Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Chasm Launch trailer ahead of your unique adventure

BitKid's Chasm is live on PSN now and here's a new launch trailer with just some of the arcade goodness buried within this epic title as a new knight sets out to prove his worth. It should be tough to write a guide for as, while overall story is the same for all players, your hero's journey will be unique.

Each room has been hand-designed, and behind the scenes Chasm stitches them together into a one-of-a-kind world map that will be your own. And that's without the many battles to fight, bosses to overcome and much more. Note, the game itself is only 64MB (with a 31MB patch), so no stress on your memory card.

Check out BitKid's Kickstarter post summarising the five-plus years of development. "So I guess this is it. Chasm is done, and it’s now being played by people worldwide. To say that it’s a surreal feeling would be an understatement. I’ve done pretty much nothing but Chasm for the last 5-6 years and now it’s out of my hands."

Review Fill-a-Pix: Phil's Epic Adventure

A pronto follow up to Lightwood's Pic-a-Pix Color, Phil's Epic Adventure foregoes the colour for some block grey-scale pixel filling in with new rules.

Numbers highlight the amount of squares per block of 9, or 6 if working around the edges. So, if there's a 9 in the middle of that set, every one will be coloured in black. If there's a 0, they will all be gray.

If there's a number in between, you need to figure out which are black and which are gray. After a quick tutorial, off you go into Phil's photo archive from his world tour, trying to touch up the images and find out what he snapped in Italy, Japan and so on, giving it a globe-trottting theme.

Making it more different to Pic-A-Pix, the images in this game are huge, scrolling over a wide area. You might get one section done, but then need to head somewhere else to link them up. To help out, there are hints, a Smart Cursor painter tool that will auto-fill squares for you, and then your own brutal logic to figure out why one number has turned red when it goes wrong.  

You can easily play the game with the Smart Cursor just to find out what the pictures are. Even then, it can take half-an-hour an image, which makes it a bit less pick-up-and-play. Also, without the colour, it doesn't feel quite as intriguing or as focused as the earlier game, quite often the images aren't worth the wait.

Still, its another useful diversion for the Vita's roster and if you like a puzzle challenge, then there is certainly hours of play to focus your mind. 

Score: 6/10
More Reviews
Price: £6.49 (PSN)
Developer/publisher Lightwood
File size 93MB
Progress: Toured Le France!

Monday, July 30, 2018

Super Life of Pixel coming August

One of the finest PSM games finally gets its much-deserved fresh lease of life, with a Super Life of Pixel edition launching on PSN, 22 August. The Super Icon nostalgia trip, with fresh input from White Moon Dreams, now looks even more fantastic. It borrows from the history of platformer classics with a bunch of new features, trophies and extra moves, all trying to get our curious pixel to the end of the level.

Word Search by Powgi hitting the Vita

Lightwood recently brought us the puzzle fun of Pic-A-Pix Colour and Phil's Epic Fill-A-Pix Adventure (review in progress). Another company seems to be keen on getting on the Vita puzzle action with a trophy listing (including Platinum) up for Word Search by Powgi.

Originally a Wii U game, about three years ago, sure these aren't indie epics. But, as with the Pix games, sometimes you just want to relax and focus on something without a billion exploding pixels.

Both Powgi and Lightwood have a few more games in their roster that will find a welcome home on many consoles, so maybe a few more to hit the Vita?

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Check out The Dreamlands: Aisling's Quest on Vita

Coming to US PSN on 7 August, and EU at some point in the future if the developer can get enough money for a PEGI rating, The Dreamlands: Aisling's Quest from The Domaginarium is a 3D adventure packed with puzzles and mystery.

dreamlands, aisling's quest, ps vita, adventure

One day, Aisling experienced an event that transports her into a world shaped by her dreams and nightmares. There, she learns about The Mourner, a dark entity that is covering and corrupting the land. Aisling must go on a quest to recover three treasures that will help her face The Mourner, bringing peace to the Dreamlands and ultimately to herself.

Severed physical release pre-orders today

UPDATE: Pre-orders live, 50% sold out in the first couple of hours. free (if slow) shipping problem solved.

You have just a few hours to get in the queue before PlayAsia put up the 3,000 copies of Drinkbox's classic slash-em-up Severed (review) up for pre-order. The game comes in a collectors edition box, with numbered certificate (issue 1-3,000) the game, and an original soundtrack CD, all for $34.99.

In Severed you play as a distraught warrior, who is lost in a fantastical world. She is tasked with the challenge of knitting together pieces of her story from both the past and the future. Our heroine will embark on a journey through a surreal non-linear world using a gesture-based combat mechanic to defeat enemies in this first-person adventure. Unlock new abilities, discover secrets of the land, and grow in power as you master both offensive and defensive techniques. Let Severed be your mystery to unravel.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Vita sales still on the up in Japan

No games in the Media Create chart, but that doesn't stop Vita sales ticking up by another 150-odd, moving it over 4,250 for the week. Out this week is Collar X Malice Unlimited, in a range of limited editions. Then there's Grisaia Phantom Trigger 03 & 04 the following week and Bullet Girls Phantasia after that, for a decent run of releases, but nothing likely to threaten the top of the chart.

Super Mutant Alien Assault gets Vita trophy listing

Earlier in the year, Chris Suffern's Super Mutant Alien Assault got a PEGI (video) and other ratings for a Vita version. But, there was no word from the dev or a publisher. Now there's a set of trophies listed, with one gold, one silver and a dozen bronze up for grabs, for the superbly-detailed pixel shooter.

Can't wait to give it a blast! I guess the port/publisher (Limited Run have a secret game on the way???) will reveal themselves in short order, but it is getting rather silly when we know all the Vita releases by their trophy trails.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

PatoBox dev shows off Vita version

If you're not on Twitter, you're missing out on a big chunk of Vita community and news. For example, here's a first look at the duck-boxing crossover title in action on Sony's handheld, I think the first time we've seen it moving. Looks pretty cool, and what's not to like about a pugilistic canard? 

Friday, July 20, 2018

Waking Violet Walkthrough and Guide Part 3

This final section. if you're stuck earlier in the game, go take a peek at Part 1 and Part 2 of the guide.

The new map has four puzzles to solve behind gates, so some block juggling required. I'm going left to right on the triggers.

Colder than ice: Collect the potions and create a clone on your side of the water. Freeze the clone (you cruel bastard) and shove it into the water in front of the fourth from left block. Push that block up, then move the fifth block down across your popsicle bridge onto a trigger. Push the second block into the water and move blocks one and three onto triggers. Now push the high block onto its trigger to open the gate. Collect the clock and get out of there.

colder than ice, waking violet

Always something else to do: Collect the potions and turn two clones into popsicles again. Push them onto the triggers and move up. To arrange the five blocks onto the triggers...

Push the highest block all the way left. Push the block below you down one.
Push the lower left hand block down onto the lowest trigger.
Push the higher left-hand block down onto the second trigger.
Push the remaining middle block up one and left one.
Push the right block right, down and onto the far trigger.
Push the lower remaining block right, up, right and down onto the remaining lower trigger.
Finally, push the last block along onto the higher trigger. (phew, if that doesn't make sense, hope the pics do!)

always something else to do, waking violet

This will drop gates in front of the lightning orbs so you can push the clone popsicles up to the triggers above their current location to gain access to the portal. Go down to the lower section, use the fireball to shoot both blocks at once, then trigger then green orb to open the gate, get the clock and leave.

Falling apart: Get the potion to your right, hit the trigger and go up then left to avoid the green ball, then right and down to avoid the second shot. Get the next potion, move the two blocks to create some space and get the clock. Shoot the ghost to get out.

Ice of the beholder: The key here is to freeze the four ghosts and put their blocks on the triggers, easier said than done, judicious use of the back button is likely. Get the two potions and then the clock to trigger the ghosts. Shoot the nearest one near the top but with enough room to walk above it.

Push him right a block and a half  to block the next two, then sneak past the last one. Time your raid on the other potions as the door is rising to get through both ways unharmed. The tricky bit is shooting the remaining three with enough wiggle room to get them on the triggers.

ice of the beholder, waking violet

Back in the portal room, grab the key and go through the left portal to open the gate. You need to run all the way back to the other portal to get to that side of the room (go on, I'll wait!). The route is back, across, across the ice (not the nearby down portal), then pick the lower portal in the green level and the lower portal again.

You now face six more levels.

Time and time again: Some back and forth is required for the first four blocks to get them on their triggers. Push the top one, one square left, go around it and push it right. Push the middle square down and onto the lower trigger, move the left block up so you can get the remaining one down, and then replace the higher two...

For the second part, get the potions and read the note. Press circle, then push the higher and lower blocks right and the middle one down to reach the X. Trigger the clock and push the block through the portal to escape.

Time flies: Collect the potion, then put half your butt in front of the right-hand green bolt to stop it shutting the gate. Tap circle at that point. Sneak through quickly and shoot the block above so you can position the three remaining ones on the triggers. When you get the clock, move to the gate, and reverse time, duck through and out the portal.

Been there, done that: Collect the big potion, press circle. Push the top block up, collect the potion, then create a clone in the corner. Go to the lower block, push it and get the potion. Press circle again. Push the two blocks and use the clone to cover the triggers, collect the clock and exit.

Let's do that again: Down, left, fireball, push right, collect potions. Go up and around the block, press circle. Push it off its trigger and down where you came from, go around it again and push it up to block the lightning to the left, so you can get above it. Press circle again to return it to its start position and open the gate. Get the clock, and pull the other block down and out to block the downward lighting. Move the other block over to open the portal gate and move the other block to protect against the right lightning bolts, then sneak out.

Flowing like a river: Collect the potions and juggle the four blocks above with a couple of pulls on the third-from-left block to get them on the triggers. Then stand by the lower block and press circle before showing it across the ice to complete the path. On the other side, press circle again to open the last gate, get the clock and push the block back to recomplete the path. Shoot the block you moved at the end of the slide to allow access to the portal.

Forward to the past: Have a cup of tea or coffee, we'll be here a while. Figure out how to put the four blocks on the triggers. But, before you do that, shove them all the way over to block the ghost in his square. Do this carefully, so there's room to maneuver the blocks back and forth. When in position, press circle. Then move them all back again to the triggers to open the gate, and get the clock. Once you're outside the gate, press circle again to return the blocks, trapping the ghost.

waking violet, forward to the past,

To escape through the portal, push the nearby block half onto the trigger, then pull it off again to open the sequence gates.

That gives us the key, to move some blocks to open the gate to another portal. And onto the final few levels, which I'll write up tomorrow!

So close...: You can't undo on these levels, so caution! Also, there's not clocks to collect. Instead, grab the potions. Move the three blocks onto the triggers, hit circle, then push the middle one up to its destruction. When you're standing above where it was, press circle again. In the second section, moving the blocks is easy enough, but you're one short so make sure that one block covers the two adjoining triggers.

For the final bit, head to the portal. Push the top-left hand block right, then push the lower block down. Now, who's this mysterious person? When they've vanished move up and right to get out the way, press circle to restore the blocks, replace them and enter the portal.

...yet so far: Easy this one. Collect the potion, stand next to the gate and shoot freeze to the right. Hopefully the ghost stops before the trigger, redo if you get stuck. Pull the frozen ghost and the block into the river to let the next ghost move up. Go down the doors. Meet your nemesis, briefly, then pull the next block to open the exit door.

Grab the key, go to the last portal. Time for the last level.

Fountain of youth: This is pretty easy. Avoid the fireballs from your new friend. Grab the two potions in the inner section, and trigger the water power so you can get to the outer level. Use the mini-game keys (you did get them didn't you?) to open the doors and get the potions. Place clones on the two triggers on the right hand side to get more potions, there's another one on the far left-hand side.

Now place three of the four clones on the triggers in front of the lightning orbs. Once in place, keep your main clone or Violet safe, and put the last one in place when our friend is in the firing line.

Plan B: get some potions and go back into the inner section to freeze the villain, before escaping through the portal for a different ending!

Plan C: Quickly urn a clone into a popsicle, push him into the bottom left water hole and the villain should move down into the single cell traps, completing the game the third way. Trophies all round. Not you need to play the game once without hints for one trophy!

Experience's Team Muramasa reveal Project NG

Fear of the Dark, or My Baby is a Headfuck? Experience's new Vita project NG gets a first showing with blood, barbed wire, anger, goofy friends, hounds, teeth and big knives among the hellish scenes. Can't wait! The game hits Japan in September, chances of a western release are slim I'd guess, but who knows what miracles can happen, since Death Mark is coming our way.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Waking Violet Walkthrough and Guide Part 2

Continuing on from the first installment, let's get on with the puzzle solving. The third portal room contains five puzzles and two exits.

Getting around: Collect the potions, stand on the trigger and send a clone past the open gate. Use the clone to half-step on the second trigger to keep the gate open, and move your original clone into the gate, shuffling them down. Use them to push the block above the lightning orb to get past, read the note and start pulling blocks around. Pull the original block to block the left side of the lightning bolt, so you can move further down the level. Move one clone to the bottom and pull that block over the water, sacrifice the clone to get the clock and escape.

Pull back: To open the gate, push the lower block right, push the block above you up, then move up that first block into the next chamber onto a trigger. move the second block along and then pull the remaining two into place using the minimum amount of pulls (four). In the orb room, use pull to move the block half a step left and send a clone over, it can safely get the clock and the original Violet can escape the room.

Isolation: Shoot the lower-left block to make some room and put the other three on the available corners. Pull one block out from the side to fill the last trigger and get out of the room to collect the other potions. Go back to the block room and move them using your pull power into a line in the water to collect the clock. Then pull the final block out to get to the portal. (easy isn't it, spent hours trying different tactics on this one!)

waking violet, isolation
Beware the trap: Move the nearest three blocks around so you can push the right-hand one onto the trigger to zap a block. Now move the upper left block further left, the block below down, and move the middle block to the right so you can expose the portal. Collect the clock, and immediately move the block to your left to stop the ghost from coming down.

waking violet, beware the trap

Pull over: Similar to Isolation, move the four blocks onto the triggers, but without using any pull powers. Just move the two left ones into the right room, and vice versa, with a bit of juggling. That leaves you with all the potion power to send two clones across the top row in the orb room, allowing one clone to collect the clock and you to escape.

waking violet, pull over

Back in the portal room, collect the key, position the two nearest blocks on the lower triggers and then move the upper one to open the two gates. Take the upper portal first for a welcome change of colour.

Tempo: Walk left to right across the four triggers, stepping back after hitting the last one to avoid the blast. Go through the door, pick up the potion, and go across to pull the block into the water. Push the second block into the ghost room and position it so they can't follow you. Collect the clock and return to the portal.

Emergency button: Collect the potion, push the block in the main area up a few spaces, then a half-step right and down again onto the right-hand button. Go up to the higher room, move the left block (no. 1) up, so you can get above it. Then push it down and right, blocking the entrance to get the three blocks onto the triggers. Move the right hand block ( no. 2) down one, push the highest block (no. 3) left two spaces. Go down and around and push the no. 2 block back up and left. Push no. 2 onto the upper right trigger, go up and around to push no. 1 on the lower trigger, and up and around one more time to push no. 3 on to the remaining trigger.

Go back into the main room, move the original block down, push it up, pull it left and place it between the ghost and the trigger above it, then hit the clock. This will send him down the screen to trigger the door so Violet can get into the portal.

Curling: Collect the potions on the outer corners. Push the outer two blocks straight up. Then move the next two to the outer holes and send them up too. The clever bit here is stand half a step onto the ice and pull them back. Stand still, so they both block the lighting across the lower edge.

The second clever bit is to go up the middle path, face left and fire another pull at the block, then skate toward it so you stop under the clock, a few goes might be needed to get the timing right. Go down to get the clock, right to stop under the portal and up to enter it.

Third time is a charm: Move past the first block and take half steps to collect the two potions below it. Then push the block up to escape the lightning. In the second room, half push the block to the left, then push again and go right quickly to avoid the fireball. Push the block up and into the ghost room for later.

In the second lighting room, half push the upper left block down to block the lighting. Then fetch the spare block from the ghost room, pull it down the right-hand entry and half-cover the right hand lightning. move the middle block down and leave enough room to go around it without getting zapped and pull the last block down. Now cover the horizontal bottom lighting route with those two. Enter the green portal to go play Pac-Man.

Bonus: Hungry like a ghost: Zoom out the map so you can see the ghosts and collect all the dots. Break the map into quarters, and lure the ghosts into one, to clear the opposite area. Two power ups will chase them away, and when you get the last one the level finishes instantly, so don't worry about a chase for the last few.

To complete Third time is a charm, do the same up to the third room. This time pull any three blocks into the ghost room, however you like, and place them as shown to block the ghosts in, so when you collect the clock, you can escape.

Having cleared the four main levels, you can now collect the key and go through the portal to the left. Here, the only thing to do is push a panel onto a trigger and return.

Go back through the portal, and then the portal you came in by. You can try the lower portal here, but will find there's nowhere to go. So, go back, and go left into the portal on the far left of the screen. Take the middle portal here and there's a new set of levels to solve, all accessible with a bit of curling.

Annoooooying: Go down, right, down and left to get the clock. Then go right, up, left, down, right, up to land on the trigger. You'll need to time this so the ghost either gets killed in the gate or trapped in the bottom half. Then go down, left up, right and down to enter the portal.

Sleep sliding away: Move across the purple squares, up, right, down, left, up to push the block onto the trigger that opens the gate. Now go down, down, right, up, left, up, right to pass the portal and onto non-slippery land. Get the clock and push the block down, carefully positioning it to trap the two ghosts out of harm's way so you can get to the portal.

Stacked: Collect the two potions and send a clone up the level. Move the original Violet down and right, then up to bring her into play. Move her left, up, right, down to put her on the same line as the clone.

Now play block tennis between the two to get one of them in the right place to grab the clock. When she grabs it, go left, down and right. With that done you can leave the level.

waking violet, stacked

To enter the red portal and play the next mini-game to win the key, go as far as sending original Violet up the screen. Then use her to push the block down (or the clone) as the clone pushes it across screen. Now Violet can enter the red portal.

On the verge of exploding: This Bomberman clone isn't as scary as it looks. The basic rule is, plant a bomb, run away, plant the next bomb and you get two more. Keep blowing up the ghosts (some are slow and oblivious, a couple are faster and vaguely smart) and carefully make your way across the level to get rid of them all, to collect the key once they are dead. Just don't trap yourself and you should be fine, and use the zoom to make sure a ghost isn't sneaking around you.

Entropy: Collect the potions and put a clone on one trigger, while you stand on the other. Send clones up both sides and nudge the blocks until you can line the clones up at the top row. Have them meet so one can collect the clock. To get into the portal, have the clones do a cross over by the portal, so that one stops and can enter the portal.

waking violet, entropy

Learning to ice: Collect the potion. Walk on the trigger and move down to block the green blast from hitting the target to keep the door open. Get the clock and read the note to uncover the Freeze skill. Freeze the ghost and push him into the water to make a bridge, to enter the portal.

Crossed: Left, down, right, up, right, down. Look up, create and activate clone, down, right, up, left, down.

Get the key and enter the room with two portals. Take the lower one first, push the block left then down to access the other section later, go back the way you came and enter the upper portal.

And here's Part Three.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Red Art makes the Bard's Tale physical

Inxile's remastered The Bard's Tale on Vita is a chunky old game at over 1.6GB, something that should have seen the remaster stagger drunkenly to a physical release last year. However, French publisher Red Ant is taking up the mantle, and celebrating its first physical edition with a Vita and PS4 release of the classic RPG later this year.

Only 3,000 Vita copies will be produced, so preorder yours now for €25. Okay, the game is only £8 on PSN right now, but boxed copies are forever, and that's plenty of memory card space for smaller games. 

Media Create chart data and Famitsu scores

No Vita games in Japan's Media Create chart this week, dominated as it is by Switch titles with Octopath Traveler at No. 1 But that hasn't stopped the Vita from selling with sales up 650 on last week up to 4,112 this week, as it steams away from the recent 2K and 3K lows.

No idea why, given that Japanese releases are down to a trickle and pretty much all focus is on the Switch. Dark Quest 5 and Radio Hammer Station were out this week (both download only, I think) but hardly system sellers.

On the non-Vita front, Idea Factory's decision to bring Mary Skelter 2 to PS4 only bombed, with the game only selling 10K, down from 18K on the Vita launch of the original.

Over in Famitsu land, Collar x Malice: Unlimited (out next week) is the only Vita game to get rated this week, scoring a mixed bag of 9/8/9/7 for a total score of 33/40.

Waking Violet Walkthrough and Guide Part 1

Marco Mastropaolo's Waking Violet (review) is a tricky little puzzler with dark overtones, ones that seem to get darker the more you get stuck. Having finished it, I'm going through it again to create this guide, With over 40 levels, there are lots of sections where the solution is less than obvious.

Having waded my way though the game, here's a guide with hints and tips, any questions, comment or tweet me. This was done on the Vita version, but I guess they work for PS4, Switch, PC etc.

Opening level: Push the blocks into the water, use the final block to lock in the ghost, trigger the alarm clock and exit the level. The first portal room has six more puzzles, solved in order of top row first, left to right.

waking violet tips

Fire flies: Leave the block protecting you from the lightning. Go round the corner and stand on the trigger to send a fireball down the screen to remove one block, so you can escape later. Then, move the nearest lower block in the pile to the left, then push up, move the block on your right to the square in front of the trigger.

Use the right stick to get a full view of the map. Collect the alarm clock and then immediately push the nearby block left to stop the ghost getting you. Trigger the fireball when the ghost is in front of the launcher. Push the block up to exit the level.

Rekindling old flames: Arrange the three squares to your left around the lightning orb to stop it shooting.  Read the note and follow the instructions. Move the lower block to get the clock, shoot the three blocks and shove the last one past the portal to escape.

waking violet, rekindling old flames

Thinking inside the box: Collect the potion. Push the middle block two right, go around it and push the upper right block two down onto the trigger. Push the first block you moved up two, then sort out the other two to open the door. Fireball the block in the next room to open that door. Fireball the left, then the right blocks to exit the level.

High voltage: This is where the game's clever use of half-brick positioning comes into play. Move the first block to prevent the nearest orb zapping you. Push the second orb right and position it to block both orbs from hitting you (pictured). The rest is simple, align the blocks to avoid the lightning, collect the clock and retrace your steps.

waking violet, high voltage

Boolean logic: In room one, place the block on the trigger to open the door. In room two, push the block onto the nearest  trigger to keep door one open. Then move the original block into this room. Put both blocks on the two left hand triggers to open the new door.

Stand next to the blocks obstructing the passage and fireball them out the way. Shoot the blocks to your right first to get enough fireballs to clear the way to the clock, then reverse course and exit, pushing the last block out of the way.

Walking on water: Push the nearest block up to cross the water and get the potion. Push the second block right one, get the potion by the ghost, then push it right again and get the third potion. Fireball the block to open the door below you. Fireball the block at the bottom of the passage, read the note. Move the two blocks to reach the potion. Press square to trigger your water ability and collect the others, the clock and return to dry land.

Trigger the ghost door and walk off it and you should kill the ghost (trophy trigger), repeat a few times until it works. Then exit the level. Collect the key, move the four outer blocks to the four corners and the middle block to up the upper-middle block to open the next door.

waking violet guide

The second portal room has seven puzzles, solved in order of top row first, left to bottom right.

Half-way there: Collect the three potions and shoot the first two blocks. Push the third block down one, but not into the water. The next block, push half-a-step down so it blocks the lightning orb. Make a bridge with the next two blocks and collect the right-hand potion. Now go back a bit and stand to the right of the half-block that protecting you from the first lighting orb. Activate walk-on-water and surf  across to it, push it a half-block to the left, go down and left to push the remaining block down before the time expires.

waking violet, half way there

Now push it half a block down to defend against the lower lightning bolt and push it onto the trigger to open the exit gate (pictured). Collect the potions and clock, trigger walk-on-water and quickly make your way to the exit. 

How many me: Push and fireball the blocks to get over the water to the note, collect the potions. Follow the instructions to clone yourself, move the clone to open the door on the right, use the original you to collect the clock and open the door on the left, switch over and exit.

Sacrifice: Collect the four potions, shoot the block above the lower potion to get out, move a block to collect two more and use fireballs to get the two pairs of potions. You can ignore the solo potions, as long as you have 200 points. Stand above the clock, collect it and fire a clone down the map. Run up the screen to stay alive until the clone lands, then if the ghosts get you, you switch to the clone, or when you die, you'll automatically move to it.

Poker faces: This looks complicated, but is pretty simple. Collect the potions, shoot the block and create clones down, left, left and up to reach the trigger for the gates. Using the second clone, block off the lightning orb, then move the blocks into the water to create a path. Shoot the block to open the gates again, and then go back to the first clone to collect the clock and return to exit the level.

poker faces, waking violet

That's enough: Move the upper right block to the right and grab the potion. Push the lower left block down a half and then push the middle block up and left so half of it is on the gate trigger. Collect the clock and use the other two blocks so you can go through the gate. Shoot the block from some where safe and then half-move onto the trigger to fire a green bolt to open the other gate so you can escape.

An "I" in TEAM: Push the first block down, collect the potions you can, then push the block back up and on top of the higher trigger. Push the left block in, shoot the lower block, collect the potions and push the surviving block out and up onto the lower trigger. The clever bit here is now to stand on the middle trigger to open the door and send a clone right across the map.
an I in Team, waking violet

Then step off the trigger, go back down and push the right block in, collect the potions. Push that last block out into the left room and loop back to push it up and onto the middle trigger so you can escape.

Now use some clone teamwork to activate the sets of triggers, using the block where needed to collect the clock and open the exit.

Ubiquity: Move left and collect the potions, move a half square onto the trigger and dodge back up to avoid the green bolt to open the gate. Push the block in collect the potions, create a clone on the other side and use it to push the block up on to a trigger, sit a clone on the other trigger and head up.

The final bit is weird, I put a new clone in front of the clock gate. Shot the two blocks, then stood on the lower trigger, and once the bolt had passed the upper gate, rushed up to stand on the higher trigger and then grabbed the clock as the middle gate opened with the clone.  There may be a more elegant solution, but I was out of there!

Move on to Part 2

Monday, July 16, 2018

Ratalaika and Appnormals bringing Stay to the Vita

Wow, that's quite some press release claim: "To experience a game like STAY, is to juggle life and death." Whatever, its another cool-looking game headed to the Vita.

Protagonist Quinn has found himself in quite the tricky situation and he is going to need your help if he is to survive and make it to one of STAY’s seven different endings and if that’s got your interest piqued, you can learn even more about STAY, with the details below:

Quinn is a hapless soul who has only gone and got kidnapped and left forsaken in a derelict building, on the verge of ruin. With only a PC to keep him company in his multi-ending pixel-art adventure, although players can’t control him directly, they can control his actions via communication and keep him company. Discovering who is responsible for Quinn’s kidnapping and why he was taken in the first place, is no small task.

If you walk away from Quinn and STAY, not to return for a good few hours, due to real time, hours will pass in the game as well. If left on his own for too long, in this 24 Chapter long game, Quinn can lose all trust he has in you, start acting desperate and even go insane.

The game plays for eight to 10 hours with around 40 ways for poor old Quinn to die.

Update: Trophies now up! and a release date is confirmed for the  week of the 10th of September

Friday, July 13, 2018

Sigi A Fart for Melusina gasses the Vita in September

What a neat way to end what's been the first of the really quiet summer weeks in gaming. While checking out on yet another mystery trophy listing, some more news nuggets dropped as I got in touch with the developer for some clarification and detail.

First up, Pixel.lu, a Luxembourg-based developer has a bunch of games in the pipe. Confirmed on Vita for a 7 September release is Sigi: A Fart for Melusina, an 8-bit-style retro Ghosts and Goblinsy jaunt with blistering gameplay.

UPDATE: the game is out now on the EU PSN for £3.99 in the UK.

Even more exciting is Plutonium Pirates, currently being ported by @Pinkerator who is checking to see if the Vita can handle this more modern-looking title. If things work out, and with Vita there is no guarantee, this should land later in the Autumn.

Hopefully, if they sell well enough the developer might bring its other titles currently under development our way.

Punch Line Cheermancy Edition for Vita announced

Do you want a pigeon mask with that? Asked no one ever! But you will get one with the Punch Line Cheermancy Edition. And what do you put in a visual novel collector's edition about a student who cannot handle the sight of girl's underwear? Well, Rice Digital is offering the usual soundtrack, book, collar and a pigeon mask, naturally!

The official description of the £79.99/$99.99/€99.99 out this Summer package includes:

Physical game in collector’s box
Stunning, premium 128-page artbook featuring CGs and concept artwork
Chiranosuke’s cat collar and pendant
Japanese Punch Line logo keychain
The official soundtrack
Full-size rubber pigeon head mask!

Order the EU version here, or the US version here.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Review: Super Destronaut DX

Wow, way to go with the love/hate thing. On first load, Super Destronaut DX welcomes us with sharp retro polygon front-end screen offering a bunch of fun-sounding game modes. But, select one, and a giant purple/brown turd of a spiral transition wipes the screen, and I feel rather sick about the whole thing, eeeeew! That's officially the worst effect I've seen on a Vita game, but moving on...

The Battlezone-style landscape you first see in any mode is rapidly filled up by your usual alien invader fleet, wibbling across the screen. A few new weapons aside, it could be 1980 all over again. The game modes vary your objectives, but essentially, you shoot wave after wave of mildly animated aliens, ramping up a multiplier.

As they fall, you can shoot grey wrecks for more points, and need to dodge any wreckage that lands as it drifts down the landscape at you. It's a big shame that's all the landscape is used for, some ground based targets or a sub-game would be great fun!

Weapons including lasers, rockets and bombs are gained when shooting the orange larger alien, usually tucked away at the top of the fleet. These are vital for passing most of the challenges, but since it is down to the luck of the draw on what aliens appear, some you just won't pass until the right fleets appear. At least each level ends with a better jazzier, transition than that first turd-athon!

Enemies fling rockets and missiles at you at various angles, so there's a few patterns to learn, but really this is a five minute joy-ride at best. As with many Ratalaika games, it throws trophies at us, and you can easily gain another Platinum before breakfast, and you don't have to complete the game to get it - boo!

With online scores, there's a little extra challenge, but the game is decidedly lacking in that DX-factor. The Barry Dunne provided voice work does add a neat touch, among a smattering of pixel effects, and there's hardcore mode for masochists. But everything else should be ramped up a few notches to make SDDX stand out more.

Note, unless it is well hidden, our version lacks multiplayer, despite what it says on the Vita PSN page.

Score: 6/10
More Reviews
Price: £3.99 (PSN)
Developer/publisher Ratalaika/Petite Games
File size 133MB
Progress: Platinum

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Zanki Zero sells well in Japan

The Vita version of new Spike Chunsoft aquatic RPG Zanki Zero sold 9,111 copies, landing at No 7 in the new Media Create chart, two-thirds-ish of the 15.5K on PS4 for a decent 24K+ overall launch. That makes it more of a shame the Vita version isn't coming west, especially as Aksys continues to pound out the Vita releases.

On the hardware front, Vita sold 3,444 just a fraction down on last week, running par with the latest 3DS and 2DS models. Out this week are free-to-download Dark Quest 5 (below, Dungeon Hunter in the west) and Radio Hammer Station.

Review: Waking Violet

Puzzle games on handhelds have been massive both in sales terms (Tetris on Game Boy) and in building cult status (Chips Challenge on Lynx) etc. Near the end of the Vita's life comes the tricksy Waking Violet to charm the socks off gamers. Thanks to Mixed Bag and developer Marco Mastropaulo, it is a fun and challenging sign off.

Update: If you're stuck, check out my guide.

Waking Violet sees our heroine, in her cute cat-hat, trapped in a dream with increasingly tricky puzzles between her and reality. Moving cube blocks around, she must open doors, get past traps and unlock gates. Nothing too radical, but delivered with a part ambient/nightmare mood that both disturbs and pushes the player on.
Waking Violet

Hub rooms allow you pick different puzzles if you get Violet stuck, but you'll need to solve each one to win the key to move further. Switches, obstacles and water are just some of the things preventing her progress, with each room, except the last few, needing you to trigger a portal to escape. Throw in the odd Pac-Man and Bomberman mini game and there's plenty of fun crammed into a quite small game

To help, Violet has some clever tricks up her sleeve, including fireballs to destroy blocks, wind to pull blocks toward her (normally, she can only push them), teleports to create alternative versions of herself and a limited time where she can walk on water. These are all powered by potions, with limited supplies, so there's usually only a single solution. If you do get stuck the pause menu will offer a hint.
waking violet
Opening doors, sliding on water, all part of the fun

Finally, if you stuff something up completely, left trigger sends Violent back in time, step-by-step until you can try another route to escaping that level.


The trick to Waking Violet, above any similar puzzlers, is that Violet can move blocks a half-step, obstructing two things at once. When you've been hitting your head against the wall playing the game as you would any other, this nugget of information suddenly becomes very relevant. Remembering it will help get past those two lighting orbs, or block ghosts from grabbing Violet!
Waking Violet

Deeper levels mix all of the elements in to multi-sequence puzzles, with ghosts roaming around once the portal is triggered to cause further chaos. Another handy feature is zoom out mode, so players can see the whole level in one screen.

Loading is rather slow on the Vita, and the game moves at a slightly chugging pace. That and the dark tones might not be to everyone's taste. However, as a puzzle challenge, there is lots to like and 40 plus levels to conquer making it a great portable play title.

Score: 7/10
More Reviews
Price: £6.99 (PSN)
Developer/publisher Marco Mastropaulo/Mixed Bag
File size 243MB
Progress: Completed

God Wars expansion, Labyrinth of Yomi incoming

If you're enjoying Kadokawa's God Wars: Future Past, get ready for more with Labyrinth of Yomi, a major expansion heading to west, August 31 (EU) and September (US). Featuring a new story, battles and characters, at $19.99, it'd better be a lot of content, even for fans of the main game.

I'd share some more content, but NIS America is bigging-up the Switch Complete Legend version, so there's red logos over everything!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Tetra's Escape slots into place on Vita

What do you get if you cross Tetris and a puzzle platformer? French studio, ABX Games has the answer with Tetra's Escape, a curious-looking title where the tetromino shapes must be used to create a safe passage to the end of each level.

Trophy listing is already up, so expect a release soon, and get ready for plenty of star and trophy collecting along the way to truly complete each level across eight worlds of puzzling fun.

Update: Confirmed with Ratalaika on publishing duties.

Ready for launch - Super Skull Smash GO! 2 Turbo

Retro games deserve retro adverts, right? Even if that's not quite your thing, check out this new look at Super Skull Smash GO! 2 Turbo, offering crazed pixel platform action, out next week.

From Poppy Works and TACS Games, SSSGO!2T finds the Kingdom of Bones in need of a hero, but you'll have to do! The Evil King is up to his old tricks again, unleashing hordes of skeletons, zombies, ghosts and vampires.

Run, jump and super-skull-smash your way through the kingdom purifying the land as you go. Battle giant robot skeleton bosses and avoid deadly traps. Journey through the eight unique lands in the Kingdom of Bones bashing monsters and solving puzzles as you go. Earn bonus hearts and find hidden secrets galore!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Aksys still delivering new Vita games with Death Mark and Code Realize

Anime Expo has long been a friend to the Vita and Aksys was there to fire possibly the last shot in support of the Vita. Coming our way "soon" are visual novel Death Mark with a physical release, and in 2019, Code Realize: Wintertide Miracles.

Death Mark scared the pants of Japanese gamers last year with a grim modern tale set in and around Kujou Mansion. The Code Realize content is a fan disc, bolted on to the original game with extended stories and endings. Will update when I see an official press release with some more detail. In the mean time, here's some gameplay from the Death Mark demo...

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Trailer Trash Thursday, Battle Princess Madelyn, Fate Extella and Radio Hammer Station

A good mix this time out, check out the latest Kickstarter update for Casual Bit's Battle Princess Madelyn with plenty of gameplay. There's yet more Japanese Fate Extella DLC with fresh costumes for heroes Nero, Altera, Elizabeth, Nameless, Gilles, Darius, & Lancelot. Finally a fresh look at Radio Hammer Station with some great-sounding tunes, which really should be coming west, given its already in English.

Will update if any new videos pop up!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Japanese Vita sales perk up in latest Media Create chart data

Vita sales are now officially in "quirky" territory, where big jumps can happen for no obvious reason. Why sales are up over 1,300 from last week to almost 3.5K this is anyone's guess. A period Otomate visual novel, Shinku no Flame hit the latest Media Create chart at No. 13, selling 4,641 but the likes of Zanki Zero (out tomorrow) shouldn't be getting people that excited, should it? Or, perhaps importers are starting to have a real impact on sales?

If you do want a chuckle, remember that Ys VIII sold 45K on launch for the Vita in 2016. For its Switch release, it managed less than 6.5K! Then again, Switch dominates the top of the chart with Mario Tennis Ace and Minecraft.

Last week's data - Tune in next week for more chart craziness.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Chicken Range has the Vita in its sights

With trophies popping up on Exophase, looks like this plucky title will soon hit PSN for the Vita (digital only). Described by publisher Funbox (who gave us Space Hulk a few years ago) as as a fun and quirky shoot-em-up, you need to take down the poultry using pistols, AK47, RPG’s, alien ray guns and other weaponry.

Priced at £14.99 and also coming to PS4, it had better have decent design values. The play field is twice as wide as the screen, so you must be constantly moving your aim side to side in order to track down targets. To increase the difficulty, the chickens throw eggs at the screen to obscure the player’s field of view. Once your screen is covered in egg, its game over!

During each level, ammo crates drop at varying intervals which will refresh your ammo levels and “Shino”. Carry up to 3 weapons with you; only 4 are available in the earlier levels, the remaining weapons will unlock as you progress through the levels. The game contains 15 different levels. Each level introduces different baddie chickens with varying difficulties to kill them due to enhanced protection gear. Chicken types include Riot Police Chickens, Tank Chickens, Ninja Chickens, Helicopter Chickens and many more!