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Retro photo

Retro City Rampage sequel, 'Shakedown Hawaii' announced

Now 16-bit
Nov 25
// Chris Carter
Developer Vblank has announced a brand new follow-up to Retro City Rampage titled Shakedown Hawaii. It will be released on PS4, Vita, 3DS, and PC at some point, and updates the original aesthetic with 16-bit visuals. Th...
December photo

PlayStation Plus' December offerings include Blood Dragon, King's Quest

Nice, nice
Nov 25
// Chris Carter
In comparison to Microsoft's Games With Gold December games, PlayStation Plus' offerings are like a nice little Christmas gift. On PS4 you'll nab Gauntlet: Slayer Edition and King's Quest: A Knight to Remember. PS3 owners get...
PlayStation Network photo
PlayStation Network

Latest PSN sale celebrates co-op gaming

Which cat are you?
Nov 24
// Jordan Devore
Sony is holding a co-op game sale on PlayStation Network until next week, and if you're a new PS4 owner or will be one soon thanks to Black Friday sales, it's absolutely worth a look. Some of my favorite titles for the consol...
DOA Xtreme 3 photo
DOA Xtreme 3

Plans to localize Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 in the West may be DOA

Sad tromboner
Nov 24
// CJ Andriessen
Are you a western gamer interested in Dead or Alive Xtreme 3? Well then you best get your ass to an import website because it doesn't look like the game will be making it our way. Even after the publisher said fan demand coul...

One Piece photo
One Piece

Now that's a video game screenshot!

One Piece: Burning Blood
Nov 23
// Jordan Devore
You don't need to know the first thing about One Piece to enjoy this screenshot from Burning Blood, Spike Chunsoft's upcoming fighter for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PS Vita. A colorful robot fighting a dashing dinosaur? Thi...
PlayStation TV photo
PlayStation TV

Hot Deal: PlayStation TV on sale for $19.99

Vita (TV) means life
Nov 22
// Kyle MacGregor
In case you haven't picked up a PlayStation Vita yet, now is a good time to (sort of) pick one up on the cheap. Best Buy is currently offering PlayStation TV, the Vita's microconsole variant, for $19.99. Of course, that attra...
JRPGs photo

PS Vita RPG Ray Gigant heads west next spring

Playable at PlayStation Experience
Nov 21
// Kyle MacGregor
PlayStation Vita dungeon crawler Ray Gigant is coming to North America and Europe next spring. The role-playing game comes from Operation Abyss and Demon Gaze studio Experience, and while it was published by Bandai Namco in ...
Koei Tecmo photo
Koei Tecmo

Atelier Escha & Logy Plus coming to PlayStation Vita in January

With lots of new content
Nov 21
// Kyle MacGregor
Atelier Escha & Logy Plus: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky is coming to PlayStation Vita in North America on January 19 and Europe the very next day, Koei Tecmo has announced. The role-playing game originally came out on PlayS...
EDF photo

Two Earth Defense Force games deploy Dec. 8

Nov 21
// Kyle MacGregor
XSEED Games is serving up a double-shot of bug-killing action on December 8, simultaneously putting out both Earth Defense Force 4.1 and Earth Defense Force 2 in North America. EDF 4.1, an expansion on last year's Earth ...
Attack on Titan PS4 photo
Attack on Titan PS4

That new Attack on Titan game freaks me out

There can be no survivors
Nov 21
// Jordan Devore
It's not like I was going to sleep tonight, anyway, Attack on Titan. A handful of audio-less gameplay clips from Koei Tecmo's upcoming PS4, PS3, and PS Vita action game have surfaced on the official Japanese site. Lots of zooming around, slashing titan flesh. A couple of the videos are more mundane and feature the protagonists chatting with one another. Let's not focus on the mundane.
The Binding of Isaac photo
The Binding of Isaac

The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth coming to PS4, but other platforms unlikely

'Outlook NOT good'
Nov 20
// Ben Davis
Afterbirth, the expansion to The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, was released last month for PC users. Owners of Rebirth on other platforms have since been left waiting, but according to a tweet yesterday from Edmund McMillen, the...
Pretty good photo
Pretty good

No one's talking about Square's new Chrono Trigger inspired PS4/Vita RPG

It looks alright!
Nov 19
// Steven Hansen
I guess a few years ago "new Chrono Trigger-styled RPG from Square" might've carried a bit more weight. Hell, a few years prior still and "new RPG from Square" would've carried a lot more weight. Maybe it's that the former "P...
Read Only Memories photo
Read Only Memories

Read Only Memories is coming soon to PS4 and Vita

Turing breaks his way onto consoles
Nov 19
// Ben Davis
Read Only Memories, the cyberpunk adventure inspired by Snatcher, will be making its way to consoles soon on PS4 and PS Vita, as announced today on the PlayStation Blog. I reviewed Read Only Memories last month when it was re...
Panty lines photo
Panty lines

Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 gets rope tug and buoy hopping

And tan line tech
Nov 19
// Steven Hansen
It's not just volleyball, clapping titties, and virtual reality you're getting with Dead or Alive Xtreme 3. No, no, no. As shown off in this new video, there's also tug-of-war and pool crossing minigames. The latter would be...
Atlus x Vanillaware photo
Atlus x Vanillaware

Odin Sphere has a great collector's edition

By Odin's Beard!
Nov 18
// Jordan Devore
Atlus sure knows how to put a special edition together. For Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir, a remake whose name I dare not type out manually, the publisher has a $79.99 Storybook Edition planned. It's exclusive to PlayStation 4 and...
Darkest Dungeon photo
Darkest Dungeon

Darkest Dungeon aims for PS4, Vita this spring

Eyes on the inside
Nov 18
// Jordan Devore
Darkest Dungeon is bringing its madness-inducing dungeon crawling to PlayStation 4 and Vita in spring 2016. Those carrion eaters and shamblers are really going to pop on your TV! Speaking of: the PS4 port will be playable at ...

Review: Super Star Wars

Nov 18 // Chris Carter
Super Star Wars (PS4 [reviewed], PS Vita, SNES, Wii Virtual Console)Developer: Sculpted Software, LucasArtsPublisher: Nintendo (SNES) / Disney Interactive (PSN)MSRP: $9.99 (Cross-Buy with PS4 and Vita)Release Date: November 17, 2015 Despite the fact that a lot of 2D platformers in the '90s were keen on a linear format, Super Star Wars mixed things up considerably. It's a run-and-gun title at heart, but it has arcade elements, vehicular portions, and some exploration elements peppered in to keep you constantly on your toes. While the first stage (the desert of Tatooine) is straightforward, the game really starts to open up on the third mission, the Sandcrawler. Here, you'll face ridiculously tough platforming sections with hazards, enemies, and moving platforms constantly at odds with the player. Almost every stage has something new to throw at you. Whether it's auto-scrolling sections with platforms crumbling underneath your feet or all-out arena brawls, no one experience feels the same. I love the silly liberties taken with the story, which only loosely follow the film, like Luke fighting a sarlacc in the very first mission. I'm glad that the developers were given a lot of leeway here, especially when you consider the limited settings in A New Hope -- the crew essentially hangs out on Tatooine before heading directly to the Death Star. This change of pace is especially evident for the boss fights -- hulking, memorable masses that are some of the toughest challenges in the game. Speaking of challenge, Super rewards those of you who don't die, gifting a permanent health increase whenever you come across a giant heart power-up, as well as full-use of whatever power-up you happen to have equipped at the time. Oh, and there's one more thing -- checkpoints basically don't exist. [embed]321401:61152:0[/embed] It is missing a bit of variety gameplay-wise though, mostly due to the fact that Luke doesn't really start his Jedi training until the next iteration. Because of this adherence to the source material, Super Star Wars is a shooter through and through, with very little emphasis on melee combat or special powers beyond the Contra-esque power-ups and some ancillary use of Obi-Wan's Lightsaber. Having said that, roughly halfway in you'll have the option to swap characters (Han and Chewbacca join Luke), who bring in their own set of animations with them. As for the "enhancements" that accompany this re-release, they're pretty light. The biggest addition is probably the save state option, which allows players to snapshot their progress anywhere in the game -- it's extremely useful for saving your progress before a boss, or when you just have to pick up and leave. Sadly, it's only one slot, and I would have loved to have seen an option to catalog all of the game's wonderful boss fights. Other than that, you're basically getting a selection of three filters, border options, and leaderboards. You can get a better look at everything in the video above. Super Star Wars remains a classic over two decades later, and I'm happy to see it being reintroduced to a new generation. I sincerely hope this leads to the production of remakes for the superior Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi entries -- perhaps with a few more extras along for the ride. [This review is based on a retail build of the game purchased by the reviewer.]
Super Star Wars photo
As old school as the Force
I'm really surprised that Super Star Wars is getting a re-release in 2015. No, not because "it's old," but rather the fact that it's an exceedingly unforgiving retro game, which doesn't really gel with the hand-holding landscape of modern gaming. While some elements haven't aged all that well, it's still very much a classic.

Project Setsuna photo
Project Setsuna

Ikenie to Yuki no Setsuna, Tokyo RPG Factory's latest, launches in early 2016

Also known as 'Project Setsuna'
Nov 17
// Chris Carter
Earlier this year at E3, we got a glimpse at "Project Setsuna," and damn was it beautiful. Now the game is known as Ikenie to Yuki no Setsuna, and already has a release date in Japan -- February 18. It'll launch on both ...
Super Star Wars photo
Super Star Wars

Reminder: Super Star Wars comes out this week on PSN

The SNES classic
Nov 16
// Chris Carter
As a reminder, Super Star Wars will hit the PSN this week (PS4 and Vita with Cross-Buy). It was part of a classic trilogy for the SNES, and was basically a re-telling of A New Hope, through the veil of an action pla...
Boobs, boobs never change photo
Boobs, boobs never change

Boobie mouse pads included with Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 Collector's Editions

Also some playing cards and photo books
Nov 13
// Jed Whitaker
Sample images of items included with the collector's editions of Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 in Japan have been released, and as you could have guessed, they feature young girls wearing next to nothing.

Review: Sword Art Online: Lost Song

Nov 13 // Josh Tolentino
Sword Art Online: Lost Song (PS4, PS3, PS Vita [reviewed])Developer: ArtdinkPublisher: Bandai Namco GamesMSRP: $39.99 (Vita), $59.99 (PS4)Released: November 17, 2015 (NA), November 13, 2015 (EU), April 28, 2015 (SEA), March 26, 2015 (JP) [Note: This review is based on the English-language version of Lost Song released in Southeast Asia on April 28, 2015. While there may be some differences between this version and the North American/EU ones, we expect the core experience will be highly similar, if not identical.] Let's not mince words: Like its predecessor Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment, Lost Song is meant for existing fans of Sword Art Online (or at least of Hollow Fragment), and few else outside that sphere. In fact, Lost Song's main plot virtually ensures that only those invested Kirito and the gang's adventures and interactions will find fulfillment from the game's narrative.  But first, an aside: When it came to the anime and novels, the reason the ALO-set story arcs felt so weak was the overriding sense that the show was treading water. In contrast to original's grand hook of "dying in the game means death for real", the goal of Kirito playing ALO to search for Asuna carried not nearly as much weight. This was exacerbated in the second season, which followed up an excellent murder mystery set in Gun Gale Online with Kirito and his pals literally just doing a raid and some quests in ALO for a nice sword. It came to pass that when ALO was onscreen, Sword Art Online became less about exciting adventures and speculative future game design than essentially watching a bunch of nonexistent Let's Players play a nonexistent game. Lost Song falls afoul of ALO's curse as well, with even its central story afflicted with the same sense of meandering and lack of stakes. Still placed in Hollow Fragment's alternative timeline (which saw the cast stuck in SAO for much longer than in the "canon", and adding characters like Sinon under different circumstances), Lost Song sees Kirito and his posse moving to ALfheim Online right on time for the game to debut "Svart ALfheim", its first expansion, consisting of five massive floating islands. Being the top-class gamers they are, the crew resolves to be the first to burn through it. [embed]318569:61096:0[/embed] The quest for "world-first" (a motivation familiar to anyone who's played an MMO) eventually brings them into conflict with Shamrock, a massive guild run by Seven, an idol/scientist (!) who's taking the opportunity run a big social experiment within ALO. If the whole premise of Lost Song's plot sounds like the kind of inter-guild "drama" that plays out on forums and social media feeds for actual games today, one wouldn't be too far off. This puts the bulk of the game's narrative appeal in the interactions between cast members new and old, told via entertaining Tales of-style vignettes, in-game events, and lengthy personal quests, some of which adapt storylines from the canon like the well-received "Mother's Rosario" arc. In a nice touch, these events are mostly encountered semi-randomly and often without explicit prompting. A minor thing, to be sure, but one that channels the "live" qualities of MMO play, where impromptu encounters and stories grow even against otherwise static environs and content. Ultimately, though, those invested in seeing the characters of Sword Art Online again, sporting their ALO-styled redesigns and touting long-running in-jokes, will get their fill, but players seeking epic adventure or the kind of JRPG saga that ends with the heroes saving the world will come away disappointed. It doesn't help, either, that Lost Song doesn't work very hard to introduce players to the characters themselves. In some ways that's to be expected, seeing as this is a sequel to Hollow Fragment and mostly features the same faces (with a few more added), but curious folks who just want to know what the fuss over Sword Art Online is all about would be better served by picking up Re: Hollow Fragment (the "Director's Cut" PS4 port of Hollow Fragment), or just watching the anime. Narrative pitfalls aside, Lost Song is at least less of a slog to play, mechanically, bringing some new, entertaining gimmicks to the table. The combat system ditches the auto-attacks, casting times, and menus of Hollow Fragment for a straightforward, directly-controlled action-RPG setup. Players can string together combos of light and heavy attacks, controlling any three of up to seventeen playable characters (they can even replace Kirito as the leader!), each wielding a number of weapons with signature skills and magic. Special moves and magic can be triggered by combining shoulder and face buttons. New attacks, spells, and passive effects can be unlocked by leveling up their weapon skills through use, and assigning them to preferred button combinations. A Union gauge fills up in battle, and when triggered enables devastating "Switch" attacks involving the whole party. While simpler and arguably less deep than Hollow Fragment, the new system is more engaging and wastes less time. Most low-level foes can be dispatched in seconds, and fighting large bosses rewards mobility and effective use of buffs and debuffs to chop away at their massive, stacked health bars. AI companions fight and support effectively, and need little in the way of handholding unless severely under-leveled. New gear can be found in the field, or bought, identified, and upgraded at Agil and Lisbeth's shops while Side Quests and Extra Quests can be accepted at the hub town's tavern. Side Quests usually fall into the "Kill X number of Y enemy" category, but Extra Quests usually pose an additional challenge, involving big takedowns of one or more boss-class foes for better rewards. And then there's the flying. Being a fairy-themed game, ALO plants wings on all its characters to enable long-distance travel and a level of verticality rarely embraced in the RPG space. Lost Song gladly obliges, featuring huge, open-world maps populated by roaming enemies and dotted with dungeons at varying altitudes. Players can switch from running on the ground to hovering to racing through the air with a flick of the D-pad. While a bit fiddly at first, this mobility quickly becomes second nature and makes a genuine difference when fighting outdoors, as aerial dashes can be used to set up powerful charging attacks, and hovering up high can put safe distances between players and ground-bound foes. Fighting indoors, however, is more of a chore, as most dungeons prohibit flying and often take place against large numbers of enemies spawning in ways that cause the combat camera and lock-on function to freak out unpleasantly. Worse still, the dungeons themselves are so bland and unimaginative that I initially mistook them for being procedurally generated. Having players visit these dungeons in order to progress just hammers home the apathetic level design. And there's even multiplayer, making Lost Song the only Sword Art Online game that's actually, well, online. Local and online play sessions are available, including a PVP versus mode, and team battles against roided-out versions of the single-player bosses. It's an alright option to have, but there's little compelling reason to engage with it. Players can use custom characters, but the customization options are so limited that anything created just resembles the generic NPC characters littering the hub world. For better or worse, Sword Art Online: Lost Song replicates both the highs and lows of its predecessors. Existing fans of the series will find plenty to like in the further adventures of Kirito and his MMO pals, despite a dull main story. The revamped mechanics also support a steady drip-feed of Sword Art Online fan service mainly by not getting in the way too much. Unfortunately, Lost Song stumbles hardest when trying to engage players outside that sphere of pre-existing investment, and in some ways ends up an even less suitable jumping-off point for newbies who want to get in on enjoying the franchise. My advice to those folks would be to watch the anime or try out Hollow Fragment first. If they're still jonesing for some more of this motley crew of irredeemable MMO nerds when they're done, then Lost Song will be music to their ears. [This review is based on a retail copy of the game acquired by the reviewer.] Fallout 4 (PC, PS4, Xbox One [reviewed])Developer: Bethesda Game StudiosPublisher: Bethesda SoftworksMSRP: $59.99Released: November 10, 2015
SAO: Lost Song Review photo
Familiar Tune
Ask most folks who watched the Sword Art Online anime series, and they'll likely tell you that the show's weaker moments usually coincided with events set in ALfheim Online (ALO), a fairy-themed virtual reality MMO that ...

PS Vita photo
PS Vita

That's a damn fine PlayStation Vita

Japan, though!
Nov 12
// Jordan Devore
I like this PlayStation Vita design even more than that metal slime PlayStation 4. They share a similar theme, but it's the little touches that matter -- the custom d-pad art, the liquid metal slime accessory for the headphone jack, the slick box the system comes in. All great.
Mega Man photo
Mega Man

Brand new Mega Man avatars hit the PSN

From Legacy Collection
Nov 09
// Chris Carter
In the dead of night, Capcom has pushed a handful of new Mega Man avatars to the PSN. They're based on the new Legacy Collection artwork, and will run you around $0.49 each. There's a few cherry-picked Robot Masters here, two...
Skullgirls Vita photo
Skullgirls Vita

Skullgirls dev 'underestimated' PS Vita port job

It'll be ready when it's ready
Nov 07
// Kyle MacGregor
At one time, Lab Zero Games planned to ship a PlayStation Vita port of its latest fighting game Skullgirls 2nd Encore "a few weeks" after the PlayStation 4 version. However, it's been a few months since the title arrived on P...
Tomba 2 photo
Tomba 2

Tomba 2 is back on PSN this week (Update)

This time in English
Nov 01
// Kyle MacGregor
[Update: MonkeyPaw Games tells us "those who have the Japanese version will be able to upgrade to English.] Tomba 2: The Evil Swine Return is making a comeback this week on PlayStation Network. The sequel wound up being Tomba...
Zero Escape photo
Zero Escape

Zero Escape 3 gets new name and release shenanigans

Escape once more in summer 2016
Oct 30
// CJ Andriessen
The third entry in the Zero Escape franchise was announced earlier this year at the Anime Expo. Today, we learned a little more about the 3DS and Vita game. In North America, it will be known as Zero Time Dilemma, and feature...
PS+ November photo
PS+ November

PlayStation Plus has a modest set of free games in November

PS3 has the best showing
Oct 30
// Steven Hansen
It's November, which means it's the month to gives thanks for all the "free" PlayStation Plus games released all year. Next month, in the spirit of Christmas, you can be greedy about the offering. And hey, this month ain't ba...
Dead or Alive Xtreme photo
Dead or Alive Xtreme

Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 scores English subs

So import away!
Oct 30
// Kyle MacGregor
Much like a volleyball mid-flight, it remains up in the air whether Koei Tecmo will bring Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 to western shores. However, we received word today from Play Asia that the Asian-region version of the game will...
Legend of Heroes photo
Legend of Heroes

It's here! It's finally here!

LoH: TitS SC out now on PSP and PC
Oct 29
// Kyle MacGregor
It's been over four years since XSEED delivered the first half of The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky, and now the (hopefully) epic conclusion has finally arrived on PlayStation Network and Steam. The role-playing game is...
PS Vita photo
PS Vita

Never mind, Sony is still making first-party Vita games

No triple-A games in the works
Oct 29
// Alissa McAloon
No one seems to know quite what is happening with the Vita right now. Last week, Sony Computer Entertainment executive vice president Masayasu Ito stated that Sony wasn't working on any first-party titles for the Vita. In an ...

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