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Sup Holmes photo
Sup Holmes

Chimeras and charge beams abound in the Sup Holmes reruns

Sup Holmes every Sunday at 4pm EST!
Sep 20
// Jonathan Holmes
[Sup Holmes is a weekly talk show for people that make great videogames. It airs live every Sunday at 4pm EST on YouTube, and can be found in Podcast form on Libsyn and iTunes.] One of the things I love a...
Digimon photo
Presentation's mega-slick, too
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. When in Tokyo, make it rain yakitori. That was my modus operandi at Bandai Namco's office. Rather than strangely assaulting passersby with a meat barrage, I limited my chicken chuckin' (cluc...

Review: Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls

Aug 28 // Laura Kate Dale
Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls (PS Vita)Developer: Spike ChunsoftPublisher: NIS AmericaReleased: September 1 (North America), September 4 (Europe)MSRP: $39.99 So, let's start with where Ultra Despair Girls departs from the previous Danganronpa games on Vita. Instead of investigating crimes scenes for clues, the bulk of your gameplay time in Ultra Despair Girls will be spent as Komaru Naegi shooting robot Monokuma bears with a techno-megaphone. The megaphone, which apparently acts as a "hacking gun," shoots lines of "code bullets" to effect the robots you come into contact with. Break Bullets act as standard damage dealers, but your gun also has less typical ammo types, such as Dance Bullets that cause enemies to stop on the spot and dance, allowing you to put distance between them and yourself. Much of the core gameplay loop feels like you're playing a zombie-themed third-person shooter. Enemies tend to be slow and rambling, take time to kill, and deal large amounts of damage if they reach you. While this is fine in theory, claustrophobic environments, an overly close camera, and numerous invisible walls make this core gameplay at times more frustrating than it needs to be. The idea of a code gun shooting robotic enemies is cool, but the gameplay hiccups -- as well as the infrequency of acquiring interesting new code bullet types -- meant I rarely got excited. Oh, there's also a melee sword combat-focused playable character, but their use is limited by a meter. That's a real shame, because a second gameplay style available to switch to at any time might have helped keep the mechanics from becoming stale this fast. So, does the narrative save Ultra Despair Girls from death at the hands of one of Monokuma's elaborate devices? Well, yes and no. It rescues the game from death, but still gives it a mild case of public torture. [embed]307925:60156:0[/embed] In Ultra Despair Girls, we find ourselves in a city overtaken by murderous young children bent on seeing adults torn to shreds. This gang of prepubescent killers, the Warriors of Hope, have amassed an army of youngsters to control robots that are utilised to kill from safety. Playing as the younger sister of the first game's protagonist, who has conveniently been locked away in her apartment for a year and not noticed that the world has gone to shit around her, you escape with the series running split-personality serial killer and attempt to take back control of the city. Thanks to the shift in narrative focus from confined drama to city-sprawling mission, there's a lower frequency of plot twists than in previous entries. The twists and turns in the narrative are among the strongest in the series, but they feel padded further apart. The cast of characters introduced in Ultra Despair Girls are just as over the top, memorable, and well-written as any characters introduced to date in the series, which is one of the areas the game continues to shine. General moment-to-moment dialogue and character interactions are superb and were the driving force that kept me invested through to the end. The biggest problem: narrative pacing. The game felt like it was probably five or six hours too long. It's worth noting that both the enemy designs and narrative in Ultra Despair Girls are some of the darkest, creepiest, most unsettling to date, and that says a lot for this particular series. From horrible mutated creatures to themes I would hesitate to subject adult characters to let alone children, the game gets pretty unnerving in places. That's not a complaint by any means -- Ultra Despair Girls pulls it off perfectly. Ultimately, Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls just didn't click for me the same way previous games did. Sure the narrative still has some strong moments, but it's punctuated with third-person shooter gameplay that doesn't enhance my engagement with the narrative the same way the first two visual novels did. If you're a series fan, there's a good, text-heavy, hands-off narrative to be explored here, but the gameplay sections really dragged it down for me. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Danganronpa review photo
Great story, odd gameplay loop
Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc and Goodbye Despair have been some of my favourite Vita games in recent years. A pair of murder mystery visual novels, the games melded puzzle solving, courtroom drama, and murdered school kid...

Heavensward photo

PlayStation 4, Vita, PS TV get weak Final Fantasy XIV consoles

Jun 03
// Steven Hansen
Sony, Square, c'mon. These Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward themed consoles are a bit low effort. The white PS4 does look fine, but both are literally just white and black PS4s with Sony's weak faceplates packed in. I like the ...

Deals photo

PlayStation TV price cut in half at GameStop

$39.99 "Vita" time?
May 13
// Dealzon
Remember when the PlayStation TV was selling for $99.99 back around its October 2014 release date? Well now it's all the way down to $39.99 today in a seemingly random half price deal at GameStop. PlayStation TV is $39....
Brandish Dark Revenant photo
Brandish Dark Revenant

XSEED just released this new PSP RPG in Europe

At long last!
Apr 15
// Kyle MacGregor
Brandish: The Dark Revenant is out now across Europe, XSEED Games announced today. It's been more than half a decade since the classic role-playing game was originally remade on PlayStation Portable, but as I said in my revie...

Review: Brandish: The Dark Revenant

Feb 02 // Kyle MacGregor
Brandish: The Dark Revenant (PSP, PS Vita and PS TV compatible)Developer: Nihon FalcomPublisher: XSEED GamesMSRP: $19.99Released: January 13, 2014 Despite having a history spanning decades, Brandish doesn't have much of a tale to tell. The adventure centers on Ares Toraernos, a young warrior who finds himself lost in a labyrinthine spire deep within the subterranean kingdom of Vittoria. His only interests are survival and escape. Brandish isn't without its charms, though. There's an endearing roadrunner and coyote dynamic between the protagonist and his nemesis Dela Delon, a vengeful sorceress who spends most of her time falling into pits. It's a game largely bereft of narrative, almost happily so. Falcom seems more than content to thrust old school dungeon crawling squarely into center stage.  Traipsing through mazes in search of the next staircase is the primary focus. However, the journey to the surface isn't as simple as it sounds. As one might expect, the tower is teeming with monsters, traps, and pitfalls. The treacherous setting is almost the principal character of this yarn. [embed]286365:57119:0[/embed] Brandish is difficult, but unlike the original, it's not challenging for the wrong reasons. While nearly identical in most respects, massive improvements have been made to the camera controls. Both versions share a top-down perspective. The hero is positioned in the center of the screen and can move forward, backward, and side to side using the control pad. Turning to the right or left is handled with the shoulder buttons, which actually pivot the world around the character. The design initially seems clumsy and odd, though it's never as bewildering as it was back in the day. The original game rapidly transitioned from one perspective to the next in a jarring fashion, whereas the remake has a clear twisting animation. This is definitely the version you want to play. Again, Brandish is all about surviving long enough to find your way to the next staircase, and there are a myriad of traps, foes, and puzzles along the way to prevent you from achieving that goal. The action-heavy combat actually reminds me a little of baseball. It has this rhythm, a comforting repetition that gives rise to the unexpected. Ares' shield automatically blocks most attacks, allowing you to focus on when and how to attack. It's a fairly simplistic setup, which is good because you'll frequently be combating more than one enemy at a time while avoiding environmental hazards. Another concern you'll have in battle is weapon degradation. Most arms can only be used a set number of times. This means you'll probably want to keep that powerful sword in reserve in case you come across an imposing adversary, as opposed to needlessly annihilating a common grunt. Yes, there are bosses, but they're rare. These encounters serve to punctuate the journey and test your mettle more than anything. While it can be quite tough, Brandish is rarely unforgiving. Falcom does an admirable job of showing you the ropes, gradually increasing the challenge and adding new elements as soon as you get handle on the old ones. The only major spike in difficulty occurs in the Dark Zone, which seems to have more pitfalls than walkable terrain, a limited field of view, and devastating enemies. Even if you're constantly dying, Brandish isn't discouraging.  It has a save-anywhere feature and checkpoints at every floor. It also backs that up with an item called "retry bread," allowing you to respawn at a particular location should you fall in battle. Taking advantage of these tools will help mitigate most of your frustrations, especially when things get a tad onerous later on. As much as I enjoy Brandish, it probably isn't for everyone. Those looking for a sweeping story about legendary heroes are barking up the wrong tree. This game is about marching through trap-laden mazes and solving puzzles at a deliberate pace. Go in with the right mindset and you will discover a well-crafted role-playing game, one which has aged surprisingly well. It may have taken forever to get here, but Brandish: The Dark Revenant was worth the wait. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Brandish PSP review photo
What's old is new again
Antiques possess a magnetic quality, an appeal to our imaginations, a false nostalgia for a time most of us are too young to remember. There's a comforting allure to these relics. They offer a window into the past, a living h...

Two scrappy upstarts discuss working with Xbox and Playstation

Dec 28 // Jonathan Holmes
[embed]285466:56739:0[/embed] We've also got a rerun with Luc Bernard, creator of Desert Ashes and Death Tales. Luc recorded this episode from Starbucks, which made for an appropriately chaotic and unpredictable conversation . Luc's been in the industry since he was a teenager. In that time, he's experienced some of the most extreme highs and lows one could imagine. Right now he's working with Playstation to create free-to-play experiences which reward all players for their patronage, regardless of how much money they choose to spend. We talked about that, learning from mistakes, the strengths and weaknesses of Playstation's current strategies, how Luc managed to get through a cancer diagnosis in the midst of having his game dropped by its publisher, and a lot more. One of my favorite parts of the conversation is when I asked Luc "How have you manage to survive in this industry?" His response -- "I didn't". Is Luc Bernard actually a ghost? I'm still not sure. I probably never will be.  Thanks again to Mike and Luc for being on the show, and to all the Sup Holmes guests, viewers, and listeners of 2014. We've had an amazing year, and 2015 if already shaping up to be just as great. Also, if you're a backer of the kickstartercampaign  and you're still waiting on your rewards, don't think that we've forgotten you. We currently have +250 of the +330 rewards sent out, and will continue to get them in the mail as soon as we can. Thanks again for your support and I hope you like your rewards!  
Sup Holmes photo
Get to know the people who make great videogames
[Sup Holmes is a weekly talk show for people that make great videogames. It airs live every Sunday at 4pm EST on Youtube, and can be found in Podcast form on Libsyn and iTunes.] With the year winding down...

Brandish Dark Revenant photo
Brandish Dark Revenant

XSEED is releasing a PSP game in January 2015

Brandish: The Dark Revenant coming early next month
Dec 26
// Kyle MacGregor
A PSP game is coming out in 2015. What a world we live in! Brandish: The Dark Revenant is targeting an early January launch on PlayStation Network across North America, XSEED Games announced today, promising a specific d...
Sup Holmes photo
Get to know the people who make great videogames
[Update: Argh! Sorry to everyone who was confused seeing that the video was "private". That's because the live show ended on 12/21/2014 at 5:30pm EST. The rerun should be up this weekend. Here's a trailer for Desert Ashes in...

Contest: Win a PlayStation TV from Luc Bernard and Destructoid!

Nov 24 // mrandydixon
You have until next Sunday, November 30 at 11:59pm Pacific to enter, and the contest is open to anyone in the world*! Limit one entry per person. Good luck, and have fun! And remember, our Huge members get automatic entry into all contests (and double entries if you enter one manually), exclusive beta code giveaways for upcoming games, ad-free browsing, and more! And most of all, your $3 a month helps directly support the site you love. Try us out! *International winners may be asked to pay for shipping.
PlayStation TV contest photo
Runners-up get Steam keys for Luc's latest game
[Update: Contest over! Winner is Dandiest Guy I Know! We will be sending Steam codes to runners-up ASAP.] We've partnered with our good friend Luc Bernard to give away a brand new PlayStation TV to one lucky Dtoider! Luc...

PlayStation TV Europe photo
PlayStation TV Europe

PlayStation TV microconsole out now across Europe

...and other PAL territories
Nov 14
// Kyle MacGregor
PlayStation TV launches today in PAL territories. Something of a Swiss Army Knife, the microconsole allows users to play most Vita games, PSP titles, and PS One Classics. It also supports the PlayStation Now streaming servic...

Review: Freedom Wars

Nov 04 // Brett Zeidler
Freedom Wars (PlayStation TV, PlayStation Vita)Developer: SCE Japan Studio / Shift / DimpsPublisher: Sony Computer EntertainmentRelease:  October 28, 2014MSRP: $29.99 Freedom Wars takes place in a future uninhabitable Earth, in which groups of citizens take shelter in underground Panopticons. A Panopticon is a city-state that functions based on the contributions of its citizens. Naturally, this has lead to an intensely Orwellian society. Big Brother is always watching, except here he's an adorable teddy bear mascot that spreads propaganda and cheers on the player to risk their life fighting giant monsters. Citizens are monitored through their Accessories, which are law-spewing robotic companions that never stop watching over them. The player's character has been stricken with amnesia in battle, but, hear me out, Freedom Wars puts an honest twist on the trope. Everything in this universe is a crime; laying down while resting, allowing silence in conversation longer than five seconds, running too much, and a multitude of other offenses all hinder the advancement of the state. Biggest of all is losing one's memory. Physical resources are tight, but nothing is more precious in this world than knowledge. This leaves the player with a million-year long sentence for losing just that. Outside of the core gameplay, managing this sentence is the most prominent mechanic of the game. Completing missions takes many years off, and any resources donated or held back from the state can subtract or add years (if the player is not yet entitled to said resource), respectively. All those ridiculous crimes mentioned earlier are absolutely real infractions the player can commit. They don't add too many years back on, but act as an effective reminder about the setting the player is in. Want to run for more than five seconds without receiving an additional twenty year sentence? Buy the entitlement for it. Want new clothes? There are entitlements for that. The freedom motif is really driven home. To obtain these entitlements, the player simply has to save up entitlement points by being a productive member of the Panopticon. Completing missions and donating resources are the two main ways to accrue entitlement points. The more achieved, the more entitlements become available. Freedom Wars is a hunting game through-and-through, so the main missions break down into a few different categories and that's really it. If variety is the spice of your life, you just won't find an abundance of it in a hunting game. The enemies that attack the player are called abductors, and, as their name implies, they abduct citizens as punishment for being sinners. Hunters are given the option of saving citizens from abductors, straight-up fighting abductors, or participating in firefights with enemy Panopticons. The main weapon types are melee and guns. Melee breaks down into one-handed/two-handed swords and polearms; assault rifles, portable artillery, and autocannons make up the ranged weapons. The player can take any combination of the two of these into battle. Most hunting games emphasize personal style and preference, but the focus of strategy in Freedom Wars is knowing when to use these weapons. For example, melee is the most effective way to take down an abductor, but the same is definitely not true when facing opposing hunters. Verticality is Freedom Wars' most appealing gameplay element, and it comes by way of the player's thorn -- a vine-like lasso that can be used for movement or attack. Trap, healing, and shield are the available thorn types that offer the benefits their names imply. More exciting, however, is that the thorn allows for zipping around the environment and grappling onto abductors themselves. Taking down giant monsters with a sword is cool, but latching onto them and severing limb by limb is even more satisfying. The thorn does a great service in improving the gameplay of Freedom Wars. Characters met throughout the game's progression can be taken along on all missions, but the entirety of it is playable through local and online co-op. The companion AI does a decent enough job, but will only follow exactly where the player goes, and thus doesn't ever act on its own. Obviously, co-op is always more fun and is what the game advises, but with that said, the Freedom Wars can be played solo just fine. End-game missions just don't work with AI companions, however. The plot structure can be completed somewhere in the neighborhood of fifteen to twenty-something hours, give or take depending on if the player participates in everything else there is to do. Hunting games are all about finally upgrading your favorite weapon, obtaining even better weapons, and finally getting that sweet new armor (in this case, outfit). Personal achievement is the name of the game, and Freedom Wars has no shortage of it. Weapon crafting and upgrading is nothing new here -- gather basic resources and/or weapons, and this allows the player to use those to upgrade, modify, and create new weapons. It's as addictive as it is in any other game. I found myself more engrossed in the aesthetic customization, as I'm a sucker for it. Every aspect of physical appearance can be changed at any time. There are tons of clothing, accessories, and color palettes to unlock and choose from. These can be used on both the player's model and their Accessory. Fighting monsters for the good of the state is great, but looking good while you do it is even better. Freedom Wars looks stunning. Character models are crisp and detailed, with their textures looking particularly nice. The game handles motion like a champ, and seemingly never suffers from slowdowns while fighting the biggest baddies (particularly impressive considering the amount of maneuverability at play). Even on the PlayStation TV, the game really holds its own on a large HD display (as well as feeling great played with a DualShock 4). Strangely, the main section of the hub world suffers from really bad character pop-in and framerate stuttering while that's happening. It's an odd problem considering how small that area is and how big the gameplay environments are. Freedom Wars starts off painfully slow, but picks up after around the first few hours. The narrative progression is kind of strange during this time, and doesn't add much to the experience at all. It's quite an investment to finally see payoff, but it is worth it to stick around. Loading times are fairly long, and there are a lot.. I could have done with less of them as there is just way too much time spent looking at loading screens as it is. Freedom Wars has an intriguing setting, solid hunting action (with an always welcome grapple hook), insane amounts of customization, fully supported co-op, PVP, all through a beautiful presentation. There are numerous hours of content to keep you coming back again and again. It doesn't reinvent the wheel, but, by that same token, there's nothing else quite like it. It's the PS Vita's biggest release this year, and likely will be for some time. If you own a PlayStation Vita or TV, you'd be crazy to pass up Freedom Wars.
Freedom Wars review photo
Hunting with a side of grappling hook
Ever since it came out in Japan earlier this year, Freedom Wars has been high on my list of anticipated releases. Being from the illustrious SCE Japan Studio, the game found success overseas as one of the ...


Tales of Hearts R works just fine with PlayStation TV

Kick back
Oct 14
// Dale North
Vita game Tales of Hearts R works with PS TV, says Bandai Namco. This means you can enjoy the portable title on your larger TV screen.  Duh, you say? PS TV has what are basically the Vita's innards, and it is compatible ...
PS Vita on your TV photo
PS Vita on your TV

PlayStation TV is out, wait, tomorrow?!

Could've fooled me
Oct 13
// Jordan Devore
When PlayStation TV was first announced for Japan, I was fond of the device, at least conceptually, as someone who still doesn't own a PS Vita (sorry, Steven). But I haven't given the microconsole much thought since then -- i...
PlayStation Now photo
PlayStation Now

PlayStation Now beta comes to Vita, PS TV next week

Oct 08
// Kyle MacGregor
The PlayStation Now open beta is extending its reach to PlayStation TV and Vita next week, Sony announced as part of an exhaustive FAQ for its new microconsole. The service will be available starting October 14, the same...
PS TV release info photo
Then Europe in November
PlayStation TV launches across North America starting October 14, Sony announced today. The new set-top box plays a selection of Vita games, PSP titles, PS One Classics, PS3 games via PlayStation Now, and can stream PS4 conte...

$10 off PS TV pre-order photo
$10 off PS TV pre-order

Amazon sending out $10 off coupons for PlayStation TV pre-orders

$89.99 really is a steal
Jun 16
// Brett Zeidler
Ah, it's a beautiful, brand-new week fresh off the craziness of E3. We've had time to let all the sweet announcements settle in, one of which being that the PlayStation TV is finally making its way to the West. No, not that P...
PS4/ PS TV gallery photo
PS4/ PS TV gallery

Here are some fancy product shots of the white PS4 and PS Vita TV

Big ol' gallery
Jun 11
// Dale North
I went to snap images of the new PS4, PS TV, and all of the new controllers and accessories, but the floors was crowded and dark (and stinky), and the goods were behind an ultra-reflective glass case.  Frustrated, I came...
Featuring bold new flavors!
Max and I set out to review The Amazing Spider-Man 2 videogame. But, we didn't receive a review copy, forcing us to instead review a Spider-Man themed board game Max picked up at a weird Chinese shop.

PS Vita photo
PS Vita

Sony hints at slim announcement for next week

Presumably PS Vita-related
Jan 24
// Jordan Devore
The thinner, lighter PlayStation Vita Slim may finally leave Japan if an invitation for a briefing happening Thursday morning is any indication. "Following the biggest launch in PlayStation history, join us for an introductio...
Kirby sells gangbusters  photo
Kirby sells gangbusters

Suck on this: Kirby sells huge in 3DS debut

I guess the Japanese haven't Kirby'd their enthusiasm
Jan 15
// Steven Hansen
Kirby: Triple Deluxe is looking great. There is still no word on a release date outside of Japan, but in its first week of Japanese availability it has already sold 214,208 copies. That's more four times as much as the number...
PS Vita TV ad photo
PS Vita TV ad

First PlayStation Vita TV ad tugs at familial strings

Dec 03
// Steven Hansen
PS Vita TV TV commercial. Hah. This ad isn't ground breaking, but it's really cute. I've always liked these sorts of technological retrospectives. Add in a cute family, swinging tunes, and a truckload of chihuahuas and I'm bound to crack a smile. Also, is that a throwback Rams jersey? Now we just need the PS Vita TV to be announced for the US. Such a neat little thing.
Sony policy update photo
Sony policy update

Sony updates device policy to allow three portables

PSP, Vita, and Vita TV
Nov 27
// Chris Carter
Due to the release of the PlayStation Vita TV device, Sony has updated their policy to allow for up to three portable devices on the same account. Previously, any given Sony account could only support up to two devices (a PS...
Sup Holmes photo
Get to know the people that make great videogames
A week and a half ago on Sup Holmes (now on iTunes) we spent an hour and a half getting to know Shawn Alexander Allen of A Nu Challenger. We covered a vast sea of topics, like growing up with a Repo Mom, his path towards wor...

Hello! PS Vita TV photo
Hello! PS Vita TV

Check out the PlayStation Vita TV in action

PlayStation Japan introduces its upcoming microconsole
Nov 03
// Kyle MacGregor
Still confused about what the PlayStation Vita TV is, exactly? Wondering about everything it can do? Well then, glassy-eyed reader, take a peek at the latest footage out of Japan. Despite the language barrier, the ad does a ...
Sup Holmes photo
Sup Holmes

Sup Holmes gets beat down by Shawn Alexander Allen

Get to know the people that make great videogames
Oct 27
// Jonathan Holmes
This Sunday, Sup Holmes returns with Shawn Alexander Allen of NuChallenger. Shawn's currently hard at work on a new turn-based, violent, President saving game called Treachery in Beatdown City for PS Vita and Sony phones...

Shantae Kickstarter over, doubles its goal

$811,962 raised
Oct 05
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Following Mighty No. 9's successful Kickstarter comes more good news, as Shantae: Half-Genie Hero's Kickstarter drive ends with more than double their original request raised. From Kickstarter the team received $776,084, plus...
PS Vita photo
PS Vita

Sony: Vita hurt 'quite badly' by smartphones and tablets

And here's what the company is doing about it
Oct 02
// Jordan Devore
The PlayStation Vita TV is indicative of a significant change within Sony Computer Entertainment, Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida tells GamesIndustry International. "Rather than a platform being tied to each indivi...
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero photo
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero

Playable Risky Boots is a go for Shantae: Half-Genie Hero

And $1.3 million for animated cutscenes!? Not gonna happen...
Sep 30
// Tony Ponce
It's been slow goings ever since the Shantae: Half-Genie Hero Kickstarter met its base goal last week, but no need to lose hope just yet! The $500K Risky Mode has been funded! As the sexy pirate villainess Risky Boots, you'll...

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