Wednesday, February 21, 2018

New Vita releases pop up in Japan's top 10 led by Idolish 7 Twelve Fantasia

The latest Media Create chart shows that Vita games can still sell. Idolish 7 Twelve Fantasia is the highest entry at No. 4 selling 21,500 which is a very good haul. The Vita version of Secret of Mana 2 manages almost 18K sales at No. 7. That's well below the PS4 version which saw almost double the sales at No. 2.

However, Virtual On vs A Certain Magical Index bombed out, selling only 9,200 on Vita for No. 16, again with half the sales of the PS4 version, which seems to be a trend. Those games help Vita sales rise to just under 5,000 units for the week,

Out this week is Your Four Knight Princesses Training Story from Nippon Ichi, which looks lively enough to generate some interest and is a three-way battle between Vita, Switch and PS4.

Monday, February 19, 2018

10 minutes of Super Robot Wars X gameplay

Didn't spot this in the flood of character trailers released at the end of last week, but here's a good look at the gameplay of Bandai's Super Robot Wars X, in among lots of characters and cutscenes. Apart from another Gundam titles, is this Bandai's last game for the Vita? The game is out at the end of March, so it won't take long to find out.

Wow, still a lot of interest in this series, the video has picked up over 150,000 views in 12 hours!

Dead Ahead Zombie Warfare lurching to Vita

It seems like more publishers are just throwing games out at the Vita with no effort at news or promotion. Dead Ahead: Zombie Warfare is one of rash of titles suddenly getting trophy listings pretty much out of nowhere, and there's no sign of Russian dev Mobirate even acknowledging its existence (TBF, their social media hasn't updated since 2015/2017).

As a mobile game, we may be fearing the worst, but Dead Ahead: Zombie Warfare is pretty well rated and looks like fun, with distinctive characters and lots of weapons and skills. Among the expected games, other random titles like One Eyed Kutkh from Baba Yaga, and Deep Ones are popping up. A shame its more or less impossible to do any proper coverage, beyond putting up the original trailer, but do keep an eye out and let us know if you try these games out.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Liar Princess and the Blind Prince gets a first proper trailer

After the recent teasing, here's a proper look at NIS's Liar Princess and the Blind Prince in action. Just your typical fairy tale of a pointy-toothed princess, who's actually a wolf, who takes the job of guide a blind price through a prickly and dangerous wood.

To what purpose will probably be revealed only by playing the game, and what's her true nature? Still hoping on a western release, even though NISA never mentioned the game during its recent press event.

Trailer trash Friday, Fate Extella, Persona Dancing and Virtual On vs...

Hey, Japanese publishers, sort your video scheduling out, six in one batch? That's just dumb, anyway, here are the latest character clips from Fate Extella Link, the Persona Dancing games and Virtual On which I think is now out over there.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Two more undateables turn up for Hakuoki Edo Blossoms

After weeks of likely lads, it looks like Idea Factory is scraping the bottom of the barrel when it comes to love interest for Hakuoki Edo Blossoms.

First up is Hajime Saito who as the smirk of a convicted fraudster and a turn of phrase that would make Byron vomit a lung.

Or, as the PR blurb puts it: Saito is the quiet, “lone-wolf” who acts as the captain of the Shinsengumi’s 3rd Division. As a man of few words, he finds most conversation meaningless. His seriousness stems from his childhood.

Then there's Keisuke Sanan who's limp hair and weedy glasses scream "punch me in the face!" Apparently, he is logical and reserved (punch me harder!). He is obsessed with discovering an antidote for the Water of Life (and kick me in the groin!), because of his guilt over what he's done to the Fury Corps.

Yes, I'm getting quite bored of the drip-feed of drippy characters, just release the game already!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

PQube publishing Muv Luv and Alternative to complete the trilogy

PQube and ixtl are bringing Muv-Luv and Muv-Luv Alternative (Kickstarted to the tune of $2 million back in 2015) to western PS Vita owners in both Physical and Digital forms this summer.

Muv-Luv, which contains both the ‘Muv-Luv Extra' and ‘Muv-Luv Unlimited' storylines, is available on PS3, Xbox and others in Japanese, while Muv-Luv Alternative in the second PS Vita release completes the "trilogy".

Across the series, we follow the exploits of Takeru Shirogane – a young student caught between the affections of his childhood friend and a mysterious heiress – Muv-Luv seems like a simple romantic story.

However, as the Muv-Luv story soon become an epic sci-fi adventure pulling in some of the most exciting elements of the mecha genre, parallel universe and time travel. At over 150 hours play time, Muv-Luv represents one of the true powerhouses of the Visual Novel genre and a story that demands to be experienced.

Vita sales firm in Japan and latest Famitsu reviews

Vita sales remained surprisingly firm in Japan last week, with sales down just 80ish on a week where PS4 new releases and solid Switch performance dominate the Media Create chart. Related to the Vita, Dragon's Crown Pro entered the chart for PS4 at No. 11, selling 11,200 copies which, with strong original Vita sales might be enough interest for a proper sequel.

In bonus news, Toby Fox's Undertale is going down a storm in Japan, clocking up 100,000 digital sales across PS Vita and PS4 in six months. Search Undertale on Twitter and see the continuing rabid amount of Japanese interest. That means the May physical LE release should get a great response. Also hopefully, Japanese publishers 8-4 will be looking for other western titles it can sell over there.

Over in Famitsu, solid scores all round for a bunch of random-sounding Vita visual novels this week. The Vitamin X release is a 10th anniversary edition, while the others are the usual schoolgirl travails.

Harukanaru Toki no Naka de Ultimate – 9/8/8/9 [34/40] (Koei) Visual novel
Vitamin X Destination – 8/8/8/8 [32/40] (D3) Visual novel
Kimi no Hitomi ni Hit Me – 7/8/8/8 [31/40] (Giga) Visual novel
Ouka Sabaki Zan – 8/8/8/7 [31/40] (Dramatic Create) Visual novel

Virtual On: A Certain Magical Index is out this week, which might help nudge Vita sales along.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Review - The Longest Five Minutes

Half-Minute Hero from Marvelous shook up how RPGs could be played with insane bursts of auto-battling on the PSP. Playing in the same time-juggling ballpark, The Longest Five Minutes takes a skewed approach, pitching you straight into the climactic boss battle with some giant demon taunting you and your crew.

Except Flash's memory has been wiped (is that an IT joke?)  leaving his party floundering in the face of their biggest enemy. To get things back on track, Flash has to remember what led up to these epic scenes, which sends us scampering back through time to various adventures where the story starts. All told from a view askew stance, there's of zipping back and forth through time to different places and the many quests that got us here.

In reality, that means lots of pixel-fun light RPG adventuring with short and long quests across a world linked by boats, trains and bridges. The approach means there's no need to care about leveling, up and hitting auto-equip and auto-battle will see you fight quickly and effectively.

Each part of your past has one key objective to meet and a few side quests that you might want to follow up on. In its fast 8-bit style, there's not much to look at, and most characters have a couple of quirky or funny lines to make them worth talking to, but its not exactly a chat-fest.

A texty adventure?

On the plus side, the text is a good size and very readable on the Vita's screen, so kudos to the developers for that. There's also a few pages in the digital manual to cover all the controls,  not that there's much to get wrong.

With landscapes and buildings ranging from the modern to classic RPG fodder, the simple pixel design is bright but effective. The pan-pipe led tunes are also charming and expansive, and perhaps the only major annoyance is a lack of signage or detail on the map screen.

The story itself has plenty of humour and little quirks to it, with enemies taking on the form of wherever you happen to be, which is better than generic rats or random creatures that many JRPGs throw at us.

Add in some mini-games and there's a lot to enjoy, but you could easily finish the adventure in under six hours. If you like plain and simple retro adventuring this is a decent effort, but if you a little more dash or verve to your adventuring, then probably better wait for something more menacing.

Also, the price is more expensive than Secret of Mana by £10, also out this week, and Under Night In-Birth, which is a bit of a joke! Something NISA needs to consider with any future releases. For a feature-packed LE, fine but not for a digital release.

Score: 7/10
More Reviews
Price: £34.99(PSN)
Developer/publisher NIS America
File size 286MB
Progress: Across the sea

Saturday, February 10, 2018

NIS America confirms summer date for The Lost Child

While, as you'd expect, all the great news was for Switch owners from NISA's event overnight, we still get a snippet of news. Already confirmed for a western release The Lost Child, with a new subtitle, Walking Among Gods will be with us this summer.

Another typical Kakokawa RPG title, it features over 50 entities from myths and legends to capture, each with three unique forms to progress through! Over 250 skills to learn and distribute among your party of captured Astrals and massive dungeons with up to 99 floors of deathly dangers to conquer.

Friday, February 9, 2018

More Persona Dancing trailers, Yukari and Ryuji

The Persona 3/5 sunlight/moonlight/boogie marathon launch tease continues with a couple of new trailers for the latest groove-stars across the double release. Today's batch from Atlus brings us Yukari Takeba for Persona 3: Dancing Moon Night and Persona 5: Dancing Star Night's Ryuji Sakamoto to get you in the mood for a disco weekend.

Persona 4 Dancing All Night was a solid 7/10 in my book, but these are supposed to have more story and better use of the characters, here's hoping!

Meet Souji and Shinpachi from Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms

Continuing the character bios in the run-up to the next month's launch of Idea Factory's Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms, meet Souji Okita and Shinpachi Nagakura.

A wry, quick-witted swordsman who is fiercely dedicated to the Shinsengumi. He travels with Chizuru to reunite with the Shinsengumi after being bedridden with wounds sustained after the Battle of Toba-Fushimi, a battle where the Shinsengumi were forced to retreat from Kyoto to Edo. Okita's tough exterior eventually softens, and his appreciation for a well-lived life becomes more apparent.

Brash, hot-headed, and impulsive. Shinpachi Nagakura (on the left) is a musclehead more dedicated to his principles, rather than his loyalty to the Shinsengumi.  Nagakura is known to hang out with Sanosuke Harada in Shimabara.

Previous batch

Trailer trash Friday: Four Knight Princess, World End Syndrome and more

Arc System's World End Syndrome has an opening trailer, a particularly artistic affair. The girls of Mihate City are enamoured when a new chap turns up at their school, otherwise still don't know much about the game.

Four Knight Princesses still sounds like a porn film, but here's the latest candidate, Monomaria. The game looking like pretty spot on as an action title but I can do without all the overt characterisation as our heroines blather on in the middle of battle.

And, not that it really looks much different to previous efforts, here's the launch trailer for the latest Jikkyou Powerful Pro Baseball 2018.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

One More Dungeon getting a physical release

One More Dungeon brings the fun of original Wolfenstein-era gaming to the Vita, and while it's not as good a game as it could be (review), I still like to play it thanks to its random dungeons and healthy difficulty factor.

Eastasiasoft is bringing the Stately Snail game to the physical realm with a 1,000-run limited edition. I'm not sure a plushie snail is really a collectible, but hey the package looks pretty neat! Shipments start in early march for $29.99 and you can register here.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Latest Media Create sales and Famitsu review scores

Vita sales storm back over the 4K barrier to 4,200 in Japan last week according to Media Create. That's perhaps as there are plenty of games coming soon to tempt buyers, or it could just be another round of updaters, grabbing consoles before they vanish. Either way, there's no Vita games in the chart, although that will change next week.

Its a busy week for releases in Japan with the Vita dominating the top end of latest Famitsu scores, and its great to see Iconoclasts get some coverage among this decent mix of titles arriving in Japan this week or very soon.

Let’s Manga  34/40 (art and creation app)
Iconoclasts  33/40
Cyber Troopers: Virtual On  33/40
Secret of Mana – 30/40
Idolish7 Twelve Fantasia! (PSV) – 29/30

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Check out Enkidu's moves in Under Night In-BIRTH Exe:Late[st]

PQube continue to throw out the news for the latest Under Night brawler, arriving this week on all PlayStation platforms. This week we meet Enkidu, a close to mid-range fighter who doesn't need big combos to deal out some serious damage with slow but hard-hitting attacks.

His game plan mainly revolves around close quarters combat – getting in and pressuring his opponent into the corner. Once he controls the corner, he excels at keeping his foe there and overwhelming them when they have nowhere to go.

First Prohibition is a big punch with multiple follow-ups. The A and B version start with the same initial attack, but if followed-up with A, Enkidu will execute a series of punches leading to a palm strike that leaves the opponent grounded. If followed-up with B, he will execute a sweep and a big uppercut that launches the opponent. The EX version is one big punch that sends the opponent flying across the screen. It can lead to a wall-bounce if performed close to the edge of the screen, allowing for follow-up attacks.

Chained Limbs is Enkidu's diagonal attack of choice, both to anti-air and to challenge pressure. This attack launches Enkidu in the air with pair of upkicks. The A and B version both have upper body invincibility, making them the perfect ways of dealing with jumping attacks. The EX version has full invincibility and is a great way of breaking your opponents' pressure. It also causes a wall-bounce, leaving the opponent vulnerable to follow-up attacks.

The 'Wind Blade' is a special move dive kick. Can be cancelled into from air attacks and from Enkidu's Force Function. The A and B version is a standard dive kick, while the EX version does more damage, can be cancelled into from other special moves in addition to the Force Function, and can be comboed off of on the ground afterward.

Demons among the flowers in Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms

Idea factory's Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms is just a month from release and we have some fresh screen from the publisher showing off the Demon bad boy Chikage Kazama and a new game feature!

Unlike the other romanceable options in the game, Kazama is the only full-blooded Demon. The leader of one of Japan's oldest Demon clans, he is aloof, cynical, and has nothing but disdain for humanity.

 He's drawn to Chizuru because of her Demon blood, and through her begins to soften his views on humanity, but can their relationship last in the face of Japan's changing landscape?
 New to Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms is the ability to alleviate characters' pain by offering them blood while they're in their Fury form. Your choices affect their Corruption and can mean the difference between a good ending and a bad ending!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Deadbolt lines up the Vita in its sights

Taking the Risk of Rain all-action approach, and bolting on stealth hybrid gameplay, Deadbolt from Hopoo Games and Code Mystics is coming to Vita in a couple of weeks. It provides another serious challenge as you play a tooled up reaper come to take back the souls of the undead.

While those stripped-back pixels are not much to look at, these guys get gameplay and Risk of Rain is awesome fun, hoping that Deadbolt matches that! A bit more detail on the PS blog.

NIS brings The Liar Princess and The Blind Prince to Vita

After the quiet of January, games news is exploding left, right and centre. Except for the Vita that is, with even supportive third-parties been pretty quiet, thank heaven for the indies. However, it ain't dead yet and NIS Japan has just announced a new game, The Liar Princess and The Blind Prince.

This teaser popped out a couple of weeks ago, almost unnoticed, and now we know what it is.

UPDATE: NIS has put up a teaser site up for the game.

The Liar Princess and The Blind Prince for Vita, PS4 and Switch arriving in May. All we have is a Famitsu mini-scan at the moment, with the mag out tomorrow, but there should be a video up soon. It seems to be borrowing a little from NIS' Rose in the Twilight game from a couple of years back.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Dancing the Night away with limited editions in the latest Persona trailer

Was going to chuck this in the Friday video compilation, but hey, its Persona! Check out the latest info on Persona 3 Dancing Moon Night and Persona 5 Dancing Star Night from the series' very own top salesman, Tanaka!

Presumably, most Japanese fans will go for the double pack, aka the Persona Dancing Deluxe Twin Plus Pack for PS Vita, with its exclusive costumes. The games are coming west but no news on a release date or physical.

Trailer trash Friday, Virtual On and 12 Fantasia

And moving straight on intro trailer trash Friday... with Japanese trailers seemingly the biggest source of Vita news these days.

First up is a new look at Metal Max Xeno with new characters from PlayStation Taiwan.

 here's a peek at a couple more characters from A Certain Magical Virtual-On, meet Acqua of the Back and RVR-39/VSL Apharmd B.

Namco is showing off the Chibified 12 Fantasia, a collection of Idol heroes squished down in size and looking like they're having more fun than in their usual visual novels.

Profits all round at Sony as Kenichiro Yoshida takes charge

With Kaz Hirai moving upstairs the Chairman of Sony, Kenichiro Yoshida is the new CEO, taking over now the company is basking in healthy profits. He doesn't exactly look like a barrel of laughs, but is hot on business strategy so he could do some moving and shaking when it comes to portable, but probably not.

For the end of 2017, Sony's operating profit of was 350.8 billion yen from 2.7 trillion yen in revenue, with a net profit of 295.9 billion yen. Predictions are for even bigger profits in 2018! Read the whole exciting PDF here. PlayStation 4 sales (under Game and Network Services) helped lead the way, but even Sony movie studios managed to make some cash!

Now the company isn't bleeding money, it needs to fill the gap between PS4 and PS5, and his thinking will be guided by the success of the Switch, but its hard to see Sony turning around on the whole Vita issue having been so dogmatic about it for four years.

That makes a hybrid PS5 more likely, but Sony could have already missed the boat on that, depending on how advanced plans are.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Trailer trash Thursday, New Fate Extella Link and Attack on Titan 2 clips

Hope you like violence! Enjoy three minutes of Marvelous' Fate Extella Link in action, with a glimpse of multiplayer and other goodies. Then we have another three minutes of Titan hacking action from Tecmo. Guess these are all the PS4 versions in action. Vita clips of AoT were shown last week.