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PS Vita

PSN sale photo
PSN sale

PlayStation Store 'Essentials' sale makes some bold claims


Cheap deals on PS3, PS4, and Vita
Jan 12
// Steven Hansen
Lest you miss out on "essential" pieces of gaming history like Call of Duty: Ghosts or Watch Dogs, the PlayStation Store has some major deals on "must owns" through Monday (January 18). Most things are at least half off and t...
DOA DLA photo
DOA DLA

Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 delayed into March


More like de-laid
Jan 12
// Steven Hansen
While Koei Tecmo has no plans to release Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 in the west, plenty of folks pre-ordered or otherwise plan to import the beach volleyball game as a show of support for Koei Tecmo or as a symbolic act against p...
Odin Sphere date photo
Odin Sphere date

Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir has a June release in North America


Scrumptious
Jan 12
// Jordan Devore
Atlus is launching Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir this week in Japan, but there will unsurprisingly be more waiting involved for the Western release. The 2D action-RPG is hitting PS3, PS4, and PS Vita in North America on June 7, 2016. Details on the European release are unknown at this time. For now, though, there's a new website full of oh-so-pretty Vanillaware artwork.
New Amazon perk photo
New Amazon perk

Amazon Prime members can now save 20 percent on new games


Valid up until two weeks after launch
Jan 12
// Jordan Devore
Amazon Prime members are getting a nice bonus starting today: 20 percent off newly released physical video games (including pre-orders) shipped and sold by Amazon. The discount is offered on new titles until two weeks after l...
'Play' station photo
'Play' station

Xbox goes soft as PlayStation users reclaim 'most porn watched'


Pornhub data shift in porn console king
Jan 11
// Steven Hansen
Pornhub, which I am told by other people familiar with the webpage is a site for viewing adult, pornographic films, has released its statistical year in review. All sorts of interesting trends popping up, here. "Lesbian" bump...
JRPG photo
JRPG

JRPG Stranger of Sword City coming to PS Vita, Xbox One, and maybe PC this March


Stranger in a strange land
Jan 10
// Kyle MacGregor
Well, this is slightly complicated. Back in November, NIS America unveiled plans to bring dungeon crawler Stranger of Sword City to the West, announcing March 22 and March 25 launches for the Americas and Europe, respectively...
htoL#NIQ photo
htoL#NIQ

NIS might be teasing another Firefly Diary game


htoL#NIQ
Jan 10
// Kyle MacGregor
Disgaea studio Nippon Ichi Software recently opened a teaser site featuring Hotaru, the eponymous firefly from its gorgeous (and difficult) PlayStation Vita puzzle game, htoL#NIQ: The Firefly Diary. There aren't exactly a lot of details regarding whatever this is. NIS promises more information is coming in the next issue of Japanese magazine Dengeki PlayStation this Thursday, January 14.
Adventures of Mana photo
Adventures of Mana

English release of Final Fantasy Adventure remake likely


But Vita version dropped
Jan 08
// Steven Hansen
Square has put up an English version website for Adventures of Mana, which is a remake of Final Fantasy Adventure. Square released that game as a Final Fantasy title in 1991 though it would ultimately lead to the Mana series...
Sony photo
Sony

Sony 'mistakenly' gives away wrong game in January's PlayStation Plus line-up


WHOOPS LOL
Jan 08
// Vikki Blake
Remember when Sony said that PSP strategy game Legends of War: Patton’s Campaign was to be part of this month’s PlayStation Plus line-up? Er, that was a mistake. Apparently. In a tweet today, Sony has confirmed th...
Assassin's Creed India photo
Assassin's Creed India

[Extremely Simpsons voice] Assassin's Creed Chronicles is going to India!


'Deep dive' trailer
Jan 06
// Steven Hansen
Ubisoft brought the Assassin's Creed Chronicles series back from the brink with recent confirmation for two new entries, India and Russia, that are coming in hot. The former is out next week, January 12, on PC, PS4, and Xbox...
PS Plus photo
PS Plus

Sony extending PS Plus subscriptions following outage


No word on how large an extension
Jan 05
// Laura Kate Dale
Monday this week, PSN went down for several hours on all Sony video game playing devices, from the PS3 and Vita to the PS4. Considering this meant paid services like PS Plus were not functioning, many consumers were unhappy a...
PSN is down photo
PSN is down

Sony is working to bring PlayStation Network back online


Let's pass the time
Jan 04
// Jordan Devore
Having issues with PlayStation Network today? We're right there with you. Sony has confirmed it's aware of the problems. "We are still working on resolving today's issues with PSN," tweeted SCEA's official support line. "Than...
PS Plus photo
PS Plus

An oldie but a goodie headlines January's PlayStation Plus free games


And not much else
Dec 30
// Brett Makedonski
PlayStation's ringing in the new year by turning back the clock almost two decades. Double Fine's 2015 remake of Grim Fandango (from 1998) is the game that's meant to stand out in January's lineup of PlayStation Pl...
PSN sale photo
PSN sale

PlayStation Store's newest sale has some good deals on From Software games


You need more games, right?
Dec 29
// Zack Furniss
If you didn't get that game you wanted over the holidays (and it happens to be one of these 94 titles on sale), I've got good news for you. The Holiday Headquarters sale on the PlayStation Store has some stuff you might be in...
Bandai Namco photo
Bandai Namco

New Sword Art Online coming to PS4, Vita in 2016


Asuna!
Dec 26
// Kyle MacGregor
The fourth Sword Art Online game, Hollow Realization, is coming to North America and Europe next year on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita, Bandai Namco announced this week. This entry sees protagonist Kirito explore a new v...
God Eater photo
God Eater

Not one, but two God Eater games coming west


Summer 2016
Dec 26
// Kyle MacGregor
After establishing God Eater as a popular franchise in Japan, Bandai Namco is working to bring its response to the Monster Hunter phenomenon to the rest of the word next year. This week, the publisher announced plans to local...
Banner Saga photo
Banner Saga

Sony acknowledges Vita, saves Banner Saga Vita port


It's a Christmas miracle
Dec 24
// Chris Carter
While Sony is busy blaming everyone but themselves for the failure of the Vita, they basically took it and shot it behind the barn. There's almost nothing coming out for it from Sony, and as I've noted in the past, Atlus is a...
Hatoful photo
Hatoful

Hatoful Boyfriend: Holiday Star's Cross-Buy is broken, getting a fix


In January
Dec 24
// Chris Carter
Hatoful Boyfriend: Holiday Star launched this week on PC, PS4, and Vita. For PSN platforms the idea was to implement Cross-Buy at launch, but apparently users are finding out that they're separate purchases. Publisher Devolver Digital has become aware of the problem, and promises a fix by January 8. Good enough for me! Devolver Digital [Twitter]
Volume - PS Vita photo
Volume - PS Vita

Volume coming to PlayStation Vita in January


Get amped
Dec 22
// Kyle MacGregor
Thomas Was Alone creator Mike Bithell's stealth puzzle game Volume sneaking to PlayStation Vita on January 5, the developer announced today. And if you're planning to pick the game up then, you might want to take advantage of...
Attack on Titan photo
Attack on Titan

Here's lots and lots of spoiler-filled Attack on Titan screenshots


Very closely following the anime
Dec 22
// Joe Parlock
Koei Tecmo has released a whole shedload of new screenshots for its upcoming Attack on Titan game. They show off some new playable characters, as well as some more uh… spoilery things. If you don’t want spoilers,...
Ninja Senki DX photo
Ninja Senki DX

Ninja Senki DX slashes onto PS4 and Vita with giant shurikens


Also coming to Steam
Dec 21
// Ben Davis
Tribute Games, developer of Mercenary Kings and Curses 'n Chaos, is set to release Ninja Senki DX on PS4, PS Vita, and Steam in February. Ninja Senki DX is an updated version of the freeware game from 2010 created by Jonathan...
Project Setsuna photo
Project Setsuna

Chrono Trigger inspired Project Setsuna still looks great


Debuts in a few months in Japan
Dec 21
// Chris Carter
Ikenie to Yuki no Setsuna (formerly known as Project Setsuna) is still happening compliments of developer Tokyo RPG Factory, and it still looks beautiful. This newest video is one of the most descriptive pieces of footage ye...
Sorry, Wii U photo
Sorry, Wii U

One Piece: Burning Blood slated for just about every console in the west


Sorry, Wii U
Dec 21
// Steven Hansen
One Piece: Burning Blood, announced for PS4 and Vita at Tokyo Game Show, has just been confirmed for 2016 release in North/South America and Europe, where it will be available on: PS4, Vita, Xbox One, and PC via Steam. The 5...
DoA Xtreme 3 photo
DoA Xtreme 3

The titillating environments of Dead or Alive Xtreme 3


She's a looker, alright
Dec 17
// Brett Makedonski
It's a damn shame that Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 isn't coming to the west, because, as these newly released screens show, the game has some amazing lookin' environments. It's obvious that Team Ninja put a lot of love and care into the gorgeous aesthetics. Makes me wish I could trade the chilly December weather for a Caribbean island right now!
Console Banner Saga dated photo
Console Banner Saga dated

Banner Saga Vita on hold over porting studio's closure


Console ports dated for next month
Dec 16
// Steven Hansen
The Banner Saga is coming to PS4 and Xbox One after all. While both the follow up, The Banner Saga 2, and the console ports of the first game have missed their 2015 release windows, the port is slated to come to PS4 and Xbox ...
PSN sale photo
PSN sale

The PSN holiday sale has added new deals


Week two
Dec 15
// Jordan Devore
The second week of the PlayStation Network holiday sale is a step down, for my personal tastes, but maybe you'll see it in a different light. Jamestown+ is only a few bucks, though, so that has to get a nod. One of my all-tim...

Review: Nuclear Throne

Dec 15 // Jordan Devore
Nuclear Throne (Linux, Mac, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 [reviewed], PlayStation Vita, Windows)Developer: VlambeerPublisher: VlambeerReleased: December 5, 2015 (Linux, Mac, PS3, PS4, Vita, Windows) / TBA (PS3)MSRP: $11.99 This is a roguelike, and a brutally difficult, bullet hellish one at that. These games have an uncanny ability to push us to the brink of madness only to win us over, in the end, and form an unbreakable bond. I'm no stranger to that process. But with Nuclear Throne, it's far more of a love-hate relationship than I'm used to. A large part of what kept me going despite repeated, soul-crushing failure was the look and sound of the setting and the strange creatures who inhabit it. The overall vision here is superb, with mutants, monsters, robots, and even an inter-dimensional police force collectively forming a believable, lived-in world. You never develop a full picture of this post-apocalyptic wasteland, or what its future might hold, and that's a good thing. Vlambeer provides just enough hints to stoke imaginations without oversharing. As a mutant, your basic goal is to kill everything. And I do mean everything -- that's how you progress to the next level and, with persistence, reach the titular Nuclear Throne. Initially, you will fend off bandits, maggots, and scorpions in a desert area. They're all good fodder for learning the basics before the real scary stuff comes out. Depending on your character, your adventure starts with a basic revolver, but you will soon find more interesting guns with varying rates of fire, bullet spreads, and other quirks. [embed]326751:61527:0[/embed] It's a shame you can only hold two weapons at a time, because I never wanted to part with anything. They're all delightful to use, and once you've grown accustomed to the way combat flows, it's so gratifying. But ammo is finite and the maximum amount you can store of each type (bullets, shells, bolts, explosives, and energy) isn't very high. That's by design. You're meant to continually cycle weapons in and out to match the situation at hand as well as what's left in your ammo stockpile. It's a clever way to encourage adaptability and it also helps the game maintain a sense of excitement over hundreds if not thousands of runs. There are also melee weapons, which are just as enjoyable as guns if not more so. They can be supremely useful in the right situation. Most of them can reflect projectiles back at enemies and, with sufficient reach, even attack through certain walls. There is a major downside to getting up close and personal, though: more than a few enemies explode when they die, and some bosses will even try to bring you down with them. They'll probably succeed, too. Rads (experience points) are the other major piece of Nuclear Throne. They're a type of collectible dropped by slain enemies, and you need to be quick to nab them because they fade after several seconds. Once you've earned enough rads to level up your character, you'll be able to choose a mutation (perk). These grant powerful passive abilities like health or ammo regeneration, slower-moving enemy bullets, and better melee range. But you don't get to pick a mutation until you have successfully obliterated everything and exited the level, and they're presented in a random group of four. Depending on your character's specific strengths and weaknesses, or your personal playstyle, you may not like the choices available. Ammo and health pick-ups also expire shortly after dropping onto the field, which means even if you have carved out a secluded spot that enemies won't wander into, you can't afford to stay put. Nuclear Throne is adept at making you feel unsafe. You're utterly fragile in this game, with or without full health. Everyone and everything packs a tremendous punch, so one wrong move can be the end. Only a select few elements like unlockable characters are persistent across runs. Levels are procedurally generated with variable layouts and enemy placements, but there are consistent themes (desert, sewer, caves, lab, etc.) on the path to the Nuclear Throne. Unless you skip around by entering secret areas -- the underwater oasis is a personal favorite of mine -- the overall structure will be the same on every run. Bosses show up on specific levels, so when you get to level 5-3, you know Lil' Hunter is going to drop in and ruin your day. He's the fucking worst. With practice, you can heighten your skills and know how best to leverage a character's special abilities. You'll be able to rapidly scan and prioritize threats. You'll generally know what lies ahead and which weapons to hold onto. But that's not always enough. Sometimes, Nuclear Throne will just screw you over. And that's where it falls short. There will be times when you spawn into a level surrounded by enemies and explosive objects and immediately die. Sometimes, it's that exact scenario plus a boss in the mix. It can be unfair. Or, at the very least, uneven. I expect that in roguelikes to a certain extent, but it especially stands out as a problem here. Bad spawns aside, there is a weird jump in difficulty in the Frozen City. Every time I managed to clear that particular zone, I went on to beat the next few levels without much trouble and made it to the Nuclear Throne (the point at which you can fight a boss and end your run, or "loop" it). The first time I fought the boss, ten hours in, I brushed up against the thing, causing a game-ending error. It was another two hours before I got another chance and succeeded. I haven't been able to make it back yet to try looping (think new game plus), so I know I'm missing out on some weapons and bosses, and an even greater challenge. If I could do it all over again, I would probably opt for the PC version instead. Mouse and keyboard controls would have been a godsend while I was learning the ropes. On PlayStation 4, there is an aim assist option, thankfully, and you can remap the controls. I suggest playing around with those settings and switching the "change weapon" button to something other than triangle. For folks interested in playing local co-op with a friend, know that the brutal difficulty persists. It's set up in such a way that if one player dies, they need to quickly be revived, and both players lose part of their health. So it's not really any easier. In the end, I have come to love and loathe Nuclear Throne. It's one of the hardest, most rewarding games I've ever played. But as satisfying as it can eventually become, I think it is far too demanding for its own good. With additional polish and balancing, this could be a masterpiece in the genre. It's not quite there yet, but it's close. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Nuclear Throne review photo
You did not reach the Nuclear Throne
Nuclear Throne is not a game for people who get frustrated easily. My first few hours spent with this top-down shooter from Super Crate Box and Ridiculous Fishing developer Vlambeer didn't go well. I struggled with aiming and...

Review: The Bit.Trip

Dec 15 // Ben Davis
The Bit.Trip (PS4 [reviewed], PS Vita, PS3)Developer: Choice ProvisionsPublisher: Choice ProvisionsMSRP: $9.99 (Cross-Buy)Released: December 5, 2015 (PS4, PS Vita), TBA (PS3) The Bit.Trip is a collection of all six games in the Bit.Trip series which were originally released on WiiWare, similar to Bit.Trip Complete for Wii and Bit.Trip Saga for 3DS from a few years ago. It may have a different name than the other compilations, but it's largely the same aside from the controls, menus, and a few extras. The Bit.Trip differs in that it offers Trophies and leaderboards, which already existed for the PC versions of the games, but not for the Wii and 3DS versions. However, it's lacking all of the bonus content and extra challenge levels introduced in Bit.Trip Complete. Those extras would have been a nice addition here as a way to entice people who have already played some of the games before, but as it stands, it's basically just a straightforward compilation. [embed]326911:61531:0[/embed] Even so, the Bit.Trip games still hold up incredibly well, and the price is perfect for anyone looking to experience them again (or for the first time). All six games can be accessed from the slick main menu, featuring some neat concept art whenever a title is selected. Each game also allows the player to choose between Easy, Normal, or Hard difficulty settings, which is nice because the Bit.Trip games can be quite difficult, even on Easy! For those who haven't played Bit.Trip before, the series spans several different genres with an emphasis on rhythm-based gameplay, all held together with similar themes to tell the story of the life and death of Commander Video. Bit.Trip Beat and Bit.Trip Flux are very Pong-like in nature, requiring the player to move a paddle up and down to bounce incoming beats back to the rhythm. Bit.Trip Runner switches things up as a rhythmic auto-running platformer, while Bit.Trip Fate takes the series in another drastically different direction as a musical on-rails shooter. Bit.Trip Core and Bit.Trip Void are a bit harder to describe, but they both offer gameplay that is completely unique to the series. Core gives players control of an X and Y axis which can zap any beats that pass over them, while Void has players controlling an ever-expanding black hole which must consume other black shapes while avoiding white ones. Void is actually my personal favorite of the series, simply because I've never played anything else quite like it. The biggest difference for the PlayStation versions of these games is of course going to be the controls. I found playing with the Dualshock 4 to be quite comfortable and intuitive, easily on par with the Wii controls. Both Core and Void let the player choose between the left analog stick or the d-pad for movement. I found the analog stick to be preferable in most situations, although the d-pad was useful for a certain boss in Void which requires precision movements, and some players will probably prefer to use the d-pad to play Core (I found it to be a little uncomfortable after a while). Fate uses both analog sticks -- one for movement and one for aiming and shooting -- and it felt perfect. The controls for Runner are about what you'd expect, since it only requires simple button inputs. It would be kind of hard to mess those up. As for Beat and Flux, the controls work similarly to the Wii Remote in that you simply have to tilt the Dualshock 4 forward and back to move the paddle. It seemed to really pick up on my hands shaking though, which caused the paddle to sort of vibrate slightly up and down all the time. This made it feel as though I didn't have as much control over the paddle as I would have like, but it wasn't too much of a deal-breaker for me since I wasn't going for high scores or anything. However, it did make the final boss of Beat especially difficult since it's easier to win by hitting the beats back with the very tip of the paddle. I kept missing even the slow-moving beats by the slightest degree, most likely because of the vibrations. Finally, for players interested in leaderboards, they'll be happy to know that each game has separate leaderboards for every individual level, divided between the three difficulty settings. These can be accessed directly from the main menu or individually from the menus of the specific games. While The Bit.Trip could have been made marginally better with the addition of any kind of bonus content (such as the extra challenges found in Bit.Trip Complete), it's still a solid compilation of an excellent series of games. Thankfully, they hold up just as well on PlayStation consoles as they did on the Wii. If you still haven't taken the dive into the rhythmic, arcade-y goodness of Bit.Trip, or if you've been looking for a reason to play through it all again, now would be the perfect time to do so. [This review is based on a retail build of the game purchased by the reviewer.]
The Bit.Trip review photo
SERIES.COMPLETE
The Bit.Trip series holds a special place in my heart. With a wonderful blend of rhythm-based mechanics and arcade-style gameplay spanning various genres, the games are easy to pick up, quick to fall in love with, and yet inc...

Bullet Girls 2 photo
Bullet Girls 2

Sultry shooter Bullet Girls 2 coming to the Vita


Not safe for work
Dec 15
// Chris Carter
Remember D3's Bullet Girls? Well they're back, and just as not safe for work as before. The publisher has announced that a full sequel is in development, and is set for the PlayStation Vita. In short, the series is basic...
TowerFall Vita photo
TowerFall Vita

TowerFall Ascension hits Vita next week


Yep, there's Cross-Buy
Dec 12
// Jordan Devore
TowerFall Ascension is such a treat for local arena game fans. It's even better with the Dark World expansion, which is worth getting for the fantastic new co-op levels alone. Both are about to arrive on PlayStation Vita and ...

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