Friday, February 27, 2015

Shadow Blade gets a reloaded trailer on its way to the Vita

We've already got Muramasa on the Vita, but if you want some more slicing action with a slightly more cartoony feel (great comic on the site), then check out Shadow Blade Reload from Dead Mage. An updated version of the original is coming to the Vita, this summer by the sound of it and will pack in plenty of slicing and dicing, platform action.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Stealth Inc. 2 sneaking up on the Vita?

Formerly a Wii U exclusive, the diminutive agent clones in Stealth Inc are heading back to the Vita. And, lets face it, they did look fantastic on a little OLED screen! The news comes via a trophy listing for the game across PS4/PS3 and Vita, expect an official news blip from Curve on Stealth Inc. 2: A Game of Clones, with the studio already making big waves already in 2015.

They've just had a snazzy logo redesign and announced that UK gaming PR legend Simon Byron is joining as a Publishing Director. The company has already helped bring Titan Attacks, Lone Survivor and a few others to the Vita, so give them all the support you can.

UPDATE: Curve say (via a Twitter DM) that they know nothing about this, so perhaps fake, or someone jumping the gun? Time will tell. The fact there's also a ESRB rating for the game floating around, suggests some gun jumping going on, perhaps part of the first level?

NEW UPDATE (Monday): This is now confirmed by Curve for for the Vita and other platforms coming in April. The sequel expands on the action-platforming gameplay of the original in every possible way, introducing a metroidvania style overworld, hidden secrets, customisable clones with a wide range of silly hats and brand new gadgets and equipment to play with.

Captain Earth Mind Labyrinth gets a talky trailer

Bandai announced last year that Captain Earth Mind Labyrinth was coming to the Vita and a new trailer has popped up to show some of the mange and a a bit of the game in action (if lots of talking is your idea of action). Hopefully there's a bit more to it than that and the brief puzzles.

Note the plentiful English - could this be another one ripe for import or a western release? Sure, it won't be up there with God Eater 2 Rage BurstRay Gigant and Bandai's other roster of Vita games, but the more the merrier!

Ray Gigant gets a spooky teaser trailer

Well, I was really enjoying the first half of the trailer, apart from the gurning character snaps that seemed totally out of place. Then it suddenly turns into a totally generic game clip for the rest of it, albeit with a very cool dragon.

Not that much to see really, but Bandai clearly have hopes for Ray Gigant with a summer release date. Check out the mag scans from the Dengeki article and the official site is now open for business. Will Bandai's partnership with Experience push them to do something a little more out their comfort zone? Guess we'll find out.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Feast your eyes on Ray Gigant from Bandai and Experience

Next up in today's big reveals, a look at the Dengeki scans of Ray Gigant, a game from Bandai and Experience that, stop me if you've heard this before, pits a bunch of school kids against a marauding band of demons from some other dimension.

It looks a bit like the recent Experience fodder but with a modern setting to appeal to the, stop me if you've heard this before, Persona lovers out there. Still, the more the merrier and with Bandai doing a good job on shipping their games west, and Experience being one of the better translating teams, here's hoping we get to see this here.

The game's teaser site should reveal more very soon. Click on a pic to view without the page clutter.

First Tokyo Xanadu screens pop up

We've had the dinky magazine scan, we've had the moody artwork, now feast your eyes on some proper screens of Falcom's Tokyo Xanadu in action. The game is an RPG that looks very much as if its borrowing a little of the Persona vibe (no bad thing).

They appear in the latest Dengeki magazine, scans of which have some moody teens mooching around surburban Tokyo by day and battling monsters and giant fiends by night in dark and dingy mazes. (Click on a pic to see them without the page clutter.)

Release date frenzy for much-anticipated Vita games

My poor release list has been edited into exhaustion today, with three major indie titles all getting release dates. Hotline Miami 2 from Devolver and Flame Over from Laughing Jackal (priced at £7.99) have just been dated for the 11 March in Europe, while earlier Olliolli 2 was confirmed for 4 March.

Certainly going to be a fun month

Roll 7 announce OlliOlli 2 landing next week

The developers of OlliOlli have just announced that the sequel will be hitting PSN next week on March 3/4, so get your pads on and prepare for more fiendish boarding challenges and daily tests to pit your reflexes and thumb skills.

The cynical among you may be wondering if that puts it up for PlayStation Plus freebie inclusion, guess we'll find out later this week. Olliolli2, Welcome to Olliwood will be hitting PS4 and Vita.

God Eater 2 Rage Bursts through the Japanese chart

No surprise but Bandai Namco's God Eater 2: Rage Burst is No.1 in Japan for the Vita, selling 234,180 copies beating out the PS4 version which sold a lowly 38,000. That's only down by around 25K on GE2's original launch week figure.

The Vita version is also No. 1 on the Japanese PSN, so combine Media Create's physical sales, those of the natty limited edition and digital sales, total numbers should be somewhere in the region of awesome. All things being equal, that should ensure we get Rage Burst in the west too!

Elsewhere in the chart, a few niche games tacked themselves on to the tail of the chart while Sengoku Musou 4-II is losing steam fast (last week's details here.) On the hardware side, Vita sales tripled on last week to 35,200 while Vita TV sales remained sadly flat around 750 units. So, just shy of 36,000 units for a nice spike in the graph.

Minecraft sells 200K on Vita in Japan

Interesting snippet of news from Famitsu, the manic miner title has sold over 500,000 copies on PlayStation platforms, with over 200,000 of those coming on the Vita as of 26th January, having hit 100,000 sales by 17th December.

UPDATE: Ahead of the retail release, Famitsu got off its high horse and gave the game a review, raking in a decent score of 33/40, scoring a nine and a hat-trick of eights from its reviewers. Still, that won't stop it shifting even more copies.

With a boxed copy launching next month over there (where God Eater 2 Rage Burst just rocketed to the top of the chart), expect those sales to keep on rising. Vita is the second most popular platform among schoolkids for the game in Japan according to the Famitsu article, All interesting stuff, wonder if new owners Microsoft will big up an Xbox One sequel to try and get sales moving in Asia?

The game has been UK Vita No. 1 for 16 weeks since launch, wonder how may units that equates to? Shame Sony can't be bothered to trumpet even the smallest of successes. Terraria also did well over there I recall, so if you want to make it big in Japan, block builders appear to be the way to go.

While we wait, here's Capcom's info on Resi Revelations 2

Episode 1 of the episodic serial thriller Resident Evil Revelations 2 releases digitally across Europe today (February 25th) on everything but the Vita at £4.99 an episode. Still no word from Sony on a release date. Don't get me wrong, I'm delighted Sony is bringing a big series to the Vita, but its dim silence remains singularly unhelpful.

The beginning of the Resident Evil Revelations 2 tale sees fan favourite Claire Redfield make a dramatic return. Survivor of the Raccoon City incident depicted in previous Resident Evil games, Claire now works for the anti-bioterrorism organization Terra Save. Moira Burton, is attending her welcome party for Terra Save when unknown armed forces storm the office, capture Claire and Moira and take them to a dark and abandoned detention facility on a mysterious island. Headed for the remote island in search of his missing daughter, Barry Burton meets brand new character Natalia Korda, a little girl who has a strange power that allows her to sense enemies and hidden items.

Using this skill alongside Barry's proven combat abilities, players will need to alternate between the two to survive the mysterious island and find Moira. With terrifying enemies waiting around every dark corner, players will need to use their ammo and weapon supply wisely, in classic survival horror style. Evolving the episodic chapter set-up of the original Resident Evil Revelations,

Hopefully, to make up for being late to the party, Vita owners will get the full box experience, with all Complete Season content, two additional spin-off episodes that focus on telling the side stories of each of the two new Resident Evil characters: Moira Burton and Natalia Korda, an additional Raid mode characters Hunk and Albert Wesker, four alternative costumes and the Raid Mode "Throwback Stage Pack" featuring four stages from recent Resident Evil titles.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Get some Iron in your Zen Pinball diet

Its been a while since I've noticed any new action on the Zen Pinball front, after all those Star Wars and Marvel tables, but the good folks at Zen are still bringing out the tables with Iron and Steel part of a new pack for the Vita, PS3 and PS4 out on the US PSN today.

The pack brings a mix of the wild west, Viking lore to the table with plenty of new ramp layouts, in-game puzzles and other tricks to master. Here's an hours worth of gameplay to get you in the spirit!

Xeodrifter floats from 3DS to the Vita

Looks like a mini Turrican to  me! Xeodrifter was a big noise on the 3DS with some great reviews, and is coming to the Vita. Renegade Kid (also developer of the well rated Mutant Mudds) is teaming up with Gambitious for the port.

Due in a the late spring or early summer, expect plenty of blasting and secrets to find in this classy retro shooter.

Bandai's Ray Gigant is another Vita game

Last week there was yet another mystery countdown site from Bandai, turns out that its yet another Vita game (two in one day, with Tokyo Xanadu, we are truly blessed!) Ray Gigant is being developed by Experience Inc and is set for a summer release.

The site is yet to reveal all, but the game is covered in the latest Dengeki magazine in Japan, offering three heroes who rise up to meet the Gigant, a massive monster threatening the earth. More info and images as the scans come in, or the site updates.

Also in Dengeki or unveiled on its own teaser site will be news of Compile Heart's Death in the Labyrinth, making it three new Vita games announced in one day! Did someone take one of those special pills?

Bandai shows off a bunch of Digimon Cyber Sleuth action

This game keeps looking better every time I see it and Bandai's latest video shows off some new battle scenes alongside the characters we've already met plus a few new people (I think). The game is out in Japan in March, we can only hope that Bandai's recent western push keeps rolling with this heading our way too.

Falcom announces the Vita as target format for Tokyo Xanadu

Tokyo Xanadu has been talked about by Falcom for a while now, but the team hasn't mentioned a format, until now. And the Vita will lead the way as the Ys series developer gives us something a little more modern and edgy.

Billed as an "urban myth action RPG" it is located on the edge of Tokyo in a place called "Morimiya City" with the usual bunch of school kids pitched into a mystery as they are flung into the labyrinths of Xanadu.

Marvelous shows off AT/VT Colorful

Almost a year on from the initial burst of hype, with videos, limited editions and so on, Marvelous is finally dragging its rhythm game over to Japanese. The game comes replete with pretty girls, squeaky vocals, cool videos and tapping frenzied action, and will likely be lapped up by fans who haven't had a Hatsune Miku costume update for at least 15 minutes. The game is scheduled for a June release.

Monday, February 23, 2015

The PSN US blog celebrates the Vita's birthday with a sale

While the EU blog could barely manage a sullen nod to the Vita, at least the American site seems a little jollier that Sony's portable is still around, while managing to put up another big sale. It doesn't seem quite as hit-heavy as the EU sale, but hey - cheap games!
Hard to believe how fast time flies, but PS Vita just hit its third birthday. From the launch of our slimmer model last May, to the kick-off of PlayStation Now on PS Vita, to the slate of new games, the system continues to deliver some of the best portable gaming experiences around.

Having been digging into the Vita's gaming history, which is a lot more fun than trying to cover the dribble of games today, I'll be going back through my gaming archive and digging up some of the more entertaining titles for some more in-depth pieces - to let the good times roll back around, again! I guess the key lesson here, is that the first games out for the Vita could just be the best it ever got and will always be worth revisiting.

Certainly, if anyone got a Vita recently, they can get a truck load of great games at cheap prices, perhaps that a selling point Sony could try, if it ever bothered to market the handheld.

Red Goddess dev update, see it at GDC

One of my most anticipated Kicstarters, Red Goddess from Yanim sees development hotting up and the company has some good news, with Epic showcasing it as part of the Unreal Engine booth at GDC expo in March.

The latest development info includes working on Divine and Rage characters expressions. The aim was to have Divine not super sexy, almost androgynous character, having both masculine and feminine characteristics. With Rage there was a dark mysterious aspect.

The first mask of Divine is a being of anger and muscle.. sounds like fun and based on these new screens the game is coming along great. Can't wait for the Vita version to tip up.

Persona 4 Dancing All Night gets a new Rise trailer

Rise Kujikawa is the star of Atlus' new trailer for the Persona 4 disco game. Whatever the story, the actualy gameplay and presentation looks solar bright, with a wide array of custumes. Just four months until the game hits Japan, hopefully a western release won't be too far behind. With the limited edition and a major push in Japan, this has to be the Vita's next big thing.

Run Postman Run sprints to the Vita

Bob Games is bringing Run Postman Run to the Vita, a platformer where you play as a humble postie in a challenging delivery environment. It’s not an easy task since the delivery routes can be very intricate and full of dangers, fortunately, the postman office provides you with the latest letter delivery technology.

 This technology includes non-lethal weaponry and support equipment specifically built to survive in a city full of ferocious dogs. As you advance through the delivery routes and become a more skilled postman you will be able to use a tranquilizer gun, a grappler gun, teleporters, smoke bombs, and other awesome stuff, including a cat thrower you can use to distract the dogs chasing you.

The game is coming to mobiles (hence the on-screen buttons in the pics), with the developers hopeful of a PS Vita version. Run Postman Run release is planned for a rapid release, so don't expect to be hanging by the digital postbox for too long.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

PS Vita's third birthday, best of the rest

Having covered the big hitters of WipEout 2048, Uncharted Golden Abyss and, um, Ridge Racer, the Vita still managed to have one of the biggest launch line-ups for a console. True, it was kind of leaning out into the indie and small budget games (Escape Plan, Reality Fighters, Hustle Kings) that have become its unfortunate millstone, but it still manages to deliver today.

First up is Motorstorm RC, shrinking down the series to a palatable and fun format across PS3 and Vita that ramped up the social aspect with lap time and other challenges. Pick it up today and it is still eminently playable, the perfect mix of burst play and twitch controls. Boot it up and all those challenging times for your PSN buddies are still there, demanding you have one more go, to try and pip their lap times with constituency, fine control and a little bit of luck.

Everybody's (Hot Shots) Golf is another game that never gets tired, pick it up any day for a round and it is bound to put a smile on your face, with all the cute characters, costumes, trick shots and way out courses. The series hasn't moved on (I know Clap Hanz is still going with MinGol Project), but what harm is there in a quick update with native-res graphics and some new features?

One of the most predictable, yet rewarding, launch games I played was Sega's finest entry on the Vita. Virtua Tennis pulled off the native res trick like few others with a stellar representation of the arcade classic with all the bells and whistles. As with the others on this page, it remains eminently playable with all the fun of the World Tour training modes and other challenges.

Finally, Unit 13 proved that the Vita could do first person shooters, but despite Zipper ripping out a tight, neat, focused run and gun with multiplayer and some clever daily missions, Sony's total failure to stick any brand identity behind it, be it SOCOM, Spec Ops or anything let it wither as a curio. Play it today and its still lots of fun, if now feeling very formulaic.

Vita's third birthday, a look back at Ridge Racer

Sony and Namco partnered for this version of Ridge Racer, and somewhere in the meetings, founded on the nascent world of mobile gaming, DLC and casual gamers, things went strangely wrong. From the perfection of the PSP iterations to the trial and error of recent main console versions, today Ridge Racer seems a shell of its former self.

Even trying to reinstall it now is a joke, will millions of bits of DLC to be dragged from PSN in the form of tracks, cars, music, skins and other guff. Where, in any meeting did this look like a good idea? But, on the track, either in the skinny solo mode, or in the ninja-dominated online ranking matches, it is still Ridger Racer, with insane drifting, impossible cornering and the challenge of maintaining the tightest of lines.

Given the game is now three years old, I don't understand why Sony doesn't make the whole thing free and give it away with all Vitas to encourage some life back into the online side, and get some buzz back around the series that has been sorely lacking.

Where are they now? Sony and Namco's partnership soon folded and Ridge Racer became a DLC laden mobile title instead of a DLC laded console title. Such is the future!

Vita's third birthday, a look back at WipEout 2048

I still remain sad that I didn't get this on day one, (see original review), but having got back into it recently, I can see its brilliance at every turn. Sure, I've loved the series since the PSone original, and Pure and Pulse on the PSP, but this really is another level, with PS3 Cross Play, vibrant multiplayer (even today) and staggeringly beautiful levels.
Also, now, I can compare it WipeOut HD and while the PS3's visuals are bolder, a little flashier and the framerate is rock solid, the core of the game remains the same. The challenge in WipEout is one of the best conceived on a console racer since Metropolis Street Racing on the Dreamcast. Learning (in this case relearning) every twist and turn is a torturous pleasure.

Everything about WipEout from the intro, the touchy interface to the rolls and side-slips, and vicious trophy challenges make it a purists game. Cross Play felt like the future back then and every bit of progress has to be worked for. Sure WipEout, despite the crossover status and iconic nature, was never a huge seller, but the world is a far worse place without it.

Where are they now: Studio Liverpool was dumped by Sony not long ago, leaving the PS4 without a WipEout - showing how dumb the company really is. Off-shoot R8 Games has its own plans with Formula Fusion, while Sawfly went down the toilet on the Vita with Men's Room Mayhem in 2013. Another off-shoot FireSprite, which has yet to announce a first proper title.

Vita's third birthday, a look back at Uncharted Golden Abyss

While the PS4 crowd get ready for the near-cinematic delights of Uncharted 4, I'm taking a quick play back through Bend Studio's launch contribution to the Vita. My bundled game of choice when I picked up the handheld, Uncharted Golden Abyss (original review) was my first visit into the world of Nathan Drake and his misadventures.

I remember being instantly grabbed by the likeable hero, his sidekicks and heart-stopping adventures. Sure the shooting wasn't quite as slick as could be, and the tilt/touch controls are take it or leave it, but as a Saturday matinee adventure, it remains quite the ride.

It still retains its title as one of the best looking games on the Vita to date, quite a statement - and imagine if Sony had let development and evolution continue on a sequel - or just farmed out the engine to a third party.

The cinematics are awesome for a handheld and bring us close to the amazing detail, despite the odd angle and jaggie. The action is certainly intense, with sniping, heavy gunplay and lots of choatic need-more-ammo running around. But the highlight is that around some corner on most levels is some wondrous bit of architecture or scenery to marvel at... the Vita truly blew away the closed room, small scale nature of portable games and opened the door for something bigger.

It is almost a shame most 3D Japanese games are so closed in with their boxy monster hunting levels, with only Gravity Rush a comparable title in terms of scope. But its the story of Uncharted that's the true hero, proving you don't need a hat and whip to bring great adventures to a console.

Where are they now: Uncharted was one of the Vita's best sellers and only recently dropped out of the UK top 20, but is still high on most digital charts. Apparently there was some work on a sequel, but the market and Sony moved rapidly on, leaving portable Nathan Drake in the dust - a true shame!

Friday, February 20, 2015

More clips of Hyperdevotion Noire in fish slapping action

Another typical day in the life of a video game character... kiss, cook fish then smack a winged pony or slice the crap out of a penguin! Check out a new pair of the Hyperdevotion Noire girls' (Moru and Neptune) mid-battle skills - when a character performs a skill with one or more allies nearby. If their Lily Rank is high enough, their kiss will dramatically increase the effect of the skills.

The game is out next week, so hone your fish slapping techniques and get ready for war!

NIS America bringing Danganronpa Another Episode west

I'm not sure NIS America's claim of its biggest news ever was quite justified with the late night announcement of bringing the obvious semi-sequel Danganronpa to western viewers, along with Disgaea 5 to the PS4 crowd, that's what everyone expected and just what they delivered.

Now called Ultra Despair Girls, it puts the aspects of the trial system in a shooter with the classmates fighting off many, many Monakuma and his ilk, trying to survive another day. Still, here's the artwork and a first western trailer. The game has an autumn release slot, and should be another healthy dose of whacked-out twisted fun for Vita owners.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Wade into battle with these new Hyperdimension Neptunia U screens

Potentially the most interesting of the Neptunia games, Hyperdimension Neptunia U packs in the strategy RPG tactics action, as these new pics from Idea Factory show. Mixing tile-based combat (hey we're not getting another Disgaea, so why not jump ship to the girls from Neptunia?). Anyway,  its late so I'll leave them with you and talk about them some more another time.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Vita gets a birthday sale on EU PSN

While Nintendo's four-year old console gets a new version, hardware update and new games, Sony Europe plods on with the only thing it can offer Vita users on the third anniversary of its portable. We get a best-of sale with all the top games at knock down prices. (Oh, and a birthday Theme featuring the best of Vita).

If you've missed out, go stock up on goodies like Tearaway, WipEout, Uncharted, Killzone, Gravity Rush - but surely all good Vita owners have them already. Some more recent goodies you may have missed out on include Wolf Among Us and Walking Dead Season 2 (season pass), MotoGP 14 and many trilogies, which offer weeks of gaming.

Assassin’s Creed III Liberation Was £14.99/€19.99, now £6.99/€9.99 10% additional PS Plus discount
Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate Was £34.99/€39.99, now £11.99/€14.99 10% additional PS Plus discount
Child of Light – Complete Edition Was £19.99/€24.99, now £7.39/€8.99
Child of Light Was £11.99/€14.99, now £5.79/€6.99
Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair Was £34.99/€39.99, now £14.99/€19.99
Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc Was £34.99/€39.99, now £14.99/€19.99
Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited Was £34.99/€39.99, now £14.99/€19.99
Dragon’s Crown Was £34.99/€39.99, now £14.99/€19.99
Dustforce Was £7.99/€9.99, now £1.69/€1.99
God of War Collection Was £19.99/€24.99, now £9.99/€12.99 10% additional PS Plus discount
Gravity Rush Was £11.99/€14.99, now £5.79/€6.99 10% additional PS Plus discount
Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA f Was £24.99/€29.99, now £15.99/€19.99
Killzone Mercenary Was £14.99/€19.99, now £6.99/€9.99 10% additional PS Plus discount
LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Was £34.99/€39.99, now £24.99/€29.99 10% additional PS Plus discount
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Was £34.99/€39.99, now £14.99/€19.99 10% additional PS Plus discount
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty – HD Edition Was £11.99/€14.99, now £6.49/€7.99
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater – HD Edition Was £11.99/€14.99, now £6.49/€7.99
Metal Gear Solid HD Collection Was £24.99/€29.99, now £11.99/€14.99 10% additional PS Plus discount
Mortal Kombat Was £19.99/€24.99, now £6.99/€9.99 10% additional PS Plus discount
MotoGP14 Was £24.99/€29.99, now £11.99/€14.99 10% additional PS Plus discount
MotorStorm RC Complete Edition Was £7.39/€8.99, now £3.29/€3.99 10% additional PS Plus discount
Need for Speed Most Wanted Was £44.99/€49.99, now £11.99/€14.99
Persona 4 Golden Was £34.99/€39.99, now £14.99/€19.99
Rayman Origins Was £14.99/€19.99, now £6.99/€9.99 10% additional PS Plus discount
Resistance: Burning Skies Was £11.99/€14.99, now £6.99/€9.99 10% additional PS Plus discount
Ridge Racer – Ultimate Edition Was £19.99/€24.99, now £5.79/€6.99
Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time Was £11.99/€14.99, now £5.79/€6.99 10% additional PS Plus discount
Sonic & SEGA All Stars Racing Transformed Was £34.99/€39.99, now £7.99/€9.99
Soul Sacrifice Delta Was £24.99/€29.99, now £11.99/€14.99 10% additional PS Plus discount
Street Fighter X Tekken Was £39.99/€44.99, now £7.99/€9.99 10% additional PS Plus discount
Super Stardust Delta Was £6.49/€7.99, now £3.29/€3.99 10% additional PS Plus discount
Tearaway Was £11.99/€14.99, now £6.99/€9.99 10% additional PS Plus discount
The Jak and Daxter Trilogy Was £15.99/€19.99, now £7.99/€9.99 10% additional PS Plus discount
The Ratchet & Clank Trilogy Was £19.99/€24.99, now £9.99/€12.99 10% additional PS Plus discount
The Sly Trilogy Was £19.99/€24.99, now £9.99/€12.99 10% additional PS Plus discount
The Walking Dead: Season Two – SEASON PASS Was £15.99/€19.99, now £7.99/€9.99 10% additional PS Plus discount
The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season Was £14.99/€19.99, now £6.99/€9.99 10% additional PS Plus discount
The Wolf Among Us – The Complete First Season Was £19.99/€24.99, now £9.99/€12.99 10% additional PS Plus discount
Uncharted: Golden Abyss Was £19.99/€24.99, now £9.99/€12.99 10% additional PS Plus discount
WipEout 2048 - Was £11.99/€14.99, now £5.79/€6.99 10% additional PS Plus discount
Ys: Memories of Celceta Was £34.99/€39.99, now £14.99/€19.99

Vita sales nudge up in Japan

A whopping four new entries in the Media Create chart for the Vita last week in Japan, nothing massive mind, but it helped nudge hardware sales up a bit to 11,500, the first time they've gone up this year. Interestingly the latest Samurai Warriors on Vita just nudged ahead of PS4 sales, but was around half that of PS3, as Sony prepares to juggle its business priorities.

PS4 sales are now regularly ahead of the Vita, something that God Eater 2 Rage Burst (out today in Japan) might not help fix as its out for both platforms, guess we'll see how the splits are next week.

01./00. [3DS] The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D # (Nintendo)  230.065 / NEW
02./00. [PS3] Samurai Warriors 4-II # (Koei Tecmo)  44.574 / NEW
03./00. [3DS] The Seven Deadly Sins - Unjust Sin (Bandai) 33.270 / NEW
04./03. [3DS] Yo-kai Watch 2: Shin Uchi (Level 5)  23.844 / 2.479.724 (-1%)
05./00. [PSV] Samurai Warriors 4-II # (Koei Tecmo)  - 23.519 / NEW
06./00. [PS4] Samurai Warriors 4-II # (Koei Tecmo)  - 22.468 / NEW
12./00. [PSV] Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai: Library Party (Kaga Create) - 8.950 / NEW
14./00. [PSV] Ukiyo no Shishi (Spike Chunsoft) - 6.699 / NEW
17./00. [PSV] Hyakka Yakou (Idea Factory) - 6.235 / NEW

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Deadman's Cross info unveiled

Sony keep pretty quiet about this Square game hitting western PSN, but just ahead of release we have a little detail about the very Japanese zombie shooter/card/RPG game. Still no western video, but you can scope out the Japanese trailer here.

Key features of the game include:
  • Over 400 kinds of zombies to catch, enhance and battle. New cards will be continuously introduced through updates
  • Battle engine designed by Hiroyuki Ito, creator of FINAL FANTASY’s famed Active Time Battle System
  • A First Person Shooter (FPS) element perfectly suited for the Vita's system controls, giving players an opportunity to defeat dead men in the field and obtain cards for your arsenal.
  • Co-op and PVP play enabled with players across all platforms of the game
  • Multi-screen experience that allows players to carry both the story and content between the mobile and PlayStation Vita system version.
Not sure how this will work since the game isn't even announced yet, but there will be a collaboration event with Capcom's Resident Evil 2: Revelations game, scheduled on February 25th. 

Terraria Otherworld announced

No platforms yet, but given that Terraria was a big hit on Vita in Japan, and stuck around in the PSN western charts for a fair while, I'd be hopeful that the game gets some portable love, given its non-stressful graphics. The new game is being worked on the ReLogic and  Engine, who worked on the console versions, so a more organised platform release will happen at the end of development.

For now enjoy some pre-alpha PC footage, and check back on the game's site for developments.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Vita devs continue to churn out the launches in Japan

Whenever Sony is ready, it can announce when its own-developed Vita version of Capcom's Resident Evil: Revelations 2 game is going to arrive. Its not like the rest of the world will have picked up the big screen versions of the episodic shooter (the Capcom site doesn't even mention a Vita version exists), picking up decent reviews in the latest Famitsu mag.

Elsewhere, the Vita has a hat-trick of manga/otome/visual novel games, as developers keep churning out the lower-end games for their home audience. Diabolik is an update of a PSP game, and managed around 4,000 sales on launch last month. Everything gets a reasonable score, but I'd be surprised if any of these bothered the top of the chart.

Resident Evil: Revelations 2 (PS4/XBO/PS3/360) – 9/9/9/9 [36/40]
Diabolik Lovers: Dark Fate (PSV) – 9/8/8/7
Yuki Yuna is a Hero: Memory of the Forest (PSV) – 8/7/8/7
Ozmafia (PSV) – 8/8/7/7

Another week, another One Piece trailer

Bandai is cranking these puppies out with fierce regularity. This one shows off one of the pre-order bonus characters, Sabo and yet more of the crazed combat action. If you can't wait for some One Piece, then you can check out the recently released Treasure Cruise iOS game that's a bit like the Fat Princess battle game.

Square's Deadman's Cross hits western Vitas this week

Card game cum zombie shooter with a hint of RPG, Deadman's Cross hit Japan last year and will land on western PSN this week in a pleasant surprise move from Square and Sony. Quite what to make of the game will have to wait until I've downloaded it I guess, as this could be brilliant or a horrible mobile cash in.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Dissidia takes its fantasy to the arcade

Dissidia was a fun take on the Final Fantasy universe, adding all sorts of mad combat with characters from across the series on  a couple of outings for the PSP, with the Duodecimal version selling over 500,000 in Japan, with a tasteful limited edition. I still have the review UMD for the first one somewhere, must give it a spin again.

Square is upping the ante for the next instalment with a full arcade game, which doesn't sound like it'll be particularly easy for a handheld conversion. Naturally, this new version features characters from the latest titles and is maxxed out on the graphics front. More info is coming in April,

Friday, February 13, 2015

Sir Eatsalot to gobble up your Vita

A fun sounding bunch of German indies, Behind the Stone, have just got their hands on Vita dev and test kits. That's good news, but what are they working on? Meet, Sir Eatsalot, a 2D side-scroller. Very much an in-progress title, with a some preview art, level design, animations and other stuff to show on the game's Facebook page.

They've been working on the game for around a year, can't wait to see what the final product looks like. File under done when its done, but I'll check in with the developers and see what progress they're making.

Xblaze: Lost Memories wakes in April

Japan is getting another Xblaze visual novel adventure in the spring, with Lost Memories following up Xblaze: Code Embryo which sneaked its way west last year, thanks to Arc System Work's usual diligence.

Not sure if that did well enough (on PS3 and Vita) to merit this new tale getting translated, but if you like the BlazBlue universe, its probably worth a peek. This trailers a little old, but Arc is starting to ramp up with some new screens and info on Japanese sites.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Hyperdimension Neptunia­ Re;Birth3: V Generation brings the hype to western Vitas

Idea Factory has yet another episode of the never ending tales of Hyperdimension saga to bring the to Vita. Arriving this summer, Neptunia­ Re;Birth3: V Generation will be hitting North America and Europe in both retail and digital formats! It will also be compatible with PlayStation TV.

A remake of Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory for the PlayStation3, this new version features more story, more scenarios, and more fourth-wall-breaking comedy! The game will also include dual audio, with Japanese audio available as free DLC.

Toukiden Kiwami gets ready for western launch

Check out the new videos that Tecmo is throwing around for the western version of Toukiden Kiwami. With new weapons and characters, the game is a big step up from the original, with bags more content. I didn't pick up the first one, but might give this a go, while waiting for God Eater Rage Burst to head our way.

Sony's 2015 release list rounds out the indie-friendly, mobile-port life of Vita owners

Sony has put up a long list of all announced games coming out this year, some out now, some dated, some TBA. The huge line of PS4 only games suggest Sony is pushing to move on as quickly as possible. Some games I thought were new to me, but searching through the blog, I'm pleased to say I've covered most of them, but still found a few I missed, mostly mobile ports by the look of it:

Chroma Squad (Behold Studios)
Desert Ashes (Nine Tales)
Monster Bag (Sony)
Militant (Xibalba)
Ninjin: Clash of Carrots (Pocket Trap)
Sketchcross (Spiky Fish Games)
Tower of Guns (Grip Digital)

Some of them have videos, posted below, you can check out. Of course, I hope Sony is yet to announce some titles, but anyone looking for anything big from Sony will be sorely disappointed, unless some Vita news pops out of its big "initiative" event next week.

Curve brings The Swindle to the Vita

Breaking and entering, hacking systems and a big fat haul as you make your escape are the order of the day for The Swindle. A new game hitting PS4, PS3 and Vita by Dan Marshall and published by Curve, it has a neat cyberpunk post-industrial look, check out the first trailer and expect this to sit alongside the roster of cool Vita indies.

Update: The Swindle will be released on June 28th on PSN.

Makai Shin Trillion busts some moves, and skulls

In what Jamie Redknapp would, wrongly, describe as literally a video of two halves (its more like 2/3rds bat shit dance video and 1/3 some gameplay), meet Compile Heart's Makai Shin Trillion. The game is set in hell, where its ruler has a trillion hit points - you can see where this is going.

It looks pretty straight forward action RPG with cute characters replete with massive special moves. You character has to bond with the Demon Lords to gain their strength, so that you can take down fatso in the climactic battle.

Last roll of the dice for Sega?

Once mighty Sega, facing more losses (after a brief period in the black last year), is restructuring (again) and slashing jobs in the west (again), suggesting that its almost time to wave goodbye to Sonic and the swirly Dreamcast logo of old.

Sure it might struggle on with mobile dross and a focus on its digital subscription-based titles like PSO2, but with creative output crumbling - yet another Sonic reboot? Really? There's not much left in the barrel.

Stumbling along in Japan, PSO2 has reached its second birthday with a batch of new content, plus a new patch for Phantasy Star Nova that ups the player level limit and adds super hard quests. Those and in-app purchase heavy mobile games like Chain Chronicle seem to be Sega's future.

There could be yet another Hatsune Miku, eventually. But that's not going to help it in the west, where even powerhouse developers Creative Assembly and Sports Interactive might be looking for an exit from Sega's shaky grasp.

Still in development in Japan is online RPG World End Eclipse, which would be an appropriate title to end Sega's journey. Anyone see any signs of hope for the company? Given the ace job Sumo Digital did with Outrun on PSP, Sonic Racing, and LittleBigPlanet 3, perhaps Sega need to give them a call and churn out some fun classic Sega title revamps fast?

Aksys promises big things for 2015

Hot on the heels of NIS America's big planned event comes a statement from fellow Vita supporter Aksys, suggesting that some cool stuff will be headed our way this year. No event or planned announcements yet, beyond Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters, but Aksys boss Akibo Shieh is bigging things up, as the company celebrates 10 years at the coalface of gaming: 
"We’d also like to thank all of our amazing partners! With such outstanding titles like the BlazBlue series, Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-, the Hakuoki series, Mind Zero, Muramasa Rebirth, and the Zero Escape series, along with many others, we’ve been able to grow and expand, publishing even more titles for our fans to enjoy.
We have a lot of exciting plans in the works during our tenth year and into the future, so please look forward to what we have in store! Here’s to another ten years and beyond!"

Are the Japanese moving from Vita to PS4? Latest Media Create sales

Well, that's not good news. On the last of the quiet weeks for the Japanese games market, PS4 sales are headed up, while Vita sales continue to slide, down to just over 10,500. Dragon Ball: Xenoverse helps shift some PS4s, taking No. 2 in the chart behind the PS3 version in this week's Media Create chart.

The Vita saw the Best of release of Persona 4 Golden shift 3,500 copies and a new Photokana Kiss games sell 9,500 but the PS4 is seeing a momentum shift. This week's releases of Ukiyo Bruno Warriors, Sengoku Musuo 4-II will hopefully see things tick up before next week's big bad arrival of God Eater 2 Rage Burst.

With the Vita already 50,000 sales down on last year's so far, that's a lot of pressure on one game, which will also hit the PS4, which direction will the sales favour? Guess we'll find out in a couple of weeks.

01./00. [PS3] Dragon Ball: Xenoverse (Bandai Namco) - 44,221 / NEW
02./00. [PS4] Dragon Ball: Xenoverse (Bandai Namco) (¥7.690) - 34,690 / NEW
08./00. [PSV] PhotoKano Kiss [EBKore] (Kadokawa) (¥4.298) - 9,512 / NEW
19./00. [PSV] Persona 4: Golden [the Best] (Atlus) (¥4.298) - 3,574 / NEW

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

No surprises from Sony in its latest Vita ad

Sony's latest US ad for the Vita shows off the handheld's upcoming highlights, and manages to fail to spring anything in the way of a surprise. In fact, with the indies like Titan Souls and Shovel Knight looking far more interesting than the biggish names, and PS Now and Remote Play offering, I'm not sure why Sony bothered - a bigger better indie sizzle reel would have been far more attractive.

PlayStation Mobile game of the week, Animals Cross the Line

Check out Animals: Cross the Line, an isometric Frogger-like game (with a pig in the starring role) and presumably more animals to rescue the further you get into this endless hopping game. At only £2.19, and with Hyperdimension Neptunia Rebirth 2 and Atelier Ayesha Plus the main releases, this is certainly something more immediate and arcade-like to keep you happy, rather like last week's Flem.

Strength of the Sword Ultimate adds proper Vita stretch goal

Originally, Ivent put its console stretch goals at a rather optimistic $100K for the team's Kickstarter campaign. But the duo have now seen sense and listed a decent Vita stretch goal for its stylish Strength of the Sword Ultimate (that hints at Chair's iPad hit Infinity Blade, but probably better).

The game offers co-op mode, more customisation and depending on how much it raises probably a lot more. Other comparisons include a spot of Dark Souls, which can only be a good thing.

Now, with the game already up to $10K of its base $14K goal and four weeks still to go, you can get a Vita version for just $30K, which looks like something of a bargain. Check out all the other Vita Kickstarter projects you can support.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Minecraft Vita gets a new patch update

Minecraft keeps getting updates on the Vita in step with the other console versions, to keep it all fresh and bug free. The latest patch is out today, bringing us up to version 1.14, with the following changes and additions:

- More Redstone fixes.
- Increased minecart limit.
- Stopped tamed horses despawning when they are in a fenced-off area.
- Crafting a map now produces an Empty Map.
- Fixed a crash with a Noteblock.
- Fixed an issue with village generation.
- Fixed an issue with Witch Huts allowing other mobs to spawn in them after a reload.
- Fixed an issue where Blaze Spawners and Chests don’t appear in the Nether after a Nether Reset.
- Fixed a crash with Minecarts travelling through Nether Portals.
- Fixed a problem causing clouds to look 2D