Monday, April 20, 2015

Famitsu's most wanted leaves the Vita way behind

Famitsu's latest most wanted list shows the predicament the Vita is in, new model on the way or not. With no big-name games (spin-offs aside) on the way, it is now struggling to create much interest among Japanese gamers, even though the Vita has a huge number of games coming out for it.

What the platform needs is one of the Japanese staple big-hitters, and no one seems to be ready to bite for a console that's approaching 4 million sales in the country. Only one of those games, and you know who I mean by that, will kick Vita sales up the arse.

1. [PS4] Final Fantasy XV – 1,029 votes
2. [3DS] Bravely Second – 841 votes
3. [PS3] Persona 5 – 586 votes
9. [PSV] Tokyo Xanadu – 405 votes
10. [PSV] Kan Colle Kai – 399 votes
16. [PSV] Persona 4: Dancing All Night – 245 votes
19. [PSV] SaGa 2015 – 170 votes
28. [PSP] Ushiro – 105 votes
29. [PSV] Bokosuka Girls: Tatsunoko Gakuen Climax – 101 votes
30. [PSV] The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky FC Evolution – 92 votes

PS Vita 3000 model spotted in Japan

I was looking at the 2000-model launch timing over the weekend, with all the action coming during September/October 2013, but Sony were obviously hard at work many months in advance. So it comes as little surprise that a Japanese trademark watcher has seen mention of a Vita 3000 model, with a brief sketch. That may only be indicative, so I wouldn't read too much into it, but hey, we're Vita owners, desperate for the slightest bit of good news from Sony, so crack on!.

ps vita 3000, pch-3000

Note the date is the 1st of April, so read into that what you will (are the Japanese notorious for their spring time japes?) Most of the recent tweets from this guy also date back to then, I guess they are published a few weeks after submittal, so that could be nothing.

There's no obvious differences in the design, following the 2000's round buttons and the placings all seem more or less the same, so it could just be a simple refresh made slightly lighter with new colours to boost sales among rabid Japanese gamers. There does appear to be a new port or cover on the side, so maybe there is a new feature to get excited about.

ps vita 2000
The Vita 2000 range, I always wanted the Lime one!

Hopefully a better quality LED screen will be part of the package, but if Sony is aiming for really cheap, it could add something really nasty (in comparison terms) in there just to keep the cost down, while still selling the 2000 as a 'premium' model.

It still has a front camera, for no good reason, and could they be second triggers that you'd press with the outside of your little fingers at the bottom, or are they just the existing indents and case mounts? I guess my wait for the PlayStation 4 Portable remote play device goes on. Any chance of a new port on the top, perhaps a TV-out connection to make it more the PlayStation (Vita) TV which has died on its arse even in Japan, now selling only 500 a week?

Anyone taking bets that the internals might get an upgrade a la the new 3DS LL model? The Vita is seriously old in tech terms compared to smartphones, and even a modest bump could give Japanese developers some more interest, along with the recent freeing up of some extra memory.

Guess they could make the damn thing out of gold and give it away with Happy Meals, and it would still see no interest in the west. At least there's no sign of them trying the PSP-Go design again, now they presumably have the thermal issues under control. That's if they even try to sell a new model outside Asia!

Old Mortal Kombat gets some Vita sales in UK chart

The UK charts have been updated, with not much action in Vita land. With no sign of a Vita version of Mortal Kombat X (the new all-format No. 1) from NetherRealm, it looks like fans have snapped up a few copies of the fun original Vita version as that makes a reentry in at No. 13. Lego Ninjago sticks around at No. 3 while Toukiden Kiwami is already down to No. 15 and falling fast (so probably less than 100 copies sold).

The game is pretty cheap on Amazon and has loads of modes and extras to keep playing, plus the joy of fatalities. I never wrote a review first time around, so I guess I should crack it open and have another shot. Any other MK fans out there? If not, what's your favourite fighting game on the Vita?

Dancing All Night goes official on the PlayStation site

Sony Japan has put up some new pics for the Persona 4 Dancing All Night on its own site, to go along with the endless stream of character videos we've seen from Atlus. The game expands on the through-the-TV concept with the team being sucked into a mysterious game show with the threat of never being able to escape unless they can master the dance moves set for them.

Until Persona 5 Portable gets announced, will this keep you enjoying the series, or will you run back to Persona 3 or try rolling through Persona 4 Golden again?

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Gainjinworks and Monkey Paw tease new Vita/PSP RPG

What could it be from the vast Japanese RPG archives? Gaijinworks has a teaser site (if you consider a single question mark a tease) up with a new RPG being promised for the PSP and Vita, They recently dragged Class of Heroes 2 kicking our way, and there's various thoughts bouncing around the net.

UPDATE: The site now has two PSP covers bedecked with question marks, suggesting a new series could be on the way.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Amnesia Memories will daze western Vita owners

I cover all kinds of mad Japanese Otome and niche games, in the vague hope that one day a few of them will grace our shores. I recall Idea Factory's Amnesia games popping up in the Japanese sales charts, and have seen plenty of news that the latest Amnesia Memories will come west, so hope this will do business when it lands in August.

Update: Official site now live.

Here's a rough idea of what to expect from one of the other Amnesia games that has been fan translated:

CollectOrb set to puzzle Vita owners

CollectOrb is an in-progress first title from Daish Games. It looks like a ridiculously unforgiving navigation-based puzzler, reminiscent of many an Amiga demo, and built using the Unity3d engine.
The object of the game is to navigate the glowing orb through the darkness (which doesn't exactly make for great screenshots) in order to collect cubes scattered across each level.

CollectOrb is scheduled for release on the Playstation Vita, with further launch information to be announced soon.

New Rise of Mana trailer for the Vita

Square is bringing its mobile Rise of Mana RPG to the Vita, after a long absence from PlayStation consoles. A new trailer shows what we can expect, it does look pretty simplistic, but with 25 years of history behind the series, who am I to argue. The free-to-play, micro-transaction powered game featured 8-player support on mobile, hopefully the Vita version will loosen up a little and maintain the series' legendary soundtrack.

New Persona 4 Dancing All Night trailer goes line dancing

The previous clips released for the last few weeks by Atlus have shown everyone strutting their stuff individually. Now here's a combined clip bringing the heroes of Persona all together with some of the band and Teddie in his Elvis costume. There's also a quick round up of the limited editions, extra content and other goodies that will come with this massive Vita launch.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Citizens of Earth gets a bumper patch

I tried this totally non-serious, politically-tinged RPG but didn't really get into it all that much. However, developer Eden Industries is still hard at making Citizens of Earth better. Perhaps the patch that adds Cross-Save, Remote Play and PlayStation TV support under the hood, might make me give it another go.

More obvious changes include a retro chiptunes soundtrack menu option to help relive the glory days of the 16-bit era, plus stability improvements to improve performance and cut out some crash issues on various formats. The patch should be live now, but at around 1.7GB it might just have downloaded before the UK election!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Quiet week for Japan's Media Create chart, Minecraft still strong

After a few weeks of rough and tumble software releases, none of which seemed to have a massive impact on Vita sales, its back to the quiet times for a couple of weeks, with nothing major out until the end of the month.

The Vita sold just over 18,000 units this week, although everything else is diving too, its first dip below 20K in six weeks. That's still selling around 100,000 units a month, which in the current market is pretty impressive. This week it was just a few behind the PS4 and a few ahead of the new 3DS model.

Minecraft is still selling way in boxed form, back up the chart to No. 4, selling another 11,000 making it one of the more consistent sellers for the Vita. The only new entry in the chart was Demon Souls 2, selling a feeble 20K on PS4.

Media Create sales

01./00. [PS4] Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin (From Software) - 20.494 / NEW
02./01. [PSV] 3rd Super Robot Wars Z: Tengoku-Hen (Bandai Namco) - 15.394 / 136.613 (-87%)
03./02. [PS3] 3rd Super Robot Wars Z: Tengoku-Hen (Bandai Namco) - 14.582 / 123.783 (-87%)
04./09. [PSV] Minecraft: PlayStation Vita Edition (Sony) - 11.842 / 84.942 (-25%)
07./04. [PSV] Sword Art Online: Lost Song # (Bandai Namco) - 9.037 / 171.613 (-61%)
13./10. [PSV] One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 (Bandai Namco) - 6.984 / 76.236 (-53%)
17./13. [PSV] Pro Baseball Spirits 2015 (Konami) - 5.251 / 62.788 (-53%)
18./21. [PSV] Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth (Bandai Namco) - 5.218 / 123.656

Titan Souls now up on the EU PSN store

Find it on the PC browser store, or search for it on your Vita, Titan Souls from Acid Nerve and Devolver is go, and the Vita's latest indie hero. Here's the official launch trailer to get you going.

Its a busy week along with indie adventure Home, Alien Shooter and another collection of Hatsune Miku DLC also going live already, let us know what you think if you grab any of them.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Atlus brings Dungeon Travelers 2 west

Both the US and Europe will be enjoying a spot of dungeoning in the autumn, with Atlus continuing to provide JRPG fodder for the Vita. Subtitled, THE ROYAL LIBRARY & THE MONSTER SEAL, its a hefty single-player RPG with PlayStation TV compatibility. Dungeon Travelers 2 presents the game with English text localized by ATLUS and fully voiced Japanese audio.

It sees the The kingdom of Romulea in peril, with monsters leaking out of every nook and cranny in the land. Players take on the role of Fried, an adventurer from the Royal Library sent to stop the uprising. But early in his journey, he discovers a broken shrine along the way. This sets in motion the story of Dungeon Travelers 2, where Fried travels around the kingdom of Romulea, and through rescuing, defeating, or bumping into any of the 16 unique girls that can join his party,

Fried is on a mission to save the world! Set in a first-person perspective with turn-based combat, players will encounter normal monsters as well as more powerful mutant girls, who must be sealed away to prevent the spread of the evil monster scourge.

Pre-order Steins;Gate on Amazon

Thinking this will be the Vita game of the year, and while I know there isn't much competition, I can't express how much I'm looking forward to Steins;Gate, without having seen the anime, manga, the PSP game, or anything. Just the concept sounds so intriguing. Hopefully the US will also get a release of the visual novel.

Steins;Gate is an award-winning time travel science-fiction interactive visual novel developed by 5pb. and Nitroplus. A group of teenage scientists discover the ability to alter the past by sending text messages through a modified microwave. Their experiments inevitably spiral out of control as they become entangled in a conspiracy surrounding SERN, the organisation behind supposed failed time travel events, and John Titor, a mysterious internet forum poster claiming to come from a dystopian future.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Wing Kings gives props to roguelikes

Infinite State has been teasing some pics from its upcoming PS Vita and PS4 game Wing Kings, bringing a roguelike feel to a WWII-esque combat title. Even from one pic, it certainly has appeal, even though I have no idea what happens beyond this spot of bombing around.

The team brought 'Don't Die, Mr Robot' to the Vita has a Facebook page for the game where I guess we'll find some more hints as to the deeper strategy behind the a ction. There's also a very fetching piece of character art up there to take a look at.