Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ninjamurai Coming to US PSN Next Week

Having seen the great video of Ninjamurai earlier, here's some good news for U.S. gamers, the game is hitting your store next week, 5 July. Featuring high speed combat, combos, ninja weapons plus 20 levels, a huge soundtrack, stylish-looking hand drawn visuals, multiple costumes, 12 in-game achievements, time trials and so much more!

Check back next week for a review.

New Black Rock Shooter Trailer Shows Off Your Partner

Following on from the first in-game trailer, and an appeal for a Western publisher earlier in the week, here's the latest video for the awesome looking Black Rock Shooter, introducing the player's partner in the game in some more restful scenes. Its got babes and bikes, so what's not to like and all that English text suggests if we don't get a western release then it should be importable.

PSP Engine, Vita Face Recognition and Other Tech Shown Off in Japan

Sony has shown off its upgrade engine that turns humble PSP titles into monster games for PS3 along with some new Vita technologies. The PSP Engine was demonstrated at a game developer tools event in Japan and showed off:

High res rendering
Wireless controller support
3D stereoscopic output
Ad-hoc party gaming
Main/Video memory expansion
Common save data usage

UPDATE: Here's a video of the face recognition tech in action:





The translation of the Famitsu article is sketchy but Vita facial recognition technology was also shown off, demonstrating how it can detect emotional states of players and can use your face's movements when doing avatar-based video chat.

PlayStation Vita Showing off for Developers at GDC

After yesterday's news that Sony Vita will be the subject of a keynote at Develop, today comes news that it will be headlining the European GDC event too. This further underlines Sony's push to get the console in front of developers.

Sony big-wigs will discuss new business opportunities, development tools, PSN and other opportunities in their efforts to sign up more developers. The event is in Cologne during August and is Sony's best opportunity to get a herd of euro-devs in one room.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

PSP Games Rattle Into Japanese Top 10

A bunch of PSP games litter the Japanese top 10 this week as the console jumps back to the top of the hardware charts. (co. of Media Create viaAndriasang):


[PS3] 1. Atelier Meruru: Alchemist of Arland 3 (Gust, 06.23.11): 82,585 NEW!
[PSP] 2. Steins; Gate (5pb., 06.23.11): 63,558 NEW! (VIDEO BELOW)
[PSP] 3. Gundam Memories: Memories of the Battle (Namco Bandai, 06.23.11): 52,067 NEW!
[PSP] 4. Little Battle eXperience (Level 5, 06.16.11): 38,326 (204,513)
[N3DS] 5. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of time 3D (Nintendo, 06.16.11): 37,452 (201,563)
[NDS] 6. Tennis no Oujisama Gyutto! Doki Doki Survival Umi to Yama no Love Passion (Konami, 06.23.11): 30,234 NEW!
[PS3] 7. Yakuza Of The End (Sega, 06.09.11): 24,247 (376,738)
[PS3] 8. Bleach Soul Ignition (SCEJ, 06.23.11): 23,516 NEW!
[WII] 9. Wii Sports Resort (Wii Remote Plus Pack) (Nintendo, 11.11.10): 9,874 (362,957)
[PSP] 10. Gloria Union (Atlus, 06.23.11): 8,933 NEW!



Hardware Chart:

  • 1. PSP: 29,168 (31,741)

  • 2. 3DS: 27,905 (40,649)

  • 3. PS3: 16,993 (16,081)

  • 4. Wii: 9,511 (6,678)

  • 5. DSi LL: 4,903 (5,464)
  • Gameloft's 2nd Half Line-Up Offers Plenty for Xperia Play Owners

    Not sure if any of these will be timed Xperia Play exclusives like some previous Gameloft titles, but there is plenty of variety in what's coming up from the French company. The lineup includes a new Asphalt game, Driver coming to mobiles and plenty of movie and console game adaptations.

    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 : Experience an exciting, magical adventure with the official mobile game of the final film in this series, eagerly anticipated by millions of viewers around the world.
    Assassin’s Creed: Revelations : This sequel to Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood lands Ezio and Altaïr in a brand new setting: Constantinople. Let the magical locations enchant you as you discover startling revelations in the final chapter of Ezio’s saga.
    Lego Batman: The Mobile Game :  The official adaption of the hit video game combining two legendary franchises is coming soon to mobile. The game follows the action-packed adventures of Batman as he faces an array of classic villains, in a LEGO world full of fun and surprise.
    Immortals : The game is based on the highly- anticipated Immortals movie, a stylish and visually spectacular 3D action-adventure from visionary director Tarsem Singh (The Cell, The Fall), releasing in theaters 11/11/11. In it, you play as Theseus, the young heroic villager chosen by the Gods to battle the brutal and bloodthirsty King Hyperion and his Heraklion army before he finds the Bow of Epirus, and takes over the world.
    Wild West Guns : The first open-world western action game on mobile offers total freedom in varied environments (great plains, deserts, mountains, ghost towns, etc.) with over 30 missions and a surprising plot.
    Gangstar Rio : City of Saints : The final chapter in the successful Gangstar saga gets a new look and a move to Brazil. For the first time in a game of this genre, you can explore the streets of Rio de Janeiro, access a huge collection of cars and weapons and rule the city.

    Sports and Racing Games :
    Real Football 2012 : The standard for football games from Gameloft returns on mobile for the 2011-2012 season in an edition with even more content, featuring new animations, new graphics and new functions.
    Asphalt 6: Adrenaline : The famous Asphalt series is back on the starting line with 22 new vehicles from 16 of the most prestigious manufacturers. Get ready to race on 10 different tracks around the world in classic challenges like Drift mode or helicopter chases, as well as the new Adrenaline mode for even more amazing races.
    Midnight Pool 3 : After the success of the previous versions selling in the millions of copies around the world, Midnight Pool makes its return to mobile. This new edition features a new career mode, great atmosphere, and plenty of improvements.
    Driver San Francisco : This game marks the return of the saga that invented the action racing game. In this new opus, you become detective John Tanner and throw yourself into a relentless manhunt across San Francisco.

    Strategy:
    Sid Meier’s Civilization V: The Mobile Game : The worldwide strategy game phenomenon is coming to feature phones! Based on the award-winning and best-selling franchise from 2K Games and Firaxis Games, become ruler of the world by establishing and leading a civilization from the dawn of man into the space age. Wage war, conduct diplomacy, discover new technologies, go head-to-head with some of history’s greatest leaders and build the most powerful empire the world has ever known.


    Puzzle:
    Where’s Wally?: Travel through space and time to search for the iconic striped globetrotter and all his friends in this challenging and fun search-and-find mobile game!

    Invizimals Gets a Third Game

    Having just been discussing developer Novarama's new affiliation with the PS Vita, the company has just announced a third Invizimals game for the PSP. Invizimals The Lost Tribes


    From the release... The story will pick up from where Invizimals Shadow Zone left off, with you as the Hero trying to find Keni after he disappeared into the Shadow Zone or if you’re new to the franchise, the game will allow you to begin a new adventure with Jasmin, Alex and the gang.

    This time around there will be 150 Invizimals, the most creatures we’ve ever had on an Invizimals title, with 70 brand new Invizimals and 80 of the community’s favourite Invizimals from the previous titles for you to capture, train, customise and battle.

    Also, due to popular demand, Novarama have included an awesome new Tag Team Battle mode, enabling you to fight 2 v 2 Invizimals, allowing for even more dynamic battles and tactical gameplay than ever before.

    Cheap but Cheerful Update for the EU PSN Store

    This week looks like an all-classic week on the store with even the new stuff being old! I played FFT on UMD a little but never got dragged into it, while SSX has a great metacritic rating of 79, so sounds like a steal. As for Motor Toon GP, that actually looks like a lot of fun in a slightly simplistic way!

    Full games
    • Final Fantasy Tactics: The War Of The Lions £7.99
    • SSX on Tour - PSP Essentials £7.99
    PSone Classics
    • Motor Toon Grand Prix 2 £3.99

    PSP: 7th Dragon 2020 Screens Reveal a Rather Different RPG

    We mentioned this was coming, now Dengeki has a nice clutch of screenshots for the upcoming RPG that offers a different look to most JRPGs with an almost Sims or dating game like look to it, apart from the fullscreen slavering monster in one of the shots.





    The artwork also reminds us rather of 16-bit adventures, a little bit The Dig, some Broken Sword, all of which adds up to something other than the usual JRPG shenanigans. Still hoping for a western release.

    Dissidia DLC Hits the PSN Store

    Dissidia 012 is a complex enough game (still doing my review) without throwing lots of new costumes and music at players. But, if you are that way inclined, there's a bunch of new content to download on the PSN U.S. store, and more to come.


    DLC will be available for $0.99 each for costume and BGM packs, and $0.49 for avatars.

    Available Tuesday, June 28

    Laguna Avatar
    Shantotto Avatar
    Cecil (Dark Knight) Avatar
    Emperor Avatar
    Kuja Avatar
    Vaan Avatar
    Exdeath Avatar

    Available Tuesday, July 19

    Bartz: Dancer Costume
    Terra: Striped Dress Costume
    Shantotto: Wedding Dress Costume
    FINAL FANTASY V (3 Tracks) BGM Pack
    FINAL FANTASY VI (3 Tracks) BGM Pack
    FINAL FANTASY XI (3 Tracks) BGM Pack

    Develop 2011 Conference to get Vita Keynote

    Selling consoles to the public is one thing, selling to potential developers very much another. Aware that the PlayStation Vita has to sell well outside of Japan this time, Sony is bringing some big guns to the U.K.'s Develop conference this year where hundreds of European developers will be gathered.


    Sony’s Kish Hirani, head of developer services and Neil Brown, senior engineer for SCEE research, will cover  the Vita hardware, development tools and highlight some of the experiences that developers currently using them  on the platform's launch titles are having.

    Selling the Vita seems to be going well, but Sony will need many more developers producing niche, small games to sit alongside the big hitters and provide entertainment in this cheap-mobile-gaming era. Most major developers already seem to be on board, but any stragglers should soon be rounded up.

    Frima Offering PSP Mini Bundle for $4.99

    Jump on the U.S. PSN store and you can grab five Frima PlayStation Minis for just $4.99, offering a saving of around 70%. Don't think I've reviewed any of these, so your guess is as good as mine quality-wise, but at that price we don't have much to lose. The titles are:

    • A Space Shooter for 2 Bucks!
    • Young Thor
    • Widgets Odyssey
    • Widgets Odyssey 2
    • Zombie Tycoon


    The release doesn't say if this offer is coming to Europe, but will keep you posted if it does. 

    Check out Sony's Virtual PlayStation Vita

    Okay, so we won't be able to get out sweaty paws on a Vita for some time to come, but you can have a close-up look with this 3D virtual model on the Sony site. Okay, you can't twiddle the sticks or press the buttons and it only rotates one way.

    In fact, the more I look at it, the worse this model is, Sony could have done so much more with it, like full rotation control and zoom. But if you know nothing of Vita, then you can click the yellow buttons and find out some info and watch the Uncharted video. Still, rather a lame effort

    Invizimals Team to Focus Exclusively on PlayStation Vita

    Novarama, the Spanish developers behind Invizimals and the upcoming Vita title Reality Fighters have signed an exclusivity agreement to develop for Sony's Vita. The augmented reality specialists should be able to do a lot more with the power of the Vita, for while Invizimals was fun (see my review) on a camera-equipped PSP, it always felt like a first step.



    Since the Vita has the camera built-in then these games will get a far wider audience and the advanced processing power will allow for far greater levels of interaction with reality. Looking forward to seeing what they can do.

    Frontier Gate Trailer Shows Off Massive Monsters

    It looks like a lot of thought has gone into Frontier Gate, Konami/triACE's take on Monster Hunter with better party development and characterisation, plus it looks like great fun to play judging by this first trailer with gameplay.



    This should make it to the west and could well be one of the cross-over games that gets a release on the PlayStation Vita as well, rather than just playing the upscaled PSP version.Check out the site for some and more character details as they reveal.

    Tuesday, June 28, 2011

    PlayStation Vita Wins Best Hardware for E3, Sound Shapes Best HH Game

    Smacking down Nintendo's quirky Wii successor, Sony won the Best Hardware gong from the E3 Critics Awards while Sound Shapes picked up two awards for Best Handheld and Best Social/Casual game, having been nominated in four categories.

    Bioshock Infinite scooped most of the awards in the phat console category with Best in Show, while Skyrim picked up Best Console Game. Look forward to lots of PSV titles in the mix next year.

    Black Rock Shooter Not Heading West

    According to a tweet I just came across, NIS America has confirmed it won't be releasing Black Rock Shooter, or any other PSP titles in America. The awesome looking game is due to hit Japan on 25 August and comes with a great figurine bundle which it looks like I'll have to order now.

    I had an email from NIS a while back saying "we don't have any information regarding ImageEpoch titles…
    We do not have a project up and running together, so our contacts with them are limited." so hopes were pretty stretched back then, but it looks like any lingering ones have now gone.

    Wonder if Ghostlight (who bring Japanese titles like Aedis Eclipse over) or someone else is likely to pick it up, as BRS looks like a game that doesn't need a great effort in the way of translation.

    Sony Japan Putting Up Vita Games Pages

    Sony has added some games pages for its Vita titles to have a squint at. So far there are only pages for Gravity Daze and Everyody's Golf Next (AKA Hotshots Golf) but they pack a bunch of pictures and information. Gravity Daze is the more English-friendly page but there's enough to make both worth a visit.


    I still have fun with the original PSP Minna No Golf, so the Vita version is a shoe-in, but Gravity Daze definitely has the look of a work of art about it, can't wait to try it out. 

    Japan Still Getting New PSP Bundles and Actual Game Releases

    Still regularly at the top of the hardware charts, the PSP shows no signs of slowing down in Japan and a new collection of value bundles should help keep the handheld swimming along. The new editions are available in black, blue and blossom with a 2GB stick.


    With a decent line-up of summer releases, Sony Japan can run the PSP well into the Vita launch window, while Europe is left with a fairly bare release slate and all eyes on that launch date announcement. Across July and August, Japan is getting the likes of 

    • Powerful Pro Baseball 2011
    • Taiko Drum Master Portable DX 
    • Sengoku Basara Chronicle Heroes 
    • J. League Let's Make a Pro Soccer Club! 7 Euro Plus 
    • Monster Hunter Diary Poka Poka Felyne Village G 


    While Europe and America can look forward to the likes of:

    • Madden NFL 12
    Wow! At least we've got all these fun minis to play. 



    Monday, June 27, 2011

    Sony Announces PSP Game Dual-Packs

    In a new attempt to repackage its old tat legacy content, Sony U.S. is bundling games together at the super cheap price of $14.99 for two whole PSP games.



    The first list of packs includes:

    Secret Agent Clank and Daxter
    Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow and Killzone Liberation
    Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror and SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs: Fireteam Bravo

    and there will probably be more to come. If only the first PSP had come with dual sticks, perhaps there would be no need for these dual-packs (which dyslexics will have read as duck pals and be confused)! Secret Agent Clank is the only duffer on the list so far, with everything else sounding rather top notch - so its likely you'll already have one game and not want the other... surely a buy one... get one free deal would have been better at this price?

    Officially Bums and Boobs Day for PSP Gamers in Japan

    This is getting silly, not only have the Japanese press been inundated with pics and video of AKB1/48, a girly photo game, but here comes Shirogane no Karu to Soukuu no Jouou, [many pics from Andriasang] - a conversion from a PC title with improved curves and stuff. 






    This comes right after a host of IdolMaster content and 2Heart Dungeon from last week. Is there some sort of official cleavage day in Japan, and why can't we celebrate it too?

    Vita LittleBigPlanet Developer Revealed

    The folks behind LittleBigPlanet on the PS Vita have been revealed as new outfit Double eleven. They are working with Sweden's Tarsier, who also helped develop the PS3 version. While the company is new, Double eleven's members have decades of experience in the UK dev scene with previous employers including RockStar, Eutechnyx, Free Radical, Codemasters and more.



    There is little in the way of new news with the announcement but expect more shortly. The company's Twitter bio says, "Double11 is a highly technical and creative young games studio striving to push new handheld game platforms to their limits." so also expect bright things beyond their first PSP title.

    Lego Star Wars TV Special Coming Autumn

    A homage to the great fun all that gamers have had with the Lego Star Wars games will be on your screens this Autumn/Fall. Someone at Comingsoon.net, spotted the following poster at a Licensing Expo event. From PSP to Xbox, these games just pack great features and humour that pretty much everyone in my family (Age 3 - 40) loves.


    LucasArts is only saying, "Today, George Lucas is hard at work on a second animated series that will complement 'The Clone Wars', taking 'Star Wars' in a completely new and fun direction."

    Sky Force (PSN) Review

    As I may have mentioned in the news piece for Sky Force, this game is right up the alley of those who enjoyed the likes of true classic shooters like Raiden, Slapfight and 1942. It is all old school, down to the beepy 8-bit synth music, the steady pace and eventual progression to bullet-mayhem. While it might look 25 years old, Sky Force is actually at least 5 years old and has done the rounds on most portable formats, but is a welcome addition wherever it lands.

    Featuring auto-fire, just dodge the bullets and line up the waves of enemy planes, ships, tanks and avoid the 3D obstacles that loom up at you. A neat additional touch is rescuing the troops on the ground, just by flying over them, which means you need to keep a sharp eye out for the Oids-sized strandees for bonus points

    Your main aim is to collect stars from the remnants of waves to score points (you need to hit a certain percentage to pass the level) and power-ups to boost your offensive capabilities. The weapons are non-switchable, which is kind of a pain and there are no bomb-level weapons to help you out of a sticky-spot, just lasers, a slow-firing missile attachment.

    It does feel strange not to have to hammer the fire button, or even use the triggers as a smart bomb, or burst rate mode to give you some extra clearance power in tight spots, but hopefully, if there's ever a sequel to this old-yet-great little game, it'd be at the top of the wish list.



    Spread over six levels attractive levels with lots of smart extras, across three difficulty zones, with three levels of hardness that offer an increased challenge and three ship types that vary in speed and shield power, this is pretty much the perfect mini within intense bursts of action for the classic games fan.

    Enemies are all pretty much by the numbers with hulking great WW-II style bombers, lumped in with attack helicopters, modern tanks and other quirks, but its all great fun as you hone your patterns and circling techniques - its almost like we never left the eighties, and for those who don't know what the eighties was - try this for some great entertainment.


    Available on PSN for £2.49 [IDreams]
    8/10 Awesome shooter fun, despite the forced autofire with bags of detail. 

    New Jap PSP Girly-Photo-Op Bundle, AKB1/48

    The ever-popular Japanese photography games continue their weary way in Japan with the new AKB1/48 game (the site went live over the weekend, with some bare info, but should get more, um, lively, over the coming weeks). UPDATE - Full info from a press day with photos on Dengeki,



    ANOTHER UPDATE: Now with video:



    It is set on the lovely island of Guam with lots of even lovelier ladies to photograph in bikinis and other attire, with a couple of versions of the game available. The point of interest for the rest of the world is the new PSP bundle:


    I'm not too sure why its a pink PSP, surely the target audience is Japanese lads who want the "being there" photo-op girlfriend experience, but who are we to judge? There's loads of extras in the pack with what looks like cards, cards and more cards.

    Capcom US Offering UMD Bargains

    American gamers have a chance to grab some UMD-based bargains courtesy of Capcom's whose range is reduced across the board. Can't be a bad thing if you want to get into Monster Hunter before the big No. 3 hits the States and the likes of Harvey Birdman and Power Stone are cult must-haves.

    The list is broken into three price brackets and, while stocks last, includes:

    Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law $9.99

    Power Stone Collection $12.99
    Street Fighter Alpha 3 Max $12.99
    Monster Hunter Freedom $12.99
    Capcom Classics Collection Reloaded $12.99
    Capcom Classics Collection Remixed $12.99
    Capcom Puzzle World $12.99
     Mega Man Maverick Hunter X $12.99

    Monster Hunter Freedom 2 $19.99
    Monster Hunter Freedom Unite $19.99

    Friday, June 24, 2011

    Megamori Brings Masterchef to Monster Hunter

    Namco's Trico Survival Gourmet or Megamori is a food themed, Monster Hunter close with a sparkling and cartoony graphics style. There's a load of pics up on Dengeki, but please look below the crappy character drawings.



    You have to fight and defeat the right creatures to create the perfect menu, but really its just monster hunting but in a gorgeous new world with a new tweak on the endless line of monsters, underwater sections when fish is on the menu and other twists. The game is out in August in Japan.

    Get 'Em While They're Hot - Amazon US Doing PSP RPG Deals

    Hit this link fast and get in before the timers expire: Currently on offer Trails in the Sky Limited Edition at 30% off with ten minutes to go as I type. Other PSP games to follow in the sale, who knows what will be next?

    They have posted some clues:

    • The world of Lunar is slowly descending into chaos.
    • A tale of Five Great Dragons on the PSP.
    • The standard version of our 10AM deal.
    • A Classic RPG gets a facelift for the PSP in a Premium Edition.
    • A Classic RPG gets a facelift for the PSP in a Standard Edition.

    Euro PS Vita Launch "In a Mess"

    According to a source talking to VideoGamer.com, things are going a bit wrong in the planning for the UK or European PS Vita launch.

    Sony Japan is encouraging publishers to aim for a November launch for the device in the UK and other European territories. Sony Europe, on the other hand, is supposedly "being very cagey about dates".

    Says the piece. Well, since Sony Japan are building the thing (when its finished being design-tweaked), boxing the thing (when they have enough bits to build it) and shipping it to Europe (assuming there are enough built to support a launch). Then I'd listen to them, they'll know first and I'd imagine then the chain of command would kindly let Sony Europe know when they can launch.

    Sure, it won't help developers who might be looking for a few weeks off in summer, but if you wanted long holidays, you really shouldn't be in games development.

    Fighting Fantasy: Talisman of Death Heading to PSP

    The Fighting Fantasy series got many a kid started in D&D and Fighting Fantasy: Talisman of Death is considered one of the most controversial books in the series, I just remember the first couple personally, but what great journeys they were. (Press release text below - off down pub!)



    Fighting Fantasy: Talisman of Death will be coming soon to PlayStation Minis and will include a new tile-based combat system as well as the classic dice based system the fans know and love, so players can experience the classic gaming book in a whole new way.



    Fighting Fantasy: Talisman of Death also features a wealth of other features which build on the books. A 3D interface brings the book to life, an all-new Log book will now show you every previous journey through the game, preventing any unnecessary backtracking, and a Bios book will give you inside information on all the game book’s characters, items and weaponry. New Character Creation, Luck and Skill test systems are also on hand to enhance the experience on PSN, keeping the old rule set but presenting things to the fans in a new and exciting way.


    What with the likes of Drums Challenge and Ninjaurai, looks like the minis are finally get a bit of spark to them!

    PSN Update Today, No PSP Content At All

    Okay, that's not what I was expecting, the EU blog just updated with a very long list of DLC content that's gone on-sale at bargain prices. But there are no new games, no minis, no nothing, not a bean for PSP owners. And we were led to believe Sony had a big queue of stuff to put up after the outage. 

    Next Wednesday will see a LittleBigPlanet sale, so hopefully there will be some PSP stuff in that, but for now Sony needs to remember its supporting two formats!

    Sony Vita To Launch In Europe in 2012?

    UK mag CVG, so blame that messenger, has a retail source saying that Sony Vita will launch in January or February in 2012. Even worse for PSV is that news that the PS3 will be getting a sub-£200 price making it cheaper (heck, I'll get one just for a Blu-ray player).

    Fair enough, it was always going to be tough for Sony to hit this year, given the earthquake and massive demands from tablets and phones for RAM and chips, but missing Christmas and making PS3 cheaper could throw several barriers in the way of the PSV's success. Amazon US is still showing a 31 December release date, perhaps Japan will be the only ones (not) celebrating Christmas with a shiny new toy.

    Sony's PlayStation-Suite Tablets Launching in September

    To be honest, I'd avoid launching anything more complex than a toaster in September, what with iPhone 5, Google's next Nexus and other tech-behemoths. But Sony seems to keen to air its PlayStation-capable tablets in that hectic month, with this teaser video to keep us keen.




    However, what with the Apple iPad representing 89% of the world's tablet-based Web traffic, quite frankly it could be a gateway to other worlds and still not make a dent in Apple's market share. Still, we'll see closer to the time what power they really hold, will being able to play the odd game of Crash Bandicoot really help?

    Sony Updating PlayStation Android/iPhone App

    Sony's PlayStation App is pretty useless for PSP owners but should be of more interest when the PSV gets going, but at least you can keep an eye on the Sony Blog when you're out and about. Now you can also add comments and rate articles plus some other bits and bobs in the new version, out now.



    If Sony is interested in social media and being a part of the collective, then it can always get its arse in gear and respond to this. It would be good to see some people power getting them to do things that gamers would like to see.

    Sony Ericsson Offering Free Rainbow Six to Xperia Play Owners

    Sony E has a neat offer in July for Xperia Play gamers, they can get Rainbow Six Shadow Vanguard for free, just by installing the game before the end of July. I suspect the offer might be U.K.-only for now, as the email links to Sony E's UK Facebook page, but will try and find out if it'll spread globally


    Rainbow Six has been around for many generations of gaming but seems to be getting a new lease of life recently, anyone played the game on Xperia Play yet?

    Thursday, June 23, 2011

    Drums Challenge (PSN) Review

    Drums Challenge takes up the button bashing mantle for music games on PSP with a hi-hat, bass and cymbal mashing experience using all 10 of the PSP's main gaming buttons to give it some welly. Using a career mode, you learn to play the drums, then progress through a series of musical styles, encouraged by a series of stylised characters.

    The machine plays a few drums, then you need to play them back in time, with you being rewarded for perfect and awesome timing and mocked for getting it completely wrong. Through blues and metal, its easy enough with little hand movement required, but hit Reggae and you need to start planning to move your fingers around the board.



    Beat changes can also throw you, its a lot easier to play fast than it is a slow section, but the game seems fairly forgiving. Its just a shame that everything on the play screen is so fixed and rigid, given were so used to the scrolling beat bars of other music games, and the rest of the game has attractive fluid screens. Also, the cue buttons, tucked away in the corner, are a little dinky, despite being the easier method of learning the patterns (for me).

    Still, for a couple of quid, there's a lot of rhythm action to be had and Drums Challenge certainly has the personality to keep you trying. If the game screen was a bit more lively - a crowd, beat bars, the rest of the band, anything - it would be a total winner!



    Available on PSN for £1.74 [Musigames]
    7/10 Block Rocking Beats, but thinking too small, even for the dinky PSP. 

    Ninjamurai: Slashing its Way to PSP Minis

    Irish developer Open Emotion Studios have a corking looking game out on PSN that brings back all kinds of Kung Fu Master and Shinobi memories (oddly some Green Beret in there too). The player is Ninjamurai, the offspring of a samurai and a ninja, which is a great set of genetics to have.






    A highly-stylised platform slasher with some powerful characters to meet and guide the hero along the way, with the Black Armor as your ultimate nemesis. Can't wait to give it a go, its on the EU store now at £2.49 and coming to the US in July. 

    A Challenge to Sony on Behalf of Games Devs

    Right, come on then Sony, lets see if you're really into the mindset of the modern gamer! If you're listening to the social media and if you're really after new talent! I've been playing SplitMilkStudio's Hard Lines today. It's a natural gamer's game (combining classic game play with a modern sense of character and humour that belies the dinky pixels).



    It has been picking up rave reviews and I tweeted the company to see if there was a Vita version in the works. The reply from SpiltMilk's twitter is pretty much a challenge to Sony when it comes to bringing new games and talent into the Vita world:

     oh man, if only! :D If you know anyone from who could set us up with a devkit, feel free to point them at us & 

    So, come on Sony, I guess dev kits are pretty scarce right around now, but how about finding one spare somewhere and getting some new and funky games going for the Vita launch. Hard Lines would work perfectly with the rear touch panel, or even just a plain old stick.

    New Black Rock Shooter Trailer (In Game)

    This is more like it, the previous BRS trailer looked good but lacked much insight into the game, this one leaves nothing to the imagination. We've got big guns, blue eyes and big bikes! Enjoy!

    Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep £9.99 on Amazon

    Don't know how long its been at that price, but its one of the best PSP games and one of the few you can't download on the PSN store. So, if you still haven't got hold of this gem, head here and pick it up now at a very reasonable price.


    Most of the other recent games seem to be around their usual prices, so not sure how long this will stay that low. Its $29.96 (£18) on the US store, so for once Brits can stop complaining about getting ripped off. 

    J.K. Rowling Announces Pottermore, A Sony Production

    This just in, a free web-based site cum social networking site with interactive games based on the Harry Potter series, powered by Sony among others, and launching in October.

    Not much console-action, although its possibl it could run on console/portable browsers, but it looks like offering an extension to the recently terminated series of books and can keep fans imagination alive with new content and information, go Hufflepuff! [Full PR text below]



    J.K. Rowling announces Pottermore
    www.pottermore.com
    J.K. Rowling today, Thursday 23rd June, answered mounting speculation about the nature of her new project and announced Pottermore, a unique and free-to-use website which builds an exciting online experience around the reading of her hugely successful Harry Potter books, and is partnered by Sony.
    The announcement today was heralded by the revealing of the website’s name via an online search for its letters, and a ‘coming soon’ holding page which received over a million visits within 36 hours of launching.
    For this groundbreaking collaborative project, J.K. Rowling has written extensive new material about the characters, places and objects in the much-loved stories, which will inform, inspire and entertain readers as they journey through the storylines of the books. Pottermore will later incorporate an online shop where people can purchase exclusively the long-awaited Harry Potter eBooks, in partnership with her publishers worldwide, and is ultimately intended to become an online reading experience, extending the relevance of Harry Potter to new generations of readers, while still appealing to existing fans. As the Pottermore Shop develops, it is intended that it should include further products designed specifically for Harry Potter fans, offering a potential outlet for Sony products and services related to Pottermore. In keeping with Harry Potter’s international appeal, the site will launch in English, French, Italian, German and Spanish, with more languages to follow.
    In the new website, which launches in Beta on 31st July, the storylines will be brought to life with sumptuous newly-commissioned illustrations and interactive ‘Moments’ through which you can navigate, starting with the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s (Sorcerer’s) Stone. On entering, you choose a magic username and begin your experience. As you move through the chapters, you can read and share exclusive writing from J.K. Rowling, and, just as Harry joins Hogwarts, so can you. You visit Diagon Alley, get sorted into a house, and cast spells and mix potions to help your house compete for the House Cup.
    At a press conference at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, Rowling revealed some key features of the website. In an announcement which will thrill fans, she described how she hasbrought to life both the Sorting Hat and Ollivanders experiences from her books for the first time on Pottermore, by revealing the questions asked by the Sorting Hat – which places newcomers into their Hogwarts houses according to their characteristics – and the magic behind the Wand Chooser – which finds the right wand for each user from over 33,000 possible combinations. She also revealed glimpses of the new information she has provided on some of the best-loved characters.
    J.K. Rowling’s announcement on YouTube and sony.com today revealed that Pottermore (along with the Pottermore Shop) will be open to all users in October 2011. From today, 23rd June, fans can submit their email addresses on Pottermore.com in order to be contacted by the site following the opening of registration on 31st July, Harry’s birthday. Also on that date, an online challenge will be launched, whereby the first million people to complete their registration will gain early entry into the website, and help put final touches to the experience.
    J.K. Rowling commented, “I wanted to give something back to the fans that have followed Harry so devotedly over the years, and to bring the stories to a new digital generation. I hope fans and those new to Harry will have as much fun helping to shape Pottermore as I have. To add to my input into the website, everyone will be able to join in by submitting their own comments, drawings and other content in a safe and friendly environment – Pottermore has been designed as a place to share the stories with your friends as you journey through the site.”
    Pottermore has been made possible with the support and partnership of Sony.
    Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Sony Corporation, commented: “Sony’s association with J.K. Rowling’s Pottermore brings together one of the world’s most innovative brands with the most successful book series in history, in a pioneering partnership that will help shape the future of story-telling. We are proud to be a part of it, both at this momentous announcement, and as we collaborate on its development over the coming years.”
    On Sony’s partnership of Pottermore, J.K. Rowling commented: “As I think people know, I am very protective of Harry and have always been very selective with any new initiatives, but I am totally committed to making this partnership with Sony and this wonderful new website a success. There are many companies I could have worked with on this ultimate digital expression of Harry Potter’s universe, but it is Sony’s unique philosophy of creativity in harmony with technology that made them my first choice. The spirit behind Sony’s make.believe philosophy is one that rings true with Pottermore’s own values.”
    The detailed creative execution has been led by TH_NK, a leading UK digital agency, under the supervision of J.K. Rowling and the Pottermore management team, in co-operation with Sony. J.K. Rowling’s publishers, Bloomsbury in the UK and Scholastic in the USA, as well as her international publishers worldwide, have been active supporters in the creation of pottermore.com and the Pottermore Shop. Warner Bros, the makers of the hugely successful Harry Potter film franchise, is also one of the partners who have worked to support the launch of Pottermore through a variety of marketing, promotional and other efforts and will continue to collaborate as the project grows.
    The storyline of the second book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, will go live on the site in early 2012. The Pottermore Shop opens when the site opens to all in October, selling complete ranges of the eBooks and digital audiobooks in a selection of languages, exclusively.
    Designed for fans of all ages, the website has been created with child safety in mind, employing best practice and compliance with internet codes of practice in the UK, Europe and USA, and elsewhere.

    Sony PSVita Scores Well At E3 Games Critics Nominations

    Rather than bore you with the full list, lets just get to the point, Sound Shapes grabs three nominations and several other Sony Vita titles nominated were:



    Best Original Game: Sound Shapes

    Best Handheld Game: Sound Shapes and Uncharted Golden Abyss

    Best Hardware: PlayStation Vita

    Best Racing Game: Wipeout 2048

    Best Fighting Game: Street Fighter X Tekken

    Best Social Game: Sound Shapes

    Sony Ericsson's Xperia Play Game Roundup Video

    Sony E has compiled a bunch of footage of games in action on the Xpeira Play into one sweet video that may tempt you into picking up the gaming phone. There's the likes of Rainbow Six, Desert Winds, Minecraft and many more to enjoy.

    Super Sexy PSP RPG "ToHeart2 Dungeon Travelers" Rates Well in Japan

    Wow, based on a very popular anime, ToHeart2 is one of the more risque titles doing the rounds, but while that would condemn it to a tacky low score over here, in Japan Famitsu has given it a 30/40 score, clearly focusing on the in-depth gameplay and party building.


    If you fancy a gander at some of the perkier shots, check out here. While you have to admire the art style, its a shame the video doesn't show much of the game in action.



    Shutsugeki, another girl-focused heavy-combat (tanks, planes and boats etc) fared less well scoring just 21. Chances of either game making it over about zero!

    FIFA 12 Coming to PSP

    FIFA will get one last run out on the PSP this season, arriving on September 27 in the U.S. and on the 30th in the U.K. As with Madden, its unlikely to have many of the full-bore features of its bigger brothers but at least we'll get all the latest players in the latest strips (with or without hair transplants).


    PSP FIFA will not look like this

    Not too fond of the official site only touting the big console edition, and the complete lack of screens for different versions, although EA might release them over the coming days. Makes EA look rather embarrassed about all the other versions. It's not a big stretch to see a PSV version most likely be announced and ship with the console's launch.

    Wednesday, June 22, 2011

    Model-Mech-Based PSP Game Beats Out Zelda in Japan

    I thought those quirky little plastic models in Little Battler Experience would be fun, but never expected them to top a game like Ocarina of Time in Japan. That might be a little unfair as Ocarina was only on sale a few days and may have sold out in that time, but even so another PSP game tops the Japanese charts:


    Little Battler Experience (PSP) – 166,187
    The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of time 3D (3DS) – 164,110
    Yakuza Of The End (PS3) – 53,775
    Steins Gate  (Xbox 360) –  31,666
    Steins Gate Double Pack (Xbox 360) – 11,041

    Zelda's arrival did do enough to shift the 3DS back to the top of the hardware charts. Also, note that Stein's Gate has done really well on the the Xbox, so hopes will be strong for the PSP visual novel coming soon.

    US Sony Vita To Ship December 31 - Amazon

    Let's pick a stupid date to launch a console. According to Amazon is listing December 31 as the shipping date for Sony's PlayStation Vita in the US. Amazon UK still doesn't have a date but we're still clinging to the Autumn launch based on Sony's earlier sponsorship deal.


    Assuming the weather isn't horrendous, that the postal service works and like anyone is going to be in a good state on January 1 to play it? Its a dumb, dumb, dumb date, and hopefully just a placeholder.

    Sony Vita Sponsoring Games Awards For "Autumn Launch"

    Not so interested in the games media awards (of which the company doing them should be embarrassed and ashamed of the link), but the fact that Sony Vita will be a Gold Partner Sponsor using the back-slapping shindig as a platform for the U.K. "Autumn launch" of the handheld.

    Its hard to tell if that's the MCV article's impression or something from Sony with the company's UK PR head David Wilson who is quoted as saying "PlayStation Vita on the horizon" but such sponsorship does seem to suggest some launch activity this year and earlier than perhaps thought.

    Having vomited over the back slapping, there is a category for Best Games Blog, so why not put us forward by emailing them here and I could be able to tell you just how much slapping goes on.

    PSN EU Store Update for PSP 22/06

    Blink and you'll miss 'em:


    Full games 

    Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars £23.99

    Add-On Content


    Buzz: TUMQ – Prehistoric Quiz £3.19

    No minis at all, bummer! Still waiting for Sky Force to hit the store for some classic shooter action (Update - that was added at the beginning of the month, must have missed it in the pre-E3 hype).

    The next update is on Friday, let's hope that one is a little more active all round!

    Sony Starts Vita Online Advertising Campaign

    Looking at the blog quickly, just noticed the first official Sony Vita advert (which I had to click on to find out more, so no Google, I'm not just boosting my own ad count). It takes you to Sony's Vita YouTube page which has a one-armed-bandit of experience to play with and you can also download a Vita Screensaver for Windows.


    That YouTube page naturally has links to all the cool videos, but it doesn't really do the games-in-your-face thing that you'd hope for. Instead Sony is still pussy-footing around with this lifestyle stuff (not helped by all the random YouTube clips that appear). Stop it! Now!

    Anyway, if you see the ad on this blog, please click it - its pretty much the only relevant one I've ever noticed (fish pedicures and server solutions seem to be my most regular ads). And, sign up on the Sony Vita page to get news of their updates.

    New Project Diva Screens Out - Bring This Game to the West

    Andriasang has a host of great looking Project Diva 2.5 screens up, quite why this game can't get a release outside of Japan is really starting to bug me. It has a great style to it, and while music licenses might be problematic, I'm sure a generic version like Space Channel 5 could be produced quickly enough.





    Given that the controls are simple enough, might be one to get on import, wonder if it lets you play your own MP3s?

    My Million Nanocent Sony Vita Idea: The Musical Instrument

    Having seen some of the quirky uses for the PlayStation Vita's rear panel, might I suggest my own:

    The Vita Instrument: A full sampler system with six "strings" or pads across the rear panel for users to play. It could be a guitar, a drum-pad, a theremin, wave modulator, or anything else the creator wants to play. As with other sample-based systems, it can use time signatures to keep everything together.

    Use the shoulder buttons to move between tracks, play your tunes, add a vocal track via the microphone (it could even use autotune to make you sound good) and you have a whole studio in your hands, one that is far more intuitive to create with than the fill-in-the-box approach of most music creators.

    But, the cool part is, as well as being a recording studio, it could be used live. Mic it up and you have a novel, highly portable, instrument that could replace having to lug a guitar around. Sure you wouldn't see Metallica or  The Prodigy widdling with it on stage, but any of the tech-obsessed groups (especially those on Sony labels) would stand out using it to create real live music.

    Just a thought! And a shame there isn't a Sony home developer community to encourage this kind of work!

    Details Emerge on the PSV's Development, Interesting Reading...

    Sony's execs have been explaining the development process (Japanese text) that led to the creation of the PSVita and, while the translated text was rather scary, some useful details have come out:


    • Development started in Spring 2009
    • Had a fixed price point of 25,000Yen (PSPs currently sell for around 15,000)
    • Rear touch panel was initially rejected for cost
    • Needed mainstream development tools and be easier to develop for
    • More focus on PSP and PS3 titles to fit on Vita
    • May be more tweaks to the console styling, button placement


    So, it looks like Sony has learned from the problems with the PSP and PSPGo, all it needs to do now is get the beast on the shelves, quickly please! But, if final design approval hasn't happened and production hasn't started yet, its not coming anytime earlier than Nov/Dec at a push.

    New PSP Firmware on the Way?

    Japanese posters are saying that new PSP games (specifically the new Gundam) are shipping with firmware version 6.40, as its only a minor step up, it is not likely to offer anything radical beyond the usual security updates, although my requests still stand.
    .

    On the other hand, we haven't had a decent firmware update for a while and both 6.10, 6.20 and 6.30 did add a few extra features or tweaks, so I guess there's a faint hope that something interesting might be lurking within! Since 6.5 is a good number (or even 6.66), perhaps that is when Sony will drop in a farewell PSP bundle of features.

    Tuesday, June 21, 2011

    US PSN Store Update for PSP (this won't take long)

    Minis:

    Brick Breaker ($3.99)
    ESRB Rated: E
    File size: 12 MB
    Labyrinth ($3.99)
    ESRB Rated: E
    File size: 13 MB
    Solitaire ($3.99)
    ESRB Rated: E
    File size: 14 MB

    There you go!

    How to get Your PSOne Games on Xperia Play

    Despite its promises, Sony isn't doing a great job of getting PSOne games over to the Xperia Play store and there's only so many levels of Crash Bandicoot most of us can stomach.

    1. If you don't already own it, go out and buy a second hand copy of the game you want to play, most of them are a $/£/€ on eBay, and we wouldn't want to encourage the kind of lawlessness that might end civilisation. (Elite Rating: Harmless) You can rip your own ROM file from the disc using commonly available tools, or for speed, download the ROM using an Android app (below).

    2. Using your Xperia Play search for and download the following apps: RomFetcher: Playstation and FPse for Android, both cost just a few $/£/4€. (Elite Rating: Mostly Harmless)

    3. When using your Wi-Fi connection,use the RomFetcher app, search for the game ROM that you have brought and wish to download, newer games are a lot bigger, so if you're after something speedy aim for an earlier PSOne title. (Elite Rating: Naughty Boy)

    4.  Now launch FPse and find the file you downloaded, it will usually be stored in "SD Card, ROMS, PSX, game_name.bin

    6. When the game has loaded, go to the Settings menu in FPse, change the Screen Size setting to "Original" and on the Input screen, change the pad type to "Analog." Assign the hardware keys to your controller and you're ready to go.



    Just as an example, here's a demo of someone playing Tekken, if you have trouble with performance then give more resources/priority to your FPse in Android Settings.

    Sky Force, Bringing Classic Shooter Action to PSN minis

    For those of you who miss Raiden, Slapfight, 1942 or still play more recent shooters like Ikaruga, then Sky Force is the game for you. Already out on the U.S. PSN, its classic old school gaming with big bad guys, endless sprays of bullets and cool power-ups!




    Can't find a reference to it on the EU store, but will chase it up (UPDATE - it was added at the beginning of the month, must have missed it in the pre-E3 hype). It's a phone game from Polish developer iDreams, that originally came out in 2005, but still looks rock solid and will benefit from proper controls.

    Monday, June 20, 2011

    New Uncharted Video Shows off Vita Controls

    A brief 19-second clip of Uncharted Golden Abyss shows about three seconds of an ESRB screen and the remainder is a very quick look at the controls of Uncharted on the Sony Vita, in other words, don't blink!




    Apparently, all the touch controls are optional, but anything that shows off the system doing something different has to be good, doesn't it?

    Sony Launches PSVita 'Club'

    Just got an email from the usual Sony EU PS Blog with a new email subscription offering for the PS Vita. Sign up for the "Inside PSVita" email to get the usual updates, discounts, competitions, invites and so on.


    Sure, you'll never win anything, all the news will be old (as you'll have read it here first), but maybe the offers might just be worthwhile! You can find out more here.

    New Dev ShortRound (ex-Black Rock) Wants to Code for Vita

    ShortRound is a new UK-based developer formed from the meltdown at Disney-owned Black Rock who worked on BurnOut and Split-Second. The new team has already expressed an interest in developing on the Sony Vita. In an article with GI.biz, head man Andrew Hubbard said:
    "As for publishers and platforms, we're in talks with various publishers but not ruling out being self published and are keen to release on iPad or even Sony's Vita,"
    Expect more news in the coming weeks, it doesn't look like there's a site yet so no hint as to what they are up to, will it be more racing? Or, do they want a break from years of coding on concrete and are looking at something new.

    Sony Vita's Social Versatility in Video

    Might have missed this one first time around, but here's a video showing off the Sony Vita's easy-to-get-into social features, online play, chat and cross-platform play among other nuggets.




    This thing really will have everything I need for gaming! But, and maybe this is just the video, but I won't want alerts for games that I buy on memory cards - as opposed to download - all the time.

    Friday, June 17, 2011

    Sony Vita to Ship With Skype

    Just the like the PSP (well, the later versions) Sony's next handheld will come with Skype support built-in allowing users to make Wi-Fi (and possibly 3G) calls to friends with their hefty gamesbrick! The feature was spotted via the company logo at a demo in South America.


    That gives the device some credibility as an all rounder, but its still 98% games machine 2% phone and should never be confused as such. Despite the 700 million odd Skype accounts, how many people do you actual use it with? And, we'll assume that Microsoft, the new owners of Skype, are staying true to its word about letting rivals maintain access to the service.

    Sega Developing All-New Sony Vita Title

    Sega's tech development unit has been beavering away with all the next-gen consoles since before they had names, cases, and probably even hardware. One of their ideas has impressed Sega so much that it is building a dev-team to produce the game for Sony Vita.

    What little detail there is in in this VG247 report, but it all sounds pretty cool:


    “We wanted them to generate innovative prototypes that really used the hardware’s feature-set to its max. To cut a long story short, we were pretty blown away with one of the prototypes. We put it through our greenlight process, and the studio we’re opening today is co-located with that technology group in Solihull (UK) to make the game of the prototype that the tech group discovered.”

    We should be hearing more on this in the new year!

    Thursday, June 16, 2011

    ModNation Racers Shown Off on Sony Vita

    Hmm, I grabbed the PSP version as one of my Welcome back games, and while I was wowed by the ease-of-use of the track creator, the game itself was rather underwhelming with those "who-are-you?" characters and the not-quite-there racing. But, Sony is persisting with the series and this video shows off how much better the track-creation process is with a couple of touchscreens to play with.



    If we can get some better themed characters, more solid racing and if the Vita can throw in a better sense of community then this game could really deliver. Ultimately, this game needs a reason to race rather than just racing on pretty tracks and the addition of trophies could well help it out.

    Cars 2 Revving up for PSP

    Movie tie-ins will be hitting the PSP for a good few months to come, the latest being Cars 2, and it doesn't look bad at all. Junior racers will be at home with their favourite car-acters, showing off their tricks and racing skills.



    The level design looks pretty good and there is plenty of detail in and around the courses. Not so sure about the use of missiles, but hey - its all cute fun in the end!

    PSP Winding Down? Not in Japan... Evangelion and more

    Andriasang is running a host of PSP news this morning, including a neat looking box-set for the Weiss Schwarz trading card game, a trailer for Evangelion Sound Impact, a rhythm game based in that game's world:




    And a trailer for Terror of the Stratus, which mostly consists of longing glances and emotive whining, but there's the odd robot to jolly things along!



    All pretty full on for a system that's winding down, and the PSP is still top of the Japanese hardware sales shipping over 26,000 units, but its down to just two games in the software top 10 as other systems get a brief bit of good news.

    Wednesday, June 15, 2011

    Mystery Game "Mystery Tour" Headed To PSP

    They're new to me, but Tonika is a Spanish development company whose previous products include a very stylish and varied (bomb disarming anyone?) English language tutor title, Play English.



    The engine behind that game appears to have been used in the company's upcoming Sony-published game Mystery Tour, an adventure game that we can only hope is as mysterious and dashing as the character in the only bit of art I can find.


    The game should hit around the end of the year and may well hop over to Sony Vita, but here's hoping it gets a run out on PSP too.

    PSP EU PSN Store Roundup 15/6; WWE and Lego Pirates! (with video)

    Quite a neat and concise, but action-packed update this week with a bunch of new stuff doing the rounds for all budgets. With two pretty games up front and a neat Octopi-based game in the minis (there just aren't enough of them!) The US store update from yesterday just had a few of the minis below.


    Full Games

    WWE All Stars £23.99

    Lego Pirates of the Caribbean £23.99


    PSOne

    Tekken £3.99

    Minis

    Run Ghost Run £2.39
    Best Of Solitaire (£4.99/€6.19)
    Babel, The King Of The Blocks £2.49

    The 2D Adventures Of Rotating Octopus Character £1.74

    Jellycar 2 (£1.99/€2.49)

    Cross Monster Hunter with Inner Space and you get Nano Diver!

    Okay, so Nano Diver from Tanaka Tomy is a fairly shameless Monster Hunter clone, but at least the developer had the decency to do something other than monsters and demons in the wild. This time they're inside our bodies as the result of some viral plague.



    Human arteries and organs form the backdrop for the battles against this weird infection that threatens the species. Naturally, you'll need the right surgical equipment to tackle a particular nasty, as you can read from AndriaSang's post. There will be the usual four-player mode and hopefully lots of organ gags...


    Unlikely this will get a western release, but just goes to show that at least someone is thinking outside the box, and inside the spleen!

    Tuesday, June 14, 2011

    Capcom Says Vita's Street Fighter x Tekken Visuals Match the PS3

    I'm sure the likes of Digital Foundry will go into this claim in minute, anal, detail when the games are out, but Capcom's developers are claiming that the graphics are near-identical on the Vita and the PS3 version. According to Eurogamer's interview with Street Fighter producer Yoshinori Ono:


    "Right now, because we haven't finished tuning and optimising everything, the frame rate occasionally will stutter. We're looking to fix that. But the actual visuals themselves, the actual textures and everything, look pretty much identical. It's virtually a one-to-one match at this point."


    Capcom's Street Fighter IV-related fighting games use a special engine and Ono and his team believe the Vita version will achieve 60FPS. "In moving this to the Vita there will be a lot of adjustments and ways for us to figure out how to get it as good as it can on there. Obviously, with a portable system, no matter how powerful it is, there's clock speed and battery life – all sorts of things to consider.

    I suppose more importantly, will there be cross-console play? Now, that would be awesome!

    See the Madden NFL 12 PSP Cover With Peyton Hillis

    As the likely last PSP edition of the game, step forward Peyton Hillis as cover dude, who won a fan vote after nearly 13 million took part. Due out on 30 August, its hard to find any screens, video or documentation to say what the PSP version will have this year. Will check into it though!