Tagged "PS Vita"

Feb 27
By Matt Gander In UK Charts No Comments

Uncharted: Golden Abyss has proven to be the most popular PS Vita launch title. No surprise there, but what is surprising is that together with FIFA Football – the second most popular title – the two took 50 percent of software sales.

Uncharted: Golden Abyss took the top spot of the chart, while FIFA Football took #2. A few others out of the 23-strong line-up made the top 40 – WipEout 2048 at #11, Ridge Racer at #28, Virtua Tennis 4 at #30 and Everybody’s Golf at #32.

Rayman Origins has also shot back up the chart from #36 to #5, while F1 2011 and Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 have re-entered the chart (at #22 and #33 respectively) presumably due to the Vita versions.

Chart-Track also tells us that 79% of all PS Vitas sold were the WiFi version.

Syndicate settles for #7 while The Last Story enters at a not too shabby #15 even though GAME and Gamestation were reportedly not stocking it.

Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate falls into #17 while The Jak & Daxter Trilogy makes #27.

Sega’s Binary Domain hasn’t got off to a very good start at all entering at #35. It has already been reduced to £25 on the likes of Zavvi despite being pretty good.

Feb 23
By Matt Gander In This Week's Games No Comments

We’ve had our say on the PS Vita’s line-up, but to quickly recap Uncharted: Golden Abyss, WipEout 2048, Lumines, Everybody’s Golf and FIFA Football are the ones that should be on top of your shopping list. Then there are a few decent conversions to consider if you don’t already own the originals – F1 2011, Ninja Gaiden Sigma Vita, Rayman Origins and the 2D brawlers Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 and BlazBlue Extend. Don’t expect to find any of Ubisoft’s titles at GAME – they’ve already confirmed that they aren’t stocking them due to ongoing credit issues.

BlazBlue Extend is also out on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 this week which Zavvi is offering for a not too shabby £19.95. It’s not the most exciting thing hitting shelves though. That’ll be a combination of Sega’s Binary Domain and EA’s Syndicate.

Syndicate is one that the press seem to universally agree is worth a 7. Fans of online co-op games should certainly take a look – it sounds like it’s the game that Brink should have been.

Binary Domain is by the brains behind the Yakuza games and although set in Tokyo it has a stronger western feel to it. It’s a third-person squad-based shooter with some lively banter between team-mates and some lovely sharp visuals. The way the amour falls off the robotic enemies, leaving their circuits exposed, is quite nifty. We also like the way some crawl along the ground when injured, like something out of Terminator. Give the demo a go – you may be surprised.

Then on Wii there’s Glacier 3: The Meltdown the sequel to… oh, it would appear that there haven’t been any previous games in the series. How odd. The video on the publisher’s site reveals it to be quite a fast looking weapon-based racer. It certainly can’t be any worse than Wheelspin. There’s also Wicked Monster Blast which Nintendo Gamer magazine quite enjoyed. They gave it 72% and billed it as a finely crafted mini-game package. Now there’s a thing.

Both of these are overshadowed however by RPG The Last Story. Not quite as grand as Xenoblade Chronicles, it would seem, but a very nice RPG all the same and one that’s apparently very user-friendly with very little grinding. It’s also of a shorter length than most RPGs, clocking in at around 20 hours.

PlayStation 3 owners shouldn’t feel jealous as they have Tecmo Koei’s RPG Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2 to consider.

Next week: SSX (PS3, 360), Twisted Metal (PS3), Mario Party 9 (Wii), Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition (PS3, 360) and a Platinum/Classics re-release of Driver: San Francisco.

Feb 22
By Matt Gander In Blog No Comments

The PSP’s release schedule hasn’t been a picture of health for a long time, but with the PS Vita hitting Europe this week and Sony now focusing all their attention on their shiny new system the release lists look bleaker than ever. There are a few RPGs lined up for American gamers, and we may see FIFA 13 on it if we’re lucky, but now seems a fine time to say farewell to Sony’s premier handheld.

When the PSP first arrived on the scene it got off to a glowing start. It was a sleek and stylish piece of kit that was effortlessly desirable. Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto Liberty City Stories and Vice City Stories helped to gain the system plenty of press attention, and publishers and developers alike approved of the ability to bring their PlayStation 2 titles to it with relative ease.

It’s keeping the publishers faithful that Sony has struggled with – even EA has backed away slightly, not dishing up a new Need for Speed since 2009.

We could go on to talk about the faux pas that was the PSPgo – which a few retailers refused to stock – and the dead format that is UMD video, but the PSP shouldn’t be remembered for these mistakes.

Few could argue that it doesn’t have one of greatest collection of RPGs of all time. It’s Square-Enix and Ghostlight who have kept the system alive for the past year thanks to the likes of Tactics Orge, Lord of Arcana and The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky. Many of Square-Enix’s efforts can now picked up for around £7.99 on the PSP Essentials range, making them incredibly good value for money.

Cheap development costs and popularity in the East also lead to a wealth of inventive and experimental niche titles such as LocoRoco, Gitaroo Man Lives, Half Minute Hero, echochrome, Me and My Katamari, Patapon and Prinny: Can I Really Be The Hero?. The PSP iteration of Katamari is one of our favourites because after this one the series was flogged for all it’s worth. A few of the above were popular enough to spawn sequels.

There are some fantastic retro compilations as well including EA Replay – the only retro collection the publisher has even released. Apparently you can get your own assortment of retro games on the system too, although we wouldn’t know anything about that.

Sony were also able to keep the PlayStation 2 going for a couple of extra years by slowing drip-feeding PSP conversions such as Secret Agent Clank, MotorStorm: Arctic Edge and WipEout Pulse. We never did see the rumoured PlayStation 2 version of God of War: Chains of Olympus but we suppose Sony had to keep some of their biggest titles exclusive to PSP.

We can’t ignore the system’s success in Japan either, which Sony mostly have Capcom’s time-sapping Monster Hunter series to thank. Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker helped the slimmer and lighter PSP 3000 get off to a good start too. It’s a game that most gamers are only discovering now for the first time, via the recently released Metal Gear Solid HD Collection. On a similar note, 3DS owners have only recently been treated to CRUSH3D – a puzzler that first made its début on PSP under the guise of CRUSH.

If you’re thinking of making a late entrance to the PSP party then now is a brilliant time to do so – many of the the system’s finest can be picked up for literally pocket change. Prices of the handheld itself are quickly descending too. The Slim & Light model is the fan favourite and can be found for around £50 if you spend a little bit of time on eBay.

Here’s a round-up of our favourite titles:

Matt

Lumines

For years after the PSP’s launch Lumines was a game that I kept returning to. A block-stacking puzzler made with the widescreen format in mind, with music so aurally pleasing I wanted to play it both loudly and proudly.

A few PSP games were made frustrating to play due to their loading times but this wasn’t one of them – due to having not a single polygon in sight, it loaded in a blink of an eye. It was the format’s Tetris, pretty much – a game that once removed from its host system it never felt quite as nice to play.

Capcom Classics Collection Remixed

If only we could have combined the contents of Capcom Classics Collection Remixed and Capcom Classics Collection Reloaded, we would have one of the best retro collections ever. This is was the better of the two, mind, and although it didn’t feature Street Fighter II it did have Strider, Captain Commando, Mega Twins and a couple of 2D shooters that required the PSP to be held on its side.

The real hidden gem in the package for me though was Block Block – a simple but addictive Breakout clone. Capcom must have been aware of how well this game played on PSP as it later formed part of Capcom Puzzle World, along with two other games.

Power Stone Collection

You may not think that the PSP was the ideal home for Power Stone on first thought, but once it was sat in the palm of your hand it quickly came apparent that it’s a game perfectly suited to the handheld. Battles were short and satisfying – ideal for passing a few spare minutes – and like the Dreamcast, the PSP only had one analogue stick meaning Capcom didn’t have to rethink the control system. They were even kind enough sharpen up the visuals and carry over the VMU mini-games, presented here in the style of a faux LCD game.

I’ve never been a big fan of Power Stone 2, but the original is a game I think many would love to see resurface for PSN and Xbox Live Arcade.

WTF (Byte Hell 2000)

Is WTF a brilliant game? No, which is perhaps why it never saw a European release. It is however perhaps the oddest piece of software for the system. Odd in the best way possible, I must stress.

We all know what WTF really stands for but here it stood for Work Time Fun, due to the fact that it was filled with stupid little time-wasting treats. Clones of retro games, a fake e-mail system where random and time-sensitive messages and images appeared, and dozens of ‘tools’ such as a instant noodle timer which featured a FMV clip of either a greased up beefcake or a girl in a bikini who did their best to entertain you while your noodles cooked.

There were also Shenmue-style gashpon toys to collect with some amusing descriptions. “This toy is horribly painted. No child would want it,” read one of them. By far the PSP’s biggest curio.

Jake

LocoRoco

As mentioned above, for a while the PSP had a fairly healthy stream of innovative little games. Not all of them were entirely successful, but LocoRoco emphatically was.

From the colourful first screenshots, via the unusual move of a PSP demo, to the final game – and even its sequel – it delivered on its promise of pretty much pure platforming joy.

With delightful level design, simple but satisfyingly weighty controls, and endearingly enthusiastic sound effects, the whole thing was never less than charming. Not to mention the titular blobs breaking into song at any opportunity, which I’ve run out of synonyms to describe.

Feb 17
By Matt Gander In Blog 4 Comments

It’s no wonder that the PSP’s release list has been slimmer than a Peperami over the past year – Sony have been working their socks off to provide the PS Vita with no less than ten titles. Uncharted: Golden Abyss and WipEout 2048 are the two main system sellers but there are some other titles worthy of attention too. Before we get to dissecting the line-up though, there’s some other stuff to talk about.

We haven’t spent a great deal of time with the system, but that little time has been well spent. It’s a little larger than you may expect, with a glorious screen, and the touch panel opens up new ways to play. Or at least, new ways to those who didn’t experience the DS. In the upcoming Mortal Kombat fatalities are pulled off by swiping the screen while in another game enemies’ throats have to be slashed by proficient swiping. We forget the game name, but it probably isn’t Rayman Origins.

Two models exist – a WiFi model and a more expensive 3G model. Not sure what to get? Ask yourself this – are you happy to do all your downloading and online gaming while at home, or do you want to do these things on the move? Vodafone are supplying the 3G network and have a deal planned. £279 gets you a 3G PS Vita, 4GB memory card and a 3G sim card. If you then top up the sim card with £5 they’ll hand you a shiny new copy of WipEout 2048 too.

Amazon, ShopTo and GameStop are the three retailers who have seemingly been in competition with one another to lure in those looking to pre-order.

Amazon are offering the WiFi model plus a selected third party game and an 8GB memory card for £225 or the 3G model for £275. This deal doesn’t appear to include Sony’s own pre-order incentive starter pack though which includes headphones, avatar items and a £5 discount voucher.

ShopTo’s offers do however have the starter pack. Prices start at £218.86 for a WiFi system and a selected game. They’re also rather cheekily selling the starter pack on its own for £24.99.

GameStop meanwhile seem to be the best place for the 3G model – £319 for the system, Uncharted and a 16GB memory card.

Over the high street, Asda kicked off the supermarket price war with a £196.98 price tag for the WiFi model.

The line-up is a mixture of familiar franchises, conversions of older games and a handful of new IPs. Uncharted: Golden Abyss and WipEout 2048 are the ones getting the most press attention. EDGE gave Uncharted a 7 while Eurogamer gave it an 8. It was a case of the opposite for WipEout where EDGE awarded it an 8 while Eurogamer thought it was only worth a 7.

Everybody’s Golf – one of Sony’s staples for their system launches – was also given a 7 by EDGE while fellow magazine gamesTM scored it an 8. Incidentally, gamesTM gave WipEout a 9 making it their highest scoring PS Vita game. We’ve also heard good things about FIFA Football – loading times are short and it plays brilliantly due to the system having two analogue sticks. MCV even reported that it could be a killer app. IGN were the first place to review it, where they dribbled out an 8. The only other sports game in the line-up is Virtua Tennis 4 from Sega, which has optional touch-screen controls. Our worry with that one is that your fingers could end up obscuring the view.

The first batch of reviews for mini-game package Little Deviants doesn’t make for pleasant reading. EDGE gave it a 5 claiming that there’s not a whole lot of game on offer and little incentive to return once you’ve seen everything. No wonder it’s one of the cheaper launch games – Amazon are selling it for £17.99. Modnation Racers: Road Trip has been getting mixed scores, including a 7.0 from IGN and 4 from gamesTM. That’s the same score gamesTM also gave Square-Enix’s action game Army Corps of Hell, which is a shame. That said, IGN gave it a 7.0 although they did point out it could have been done on the original PSP.

Then we’ve got Ubisoft’s conversions. If Dungeon Hunter Alliance rings a bell it’s because it was first released on PSN last year… at a third of the cost. We aren’t sure why it isn’t £19.99 like most of Ubisoft’s Vita games, such as Asphalt Ignition and Michael Jackson: The Experience. IGN gave the former 6.0 and the latter 6.5. That has to be an all-time high for the Asphalt series. Not all their efforts are mediocre though – Rayman Origins has been getting 9/10s, such as this one from GamesRadar. Ubisoft are also publishing Lumines: Electronic Symphony which has been described as amazing.

We were expecting Reality Fighters to be little more than a tech demo but it’s pleasingly more than that with a fighting system influenced by Capcom’s brawlers. EDGE gave it a 6, making it worth consideration if Capcom’s own Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 – which scored an 8 on Eurogamer – doesn’t take your fancy. There’s BlazBlue: Continuum Shift too, which we could never imagine to be terrible. And it isn’t.

Seeing as Japan was the only country to take the PSP to their hearts, Eastern support is typically strong. There’s Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus, Dynasty Warriors Next, Shinobido 2: Revenge of Zen and Touch My Katamari. Touch My Katamari doesn’t sound like a very appealing package – it’s another one of the Vita’s cheaper games but you can apparently see everything in a day. IGN also had some wise words about Ninja Gaiden: “If you weren’t crazy about Ninja Gaiden the last three times, this is the same game, so keep walking. Likewise if you already played either Black or Sigma, you’re probably ok to hold off, too.” It doesn’t sound like it’s a bad conversion though – they gave it an 8.0.

There’s always a Ridge Racer wheeled out with any Sony system launch. The Vita’s Ridge Racer caused a controversy before it was even released. It’s only £14.95 to pre-order on places like TheHut but most of the tracks have to be downloaded at an additional cost. With scores including a 5 from gamesTM it may be best to stick to WipEout or Codemasters’ only Vita offering – Formula One 2011.

Sony’s Unit 13 hasn’t been reviewed yet but we’re guessing that’s because it’s missing launch day in favour of a 9th March release. It’s by Zipper Interactive – the SOCOM guys – and as such looks rather similar. One of the more interesting features is that new missions are sent to the Vita every day.

This leaves us with the downloadable games. Sony’s pricing of these has been given a thumbs up – superlative twin-stick shooter Super Stardust Delta is set to cost £6.49 while MotorStorm RC costs just £4.79 and allows for play on both PS Vita and PlayStation 3. It you already have Hustle Kings and Top Darts on PS3 then you can then download the Vita versions for free, which is another thing we approve of. Good work there, Sony.

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