Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Distraint to disturb Vita owners soon

Distraint is a 2015 Steam release from Jesse Makkonen, a pixel adventure with dark overtones of psychological horror. The game has gained an impressive stack of positive reviews and sees anti-hero Price seizing the property of an elderly woman to gain a partnership in a famous company, but among the corporate evil-doing, he finds out the price of his humanity. Ratalaika Games is on porting duty, with an imminent release.

Jesse is currently working on an atmospheric puzzle/adventure Heal, about an old man making his way in the world, with no speech or text to distract from the ambiance.

Super Wiloo Demake hits consoles inc Vita this week

The original Wiloo from LightUp (Juliano Lima) hit Steam a couple of years back and this week all consoles get a new version in the form of Super Wiloo Demake, ported by Ratalaika. Wiloo is a faithful hound kidnapped by aliens, his owner is off to the rescue across a cheery 8-bit platform landscape, perfect for that Vita OLED.

No videos yet, but more gifs on his feed...

The demake brings new graphics and gameplay elements, and comes hot on the heels of Hoggy2, Mochi Mochi Boy and Bouncy Bullets as Ratalaika's porting portal runs at warp speed.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

The Tower of Beatrice adds some puzzling to the Vita

I was really enjoying The Witness thanks to PS+ on the PS4 via Remote Play recently, and even on the big screen, it looks like a game you could play on the Vita - maybe with a few more loading screens. Still, if you fancy some puzzle action,  The Tower of Beatrice, a year-old Steam game from Fairy Forsest, is headed to the Vita, judging by a trophy listing, providing point-and-tap puzzling.

It doesn't look too disimilar to Access Denied, but with a distinct gothic feel to it. The official blurb reads:

The life of a thief isn’t easy: always hiding in shadows, clients cheat, traps bite…

Working on a contract for a mysterious client, you'll need to infiltrate the tower of the powerful sorcerer Beatrice, steal her Book of Recipes, and get out alive.

Along the way you will enter a demon's dreams to discover his most intimate desires, accept a gift from a Granny-spider, start the Clock Tower, feed a snail, make a tea for a demon, piece together a skeleton, and finally fix your own fatal failing.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Mochi Mochi Boy puzzles the Vita

PixelTeriyaki's Mochi Mochi Boy is a recent puzzle game heading to the Vita soon thanks to Ratalaika. If nothing else, it looks cute and lively, with players needing to fill all the tiles in a stage to progress. PixelTeriyaki's previous work includes Super Weekend Mode and hopefully he has other distinctive projects underway that would look good on the Vita,

Thursday, July 11, 2019

In Celebration of Violence mugging the Vita

A tweet by the very busy Dolores Entertainment suggests another fun pixel rogue-splatter fest is headed our way. A year-old Steam game originally from Julian Edison, it has plenty of very positive reviews and looks like a bloodbath of fun, described as a fantasy action roguelike of exploration and murder where you live, kill, die, improve, live again.

New Blue Wings trailer from Experience

Call it Students of Round, Chevalier of Blue Wings or whatever, here's the remake that represents Experience Inc's final offering for the Vita. Cue soaring strings, arty scenes of battles and maps succumbing to angry colours. There's some character bios near the end and some dinky screens, The game is out in a couple of weeks in Japan only.

Update: Trophies are live if you're keen on importing.

Shakedown Hawaii mega-patch goes live

Vblank continues to deliver the goods, keeping the content and extra goodies to the top-down mayhem. A new patch brings the game up to version 1.04 and is a mere 43MB. Called The Full Tank update, it adds:
  • New vehicles including tanks
  • More enforcement types including agents
  • A zoomed-out camera option
  • New shakedown mission scenarios
  • Heat system to shakedowns
  • Off-island travel from the airport
  • Vehicle purchasing
  • Transferring funds to other characters
  • Game console in living room is now playable
  • Improves property selection on map screen
  • Plus bug fixes and more, many detailed in this new trailer. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Nintendo confirms Sony was right with the Switch Lite

In a totally unsurprising move, Nintendo has revealed the Switch Lite (aka the Vita 2), releasing in September at $199 and looking remarkably like Sony's humble handheld. Like the Vita there will be no TV-out and unlike the original Switch, it won't connect to a base unit for big-screen play, so this is basically the Vita with some modern processors and a not much better 720p 5.5" screen, unless they've sneaked an OLED in.

The biggest plus is the 32GB of built-in storage, plus expandability, so none of that Sony memory card stupidity! Here's the typically horrendous lifestyle video, no fat people in pants, no 3AM binge gaming, at least bookended by the more usual Nintendo intro and features guides.

Unlike the Vita, the Switch lite will have 2,000 games at launch, and come in pretty colours in the west - tempted by turquoise! Millions of Switch users looking for a better on-the-go unit, hopefully with better controls and feel, are probably pre-ordering right now.

Some early comments are hating on the no-TV angle, but Nintendo knows its market and this gives it a couple of years more bumper sales in Japan certainly, and probably pretty good in the west, until the Switch 2/Pro hits in 2020/21 (guessing)! Other comments are "oh, its a Vita!" which is amazing since apparently no one knew what a Vita was!

Hopefully Nintendo makes it easy to move accounts and games over! Is it a shame there's no secret 3DS game port and emulator in the hardware? Probably, that would have been cool and see Ninty follow MS and Sony in making retro or better-retro easier, just like the Vita did. For non-handheld games (see that video), you can play with your current Joy-Cons or go buy a set. So, like the original Switch, the Lite has that slight air of kludge to it.

Also more noticeably missing now its a full portable device are the range of media apps, Netflix, Spotify, iPlayer, Hulu and so on. Hopefully Nintendo is on the case getting those and other apps for the Lite.


And to think Sony just gave away this market, forgetting the Japanese traditional long-term business outlook for some short-term western thinking! A 2016 Vita 2 with HD, dual-sticks, better WiFi/4G stack for improved PS4 Remote Play and a proper marketing campaign would have at least kept Sony in the game.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Eastasiasoft and Dolores bring disco and battling to the Vita

Eastasiasoft continues to deliver the goods for Vita owners with two new games, UnderCoder's Conga Master Go and MadGear's A Hole New World, both ported by Dolores, this month. That's alongside physical releases of Arcade Distillery's War Theater and Mecho Wars.

Both games come with manuals, soundtrack CDs and the physical Vita card, showing that physical releases are still a thing! Conga Master, a 2016 PC title, is a pixel dance/puzzle arcade game as you have to keep the disco line moving while it grows. A Hole New World is an arcade platformer with plenty of jumping and shooting fun.

Line up if you like them as the collectibility only seems to be getting more intense for Vita games. Release dates are spread over the month to keep your wallet from crying too much.

• 11th July: Conga Master Go!
• 18th July: War Theatre / Mecho Wars: Desert Ashes
• 25th July: A Hole New World