Fight for the future

Polite Plea: After almost seven years and 7,000 articles, the number of stories is slowing down. Time and developers move on, but I'll always be posting, as the Vita becomes the new Dreamcast.
However, I do need a new Vita as my launch day model is starting to show its age. Please consider clicking an ad to help my new Vita fund!
Once reached, hopefully in time for Christmas, I will remove all adverts, leaving this island of Vita life an ad-free oasis!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Japan Vita sales up before the price cut kicks in

Sony's Vita price cut doesn't kick in until tomorrow, but that didn't stop gamers running out to buy the handheld (guess some stores acted early). Sales were up around 3,500 to 11,500 units, not bad considering there were no new games out to support it. Three were three new PSP entries in the chart with Toaru Majutsu no Kagaku no Ensemble breaking into the top five.

PlayStation 4 will stream games to Vita in native resolution

With PlayStation 4 games all supposed to play at 1080p at 30fps (hopefully 60fps), the power of the console will allow for remote play on the Vita's screen at its own full-resolution of 960 x 544, and as its streaming should offer a high frame rate (this via Japanese reports).


So, Sony's big plan for the Vita in future is that people will buy it because they get kicked off their big-screen by other family members. Hope there's a little more to it than that.

Little Big Planet Vita now £19.99 on PSN

Sony is holding a big sale for all LBP content including the games, so if you've held out on one of the finest titles for the handheld, you can pick it up cheapish when the update goes live later today. That's pretty awesome value considering all the extra content, levels and even whole new games you can download for it.


Some more info and details on all the extra content here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Gravity Rush and Velocity grab PS Gamer's Choice Awards

Sony America has published its Gamer's Choice award winners with Gravity Rush and FuturLab's Velocity among the deserving recipients. With so many indie games coming out this year and a lack of big-name titles, hopefully there will be a wider range of categories for the next set.


Star Wars: The Clone Wars Pinball Table in action

On the eve of the release of the first batch of tables, here's another of them in action with the cartoon Jedi capers brought under the control of a pair of flippers and the odd Force nudge. Consider me sold, but I'm pretty sure this won't be my favourite of the tables.

Sega's Shining Ark gets a monster trailer

The PSP mega-RPG Shining Ark, gets a sizeable 11 minute outing in this newly released video, packed with giant demonic and robotic creatures, sea voyages, combat and more, well worth a look. Definitely would look so much better as a Vita game though.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Persona 4 Golden tops Vita chart, fails to dent all formats

Well, that's not good. While it was a shoo-in for No. 1 on the Vita chart, the sales of the format's best game by far failed to make a dent in the all-formats top 20. While I wasn't expecting it to beat Crysis or Metal Gear Slicy-Dicey, it should have done more than enough to dislodge some of the games that have been out for months.

Some of the other charts published later might show it, deeper in the thirties or forties, but you'd have thought a must-have title enough Vita owners would be able to punt it in to the upper reaches, above say 20,000 sales which is needed for top five these days.

UPDATE - it squeaked into 32nd place according to one report, that could be as low as 3-5,000 sales. No where near good enough to make any developer think about a high-profile launch this year. While some sales will be digital, and therefore not recorded, its a hefty-sized 3GB game and one I'd put aside for physical purchase.

1  ne PERSONA 4 GOLDEN NIS AMERICA - 1
2 + NEED FOR SPEED MOST WANTED EA GAMES 7 17
3 -  FIFA 13 EA SPORTS 3 22
4 = CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS DECLASSIFIED ACTIVISION 6 15
5 -  VIRTUA TENNIS 4: WORLD TOUR EDITION SEGA 1 41

Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (C)2013 UKIE Ltd

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Soul Sacrifice scaring people on TV in Japan

Getting hyped in Japan for Soul Sacrifice? To be fair I'd be both scared and scarred by this trailer that's now doing the rounds on Japanese TV that goes heavy on the fire and ice theme without going into the mutating details much, probably just as well.

Friday, February 22, 2013

See the Boba Fett pinball table in action

Zen Pinball's Star Wars tables are out very soon, but you don't need force senses to see Boba Fett rocketing into action in the latest video. Check out previous footage and screens here.

Dead or Alive 5+ gets some cheerleader support

Okay, if any series is allowed a little crass sexism, I guess its one in which the ladies kick ass. Tecmo's Dead or Alive 5+ for the Vita offers up a range of cheerleader costumes for the likes of Ayane, Kasumi, Helena, Lisa and the others.

The game is out on the 22nd March and features include:


  • Intense DOA Fighting: DEAD OR ALIVE 5 PLUS expands the signature DOA fighting style with a variety of deadly martial arts techniques and styles. 
  • Realistic and Sensual Graphics: Characters come alive with a new visual style combining stunning realism with a warm, naturalistic feel that conveys every facet of each character—from raw power to sleek sensuality. And now you can interact directly with the characters using the Vita’s touchscreens! 
  • Dynamic Interactive 3D Stages: More than a backdrop, spectacular locations from around the world provide a changing and interactive arena for deadly battles. 
  • Devastating Finishing Moves: Use power blows to interactively trigger the Danger Zone of a stage, including crashing cars, collapsing glaciers, and an exploding oil rig—distract your opponents or drive them into danger.


Metal Gear HD free on PlayStation Plus for Vita next month

Sony's PS blog has just updated with the games that will keep the excellent PS+ service rolling along. While we don't get Ninja Gaiden as America did last month, we do get the Metal Gear HD pack (both games) plus fun tilt game Puddle.



All things considered the PS3 still gets the better deal with Mass Effect 3 and Dead of Alive 5, but if the Vita gets to six years old, imagine the goodies that'll be available then!

Rainbow Skies, sequel to Rainbow Moon, coming late 2014

EastAsiaSoft is looking far ahead with the promise of a new Rainbow game for handhelds and consoles next year. Rainbow Skies is a completely new game that is set in a new world with new characters and a new story. It will offer an even deeper and more versatile gameplay experience, while staying absolutely true to its roots. (classic gaming and turn-based battles rock!)



Features will include:
  • Monsters can be caught, upgraded, and become part of the player's party 
  • An advanced battle system with new combo attacks 
  • New treasure-hunt quests and an improved side quest system 
  • Various buildings can now be entered and explored 
  • A lot of new and exciting dungeon elements 
  • New mini games Tons of new and exciting content that will keep gamers hooked

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

PlayStation 4 and Vita to offer full remote play function

Remote Play on the PS3 and Vita is somewhat limited, think of it as a geeky experiment. But with the PS4, David Perry of Gaikai has just announced that it will offer full remote play OF ALL GAMES on the Vita, so you can move your game from the big screen to the small screen at a touch of the Share button.


More on this as we get the info but there's the likelihood of the full PS1, PS2, PS3 and other game catalogues will also be available on any device including the Vita (which has the buttons to do them justice) over any tablet or phone.

This alone could make the PS Vita come of age, assuming a decent subscription service through PSN.

PSN EU Update, Persona and Ragnarok are here, plus Urban Trials

The joy of the web-based PSN store is you see things coming well ahead of the 3-4PM "going live" Vita update. So, this week, we have the absolutely must-have Persona 4 Golden finally arriving!

I'd have got Ragnarok too if it had arrived last year, but now I'd rather wait for Soul Sacrifice. As it is, Urban Trials is downloading right now after some solid early reviews. There's also the Sly Cooper demo which has to be worth a try.

Ragnarok Odyssey £24.99 1,144MB
Ragnarok Odyssey DLC (some free, some 79p)
Persona 4 Golden £34.99 3.2GB
Urban Trials Freestyle £6.39 (PS+ price) 175MB
Sly Cooper Thieves in Time demo
PSABR Super Costume Pack £11.99

Just order them off the PSN website and download them on your Vita from the Download List on the "..." menu in the corner of the PSN Store app. UPDATE: Remember that OMG Zombies is your free PlayStation Mobile game of the week.

Some simple requests ahead of the PlayStation 4 launch

Dear Sony, its obviously too late to change your almighty juggernaut launch just hours before the event, but I hope you had some common sense in among all the blue-sky meetings, strategising and so on.

PS4 Is Not A Revolution

Please don't start off by claiming to have made something God-like for us all to worship. Its a console! It plays games and media, that look a bit better than last-gen. That's it, don't fall for your own hype! Every executive holding up a shiny phone, tablet or pointing at a TV set at any recent launch event has looked a right idiot claiming it to be the "big new thing." And, waiting for the mass applause that never comes (or even worse, starting the clapping and hoping everyone joins in) just makes you look like a dick!

Don't Forget the Vita

Even if its only in some small, logical and useful way, you'd better have linked your two consoles. Otherwise, you will just have killed the Vita. If that's your intention then at least be man enough to say so, especially if phone and tablet support gets a bigger mention.

No Price Cut In A Year

Just sell the thing as cheaply as you possibly can to drive adoption and interest, trying to give things away is tough enough these days, if you over-price PS4 (in the eyes of the buyer) most of us will just wait until that inevitable price cut. If you start selling it for £300 or less, I hope everyone will recognise that there won't be a price cut and jump in early. 

Anything you'd like to say to Sony before Kaz leaps on-stage?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Shining Ark tops a good week for Vita/PSP games

Famitsu's latest scores are out and it looks like the end of the drought for the Vita in Japan, but I doubt the pair of well rated games will put a dent in Sega's Shining Ark sales next week, which looks like one of the biggest PSP games in some time.

Shining Ark (PSP) – 9/8/8/8
Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus (PSV) – 8/8/9/8
Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus (PSV) – 8/9/8/7
D.C. III Plus: Da Capo III Plus (PSP) – 7/8/7/6
Stellar * Theater Portable (PSP) – 7/8/7/6

Star Wars Pinball details out in force

Zen Pinball's new Star Wars tables look a delight to play and will be out at the end of the month on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita for $9.99 (€9.99 in Europe) as DLC for Zen Pinball 2 with three tables on offer in the first pack.


There are seven more tables to come, making this a pretty hefty series for fans. I wonder if there will be a boxed copy with all the tables on one card? Whatever, there should be plenty of takers on PSN and the Vita's screen is just the device to make that chrome shine.

Hotline Miami ringing up your Vita

Hot on the heels of retro GTA-stylings of Retro City Rampage, another brutal throwback is headed our way, with Hotline Miami from Dennaton Games riffing off 8-bit games and extreme violence to fill the Vita's screen with more guts and gore.


Some detail on the PS blog, but this screen pretty much tells you all you need to know. Hotline Miami was nominated for an Independent Games Festival‘s Grand Prize and will be Cross-Buy on PS3 and Vita.

Vektropolis and other indie games homing in on the Vita

Before the bedlam of tomorrow's Sony event, I was checking back on some games that have gone quiet recently. Here's a screen from DCE's vector-classic Vektropolis put out late last year, but recent tweets suggest the devs are closing in on the finish line for this one.


Binding of Isaac is still on the way according to the developer's latest blog post, and I've posted several updates on Starlight Inception which continues to look good. Elsewhere it looks like Vivid has dropped the Vita version of Real Boxing and its other games, focusing on iOS. Anyone know of any other full-on Vita indie games still underway?

In an age of blood and giant monsters, remember Sei Madou Monogatari

If you like something a little less intense than all the games Sony is hyping at the moment, take a look at a new video for Sei Madou Monogatari from Compile Heart, an endearing RPG which doesn't rely on tortured souls and gore, but still needs barrels and chests conveniently located around the pastel dungeons...



The game is out at the end of March, chances of a western release are slim.

Falcom puts up a Legends of Heroes Vita graphics test

A quick video that shows off the scenery and animations of the new full-3D Legend of Heroes game, not much in the way of action, but it looks like Falcom is finally embracing new technology after the fixed-perspective likes of Zero no Kiseki.



A little more on the recently launched official site.

Sony celebrates the PSP and PS Vita ahead of the PlayStation 4 launch

Oh, those innocent times. Sony is celebrating the history of PlayStation ahead of its big event tomorrow with today's portable lookback. But, they almost ruin the ambience by insisting on having game players stroking their Vita in ways that look downright creepy to the outside world. I could cram a lot more highlights into the 1.41 run time. But hey, people stroking hardware is a big tick for marketing types I guess.

Monday, February 18, 2013

New Soul Sacrifice trailer shows both calm and the storm

Yep, a remix of old footage mostly, and probably shown at Sony's event last night, but with a few new bits woven in (the bee creature? haven't seen him before). Soul Sacrifice is Sony's lead-off not-quite Monster Hunter game and is carry a lot on its tortured shoulders.

Ridge Racer goes free on Japanese PS+ God Eater Burst gets free Passport

Japanese gamers can enjoy all of the many bits of Ridge Racer for free on their PlayStation Plus accounts (which is also being offered for free for a week in Japan). That's probably the best way to enjoy the cut down game, with its online-focused play. I  must reupload it and give it another shot, having become quickly bored with the the poor structure.

However, the cack-handed way you need to download each extra car and track (and music) individually really isn't making me hurry up that task. Have Sony or Namco made it easier through the various gold/silver versions? I'm keen to know.

12 months with my Vita, the cheap barmaid of portable gaming

The first year with my Vita has been a happy, if furtive, affair. While, from the hype, I was expecting a yacht-and-Mediterranean-beach with a supermodel-style brief encounter, this has definitely been more of a modern-but-cheap-hotel with a voluptuous barmaid affair, one with plenty of cheerful highlights, if not the big-bang, jet-setting, moments. 

Looking back,of all the games I own (12 boxed titles, 10 digital downloads and a hat full of PSP, PSN, Ps one, minis, PSM and others), Uncharted, WipEout 2048, Sonic Transformed and Gravity Daze are the handful that make me feel like I'm playing a next-generation portable. Everything else offers pretty much as-you-were gaming, nothing too advanced apart from the visuals from the good old PSP. 

But the Vita has been saved, for me, by the growing supply of little games that add quirk and personality to this barmaid metaphor. Nothing personifies this quickie-approach better than MotorStorm RC, a few minutes of gaming, yet near endless challenge through your friend's times and scores to beat. Shaving fractions of a second here and there saw me put weeks into the game during the Vita's first few months after the post-launch lull. 

Since then we've had the slutty filth of Frobisher Says!, some peekaboo with PulzAR and the odd refined moment of Pure Chess. While what remains of the Vita's tarnished image still promises an allure of seductive, executive, excess; I've been caning it in back alleys with PSP classics like Persona 3 Portable, minis like Velocity and a bunch of PSM titles.

Hopefully 2013 will see the Vita, now with added price cut, able to deliver on Sony's marketing department's illusion, as the games it needs to shout "hello, I'm next gen!" arrive. If not, I'm quite happy with what we've got together. I think we've learned that developers need to focus on what makes your saucy (but not tarty) little inner-gaming barmaid happy, and not trying to emulate the bigger games (unless you have the time to do a proper job).

Hopefully, she'll keep her head above water in the insanity over the big next-gen consoles (which will end up disappointing gamers in their own ways), I guess in six months we'll know if the Vita is selling well enough for publishers to devote some serious resources to it, but for now I'll settle for personality over a few genre games, as long as the important titles, GTA, Monster Hunter and a stream of originals do make the grade. 


Virtua Tennis 4 aces the PS Vita chart

I have no idea why (apart from it being cheap and there being no recent new releases) other than lots of gamers recently expressing their love for the full-res graphics and overall brilliance of the game's world tour stylings, but Sega's Virtua Tennis game is back on top of the Vita charts, some 40 weeks after its release.

That, Sonic Racing at No. 2 and Super Monkey Ball make it a pretty happy chart for Sega, Uncharted is now the only original launch game in the top 10, which should give them high hopes for PSO2. Sony's All-Stars Battle Royale is leaving the charts at a rate of knots, while Virtue's Last Reward makes a welcome reappearance down in the teens.

1 VIRTUA TENNIS 4: WORLD TOUR EDITION SEGA 2 40
2 SONIC & ALL STARS RACING TRANSFORMED SEGA 7 11
3 FIFA 13 EA SPORTS 5 21
4 ASSASSIN'S CREED III LIBERATION UBISOFT 6 16
5 LITTLEBIGPLANET PS VITA SONY COMPUTER ENT. 4 22
6 CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS DECLASSIFIED ACTIVISION 3 14
7 NEED FOR SPEED MOST WANTED EA GAMES 1 16
8 SUPER MONKEY BALL: BANANA SPLITZ SEGA 15 17
9 LEGO THE LORD OF THE RINGS WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 8 13
10 UNCHARTED: GOLDEN ABYSS SONY COMPUTER ENT. 9 52

 Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (C)2013 UKIE Ltd

Dragon's' Crown up for grabs on the Vita

And the hits keep coming today, with a clip of the action-packed Dragon's Crown for the Vita in action, throwing in parts of Gauntlet, Odin Sphere and lots of online play, this could be a perfect portable game with rapid bursts of action and lite-RPG overtones.

Square Enix shows off Final Fantasy X HD on the Vita

Square Enix, during Sony's price cut announcement, showed off a quick clip of Final Fantasy X in action last night, along with an apology for the delay. Looks like Static pre-combat scenes, but the detail is there for all to see.

Japan gets official Vita price-cut and lots of monster hunting

I think we can give up on any Monster Hunter game hitting the Vita game this year, but Sony has Soul Sacrifice, Phantasy Star Online 2 and the new Toukiden title to fill the gap, plus the tempting tease of an official across the board price cut.


Sony was also pushing ReaderStore, Torne, PlayStation Plus and other services at those who want more than just a gaming machine. The basic price for either the 3G or WiFi model (available in four colours, plus the upcoming silver model) is now around £140, but Sony is also throwing in bundles with a 32GB memory card for £175 to mitigate the high memory card price. The price-match also opens the way for an upcoming 4G premium model.

If those deals hits the west, I'd imagine we'd see a few more sales, but not until the arrival of some class-leading games will Vita really see much action here. Of course, if Sony and Atlus started marketing the best game of the year in Persona The Golden, out this week in Europe, that might generate some interest, but you wouldn't know it exists, outside of some recent reviews due to the huge release lag.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Ken Levine hints at big news today, Bioshock Vita anyone?

A tweet from Irrational Games' Ken Levine has hinted at some big news today (or tomorrow) depending on time zones. Since Bioshock Infinite is pretty much a known entity, could it be the unveiling of the PS Vita's Bioshock game? As long as they have taken the time to develop it properly (cough, cough Colonial Marines and Black Ops cough, splutter).


Any voyage through Rapture will be awesome on the go, and even if its a diversional tale through the original game and maps, I'd still love it. UPDATE: Guess not, it was another Infinite video, I think we need a code of conduct where industry peeps stop teasing and be more specific.

A Virus Named Tom heads to Vita via PSM

Given the success of Jetpack Joyride (see previous story) on the PSN, expect a flurry of games that will look to take advantage, especially those with free-to-play microtransactions. PC and Android game A Virus Named Tom is next up, offering cunning puzzles at a microscopic level.


The fun looking puzzler has plenty of DLC on other versions, so hopefully will prove a hit and a financial success for the developers.

Dead or Alive 5+ shows its inner tiger in new video

A new video from Tecmo in Japan shows some of the cool Vita tricks for the game in action including the first-person game, attack helicopters and the awesome quality of the visuals, plus all the goodies that Japanese gamers get with the boxed edition.

Jetpack Joyride hits a million downloads on PSN

Halfbrick, has announced that free-with-micropayments game Jetpack Joyride on PlayStation 3 and PS Vita, developed by fellow Aussie studio Big Ant, has been downloaded to more than one million accounts across PSN in 2013, with 475,000 downloads on the Vita.

The announcement comes fresh on the heels of a new update for PS Vita users, which adds Twitter support, performance upgrades and a host of user customization options to improve upon the already winning formula.“It’s been another incredible month for Jetpack Joyride,” said Phil Larsen, Halfbrick’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Player support has been sensational, proving without a doubt that Barry Steakfries is a perfect match for the PS3 and Vita!”




Velocity Ultra on video - getting Elite levels for top players

Not only is there a video showing off some of the Vita version, but a recent blog post on the explains a neat work around for one of the problems in the game. That being, that its possible for lots of players to be on the same score.

So, the developers have come up with the concept of the Elite Lounge for each level. The idea being that each level has a maximum number of points that can be achieved in that level, and once a player has reached that, they are put into the Elite Lounge for that level, but it gets better...

As they explain, "The Elite Lounge target will be organic though. We won’t set the targets ourselves, that will be up to players to explore the limits of each level, but there will be a limit that will be reached fairly quickly. The way this works is that once you reach the Elite Lounge Target, you will be added to the Elite Lounge, but if you manage to surpass the target, you'll set a new one, and all the folks that were in the Elite Lounge will be kicked out, and you'll be in there by yourself... until someone joins you or sets a new target."

Thursday, February 14, 2013

More Muramasa melee madness on video

This vivid slash-em up continues to appeal in its latest trailer with fantastic levels of detail in the backgrounds and up front as you slice your way to combo heaven through the fields and villages of feudal Japan. With the game definitely headed west thanks to Aksys keep your blades sharp for the game's release later this year.

Hungry Giraffe still starving, headed to your Vita for more

The adorable, long-necked and ravenous burger muncher has previously made his way from the PSP to the Vita via minis and PSM. Now he's coming lolloping on to the Vita proper with trophies, leaderboards and new upgrades, skins (including the scary-sounding Mecha Giraffe) and power ups.



This is the PSM trailer, but expect something new from the crew soon. The pics below are from the new version. The original got great reviews and is fun in any format, but everything is better with trophies right?




MLB 13 The Show shows off its Vita wares

Any time you like Spring, any time you like. To hint to the weather gods that we'd like some sunshine here comes MLB 13 The Show, accurately depicting - or as well as you can on the Vita - the statistics-mad and endless chewing that goes on in America's summer sport.


Play full seasons all the way to the Fall Classic, or just swing a bat for fun. Nothing will ever match Hardball on the ST for me, but I guess if you like your realism, um, real, then this is where its at with Yankee Stadium mapped out down to the last cynical, hateful fan.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

See the Star Wars Pinball Empire Strikes Back table in action

Due out this month, Star Wars pinball will put the movies at the mercy of those two flipper buttons. The PS blog has a look at the Empire Strikes Back table with some of the animations that threaten to overpower the mere act of rattling a chrome ball around.

Full PSN EU Update, live now, WipEout for free, lotsa little games

A little earlier than usual, PS+ types can now get WipEout 2048 for FREE. Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken is the sole PSN release for the Vita, screens here, there's also a small discount for PS+ users.


A couple of iOS games appear on PSM with Chimpact (playing it now) a gorgeous looking game and Dungeon Bandit. PSABR and When Vikings Attack are the recipients of some cool DLC, Gravity Daze's own Kat is playable in Sony's brawler while the Vikings take some time out.

Dungeon Bandits raids PSM today

Available today for £3.39, Dungeon Bandits from Rocking Pocket games is an iOS title, upgraded for the Vita it looks somewhere between Gauntlet and Alien Breed. With dynamic lighting, loads of levels, weapon upgrades (including a rocket launcher, surely some mistake?)


In the game, you explore a fantasy world full of castles, tombs, pyramids, arenas, mazes and forests. Dungeon Bandit features fully interactive environments with puzzles, and large levels with secret areas.

The run continues, PSP titles rating well in Famitsu

Picking up sevens and eights across the board, there are three decent scoring PSP games in the latest issue of Famitsu. None of them sound greatly familiar but Desert Kingdom is an update of a PS2 game, Yamanote Boys comes in several versions (Dark Cherry, Honey Milk) while Grisaia no Kajitsu is typical visual novel fodder.

Tokyo Yamanote Boys Portable (PSP) – 8/8/7/7
Desert Kingdom Portable (PSP) – 7/8/7/8
Grisaia no Kajitsu: Le Fruit De La Grisaia (PSP) – 7/8/7/8




And next from Team 17, its Super Frog

Having relaunched Alien Breed on PSM and now PSN, Team 17's next trick is to bring back the hopping madness of Super Frog to the Vita. The original was a coin-chase very much in the Mario style and the new version will be a HD remake. Here's the original in action,


And here's a look at the new elongated version of the cloaked, ribbity hero. Not much detail on the title, but it should satisfy those with a retro urge pretty well.


Review: Let's Fish Hooked On!

Wired has done a smart job of promoting this game, developed by the fishing masters at SIMS in Japan, all the way up to launch. There's been plenty of teasers and trailers, showing off the characters who should lift it above being just another console fishing game.


Yet, when you get into Hooked On, you're left wondering if they're there to gloss over the thin veneer of a game. The characters have different skills, but there's little explanation of how they're used and the tutorials don't help, the controls are - initially - deeply annoying. I mean, of the Vita's controls, what's more natural to simulate a fishing reel than the analog stick?

Remember the scene in Jaws where Quint plays out line before catching a Marlin? "Tick, long-pause, tick" goes the reel, there's none of that sense of anticipation here. Instead the game offers a mad on-screen slider or stabbing the circle button, but they offer no real physical approximation. And, why does a 0% strength cast throw the lure 80% of the way to the target? What if I was trying to drop the bait just over the side of the boat?


Odd things like that can be overcome with a little patience, and then you're fishing happily, trying to find the right bait to grab the right fish, either against the clock or against "opponents" who you never see. At least in Everybody's Golf, which this game tries to mimic, you can see and be taunted by an opponent, in this game there's no whoop from down the course as they race ahead of you, or an expressive mutter as they lose another fish.


All there is choosing the bait, most of which won't work, and casting the line, for which there is very little skill. Then, waiting to see if anything bites and playing the annoying touchscreen game (or ignore that and use left-stick to avoid losing the fish) when a bass or other nibbler does take the lure. If Hooked On had taken a cue from FuturLab's efforts of expanding the basic genre, it could have had us chasing around the lakes and ponds for all sorts of rare fish and goodies, instead, you're sat there with little reason to move once you've found a few bass, which in itself feels rather depressing - this game has little sense of adventure.


But, beyond the annoying UI and the failure to innovate, there's still something basically entertaining about trying to reel in the bigger fish. With a season or challenge play mode, there's plenty of fishing to be done in varied pretty locations (if only there was more reason to explore them), with lots of events and bait to unlock.

You can upload scores to find your online ranking and try to better your performance in each event or area. But when you know where to fish, it becomes pretty repetitive and misses many opportunities. I keep coming back to it in the hope I'm missing something, but can't seem to find the extra lure that makes this an addictive game. For the modest amount of fun in the game there is always an annoyance, like why does a 1lb fish (not the song) break the line that can happily hold a 6lb fish? It makes little sense, wastes its characters and fails to explore any new opportunities.

Price: £14.99 (PSN)
Score: 6/10
Progress: Fished 'em

Germinator just makes me want Puzzle Bobble back

Yep, its grimy and slimy, but the new "why isn't this sponsored by Domestos?" game Germinator, coming to PSN this week, really just makes me want to go play good old Puzzle Bobble. I don't want the ugliness, the putrid explosions and other gunk from Creat Studios, rell me there's a "classic rip-off" mode in there somewhere.  Still, every game is welcome on the Vita, so please give it a try!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Vita refresh model to offer 4G, HDMI and be cheaper?

You can ignore the 4G, that's really for mobile-obsessed Japan, but will be a nice-to-have feature in the coming years. The HDMI-out shown a recent Sony patent for a new model of Vita will be key to helping sell the console, allowing us to play games on the big screen. Tie that in with a streaming service like Gaikai and Sony can use the Vita as a replacement for the PS3 when the PS4 is unveiled next week.



Sony won't kill off the PS3 obviously, but by pushing the Vita as the cheaper PS4 option with a huge library of games to stream, plus the current and new titles, it could become an interesting proposition for gamers, especially with the mooted price cut (for the old version at a guess) but Sony really needs the new version to be $199£160 too.

Monday, February 11, 2013

When Vikings get DLC and Japanese goodies

Sony's Viking horde must have been knackered after their initial rampage on to PS3 and Vita. So, the first batch of DLC gives them a chance to kick back, relax and kick off with some passive-aggressive pursuits to enjoy.


The new DLC is out this week and features:

  • 10 new vs. mode levels – Each one themed around recreational mayhem with a unique environmental hazard to watch out for. 
  • Solo Survival mode – A new single player game mode where you face off against waves history’s greatest warriors, survive as long as you can and get to the top of the leaderboards. 
  • New unlockable characters – Unlock 10 warriors in solo survival. Six new trophies – 
  • New specific challenges based around the DLC content to unlock. 

As well as all of the above, you'll be able to unlock the exclusive Japanese version's character The Tired Oyaji in the Relax pack you will also be able to purchase some new costumes based around everyone’s favourite Japanese cats, Toro and Kuro!

Starlight's Midway concept art

This is the art for the big carrier ship, central to much of the action and decisions in Starlight Inception's space adventures. It's from the developer, Escape Hatch's, latest update with a snippet of news.

"We have made much progress on lighting, destruction textures, effects, as well as wiring up and refining more features...we'll be talking about that in upcoming updates"


Star Wars pinball screens, get your Boba Fett on!

In the eerie silence of a Monday morning as everyone hunkers down ahead of the PS4 launch, here are some pics from last week's Star Wars Pinball announcement from Zen Studios, get your Fett on! Given that next-gen games are going to look like this-gen, but with more particles and fizzix, should we really get that excited? I'll buy one of the two anyway, but I'm not believing any hype at all. Your thoughts?

With new films featuring some of the movies' most famous characters, here's hoping for a Bounty Hunter one, but not based on the boring-as-paint-drying K W Jeter's Bounty Hunter wars novels. Anyone read any good Fett stories?





Friday, February 8, 2013

Tecmo goes monster hunting with Toukiden

Tecmo's Omega Force developers have joined the long of those trying a riff on the Monster Hunter theme, judging by the first screens from Toukiden. With a range of fighters, multiplayer and PSP/Vita crossplay, you or your team get to hack up giant monsters, rendering them limb from claw to weaken them. Looks pretty decent, all we need is a good story, some solid play mechanics and about a million copies sold.




Soul Sacrifice, write the theme tune, sing the theme tune

A musical interlude on the blog as Sony throws out a quick look at the making of the Soul Sacrifice soundtrack. While it is very accomplished piece of composition, it is rather generic soundtrack stuff, all rising inspiring chords, dashing mournful tones and crashy-bashy bits (yep, I know nothing about music).



Composed by Yasunori Mitsuda and Wataru Hokoyama, and recorded at Skywalker Sound, perhaps it would be better with more screaming torment and actual souls being rendered, but hey, it'll help set the tone and comes as part of the pre-order goodies.

Sly Cooper demo coming 20 February, try Bentley's Hackpack today

A week ahead of the full release, we'll get to play with Sly and his friends on the Vita via the game's demo. But if you want to soak up the atmos right now, there's Bentley’s Hackpack which is based on Bentley’s hacking mini-games on PSN.


It includes 60 totally new, controller-twisting missions to take on, tons of nifty Sly Cooper loot to collect, and cameos from the whole gang, all wrapped up in Bentley’s signature arcade. It’s available now for either the PS3 or PS Vita, priced at just £1.59/€1.99 with Cross Buy.

PS Vita nets Activision $23 million over the year

I can only think of one Activision game, the panto villain of Vita gaming, Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified. While it has been roundly lambasted, the game still appears to have made the company a truckload of money. Buried in Activision quarterly financial report is the line:

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES FINANCIAL INFORMATION
For the Three Months Ended December 31, 2012 and 2011
(Amounts in millions)
Sony PS Vita 18 (this quarter)  3 (last year's quarter) 500 (%age increase)

Another line shows the company making $23 million out of the Vita overall in FY2012, that's not a bad return, despite the botched developer efforts against the background of an impossible deadline. Imagine if Activision had assigned a decent developer first time around?

That's the sort of money not to be sneezed at, and you can likely expect another release this year, with a new Call of Duty game confirmed for the big consoles. Which, with some decent resources for it might bring a decent game to go along with all the dollars. As a ballpark guess, those $18 million in sales equates to around 360,000 sales, which with AC3 Liberations 600,000 proves the Vita can sell a few games.

The gaming tablet, Wikipad ready for launch

As if Nvidia's Shield, Android consoles, endless mobiles and the upcoming next-gen consoles weren't enough to muddy the mobile gaming market. Here comes the oddly named Wikipad, which sounds like a reference library. For a games tablet shouldn't it be called the DeathRay or the FunkLet or something?



Anyway, this beast will pack, an attachable dual-analog controller. a 7-inch in-plane switching screen, 16 GB of RAM with a micro SD slot for cheap upgrades. Grunt is provided by a  NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor (which is down on the Shield's Tegra 4, but should be good for all but forthcoming top-end gaming).

That should be a pretty impressive piece of kit with a widescreen for gaming fun, and a whole world of Android games to enjoy, plus the usual apps, movies and browsing. But will it find a place in the market, if a company like Sony can't get people to buy the Vita and serious questions are being asked over the positioning of Shield what hope does Wikipad have in a world of Apple and Amazon? It is out in the US now, with a UK launch to be announced and a 10" model on the way.

Legend of Heroes Zero no Kiseki joins PSP's Best Of line-up

The Legend of Heroes: Zero no Kiseki is the lead title in the latest batch of PSP games hitting Sony's "the Best" range in Japan. That, two Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable titles, pop'n Music Portable2 and Kadokawa's To Aru Kagaku no Railgun are also on the list.



A Vita version of Legend of Heroes, Evolution is on the way, and I really don't have much of a clue about the other games. Railgun looks like a visual novel style adventure...

Thursday, February 7, 2013

New Assassin's Creed game on the way, will Ubi deliver a Vita version?

Ubisoft has just announced its (very good) financials, but during the conference call, CEO confirmed a new branch of the timey-wimey game, exploring another new destination. Now, having gone to all the trouble of building a Vita engine, what are the chances of them doing another off-shoot like Liberation for the handheld?

Details will be announced soon, but it would be great to think the game did well enough, despite the Vita's low install base, to merit another adventure. AC3 shipped 12 million units according to the report, but there's no breakdown between that and the Vita version (UPDATE: Vita's Liberation sold 600,000). More info soon, I hope.

Rocketbirds screenshots to ruffle your feathers

Out next week on PSN, Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken looks like the stuff of arcade legend and the developers, Ratloop have put out a few screen shots to go with yesterday's video. All in all, this makes those Angry Birds look rather tame.





Sony sold 6.6 million Vitas and PSPs in 2012

In the current gaming and economic reality, you either have the golden goose, or you don't. Apple, Samsung and Nintendo (with the 3DS) do, Sony and about 30 other hi-tech companies don't. Even with the 3DS Nintendo is struggling outside Japan, so basically, in a crappy market, Sony is doing about as well as can be expected.

Having revised its estimates down to reasonable levels (7 million) and having shipped 30 million portable games, at least it has something to build on. The numbers and the typical fanny arguments are raging over on NeoGAF

Sega's new site, not the Sonic game?

Sega promised the world a new all-formats Sonic game in February and has just put up a new teaser site in Japan. The trouble is, it doesnt look very Sonic like. With the reveal set for next Tuesday, this looks very elven and adventure-themed, any ideas?


While there's no guarantee it'll be a Vita game, Sony folks are making lots of positive noises about lots of new games, so there's reasonable chance that this could be one of them. And, no there's no leaving the name in the source code, like some monkeys still do.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Rocketbirds to storm the Vita next week

Rocketbirds should hit PSN next week, offering a full range of jetpacks, platforming, shooting and general assault with its own distinctive visual style, clever use of the Vita's tilt function and co-op play. Can't wait for this one.

Ragnarok Odyssey EU demo out today shocker!

Ooh, out the blue comes some really exciting news for EU Vita gamers, the demo of Ragnarok Odyssey, the game that is single-handedly keeping the monster hunting fans happy until Soul Sacrifice arrives finally hits.



Kudos to GungHo and there's plenty more on the PSN blog. What with free Aqua Kitty, the First anniversary sale and more today, another good week on the store. The demo is 260MB and there seems to be a lot to it.

This week's free PSM is game is Aqua Kitty

The feline-themed Defender clone is your free PlayStation Mobile title of the week for PS Vita and Android users. Love this game!

  • Fast paced horizontally scrolling looping underwater levels.
  • Branching map progression of levels.
  • Varying sea depths per level that affect gameplay.
  • A dual firing submarine with a rechargeable secondary weapon that needs to manage carefully (upgrades through the game).
  • A variety of mechanical enemies to encounter each with differing behaviours.
  • Chain kill combo system allowing the more skilled player to maximise score.
  • Depth based power-up system that gives partial control on the type and location of the power-ups created (allowing tactical advantage).
  • Hand drawn 16-bit era styled pixel art graphics.
  • Awesome chiptune music for each world taking inspiration from the best of the C64 and Amiga days.


Sly Cooper: Thieves of Time? That'll be the six week delay for the EU version

Yep, Sly and friends have half-inched about six weeks of gaming life between the U.S. release of Sly Cooper (yesterday) and the EU release (29th March). To make things worse, the game is a massive 3.5GB file to download, which might tempt more people to order the boxed edition, and will add even more time in the bonus waiting-for-the-damn-postie game.



On the plus side, there is some trouble with getting the game via Cross Buy according to Sony U.S., hopefully that'll be fixed in the EU version. Although, since the PS3 version is more expensive I'd be tempted to go Vita only if you run both ways. Here's a comparison video between the two if you're not sure

Star Wars Pinball (finally) official from Zen Studios

Having arsed up its announcement, here's the official news on Star Wars Pinball for Zen Pinball on the PS Vita and PS3, with Cross-Buy. Release is soon, price to-be-announced, but probably a bit higher than normal to cover the license.

Star WarsTM Pinball Coming Soon for Download. Use the Force to guide the silver ball and become a Jedi Master pinball pro. The downloadable game, developed in partnership with LucasArts, will be available February 2013 on a variety of digital platforms. The initial three-table pack will be themed around fan favorites including Star Wars Episode V : The Empire Strikes Back, Boba Fett and Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Each table features a different iconic moment from the Star Wars universe, with interactive 3D characters, and unique gameplay. With the first table release, players will take control of beloved characters such as Luke Skywalker, Boba Fett, Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano. Players will also be able to post their scores to global leaderboards, experience in-game friend challenges, local hotseat, online multiplayer, and a host of other features.


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

PS Vita birthday sale finally announced

As leaked on its own website last week, Sony has finally dropped the PS Vita first birthday sale information with a host of games getting modest price reductions. The top ticket has to be All-Stars Battle Royale and Unit 13 while Escape Plan is a must at a £5 if you've missed out.

Army Corps of Hell Was €39.99/£34.99, now €19.99/£15.99
Asphalt Injection Was €24.99/£19.99, €12.99/£9.99
BLAZBLUE Continuum Shift Extend Was €24.99/£19.99, now €19.99/£14.99
Dungeon Hunter: Alliance Was €34.99/£29.99, now €17.99/£13.99
Escape Plan Was €12.99/£9.99, now €6.49/£5.19
Everybody’s Golf Was €14.99/£11.99, now €9.99/£6.99
F1 2011Was €39.99/£31.99, now €19.99/£15.99
Hustle Kings Was €7.99/£6.49, now €3.99/£3.19
Little Deviants Was €14.99/£11.99, now €9.99/£6.99
Lumines: Electronic Symphony Was €34.99/£29.99, now €17.99/£13.99
Michael Jackson The Experience HD Was €24.99/£19.99, now €12.99/£9.99
MLB 12 The Show Was €29.99/£23.99, now €14.99/£11.99
ModNation Racers Was €14.99/£11.99, now €9.99/£6.99
MotorStorm RC Was €5.99/£4.79, now €2.99/£2.39
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale Was €34.99/£29.99, now €19.99/£14.99
Reality Fighters Was €14.99/£11.99, now €9.99/£6.99
Rayman Origins Was €34.99/£29.99, now €17.99/£13.99
Ridge Racer – Utimate Edition Was €24.99/£19.99, now €12.99/£9.99
Shinobido 2: Revenge of Zen Was €39.99/£34.99, now €19.99/£15.99
Street Fighter x Tekken Vita Was €44.99/£39.99, now €29.99/£24.99
Super Stardust Delta + Advanced Star Fighter Pack Bundle Was €9.99/£7.99, now €4.99/£3.99
Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack Was €6.99/£5.49, now €3.49/£2.79
Top Darts Was €7.99/£6.49, now €3.99/£3.19
Touch My Katamari Was €29.99/£24.99, now €19.99/£15.99
Unit 13 Was €34.99/£29.99, now €19.99/£14.99

Monday, February 4, 2013

Star Wars tables definitely coming to Zen Pinball 2

The Vita's other pinball game, Zen (rather than Arcade, which is currently free to EU PS+ subs) seems to have jumped the gun a bit on an announcement, an hour ago (as of writing) a post was linked to on the U.S. PSN blog welcoming a series of Star Wars tables to the series for PS3 and Vita, but its a dead link or isn't live yet.



There's also a link to a non-existent story on the EU blog, which makes this seem like a concerted campaign that got pulled after someone pushed a button too early. There's nothing on the Zen Pinball site and no other reference stories to be found. When the news does reappear, it will be one of the few ways to enjoy Star Wars on the Vita,  aside from the PSP Battlefront games.

UPDATE: Here's the text that someone managed to grab:
Zen Studios has been making pinball games for nearly a decade now, and today is one of the most exciting pinball moments for our studio! We are extremely excited to announce that Star Wars is coming to Zen Pinball 2! Zen Studios has been working closely with LucasArts to create an amazing collection of videogame pinball tables set in a galaxy far, far away! The first pack of tables include Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Boba Fett, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Beyond these exciting tables, there are seven others in production as we speak, all to be revealed as 2013 unfolds. Each table features a different iconic moment from the Star Wars universe, with interactive 3D characters and unique gameplay. If you have not yet downloaded Zen Pinball 2, it is pretty easy to do. The free download will give you access to a great library of pinball content, where you can download demos for each table and pick which you’d like to buy. All content is cross-buy entitled on PS3 and PS Vita. We will be unveiling more details on each table over the next few weeks leading up to launch, so be sure to keep an eye on PlayStation.Blog or www.starwarspinball.com for the latest Star Wars Pinball updates. May the Force be with you!

Namco slashing PSP/Vita PSN prices this week, worth fighting for

Either as part of the anniversary sales, or off its own back, Namco Bandai is chopping the prices of some great games on the US PSN store tomorrow. Admittedly the best games are on the PSP and the prices are still pretty steep, but well worth a go if you like your fighting games.

PlayStation Vita
RIDGE RACER – $12.49
TOUCH MY KATAMARI – $12.49

PSP
SOULCALIBUR: Broken Destiny – $19.99
TEKKEN 6 – $19.99
NARUTO SHIPPUDEN: Ultimate Ninja Impact – $19.99

MGS Peace Walker to stalk the Vita soon?

A comment in a forum isn't the best evidence but the PSP's best Snake game by far, and absent from the MGS HD version, could soon be sneaking under the Vita's barbed wire into PSN territory.


The comment from Konami's own social media spod was spotted in a PS blog post about the PS3 Rising title, so it was easy to miss. Peace Walker was good on the PSP but should be great on the Vita, especially if it comes in an uprated HD form.

Sly Cooper PS Vita vs. PS3 comparison

Here's a neat video showing the same sections of Sly Cooper (which has leaked into U.S. stores a day early according to reports) played out on the PS3, then the Vita. The differences are minimal, the golden key is a little less shiny on the Vita, the wheelchair thrusters a little less thrusty, but on the whole not a bad job.



Add this to the list when it finally limps over to Europe next month.

Guerilla Cambridge talks Killzone Mercenary

In a PS blog interview, developer Piers Jackson, highlights the plot, mechanics and some of the grunt they managed to get out of the Vita when transferring over the core technology from the PS3 edition of Killzone 3.


Key to those worried about a short experience, is this nugget:
We have nine single player missions. On average, on a first-time play-through, they’ll take between 40 minutes and an hour each to complete. So, it’s a lengthy game. It’s got a full narrative too – every mission brief is set up as a full story.
On the whole, the proper development time should see this game safely at the high end of the Vita's most-wanted list. While the CoD team did their best in a few months, it proves that nothing beats proper preparation and planning.

Asia getting a silver PS Vita to cut the ice

Hardware sales not going well? Release a new colour seems to be Sony's mantra at the moment. So, parts of Asia are getting a new ice silver model. Adding to the white and black common models, Japan's red and blue affairs, this will be out in Hong Kong at the end of the month.

Looks like  no price cut or bundles, so if you're getting bored of your sombre black nearly year-old model, perhaps this one will head our way to lighten the mood.

How does Sega get people to buy its free PSO game?

Sega has this problem in Japan, Phantasy Star 2 Online is free-to-play on the Vita and PC, but the company wants to make some cash up front. So, to tempt those who can't download it, or just like extra stuff, it looks like the boxed copy will come with a load of goodies.


Not only are there special costume sets and weapons to use in the game, plus cute library cards as above with stickers and soundtracks (more pics on Dengeki), but offers on items in the Sega Store ranging from cushions to mugs and more.

That should tempt quite a few players, given Japan's seemingly endless obsession with extra stuff, just hope some of the physical items make it into the western version. The boxed special version will cost 6,279 yen which is around £42.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Starlight Inception drops a developer update and new art

The Vita's first Kickstarted game and space combat sim, Starlight, is progressing nicely with the developers dropping a new update to backers (I.e., me). Here's a bit from it.

We have no risks currently on the Production side that are jumping out. Art is several months ahead now with our enlarged staff, programming is on track, the fly patrol mode is integrated and working (more on that in Gameplay), and we have a complete level that we are currently refining. Multiplayer will need another pass to correct any bugs we introduced with new features, but it was very stable before we started, and so we are optimistic about the state of that part of the game. Starting this month, we will be aggressively developing the rest of the single player levels in the game and taking them to Alpha status.

UI

We did a new pass on the front end UI for the game, and have been working to give it a nice clean look while still being uniquely Starlight. We should have a screenshot of that next month once we’re more final on those revisions.

Still refining the in-game HPUD (HoloPanoramic Display) for the spacefighters, and looking at what it will take to get cockpits to work. The biggest issue with cockpits right now is getting them to be big enough on screen to make a difference in gameplay, while not taking up the entire view. This is definitely a work-in-progress. The first-person camera toggle actually is a fun experience, and gives you the feeling that you are really sitting in a fighter.





Friday, February 1, 2013

EU PSN puts up a Vita first birthday sale

Go the web-based PSN site and there's a new entry called PS Vita 1st Birthday sale with a bunch of the original launch games listed. The prices don't seem to have come down yet, or this is the worst sale in living history, but if it kicks off next week, it could be good for newer Vita owners to get hold of some of the back catalog.


I might pick up Street Fighter x Tekken when the sale arrives, and if Ridge Racer is cheap enough there's now enough content to make it worthwhile.

Madden calls foul on the PS Vita

EA is proudly touting its 25th anniversary Madden game today, for the PS3 and Xbox. No word of a Vita or any other version,  not even the Wii U. Is this the usual EA tactic of pretending other versions don't exist and then just shoving cut and shut versions out of the door at the last minute? Or is EA doing a Tiger Woods and dropping the game from anything less than the mainstay platforms?

Either way, don't expect anything from EA Sports until just before the game's release date at the end of August. Perhaps some hope rests in a true Madden 14 game that might arrive, but that could easily be PS4 and XboxNext only. Grim times multiformat fans!

Football Manager 2013 for PSP still selling well

Sport's Interactive's outstanding management game is now in its 21st year and the PSP version got a nod from the developer talking about the game's record breaking sales for the latest version.

“In a year where the market is down almost everywhere, we’re significantly up, double digit up on a global level,” said studio boss Miles Jacobson. “FM Handheld on iOS is also double digit up, over half a million units sold globally. Even the PSP game did better than we expected. “For a studio that’s in its 21st year now, to still see record sales is something we are really proud of.”

Full story on MCV, the games has been No. 1 in the PSP chart since its release, duelling with FIFA 13 and PES 13, making football about the only retail game in town. Hopefully a proper Vita version will leap off the bench for next year.

Frozen Synapse Tactics to chill your PS Vita

PC game Frozen Synapse is headed to the PS Vita and PS3 courtesy of Double Eleven games and developer Mode 7.  The new version, now called Frozen Synapse: Tactics, will be released for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita on PSN. It offers strategic and tactical action from an overhead perspective, plus a stunning soundtrack.

"Frozen Synapse for us represents some of the best work coming out of the UK and onto the PC. We know there’s also a great console game in there as well waiting to be realised." Old video of the PC version below:

 

Ultraman Star Chronicles packs in the masked heroes

I can't tell the difference, can you? There's supposed to be a dozen plus different Ultra-heroes in this PSP game from Namco, the trouble is, they all look really alike. At least the monster bosses look a little distinctive. The game is out in March in Japan and follows on a string of hit games and crossovers featuring the masked heroes, or at least the original .

Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2+ new pics and weapons

Famitsu has a big new story showing off lots of new bosses, moves and weapons in Tecmo's upcoming ninjitsu-fest. From the Sword Dragon to the Tenryu Halberd, it looks like the game will be backed with options when it comes to dicing and slicing.





More pics with the original article.

Sly Cooper, the full animated short

Things have definitely been busy in the last few days, so apologies for posting this rather late, a full version of Sony's upcoming raccoon thief simulator. Check out Sly Cooper doing his stuff and his on-off relationship with Carmelita.

Sony's PS4 launch needs one word, "integration"

Sony is teasing a launch event for the PS4 later this month (unless its a new Tron movie) with a new video (UPDATE: All true, apparently - WSJ)

 

However, Sony can't just unveil a new console on February 20, it needs to cement the relationship between the new console, the PlayStation 3, PS Vita, Gaikai, Android devices and other services you might already own. It has to demonstrate its commitment to the modern user and all our gadgets, it can do that through thorough integration between all these devices and services.

This isn't 1994 or 2001, Sony can't just sit behind its walled garden. The Vita for one needs to be integral to the PS4's wow-factor, a universe of PS3 and earlier games needs to be available from day one. The Vita can be used either as an advanced controller as the leaked hardware specs have hinted at and be able to play all your PS4 games and other content around the house, as Nvidia's SHIELD can with your PC games and Nintendos Wii U GamePad can with (some) of its titles.

Anything less and the Vita will likely rapidly be reduced to a gaming backwater as the PSP was following the PS3's launch in the west. While the PS4 will be hamstrung by a lack of quality content. Really hope Sony's got its shit together on this one for a combined assault. And the PS4 will die for lack of oxygen due to the massive development needs if it doesn't have a massive roster of other stuff to enjoy.

 One final point, the knives came out for the 3DS, Vita and now Wii U soon after launch, as their launch sales dived. Get used to it folks, this is the new normal, we are not living in the walled-gardens of 1994 or 2001. The expensive new PS4 and XboxNext will take years to muster decent sales, anyone getting uppity after a few weeks deserves a good kicking - if you see news or forums posts like that feel welcome to apply full metal toecap.