Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Monster Hunter Frontier G8 update packs in the beasts

Monster Hunter Frontier might exactly be cutting edge, but Capcom is still updating it in Japan with a new G8 edition packing in more feral critters and features including new armour, events and gear. More details on the Japanese PSN blog.

Not sure if it'll get a physical release like previous major updates did. Has anyone imported one and tried playing it from the west?




Ray Gigant trailer wades into battle

Having got fed up with Operation Abyss, I'm back into Demon Gaze with a fun-lovin' vengeance, which makes me want to pick up Ray Gigant all the more. Come on Bandai, bring this puppy here, please.

The latest trailer focuses on the battles, monsters and heroes. Combat is definitely different to previous Experience games, and hopefully the back story and plot are more conducive to making this a fun game.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Lost Dimension gameplay looks into the mind

Some of your crew in Lost Dimension are traitors, but you may be able to spot them by peering into their addled minds. This new trailer shows off the feature in action. The game is out on the 28th July in the US, early buyers will benefit with some $20 worth of DLC.

J-Star Victory VS+ s can't dislodge T-Rex from the top of the UK Vita chart

J-Stars can't dislodge Jurassic World from the top of UK's Vita chart, arriving at No. 3. It lands in mid-table at No. 16 on the all formats chart, with help from PS3 and PS4 sales. That's mostly PS4 sales, as that's the only edition to make the individual format chart at No. 18.

Steins;Gate is still doing a sterling effort for PQube sticking around the top five. Otherwise its a pretty quiet week on the chart front.




POS. TITLE PUBLISHER LAST WEEK WEEKS ON CHART
1 = LEGO JURASSIC WORLD WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 1 3
2 = MINECRAFT: PLAYSTATION EDITION SONY COMPUTER ENT. 2 33
3 N J-STARS VICTORY VS+ BANDAI NAMCO ENTERTAINMENT - 1
4 - FIFA 15 EA SPORTS 3 40
5 - STEINS;GATE PQUBE 4 4

On the PSN chart, Jurassic World sits on top will HellDivers still doing great guns at No. 2, with a confused mess of games below due to various sales.

New Atelier arrives in September, all about that Sophie

Atelier Sophie gets its first rush of art and screens on the Japanese sites today, with Gust introducing us to the leading lady and her sidekick. Plachta is a book, who turns into a girl, who will help teach and guide Sophie on her adventures. The official site plays some very soothing music if you want a browse.
While Plachta is handy, she's also lost much of memory, and Sophie's role is to help her find it through various mean of alchemy. As Sophie's powers increase, she can help turn Plachta in to an increasingly powerful ally to do battle with the game's many enemies.


Sounds like quite a neat tie-up, and explains much of the teaser video from last week. With some gorgeous art, involved progression, this could be one of the Vita's more refined RPGs/ All pray to Tecmo Koei that we get it over here, ideally with the premium box retail version.


Sunday, June 28, 2015

God Eater Ressurrection gets a first trailer

While you can currently pick up PSP title God Eater Burst on the EU PSN for £3.50, Bandai Namco and the Project G.E. Team are giving it a major makeover for Vita and PS4. Due in October, here's the first trailer with around five minutes of gameplay and cut scenes, hot on the heels of those first screens.

Proclaiming bigger weapons, bigger monsters and more battle modes, it looks like biz, if you don't mind those low-detail backgrounds. Hopefully one of these versions will appear on Bandai's western release list sooner or later.


Saturday, June 27, 2015

Kan Colle Kai preps for launch

The second most anticipated Vita game in Japan, behind Persona 4 Dancing All Night is the updated and improved version of browser battleships strategy title, Kan Colle Kai.

Launching in August, from Kadokawa, there's a new bunch of pics out, I've had to swipe them from Famitsu as the official site is currently down. See their page for a few more, but as a strategy game there isn't a huge amount of variety.



All about tactics and weaponry, it looks like a reasonable shoe-in for a translation, or you can grab it from the likes of Play Asia, with a limited edition offering a Vita case and some cute little figurines.







Thursday, June 25, 2015

Vall halla gets a story trailer

Sukeban Games' quirky and thoroughly retro bartending game has an updated trailer, with some very Captain Blood sounding music playing away. There's actually a hefty sounding bit of back story at play here, and who can go wrong with robotic bartenders?

With a full roster of cheeky, angry and plain weird clientèle, Va-ll hall-a definitely looks like something well out most gamer's comfort zones.

EU PSN update adds J-Stars Victory Vs and Samurai Chonicles 3

This is a bit late, but so are Sony as the games aren't on-sale on PSN yet. Bandai's J-Stars Victory Vs for £29.99 and Tecmo's Samurai Chonicles 3 for £32.99 (plus a host of paid for DLC) are the games arriving on the store this week at  some point in the next day or two for the UK.

Note, you may need to search for them on PSN.

Blazblue Continuum Shift Extend from Arc System also lands, along with a bunch of the PSP titles in the series at £19.99. I've already dug around in the PSM section, while there's a return of the big in Japan sale with

Ray Gigant sees Experience back on form

After the rather crushing disappointment that was Operation Abyss, Ray Gigant seems to be more up to scratch, judging by this new video. Developed by Experience, but with Bandai on publishing duty the developers seem to be doing a bit more to progress the genre, even if only by a couple of nudges, and has a far cleaner interface.

With giant baddies to take down and a hopefully coherent story, this releases in Japan at the end of July. Hopefully we'll get a western version, although I wonder if the relative failure of OA compared to Demon Gaze might dent those hopes slightly.

Persona 4 Dancing All Night goes on sale in Japan

After months of hype and endless videos of people having fun and dancing, Japan gets down to the serious business of playing the game.

Here's a pic of at least one eager punter in Japan getting their freebies as Persona 4 Dancing All Night went on sale. I hope there were a few more in the background. Apart from a few pics of owners cuddling their copies, there doesn't seem to be a massive amount of social media activity.


Atlus Japan put up the intro video for the game online, as we look forward to finding out if this really is the Vita's game of the year. Play Asia has all the versions if you fancy an import.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

First God Eater Resurrection screens

Bandai and Famitsu have put out the first pics of the update/remake of God Eater Burst. They're only thumbnails really, but give us an idea of what to expect. Will PS4 owners tolerate this low level of visuals? Not surprised the Vita version of Rage Burst sold so many more copies.

There will be the usual big splash in the next issue of Famitsu, with the game down for a 2015 release. Guess we've all but given up hope of a western Vita version of any of the series.






Vita sales up ahead of Persona 4 Dancing All Night launch

Half way though they year, yet its Christmas for Japanese Vita owners (well, you know what I mean) as Persona 4 Dancing All Night releases tomorrow. And, next week the chart should light up with Vita titles, hopefully driving hardware sales.



This week, there's little Vita action with sales up just under 900 units. However, it has now passed the four million sales mark in Japan.

Minecraft continues to lurk in the Media Create top 10, now over 200,000 physical sales. The latest Legend of Heroes adventure and Shiren 5 are both heading down fast, topping out around a limp 25,000 sales.

But alongside Persona, Japan gets Chaos;Child, Tower of Desire, Freedom Wars in the best of range, plus a bunch of visual novel and love titles. All of which should help nudge hardware sales in to action.

Last week's chart here.

Review: Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy

What have you done, Experience? What have you done? Demon Gaze was a near-perfect old school RPG. Fun, lightly entertaining and eminently playable, it was a great piece of portable role playing.

Using the same engine, Operation Abyss instantly feels laden down with crud, making it hard to find that joy and fun feeling. From the very first missions, as the Xth Squad, a bumbling bunch of student psi-tech sleuths, you wander out into a Tokyo infested by monsters, with portals leading to the bodies of missing students.


Battling takes place in a the traditional RPG style, against creatures called "variants" to make them sound a bit more sci-fi. That would be fine, but at every step there's a new "trick" which might be a feature, but is so annoying, dents in your wall or Vita are likely.

Firstly, you end up in repeated 'continuous encounter' battles, even in the early levels which eat up time you'd rather spend adventuring and learning. At least you can just hold X down to speed through most of them, but its still a massive pain.


Then there's Code chips that you find after most battles, these are often booby trapped and there's a short but annoying sequence you have to go through to unlock them. Once unlocked, you get some goodies in your inventory, but it rapidly fills up with junk items, that you have to identify to get rid of, back at base unless you want to knacker out the team's identifier.


This all takes time, and wastes both money and space. Every addition to game seems to annoy rather than add enjoyment. You can't even level up naturally, you have to go back home and sit on a space toilet to do that!

Especially annoying is having to run back to recharge your back-row mages very frequently at the start - would it have hurt to put one mana well (or whatever sci-fi name they wanted to give it) at the start of most levels? That is evened out slightly by Unity Attacks, usable when the power guage fills up.


Back at the start, for the RPG die-hards there's the opportunity to craft your own characters. You might as well, as the stock players are so generic and bland, that even the titter-ye-not crew in Demon Gaze seem like Shakespeare's finest work.

As your team ranks up in experience, they can acquire new Blood skills, but these are your basic RPG skills by another name. Back at base your can craft and upgrade your weapons and armour, but unless you're looking for a really specialist character it doesn't seem to make much difference. And, the interface is cramped, messy, with no touch controls or any effort to make it Vita friendly.

Back out in the high-rise, subway and sewer dungeons, the plot bumbles along with no coherence or gripping narrative, your party just goes here and there for little real reason, with a bit of grinding if you come to a tough spot. You come across the odd key character who will expand the plot or send you somewhere new, but despite my high hopes, there is very little to believe in this game, or enough charm to keep you playing.

Score 6/10
More reviews
Price: £39.99 on PSN
Dev: Experience
Progress: Banging heads against walls

The Tower of Desire pops up in Japan

Hitting Japan today/tomorrow is a new RPG (or an update of a 2010 PC game), The Tower of Desire. Also called Wonderland Fantasy Township, while it sounds like a very dodgy Japanese RPG, it seems to be a pretty regular looking JRPG.

It is published my AquaStyle and MediaScape, which suggests a western release is way off the charts. Check out the official site for more pics, and a Vita theme if you can access the Japanese PSN.





Atlus USA does some Dancing All Night

While Atlus Japan belts out the content ahead of this week's release, Atlus US is getting on the ball with a new set of costume snaps. The translations seem to be coming along pretty well and there's not much left to say about the game that hasn't been covered in a million articles based on the Japanese edition.






More arcade fun hits PlayStation Mobile

Just a few weeks to go until the PSM service goes down, so grab those free and bargain games while you can. A few more have hit the store this week:

Million Shots is a retro style tower defence game, with endless aliens homing in your planetary bases.  £1.19 23MB


Warfare Shooter 2 (and the first game) is a first person shooter against hordes of undead bugs £4.49 80MB


Saviour Sammie is a quirky platformer that you can get for free 113MB

There were a bunch of titles added a couple of weeks back.

Its a firmware update (3.52)

As Europe never sang in the eighties! Although if they did it would have gone a bit like this...
We're updating together
This won't end up well
And maybe we'll update next week
Again? Who can tell?
But there won't be new features
Or even new games
Will things ever be fun on the Vita again?
Its a firmware update DA_DA_DA_DADA

 In other words its another stability patch. Possibly to fight off all the fun and games the homebrew crowd are having, getting closer to native homebrew solutions.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

God Eater Resurrection resurrects Burst

The PSP edition of God Eater Burst is getting a makeover and extra content in Bandai next devolution of the series. God Eater Resurrection will likely launch on Vita and PS4 later this year. GE2 sold 300,000 in Japan on the Vita and only around 20,000 on the PS4! 




The Story will follow on from God Eater 2 Rage Burst, while improvements will include aerial combat moves (a bit like Freedom Wars perhaps?) And visual updates for the newer hardware. I wonder happened to that EU trademark for the last title?  

God Eater 2 still gets plenty of updates in Japan, with crossover costumes and content, hopefully this new reboot/update/whatever will keep the series going until God Eater 3 gets announced. 




Marie lends her voice to Persona 4 Dancing All Night

Just a couple of days now from the launch and every single commuter in Japan is singing and dancing to Persona 4 tunes (I hope). To keep them grooving away, here's a new spot from Atlus featuring the cool-as-you-like Marie having a bit of a boogie.

She's the latest DLC character to be announced for the game, you can feign surprise at that news if you like.

Atelier Sophie confirmed for PS Vita

After having reserved the URL's last week, Gust's Atelier Sophie is confirmed thanks to a big splash in next week's Famitsu magazine. It will be heading to all the PlayStation Platforms at some point. Tecmo Koei, which I think now owns Gust, will publish.

UPDATE: Here's the first teaser video


There's not much info in the article, but expect the next Famitsu magazine to cover all the details, for now enjoy a little artwork, with a couple of screens in the article.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Nippon Ichi teases something... ominous

Going all Blair Witch, with a bit of Ring about it, NIS Japan has a new teaser site up showing... something. Take a peek, its not that scary, just some live action footage of a torch in the dark, in the woods, with a voice.

I've no idea what the format is, there's no clues in the source code, so it could be any game for any system. Start your hypothesising now.

Tokyo Ghoul lumbers into action

Bandai's manga-based RPG is due this autumn, and the nightmarish game is picking up speed with this intro trailer showing off some of the characters, spooks and freaks that will make up the adventure side of the game. I know nothing of the source manga, so don't know whether to be excited or worried about all the changes this new version apparently brings.


LEGO Jurassic World claws on to the UK Vita chart top spot

The Vita chart shows that all recent releases don't have to plummet out of existence straight away, with Warner's and Traveler's Tales latest LEGO adventure keeping its teeth firmly on the No. 1 Spot. It also dominates the all-formats chart.



Steins;Gate continues to keep time in the top five and hopefully sell very well for PQube. Otherwise, its the usual suspects at the top of the chart, with Disney Infinity 2.0 appearing back in at No. 20, suggesting its shelf life will be pretty limited, after a brief brush with the upper reaches of the chart.

1. LEGO Jurassic World
2. Minecraft
3. FIFA 15
4. Stein's Gate
5. LEGO Marvel Super Heroes


Sony announces new lighter PS4, still no new Vita

Claiming to be 10% lighter and 8% more power efficient, there's a new PlayStation 4 CUH-1200 model hitting Japan next week, rolling out around the world soon. Despite the internal changes, there's no price cut. Famitsu has the details, but despite all the usual signs, still now word about an updated Vita, even if its just minor internal changes.




Why wasn't this announced at E3? I guess it makes little different to Sony's strategy or plans, so this news bit the dust too. The new PS4 appears to be the same size as the existing one, but with styling changes to the case, there's now a uniform look to the top. It is available in the usual black or white. 

Despite the changes, the lack of a price cut suggests no massive sales boost, which I guess Sony is fine with as sales remain very strong. Europe will be getting a 1TB edition, but frankly, get the smallest drive version you can and shove your own cheap 2TB drive in. 

Also, this will be another fun game of how much does Sony think a 1TB drive costs? £60+ seems to be the market rate, betting Sony make it at least £100.

For me, no price cut means I have to hang in there until Christmas, when hopefully Sony will have some deals. No Remote Play for me. 




Saturday, June 20, 2015

Dancing all Night ad spots doing the do in Japan

I imagine that Japanese TV is nothing but quirky ad spots for Persona 4 Dancing all Night at the moment, with Atlus hyping the game to high heaven before the launch next week.

After seemingly months of teasing, the Persona 4 spin off disco game got a decent if not spectacular review in the latest Famitsu. Still, surely Japan is on high alert for this one and will make it the biggest selling Vita game of the year.

Will that be enough to lift Vita sales out of the summer doldrums? We'll find out in a couple of weeks time.


Oh look, another Vita killer, the Smach Zero hoves into view

Since the undead Vita can't be killed, despite Sony's best efforts, you'd have thought that other companies would not bother with handhelds any more. Snail were talking about bringing its W3D west recently and now we have the Smach Zero. Out in 2016, this is an indie effort that will be formally unveiled at Gamescom. Good luck guys!

The Smach Zero, a portable Steam machine that can link to your Steam library (presumably both local or streaming off the PC) can play over 1,000 PC games. Its got pretty low resolution for a modern era device, otherwise seems pretty meaty.

It boasts:

  • AMD embedded G-Series SoC "Steppe Eagle
  • (Jaguar-based CPU and GCN-based Radeon graphics.)
  • 4 GB RAM memory
  • 32GB internal memory and SD Card Slot (Hear that Sony - Memory!)
  • USB OTG
  • 5-inch touch screen with 720p resolution
  • Configurable tactile gamepads
  • HDMI video output connection
  • Wi-Fi conectivity
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • 4G mobile network connectivity (PRO model only)

Compile Heart's Moero Crystal site opens up for underwear hunters

The official Japanese site for Compile Heart's Moero Crystal is now open for business. The follow up to Moero Chronicle it continues the eternal quest for bras and knickers across various comedy dungeons.

Chances of a western release would appear remote, but if you import it, no one would forgive you for not looking at any of the text! Basically, you search the dungeons for monster lady demons and relieve them of their undergarments. Review, done!













Who will win out of Warlocks vs Shadows?

Another game I missed in the recent weeks, Warlocks vs Shadows is a Wii U game now going multiformat with a bunch of expansion content over the original. It is developed by Poland's One More Level, based in Crakow - one of my favourite drinking cities.

There are huge pixelly battles going on between multiple players and giant enemies. Described as a multiplayer wizard action/RPG brawler set in a multidimensional world, where the evil shadows are invading human realms. It should make another fine addition to the Vita's indie arsenal.

Smash Derby piling into the Vita soon

As someone who was pretty damn awesome at Atari's SuperSprint and CodeMaster's Micro Machines as a lad, this looks right up my street, with added violence! Smash Derby from Californian indie outfit Fenix Fire mixes a bit of Speedball with car wrecking action.

The game was announced a couple of weeks back, I appear to have missed that, but should be suitably excited by the time it hits PSN. It is coming to PS4, Xbox One and the Vita, hopefully with Cross Play to get the most out of the multiplayer side. The release date is only down for 2015, but it should be worth the wait.

Danish develop Bedtime Digital bringing Back to Bed the Vita

Continuing our tour of new lands for Vita development, Denmark is home to a quirky adventure that is coming to the PlayStation Family soon. The game is being published by Loot Digital (who are also bringing Whispering Willows our way).

Throwing all manner of quirky nightmarish puzzle elements, the game sees you acting as a guardian to a sleepwalker, with the aim of navigating him through his strange dreams safely back to bed. Originally an Android game (from which this trailer comes) it certainly looks distinctive and has a summer release date. Now where did I put that cheese?

Space Overlords ready to lord it over the Vita

With the international hot spot nature of the Vita, we need to look away from the disinterested western developers and to new sources of games. So, check out the PSN Latin American blog which has a first look at Space Overlords from Columbian developer 12HitCombo.

Space Overlords is coming to PS4/PS3/Vita and features, giant robotic beasts that are sent to lay waste to planets. There's multiplayer mentioned, but not sure if that's on the Vita (update: the team are trying to get cross Vita multiplayer happening).

The blog post also has an extra character video and plenty of screenshots of this impressive looking title.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Air Race Speed should find a good home on the Vita

Qubic's Air Race Speed is a decent-looking iOS game that got poor reviews due to its controls. Not sure if they were ever patched, but it should find a perfect home on the Vita (assuming a trophy listing is correct), which has all sorts of controls and a more natural tilt mechanism to encourage fast sci-fi racing.


It also made it to the 3DS, and now heads our way offering fast and skilful racing. The game lets you pilot powerful spaceships through 35 futuristic tracks featuring challenging tunnels, spectacular halls and hidden short cuts.

What crowd funded Vita projects should Sony pimp next?

With "no time," not even one minute, 19 seconds, for the Vita during its Keynote, Sony somehow found the space to spout on at length about an unfunded project by some whippersnapper indie*.

Okay Sony, let's play fair! Since you're supposed to be listening to the fans now, which games would you like to see them put up on its next event stage and give free PR to, to get funded? A great deal of time and effort went into developing the engines for Killzone, WipEout and other games on Vita.

How much pain would it cause Sony (or other development studios) to offer those engines and resources to third parties, who don't have the scale to develop a huge PS4 title, if they wanted to develop sequels, spin-offs or new IP games?

Or how about something totally left field? Let us know in the comments.





What's Your Ideal Crowdfunded Vita Game that Sony Should Promote Next?

In an ideal world, we'd be free to choose... what frickin' game Sony decides to pimp next

A New Uncharted Title

More WipEout

LocoRoco

Gran Turismo

Final Fantasy Crisis Core HD

Syphon Filter Vita

Ace Combat

Eye of the Beholder RPG

Grand Theft Auto Portable


*Calm down, I loved Shenmue too back in the day!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Zodiac Orcanon shows its battling character in E3 trailer

Blending European and Japanese RPG themes, Kobojo's Zodiac looks pretty interesting, although this trailer gives little gameplay away. The official site looks pretty cool too, the game will land on PS Vita and PS4 sometime this year.

It definitely has that French Saturday morning cartoon look about it, which makes a break from the usual anime style. Hopefully the gameplay will be tightly focused enough.

Sony's bosses try to undo their latest Vita damage

How can so many people say so much, yet say so little. Welcome to the world of PR speak.

On a GameSpot video interview Adam Boyes managed to say "Vita is alive and there is still stuff coming." Well thanks for that Adam!

Also on GameSpot, PlayStation Europe head Jim Ryan had a little more to say...

I'd like to talk about PlayStation Vita too. Is it over for the system? 

No, not at all. We're still selling respectable quantities. We have a hundred games in development, and you might say, "Well yeah but they're all indie games," but many of these games review very highly. Also the PS4's Remote Play feature is something that is valued a lot. 

Sure. I'm not sure if the handheld market has long-term potential. I know you still support PlayStation Vita, and I know people who own it swear by it. But the handheld market has collapsed, has it not? 

There's no disputing that it's not the size it used to be. It's a much smaller market than when the DS and PSP were in their glory days. But that market still does exist. But is it still a profitable market, is what I wonder. 

Do you think that PS Vita will be Sony's last handheld? 

You know, that would be a great headline for you there if I answered that, but I'm not going to give it to you [laughs].

@Yosp basically kills Sony Vita development in this IGN video and says there was no time for the handheld...


I'll update this page as more comments come out post-E3. What questions would you like to see asked of Sony's big cheeses?

Persona 4 Dancing All Night rates well in Famitsu

Perhaps not quite the array of 10s and 9s that Atlus was hoping for, but Persona 4; Dancing All Night gets a decent enough score ahead of its launch in Japan next week. Hotline Miami also comes out well as the Japanese prepare to don the masks of death - I'm sure they'll love that. A couple of visual novels round out this week's Vita scores.



Persona 4: Dancing All Night – 8/8/8/9 (33)
5-nin no Koi Prince: Himitsu no Keiyaku Kekkon – 6/8/7/7 (28)
Harvest OverRay (pictured) – 7/7/7/7 (29)
Hotline Miami: Collected Edition – 9/8/9/7 (33/40)

Sony puts out a belated E3 Vita video

I guess this will roll out around the regions, but it looks like while all eyes were on Los Angeles, you had to check in with New Zealand to find out what was going on with the Vita. If this is the clip they showed at E3 when the cameras were panning around, it offers a reasonable mix of third parties and indies.

Reports say there are no Vita units on Sony's E3 stand, compounding the company's mishandling of the console. But on a brighter note, there's a few games here that are new to me:

  • Kitten Squad, 
  • Death Tales (ah, this used to be called Reaper), 
  • One Way Trip (mentioned last E3, but nothing since)
  • Starlit Adventures (mobile port). 

There's also confirmation that Minecraft Story Mode and Tales of the Borderlands are still on the way.





Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Vita sells plenty in Spain

You know Sony doesn't like to talk about western Vita sales? Well, the company's James Anderson, talking to a Spanish publication let slip that the Vita has sold 600,000 units there life to date, not far behind the 700,000 of the PS4 and way ahead of the 100,000 or so Xbox Ones.
"No, we will continue investing in it. It is fair to say that we made ​​some mistakes at launch: the price was somewhat expensive and missing games for a wider audience. We have paid, of course. We have not done anything to lower the price or promote more the machine. Still in Spain, sales come at a rate of 150,000 consoles a year. In total we have a base of 600,000 units. It gives us some interesting income."



Okay, its not quite the near 4 million that Japan is at, but its impressive. Locally produced titles like Invizimals, Tadeo Jones and  Baboon may have helped, plus the MotoGP bundles that will have thrived as Spanish riders dominate.

Come on Mr. Anderson, how's the Vita doing elsewhere in Europe! It won't kill to tell us.

Ar Nosurge Plus: Ode To An Unborn Star gets a launch trailer

Hitting the west on the first of July, this complex sounding turn-based RPG from Tecmo will be available as a digital only release, but should still find an audience given the extra content and costumes this edition will ship with. Check out the full site for more details.

New Legend of Heroes swaggers into the Media Create chart


The Legend of Heroes Sora no Kiseki FC from Kadokawa was the top selling Vita game this week, new at No. 4 and selling just over 20,400 copies. Minecraft is now just 11 copies shy of the 200,000 physical sales mark, otherwise its a quiet week for Vita games.



Hardware sales were up a couple of hundred, but that flat line is looking pretty turgid. Looking at last year's green line on the chart, Vita sales went on a bit of tear from July, wonder if anything can drive that sort of activity this year? Persona 4: Dancing All Night should fit the bill out on the 25th, but how many will it sell?


Sony appeals to the crowds, shouldn't it listen to what they say?

We can argue Sony's position on the Vita all day long. Shuhei Yoshida has admitted that Sony won't make a big game for the Vita again. Therefore its a legacy device, despite Sony's Andrew House's PR droid's feckless backtracking. He (House) was on stage at E3 and didn't do one thing to untangle that mess, despite him having all the power at Sony!

Just to clarify, I wasn't expecting a torrent of new game announcements, just a healthy showing of all the good stuff coming to the Vita would have done. Leaving it to the third parties to do seems like pure abandonment, and will be duly noted by press, stores and gamers alike.

The fact Japanese third parties are keeping the games coming is down to its modest success in Japan. Publishers are having to push them west to make up for non-stellar sales back home. Regardless, Sony managed to Vita-wash its E3 show in the highlights reel, expect for this tiny logo - shame! Sony, despite your best efforts you can't quite kill it, can you?


One question, if Sony is turning to the fans to help get Shenmue III funded (yes, Yu Suzuki is in charge, but he did it on Sony's stage), why can't it turn to the fans to help with a Killzone, Tearaway sequel or a new Gran Turismo for the Vita? The engines already exist, the core assets are in place, all it needs is the money for a new story, new UI, some visuals and levels.

What do you reckon? £600,000 ($1 million) a go? I'm sure the world's combined Vita owners could stump that up. Sony has put that question on the table by helping Yu Suzuki relive his dream. If it is now involved in helping fans get games that they want, there are millions of Vita fans that would like some games too thanks, and we're willing to pay! So, come on Sony, how about it?

On that subject, since the Shenmue III Kickstarter is such a success, where's the Vita stretch goal? After all, if Bloodstained is coming our way, and the Unreal Engine 4 port with it, what's to stop this mighty funding effort producing a Vita edition? Or the original games when Sega finally coughs up the remake?

You see Sony, once you appeal to the crowds, you do actually have to listen to them!

Resident Evil 2 gets a Vita trailer

E3 has come and is going, and Sony couldn't be bothered to mention the upcoming Resident Evil game that it is funding. Handily, Japan is on the case with the Biohazard. The brief snippets of gameplay look functional if not spectacular, but what do you expect when you put an indie team in charge of a major title.

And there's a box shot at the end suggesting a physical release, all coming this summer, with bonus features.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Sword Art Online: Lost Song gets E3 pics and trailer

There is life in the Vita at E3, you just need to know where to look. Bandai Namco's press vault had a load of new assets for Lost Song, the next adventure in the Sword Art Online series coming to PS4 and PS Vita coming this autumn. We have some decent scene-setting pics and the video to enjoy.

Note: Bandai Japan has filed a copyright takedown notice for the audio in the clip, hopefully that will be sorted soon!

While it was a shame there was no God Eater announcement, the Japanese branch of the company has just trademarked a God Eater Resurrection name, which suggests the series isn't going anywhere soon.









Atlus pitches out a new Legend of Heroes E3 trailer

Atlus is definitely the stand to be at if you want to see some Vita games at E3. The company has new trailers for Legend of Heroes, Trails of Cold Steel, Dancing all Night and Lost Dimension to show off. Enjoy!


Steins;Gate 0 goes visual on Vita in Japan this Autumn

Japanese visual novelists will get a taste of the further adventures of Rintarou Okabe and the crew later this year, with Steins;Gate 0 confirmed for a Vita release by 5pb. Hopefully the success of Steins;Gate in the west will nudge PQube to bring the new adventure our way too.


With Chaos Child and more to come, looks like this series will run and run. Quite how long the quality of the adventures can hold up is a different matter.

Devolver bring Ronin and Crossing Souls to the Vita

Devolver is big enough to run its own little press trailer at E3 now, congrats to them on hitting with the big boys. Among its roster are a couple of Vita games, Ronin a 2D old-school arcade platform combat game and Crossing Souls, a more modern but still gorgeously pixelated beat 'em up fest.


YIIK gets an E3 trailer

If Sony won't support the Vita, guesss the indies will have to step up to the plate. Enter Ackk Studios and its fun, rather trippy looking, puzzle and exploration RPG entitled YIIK. Is this an advert for doing drugs or not doing them, not sure, all I know is it is more than welcome!

Vita gets World of Final Fantasy out of E3

I wasn't expecting more than one game from Sony for E3. Actually, we didn't even get that! Square Enix provided the only highlight for Vita owners with World of Final Fantasy, and its hardly an exclusive.

Enter the world of Grimoire, a kid-friendly version of the Final Fantasy universe, suggesting that grown up gaming is all but done on the format. Otherwise, there was one pic of a Vita throughout the whole show, and the well known indie and PS+ lists. They were only there as Sony's likely justification that the Vita is not "legacy".

Monday, June 15, 2015

Day One of E3 is live

UPDATE: Here's the replay of Sony's PlayStation event, for what its worth. Blink and you'll miss it. The show starts about 15 minutes in.

While I could well be fast asleep when Sony bowls up later today with its PlayStation love-in at 2AM UK, there could still be some good Vita news out of E3 today. Devolver (20:15 UK) is always good for a spot of indie joy.

While Bandai Namco's (10:10 PM UK) news will likely feature a whole load of Vita games we know are coming west, plus some that should including God Eater Rage Burst and who knows what else could pop up.

Keep your eye on twitch for anything interesting. Did Bethesda already win E3 with its pre-event Doom and Fallout 4 news? I do like the new Fallout Shelter game on iOS, wonder if they can squeeze that on a Vita?

Watch live video from Twitch on www.twitch.tv

LEGO Jurassic World romps to Vita retail No. 1

Sure the movie is a by the numbers thrill ride, in which the humans barely register among the magnificent beasts. Still, the game is a worthy Vita No. 1, deposing Steins Gate down to No. 3. However, it doesn't appear in the individual formats chart, showing just how well Steins Gate performed! That's kind of curious as Jurassic World isn't on the UK PSN yet, you'd have thought that would have helped the retail performance.

1. LEGO Jurassic World
2. Minecraft
3. Steins;Gate

On the PSN's Top Sellers list Stein's Gate tucks in beyond long time No. 1 HellDivers, not too surprising, considering the hefty £39.99 digital price:

1. HellDivers Heat bundle
2. Steins;Gate
3. FIFA 15
4. Octodad
5. Operaton Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Amnesia Memories steps in something Ikki

Yew, just when you thought we couldn't get any slimier than last week's romeo, Kent, here comes the aptly named Ikki who any sensible western girl would punch in the nads. Apparently, he's a "playboy with hidden depths." Presumably that makes him a giant squid!

Okay, perhaps I'm not approaching Idea Factory's visual novel coming west in the right spirit, but there's really nothing appealing from any of the characters revealed so far.




Thursday, June 11, 2015

Vita prices on the way down ahead of E3

This could be coincidence, but I got an email from Amazon this morning with Vita 2000 consoles down to £139. That's down from £169 last week, although the price has fluctuated up and down over the months. That comes on the heels of US sites and stores reducing the prices of PS TV and Vita memory cards.

Game also has it at £129, and I'm sure the few other places that still sell the Vita will be adjusting things soon. So, while there's no particular guarantee of an E3 price cut, it looks like stores are trying to sell them while they can, before any official price cut, perhaps to £109 or £119, kicks in next week. With most games in the catalogue now between £10-15 for boxed copies or regularly on sale on PSN, the Vita is becoming quite the gaming bargain.

Also, note the 64GB import memory card is only a little more than the official 32GB card, if you can afford it, you'd be mad not to pick one up.

Atlus gets a chunky site upgrade

A website redesign wouldn't normally be news, but Atlus is one of the major Vita supporters. Alongside the likes of Bandai, Tecmo and NISA, it has a healthy Vita roster, and its cool to see the company's redesigned website puts so much of the Vita's upcoming titles up front.


Personally, I think the site is a bit confused, with they annoying ever present header just duplicating stuff that's already at the bottom (and belongs there). But, focusing on the games, look at all those titles, already out, new or coming soon, And, just think of the day when it says Persona 5 Golden up there - gotta happen!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Shiren the Wanderer 5 hits No. 2 in Japan

The latest Media Create charts fail to excite again as Japan snoozes in to summer. However, Spike Chunsoft's Shiren the Wanderer 5 manages to make it in as the highest new entry, selling 16,200 but fails to dislodge Splatoon from the No. 1 spot. A few more new entries nudge Minecraft down to No. 7 but it is still selling 10,000 a week and should be over 200,000 physical sales next week.


Out this week is the latest Legend of Heroes Evolution title from Kadokawa and a few more romance games, so don't expect much excitement next week. Vita sales fall again, but at this rate might still pass 4 million lifetime Japanese sales by the end of June. Are there any games coming to replicate those spikes from previous years, check out the launch schedule.