Friday, October 20, 2017

Japan video Friday

Starting off with a PlayStation Japan teaser for an all-new PS4/Vita RPG called The True End of Century. It looks like someone slammed the cel-shaded tanks from Panzer Girls into the world of Freedom Wars, so yes - sign us up! There's no developer logo in the game, but it has to be third-party since Sony doesn't do Vita games anymore.



Even though we won't get them in the west, here's a gameplay look at Atelier Lydie and Suelle from Tecmo...



Idea Factory has a couple of 10 minute videos up for its latest visual novel Butterfly Incident, how can so little happen in such a length of time?


Finally, missed this earlier in the week, a first look at el Dia's remake/remaster of Doukoku Soshite, coming next April to Japan.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Demon Gaze II trailer unearths Asteria

The demons are the real stars of Demon Gaze II with epic skills that can turn the tide of a battle. Check out the batch for the NIS sequel. I hope the game proves as popular as the first outing, which was a decent global hit, with plenty of hits for the map pages.

The game is out mid-November with a boxed release for physical fans. PS4 sales might dent the Vita version a bit, but portable is the true home of these great DRPG adventures.


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms blooms west next spring

Guess those niche visual novels are selling pretty well over here, as Idea Factory plans to bring another dose of romantic charm in Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms our way. One of the earlier stories, Kyoto Winds came our way a few years back, but the rise of visual novel localisations seems unstoppable.

For reference, a fighting game based on the series from Aksys, Hakuoki: Warriors of the Shinsengumi, hit the PSP way back.

From the press release: This remastered telling of the beloved visual novel Hakuoki series is a continuation of the Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds and focuses on the story set in Edo, the second part in this two-part series. The young Chizuru, determined to find her father, will romance the famous warriors of Shinsengumi through a series of engaging stories and dramatic events. Now, experience new characters, love interests, and episodes in the world of Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms!


Key Features include:
  • 12 Charming Bachelors - Start by choosing from one of 12 handsome bachelors and fall in love with Japanese history’s most famous warriors. 
  • Multiple Endings, One True Love – Explore the gorgeous world of Hakuoki through narrative choices that unlock branching storylines and up to 30 different endings. 
  • Beautiful History Comes Alive - The dramatic romance, friendship, and betrayal unfolds on your screen through fluid animation, vibrant art, and detailed CGs.

Tokyo Tattoo Girls companion trailer

NIS America trying to generate some interest in Tokyo Tattoo Girls today with a companion trailer - if anyone spots any gameplay in this product, call your mental health practitioner now! I think the idea is a card battle game done with tattoos, as the girls try to escape a walled-in Tokyo by dominating the 23 districts using the powers of your companion tattoos. Even the game's website doesn't make it that clear.

The Stig joins the Vita chart of doom

Some say this Vita sales chart mimics Donald Trump's ratings and when goes below 2,000, he will be removed from office.

Some say the chart represents an evil sigil that, when complete, will end the universe.

All we know is, its called the Stig's-only-source-of-data-for-Vita-sales-in-the-world's-cousin. And I'm damn well going to use it.

That jolly intro was because some people think all the chart-based-doom-mongering is serious! When obviously, its just a bit of a laugh to get us through the depressing sales decline and inevitable end of production announcement! Happy now?

In the week that Sony starts publishing games for the Switch, naturally, the sales news is fantastic with Vita sales up 400. That's despite only a lowly Prototype period Visual Novel landing at No. 20 in the Media Create chart, selling 3,400 units. Yoshiwara Higanbana is a port of a romance PC VN for what its worth.
The Stig (C)BBC  
In very short order the Japanese chart has become a Switch/PS4 love in. As the Vita retreats rapidly into its niche, it seems the focus is more on ports of old curios, so it'll be fun to see what publishers can drag up (like Saturn game Doukoku Soshite).

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

As predicted, Sony starts to publish for the Switch

We all know Sony Interactive has given up on the Vita, but still has a good roster of games that it could use for other portables. Enter the Switch, and cue Sony wondering how it could switch, without looking like a total turncoat.

I figured this would happen not long ago - and Sony has now shown its hand by letting another part of the company, Sony Music handle publishing duties. For now, it is using the new Unties label (ho ho) to publish third-party content in Japan like Tiny Metal from Area 34 on Switch, PC and other formats.

But if the "experiment" proves a success, expect a roster of Sony titles like Locoroco, Patapon and so on to get a "third party" port. Guessing it won't be far into 2018 after Sony ceases production of the Vita that we see the first PlayStation game to make its way over.


Other titles on the way from Unties include Last Standard and Merkava Avalanche and DEEMO Reborn.  Japanese details of the news here.

Obviously, there's no shame in making money off a rival console, what is a shame Sony hadn't realised that portable/hybrid gaming could work, if it had shown some faith. For example, a simple mid-life HD and WiFi upgrade would have made a Vita2(ish) a more desirable remote player.

The wider Sony company hemorrhaging money during the Vita years didn't help, but this will be something of a gut punch for die-hard fans.

Monday, October 16, 2017

New Gintama Rumble trailer wades into battle

Set for an early 2018 release across Asia, Gintama Rumble will only be available on the Vita in Japan, here's the latest trailer showing off the One Piece alike in action, The Asian English language version is PS4 only and it seems very likely that Bandai US/EU will pass on a Vita western version. Still, if you like these Musou-style games, then you might want to give it an import and enjoy the whack-a-mole battling.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Rogue Aces nearly ready for take off

With luck, Infinite States' Rogue Aces is now with Sony for QA checking on the Vita and PS4. Whisper it quietly but a pre-Christmas release could be on the cards for this fun shooter with the huge mustaches.

While folk may politely cough *Lufrausers* in its direction, there's a generation of gamers trained on Harrier Attack and many more. While we wait, check out the latest test video of the game in action, and get ready for lots of boring men talking about boring machinery! Woof!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Chaos Child out now in Europe

I've covered pretty much all there is to know about the world of Chaos Child and its place in the Science Adventure series in previous posts, but now the game is here for £34.99 on the UK PSN or in stores. Check out the launch trailer and hope it sells well enough to see PQube continue to release these fantastic visual novels in the west.



The game about violent murders and alternate realities from 5pb and Mages hits the US in a couple of weeks.

Review Son of Scoregasm

We may have to invent some new swear words for Son of Scoregasm, since you can't really play this in bed next to your significant other or in a room with the family and not get really, really mad at it.

Well, not mad at the game as such, but your poor judgments, control skills or perhaps just luck. This game is as tightly wound as a clock spring, and one mistake sees your quest to finish a tough level explode in pieces.

On the plus side, this game does prove we all have Jedi powers. There's no other way to explain how you can twin-stick and twin-weapon your way through some of the closing loops of enemies with your vision flicking all over the place without some kind of magic - if you ignore dying 50 times first.

Son of a gun

Son of Scoregasm is about trading off your score for survival, you can shoot your enemies down with guns, but don't score points. To get points you need to use your pulse shield to zap those at close range and collect the resulting power-ups to boost your multiplier. That will send your score soaring, the game's simple but brilliant mechanic. The more you shoot, the more powerful your gun gets but the more you use your pulse, its limited power will crap out on you at the worst second.

During this trade off, the nasties will be on your tail at all times, pixel close. One fractionally late button press or wrong choice and you're toast. Or biscuits, which is what the wafer-thin plot is all about, rescuing the King's biscuits. At least each level only lasts 60 seconds-ish, so you can be straight back in the action.

Out-run the enemy

Each level's enemies have different movement patterns, additional hazards like laser grids and crushers or force bombs. But once you learn the right pattern to move in, you can concentrate on building up a massive score to compete on the live leaderboards. There's also an easy or hard exit to the next level giving you some flexibility in how you play.

You can also pick any accessed level to play in score mode, to try and master it and earn a medal if you meet the high score requirement. With small but well-formed polygon graphics and a clever unified map, the game looks gorgeous with lots of little effects, but nothing that distracts from the heat of battle. The electronic soundtrack from John Marwin is suitably pacy and the effects are crisp on headphones.

As an older gamer, who thought nothing of a five-hour single game of Atari ST Tetris, this is intense stuff, I'll never be near the top of the leaderboard due to my now-creaky reactions, but I do love the challenge. Talking of, why are there only 30 people playing this game? Apart from Sony failing to put it on the PSN front page of the Vita app. Buy it now!

Oh, and then there's expert mode, don't even ask! Also, the trophies seem a little glitchy, so except an update soon.

Score: 8/10
More reviews
Price: £5.79 (PSN)
Size: 62MB
Dev: Charlie's Games
Progress: Across the board

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Son of Scoregasm out now on EU PSN

Stay on target, as the Vita gets another great shooter to add to the roster. Son of Scoregasm from Charlie's Games arrived overnight on the EU PSN, for just £5.79. A game of saving biscuits to a trippy electronic soundtrack, it is basically an excuse for vibrant shooty fun across the galaxy in a range of slightly twisted levels with changing rules, threats and lashings of bullet hell.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Tokyo Clanpool flops as Vita countdown to extinction continues

DRPG Tokyo Clanpool sold just 5,200 at retail according to Media Create data in Japan, landing at No. 12, meaning that even a decent and well-promoted game sells no better than some generic visual novel titles. Digital sales may be helping Compile Heart's game, but from a public perspective, all Vita news is bad. That's reflected in the latest Vita sales that dive again to just over 3,500, down a couple of hundred in just a week.

Other recent flops include Kadokawa's The Lost Child selling 3,658, when even just a year ago all-new titles like Mary Skelter managed 18,358 sales while Furyu's Caligula sold 31,243 sales. Perhaps it is just DRPGs that are out of favour now, but week after week Vita releases are showing up with reduced sales.

Next up is the quirky Itadaki Street on the 19th, will flinging characters from Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest into a board game make more of an impact? Demon Gaze II will further test the waters for DRPGs with the Global Edition release in mid-November.


With Sony having missed all the seasonal opportunities to do anything to promote the Vita, the tick-tick-tick down to zero continues. Developers continue to flock to Switch and fans are left wondering what could have been if Sony had bothered with a HD, CPU/GPU upgrade a year or two ago.

Grab any Vita consoles you can because when production ends, prices are likely to shoot up, even though we still have a good year or two of games on the way.

Previous chapters in this sorry saga!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Text patch on the way for Ys VIII

I've noticed a couple of typos or quirky uses of phrases (like the below pic) in the latest Ys, but apparently, there are quite a few, which has put out some bad vibes around what is an awesome game. To that end, Takuro Yamashita, President and CEO of NIS America, has released an official statement regarding the localization of Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA.



To All Customers of Ys VIII,

Thank you for all the feedback and support we have received since the launch of Ys VIII. It has
come to my attention that the quality of the Ys VIII localization has not reached an acceptable
level by our own standards, but most importantly by yours. As president of NIS America, Inc. I
want to apologize to you personally for this grave error. This situation should not have happened
– especially to a game as wonderful as Ys VIII and by a company that strives to deliver the very
best customer experience in each title. We have begun internally to investigate the causes of this
situation as well as to implement steps to ensure that a similar situation does not occur again.
As for Ys VIII itself, we will have a new translator and editor go over the entire localization to fix
grammatical errors, typos, inconsistencies, and also to take a fresh look at the dialog and
characterizations. For the script, where necessary, we will re-translate and re-edit the game
including updating voicework to reflect these changes. We plan to have this work done by the
end of November and will offer the updated localization free of charge for both the PlayStation
4 and PlayStation Vita versions of the game via patch. The Steam version of the game will
include this localization in its initial release.

Review Touhou Kobuto V: Burst Battle

From the brief stories about the Japanese version, this has always looked like a pretty basic title, relying on the characters and their skills to give it some depth. Unfortunately, Touhou Kobuto V: Burst Battle doesn't seem to be deep in any capacity, apart from making me hate it lots.

Breaking away from the RPG titles like Genso Wanderer, it lets the girls of Touhou engage in some one-on-one battling. Led by shield maiden Reinu, you go from stage to boring stage engaging in some of the worst fighting action since the Atari Jaguar tried to do Virtua Fighter.

Bland worlds, poor level construction, boring characters, boring "plot", crap effects, piss-poor special moves are just some of the problems that put this in line to be the worst Vita game ever. While the girls all have a range of magical powers, they are pretty much just variations on the same feeble ball lighting effects, and see you bounce around the level trying to avoid them with no tactical skill involved at all.

Yes, you can put in blocks to stop the "bullet hell" attacks, and special cards come into play from time to time, but the developers have clearly, never, ever played a fighting, battling or wizardly game. All we get is a sack of crap. as Meiling and others spout inane drivel at each other.

With only nine characters there isn't even much variety and given the super-niche nature of the game, good luck with finding someone to play in the game's online mode. Each girl has a story to follow, but they are so shallow and banal, few will even bother to wade through them all.

Ironically, the game does have a neat digital manual that shows all the commands and concepts off, but in action, Burst Battle quickly descends into a farce. To think, some people might get this for the PS4 or Switch, imagine how depressed they will be.

Some skills are overpowered, others are too annoying to even want to use, but whatever you try to do, you'll only come away from this game feeling either very disappointed or ripped off. Note that new updates add more stages and characters, but they really fail to make any difference to how poor Touhou Kobuto actually is.

Score: 2/10
More reviews
Price: £24.99 (PSN, DLC available)
Size: 670MB
Dev: NIS America/CubeType/Play.Doujin
Progress: Hating it with a passion

Cowcat bringing Xenon Valkyrie to the Vita

Diabolical Mind's Xenon Valkyrie+ is a sci-fi rogue-lite platformer game with RPG elements being ported to the Vita by Cowcat (of Demetrios fame) and promising lots of improvements over the PC original. Arriving this winter, it features three heroes battling across a scarred moon.


You must fight to the deepest part of a moon and halt the plans of a wicked witch. Along the ay, you find many weapons to fight through the unique, randomly-generated world. Encounter many characters, stores and enemies that tell a legendary story. With traditional graphics and high quality chiptune music, level up and get the amazing power of the Xenon Valkyrie!