published by Bandai, it looks like the kind of game that could get swamped by all the big releases around that time, which will be a shame.

Pixel Noir is back on Kickstarter, fund this game, now!

Having learnt the lesson of its abortive Kickstarter campaign last year, SWD Tech is back with a perfectly reachable goal that includes the Vita in the base funding layer. They've also spent the hard hours and yards refining their engine and game, so this shouldn't be a title left in years of developer limbo.

UPDATE: Pixel Noir has just passed its funding goal with 23 days to go. Congrats to the team, but keep contributing to get this excellent looking game the best it can be with expanded stories, cut scenes and more.

Already approaching one-third funded on the first day, chip in and bring some pixel 16-bit flavour loving to your Vita or PS4. There's a PC demo to try out now for a taster of the game, but I'm confident this will be a finely crafted piece of exploring, battling and thoughtful fun, wrapped in the cold night air of Pinnacle City.

Check out the Kickstarter campaign here, and all the other games you could help fund to land on your Vita.

Heroes of Loot stealing your Vita next week

If you remember the original Gauntlet, then you might fancy a go at Abstraction's Heroes of Loot, a fast and furious pixelly game of theft, hitting PSN next week. The dungeon crawler with a little RPG bolted on, plus rare items to find looks great fun, read more on the PSN blog.

Well done to the developers for keep the pricing sane too, definitely picking this up at a steal for $2.99/€2.98.

Okay, Star Ocean is coming to the Vita

After Sony's TGS event I was posting a few rhetorical questions on Twitter, one of which was, 'why has Star Ocean never made it to the Vita.'

Well, that's me told as Square Enix has just dropped the trailer for Star Ocean Second Evolution, an update of the PSP title for Vita and PS4. While that doesn't really make sense unless they bring First Departure along for the ride too, its a start.

Darius Burst trailer pops out of TGS

Because everyone likes shooting stuff, here comes the latest version of Darius Burst, to wreck your Vita's buttons in hot combat sci-fi shooter action. Hopefully a shoe-in for a western release, despite all the tactical bits.

God Eater Resurrection gets a TGS trailer

Bandai Namco continues to pump out the clips with a new trailer for God Eater Ressurrection, the rebuild of God Eater 2 for PS4 and PS Vita. This one shows off around five minutes of combat action and intro clips, looking rather more active and busy than previous clips.

Resident Evil Revelations 2 patched

While the developers keep quiet about their involvement in the project and Sony talks to no one about the game's existence (no reviews beyond the Vita sites that I've noticed). It is left to Gio Corsi to quietly announce a patch on Twitter. Even this is confused, he calls it the first patch, but I thought this one came out on launch day.

The new 900MB update includes the usual fixes, plus:
  • Polar Bear Lottie Costume for Raid Mode character Cipher. 
  • Jessica costume for Raid Mode Character Gina. 
  • Ad Hoc Raid Mode Fixed friend invitation in Raid Mode. 
  • Added support for additional buttons on a paired wireless controller. 
  • Adjusted the brightness setting for a better horror experience.
Hopefully Frima will still be on tidy up duty for a while longer to keep tweaking away and improving the experience. Haven't picked the game up yet, not that there's any hurry as this is probably the last title Sony is bringing to the Vita given no new Japan Studio games were announced at TGS!

A western trailer for Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth

Coming in 2016 to PS4 and Vita for western gamers, welcome our new Digimon overlords from Bandai! Meet the game's heroine, and some of the monsters that threaten this digital world.

Doesn't it sound really old fashioned, saying "cyber space" all the time? Either way, stick this up your Pikachu!

In the mean time, over in Japan, here's the latest trailer out of Tokyo Game Show for Next Story, with his and her heroes, and the usual roster of fun and friendly battling monsters.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Final Fantasy Adventure tarts up a classic

Final Fantasy Adventure is a remake of the Game Boy title, the first in the Mana series. The trailer shows off the graphical upgrade it is getting with new music tracks and other features, while following the original's story. Also coming to iOS, this may follow most Square Final Fantasy mobile titles in heading west.

That's the good news, the bad, but not entirely surprising news is that Agito+ has finally been canned. That's despite starting out life as a PSP title, then released on mobile, then planned for Vita and announced at TGS last year.

Minecraft Story Mode will head to the Vita, eventually!

Episode One of Minecraft: Story Mode from TellTale and Mojang will hit the main consoles on 13th October, with a Vita version to follow. Presumably once the series is complete.

Episode 1: 'The Order of the Stone,' is the first of five episodes where you play as either a male or female hero named 'Jesse,' you'll embark on a perilous adventure across the Overworld, through the Nether, to the End, and beyond.

You and your friends revere the legendary Order of the Stone: Warrior, Redstone Engineer, Griefer, and Architect; slayers of the Ender Dragon. While at EnderCon in hopes of meeting Gabriel the Warrior, Jesse's friends discover that something is wrong... something dreadful. Terror is unleashed, and you must set out on a quest to find The Order of the Stone if you are to save your world from oblivion.

Attack on Titan gets a naked idiot trailer

One of the Vita games missing from Sony's press event yesterday was Tecmo's Attack on Titan. Presumably the company wanted to keep some games back for its own show and tell. Here, then, is the first possible look at gameplay in Attack on Titan, although it all looks a touch pre-rendered to me.

I have no idea why this game needs gurning fools? Some sort of developer prank, or is Titan full of drunk, naked, giant idiots? If you've seen the anime, let us know! This is one game definitely coming west in 2016, so lets hope there are some more substantive enemies for us to fight.

UPDATE: Okay, I've seen some of the anime, so the people are trapped in a giant walled city and those who stray outside generally get eaten. Enter kid with ambitious dreams of being a scout, the type who generally get eaten and spat out by the Titans who lumber around the country, some times trying to break into the city. An attack hasn't happened for hundreds of years, yep, that'll last long!

Vita sales in Japan waiting for the big bump

In the last quiet week before a bunch of new Vita games hit the shelves, hardware sales are naturally down on the Media Create charts, at 9,480 units. However, the worrying trend is that Vita sales are now half those of the PS4, and the trend gap has been growing rapidly in recent weeks. 

On the software side, Minecraft remains firmly in the top 10, selling another 7,400. Things should be more lively next week, with Resident Evil Revelations 2 and Samurai Warriors kicking into the chart. 

On the plus side, as seen in the graph, sales usually pick up over the next few weeks to the end of the year. There's also all the good news from TGS, suggesting the Vita should have enough legs to keep going through 2016, which could encourage adoption. 

Also, the arrival of the unofficial DekaVita gadget could help boost Vita TV sales - currently around 500 a week. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Danganronpa 3, the game isn't up

Since Spike can't be bothered to upload their own video, here's a fan rip of the clip from the Tokyo Game Show event earlier today. It doesn't give much away, but if you're wading your way thorough Another Episode, then this should encourage you to get a move on.

Toukiden 2 trailer from Koei Tecmo

File under not giving much away. But, the Koei chap at Sony's TGS event definitely mentioned "open world" in relation to Toukiden 2, which if it makes it to the Vita version would be a huge step from the rabbit hutch sized levels that the original and the Kiwami version offered.

Watch the rerun of Sony's Tokyo Game Show press event

After my ham-fisted efforts to live blog the show and capture all the essentials for Vita owners, here's the replay of the real thing, Jump to 30 minutes to get to the start.

It was a decent event for Vita owners, with several new games announced from third parties. But Sony's lack of development for its own platform in its home country where the PS Vita still sells will is pretty shocking.

Note to Sony's western show organisers. This is how you do it - video, video, video, announce, announce, announce, no wanky game play segments, no embarrassing hand offs between grubby developers. No forced applause!

Altus and Vanillaware protect the Vita with 13 Sentinels

Hmm, I wonder what a bunch of kids could get up to with a 2 tonne robot? Vanillaware's latest, just unveiled at Sony's TGS event, looks suitably awesome, having dumped the uber-boobs of Dragon's Crown for some realistic people.

13 Sentinels Aegis Rim (any relation to Pacific Rim) will hit PS4 and PS Vita next year.

Bandai bring the rage with Burning Edge

Hitting PS4 and the Vita, here's Bandai's latest trailer for Burning Edge, complete with crunching soundtrack and many, many punches to the face. What's not to love.

Videos of Square Enix's line up from Tokyo Game Show

Here are Square Enix's video trailers, fresh from Sony's Tokyo Game Show event.

Square has made the official Dragon Quest Builders video Japan-only, which makes me wonder if its not coming west, the other videos are global. This one has been ripped by someone else, apologies for the adverts.

Next up is the gorgeous and dinky looking World of Final Fantasy, mixing lovingly crafted renders and teeny tiny in-game characters.

Then, two all new games in the guise of SaGa Scarlet Grace, the latest in the SaGa series, to mark its 25th anniversary.

Finally, the all new "Of Sacrifice and Snow"from Tokyo RPG Factory. Looks pretty epic and good to see something all new. Not sure why Square hasn't uploaded the Draqon Quest Builders trailer yet.

Get your Remote Play on for Sony's PS4 TGS line up

With the PS4 price cut announced in Japan coming west at some point, if you haven't got a PS4, I'd hold off until that hits.

When I can finally afford to upgrade, guess I can Remote Play all this goodness with the next Everybody's Golf and Gravity Daze 2 hitting the PS4 only!

I have no idea why Clap Hanz can't update the the Vita engine for one more round of golf. And as for Sony not bringing Gravity Daze 2 to the Vita, that really is a killer blow.

Check out all the new games in Sony's TGS Vita advert

Sony showed off two adverts at its just wrapped TGS presser. A PS4 commercial with people flying around in buckets, and this one, for the PS Vita. Full of actual games! Can you count them all?

Square Enix Japan's Tokyo Game Show preview clip

Here's what Square is showing off at TGS including Dragon Quest and more. Not the full fat clips we just saw at Sony's show, but a hint of what's to come. Will upload the full trailers as they go live.

Sony's TGS show, a shower of Vita love (hopefully)

Here we go, all eagerly waiting for Sony Japan to support its little Vita. The good news is the little man at the start actually mentioned the Vita.

Watch the whole show rerun here.

Shehui Yoshida is taking the stage.... First up a look at Bloodborne: The Old Hunters from From Software, definitely not a Vita title.

Next, new Everybody's Golf, is it for Vita, is it, is it, is it? Format not specified, from the ever-relibale Clap Hanz. PS4 only by the general reaction.

Also, Gravity Daze, coming to PS4, it does look beautiful. Gravity Daze 2 is announced for PS4 only.

Japan gets a collector's edition.

Sony's PS4 trailers here (for Remote Play, naturally)

Now Ubisoft, bringing a Samurai Warrior to fight western knights. Then, Jack the Ripper to Assassin's Creed Syndicate, both PS4.

Then Sega, with a Yakuza, 10th anniversary project. Yakuza 0 Extreme, a remake of the PS2 game. Yakuza 6 is PS 4 exclusive, arriving next year. Also, King of Fighters 14!

Finally, some Vita-ness with a peek at more adventures in PSO2, except that too is coming for PS4 in 2016. Wonder if there will be cross play? And will PS4 owners be able to use their PS Vita content?

Here's Bandai to save the day. One Piece: Burning Blood. More fighting action. Also some more Vita 2-on-2 robot battling in the latest Gundam Xtreme.

Tecmo onstage, announcing Toukiden 2, coming for Vita and PS4 in 2016, open world mentioned.

Now Square Enix with World of Final Fantasy, coming to Vita and PS4 in 2016. 

Another new Square game, Saga Scarlet Grace, a Vita exclusive.

Sega now, a new Vita RPG!

And the Vanillaware project. 13 Sentinels.

Trailer here

Now Exist Archive from Spike Chunsoft. and Danganronpa 3, coming to Vita and PS4.

Trailer here

Now an update from Square on a game announced last year. Dragon Quest Heroes II capable of four-player mode for PS Vita, with a new character and set up. Scenarios and voice actor selection complete.

More on Dragon Quest Builders on the Vita, Square's Block Making RPG. The theme is to restore the Kingdom that has fallen under the rule of the Dragon Lord. In house development is going well. Releasing in Japan on 28th January.

Square's trailers here

Cue the Sony indie sizzle reel - sizzling! Then new colour controllers for PS4, PS Now for Japan and Project Morpheus!

PS4 PRICE CUT - wonder when that comes west, looks like it is definitely time to upgrade my PS3. Finally, new PS4 and Vita adverts. The Vita one actually showed some games!

Right, I'll track down all the new video clips and get them up for you. A great show thanks to Sony's third party chums, with lots of new games to look forward to. But Sony's lack of homegrown content left a horrible void at the top of the show.