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PS Vita

PSN fighting sale photo
PSN fighting sale

Fighting games galore in this PlayStation Network sale


Also, TowerFall!
Jul 15
// Jordan Devore
Hey, PlayStation 4 owner, have you downloaded TowerFall Ascension yet? It's some of the best local multiplayer you can experience on the system. Fun, chaotic, challenging co-op, too. Sony's fighting game-centric sale has you ...
Criminal Girls 2 photo
Criminal Girls 2

Criminal Girls 2 announced for the Vita


Launching in November
Jul 15
// Chris Carter
Criminal Girls: Invite Only was released earlier this year for the Vita in the US, and had a rather mixed reception. That isn't stopping NIS from announcing another game however, as Criminal Girls 2 will launch on Novemb...
PlayStation Mobile photo
It's now or never
In case you ever considered purchasing a PlayStation Mobile game, the time to act is now. Sony is shutting down the service tomorrow, July 15, after which point consumers will no longer be able to purchase any new content. Th...

Review: Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess

Jul 14 // Chris Carter
Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess (PS3, PS4 [reviewed], Vita)Developer: Tecmo KoeiPublisher: Tecmo KoeiMSRP: $49.99 (PS4)Released: July 14, 2015 Since the core experience hasn't changed all that much, head to the original review to get a full breakdown of the main mechanics. The gist is that you'll be controlling a character that, for all intents and purposes, can't attack on their own, and must rig an elaborate combination of traps to do their dirty work for them. You'll do this by pausing the game, bringing up a menu, and placing a number of wall, ceiling, and floor traps that can be used with one another for maximum mayhem. For instance, you can hold an enemy in place with a beartrap, shock them with a wall taser, then drop a giant boulder on their head from the ceiling. It's glorious. So before you get confused, The Nightmare Princess is an all-new SKU that includes everything in the original package on top of another story with 100 quests, a new character with a different moveset, and a "Studio" mode so you can create your own scenarios. The extra campaign is easily the new draw, and I have to say, newcomer Velguirie holds her own here. Her tale runs concurrently with Laegrinna's and doesn't feel tacked-on in the slightest. 100 new quests also isn't really anything to shake a stick at either, though it must be said that there's only a few new zones (which are rather small), as some quests re-use old areas from the base game. The second campaign does stand up on its own, and even playing both stories back to back, they didn't overstay their individual welcomes. Velguirie's big gimmick is that she can kick enemies now -- something no other protagonist was able to do in the history of the franchise. [embed]295432:59487:0[/embed] But it's important to put things into perspective here. She can't just karate-kick bad guys into oblivion with flashy combos. It's a simple timed kick on a cooldown that can be used to tactically slot foes into position for traps (or stomp them on the ground), which are still going to do the real legwork here. It's not a game-changer, but again, the story, bonus traps, and the new character design themselves are enough to carry another playthrough. Yep, I said bonus traps, including a deadly toilet, a bolt of lightning, a wardrobe that eats armor, and sticky flooring. At this point there are so many trap combos at your disposal that you're only limited by your imagination.  You'll get to test your inner demon plenty with the Studio mode, the other big addition in Nightmare Princess. Here, you can create enemies with various custom parts and name them, placing each creation inside an existing arena. You can craft fun scenarios like battling the entire Justice League, and even download or upload them online for all to see. It's not as expansive as I would have liked, but the fact that you can download new missions every so often is a breakthrough for the series. Keep in mind that your fun is also going to be limited by how many actual parts you have, which are unlocked by completing both campaigns. Here's the bad news for those of you who already bought the original. While the new story is enjoyable and the Studio is fun to mess around with, you aren't getting a substantial new expansion to pour over for weeks here. Think of it more like a hefty DLC package. In other words, unless you absolutely love Deception, it probably isn't a good idea to shell out $50 for Nightmare Princess. It's a really weird thing for Koei Tecmo to do, as it could have easily provided an "upgrade" for say, $20, and then released a package version on the side. As it stands, you either have to go all or nothing. At the very least, there is the added bonus of being able to import your old save data, so you don't have to complete the original campaign all over again to reap the unlock benefits. Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess is in a really weird spot, but here's the rub -- as a Deception enthusiast, I was more than happy enough to take Velguirie's story for a spin, and I found myself beating the original game again as well as creating a few levels in the Studio. Just know exactly what you're getting into with Nightmare and make an informed decision. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Deception IV review photo
Hardcore trappers only
I really liked the original release of Deception IV. It was refreshing to see the series get another lease on life after taking a hiatus with Trapt all the way back in 2005, and newcomer Laegrinna fit right in. This...

Muse photo
Muse

PixelJunk musician's game evokes EarthBound


Baiyon announces Muse
Jul 13
// Kyle MacGregor
Over the weekend at Japanese independent games festival BitSummit, PixelJunk Eden composer Baiyon announced a new project, Muse: Together is the New Alone, his directorial debut. The title, which draws inspiration from '...
 photo
Nep Nep Ahoy!
Our friends at Idea Factory International have been kind enough to hook us up with 4 copies of Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 2! 2 for Steam and 2 for Vita! How awesome is that? What is Hyperdimension you ask? Well here is ...

Review: Nekoburo: Cats Block

Jul 12 // Jed Whitaker
Nekoburo - Cats Block (PS Vita, PlayStation TV [Reviewed])Developer: F K Digital Publisher: Neko EntertainmentMSRP: $7.99Released: July 7, 2015 Square alien cats made of electrical waves are passing the Earth when a solar storm strikes, knocking them to the planet. One of the cats gets found by a human female who takes him home and treats him nicely, so he decides to summon his pals through her television to join him living with his new servant. If this somehow related to the gameplay other than featuring said cats, it was never apparent.  Levels consist of a standard falling from the top of the screen match three mechanic, three cats fall from the top of the screen that can be moved left to right and be reordered on a tilted playing field. Each level has a specific quest such as clearing a certain number of cats of a certain color within a timelimit, or surviving for a set amount of time while cats drop quickly. Matching three or more cats of the same color in a horizontal, vertical or diagonal line will clear them. Clearing cats also fills up a meter that grants items that help clear the board such as horizontal and vertical bombs, a grid warp that clears a set of nine surrounding blocks, clearing all cats of a single color and a rainbow block that clears the entire board.  [embed]295827:59475:0[/embed] Acquiring these items and knowing when to use them are an important part of the game, as each level seemingly has a specific way to complete it. For example, one level has what look to be tofu blocks slowly advancing from the bottom of the screen that can only be cleared with items or clearing cats in horizontal lines. In this level the only real way to complete the level is to constantly build up and use items to keep the middle of the screen cleared, as the middle is the only area that can cause a failure, the other rows don't matter and stack up past the edges of the level with no repurrrrrrcussions. The levels are laid out in such a way that it forces you to learn the mechanics of the game with no hand holding. One level may require so many vertical bombs to be used to clear it, thus teaching you how to effectively use them, another may require rainbow blocks be detonated which is extremely important in later levels.  After every 10 levels a new cat will materialize through the TV in the human's house, in tow with its own personality, background information and colorful comic. Unfortunately the dialogue and background information is so poorly localized it is basically incomprehensible. I've played a lot of poorly localized games in my day -- looking at you Zero Wing -- but this one was easily the worst. Here are two examples of the awfully translated text: "He hope to become an charming men as chocolate," and "Even though fiery rude, he have sense of justice. He did something that against the grain with him, because think to much."  Nekoburo isn't exactly a hard game as it is random -- or more specifically, the difficulty is mostly due to the random generation of the falling cat blocks. Sometimes, exactly what is required to complete a level will spawn, other times you'll have to work for it. This isn't specific to any level though, so it isn't like the levels are specifically designed to spawn cats in a certain way, at least it seems that way on the surface level. Multiple attempts at the same level will eventually yield positive results, allowing level completion, other times the game just seems to be against you. Though this is the case with most puzzle games, so it isn't exactly a new problem with the genre -- it's just worse here. Between levels you can customize the apartment with furniture, and play with the cats with toys, both of which are unlocked by completing certain goals attached to them. While the cats are uber cute, this portion of the game left much to be desired; the furniture can't be moved, and the toys aren't exactly fun to play with more than once. One of the toys is turning on the TV for the cats to watch, the screen just lights up white as the cats sit there, not what I'd call a toy or entertaining.  The story mode can be completed in around six or seven hours, mostly due to trial and error. A survival mode is unlocked around half way through the story mode that is just an endless mode that increases in difficulty, much like marathon mode in Tetris. As there are no online leaderboards and the furniture is little more than pallet swaps there is little reason to continue playing once the story mode is finished unless you're a completionist.  The best thing about Nekoburo: Cats Block is the art style; everything is bright, colorful and super adorable, but take that away and you're left with a generic, poorly translated puzzle game with a tilted playing field that doesn't compliment gameplay. Nekoburo is certainly not the cat's meow.  [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Nekoburo Review photo
Pussies
I love pussies, my dad loves pussies and my Grand Peppers loved pussies before he met his untimely demise on that trampoline -- RIP Grand Peppers may you continue to love pussies in the afterlife. But, we are all fluent in th...

Crypt of the NecroDancer photo
Crypt of the NecroDancer

Crypt of the NecroDancer headed to PS4 and Vita


Dance Dance PlayStation
Jul 10
// Darren Nakamura
Well this is nice. Previously available only for Linux, Mac, and Windows, Crypt of the NecroDancer is now on its way to PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita. Brace Yourself Games' community manager Heather Wilson made the annou...
Mighty Gunvolt photo
Mighty Gunvolt

Inti Creates announces Gal Gunvolt for PS4, Vita


But it isn't coming west
Jul 10
// Kyle MacGregor
Inti Creates' Mighty Gunvolt is coming to PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita as Gal Gunvolt. The retro-style action platformer originally released on the Nintendo 3DS eShop last year alongside Azure Striker Gunvolt. It will n...
Don't Starve photo
Don't Starve

Here's what Don't Starve looks like on an iPad


It's out today for $5
Jul 09
// Chris Carter
Don't Starve was announced for the iPad platform yesterday, and soon, you can buy it! It's $4.99, and will only work on "at least" an iPad 3 or iPad mini 2 with iOS 8 and up. Courtesy of a new trailer, you can get a better l...
PSN sale photo
PSN sale

This week's PSN sale offers super deals on superhero titles


Well, super-ish
Jul 08
// Ben Davis
In light of Comic-Con, the PlayStation Store is having a sale on all things superhero-related. The Supserhero Sale is already live, and will be available through July 13, 9:00am PT. It looks like the sale is extended to gener...
Steins;Gate photo
Steins;Gate

Steins;Gate on PS3 and Vita are exclusive to Amazon in the US


Interesting
Jul 08
// Chris Carter
The Steins;Gate visual novel is coming to the PS3 and Vita platforms in the west, and will hit North American shores in August -- exclusively on Amazon, apparently, as revealed at the end of the newest trailer above. Strangely, the Vita version is $49.99 and the PS3 edition is $39.99, and both are physical. You can still find the game on PC at a number of locations if you wish.
Dragon Quest Builders photo
Dragon Quest Builders

New Dragon Quest looks like a Minecraft clone


Welp
Jul 08
// Kyle MacGregor
Minecraft has no shortage of imitators, but I never thought Dragon Quest would be one of them. Enter Square Enix with its latest creation, Dragon Quest Builders, a "block make RPG" that looks an awful lot like Mojang's ludicr...
Mystery Chronicle photo
Mystery Chronicle

Get a load of Spike Chunsoft's Mystery Chronicle


Here's the intro
Jul 07
// Chris Carter
Spike Chunsoft is gearing up for a July 30 launch for Mystery Chronicle on PS4 and Vita in Japan, and you can take a look at the game's intro now. Shiren the Wanderer and Danganronpa collaborations have already been con...
Skullgirls 2nd Encore photo
Skullgirls 2nd Encore

Skullgirls 2nd Encore out today on PS4, soon on Vita


Them's fighting games
Jul 07
// Steven Hansen
Picture it: Skullgills. It's a fighting game, but all the participants are decayed fish heads. I haven't been able to shake the idea since yesterday. For the less head decayed out there, the gorgeous fighting game Skullgirls...
The Binding of Isaac photo
The Binding of Isaac

Binding of Isaac: Rebirth hits Xbox One, Wii U, and New 3DS July 23


Poo and tears for everyone!
Jul 07
// Zack Furniss
Rejoice, fans of fetuses and feces! The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth will be coming to the Xbox One, Wii U, and New 3DS on July 23. Please note the new there, as it will not be available on the older model. It's wonder...
Myriad on PlayStation photo
Myriad on PlayStation

Stark, trippy shooter Myriad also heading to PS4 and Vita


Another baffling press release, too
Jul 07
// Darren Nakamura
Earlier this year I was impressed by several parts of Myriad. The first was its use of bold colors and hard edges. The second was its unique mechanical take on the twin-stick shooter genre. The third was its head-scratchingl...
Ar nosurge photo
Ar nosurge

Sci-fi RPG Ar nosurge out now on PlayStation Vita


Boxed special edition available via NISA
Jul 03
// Kyle MacGregor
Ar nosurge Plus: Ode to an Unborn Star is now available across North America and Europe. As we've come to expect of Gust-developed role-playing games, this PlayStation Vita release is an enhanced port of last year's PlayStati...
Slain! photo
Slain!

Slain's new trailer has more blood than a GWAR concert


That is to say, there's a lot of blood
Jul 02
// Brett Makedonski
I was originally going to pass on posting this trailer, but I came across it while I was listening to Lana del Rey's Ultraviolence and that just seemed like too great of a coincidence. Also, the developer's name (Wolf Brew) ...
Yomawari photo
Yomawari

Creepy NIS Vita horror game is actually kind of cute


Yomawari
Jul 02
// Steven Hansen
NIS (Disgaea) recently teased a spooky game with live-action first-person flashlight footage and a requisite creepy child. It ended up being for Yomawari, which is coming to Vita in Japan on October 29. It's about a young gir...
PlayStation Plus photo
PlayStation Plus

There are four PS4 games in July's PlayStation Plus lineup


And, sweet, Geometry Wars 3 for Vita
Jul 01
// Jordan Devore
I feel like a digital hoarder with PlayStation Plus. So much stuff I don't need and never will. But I do need Rain, that game about a boy who is invisible unless he's in rain. Missed that back in 2013 and haven't given it any...
Japanese charts photo
Japanese charts

Fire Emblem Fates outsells Persona 4: Dancing All Night


Good thing Nintendo didn't kill it
Jul 01
// Kyle MacGregor
Last week was a great time to be a portable gaming enthusiast in Japan, as not one, but two highly anticipated titles launched on Thursday in Fire Emblem Fates and Persona 4: Dancing All Night. Fire Emblem Fates was far and a...

Review: Samurai Warriors Chronicles 3

Jun 30 // Chris Carter
Samurai Warriors Chronicles 3 (3DS [reviewed], PS Vita)Developer: Omega ForcePublisher: Tecmo KoeiMSRP: $29.99Released: June 30, 2015 In a sense, although Chronicles 3 is a continuation of the existing Chronicles offshoot series, it actually ends up being bite-sized take on Warriors 4, but with a few twists in tow. Players will create their own warrior right off the bat and follow a more personalized story, putting them smack in the middle of famous figures like Takeda Shingen. It's a strategy fitting for a portable, even if it takes some liberties when it comes to gameplay. What this does is it allows Samurai newcomers to instantly acclimate themselves without having to know any background on the franchise whatsoever. Even with the last full iteration, it was tough to glean a lot of ancillary backstory about armies and characters unless you had kept up with the series. With Chronicles you can just jump right in, and it will assist you in filling in the blanks. There's a bit of choice involved in the pre-battle cutscenes, but it's mainly an illusion and more of an excuse to learn more about the cast. This goes double for the story, which doesn't really change, and is more of a predetermined narrative for your character. Having said that, the "bonding" system does allow you to unlock new scenes (and a few levels) the more you battle (or pay to drink tea) with fellow officers. [embed]295006:59270:0[/embed] For the most part, gameplay is roughly the same: there's your standard attacks and combo openers as well as supers. It's fast, and despite claims of being "repetitive," it's still a damn fun approach to beat-'em-ups. Chronicles 3 takes things a bit further though (as it has in the past) and allows you to swap between four characters in the battlefield at will, which is better than Samurai's recent two-character mechanic, and a great way to always keep you in the action. Instead of running back and forth constantly, you can just switch to someone else. The main storyline took me roughly 10 hours to complete, then it's off to individual battles while you grind up your character and earn gold to buy new outfits. Instead of a bunch of different bonus gametypes, you'll have a simple challenge mode at your disposal, which is basically a score attack on a timer. Most of your enjoyment will derive from grinding it out for rare weapons and fighting enemies across the span of the entire campaign all at once. It's fun, but its appeal is definitely limited and your mileage may vary. I would have preferred more modes. Sadly, the 3DS hardware has not been kind to Chronicles. The game looks incredibly generic, especially in comparison to the detail that was put into Samurai Warriors 4's new character models. You can't even make out faces for enemy soldiers a lot of the time, much less the set pieces in the background. As a reminder, this review is based off the 3DS version (the only one that was provided), which does have the added benefit of constantly displaying the map on the bottom screen. The 3D effect enhances the experience a bit, but sadly, also contributes to some slowdown. It's never unplayable, but it does make things worse and I don't recommend using it. Samurai Warriors Chronicles 3 is held back by the switch to the 3DS, and I recommend just picking up the past core entry instead. In the meantime, I'll attempt to locate a Vita version to see how it compares to Warriors 4, which was also released on the Vita earlier this year. With some of the performance issues smoothed out, this personal story would be more worth telling. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Samurai Warriors review photo
Not quite as punchy on a portable
Samurai Warriors 4 was a noticeable advancement for the series, and added a number of interesting mechanics like instant character switching and more varied move sets for each character. It even solved a few common compl...

Marvelous photo
Marvelous

Valkyrie Drive reveals new Weaponized Lesbians


New screenshots and character art
Jun 30
// Kyle MacGregor
Marvelous has unveiled a few new characters for Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni, the new project from Senran Kagura creator Kenichiro Takaki, which has been colloquially referred to as "Weaponized Lesbians" around these parts for r...
Persona 4 Dancing photo
Persona 4 Dancing

Persona 4: Dancing All Night coming to Europe without delay


We shared the same mad potion
Jun 30
// Kyle MacGregor
It looks like Persona 4: Dancing All Night might arrive simultaneously (or close to it) across Europe and America, as NIS has followed Atlus' lead, announcing the rhythm game for a "Fall 2015" launch. In addition to the stand...

'You paint the world with your Soft Body'

Jun 29 // Jordan Devore
[embed]295022:59271:0[/embed] Introducing Soft Body on PS4, PS Vita [PlayStation Blog]
Soft Body photo
Gooey
Well, that headline wrote itself. Soft Body, *ahem*, looks like a cool, free-flowing take on Snake. Here, you're dodging bullets while filling in the world and your snake can split apart to form two bodies, each controlled by...

New Atelier photo
New Atelier

Gust announces JRPG Atelier Sophie for PS4, PS3, Vita


The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book
Jun 29
// Steven Hansen
Gust has turned heads with a new PlayStation (3, 4, and Vita) action RPG Yoru no Nai Kuni (something along the line of Land of No Night). It's much darker (but still pretty) than the Atelier games the company might be best k...
IA/VT Colorful photo
IA/VT Colorful

Senran Kagura dev's new game isn't coming west


Music licensing to blame
Jun 28
// Kyle MacGregor
Marvelous' upcoming rhythm game IA/VT Colorful isn't likely to receive a localization.  Speaking with Siliconera in a recent interview, producer Kenichiro Takaki, best known for his work on the Senran Kagura se...

Review: J-Stars Victory VS+

Jun 28 // Laura Kate Dale
J-Stars Victory Vs+ (PS3, PS4 [reviewed], Vita) Developer: Spike ChunsoftPublisher: Bandai Namco EntertainmentRelease: June 26, 2015 (EU), June 30, 2015 (US) I may not be the most knowledgeable anime fan out there, but I'm always willing to try out a new series if it looks interesting. As such, I was pretty excited coming into J-Stars Victory VS+. I was hoping to experience well known characters I already knew, as well as finding new characters to get invested in and try watching going forward. Unfortunately, J-Stars Victory VS+ was a bit of a disappointment in that regard. The representations of characters I already knew didn't feel accurate and the hooks to get invested in new series just weren't there for me. So, as this is a fighting game first and foremost, let's talk about the fighting mechanics at play. Every character has one light attack button, a heavy attack button, a special attack button, a block and a dash. While these are tailored to each character, the movesets all feel very similar to play using. While it's cool to see Ichigo pull off a Getsuga Tensho and Goku a Kamehameha, both on a mechanical level act near identically. Every move is an approximation designed to fit a specific combat system's mold, which ultimately takes away some of what makes these characters unique. Defensive techniques like cancels are minimal, so if you wait for an attack animation to start then start mashing buttons you'll usually win. J-Stars Victory VS+ is not a game of skill, it's a game of waiting for any enemy to attempt anything slower than a light attack, interrupting with a light attack then button mashing while they remain locked in your combo. [embed]294934:59255:0[/embed] So, ignoring the fact the combat system itself lacks depth, lets look at how this functions as a pure fanservice game. Just looking at the numbers there is a lot here for fans of Shonen anime to love. There's representation from newer series like D.Gray-man as well as older series like Rurouni Kenshin and a whole host of series in between. There's even inclusions from my super niche sports anime, but only as support characters rather than full playable roster members. Damn, I was just about ready to praise this game for supporting my niche interests. So, let's talk about the modes on offer in J-Stars Victory VS+. There's J-Adventure, where you sail around the world on a tiny boat given to you by god to earn your way into a tournament of champions, where everyone involved seems perfectly fine with the fact god gave them a boat that couldn't get most of the places it needed to go and needlessly pads out the experience with narrative fluff between fights. This mode has four arcs, each of them near narratively identical. I couldn't see any reason players would want to go through all four of these, they're all equally padded and dull. Your other options are Victory Road which sets up special fights loosely themed around anime dream team fights, a standard Arcade mode which offers minimal challenge, local free battles and online free battles. None of these modes felt terribly coherent or fleshed out. On paper, the roster of nearly 40 playable characters is certainly impressive, but what makes these characters unique is rarely utilized fully. Each character's ultimate attack feels decidedly less visually impressive than comparable titles like Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4. The story mode offered on disk features static 2D images of characters that may say the odd single word to each other, but otherwise remain silent. Their dialogue feels terribly homogeneous, stripped down so that every character speaks with the same uniform voice. This doesn't feel like a series of characters clashing for the first time, rather it feels like one person in many different outfits badly acting out their alternative universe fanfiction. Where the games opening cinematic gave me hope for a visually impressive, fanservice heavy experience, the single player largely boiled down to watching static images talk to each other in a weirdly unemotional tone then fight for no adequately explained reason. It just wasn't compelling. Ultimately, J-Stars Victory VS+ only succeeds as numbers on paper, the game itself being largely disappointing. The roster have had much of what made them unique stripped down, stopping me getting truly excited about the characters I knew and preventing me getting a sense of which characters were worth me investing future time watching. The mechanics are shallow, the fanservice is surface level and it only succeeds in terms of its pure number of supported characters. Overall, I walked away rather disappointed. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the developer.]
J-Stars Victory VS+ photo
Mash, mash, mash, mash, mash, mash......
J-Stars Victory VS+ is a game that's mechanically light, heavy on fanservice volume but that only ever skims the surface of the characters it includes. If you want an anime brawler that focuses on the sheer volume of anime ch...

PSN flash sale photo
PSN flash sale

Time for another PlayStation Network flash sale


Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen for $13.20!
Jun 26
// Jordan Devore
I haven't made much use of the PlayStation Network flash sales -- the best deals are often for games I own -- but I'm happy they're a regular occurrence. There's another one this weekend. PS4 Bound by Flame ($14) CastleStorm...

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