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Handheld gaming

The Legend of Zelda photo
The Legend of Zelda

A Link Between Worlds custom 3DS coming November 22


Comes with a copy of A Link Between Worlds
Nov 13
// Alessandro Fillari
During this morning's Nintendo Direct event, the platform holder issued a reminder regarding its plans to release a custom 3DS XL to celebrate the launch of the recent entry in the Legend of Zelda series, coming out November...
New Tearaway video photo
New Tearaway video

All of Tearaway is constructed from one sheet of paper


Well, virtually at least
Nov 06
// Brett Zeidler
A new video for Tearaway explains the fundamental idea behind the paper in the game. The really freaking cool part about it all is that every individual piece inside the world is virtual paper, folded up exactly to the artis...
Tappingo photo
Tappingo

Tappingo looks a bit like Picross, comes to 3DS eShop


Tap, tap, tap-aroo
Nov 05
// Darren Nakamura
I've been clean for a few years now, but not too long ago, Picross was my digital cocaine. I consumed Picross DS in unhealthy amounts, and when the game was exhausted and I thought I could finally be sober again, Picross 3D c...
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Now you can play games on flights without interruption


FAA relaxes electronics use rules
Oct 31
// Dale North
I fly at least 120,000 miles a year, every year (this year I'm at almost 170,000!) and I'm playing games on every flight. My 3DS looks like tornado debris from heavy use! A little secret? I NEVER shut my games off. When the f...
Nintendo 2DS photo
Nintendo 2DS

2DS commercial reminds you it has some pretty good games


Other than that, it's kind of boring
Oct 15
// Brett Makedonski
This commercial for the 2DS gets straight to the point -- Nintendo has some solid titles for its handheld systems. Dropping heavy-hitting names like Pokemon X/Y, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, and Mario and Luigi: Dream Team, th...
Nintendo photo
Oh, yeah, the 2DS is out now!
In this pleasant little video from Family Gamer TV, nine Nintendo handhelds are battery tested including the brand new 2DS. The results aren't terribly surprising -- the 3DS line all kick off fairly close to one another, at ...

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English version of the Pokemon Origins anime in the works


Go back to where it all began
Sep 26
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Okay, first of all that remix of the Pokemon Red/Blue theme is pretty damn great. So yeah, the Pokemon Origins four episode anime will be coming to North America. The show will air on Pokemon TV on November 15, and will foll...
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3DS passes lifetime sales of the Wii in Japan


12,752,731 units sold in Japan alone
Sep 26
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
The 3DS is king in Japan right now. The handheld has just passed the Wii's lifetime sales, hitting 12,752,731 units sold to date. The Wii by comparison has sold 12,698,878 units in Japan. These figures come from sales trackin...
New 3DS colors photo
New 3DS colors

Black/white 3DS being replaced with blacker/whiter 3DS


In Japan
Sep 25
// Steven Hansen
Japan is getting two "new" 3DS colors on October 10, Pure White and Clear Black. The units will retail for 15,000 yen (~$152) and replace the discontinued Ice White and Cosmo Black. Check the comparison below. It's more evident in the black. Also, lol. Pure White And Clear Black 3DS Colors Coming On October 10 [Siliconera]

Review: Nvidia Shield

Sep 25 // Jim Sterling
Nvidia Shield Manufacturer: NvidiaReleased: August 29, 2013MSRP: $299.00 The first thing you'll notice about the Shield is how it refuses to compromise on the things handheld gaming systems most commonly acquiesce. This is a big lump of plastic -- it can just about fit in the pocket, but you'll look like you've got the world's worst thigh tumor. It's chunky, and possessed of not inconsiderable weight, but that's because it's a screen sat atop a full-fledged, console-level controller. There's very little difference between it and an Xbox 360 controller, with its full-size, clickable dual analog sticks, face buttons, bumpers and triggers on the shoulder, and D-pad. The center of the controller also features a large button to access Tegra Zone, a back button, a start button, an Android home button, and a button to bring up volume controls. The obvious downside to having a full-on controller as a handheld is that you're, well, carrying a full-on controller around with you. The upside, however, is you've also got the most game-capable handheld system ever made, able to do things other systems simply can't.  [embed]262335:50645:0[/embed] Where it's taken the PlayStation Vita over a year to get one first-person shooter to get it right, and even then it has to compromise, the Shield launches with a rock-solid alternative right out of the gate, one that doesn't have to skimp on functionality in the least. While Dead Trigger isn't exactly the most impressive shooter ever made, it's nonetheless thoroughly enjoyable to be able to play a handheld FPS that actually feels like a real FPS, rather than a developer's noble approximation. Games like Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Sonic the Hedgehog, and The Bard's Tale are all simply better here than they are on other Android devices, making the Shield a viable choice for those who want to try some of the souped-up Android releases, but aren't into the idea of touchscreens.  This is also where the Shield humiliates its closest comparative system, the Ouya. Like Ouya, the Shield is a dedicated gaming system that gives you physical controls for Android-powered games. Unlike the Ouya, the Shield's native controller is responsive, the system itself is incredibly powerful, games feel like they belong on it, and the system is overall just more pleasant to use. The Shield also has full access to the Google Play store, with a real Android OS that can run any app. Of course, games not designed specifically for Shield controls are awkward to run on a touchscreen with a great hunk of plastic hanging off it, but the fact it has the option to access so much more than the Ouya makes it a superior alternative.  Comfortable in the hands and capable of running games at their highest settings, Shield is a lot of fun to play around with -- and this is not taking into account its ability to run a range of emulators for old games that you totally already have the physical copies of.  So far, my only real complaint with the physical design of the thing is the D-pad. The Shield really did elect to imitate the Xbox 360 controller in every way possible, including a rather dreadful and imprecise directional disc-thing. For the most part, it's not too much of a problem to deal with, but it can make twitchy platform games more of a hassle than they should be, and it certainly doesn't make playing something like A Link to the Past any easier.  Android games specifically designed for the Shield are thinner on the ground, and while more Tegra-powered games are appearing on the Shield Store, it's going to need a lot more support. There are already some solid titles worth getting, with the aforementioned Dead Trigger, Vice City, and Bard's Tale all good choices, but there's a very real risk at this stage that the game's library could suddenly dry up. I hope it doesn't happen, but it's not uncommon for a handheld system to become a software wasteland in a short span of time.  As well as the physical controls, the Shield's screen supports multitouch, and you can even use the right stick as a mouse, bringing up a cursor for menu and web browsing. The left stick acts as a traditional console controller would, meaning you have three methods of input and can interact with the system as you would a console, PC, or smartphone.  The screen itself is a five-inch display that flips up and rocks a 1280x720 resolution. On top of such a large controller, it feels comparatively flimsy, but it's all solidly built stuff. Games, naturally, look pretty damn good on the screen, and it does a more than adequate job of showcasing the Tegra-4 titles it was built to support. Audio is where I was really impressed, however. The two front-facing speakers are situated neatly above the face buttons and D-pad, and are capable of blasting out some damn loud sound. Handheld systems typically fail when it comes to providing sufficient audio, but these speakers are frankly incredible.  Another plus point is the battery life. Up to 20 hours of life can be gotten out of the system when streaming content from a PC, with a fair few hours of regular use available too. I want to say you'll get at least five hours from the thing if you're running games from the device itself, and altogether I found this machine working far longer than any comparable device.  As well as utilizing a full Android OS, the Shield also run's Nvidia's own little playground, TegraZone. Here, you get quick access to your Shield game library, as well the Shield Store, which collects those Google Play games customized specifically for Shield controls. Not all of these games are as elegant as they could be -- some confusingly utilizing touch-only menus or requiring a full recustomization of the buttons (looking at you, Shadowgun Deadzone) -- and some of them are straight-up garbage. Still, the titles worth getting are really worth getting.  TegraZone's biggest feature, however, is its "PC Games" section, allowing users to stream games from their PC directly to the system using Steam. The feature is still in beta, something Nvidia warns users about with good reason. While a fantastic idea, it is currently unreliable, as well as a complete pain to set up. To even get a game to work, it requires diddling around on your PC first. You'll need to make sure everything is updated, download TegraZone to your computer, run your desired games at least once, ensure you've a fast enough wi-fi router, and potentially fiddle with your Firewall and DPI settings. Even when you have everything in order, sometimes messages can pop up on your PC that interrupt streaming, or the connection could terminate for unknown and seemingly arbitrary reasons.  The beta status also limits the amount of games that currently work, and even among the ones that do, only a few work very well. Sleeping Dogs, for example, puts a mouse cursor in the center of the screen while it streams, and an attempt to move it using the Shield's touchscreen will disable all controller input. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is just laggy, and suddenly stopped working completely after only two successful attempts to get it running. Also, the less said about Half-Life 2, the better.  However, all complaints aside, when the planets align and the thing actually works as intended, it's seriously impressive stuff. BioShock Infinite runs pleasantly, with only vaguely perceptible controller lag, while Borderlands 2 is almost perfect. If it weren't for the mouse cursor issue, Sleeping Dogs would also be triumphant, looking lovely on the Shield's screen and running at an impressively silky pace. When everything comes together smoothly, there's definitely a magical quality to the process.  A lot of critics have been down on the Nvidia Shield, but I honestly don't know why people have been so harsh. Games look great and run superbly, the controller is big but beautifully functional, and its wide range of features makes it superior to dedicated systems like the PS Vita in several ways. It delivers on several of the Ouya's promises better than the Ouya ever did, and while the PC streaming is still highly problematic, it at least works, and one would hope its post-beta performance is far better. Of course, it has to be said that it's an expensive little toy, with an asking price of $299, and that's really going to be the dealbreaker for a lot of people. For an Android system with an unsure future and no guarantee of continued software support, three hundred bucks is going to be too rich a gamble for most. As a piece of hardware, I feel the Shield fully justifies its asking price, but these days it's so much less about the hardware, and more what you can do with it. That said, having full access to Google Play, and its range of emulators (most of which work with the physical control options) severely opens up what the Shield can do beyond its "official" uses.  The Shield's biggest feature needs to get itself out of beta soon, and it will need a lot more Tegra-powered games under its belt before it can be a real competitor. However, the device is quickly becoming one of my favorite handheld gaming systems to date, and as a generally big fan of portable gaming, that says a lot. It was never going to appeal to everybody, but to the right buyer, the Shield may be the perfect handheld.  You've just got to be the really, really niche type of buyer it's gunning for. 
Nvidia Shield review photo
Come back with your shield, or come back on it
[Disclosure: Nvidia has provided Destructoid with a number of computers for PC game review purposes in the past. If you feel that may make our reviews of any of their products "biased" or "paid off," you are welcome to.] The ...

So you just got a Vita? Here are some recommendations

Sep 20 // Chris Carter
PSOne Classics There are 213 PSOne Classics currently on the PSN, and a lot of them are must-plays. Despite the fact that everything hasn't aged as well as one would hope, there are a ton of amazing games that can be enjoyed on the go with enhanced Vita features. Sadly, not all of them can be transferred to the PlayStation Vita without a PS3, but there's still a decent amount of compatible games in general. For starters, it's important to get Final Fantasy VII, VIII, and IX out of the way, as well as Resident Evil 1-3. Then you have Tomb Raider II (which has aged considerably better than the first game, although you can get the original in the form of Tomb Raider: Anniversary by way of PSP compatibility), Tomba!, Twisted Metal 2, UmJammer Lammy, Vagrant Story (this plays wonderfully on the Vita and takes up hardly any space), Xenogears, Threads of Fate, Silent Hill, Oddworld 1-2, MediEvil, Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, Jumping Flash!, Dino Crisis 1-2, and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Beware of Square Enix-related PSOne remakes such as Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy V, as they tend to preserve the long load times of the PSOne disc originals. Final Fantasy Tactics PSOne is totally fine however, as it's the PSP remake titled War of the Lions that has a ton of slowdown -- go figure! Mega Man 1-4 are also available by way of the PSOne Import section. PSP games and minis This one comes with another caveat -- PSP games must be purchased from the PSN, meaning UMD-only PSP titles that are not available digitally such as Crisis Core, Mega Man Powered Up, or Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep cannot be played on a Vita. It's a major bummer, but the good news is the amount of direct PSN purchases is much higher than PSOne Classics. Plus, there are still a lot of great PSP games to choose from, and games like Peace Walker PSP can make use of the Vita's second stick (or you could just buy Peace Walker HD!). My personal recommendations include Ape Escape: On The Loose, Capcom Classics Collection 1-2 (requires a PS3), Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles, Crash Tag Team Racing (requires a PS3), Daxter (requires a PS3), Disgaea 1-2, Dissidia: Final Fantasy 1-2, Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection, God of War: Chains of Olympus, God of War: Ghost of Sparta, Half-Minute Hero, Jeanne D' Arc (requires a PS3), Knights in the Nightmare, Lunar: Silver Star Harmony, LocoRoco 1-2, Me & My Katamari, Mega Man: Maverick Hunter X, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Parappa the Rapper, Patapon 1-3, Peggle, Phantom Brave: The Hermuda Triangle, Power Stone Collection, Prinny 1-2, The Red Star, SMT Persona 1-3, Street Fighter Alpha 3 Max, and Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together. Phew! There's also a few great PlayStation minis games worth playing, like Where is my Heart?, Canabalt, Mighty Flip Champs! DX, and Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess. The PSN and PlayStation Plus Okay, so we're out of the land of caveats and into the real meat of the PS Vita: the PSN and PlayStation Plus. Yep, that's right -- a little after the Vita's launch, Sony announced that PlayStation Plus would work on both your PlayStation 3 and your Vita, which is a great sign. You'll get a few free games a month, including several solid ones in the Instant Game Collection like Gravity Rush, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, and WipEout 2048. If you own a PS3, PlayStation Plus is absolutely worth it without question. As for the Vita's PSN itself, there are gems like Guacamelee!, Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R, Jet Set Radio, Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath HD, Orgarhythm, Pixeljunk Monsters Ultimate, Sine Mora, KickBeat, Dokuro, Sound Shapes, and Uncharted: Fight for Fortune. The Vita is also an indie port machine, with high-profile titles like Fez (coming soon), VVVVVV, Thomas Was Alone, Spelunky, Hotline Miami, Retro City Rampage, and many more seeing Vita ports. In fact, playing indie games on the go is probably the one major advantage the Vita has over the 3DS. Retail games My favorite game on the Vita is far and away Gravity Rush. I've torn into nearly every bit of the game, including all of its DLC, and I still wanted more. You can play this by way of PS+, so I recommend you pick up that subscription. If you're not down with subscriptions, you can also pick up Killzone: Mercenary, Muramasa Rebirth, Soul Sacrifice, Persona 4 Golden, Assassin's Creed III: Liberation, LittleBigPlanet Vita, Lumines: Electronic Symphony, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time (Cross-Buy), Dragon's Crown, Rayman Origins, Rayman Legends (wait until they patch the missing content in though), PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale (Cross-Buy), Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward, Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, and Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention. While I don't consistently play my Vita as much as my 3DS, the fact of the matter is it has a solid library, so don't count it out just because of low hardware sales.
Vita buyer's guide photo
The Vita has no games you say?
The 3DS had a chance to shine with a recommendations article and now it's the Vita's turn. With the release of Killzone Mercenary and a tidal wave of indie ports on the way, the Vita has quite a few titles under its belt. Wha...

Vita/Monster Hunter sales photo
Vita/Monster Hunter sales

The Monster Hunter deficiency is kicking the Vita's butt


Missed Monster sales
Sep 19
// Steven Hansen
I bet Sony is kicking itself (in its butt) over its inability to wrangle up a Monster Hunter game for the Vita. Despite promising a Monster Hunter game would come to Vita in 2012, the system is barren when it comes to that fa...

Review: Wikipad 7-Inch Gaming Tablet

Sep 18 // Chris Carter
Product: Wikipad 7-Inch Gaming TabletManufacturer: Wikipad, Inc.Input: Micro-USB, Micro-HDMI outMSRP: $249.99 Once upon a time the Wikipad was supposed to have glasses-free 3D and a large screen. But eventually, Wikipad Inc ended up with this particular model, which has a seven inch screen (1280x800) and no 3D to speak of. If you want more specs, the Wikipad ships with Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean), an NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor, and 1 GB DDR3 RAM. These specs aren't top-end in the slightest, but they can handle the vast majority of what the Google Play store can throw at it. Just keep in mind that it can strain a bit on a few higher-end games, which may be an issue. You likely won't run into much trouble at all in the short term as I rarely ran across a performance problem, but just know it's not future proof. The screen itself isn't the absolute cream of the crop, but good enough to deliver a sharp high quality image. There's 16GB built into the unit itself (which is really nice right out of the gate), with the option for expandable memory via Micro-SD (up to 32GB extra), which is a really great touch since you'll most likely want to load it up with high capacity games. Other connections include a standard headphone jack, and the ability for TV-out via Micro-HDMI -- so you can pretty easily hook the Wikipad up to a big screen. Like most tablets, there's a power button on the side in addition to two volume controls, and the touch screen itself works great. But one of the main selling points of the Wikipad is the included gamepad cradle, which attaches directly to the seven inch tablet. To be blunt, the cradle is hideous, but hey, it works. It's literally plug and play, which is crazy because all it takes is a quick snap into the tablet's Micro-USB port. It's very firm and fits like a glove, so there's no fear of dropping it or the device slipping out. You can even charge the tablet while it's cradled, which is nice. The analog stick placement is a tad weird as they're not quite as off-centered as the 360 controller's sticks, but they're not awkwardly side by side like the Dualshock -- so it's somewhere in the middle. Before you work them in the buttons feel a little cheap, but I didn't have issues like sticky triggers or unresponsive inputs. Like most standard controllers these days there's two trigger buttons, two buttons on the top (LB/L1, RB/R1), four face buttons, start, select, an eight way d-pad, and two clickable analog sticks. Keep in mind though that the Wikipad isn't wholly unique, as there are a number of gamepads that can be paired with Android tablets, not to mention straight controller integrated devices like the Nvidia Shield (which has a better performance rate than the Wikipad with a 1.9GHz Tegra 4 chipset). So there are options out there if you want a gaming tablet. The OS itself is technically dated (it launched last year), but it actually works quite well. Pretty much all of your typical Android functionality is alive and well, and I didn't have any major issues engaging in typical tablet based business. Thankfully there's no strings attached with the Wikipad, as it grants full access to the Google Play storefront -- not a gimped, fragmented version like other Android based devices. As an added bonus, the Wikipad is a PlayStation Certified device, which means it has access to the PlayStation Mobile storefront (note that this doesn't mean PSOne Classics, just PlayStation Mobile) with full support for the Wikipad's control scheme. As such, I was able to load up my PSN ID and queue up a few downloads right off the bat like Super Crate Box. It also ships with a Tegra Zone app that finds compatible games for your Wikipad. So on to the important part -- the games. Not every app supports the Wikipad's controller out of the box specifically, but if it supports gamepads, you can certainly remap it with ease. The Wikipad comes pre-loaded with a few games, most notably Shadowgun: Deadzone (an online shooter), and Dead Trigger by Madfinger Games. All of the native games work wonderfully, and I almost felt like I was cheating in Shadowgun while playing online due to the precise analog movement. Games that would logically make sense like GTA: Vice City: 10 Year Anniversary also work, but you have to double-check for gamepad support (or cruise the Tegra app) before you plunk down your cash. The Wikipad is basically a different incarnation of an older Nexus 7 with a giant controller attachment packed in. I enjoyed my time with it and found the controller to be surprisingly comfortable, and the ability to access Google Play, the Amazon App Store, and PlayStation Mobile is great. But considering the device won't age well, I'm not sure if it's worth the full asking price, and the Wikipad may have entered the market a tad too late.
Wikipad hardware review photo
Terrible name, neat device
I'm constantly reminded that we're in a rather strange era of gaming. While past generations have decidedly kept console and portable gaming completely separate, the two experiences are converging more and more with the rise ...

Review: Killzone: Mercenary

Sep 10 // Jim Sterling
Killzone: Mercenary (PS Vita)Developer: Guerrilla CambridgePublisher: Sony Computer EntertainmentReleased: September 10, 2013 (NA), September 4, 2013 (EU)MSRP: $39.99 Killzone Mercenary is an impressive attempt to preserve as much familiar Killzone content as possible and house it on a handheld system. Unlike previous attempts from lesser studios, Mercenary enjoys the distinction of being the inaugural first-person-shooter to actually get it right on PS Vita. Not only does it function with little in the way of compromise, it looks fantastic and plays exactly how it ought to. The fundamental controls are intuitive enough. You have your twin sticks for moving and aiming, your left shoulder button for iron sights and your right for shooting. Interacting with objects is performed either with the Triangle button or by touching an icon onscreen -- and I really appreciate not being forced to stretch a digit to the middle of the screen -- while sprinting can be performed either by tapping Circle while moving or double tapping the rear touchpad. Considerable effort has been made to keep the Vita's varied input options from overlapping and confusing the game, the only noticeable conflict being when crouching -- an action that required Circle to be tapped when stationary, which one often forgets in the heat of the moment. Switching between primary and secondary weapons, as well as using special VAN-Guard equipment or grenades, is all handled with virtual buttons located conveniently to the sides of the screen, a judicious use of touch controls that I always appreciate. Less convenient are melee attacks which, when initiated, require timed swipes across the length of the screen. It's gimmicky and forced, but it could have been a lot more egregious than it is and, once one gets used to them, they can be quite satisfying to pull off.  The only other annoying touch element is the mandatory hacking sections. Now and then, you'll be required to hack objectives by performing a banal pattern-matching touchscreen minigame. It's not especially difficult, it just feels somewhat unnecessary, and didn't really provide anything positive to my day. When something exists just for the hell of it, I can't say I'm ever impressed.  While Mercenary could easily have just condensed a regular Killzone experience and left it at that, efforts have been made to do offer a handful of unique toys. For one thing, players constantly earn cash as they play, scoring financial rewards for various kills, for hacking computers, and even for scavenging enemy ammunition. This money can be spent at Blackjack arms dealerships, to unlock new weaponry, armor types, and VAN-Guard gear.  VAN-Guard refers to a range of gadgets that offer some new amusements during the course of battle, taking the form of temporary weapons, buffs, and ordnance. You can have one VAN-Guard equipped at any given moment, and most of them are useful in some way, shape, or form. The Mantys, for example, is a remote-controlled bot that can sneak up behind opponents and stab them in the temples, offering silent kills without risking yourself personally. Less stealthy players may enjoy the Porcupine, which sends locked missiles onto any opponent the player jabs with their finger, or the Arc Missile, a bot companion that hovers near the player and fries incoming foes with a blast of electricity. My personal favorite is the Vultur, which locates all enemies on the map and allows every living thing to be seen through walls and floors. It's earned me a lot of kills.  Players earn ranks with every weapon they use, as well as general experience for kills and mission completions. As they rank up, players earn new loadout slots for multiplayer. One is also encouraged to keep playing daily to earn Valor Cards -- personal calling cards that raise or lower in ranking based on how well the player is performing. These cards are dropped whenever an enemy is defeated in multiplayer, earning whoever collects them extra points.  For its solo campaign, Mercenary offers a sidelong view at the conflict between Vekta and Helghan, seen as it is from the perspective of a mercenary. Soldier-of-fortune Arran Danner takes the lead role in a campaign that takes place alongside the events of both Killzone and Killzone 2, with several stages set on Vekta, and the latter half of the story told on the Helghast's home planet. While not exactly an impressive narrative, it's a decent little yarn, and manages to be one of the few sources of Killzone canon that actually portrays the ISA in a less-than-heroic light while making their fight with the Helghast morally greyer.  It's a shame, however, that the solo game is a fairly short experience, completed in a mere few hours. It rushes through itself, as players switch from fighting alongside the ISA to the Helghast and back again in short order -- a far cry from the "choose your side" promises seen in earlier trailers. The final boss also pops up out of nowhere (as well as being a pain in the ass to fight) It's a linear story that offers little in the way of replay value, save the monetary incentives -- and unless you really can't decide on what your favorite gun is, there's not even that much reason to keep earning the cash.  I wouldn't be so disappointed by the campaign if it wasn't consistently fun, however. Aside from making an FPS work on the Vita, Mercenary stands as a thoroughly entertaining shooter in its own right, giving us some unique insights into the Killzone universe while adding cool new optional stealth routes through missions, and plenty of explosive setpieces. The shooting action is solid as granite, with weapons that feel as heavy and powerful as they should, and a pleasant variety of enemies to deal with -- especially once you finally get to fight on the opposite side of the battlefield.  If the campaign is somewhat thrifty, however, its online counterpart holds up an impressive amount of slack. Featuring four-on-four battles across three game types (free-for-all, team deathmatch, and the Killzone specialty Warzone), Mercenary offers lag-free, highly competent handheld multiplayer combat across decently sized maps. While the Vita's less robust thumbsticks make human opposition a little trickier to deal with, it ought not take long to get used to the way things operate, and one is left with a very pleasing pool of violence that can be easily dipped into until the Vita's battery drains to its last gasps.  Adding touch-based interrogation objectives and randomly dropped VAN-Guard capsules into each match makes for an online offering that stands apart from the console alternatives while retaining a familiar series feel. There are no classes to choose from this time, but one can customize a loadout using equipment unlocked at Blackjack's, with funds and progress carrying over between the online and single-player portions.  While I can't quite see myself staying as engrossed in Mercenary's smaller-scale, simplified battles for as long as Killzone 2 had me, it's the perfect thing to crack out for the occasional bit of portable warfare, and it ought to serve fans quite well for those moments when they want to get in on some Killzone, but need something just a little different.  As explained at the start of the review, Sony Cambridge did a great job with the visuals, giving a title that easily ranks among the PS Vita's best lookers. There is the odd graphical glitch, and I did once have my character stuck in a hacking animation, but overall, things run smoothly and really look quite impressive on the OLED screen. There's some solid voice acting and a forgettable-but-suitable soundtrack backing things up, too.  Killzone: Mercenary could have stood to provide more content, but that which is on offer is all very well polished and plays almost impeccably on Sony's latest handheld venture. Distinguishing itself as the first Vita FPS to really showcase the system's strengths, this is one of those ambitious titles the system can be proud to showcase, proving that a console experience can not only work in the handheld space, but be damn fun without suffering too much in the way of compromise.
Killzone: Mercenary photo
Leading the VAN-Guard
This is the game I wanted a PlayStation Vita for. I have a long documented fondness for the Killzone series, and while Killzone: Liberation on the PlayStation Portable was enjoyable enough, I truly longed for a genuine first-...

Angry Video Game Nerd photo
Angry Video Game Nerd

AVGN braves the unholy tide of Tiger LCD games


Attack on Tiger
Sep 08
// Tony Ponce
I knew this day would come. The Angry Video Game Nerd made a video about Tiger's line of LCD handheld games. I've warned you all about the horrors of these infernal contraptions. I even pointed you in the direction of an onl...
2DS photo
The toast-like system gets a thumbs up
Like Dale and Spencer, I wasn't expecting much of the 2DS. And, to be fair, it's not really meant for me -- I play the occasional game in 3D (Animal Crossing, for instance) and already own the original 3DS, so if I were to b...

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So the 2DS is actually just one big screen


It's not two screens like you would think!
Aug 28
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
The 2DS, that's a thing! It's aimed for a younger audience, and it cuts out all the 3D stuff. And as it turns out, those two screens are actually one big screen. That's according to US Gamer in an effort to cut down costs. Th...
2DS photo
2DS

Nintendo 2DS weighs less than the 3DS XL


Comparison of 2DS system specs with 3DS, XL
Aug 28
// Jordan Devore
Nintendo has divulged the specs of the newly-announced 2DS, and there are a few tidbits worth bringing up. The screen real estate is the same as it is with the regular 3DS, though the funny-looking handheld does support sligh...
Nintendo 2DS photo
Nintendo 2DS

Reggie says the 2DS is for five- to six-year-olds


Nintendo of America's president views it as a starter handheld device
Aug 28
// Brett Makedonski
With Nintendo's surprising announcement of the 2DS today, some people are wondering who exactly the device was created for. While the price point of $129 is appealing, the slate form and omission of 3D were curious changes. I...
2DS photo
2DS

Nintendo says it's committed to 3D despite the 2DS


Price point trumps 3D support for budget-friendly device
Aug 28
// Jordan Devore
While the Nintendo 2DS will play 3DS games, it won't support 3D. It stands to reason that such functionality isn't nearly as important as Nintendo made it out to be. That's not how Nintendo executive VP of sales and marketing...
PS Vita photo
PS Vita

Assassin's Creed IV on PlayStation Vita via remote play


The second-screen you've been waiting for
Aug 20
// Tim Sheehy
During today's press conference Sony once again demonstrated the PlayStation Vita's remote play functionality by streaming Ubisoft's highly-anticipated pirate-fest Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag running on PlaySta...
 photo

Mike Bithell's Volume debuting exclusively on PS4/PS Vita


From the creator of Thomas Was Alone
Aug 20
// Jim Sterling
Mike "Thomas Was Alone" Bithell has a new game coming. It's called Volume and it'll have an exclusive debut on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita this year.  Volume will let you create, mix, and share your own game worlds online, though not too much is known beyond that. Knowing Bithell, it will likely be a very charming little game. 
Sony photo
Sony

Starbound, Fez, and Velocity 2X coming to Vita (Update)


More indies to feast on!
Aug 20
// Tim Sheehy
[Update: As announced on Polytron's official site, Fez will be headed to PS3 as well. In addition, Sony's released a full list of indie titles headed for each platform in the near future. The list includes gems such as B...
Vita price drop photo
Vita price drop

Sony to drop PlayStation Vita price to $200


Significant reductions in memory card prices as well
Aug 20
// Jordan Devore
We've seen various retailers drop both the Wi-Fi and 3G/Wi-Fi PlayStation Vita models down to $200 recently. It's time, Sony. We're ready for you to introduce that coveted price drop across the board. And Sony is ready as wel...
 photo

Borderlands 2 coming to PS Vita (Update)


How handsome!
Aug 20
// Jim Sterling
[Update: Sony is publishing the title, and Iron Galaxy Studios -- the makers of Divekick -- helped on on bringing the console shooter to the handheld. Borderlands 2 Vita will be out in 2014, and will feature everything the co...
LCD browser games photo
LCD browser games

Play Game & Watch and other LCD games in your browser


Blast from handheld gaming's past
Aug 12
// Tony Ponce
Hey, 80s babies! Have fond memories of portable gaming in the days before Game Boy? Did your parents ever buy you those Tiger electronic handhelds for $10 a pop to shut you up on those long drives? Or were you born just a lit...
PS Vita photo
PS Vita

Looks like Target will have PS Vitas for $200 soon


That goes for the 3G model, too
Aug 09
// Jordan Devore
A Target ad for the week of August 18 - 24 references a nice little deal on PlayStation Vitas, should you be in the market for the handheld. Both the standard Wi-Fi ($249.99) and 3G/Wi-Fi ($299.99) models are going to drop in...
 photo

KickBeat drops on September 3 for the PS3, PS Vita


Kick, punch, it's all in the mind!
Aug 08
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Zen Studios is finally ready to unleash KickBeat! It'll be out on September 3 for the PlayStation Vita, and PlayStation 3. Oh, yeah, it's also coming to the PlayStation 3! The game will be a cross-buy title, so you just need...
 photo

New PS Vita update lets you access cloud saves quicker


Plus some other streamlined fixes
Aug 07
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
A new system update for the PlayStation Vita has added a number of new features. The biggest being the ability to quickly access PlayStation Network servers so you can now upload/download save data from the cloud, so long as...
 photo

Black 3DS XL comes out on August 11


Just in time for Mario & Luigi: Dream Team
Jul 30
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Nintendo has finally confirmed that the Black 3DS XL is coming out on August 11, in the United States at least. It's been priced at $199.99, but some stores may have it for $179.99 through a promotion. Mario & Luigi: Dream Team also comes out on August 11. What a coincidence!

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