Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Marvelous sheds real time lighting and binaural sound on Corpse Party Blood Drive

After last week's extended gameplay clip, here's the opening and a bit more fun and games for the girls of Corpse Party. The game is out today in the US and arrives next week in the UK and Aus, with limited editions on the Marvelous store, packing cards, soundtrack CDs and gonks into a brilliant looking box to tempt you to go large.

The game packs an 18 rating for all the gore and features binaural surround sound and 3D real time lighting to ramp up the scares. Just in time for Halloween, this should be quite the treat, spread across 11 story and 8 bonus chapters.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Okay, how long until a LEGO Nexo Knights game arrives?

The latest Lego original product has been revealed, with Nexo Knights bringing a western flavour after all that mystical Ninjago nonsense. Set in a future world obsessed with the medieval, it should provide perfect fodder for a bunch of original Lego games.
The play sets (Scroll down, past the really fun looking Mixels) arrive early next year, but the games can't be far behind. Let's hope the Vita gets to play as its younger gamer focus still seems to be intact. There's already an app promised in the form of Merlock 2.0 that lets kids scan in powers when watching the TV show.

Here's hoping that any developers do try and push the longboat out when it comes to innovation and ideas. 

Review: Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax

As a self-confessed button masher, this probably isn't the game for me. As someone who hasn't delved that much in manga and anime since Akira and Crying Freeman, this probably isn't the game for me.

Yet, here I am into the early hours thwacking away at the Vita, trying out the many different characters, trying not to get mashed by the dude who keeps throwing fridges, car doors and phone boxes at my head, and wondering why getting hit by a basketball inflicts such damage - in real life it stings, but is not usually fatal.
The game is based around a whole load of Dengeki anime properties with characters from Accel World, A Certain Magical Index, Sword Art Online and many others. They're all thrown together in some sort of glorified dream sequence which passes for a plot.

You have to pick a buddy and battle through nine rounds (six in Dream Duel mode) to get the trophy for each character and to unlock some special guests. There's also ranked network mode to test your skills out against others online, plus three challenges (time attack, score mode and survival) and a deeply dull training mode. Even then, it feels pretty light compared to the endless insanity of Injustice Gods Among Us. Perhaps the new Ignition version hitting Japan is more meaty.

Anyway, the game looks gorgeous on the Vita, with brief but bright intro and post-fight scenes to set the "story". There are a load of Sega games used as background material from Sonic to Virtua Fighter and PSO2, but they're just set dressing with no surprises (that I've seen) to make you go "wow!"
Your buddies appear to be pretty limited, popping out to deal a one shot blast or defending you, but they're certainly not something to rely on at first. Instead you need to Blast and Climax Gauges and use Trump Card attacks to deal major damage. Trump cards boost your attacks or abilities, with other effects called Potentials available if you fight in a certain style or meet a particular condition.

All of that is for the keen brawler to figure out, the rest of us just mash buttons until we win or lose, trying to figure out a strategy for victory and then repeating until it doesn't work. There are a range of tall and short characters in the game, but that doesn't seem to make much tactical difference. While you can unlock some heavier guest characters like Akira, everyone seems pretty weedy, which seems wrong for a fighting game.
But, none of that stops Fighting Climax from being good fun, with the mad range of odd weapons the characters pull out. Finding out the hard way what everyone's super moves are, and how assists can really help is a good challenge, so you can figure out to better play the game.

It nudges you along to proficiency with a simple attack system (light, medium, heavy) and easy to master combos. And, for completionists, there are icons, plates, character colours and other goodies to buy with the credits you earn from winning.

So, you don't have to be heavily into the characters to enjoy the game. You don't have to be a fighting master to get to grips with it, and you can pick it up and play in intense short bursts, which makes it an ideal portable title. So, even after having hated most of the trailers, and not really having a vested interest in the characters, I can still see this being whipped out regularly for a quick bout, definitely something getting hands on with, if you can.

Score 8/10
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Price: £24.99 on PSN
Dev: Sega/Kadokawa
Progress: Finished a few times

Let Them Come may target the Vita

Aliens and turret guns, what's not to like? Add in knives and grenades for a bit of variety, and its alien and tentacled hordes all the way down to the last bullet. Which definitely makes this worth checking out.

A pixel fest from Klemen Lozar, its a one-man (plus musicians) project that clearly has huge amounts of effort gone into the game's creatures and lighting. Let Them Come is mentioned as possible for the Vita, currently headed to mobile, PC and consoles.

Let the dude know you'd love to see it on Vita, and perhaps this will be ripping up our screens in 2016. Check out his personal blog for lots of interesting technique and development details and tricks that make his work shine!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

JXD's Singularity handheld console has Tegra power

Chinese firm JXD have had a couple of goes at handheld Android games machines, borrowing heavily from Sony's ideas. But now they're going their own way with all-new Tegra K1 powered Android monster.

Ditching any pretense of a slimline design, it has chunky grips, protruding dual sticks and angular edges. The company has been going to 10 years now, and has hopefully learned about button quality and other issues - if it has pulled things together, this could be mighty!
The NVIDIA Tegra K1 quad core, 2.0GHz ARM Cortex-A15 in the Singularity S192 packs in 192 graphics cores for blistering performance found in Nvidia's own Shield devices. It plays all the latest Android titles and comes with 18 emulators (including a PSP, and there's even a Windows logo) to a whole world of historical gaming.

The 7-inch 1920 x 1200 full HD touch display offers 323 ppi and gets a "retina" tag, while I'm sure Apple's lawyers will soon stamp on. Driving it all, including the two cameras, is a 10,000mah battery.

 If its put together even reasonably well, that could make it quite a gaming machine, it will be due out at the end of the year with a $269 price tag. Eat that, Sony, left to only imagine how cool a Vita 2 would be.

If the company wants an actual English writer for its rather gibberish page, I'm free!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Marvel Avengers gets a Comic Con trailer

The Vita gets at least one more Lego game with a Marvel Avengers trailer popping up at NY Comic Con, confirming the January release date. We have the usual line up of hereos and most likely the usual limited word gameplay, but its still Lego, its still fun and should sell decently.

Review: PlayStation Now (PS Vita)

Well this is fun, I'm playing Dead Rising on my PS Vita, and it all works! There's beaches and palm trees and everything. Plus zombies, but we'll ignore them for now, and big questions like why throwing a paddle at a gas canister would make it explode?

But, the point is, that after years of acquisitions, back office jiggering around and slowly-but-surely beta tests, PlayStation Now has arrived in the UK, with a seven day free trial, a £13 monthly subscription, or that mad game-per-few-hours rental idea.

The key question is, would I pay for the 100 odd games currently on offer? In all honesty, I think I will, even though some of those games are already on Vita or I own via PS+ on PS3. Looking through the list though, there's enough good stuff, and more will keep coming. But its not all roses. 

I'm guessing the PS Vita app is merely a web wrapper for the PS Now service. It looks terrible, works horribly slowly and sometimes text is missing or it fails to connect, despite my Internet working fine. (You can't take screens of the app or games, so forgive these poor photos). It also seems confused about users status and your play history on an erratic basis. 

On the plus side, you can launch into a game from the Home Screen, so your recent titles are more easily accessible, but it can still be slow going. On the even better side, you get trophies (visible on the PSN tab of the Vita's trophy app).

You can also pick up and carry on a game on the PS3, PS4 or some other devices, and then move to the Vita if you have to. The Vita maps L2, L3, R2, R3, to the corners of the touchscreen, which can be rather fiddly in some games, but is manageable. 

Despite my raging fast Virgin broadband (up to six megabytes per sec downstream, 1MB up on any other device), Sony's piece of shit WiFi chip or antenna, or the security coding or something else inside means you may often see a slow or no broadband warning. Depending on the game you're playing, that will have a different level of impact. Physically, it doesn't seem to matter if I'm in the same room as my router, or upstairs. This even happens, but less often, on my wired-to-the-router PS3, so its definitely a PS Now issue.

UPDATE: Managed an hour of Uncharted Drake's Fortune on the Vita - not a blip - either the service is behaving better, or that game is less demanding on the back-end. Keep this up and I might push that score up to an 8. 

When things do judder, the game's music sounds like its playing underwater, and the screen quality can drop or start to break up, or the game can freeze. It usually only lasts a second or two but can ruin your play, inconvenience it or drop out completely. Depending on the game, autosaving means you can pick your progress pretty quickly. The likes of Sonic 4 quickly becomes unplayable, but it was rarely an issue in Dead Island. 

So, the content, and hopefully regular updates to the back-end should give PS Now more value, and make it more reliable. I just hope whichever cheapskate put that WiFi unit in the Vita is working for Sony with a mop now.

Since the Vita now has a crippling lack of big western games, this is Sony's solution - it isn't perfect but it helps solve that problem. Let's just hope Sony does some marketing of the Vita with this growing library of games as a valuable resource.

Overall, 7/10
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Friday, October 9, 2015

PlayStation Now subscription service arrives, £12.99 a month

Ahh, the real reason why Sony doesn't like backward compatible consoles - so it can sell us all those old games yet again. At least PlayStation Now finally comes with a sensible subscription figure, rather than being charged per game for a limited  and pointless period.

I'll be tempted to give this a try, but for now given the vagaries of the Vita's appalling WiFi speeds and the fact the library seems to assume no one ever got a PS3, I'll wait until there's something more interesting to play, that isn't already on my Vita.

I won't complain about the price, given the back-end grunt this service must need, but suspect Sony will put out some offers to get people interested soon enough.

Bandai's Mobile Suit Gundam EXtreme VS-Force in extreme action

Bots, smacking each other! Bots, flying around! Bots, smacking each other again. If you've ever played a Mobile Suit Gundam game, you'll know what to expect basically. This latest installment seems to pack in plenty of effects and slightly more detailed backgrounds, but other than that, I have no idea what the difference is between previous games, and the next Gundam mega-mega-mega force.

Star Ocean Second Evolution is ready to sail

Packing in a new theme song, DLC and trophies, this quick remake from Square is ready for launch, having only been announced back at TGS. The update to a PSP title should keep RPG fans happy, but frankly its not a patch on the recent console titles, which the Vita looks more than capable of handing.

Below is a look at the PSP version running under 1080p emulation to give you an idea of how the Vita edition should look.

Brazilian beat 'em up 99 Lives gets a Vita version

Latin America seems to becoming a little hot bed of Vita activity. Check out this 16-bit inspired arcade game '99 Lives' from QuByte in Brazil that has picked up a Vita stretch goal on a regional funding site.

With hints of Double Dragon, Renegade and many more, it could be a good chunk of fun. Follow the guys on Twitter and hit autotranslate for the latest news. QuByte is also hard at work on HTR+ Slot Car Sim, so give them all the support you can.

Digimon World Next Order lines up some new screens

The Digimon bandwagon continues to pick up the pace in Japan, with some new screens of the gorgeous world, packing in lots of detail and colour. There's pretty sunsets, rainbows and cool Digimon to help the boy and girl do battle with the local nasties.

Looks like the Digimon page on the Bandai site will start populating with more information soon.

Kan Colle Kai new trailer and Limited Model Vita

Guess there's plenty of interest for Kan Colle Kai in Japan, this video has over 70,000 views in a day. There's also the small matter of a new limited edition Vita to go with the launch. Not bad for what was a simple browser game.

The game hits Japan in February next year, flogging that well-trodden girls as battleships cliche one more time.

Superbeat Xonic getting gorgeous limited editions

Boxed game fans get your drool on, as the US and Canada will be getting a pair of super cool editions. The first LE is called the X-CLUSIVE COLLECTION and includes a copy of SUPERBEAT: XONiC along with two exclusive soundtrack discs.

The superior edition is called the X-OTIC COLLECTION and includes two LP records with sleeve covers, two soundtrack discs, and a copy of SUPERBEAT: XONiC, all in a super sleek outer box! Both of these LE packages will only be available for purchase at PM Studios’ store (should update later today).

No word on pricing yet, or a European release for these sleek looking packages, but PM Studios has confirmed you can import one. but here's hoping EU published Rising Star Games is on the case. Check out the offical Facebook page for more information. The game will be around 2.9GB if you want to go the PSN route.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

God Eater Resurrection demo gets its own trailer

Guess Japan has a bit more love left in it for the God Eater series, as the Resurrection demo seems to be a big deal. Check out the official trailer for it, and there are plenty of let's play videos on YouTube for some of the real action (one from The Vita Lounge below).