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!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Vita singing praise to Hatsune Miku X in 2016

Hatsune Miku will be back in 2016 to give the Vita another dose of vocaloid tonsil teasing and rhythm action. A 'new' game is due in March for the Vita, and later in the year for PS4. I say 'new' as I suspect there could be a fair amount of remixed, remastered, or just borrowed material. But it looks like there's some new artistes on board.

The trailer celebrates the games across the series' eight-year history, with most of the big hits on PSP and Vita. the "Xth new project", will probably pick up a revised name, anyone guessing on Hatsune Miku G?



Not sure if anyone will wait for Sega's dopey western arm to port it, so imports seem to be the order of the day, along with mass setting up of Japanese accounts to get the presumably endless DLC.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Dengeki Bunko opening movie brings the brawl

Fighting Climax indeed! Here comes the latest bunch of heroes to mix it up in a brawler, as Sega brings Dengeki Bunko west for anime fans to mix and match fighters from their favourite series.

Shows featuring in the game as either lead characters or assistants include:

A Certain Magical Index
Accel World
Black Bullet
DURARARA!!
Oreimo
Ro-Kyu-Bu!
Shakugan no Shana
STRIKE THE BLOOD
Sword Art Online
The Irregular at Magic High School
Toradora!


Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan
Boogiepop and Others
Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl
Golden Time
Kino's Travels
Spice and Wolf
The Devil is a Part-Timer!
The Pet Girl of Sakurasou


Friday, August 28, 2015

Crunchyroll app finally pops up in Europe

Holy heck! From wayyyy out of left field, the anime fest Crunchyroll app has finally arrived in Europe. And, its not even April 1st! You can grab the app now and sign up for the 14 day free trial, or carry on your anime viewing on your lovely OLED screen for just £4.99 a month.

The free app is a mere 10MB, just hope the shitty WiFi chip in the Vita can cope with your manga-fest of viewing! Now all we need is the Netflix app, and us EU types will be set for a happy winter's viewing tucked up in bed!

Nanako and Margaret star in latest western P4D clips

Persona 4 Dancing all Night rolls nearer with a couple more clips of more of the game's heroines in disco action. Master of Ceremonies Margaret struts her Vogue moves, while Nanako is out to impress.

The game is out at the end of September, with special editions to help shift boxed copies. How excited can we get for this?


Summon Night 5 dawns on western Vitas

The PSP game Summon Night 5 is almost here, thanks to Gaijinworks, just as Japan gets news of Summon Night 6!

The Summon Night series offers strategy role playing. The latest edition packs in an expansive story plus event battles and side missions for a total of 70 battles for completionists. It also has multiple endings and a fishing minigame.

Players who just enjoy the story of RPGs but are bad at the battles will enjoy the available Easy mode which will let them get through the game concentrating on the story. All others can enjoy the challenge of Normal

Gaijinworks also has Class of Heroes 3 in the pipeline, so keep supporting them for some class Vita action!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Atelier Sophie gets a bookish trailer

Having had a couple of months delay for spit and polish to November, Gust has to keep the interest in Atelier Sophie going. So, here's a new gameplay clip to keep players keen on Sophie and her book/best friend.

It definitely looks a gorgeous game, and has all the elements needed, as long as the story rocks. Will the Vita version be of more interest to Japanese gamers compared to the full fidelity of the PS4 or PS3 version, guess we'll find out in Winter.

Lucy4 is hot and looking for Vita support

A new entry in Square Enix's list of potential crowd funding games lists Vita support as a possibility, and the game itself looks worthy of backing.


Coming from Indonesian team Ninecats, Lucy4 is a side scrolling action, and role playing game. Check out the animations on the page, follow them on Facebook and generally spread the word and see if we can get this cool looking title up on the Vita. 


Vita sales lowest in 10 weeks in Japan

Vita sales dived in Japan for the worst numbers of the summer, with the trend likely to head down until autumn's big games arrive.


The only new entry for the Vita was at No.6 with Idea Factory's romance Reine des Fleurs selling over 11,000. That was one ahead of Minecraft which passes the 300,000 boxed copy sales, a pretty elite club for Vita games, even in Japan.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Nippon Ichi revealing Refrain Labyrinth Underground for Vita

A new first-person style RPG is headed to the Vita, as Nippon Ichi finally spills the beans on something it has been teasing for a while. Fully titled Refrain’s Underground Labyrinth and the Witch Brigade, all the details are coming in the new Dengeki magazine, expect some excited scans on Thursday.

NIS is on a roll at the moment, with Yomawari helping take the Vita in a new direction. Hopefully this will move the RPGing goalposts and give us something a little more open world or slightly western would be cool. Then again "labyrinth, witches" all sound a little too familiar.


Monday, August 24, 2015

Fat City riffs off Heist and Pac Man

Add another one to the short but funky line of Vita indies. Fat City from Heavy Iron seems to borrow a little bit from many games, feel free to list the ones you spot. But, at heart, we have gangsters doing gangster shit in a board-game style.

A few more videos show off tutorials, judging by the low viewing figures, this game needs some coverage stat!

PlayStation Plus for September is built of pixels

Maybe Sony is surreptitiously trying to promote that shit-fest movie Pixels next month, either way, the PlayStation Plus offering is looking decidedly 2D for Vita owners.

Vita owners get Super Time Force Ultra, La Mulana EX and the new, ported-from-3DS XeoDrifter. Pretty sure I used to see Teslagrad listed for the Vita, not sure what happened to that. All the details on the PSN blog.


Enjoy 10 whole seconds of World Trigger Borderless Mission action

I hope Japanese gamers bitch about these Bandai clips, 10 seconds of game, 35 seconds of pleading to sign up to their social media network. In the don't blink clip, there's a bit combat action, a monster and that same drab city that's been worrying me since this game was first revealed.

At least fantasy games can make the environment a bit exciting or distinctive, what I've seen so far here shows a complete lack of inspiration. The recent anime sees these beasts farting into our world from some other dimension. Even the cel-shaded iOS edition looks a bit more lively thanks to the art style.

Anyway, the game is out at the end of September, boasting team play and cooperation as the key to winning these battles against the "neighbour" monsters.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Tokyo Xanadu gets a gameplay trailer

Among the anime clips, check out some gameplay snippets for Falcom's Tokyo Xanadu, which is looking more and more like Persona meets God Eater, to me anyway. Gotta love the big battles with more of a storyline than the likes of Soul Sacrifice ever offered!

The game is out at the end of September and should mark the start of the big seasonal Vita push, in Japan.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Airship Q explained in English trailer

It all makes sense now, the cats, the variegated airships... thanks to an English version of Miracle's Japanese ever-so-slightly Terraria inspired game. The game will hit western Vita owners by the end of the year and looks like a must-buy for those into the creative games.

After all, witches, dragons, sheep, multiplayer - all while flying! What's not to like.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Vita sales get a mystery boost in Japan this week

Must be a funny week in Japan, no new games on the chart, yet Vita sales spike nicely up. Perhaps there's a digital only game that's grabbed some interest - I'll go have a peek. Even so, Vita is now over 200,000 sales down on last year's numbers.

 Minecraft's sales on the other hand are up almost 50%, propelling it back into the Media Create top five. Otherwise the recent raft of Vita games continue to under perform, with IA/VT and Luminous Arc vanishing fast.

01./01. [3DS] Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer # (Nintendo)  - 140.235 / 844.167 (-23%)
02./02. [3DS] Yo-Kai Watch Busters: Red Cat Team / White Dog Squad
(Level 5)  - 100.553 / 1.303.342 (+18%)
03./03. [WIU] Splatoon
(Nintendo) ) - 41.361 / 560.394 (+16%)
04./04. [3DS] Rhythm Heaven: The Best+
(Nintendo)  - 27.356 / 420.193 (+45%)
05./06. [PSV] Minecraft: PlayStation Vita Edition
(Sony)  - 11.787 / 291.927 (+46%)
...
09./05. [PSV] Luminous Arc: Infinity
(Marvelous) - 6.048 / 22.265 (-63%)
...
12./15. [PSV] Taiko no Tatsujin: V Version
(Bandai Namco) - 5.438 / 84.740 (+11%)
...
18./10. [PSV] IA/VT: Colorful #
(Marvelous) - 3.896 / 48.678 (-34%)




Sony announces new kid-friendly Vita bundles

Typical, about an hour after I check in with Sony PR to see if they're doing any new bundles, two new ones appear. These deeply familiar looking offerings pack the best of Sony's offerings (plus the Vikings game) and a collection of LEGO fun into two €199 bundles.

Arriving in September and October, question 1, will all those games fit on the feeble 8GB card provided. Question 2, where the hell is the Resident Evil version with the brand new Revelations 2 packed in with the PS One originals, rather than trying to flog some 3/4 year old games? Or go the Star Wars Battlefield Remote Play PS4/Vita bundle, anything to give the system a little credibility.

Also, if these were meant for the summer holiday market, then they're way too late. And if they're for the Christmas market, they are way too early - what on Earth is Sony playing at?



Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Resident Evil 2 Revelations monster patch improves frame rate

Sony strikes again, with another confused launch of a Vita game. Apparently the Resident Evil 2 Revelations release was pulled from the EU PSN, or never made it, and will release tomorrow with the 900MB day one (or day two, if you managed to grab it) patch.

UPDATE: Actually it arrived late on Tuesday night, will try and get a review up soon.

Here's a couple of clips of post-patch footage showing off the update in action, with still variable, but generally improved frame rates, some graphical glitches fixed and more content added.

Was Sony really so desperate to launch this game that it couldn't wait a week until the patch was ready? Will any reviews (assuming Sony was brave enough to send codes out) be adjusted in light of the patch?

Hopefully there will be a few more updates from Frima, as happened with Borderlands, to further fine tune things. Its a shame the game looks so flat and dull compared to Killzone, due to stripping out all the shaders. I guess that's the price we pay for these down-ports.

Get ready for Sony's Paris Games Week shindig

Having blown out Gamescom, Sony's two big presentations in the run up to the festive selling season (what we used to called Christmas) will be Tokyo Games Show in September and Paris Games Week.

The Paris Games Week event has just been inked in with Sony's show taking place at 5PM UK time on Tuesday 27th October. Mark your calendar for that one, and expect plenty of short-term news focused on the big games landing this year.



While the company has already announced a host of PS4 bundles, including the top notch Star Wars Battlefront version, the show will be the perfect time to show off a new Vita bundle. Also, if Sony manages to unveil Gravity Rush 2 at TGS, then a first western showing should follow.

Failure to show anything new will pretty much be the final, final, final nail in the Vita's coffin from a big league perspective. But that is the most likely outcome, so will come as no surprise.

Dead or Alive Xtreme III brings endless summer girly fun to the Vita

More good news from Japan, a new spin off of the Dead or Alive series is heading out from Tecmo, bringing more well rounded girls taking time off from pummeling to enjoy more summer fun.


Coming to the Vita and PS4 later this year, more news will be unveiled in the next Famitsu magazine, expect plenty of spots, revealing costumes and so on. Not sure if this is an all new game or just an update to the previous versions for Sony's newer consoles.

While the game will probably not get a formal western release, it should be easy to import and play the core elements. Flirting off-shoot Dead or Alive Paradise hit the PSP while Dead or Alive 5+ and a load of DLC is still available on the Vita. It is way over-priced on PSN, a bit more affordable on Amazon.

Volume gets muted on Vita for a couple of weeks

Mike Bithell's second effort is getting great reviews, and was supposed to be out on Vita this week. However, the game will be delayed for a couple of weeks due to some final spit and polish, as explained in a blog post.


It is still Cross Buy, so you can enjoy the PS4 version now if you've got Sony's big console. If you like the music you can get a heads-up via the soundtrack which is also out on most digital services.

Resident Evil Revelations 2 is out and scaring gamers

Sony couldn't be bothered to tell the world that one of the biggest names in gaming is on the Vita, it just pushed this Frima port out like a naughty puppy.

UPDATE: There's already a patch out that fixes some issues!

Thankfully, plenty of gamers are putting up in game footage, so we can see what we're buying for our £25. Early opinion is that its a barely passable effort with the sound compressed in new and evil ways that even Umbrella wouldn't consider.

Frame rate is highly variable when enemies appear, but somehow the coders have managed to cram the game on to the Vita where it can sit alongside the PS One version of the originals.

Think I'll give it a shot, after all this could be the last big name game (Gravity Rush 2 aside) ever to grace the format.

Still, as with Call of Duty, as with Borderlands 2 and now Resident Evil, it shows that you don't get good results if you give a porting time minimal time to do the job.


And here's some of the game's Raid Mode in action...

PS Vita crosses The Bridge

The Bridge is another of those high class, hand-crafted, indies. This one is inspired by those Escher pictures of mad perspective and sees the level rotating around the screen as you try to keep the hero on track.

Using logic and inspiration, this is a fantastic effort for a two-person team. More on this at the game's home page.

Monday, August 17, 2015

One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 dresses up for launch

Hitting the Vita and other PlayStation consoles in just a couple of weeks, One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 should be one of the bigger games for the handheld this summer. To build some hype, Bandai is showing off some of the new content.

On the island of Dressrosa, things are taking a turn for the flamboyant, with new exclusive surprises, never-before-seen fights and an alternate ending for players to uncover.

The game will also have trunk loads of DLC in the weeks after launch, both packs come with 5 Pirate Warriors 2 costumes, plus the following:

DLC Pack 1 – Available on September 8th 2015
4 Exclusive Costumes
4 Extra Missions
Ace of Coliseum
East Blue, All serene
We are the World Government
Whitebeard vs New Fishman Pirates

DLC Pack 2 – Available on September 22nd 2015
4 Exclusive Costumes
4 Extra Missions
Counter Pirates Warfare
Surgeon of Death
Counter World Government Warfare
The Treasure Survival in the Sky Islands

Swimsanity takes the fight under the waves

Did the Power Rangers ever do an underwater episode? If not, I guess this is how it would have looked. Swimsanity from Decoy is a shooter cum brawler that goes into the deep to find reference for its bad guys and monsters.

This early look is indeed pretty slick, I like the enemy representations and the ability to play four-player with benefits of working together. The character graphics are currently pretty feeble, but hopefully there's time to bump them up and improve the swimming animations.

All in all though, somewhere between Smash Bros and Aquaman, we appear to have a cool new arcade game on the horizon.

Great PS4 Star Wars bundle, but no Vita Remote Play bundle?

By my count there are at least 10 Star Wars games playable on the Vita. From the PSP Battlefront and Clone Wars titles, to the collections of Zen Pinball Tables and the LEGO Star Wars games, representing a huge amount of gaming.

And, yet, Sony is quite happy to chuck out a PS4 Star Wars bundle with four old games on it, plus the new Battlefront, while failing to tie in one of the biggest brands in gaming and pop culture on its portable. Despite the launch of the new movie and all the free advertising it brings.

Fair enough, this is probably the unit that will get me, and many others, to upgrade my PS3 to a PS4 this winter. But it pains me to know Sony is leaving the Vita to drift alone in a sea of uncaring corporate attitude.

Especially as the handheld is still on the shelves, and it costs Sony about 7p to do a new box wrapper and add some digital download vouchers printed on plain paper, is there really any harm in trying to keep it relevant, even as a Remote Play device for the PS4 game?

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Between TGS and PSEx we should see Gravity Rush 2 soon, right?

Tokyo Game Show is looming on the calendar in mid-September. Now, we have Sony's PlayStation Experience event taking place in San Francisco later in the year, Dec 5/6, Between the two of them, and recent talk of game testing and other hints, surely we get to see Gravity Rush 2 this year?

Gravity Rush 2 has likely been in development since the Project Siren team (now Team Gravity) finished up on the Vita original, they certainly haven't released anything else, but could have been helping out on other projects.

They team released a sneaky art video in late 2013, but things soon went quiet.

l
Since then, it seems there's been a logical focus on a PS4 version, plus a remaster of the original for that platform. It was only in summer this year that Sony confessed to waiting for the right time to unveil the game.

What else might Sony have tucked away for Vita? We know all focus has gone to the PS4 but there's a faint hope that the company's teams have had time for one or two projects.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Will Amnesia Memories' Bachelor Number 5 please step forward

Contain yourself ladies. Here comes Ukyo. He might look like the cheesy bassist from a glam rock band, but no, this one is a bit sly. According to his bio, he's been watching you from shadows, but as you journey through the many worlds of Amnesia: Memories and shed light on the truth behind this mysterious man, will he finally reveal his true intentions to you?

Actually, compared to some of the other contenders, this one seems like a bastion of normality.




Persona 4 Dancing All Night will come with free DLC and swimming cossies

Atlus is ramping up for the western release of the Persona 4 Dancing All Night disco game with the promise of free DLC to lure pre-ordering customers. Not only will you get the girls of the series in their swimming costumes, but Yukiko will be one of the extra stars.

Samurai Warriors 4 II Survival Mode in action

Here's a peek at one of the new modes in Tecmo's Samurai Warriors 4 II, coming to PS4, PS4 and Vita soon.

In the new Survival Mode, players pick a favourite character and enter a daunting castle with endless levels and countless rewards! Defeating thousands of enemies and completing objectives results in collecting weapons and mounts to be used in the story mode of the game, but only if the player escapes the castles before the health or time bars deplete.


The higher the climb, the more difficult and numerous the enemies are, and the more lucrative the rewards. In addition, the Survival Mode offers a Challenge Mode option, which allows players to set high scores in various Chambers:


  • The Chamber of Trials is all about defeating as many enemies as possible within a given time frame. 
  • The Chamber of Riches focuses on collecting as much gold as possible before time runs out. 
  • The Chamber of Agility tests the player’s skill as it requires them to defeat enemy standard bearers and reach a target destination in time. 
  • The Chamber of Death poses an extreme challenge as enemies deal overpowering blows that could kill low level playable characters instantly!!

Fill your ears with this Tokyo Xanadu music trailer

Okay, why not put this on Spotify or something? But if they must, here's Falcom's Tokyo Xanadu in inaction with some screenshots in the background while the tinkly piano and the ubiquitous driving guitar clips from some of the soundtrack play for your aural delight.



The game is out at the end of September and will hopefully do better than other recent new-IP, Ray Gigant that bombed spectacularly in the charts.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

EU PSN Summer sale blooms with great deals

This is more like it on the summer sale front, a host of great games for around £7, which to be honest should be their permanent price, given the sorry state of Vita gaming.

Steins;Gate gets a decent discount if you're after something new, otherwise, dig into the archive, cause that's pretty much all we have. Persona 4 Golden is a must buy if you don't already have it.

PS Vita Assassin’s Creed 3 Liberation Original price £14.99/€19.99 Offer price £6.49/€7.99
Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate Original price £34.99/€39.99 Offer price £6.99/€9.99
Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair Original price £34.99/€39.99 Offer price £14.99/€19.99
Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc Original price £34.99/€39.99 Offer price £11.99/€14.99
Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition Original price £34.99/€39.99 Offer price £6.99/€9.99
Mortal Kombat Original price £19.99/€24.99 Offer price £6.99/€9.99
Persona 4 Golden Original price £34.99/€39.99 Offer price £14.99/€19.99
Resistance: Burning Skies Original price £11.99/€14.99 Offer price £5.79/€6.99
Sayonara UmiharaKawase + Original price £12.99/€15.99 Offer price £6.49/€7.99
SteinsGate Original price £34.99/€39.99 Offer price £19.99/€24.99 10% additional PS Plus discount
Street Fighter X Tekken Original price £39.99/€44.99 Offer price £6.49/€7.99
Ys: Memories of Celceta Original price £34.99/€39.99 Offer price £14.99/€19.99
The Unfinished Swan Original price £9.99/€12.99 Offer price £5.79/€6.99

Luminous Arc Infinity lights up the Japanese Chart

While nothing is going to stop that Animal Crossing, Yokai Watch combo at the top on 3DS, the Vita does manage the highest new entry in the Japanese Media Create chart at No. 5 with Marvelous' Luminous Arc Infinity.

Further down Gal Gun on Vita outsells the PS4 version by 700 copies but Ray Gigant has vanished instantly after a poor start on last week's chart.

01./01. [3DS] Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer # (Nintendo)  181.377 / 703.933 (-65%)
02./02. [3DS] Yo-Kai Watch Busters: Red Cat Team / White Dog Squad
(Level 5)  84.939 / 1.202.789 (-21%)
03./04. [WIU] Splatoon
(Nintendo)  35.620 / 519.034 (+26%)
04./05. [3DS] Rhythm Heaven: The Best+
(Nintendo)  18.852 / 392.837 (+31%)
05./00. [PSV] Luminous Arc: Infinity
(Marvelous) 16.217 / NEW
06./10. [PSV] Minecraft: PlayStation Vita Edition
(Sony) - 8.100 / 280.140 (-5%)...

10./03. [PSV] IA/VT: Colorful # (Marvelous)  - 5.902 / 44.783 (-85%)...
12./00. [PSV] Gal Gun: Double Peace # (Alchemist) - 5.792 / NEW...
15./11. [PSV] Taiko no Tatsujin: V Version (Bandai Namco)  - 4.879 / 79.302 (-35%)

No time for the little sales chart right now, but Vita hardware sales are down a few hundred, seemingly to live forever behind the PS4 now and being menaced by the Wii U. 



Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Siralim brings retro RPG up to date on Vita

Wow, anyone remember early Ultima or D&D adventures on 16-bit Amiga, ST or early PC RPG games? That's what this trailer first reminded me of, and to be honest I wasn't that wowed, but if the promised deep gameplay is there, then it might be bit of a fun for old rogues.

Developed by Thylacine, you get to bring along a herd of fighting animals along on each simple quest. As long as there's enough challenge and the random levels don't make it drag, then it could be good fun.

PlayStation Plus prices progress purposefully

As in there's a price rise on the way for UK PSN PlayStation Plus users. If you pay month by month, which I'm reduced to at the moment, being skint, then its only 50p a month, going up to £5.99.

The three-month sub goes up from £11.99 to £14.99, while the top tier £39.99 annual price remains unchanged. Given the huge libraries of games many subscribers will have built up over the five years PlayStation Plus has been running, especially if you have multiple devices, then you can't really afford to drop off.

Even though the Vita line up each month is getting weaker and weaker, I guess most of us will be moving on to PS4 sooner or later. And, if you were picking up the games for all formats as you went, then you should already have a nice pile for Sony's new hero.

PS4 users also get to vote for one game to join the PS+ roster each month, which could make the service more valuable to them, but its unlikely and rock star games will turn up in that list.

Super Dimension Tag Blanc + Neptunia vs Zombie Corps trailer

In a country that loves its cross overs, here comes another slamming together of series, with the girls of Neptunia fighting off the zombie hordes in their own inimitable style. The game's four player mode could be a big selling point in a series that's traditionally single player focused.

The Japanese website has plenty of English in it and shows off some of the characters and, like the previous Neptunia games, should come west.

Baboon explodes in Japan

Flyhigh Works! Baboon is now out in Japan and celebrates with a suitably boombastic trailer. The Spanish developed game, certainly has a Japanese feel to it, having launched here back in January and is just £4.99 on PSN, published by Relevo.

The banana collect-em-up offers over 60 levels, an unlockable extra challenging world with new game modes, 8 bomb types and unique music. Never got round to trying it at launch, but might give it a go soon.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Criminal Girls 2 full trailer ups the naughty factor

Following on from last week's teaser trailer, here's more of those naughty Criminal Girls in action. Yes, there's more of the dubious tickling and prodding antics, but there's also a really evil person among the crew, to add something to the plot.

Presumably you'll have to root that individual out, maybe Danganronpa style, for some really serious punishment. Either way, it looks a little better than the first game and will happily keep naughty little Japanese male games obsessed.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Review: Velocibox

Its a shame there's already a title out there called The Impossible Game, because Velocibox could easily have taken over that mantle. Beyond the tutorial level, games can last literally seconds as you try and jump or rotate around these frenzied tunnels - its a bit like the hectic end-of-later-level parts of a TxK run, just without the shooting.

Instead, all you (a square box, but hey that never hurt Thomas Was Alone) need to do is survive and collect orbs to advance to the next level. But that's easier said than done. The pace is frenetic, the reactions required are those of an Apache pilot as you try and plot a route through the blitzkrieg of a level, with barriers every fraction of a second - do you jump or rotate, or both, or panic?

What makes things worse, or more challenging, depending on your reactions, are moving platforms and fixed paths, in the further levels. Surviving isn't good enough, you have to collect those orbs, but there's a bit of salvation as you can learn patterns among the levels and if you get a few familiar segments in a row, you can just about make it, with repetition a common feature of Velocibox.

But, every wrong move sends you back to the start of that level. At least restarting is just as fast as your many deaths. Shawn Beck's game is a thrilling short burst challenge, but it doesn't feel like a great game.

Players should be rewarded for staying alive, with points for distance traveled, or for successful jumps, and twists and turns. That would add to the challenge - perhaps those features are in there somewhere, but my reactions are two dulled to get all the way through.

Also, about 200 games in I realised you can squeeze through narrow gaps between obstacles, but the game's fluid movement means one tiny misalignment and its game over, again! Perhaps a Klax or Tetris style grid movement, or a mode using that, would be better.

To give it a little more legs, there's a ranked mode, with an online leaderboard, but with such a simple engine, there's plenty more scope to add new ideas to make this more than just a minute-a-day title. And at £9, that's pretty steep for all Velocibox has to offer, especially as its £5 on Steam.

Bundled with the PS4 version on PSN, I do wonder if that's a little smoother then Vita edition, but either way, this is a serious challenge for the arcade purists out there.

Score 6/10
More reviews
Price: £8.99 on PSN
Dev: Shawn Beck/Loot
Progress: 500 deaths

Saturday, August 8, 2015

PSN's top Vita sellers in July

Over in America guess they actually buy new Vita games, with J-Stars on top of July's PSN sales. In Europe, it looks like gamers just pick up the bargains with that cheap CoD sending it back to No. 2. The fact there's a Vita launch game still in the top 10 tells you pretty much everything you need to know about the state of Sony's publishing efforts!

1 J-STARS Victory VS+
2 Minecraft: PlayStation Vita Edition
3 Hyperdimension Neptunia ReBirth1
4 Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate
5 Mortal Kombat PS Vita
6 Sword Art Online -Hollow Fragment-
7 Don’t Starve: Giant Edition
8 Ar nosurge Plus: Ode to an Unborn Star
9 Guacamelee!
10 Another World – 20th Anniversary Edition

Europe

1 Minecraft
2 Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified
3 Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment
4 FIFA 15
5 J-Stars Victory VS+ (New)
6 Terraria
7 Don’t Starve: Giant Edition
8 Uncharted: Golden Abyss
9 Killzone Mercenary
10 Grim Fandango Remastered
11 Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines
12 Unit 13 (RE)

Tokyo Xanadu gameplay clips

Guess this is another TV spot for Falcom's Persona-esque Tokyo Xanadu, throwing out some very brief clips of gameplay. There's singing, fighting, spells, swords and demons. All in 15 seconds. What's not to like, and with the game less than two months away, hopefully we'll get some more substantive looks at how it plays.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Bandai shows off Digimon World Next Order screens

Bandai has let loose the first screenshots for the new Next Order Digimon World game, which I've nicked from Famitsu, and they look pretty neat.

There's a big open world feel to the snaps, with our hero Takuto and his Agumon wandering around, with at least one town to visit.

The recent Cyber Sleuth sold over 75,000 on launch, so there's got to be high hopes for this one, and with the first one coming west.






IA/VT Colorful dances up the Japanese chart

Marvelous' IA/VT Colorful music game shifts 38,000 units on its Japanese debut in the Media Create chart, to make it into the top three.


Looking a little further down the chart, dodgy-sounding love adventure Date-A-Live Twin Edition: Rio Reincarnation from Compile Heart ships 13K to get in at No. 6.



Alas, Bandai's next big hope, Ray Gigant, the Experience-developed RPG managed to sell a woeful 8,600. That's pretty shocking, especially considering the effort that went into the visual upgrade over traditional RPGs, perhaps that was the problem. Also, haven't seen any review scores yet, so it might pick up.

UPDATE: Famitsu reckons it sold closer to 10K, but still only sold 40%-60% of shipped copies, which is still pretty dismal.

On the plus side, that could hurry up a western release as Bandai tries to make its money back. None of that action, plus a bunch of other games hitting the charts helped the Vita shift units, with sales diving again. It is staying consistently behind the PS4 now, with no new PS4 games in the chart.

Looks like Sony needs a new upgrade or some new franchises to help sell the numbers that 3DS games can manage at the top of the chart.

01./00. [3DS] Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer # (Nintendo) - 522.556 / NEW
02./01. [3DS] Yo-Kai Watch Busters: Red Cat Team / White Dog Squad (Level 5) - 107.945 / 1.117.850 (+13%)
03./00. [PSV] IA/VT: Colorful # (Marvelous) - 38.881 / NEW
06./00. [PSV] Date-A-Live Twin Edition: Rio Reincarnation # (Compile Heart) - 13.107 / NEW
09./00. [PSV] Ray Gigant (Bandai Namco Games)  - 8.673 / NEW
10./11. [PSV] Minecraft: PlayStation Vita Edition (Sony)  - 8.553 / 272.040 (-16%)
11./14. [PSV] Taiko no Tatsujin: V Version (Bandai Namco Games)  - 7.464 / 74.423 (-10%)
19./05. [PSV] Makai Shin Trillion # (Compile Heart) 
 - 5.221 / 23.726 (-72%)
20./00. [PSV] KLAP!! Kind Love And Punish # (Idea Factory)  - 5.047 / NEW




D3 bringing boob-obsessed Omega Labyrinth to the Vita

There's not much there at the moment, but D3 has put up a site page for Omega Labyrinth, a new roguelike. Detail is light, with a November release scheduled.

But since the teaser page had a boob jiggling feature, the logo uses the omega symbol as a bra, and the page has some fairly feisty ladies ready to kick, and probably show, ass, I think we know where this one is going.


Attack on Titan game rocks up on the Vita next year

One of the more popular anime on screens in recent months has been Attack on Titan, and the Vita will be getting a game based on the sci-fi adventure thanks to Koei. None of this Japan first stuff, either it is scheduled for a global release, probably thanks to its appearance on Adult Swim.

The game is being developed across PS4, PS3 and Vita by Omega Team, so should be up to scratch. The teaser gives a tiny hint of what's to come with perhaps a sniff of a post-apocalyptic God of War about it. As it says, working title, so expect something suitably "revenge of the minions" or similar in the mix.

Certainly leads the way on the 2016 release list.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Strength of the Sword Ultimate waving it about at Gamescom

With Sony not bothering with a Gamescom presser, we're down to whatever the third parties and indies care to show off. First up from the floor is the recently Kickstarted Strength of the Sword Ultimate which has a new trailer for the show.

Sony will be putting up more of a show at Tokyo Games Show in mid-September, and at Paris Games Week at the end of October.

Yoma Wari's spooky opening trailer

With some deft teasing, Yoma Wari has easily becoming one of the more interesting Vita games on the Japanese horizon. Here's the first trailer showing the game in action, with lots more of the cute art, good use of a torch and the heroine's own disarming charm.

Expect plenty of good reviews when the game hits in October.

Monday, August 3, 2015

America gets PlayStation Now on the Vita

While the beta of PlayStation Now has only recently lumbered into Europe, the US has had things running for a while. Sony has at last added the Vita and PS TV as supported devices, so we too can enjoy PS3 classics on the go.



New additions to the service this month include God of War III, Dynasty Warriors 8, MX vs. ATV Supercross, Bomberman Ultra and The Last Guy. Hopefully Europe will add the Vita to the roster soon, and perhaps start adding games we already own as free to stream,

New PSN Spider game tunes into the weather

Sony's pimping a new indie on PSN that will hit Vita and PS4 soon. You play a spider, but in a novel twist, the game will link into your local time and weather conditions, all of which are pretty vital when you're a hungry spider out for dinner.

So, in theory, a downpour could blast spidey to his doom if you're in the wrong place at the wrong time, but after a shower is a great time to set up webs to trap the bugs coming out to play. Its an interesting concept and the abandoned mansion you call home is also full of tricks and puzzles that open up a wider side to the game.

According to the blurb, "A secret society built Blackbird Estate for a specific reason. Not even the family living there today knows what it is."

Spider: Rite of the Shrouded Moon from Tiger Style will be arriving soon, not one for arachnophobia sufferers or those glued to Big Ass Spider repeats on SyFy!

UPDATE: Okay, "soon" was optimistic, over a year later the trophies have just shown up, guess the game will arrive late October 2016!

J-Stars Victory Vs+ gets a new Vita trailer

Fed up of all the over-shiny PS4 clips and pics of J-Stars Victory Vs+? Well, here's the Vita version in action thanks to Bandai Namco's latest video.

The game is out now, I guess this is part of a summer campaign! You can grab it to jump in with all the anime heroes and the brawling action, with a spot of multiplayer mayhem. Its £23 on Amazon or £29 on PSN.

WRC 5 gets a variety of box art

Depending on where you live, BigBen's first effort at WRC 5 will feature a more localised piece of cover art. The game, confirmed for Vita, will feature some of the toughest and most varied conditions on the planet. In 2015, the roads on this epic motorsport adventure are spread across 14 countries, with 13 rallies on everything from snow packed forest tracks to rock-strewn mountain passes.

Cover art varieties include:

  • United Kingdom, Scandinavia, and East Europe (Except Poland) : Kris Meeke - Citroën DS 3 WRC - Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT
  • France and Benelux : Thierry Neuville – Hyundai i20 WRC - Hyundai Motorsport.
  • Australia and New Zealand : Hayden Paddon - Hyundai i20 WRC - Hyundai Motorsport - Hyundai Mobis World Rally Team
  • Spain, Italy, South Africa and Poland : Robert Kubica – Ford Fiesta RS WRC - RK World Rally Team
  • Germany, Switzerland and Austria : Sébastien Ogier – Volkswagen Polo R WRC - Volkswagen Motorsport
More versions on the game's Facebook page:



Exist Archive first trailer - in full English

Spike and Tri-Ace have shown off a first look at Exist Archive: the Other Side of the Sky and there's one clear feature worth noting. Outside the opening and descriptive text, everything is in English, which could make a western move pretty easy.

As for the game, we've got some 2D/3D side scrolling adventuring action and a spot of 3D RPG battling. With a host of impressive looking characters, replete with cyber wings and big weapons, there's stylish visuals and a high level of gloss. This could easily be the Vita/PS4's next big original hit in Japan.

Its another Digimon World Next Order teaser trailer

Hot on the heels of the one from last week comes another sneaky look at the digital monsters. Actually, it could be the same clip, as the original has now been made private, and since I can't compare perhaps that was an early leak.

Either way, enjoying imagining what this game could become, if you didn't catch the premiere.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Girls are definitely having fun in Silky's Plus Alpha

Silky's Plus Alpha looks like one of the better produced titles for the female gamer out of Japan recently. With a bunch of trailers, on this Dengeki page, or the game site is also pretty slick, its a port of a PC game.

The love adventure from Wasabi is out in September, who knows what goes on, but it definitely looks a cut above most of the other cut-and-paste adventures out there.

Shooter Darius aims for the Vita

The Vita has done pretty well when it comes to shmups, but there's always room for one more. So, the return of the Darius series on handheld is a pretty welcome sign. The game, Chronicle Saviors, from Taito and Kadokawa is due later this year and looks like another fine blast joining the likes of TxK, Velocity 2X, Aqua Kitty and Resogun.

There's not much detail on the Darius site, but it looks cool, and keep checking for Twitter icons, desktop backgrounds and so on.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Digimon World Next Order gets a teaser trailer

Is it the past, is it a new future, is a remake or a reimagining, Hard to tell with all this retro trickery in this neat trailer from Bandai, but it certainly looks interesting. Coming hot on the heels of Cyber Story, is Digimon set for a major revival in the west?