Monday, September 22, 2014

PlayStation TV compatible games listed, but not highlighted

Ahh, Sony's marketing monkeys strike again! Not only are they kicking off the PlayStation TV campaign off with a month old video, The list of compatible games highlights is so small, you could write it on the back of a beermat (if I had a beer mat, I'd prove it!). Even then, without including them in any trailer, who would know? Really, would you advertise a new system with Worms?

The list includes a mix of PS One, PSP and Vita games, but really isn't going to encourage much in the way of adoption. Perhaps that's why Sony is sticking with the PS4 Remote Play concept. I'll get one of loyalty, but really can only see Killzone getting some big screen time.

Remember, in Europe, there's still no Netflix for the Vita, or Amazon Video, Crunchyroll or similar. So, its utility as a video player is borked. Unless Sony adds some apps soon, it is in big trouble.

Highlights list:

  • Crash Bandicoot
  • Driver
  • God of War Collection
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories
  • Hotline Miami
  • Killzone Mercenary
  • LittleBigPlanet (PSP)
  • Metal Gear Solid
  • Persona 4 Golden
  • Pixeljunk Monsters: Ultimate HD
  • Rayman Origins
  • Spyro The Dragon
  • Street Fighter Alpha 3 Max
  • Tekken
  • Tomb Raider
  • Vagrant Story
While the US gets a decent bundle with LEGO Movie as the pack-in game, Europe gets a rather iffy collection of Olli Olli, Velocity Ultra (not 2X) and a Worms game.The full list is here (about 60 major Vita releases), but really, that's a lot of digging for now much reward. Wouldn't it have been easier to list major incompatible games, guess I'll have to do that myself. (Uncharted, Soul Sacrifice, etc, etc). 

Tokyo Game Show post mortem

Okay, so that was a painful week, barely moving from the expectation baseline, mostly self-inflicted by the Vita's own userbase. On the positive side, Japan has several threequals to look forward to including more One Piece Pirate Warriors and Sword Art Online, while us in the west should get new titles like Zodiac. Probably easiest to see Sony's own list of games.

Sony's sponsorship of the indie stage didn't produce as much in the way of new goods as I was expecting. But there's still a trickle of new games coming, although I suspect the PS4 is now the primary focus for that effort too.

Worse the rush to "out" non-existent new Vita games, which happened at least twice over the show. On the plus side, it shows gamers and sites care about the Vita, if only we took the time to check things out more often. However, every fluff or misread only cements the message that Sony and partners really are struggling to get anything new off the deck.

If Capcom can't spare the effort to punt an update of a 3DS game to the Vita, there's little hope. Where do we go from here? I suppose I could add PS4 games to the site, citing Remote Play as a valid excuse for some big name games, but otherwise we're all spiraling down to a puddle of indies and niche games, wholly dependent on Japanese translations for anything major.

While Sony PR tries to marshal hype for the next big indie, that's a world of diminishing returns. Expect even less next year at the big shows, when the Vita will become an even smaller backwater the PS4's river of fun. I'm assuming Japanese developers will slide more from 3DS to Vita in the next year or two (as happened with DS-to-PSP) but lack of western sales will further limit any translations, no matter how much noise we make.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

See MechRunner in heavy metal action

Spark Plug's MechRunner continues to look like one of the best all-action Vita Kickstarter titles. This latest work-in-progress shows plenty of speed and blurry scenery as your robo-tank marauds around the battlefield causing a good chunk of havoc and destruction. The game is still down as done-when-its-done, but is progressing well towards a slab of fiery downloadable fun.

Sony's news from its Saturday TGS event

Don't cross the streams on Niconico... its holding up for now, but your mileage may vary (alternatively, try here, thanks @Jonforeverto) to be honest I haven't a clue what's happening. If I see any news, I'll post it, but these mad - al fresco - Japanese events could go on for days...

Latest news at the top!


Is Sony trolling gamers, are we grabbing onto straws in the hope of something new and exciting? Is there another Sony liferaft event later on to cling on to? On the plus side Hell Divers looks damn cool!

UPDATE: All a Gematsu cockup (and everyone else, including me who didn't check properly).

@yosp is now having a bit of a chat, sounds strategic.

My pizza was feta and roasted peppers, thanks for asking! Begging for Shenmue continues...

Now some Helldivers on PS4, but it is coming to Vita. Just looking at that, realise how much I've missed playing a good old RTS. Total Annihilation, Red Alert and Homeworld all come flooding back to mind.

Why is that girl giggling? This is serious gaming!

So far, the big news from TGS has been Pirate Warriors 3 and Sword Art Online 3. Surely Sony has something to top threequels!

I have no idea when comments are enabled on these feeds, its a sordid display of begging and abuse.

While they puzzle on, if you're inclined, or perpendicular, Famitsu has a gallery of the best cosplay ladies from TGS.

Back from Pizza run, now on LittleBigPlanet 3, Sony does know everyone is still talking about Snakes new dog in MGS right? Video quality perfect for this truly gorgeous looking game.

Games in the dark show up really well on low-res feeds!

Pretty sure I could nip out for fresh pizza and be back before these guys are done with this segment.

Now some creepiness on PS4. Until Dawn looks suitably spooky but I get the feeling I've played it all before.  

Now we have some sort of multi-player endless runner game.... Wonder if they're getting the LittleBigPlanet freebie game too? Definitely think I'd prefer MechRunner myself!

So far it looks like they're playing with PS4 camera tricks... its a crazy world of @yosp going on.

Persona 4 Dancing All Night trailered

With an honest-to-goodness Persona 5 out there in the wild somewhere, its a little hard to get excited about a rhythm game, but that's what we've got, now coming in 2015. Atlus has certainly done a job with the hi-res visuals, it looks really clean. As for the gameplay, I'm sure it'll sparkle. Still, bring on Persona 5 Portable and I'll be a very happy Vita owner.

Sony's TGS event today, 11AM UK, new game incoming

The sneaky buggers. Sony has announced a press event for today at Tokyo Game Show. There's the promise of a new Vita announce and perhaps more. It might be watchable on Nico Nico, but its a grim viewing experience.

UPDATE: False alarm, due to a translation error, although the live show did produce a good pizza!

A new Hyperdimension Neptunia rebirth 3 (must get round to playing R1, but PP put me right off) game has already been unveiled.

Quite why Sony is leaving things this late in the show is a bit of a mystery, but once again the Vita user-bases' collective hope is raised. Could it be the briefly floated Resident Evil R2? Or has the company realised fans expect more and dragged a coder out of bed to knock up a quick demo of something all-new? We'll find out in a few hours. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters gets a western trailer

NIS America continues to bring the Vita goodness our way with spooky visual novel Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters. The first western trailer is out showing off some of the game's visual flair. It comes from the developers of Deadly Premonition and featuring music from Nobuo Uematsu, soundtracking an immersive tale of life, death, and the space in between.

Features include: - Modern, Immersive Ghost Story – This visual novel features a truly deep, immersive story with a modern take on Japanese ghost stories. With multiple paths, you’re in charge of how this ghost story will end.

- Unique Emotion System – Interactions with other characters will go beyond simple branching conversations with a unique emotion system that allows you to react by using a special wheel that combines a certain emotion with one of the five senses.

- Gorgeous Animated Graphics – Conversations are far from static, showing off fluid, painterly portraits of characters during every interaction.

- Strategy-RPG-Inspired Battle System – A distinctive battle system allows you to fight unseen ghosts by setting traps and trackers on the map before battle. While in battle, you’ll move from battle map to a first-person view of the enemy in a maximization of both strategy and ghastly elements of the story.

Curve bringing Nova 111 to the Vita

There's a PSN blog post confirming that Curve Studios is bringing this cheerful looking sci-fi indie to the Vita and PS4 next year. Here's the trailer from Funktronic (great name for a developer) made a few months back. It mixes turn-based and immediate action with a series of cunning, very attractive looking levels. Can't wait for this Cross-Buy title.

Also announced on the Sony blog was a ghostly Poltergeist, a South American developed game by Glitchy Pixel (wasn't she in Wreck It Ralph?)

Senran Kagura getting ripped off on EU PSN in October

Boasting 500,000 Japanese sales across the series, 2D/3D brawler Senran Kagura Shivovi Versus is hitting the west next month with sprawling mid-air combos, over-the-top humour, a giant blue octopus and other revealing Secret Ninja Art techniques as the girls literally fight their way out of their clothes.

The brawler (this isn't the cooking game in case you were wondering) features 20 unique shinobi-ette fighters for players to master, each with her own unique weapon, techniques and special moves. Secret Ninja Arts can be exploited to change costumes and power up in mid-battle. On top of the single-player game, up to four players can battle online or via ad-hoc mode.

Developed by Tamsoft and Marvelous Japan, Marvelous Europe will publish the title in Europe on PlayStation Store with an estimated price of €29.99. This title has been rated 16+ by PEGI in Europe. XSEED will publish the title in North America, where it has received a Mature rating by the ESRB.

Sony's official Vita #TGS2014 games site is full of content

Check this list out from Sony's TGS site, do you see Final Fantasy Type-0 on it? Or, a Resident Evil game? Nope, so what was all the pre-show leaks fuss about then? Someone on NeoGAF cocked up I guess. I kept that to a minimum on the basis that Sony's expertise in letting people down is now approaching platinum trophy status.

On the plus side, alongside the games already covered this week, plus some Japanese oddities, there's some new names (to me) on the list. Check out that page for loads of videos, screens and links.

Of interest to me is Robo vs. Dragon, a cartoony fighting game with big-strapping winged mechs fighting demons.

Then there's Dead Man's Cross, a Zombie Shooter card game. Interestingly, the game, published by Square Enix, has an English language site, so perhaps a quick western release could be on the cards for this one.

Anything else grab your attention from the list?

Meet the ladies of Bokosuka Girl

Hey, wasn't she in Battle of the Planets? Was my first thought! But then it turns out this is a another weird action game, with stripping, so I'm guessing not. Still it has a good soundtrack - I assumed it was rhythm action at first.

Apparently the actual game uses a mix of melee and gun battles plus mini games to explore the ladies' powers and, um, get to know them better. The game is out next Spring, western release, highly unlikely.

One Piece Pirate Warriors 3, Sword Art Online 3 head to PS4/Vita

Nothing much but a holding page and logo for now. Update, here's some sneaky cam footage of the first trailer. The latest adventures of Luffy and co. will hit the Vita's screen in 2015. With the lead version now on the PS4, expect a bit more of a difference between the two as Bandai's developers stretch their legs.

While we still wait for the second game to come west, which might still happen depending on how Unlimited World Red sold, I wouldn't get your hopes up about this one heading our way. From the minimal information.

Another Bandai property, Sword Art Online is also getting a third game, but that won't be announced until a Namco event in October, likely also a PS4/Vita combo. Hopefully the recent western release has done enough business for that title for a wider release in 2015.

Zodiac gets a reveal trailer, big name creativity

Having scooped the likes of IGN yesterday with the existence of Zodiac, the game has taken on a little more significance over night with the news that some former Final Fantasy developers are helping out Kobojo with the project.

Kazushige Nojima (Final Fantasy VII, VIII and more) is working on the story, while Hitoshi Sakimoto is scoring the game's rising anthemic tunes (check out his discography, stretching back into the history of gaming). The game is being developed at the company's Scottish Dundee studio.

We also now have the official trailer which gives a better look at the game with exploring and battling in a rather Dragon's Crown vein, but in a persistent online world. The game is for Vita and iOS, due in early 2015.

And here's some proper screens for the game.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Check out Gust's Ciel Nosurge concert movie

Actually, its just a long trailer and cut-together clips of the Vita game, to advertise the new CD landing in Japan at the beginning of October. But, if you like your restful RPG-themed tunes, then this could be one to download or import.

The actual game is more of a life simulator, but you get the gist. With game music CDs still being a big part of the Japanese scene, is anyone into this stuff in a big way? Would like to see some collections.

Vita news roundup from #TGS2014

Okay time to try and dig out some new Vita gems from the chaos of Tokyo Game Show 2014. I've already put the new God Eater trailer up, with a bit of anime to go with the earlier stuff shown at Sony's pre-event event. A lot of the trailers are identical to the pre-event show (how many times will Sega flog that PS Nova trailer?), so I'll ignore them, but will update this page as new things appear.

A new game, to me, for Vita and iOS is Zodiac from French team Kobojo, with the help of some former Final Fantasy folk.  A fantasy combat MMO, Famitsu has a bunch of pics, but I can't find a video. With gorgeous 2D hand-drawn visuals, it seems pretty smart. Trying to track down more information.

Back with the majors, Sega is showing off an impressive new trailer for the free-to-play World's End Eclipse, it looks impressive, but if there's a world of freemium RPGs coming to the Vita, then sales/IAPs will be low across all of them unless there's a clear winner.

Konami has popped up a new trailer for PS3/Vita Powerful Pro Baseball, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Hope the developer team has refreshed over time because I'd be pretty down if 20 years of my live was drawing those rotund little smiley faces.

Square has confirmed Final Fantasy Agito for the Vita, with a Plus at the end to signify a step up from the mobile version, but no sign of Type-0 again! Agito launches in Japan on 15 January 2015, with some extras in the retail version.

Agito consists of the six chapters of the mobile version (which started life as a PSP project alongside Type-0). Rather like Waking Dead, decisions made along the road affect later chapters.

Square is also bringing Rise of Mana to the Vita, an update to the iOS free-to-play game. It looks a bit more of a traditional role-player, but brings the lumbering spectre of in-app purchases to the series. In mana, good and evil characters share the same body and must switch roles to advance their situation.

Deemo, I caught the name at Sony's last show, but know nothing about the game from Rayark. Love the tone of the trailer, even if the clip doesn't give too much away aside from some rhythm action going on.