Fight for the future

Polite Plea: After almost seven years and 7,000 articles, the number of stories is slowing down. Time and developers move on, but I'll always be posting, as the Vita becomes the new Dreamcast.
However, I do need a new Vita as my launch day model is starting to show its age. Please consider clicking an ad to help my new Vita fund!
Once reached, hopefully in time for Christmas, I will remove all adverts, leaving this island of Vita life an ad-free oasis!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Another Vita bundle hitting the EU streets, get ready for Action

Throw in one PS Vita, an 8GB card, download codes for Injustice: Gods Among Us – Ultimate Edition, Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate, PlayStation Allstars: Battle Royale, God of War: Chain of Olympus and Killzone: Liberation (the PSP games, not the shiny Vita shooter Mercenary or HD bundle), and you have the latest fun-pack bundle from Sony.



The cost is €199 (£160, $270) which is pretty good value or if you have a Vita, you can get the card and games for €40, out in late June. Still no sign of a coloured model Vita 2000, but the neat little "Play PS4 games on PS Vita" might help nudge up a few sales.

New Invizimals game ditches the AR cards

I really liked my AR cards when I first got my Vita, the silly little free games and some fun ones like PulzAR kept them from collecting dust or getting lost. Recently though, not so much. And now, you don't even need them for the latest Invizimals game.



With 150 new monsters to collect, new mini-game methods of capturing them and battling between owners, it looks a lot of fun, but Sony never seems to be able generate any Pokemon like hype, which is a big shame.

Review: Monster Monpiece

Wow, we're really on a roll with these translated Japanese games, first the simple pleasures of Demon Gaze, then the more funky realms of Conception II, and now I've got Monpiece and Hyperdimension Neptunia PP to review, at the same time. Guess this is the future for Vita owners, check out the game's trailer first and I'll explain.

A role-playing, card-battling, lady-tickling game, Monster Monpiece starts out at some sort of all-girl academy in the realm of Yafanir, in the town of Kunaguva which has been long under threat from the usual/unusual demons within (the girls are monsters dontchaknow). With much discussion of pie and cookies from May and Helen, typically nervous, confidence-lacking girls, they are soon thrown into some tutorial battle action.


The card games require shuffling your deck to best effect, placing them on a 7*3 board of tiles, and letting them wage war to defeat the enemy and storm the 'castle' HQ, by reaching the end row. With the tide turning back and forth as powers wane and magic flies, it starts out simple but soon becomes a game of high strategy.

With melee, ranged, healer and buff classes, and extra items, stacking cards to boost characters, mixing auras and other bonuses being flung around the board, things become trickier, if not blindingly fun, but still rather addictive.


At least the game isn't stingy with the trophies, chucking half-a-dozen of them out for merely starting the game and completing the tutorial. As you take those first steps, more tutorials come quickly to explain the basics and you can start customising the deck and your gear. A loss only sends you back a step on the map to rethink your plans.

Multiplayer in both ad hoc and network modes brings some relief from the single player game with sets of rings to collect, with the lure of special cards for the winner, and losing them if you rage quit! There's a bit of lag, but nothing horrendous between turns. Its a good place to learn as experienced players show off some strategies you might miss by blitzing through the tutorials, but otherwise you get the same card challenge with a little added incentive.


Visually, Monster Monpiece is nothing to write home about, plain generic-as-you-like characters, basic visuals, a map you can't interact with much, and a simple little 3D world for the battles to take place in. I do love the music, with some driving themes as you power through the levels.

And that'd be it, except for the character upgrading mechanic, which is has its own tactics too. Rather than boosting character stats the usual way, you have have to touch, rub, poke and pinch the girls in the erogenous zones to get them to "perform" and improve. Fine, if you like that in your games, but it'd be neat if you could skip it (I mean this isn't a game you'll be playing on the train or bus) - and to think it's been toned down for a western audience.

If you overlook that, there's a solid card and battle game to enjoy, which gets progressively more challenging as the map expands. If only the story had an ounce of interest to keep me invested in the characters, it'd be an awesome game, but really, you have to ignore that and the stroking, and just concentrate on your decks.

Score: 7/10
More reviews
Price: £TBC (PSN)
Compile Heart/Idea Factory
Progress: Tickled til my arm hurt!

Mighty No. 9 coming on nicely in new video

Comcept has just put a video showing the work-in-progress on the not-quite MegaMan title, funded on Kickstarter last year. He runs, he shoots, he jumps, he rushes, yep - looks like a classic piece of platform shooter fun to me. Anyone else excited to pick this up early next year?

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Dragon's Crown, Lone Survivor and Surge Deluxe hit PS+ in June

Vita owners get a triple whammy of PlayStation Plus games in June for European gamers, surely you haven't got all of them? I'll be picking up Lone Survivor finally (PS3 but Cross Buy), while Dragon's Crown should get some more players in the MP lounge, while Surge Deluxe is a perfect quickie to play.

Oh, and as a commenter has pointed out, Pixeljunk Shooter too - even better news! US Vita gamers get Pixeljunk, Terraria and Mutant Mudds, which doesn't sound quite as appealing somehow.

Make sure you pick up Muramasa Rebirth and Everybody's Golf before they vanish from the PS+ lists tomorrow. Note, all PlayStation platforms will get two games each per month from now on (excluding cross buy goodies).

Futuridium gets a spacey new trailer

Mixed Bag's Futuridium looks like another cracker for the Vita's arcade collection mixing old-school shooting with fast-paced retro-polygons whizzing around the place. There's now some more details as it nears completion with a July release date.

A cross-buy title for Vita and PS4, it packs in the action across 50 furious levels with a bunch of fun extras. More on the PS Blog, with previous videos and screens here.


Ratchet and Clank to join the Vita trilogy collection

We've got Sly, we've got Jak and Daxter, we've got Metal Gear (kinda) and now we'll get Ratchet and Clank as Insomniac announces that Mass Media (responsible for the J&D port) will shift the HD versions over to the Vita.

While the previous sets have met with mixed results, due to the conversion or the core games, we'll wait to see if this latest bundle hits the right notes when it releases in early July. More on the PSN blog, no word on Cross Buy, but unlikely or resolution and framerate, which will be key issues in this deal.


Namco's Magic High School is bang Out of Order

Who know's what's going on with the naming here, but Namco has a new game coming to the Vita.
Mahōka Kōkō no Rettōsei: "Magic High School" Out of Order, based on a novel and manga series. Make what you will of the trailer, but we have a 2014 release to cling onto and very little hope of a western release I guess.

Sony Japan shows off the thorn in Freedom Wars side

The gameplay videos for Freedom Wars are coming thick and fast as the Vita exclusive nears launch. The thorns in this clip can be used to climb on and deal damage to the big nasties, and provide some cover, but it looks like you have to go out into the wilderness to harvest them first. They seem pretty integral to your success, so expect thorn harvesting to be a theme (or chore) in the game.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

PSN EU update, Borderlands 2, Montezuma Arena, Mind 0 and more

Borderlands 2 creeps closer by appearing in the PSN update, but not actually available in the UK until Friday. Might be quicker to nip down the shops and buy it to save on download time and filling up that memory card.

Available actually now is the second episode of Broken Sword 5, Lemmings Touch the new free-to-play Montezuma Arena and Mind Zero keeping the Japanese import stream running, with Monster Monpiece due next week.

Borderlands 2 (NZ release date: 4th June; UK/Ireland: 30th May) Price: £19.99/€24.99/AU$32.95
Broken Sword 5 The Serpent’s Curse: Episode 2 Price: £9.99/€12.99/$18.45
Lemmings Touch Price: £7.99/€9.99/AU$14.45
Treasures of Montezuma: Arena (free to play)
MIND≒0 Price: £23.99/€29.99/AU$43.95

There's now also a demo for Ragnarok Odyssey Ace, plus DLC for the full game, and Conception II. This week's offer is Terraria, now only £4.79.

New releases nudge Vita sales up in Japan

Two new entries in a low-selling Japanese Media Create chart shift Vita hardware sales north of 15,000. But hardware is still dead-to-flat in Japan. Instead of comparing the poor sales of Wii U, PS4 and Vita to past consoles, gamers need to get it into their heads that this is the reality now.


Since Konami couldn't be bothered to release a Vita Winning Eleven this year, the PSP version does pretty well, hitting the top 10, while visual novel Amnesia World and another touchy-feely game Battle Ecstasy keep the saucy Moero Chronicle in the upper reaches of the chart.


01./00. [PS3] World Soccer Winning Eleven 2014: Samurai Blue Challenge (Konami)  - 35.656 / NEW
02./00. [PS4] Infamous: Second Son (Sony Computer Entertainment)  - 34.801 / NEW
03./03. [3DS] Yo-kai Watch (Level 5) - 33.974 / 984.009 (+12%)
04./00. [PSV] Darkness - Battle Ecstasy # (FuRyu) - 22.327 / NEW
...
07./02. [PSV] Genkai Totsuki Moero Chronicle # (Compile Heart)  - 9.492 / 42.450 (-71%)
08./00. [PSV] Amnesia World # (Idea Factory) - 8.650 / NEW
09./00. [PSP] World Soccer Winning Eleven 2014 (Konami)- 7.245 / NEW
...
13./06. [PSV] Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment # (Bandai Namco Games) - 5.267 / 206.648 (-33%)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Stroke the Lemmings on your Vita

I wonder how much money and time I've spent on Lemmings in its various guises over the years? But here we go again, with new touchable, redesigned, Lemmings to step up from the old PSM version. £8 seems a bit much for a 24-year old game, but hey, it looks lovely and the touch controls could help introduce them to a whole new generation. In an industry dying out for cute animal mascots, why can't the old fur balls come storming through? They hit PSN this week.



The question is, why did Sony bother ripping off Nintendogs with its looming and sickly sweet Pets title when it could have been a lot more imaginative with a whole world of Lemmings to nurture and play with?

LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham dons the cowl

Damn, if only I'd waited a couple of posts... anyway. LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, has just slipped on the hero's cape with the Caped Crusader once again being joined by the DC Comics Universe chums to fight in outer space, among other places, to stop the evil Brainiac from destroying Earth. The Vita version again will likely follow the mobile pattern, but these are still great fun titles.

UPDATE: Note, the previous LEGO Batman game is now dirt cheap in the latest PSN sale.



 Using the power of the Lantern Rings, Brainiac shrinks worlds to add to his twisted collection of miniature cities from across the universe. Now the greatest super heroes and the most cunning villains must unite and journey to different Lantern Worlds to collect the Lantern Rings and stop Brainiac before it’s too late, with over 150 unique characters from the DC Comics universe, including members of the Justice League and LEGO big figures such as Killer Croc, Solomon Grundy and many more.


New locations such as the Hall of Justice, the Batcave and the Justice League Watchtower are a part of the game with the Bat Computer offering various challenges, battles and races. The game will ship in Autumn.

God Eater 2 celebrates return of the Defense Force

I was hoping post number 4,000 would be a humdinger about a western release, but that's the optimist in me. By way of a decent second option, here's a whole new chapter in the biggest selling Vita game ever. Introducing new characters including western team members, and stories, it seems like a sizable effort, which makes me wonder how much the average Japanese gamer has in GE2 content on their memory stick?


God Eater 2 must be over 400,000 sales in Japan, with still no western release confirmed. Perhaps that's all Sony will have to offer at E3? But, Namco continues to roll out the content at home. Return of the Defense Force is another episode according to the trailer and follows on from the recent 1.4 patch that added full multiplayer mode.



Are you eager for a western release for this, or is Freedom Wars a more original and interesting idea?

Monday, May 26, 2014

More Panzer Girls tank combat action

Let's start the week with some heavy metal, as the fluffy panzer girls from Namco show off some brief but better-looking combat than the video from last week. We've got city battles, action actually in the woods and some team battle.


Friday, May 23, 2014

See Liberation Sin and Robotics;Notes in action

There's already been great interest around the opening movie for Robotics;Notes from 5pb and Mages. Now there's a gameplay video floating about, plus a new look at Liberation Sin as the visual novel assault on the Vita continues in Japan.

Again, still no idea if these will come west, but they (along with Infinite Stratos) seem to have enough fans in the west to make it worthwhile.



Ultimate Warriors Orochi 3 brings its dynasty west in Autumn

Dynasty Warriors 3 Ultimate will head west thanks to Tecmo Koei and Omega Force later this year, bringing the latest in cross-over characters and side stories from the near-endless battle series. Basically it packs in all extra content tacked onto DW3 plus some new stories to keep things fresh, including alternate takes on previous stories.


With a slightly mad 145 playable characters including the lovely Sophitia from Soul Calibur and Rachel from Ninja Gaiden, there's near endless customization options (weapons, moves, costumes, etc) plus the usual huge battlefields packed with enemies to smite.

Multiplayer gets a boost with a new duel mode, a mix of team 3 vs. 3 combat and card battles. It comes with cross-play and cross save functionality, the Vita version will be $39.99. The game is playable this week at MCM Comic Con in London.

Vita acts as a HUD for the new Wolfenstein

Remember the days when it would take John Carmack a couple of weeks to port Doom or Wolfenstein to a new console? Long gone I'm afraid, but the MachineGames team responsible for the latest version of Nazi-kicking series, The New Order, at least give Vita/PS4 owners a little love, with the portable acting as a HUD display for the game, showing off maps, health and other info.


Of course, you can then nip out the room and keep playing through Remote Play. Not sure how useful this is in a high-octane shooter, but hopefully its a feature more developers will notice and make use of.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Wolf Among Us episodes piling up, Ep 4 trailered

It took quite a while for the second series of The Walking Dead to lumber on to the Vita, but we're still waiting for The furry antics of the Wolf Among Us to go portable. That's despite Telltale promising it for last fall. They are still supposedly on the case, but in the mean time, if you've got a  big-screen console, here's a trailer for Episode Four.


I wouldn't mind if the Vita version arrives as the entire series, but it'd be good to get some idea of what Telltale's plans are for the handheld edition.

Minecraft for Vita details emerge, Cross-Buy and Cross-Save

Minecraft for Vita will arrive in August according to a new post up on Mojang's site. It will include all the features from the most recent PlayStation 3 version, including online play on Vita. If you have recently brought Minecraft: Playstation 3 Edition from PSN you’ll be able to upgrade for free.
Minecraft: Playstation 3 + Vita Edition will cost $19.99. It doesn’t matter if you buy for PS3 or Vita first, you own the game for both platforms. You can also upgrade to the even better PS4 version for $5.

Saves are transferable between the Playstation 3 and Vita versions of Minecraft. You will be able to craft at home on your Playstation 3, then continue on the bus/toilet with your Playstation Vita. All of the DLC you’ve purchased for Minecraft: Playstation 3 Edition will work on Playstation 3 + Vita Edition.

Sony puts forward its plans for success

A new release from Sony shows the company's way forward under CEO Kaz Hirai's "One Sony" campaign. Basically, sell off the loss-making PC and TV business, and get the mobile, gaming and the media divisions working  together and so on.

Specifically, for the PlayStation brand, it says;
 2. Key Initiatives to be Executed in Core Businesses in FY14  
Game and Network Services In the game and network services business, Sony aims to expand the installed base of PlayStation 4 and reinforce its network services in order to drive increased profit growth. As of April 6, 2014, PS4 had achieved cumulative sell-through of 7 million units, with Sony aiming to further consolidate its No.1 position in the home console market in FY14. Approximately half of PS4 users have registered for the PlayStation®Plus subscription service, and the number of active users registered to PlayStation Network and Sony Entertainment Network already exceeds 52 million. 
In the U.S., Sony plans to start an open beta version of the PlayStation™Now game streaming service this summer and introduce a new, cloud-based television service within the calendar year 2014. Sales from the network business, including game, music and video services, for FY13 exceeded 200 billion yen and Sony is expecting continued sales growth in this business going forward.
Note, no mention of the Vita,  but good to see Sony pushing PlayStation Now as a priority.

Freedom Wars demo coming June 14 for Japan

Japan will get its hands on a trial version of Freedom Wars in mid-June with Sony announcing the news today, along with a couple of extra gadgets, a nice spear and a sub-machine gun, for early players of the beta. There's the warning that it doesn't support ad hoc mode, and beta data won't carry over into the full version, which is something that Toukiden managed to pull off.


God Eater 2 gets another chunky update

By far and away the biggest selling Vita game, God Eater 2 keeps rolling out the updates to add features and content. This time we're up to 1.40, which goes live on Monday for Japanese gamers. The near-1GB update features additional NPCs, a "survival mission" of attrition, the addition of "difficult and challenging" modes and, finally, online play in Infrastructure Mode (only PS Vita version).


Hopefully that last addition will clear the game for western release. There's also the usual massive list of tweaks and improvements that keen players can read through a translated Dengeki article (Namco's own page doesn't translate as everything is an image!).

Android/iOS app for Pets appears ahead of release

Okay, of all the Vita games that could do with a companion app, is Pets really the one? Well, its here, and available for free. Puppy Parlour provides a clutch of mini games and a parlour to prep your pup ahead of the games' launch.


Not sure if its cross-play as such, but you can apparently win costumes for the full game by playing the mobile version, if you like that sort of thing.


Switch Galaxy looking good in Ultra close ups

Announced last year, Switch Galaxy Ultra is a super-charged version of the PSM title from Atomicon for PS4 and Vita. Some new screens show off the obvious improvement and wider scope of the game. The WipEout on rails effort should bring plenty of speed and verve to the Vita.





Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Take 2 trademarks GTA City Stories

The PSP did really well on the back of Vice City and Liberty City Stories, and Sony must be crying out for a GTA V City Stories, or similar episode to generate some interest in the Vita. With Take 2 supposedly seeing decent sales with Borderlands 2, the company recent filed a trademark for a new "City Stories", filed last week, that could be for Vita, or a mobile or online game.



We won't know for sure until they announce something official, perhaps a surprise for E3, but its always nice to live in hope. And with Rockstar's core team now working on something new, its not hard to imagine some of the wider staff hived off to crank out a portable episode.

All I do know for sure is there will never, ever by a LEGO Grand Theft Auto game, although now I mention it. :)

NOTE: There's a horribly fake piece of "boxart" on Twitter for a GTA combo pack of Vice and Liberty City Stories, don't believe that piece of crap for a minute.

Media Create sales come crashing down in Japan

This week's Media Create sales show the inevitable post holiday crash, with no one buying much of anything in hardware. The Vita and Vita TV manage to scrape together 13,800 sales, which is at least healthily above last year, and a lot healthier than most others, if you want to look on the positive side. It is now 100,000 sales ahead of last year's number.

I wonder if the Vita TV firmware update to support PS4 streaming will goose sales, or is Sony's little puck a dead duck? Talking of the PS4, that console's sales are now negligible, being threatened by the Wii U, showing how reduced TV console gaming is in Japan.


On the games side, JRPG Moero Chronicle hit the charts at No. 2, selling around 33,000 copies while Sword Art Online passes 200,000 sales. God of War Collection creeps into the chart with just 2,200 sales. With a load of Vita games getting good reviews in the new Famitsu, sales could pick up next week, but there's not much in the way of big name games.

Dengeki also put up the best selling games of last year (March 31 2013 to April 1 2014):

18 God Eater 2 NAMCO BANDAI 13/11/14 397,259
37 Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster Twin Pack Square Enix 13/12/26 239,534
41 Toukiden Tecmo Koei 13/06/27 230,688
77 J Stars Victory Versus NAMCO BANDAI 14/03/19 120,874
81 The Legend of Heroes Falcom 13/09/26 117,996
82 Danganronpa 1.2 Reload Spike CHUNSOFT 13/10/10 116,552
83 Dragons Crown ATLUS 13/07/25 115,500
88 Shin Gundam Musou NAMCO BANDAI Games 13/12/19 109,658
96 Hatsune Miku-Project DIVA-F 2nd SEGA 14/03/27 99,052

Project V1 on countdown for Vita

UPDATE: Okay, the clock expired and now with some office scenes, with a helmet man in a suit, linking to invadr.net/e3, pormising some webisodes. Site doesn't work yet, is this a game, some shit TV show, definitely not Viewtiful Joe.




Original:

Haven't seen a countdown site in at least a couple of weeks. Who knows what Project V1 really is? We have a possible robot or helmet silhouette, an industrial noise in the background, but the Vita is listed as a format, alongside every other system - so consider me interested.

Given we're hot on the heels of a Wolfenstein release, can't see anyone releasing a game about the hunt for V1 rockets. It says "He is coming" which rules out Vonder Voman the game, I guess. No sign of who registered it, except for a GoDaddy mention which suggests a US publisher. However they operate in Europe too and a Belgian site got a paper press release first, so perhaps its a Euro project... all will be revealed.


At least its a short countdown that will expire next week. 

Jet Car Stunts to fire up the Vita

A total remake of an iOS game, Jet Car Stunts was announced a couple of months back by Grip Games (Foosball and The Impossible Game), and launch is nearing across the PlayStation family. With a distinct look, new challenges and frankly vertigo-inducing level design, there looks to be plenty to keep gamers challenged.

Get ready for death by 1001 Spikes

Nicalis seems to have caught both the indie and retro vibe perfectly with this fiendish looking game. Its heading to most formats including the Vita, but we know it'll look awesome on that small screen. Note the Vita and 3DS versions won't come with multiplayer.

UPDATE: Release date confirmed for the US - June 3rd for $14.99. EU release likely to follow soon after.



The team also have Binding of Isaac in the works for the Vita, which also looks pretty special and has plenty of respect from the PC crowd.

New Legends of Heroes gets a sneaky trailer

Blink and you'll miss it, Legend of Heroes, Sen no Kiseki II latest trailer shows off a few snippets of combat, swords, arrows and someone on a scooter. What's not to like about that lot? That release date of 25 September still seems a long way off, but hopefully a western release will follow pretty quickly.

Sony's Share blog kicks back into action

The PlayStation community is pretty cunning when it comes to plans, but if often felt like they fell on deaf ears, until the likes of Shahid Ahmad and Gio Corsi took to Twitter and gave us gamers a point of contact. To more formalize the process, Sony US has relaunched its Share blog (not sure if there's an EU equivalent, yet), giving you the opportunity to suggest your ideas to the community.

The relaunch is focused around the PS4 and Vita, with topics like changing your PS id and family subscriptions for PS+ top of the list. You don't have to be in the US to get involved, so wade in, just remember things like port begging and obscure OS feature requests are unlikely to get high up the ladder.

My top three would be:

  • Quick share to Twitter of PS Vita screenshots.
  • Option to force online connection to 'always on' to avoid "connecting" messages.
  • Revamp the "near" app into something useful and fun, rather than mad and obscure. 

What would you suggest?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Dengeki shows off some Panzer Girls in action

Most of the previous trailers have been very light on action, but this Dengeki clip, showing a couple of young ladies acting out their Tank Commander desires gives us a bit more of the game's main action. Clearly no one told them that the key to survival in armored warfare was movement, but hey, since these tanks can't even hide in the trees, I'm guessing reality isn't an issue here.

Child of Light to illuminate the Vita

While the Vita might struggle with Borderlands-like levels of detail, it seems to cope just fine with platformers, as shown by many indies and the lovely Rayman series. Ubisoft will continue that run with Child of Light releasing in short order on the handheld after its big-screen release.


Arriving in the first week of July for EU and US gamers, it will cost a light enough £11.99 or $15, and mixes the finest JRPG themes with a platform feel. There was a modest amount of interest in this coming to the Vita and it seems Ubisoft will still listen to its audience. 

Review: Conception II Children of the Seven Stars

Wow, some games really go out of their way to make you hate them straight away. I expected at least a silver trophy for getting through the opening narratives in Conception II without breaking the "x" button. The whole point of which was basically describing the odd mix of genres and elements within the game, but as if trying to teach a four-year old.


To summarise, there's a no-sex dating/mating game, a suspiciously Persona-like RPG dungeon crawler and a barrel full of annoying characters. If you get through that lot, then welcome to Conception. As "God's Gift" you're a power-packing newbie at the Academy, in a world where demonic dusk circles (portals) are letting the nasties lose into this green and pleasant world.

However, you can't defeat them on your own. Instead you need the special powers of your progeny, the star children, which you can only raise through "classmating" with suitable girls who are also in this special program. Once you mate, by some miracle, out pop some combat-ready sprogs, and you and the family can march off to war in a dumpy looking craft.


In between breeding and bashing, there's room for shopping for extras, training to build up your skills and endless awkward social banter. If you focus on the combat then you quickly get used to attacking from an enemy's weak side, chaining attacks to do more damage and using skill or special attacks against the right type of enemy to inflict maximum damage.

If you're the kind of person who goes into the costume browser just to see the ladies' jiggly bits jiggling, (Narika wins!) then you might enjoy the dating part of the game, trying to please the girls with the right answer or gift at the right time. For anyone just wanting to play a monster-bashing role-player, then its a bit of a chore to wade through, but since it replaces the traditional character hiring mechanic, you're stuck with it.


There's some paid and some free DLC including a weapons pack to go along with the game, to keep things ticking along, but while Conception is a little more advanced than Demon Gaze, I keep going back to DG because its just more fun and less annoying. That's not to say Conception II is without merit, its a bright-looking, almost perky, game with a certain energy to it.

Just before you discard any idea of buying this game, while it lacks most of Persona's refinement, and the dumb, simple, fun of Demon Gaze; once you get into the skills, traits and nuances of the battle system, there is a decent turn-based RPG combat system behind all the silliness.


Its not too grind-heavy, and what starts out as bleeding-obvious "always-attack-from-behind" concepts become more subtle as party skills and the demons develop into more rounded opposition. If only it didn't take so long to get going. Feel free to add an extra point if you think you can cope. If it had started off as a straight RPG, then added the mating segments later on I'd probably get on better with it, but its currently a bottom row game on my memory card while other games grab more of my attention.

Score: 6/10
More reviews
Price: £31.99 (PSN)
Atlus
Progress: easy yet pained

Monday, May 19, 2014

MotoGP 14 comes with pre-order UK card game

Marc Marquez might be bossing the MotoGP series this year, but you can race it your way, with your favourite rider in the upcoming MotoGP 14 title from PQube and Milestone. The UK version, if you pre-order from GAME, comes with a pre-order bonus called the Legends of MotoGP.



Milestone has done a top job supporting the Vita with MotoGP, MXP and WRC titles, so while Spain and Italy might lap up the game, just watch one race of Moto2 or Moto3 this year and it should get you hooked with the chaos and mayhem.

Euro Hyperdimension Neptunia preorders get extra badges

NIS America gets Monday off with a pop, showing off its European exclusive freebie for those buying the physical version of  Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection. Just pre-order to get a button (badge) pack.
The idol simulator and is set to release for the Vita in Europe on June 6 in both retail and on PSN. Developed by the dreamy team of  Idea Factory, Compile Heart, and the acclaimed idols game developer, TAMSOFT, the fan-favorite Hyperdimension Neptunia CPUs are back, letting you guide them on the road to becoming Gamindustri’s most popular up-and-coming idols!


Japan trailers the heck out of One Piece Unlimited World Red

Sure, the game is coming west, but not even the most addled western PR exec would throw out a four-minute trailer for a game. So, enjoy this Japanese look at the was-3DS, now all-formats adventure with the One Piece crew, taking a peek at the new Coliseum mode that adds a whole brawler sub-game to the package. Its out at the end of June in Europe.



The Vita is supposed to support four-player mode, not sure if that's local or network, but given we missed out on Pirate Warriors 2, this could go some way to making up for that.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Tecmo Koei selling plenty of Toukiden

Tecmo Koei is the latest company to announce its sales figures in Japan and there's some decent numbers out with Toukiden reaching the half-a-million point (with the expanded version to come soon, plus the promise of new games and content) along with Samurai Warriors continuing to sell.

More detail here, but overall, sales and profits were up. Western sales declined somewhat but are expected to pick up over the rest of the year.

550,000 units of Toukiden for PSV and PSP (global)
340,000 units of Samurai Warriors 4 for PS3/PSV (Japan)

Starlight Inception collectibles ready to fly

Starlight might not have had the best reception, but the developers are still hard at work patching up some issues with the game, and ultimately its still the only space shooter on the Vita. But Kickstarter projects often come with extra goodies, and these look pretty neat.

If you did back it at one of the higher tiers, then one of these beauties should be on its way, and if you didn't think about some of the up and coming Vita games that you could fund and get similar treats. I'm looking forward to this Vita skin with MechRunner.




Japanese Vita TV patch lets it stream PS4 content

I gave up tracking PS Vita TV sales some months ago as they bumped along at around 1,000-1,500 sales a week in Japan. Perhaps that number will get a bit of a boost now the cute little box can do what Sony originally advertised and stream PS4 games to other TVs around the home.


I'm not sure how many cramped Japanese homes have room for multiple screens, but its certainly a feature that could go down well in the west, if Sony ever bothered to release it here, an E3 announcement perhaps? For now it remains only on-sale in a few Asian countries, and doesn't import well.

Monster Hunting comes to London at ComicCon

Anyone UK-side who still enjoys a bout of Monster Hunting on their PSP or Vita should get down to London's ExCeL at Docklands to enjoy the Capcom MCM Gathering Hall event as part of London ComicCon.


Sure, they've only got the Nintendo version on their banner, but I'm sure you can sneak in too, to pick up some of the collectibles, stickers, plushies and other merch on offer. It runs from the 23-25th May and I'd guess pummeling monsters into oblivion will be the main order of the day, although there's some Street Fighter action going on too.

Vita sales die in America due to OLED to LCD swapover,

The Vita suffered frankly embarrassing sales of less than 5,000 units in the States (down from the dire 10K in March), according to NPD. That's as Sony wound up stock of the old 1000 OLED model and pushed the arrival of the Borderlands 2-bundled slim 2000 model, which went onsale on 6 May.

Anecdotal evidences suggests stock of the old model was very low, therefore the poor number - and Sony Japan has had to increase production to keep up with local demand. But Sony really needs to get a press release out saying "yay, xxxx sales of the new bundle in May," to lighten the mood and encourage further buyers.

Of course, after the slim sales bump, however small that might be, we can expect the numbers to fall again with no big new games that will pique the interest of most gamers. Is a PC gamer really going to pick up a Vita just because their favourite indies are appearing on the machine? Will a console gamer get a new machine without the lure of a major brand title? Will a PS4 buyer get one to play on the loo?

On the plus side, Sony's continued domination of the Xbox with PlayStation 4 will give it momentum and movement to continue supporting the Vita in its new reduced role, but with the expect poor E3 showing, continues to dig its own grave for the handheld.

Borderlands fighting the good fight

Looking for other positives, Borderlands 2 (just the game) managed to sneak in Amazon.com's Top 100 for video games (just) while currently No. 34 in the UK equivalent, proving there is a market for the big name game. That gets me thinking what else could Sony 'realistically' get over in short order to support the Vita?

Any thoughts? Sony has pretty much exhausted the first-party staples (except for Uncharted Remastered, perhaps?) and Gran Turismo would have been announced if it was ever happening.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Desert Island Vita games, which five would you keep?

I just had one of those moments, wading through the bubbles on my 32GB card and couldn't decide what to play, or what to delete. So, the question for the weekend is...

What five Vita games would store on a magic memory card if you were going to be dumped on a desert island, with a Vita and an equally magical infinite battery?

  • The card can store any five games, regardless of actual size. 
  • Only one of them can be a PSP or PSOne game.
  • NO, it doesn't support Remote Play
  • Collections count as one game

And yes it also has magical brightness, so you can play under the burning sun, while you should be trying to find food or signal for help.

Answers in the comments.

My five are: TxK, WipEout 2048, Dragon's Crown, Persona 4 Golden, Killzone Mercenary

Oreshika 2 gets Limited Edition in Japan, can the west get one please?

We've already seen the box art for Oreshika 2 (aka Over my Dead Body), but collectibles fans might like the LE version that will come out in Japan. Not only is there a gorgeous box, but a nice fascia, strap, cloth and a case.


The game is due out in mid-July, don't think the west has a release date yet. I was wondering if the original box art would be replaced to look less like One Piece and more like the in-game visuals. Guess this is how Sony are getting around that.


Titan Attacks doing well on Vita, sequel beckons

An interesting Twitter chat, that started off with Curve talking about 5X sales on PS4 over PS3 for its latest publishing effort, Puppygames' Titan Attacks, also reveals that the game, released last week, is doing pretty well on the little old Vita.

The power of Cross Buy also gets a nod, and Curve notes that it will keep its games off PS+ for a long time, to keep people from not buying their games. The game is, what some might think, pretty pricey for a retro shooter, £7.63 (with PS+ discount) or £8.49, proving gamers will pay for good value titles. That alone should keep indies coming to PlayStation and Vita, rather than sacrificing a good game to the 69p pile-em-high hell of iOS/Android.


The game's sequel, Revenge of the Titans shouldn't be too far off and we hope it continues to do well on the Vita to keep the handheld in Curve's mind when it comes to choosing the platforms for its next projects.

Japanese Vita sales tailing off until Freedom Wars

Japan's sales dropped backed to normal, after their holidays, but the overall numbers were well down on last year thanks to few big releases. Even so, the Vita, selling 18,500 on the week (1,300 of which were Vita TV), continues to track slightly above its performance in 2013, but with nothing much out until Freedom Wars in late June (and Panzer Girls), expect things to stay quiet.


Sword Art Online (now confirmed for a western release) continues to sell well, in fourth place in the Media Create chart, selling another 16,000 units and likely to have passed 200,000 including digital sales.

Nuclear Throne a better bet for gun fans on the Vita?

After the modest disappointment over Borderlands 2, something more up the Vita's alley is Vlambeer's Nuclear Throne, hot on the heels of the ace Luftrausers. And if you were into B2 for all the weaponry on offer, then while the poly count is a tiny bit lower, Nuclear Throne's weapons/mods count is off the scale.



The PS blog has some percussive anecdotes about how its procedurally generated worlds and characters combine. The game should be due out late summer/autumn.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

PSN update adds Soul Sacrifice Delta, Conception and more

The Vita gets a good dose of gaming goodness in Europe with the arrival two big new games and welcome return to an old (for some) favourite. Soul Sacrifice Delta packs in new content for players of the original and while a bit pricey for an update, is still a heck of a game.

Conception II has had very mixed reviews, but after the fun of Danganronpa and Demon Gaze, I'm certainly up for a little more Japanese crazed role playing.

Cel Damage HD (Cross-Buy PS4/PS3/PS Vita) Price: £7.69/€8.99/$12.95
Conception II: Children Of The Seven Stars Price: £31.99/€39.99/$58.95
Soul Sacrifice Delta (+incentives) – Limited time offer Price: £23.99/€29.99/$43.95

PlayStation Mobile
Cloud Disk (£0.65/€0.79/$1.45)
A Bad Opera-tunity (£0.40/€0.49/€0.90)
dong (£0.40/€0.49/€0.90)

Note the extra discounts on the new PSN sale.

EU PSN gets another Vita sale

Us lucky few EU Vita owners are being treated royally by Sony with sale after sale, although with the smallish number of games, things are starting to repeat. Here's another decent raft of Vita, PSP and PSOne games onsale for May.

Highlights include Toukiden (only on-sale for a week at £14.99/€19.99), and a range of Metal Gear games, the recent MUD FIM Motocross and many more, check it out if you have a few spare pounds/euros to throw about.

Sword Art Online ripostes for western gamers

Apparently, Namco's Sword Art Online Vita title that went down well in Japan will grace western gamers' handhelds this summer. Check out the PS blog post for all the details. Anyone else notice a trend to faster releases of games from Japan.

We've had BlazBlue and Soul Sacrifice Delta getting near simultaneous global releases, and translated games are definitely picking up the pace from what was a year or longer to now just a few months. I guess the cost of development now includes the translation to maximise sales, as no one market is really big enough to justify a release.

More from a new press release, stating a July PSN-only release.


Based on the novel, manga and anime, Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment captures the characters and storyline of the SAO universe – a series of virtual-reality worlds set in the near future. Players enter the VR worlds of SAO and discover that the creator of the game, Akihiko Kayaba, has locked them inside these worlds. To escape these worlds, players must explore and defeat the enemies contained within. Continuing to fight is key inside the VR world – if the player dies in the fantasy world, he also dies in real life…

With its MMO-like genre and world, Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment will offer to players a strongly build RPG gameplay were combo attacks, execution speed and knowledge of the opponent will be mandatory to survive in this VR world! On top of the Hollow Fragment episode, this new SAO game will feature Sword Art Online: Infinity Moment - originally released in Japan for the PlayStation®Portable. Infinity Moment will benefit from all the PlayStation®Vita power as he it will get enhanced HD graphics!

Handhelds only a $40 million business for Sony

In case you were wondering why Sony is still pushing (in its own inimitable way) the Vita to an uncaring world, the reason is simple. Its a 4.1 billion yen part of Sony's business, which is around $40 million for the 2013 financial year. That might only be one-tenth of its smartphone business, and under a third of its big PlayStation console sales, but its not exactly loose change.

That equates to around 700,000 portable consoles in the last quarter, down from 1.3 million the previous year. For the year, portable sales fell from 7 million units to 4.1 million, ouch. However, improved sales in Japan are keeping the boat afloat. Even so, 54,000 portables a week minus an average of 30,000 in Japan (according to Media Create figures behind my pretty chart) means the Vita is only selling 24,000 a week across the entire rest of the planet.

The bad news is Sony predicts sales will decline to 3.5 billion yen in FY 2014. However, throw in rising software and media service sales, which Sony doesn't break down, and things may still be looking up. It has Freedom Wars and PlayStation Now on the way, with more Vita games likely to be announced at Tokyo Games Show, since sales have picked up over there.

On the negative side, Sony is still in a poor state and if hard decisions need to be made, it could toss the Vita under a bus in the west, or replace it with a mobile-based, all-touch, Android device, which will likely kill Vita as we know it.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Monster Monpiece card battler shuffles this way

Curse you spam folder, no idea why this news ended up in there. Monster Monpiece, yes the one with the lady tickling, will be released later this month, on the 27th in North America and 28th in Europe thanks to Idea Factory.



Monster Monpiece will be available for $29.99 on PSN, the card-battling two-player (local or network) strategy game with light RPG elements offers fun, strategic battle systems and charming characters for fans. And of course, you can level up your Monster Girls with First Crush Rub!




Son of Scoregasm gets a feisty trailer

Trundling along on the indie Vita conveyor belt next is Son of Scoregasm, a vibrant looking compartmentalized shooter where bullets and enemies are flying all over the shop. Developed by one-man band Charlie's Games, it looks like a must-grab for some instant arcade action to go in-between bursts of TxK. A release date is "soon" according to the PS blog which has some more details.

Minecraft gets an official Vita screenshot

Not much more to say than that really, the game still has a Q3 release date, but I'd wait gladly so at least it doesn't play as badly as Borderlands reportedly does on the handheld. One point, will the sharper LCD screen make the text look better than the OLED, just wondering?


Monday, May 12, 2014

Alternatives, since the "economics don't work" for Vita development

Initially, I grumpily agreed with Sony's take on why big games don't work financially on the Vita. It sounded reasonable, but rather than accept the situation and attempt to deal with it, Sony seems to be casting the Vita aside, sounding almost embarrassed about its existence (see the Vita  Buyer's pledge). Where's the drive to turn things around, as with the indies and old JRPG efforts?

It doesn't take much thinking to see several sources for potential Vita games, which while not massive, will prop up the mid-tier and encourage sales, attract further development etc, etc.

With the arrival the Unity Engine update allowing port-to-Vita options (although I'm sure its not quite that simple), there's a whole world of games that will work on the Vita. Older big-name titles that used Unreal Engine 3 should also run on the Vita through that dev kit (guessing its a stretch to downgrade a UE4 product). Sure, some fine-tuning, asset-stripping and power management is required, but that's not AAA development work.

More suited to the Vita, we have Sony and other developers already using several high-quality game engines (Killzone, Uncharted, Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed [less so] and EA's Need for Speed) - a lot of the leg work in development work has been done. Why not license out or open source the engines and let others (mod teams, indies, other allied devs) create the next wave of Vita games.

Its not like these engines are generating revenue sat on a shelf. Whatever route, if the Vita isn't going to get big-name games then fine, but as Sony has found through indies, if you open up the taps on other sources, especially in the global market, with a little encouragement, then games can still come flooding.

Any day, another (likely fake) E3 schedule

Guess we'll have quite a few of these for the next month. For a start, why exactly would MS and Sony schedules end up on the same document? However, its pretty plausible with only Disgaea 4, Hatsune Miku 2 and Natural Doctrine plus indies giving Vita owners any interest.


Still, its a laff innit? And follows on from last week's similar "leak." My guess is Sony itself doesn't know exactly what it will show yet (beyond the usual suspects which will be on any good, or bad, fake). Anyone done a fantasy version yet where Ken Levine comes on-stage and announces Bioshock for the..... oh.

Add some Sparkle to your Vita

See, I knew Sony were kidding when they said no more big games for the Vita. Look, here comes Sparkle 2 from 10Tons - its a sequel, its got to be big, right? It arrives next week as a Cross-Buy title on PS4 and Vita, with a demo if you need to see for yourself the allure of magical marble rolling.

IA/VT Colorful gets a neat Vita bundle

Why is the Vita selling in Japan and not here? Well, if you ignore the cultural issues, its because practically any game comes with a shiny limited edition bundle, triggering the OCD collectors gene in most Japanese gamers. I mean we get the black Vita with a download code for whatever game is chucked casually in this month's "bundle."

In Japan, even something pretty niche like IA/VT Colorful comes with a stylish box, covers, cases, tags, stickers, the actual game and other goodies. I'm aware these things cost a little more, but how Sony thinks it can get away flogging the same box year-in, year-out (excluding the slim model change) is rather beyond me.


God of War collection rages into No. 1

The UK Vita charts are out with Kratos taking his rightful place at the top of the throne. that's a pretty healthy chart for the Vita with no year-old games clogging up the list. Still, GoW fails to dent the overall top 40, which shows just how bad things are for the Vita.

1 new GOD OF WAR COLLECTION SONY. - 1
2 - FOOTBALL MANAGER 2014 SEGA 1 5
3 - FIFA 14 EA SPORTS 2 33
4 - FINAL FANTASY X/X-2 HD REMASTER SQUARE ENIX 3 8
5 + BATMAN: ARKHAM ORIGINS WARNER 9 29
6 + KILLZONE: MERCENARY SONY  7 36
7 - TEARAWAY SONY 6 25
8 - THE LEGO MOVIE VIDEOGAME WARNER 4 13
9 - RAYMAN LEGENDS UBISOFT 5 36
10 + LEGO MARVEL SUPER HEROES WARNER 12 26


Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (C)2014 UKIE Ltd

New characters and costumes coming to One Piece World Red

Coming as a surprise conversion from the 3DS Japanese release earlier this year, Namco is adding to the game's sparkle with  new Battle Coliseum Mode, for the pirates to enjoy a good slugfest! More news is out today, with a total of 20 characters being playable in this arena, including: Fujitora, “Flame Fist” Ace D. Portgas, Crocodile, the stunning Empress Boa Hancock, the whole Straw-Hat crew etc.!



Players will be able to select their favourite character to get in the heated brawl against most of the fearsome bosses ONE PIECE universe got in its pocket! Look out for the “Straw Hat Edition” of the game that will come with exclusive costumes: 10 outfits including Luffy's Strong World Outfit plus the Anniversary Pack.



It will also pack in a unique quest where the two brothers are re-united: “Flame Fist & Straw Hat.” The game is out in Europe and Oz on 27th June 2014, and on July 8 in the States.


The Sony Vita buyer's pledge...

AKA, a grumpy Monday morning. Promise to cheer up from here on out!

I (state your name),

agree that when I put my cash down to buy a PlayStation Vita, I understand that while Sony is a big-game company and works in a big-game industry, none of them will ever come to my handheld. I understand that there is something called Remote Play, but that requires me to put even more cash down for a PlayStation 4, and one-day, perhaps, PlayStation Now. 

I sign here to indicate that I will be happy with a modest supply of Japanese translated titles and a horde of indie games of staggering beauty, creativity and quality. I do not blame Sony for this (except their joke of a marketing department) as I understand the world has changed, and it (and the industry) can't be expected to support loyal portable users anymore - except for Shahid Ahmad, Adam Boyes and their teams who are fighting the good fight!  

Yours,

(sign your name).

P.S. Should Sony or partners accidentally reveal any big Vita games at E3, please make sure that:

A) they actually exist in a showable form
B) have an actual developer involved
C) are not the figment of Ken Levine's imagination

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Sony's E3 presser a late night snoozefest for Euro Vita owners

Sony has already admitted that AAA for the Vita is pretty much toast. A possible leaked schedule shows not a single Vita glimmer of light in a sea of PS4 powerhouses. So, apart from an indie and JRPG sizzle real, there's likely little reason for Europe to stay up late to listen to the dronings from the west coast.

The press event takes place at 2AM UK, 3AM Europe and if you're lucky enough to have a PS4 will be a stream of delights. About the best you can hope for is a price cut, which won't do much for sales, leaving Sony to flog the Vita as a PS4 remote play gizmo. Of course, I seriously hope to be wrong, but I'm not going to lose sleep over this one.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Gravity Crash Ultra looking awesome on the Vita

Developer Jaw is showing off some new pics of Gravity Crash Ultra, the sequel to the PSP mini on the Vita, and it all looks super slick and packed with particles as the classic action of 8-bit arcade games like Lunar Lander and successors like Oids get the full treatment. Sign me up!





Sega predicting a rise in its Vita sales and more games, but which ones?

After Capcom and Namco reported happy profits, Sega seems less certain, with a cautious tone in its latest report, predicting around 20% rises in coming over 2014/15. It did highlight PSO 2 as its leading digital title on PC and Vita, perhaps suggesting a western release at some point. But there's no breakdown of Football Manager sales, yet.

It does expect a rise in Vita activity up from 520,000 sales in 2013 (3 SKUs, Hatsune Miku, PSO2, Samurai & Dragons), a weak 330,000 (5 SKUs, Puyo Tetris, Let's Make a Soccer Manager, Football Manager, HM2nd, ????) in 2014 up to almost 800,000 sales for 2015, based on 7 SKUs (that's one product in one territory, so not seven distinct titles).

Phantasy Star Nova is one upcoming title, a western release for Hatsune Miku 2nd makes another two SKUs (Europe and America), but not sure what else it has up its sleeve! Any thoughts. None of the new Sonic games were announced for Vita as far as I recall, perhaps a change is coming at E3?

Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Freedom Wars boss rears its head in new video

Most of the trailers for Sony's Freedom Wars have shown the heroes fighting big, bad, bosses. Now here's one being taken down in-game, meet Koushin. The levels of interaction are pretty neat with one fighter hanging on to the beast's leg, pulling it down with tethers and generally get brutal on its metal hide. Think this game should do pretty damn well for the Vita.

Oreshika 2 gets a new promo video

Oreshika 2, aka Over My Dead Body, is landing on Japanese Vita systems soon, with a western release confirmed. Check out this new trailer showing off some of the pretty (but near-basic) cel shading, some hand drawn art and lots of chopping up of enemies.

Enjoy a long play through of Sword Art Online

Having stormed to No. 1, and with lots of extra content to keep the players happy, Sword Art Online seems to be quite the thing in Japan at the moment (until the next moment, obviously). Here's a 30-minute video of the game in action, with mandatory happy Japanese banter in the background from the chaps at Dengeki.

The capture method on this clip makes for some horrible interlacing, but if you're into the series or thinking of picking this up, its worth sticking with.

To Leave from Freaky Creations will freak you out

That bit in Monsters Inc with the doors, yeah that bit! In a game... kind of, but more weird... are the first thoughts I had on seeing this trailer for To Leave, a nightmare/dreamy trip through a myriad of levels (some Gravity Rush inspiration there?) in this Vita, PS4 game,

The trailer is a year old, the game has been in development since 2012 and has a scheduled release date of Spring 2015. Looks like a labour of love for developer/artist Juan Andres Perez. More on the game's blog.

Bullet Girls to cute-up and shoot-up the Vita

Hot on the heels of the slightly saucy Moero Chronicles reveal, comes Bullet Girls from D3, a small arms relative of the Panzer Girls perhaps? The girls-and-guns-and-underwear game was revealed in a Japanese magazine this week (more scans on Gematsu).

UPDATE: Game now has an official site!



These cheeky lasses and armed to the teeth and now a few in-game screens are out, showing what they're capable of. And if you can take down an attack helicopter while keeping your knickers clean, then you're clearly worthy of a Vita game. More news and hopefully a video to come soon.


God Eater 2 is Namco's No. 2 game

A quick dig into Namco's latest financial figures shows God Eater 2 as its No. 2 video game property, selling some 700,000 units across PSP and PS Vita in Japan alone. As it should, considering it pissed all over CoD Ghosts. With a recent update adding full multiplayer, a western release is maybe a little more likely, but don't hold your breath.

Dragon Ball Z Battle of Z isn't too far behind, which suggests further portable versions in that series (and it already came west). Knock yourself out with the full PDF here. Given the rising portable sales in Japan, wonder if they'll consider a Vita Dark Souls title or spin off?

 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

SoundShapes is two years old, enjoy some birthday DLC

Sony's Santa Monica Studio doesn't just do God of War, it also helped Sound Shapes go tubthumping out into the world. The community is still going strong with user-made levels and to celebrate the game's second birthday, there's some more content coming to players of the audio platform/puzzler.

The new content includes a brass and a nature themed pair of packs, for just a $1 each. The brass pack features a ton of brass horn sounds and loops to jazz/funk/groove up your levels, and includes 5 new Beat School levels and Trophies. While the nature pack adds a bunch of outdoorsy images like trees, plants, flowers, clouds, sun, and more.

Japanese Vita sales shuffle up in quiet holiday season

Funny, I thought Golden Week was supposed to send sales through the roof, but both the Vita and 3DS only make modest gains this week (results late due to the Japanese holiday) according to Famitsu's numbers. The Vita sold 25,600 units, I'll update my weekly chart when the Media Create numbers make an appearance.

Sword Art Online keeps a place in the top three with sales of 26,852, taking it close to 164,000 sales in two weeks. Only Super Robot Taisen down in 24th place had the muscle to keep it company for Vita games. The rest of the Japanese games industry must be wondering when big-screen console sales will pick up, because it is looking very bleak

Updated: Here's the Media Create sales, tracking broadly in line with Famitsu, showing the Vita and Vita TV sold 24,717 between them over the week, accounting for just over 24% of the market. Sword Art sold 32,000 according to MC, not bad for a second week.

If that's it until the summer releases, it has been a grim few weeks for all hardware in Japan and the next month might as well not happen.