Have you recently heard rumblings a new version of the PS Vita handheld could be in the works? While only a few diagrams have appeared, the validity of which are highly questionable, it got me thinking that maybe a third version of the Vita could be third time lucky for Sony. Here’s how they could turn things around.
Of course, the Vita’s ‘success’ so far is a divisive topic. Gamers expecting a handheld that pumped out AAA titles like Uncharted: Golden Abyss on a regular basis feel understandably short-changed as Sony and third-party developers never really supported the Vita with any true ambition. Continue reading PS Vita Version 3 – Third time lucky?
As gamers, we really hope VR takes off. Oculus Rift has impressed us since we first put the virtual reality headset on and back in March, Sony announced Project Morpheus, their own brand of VR headset that would let PS4 gamers to get involved. Which, speaking as a non PC gamer, was music to my ears as I was getting dangerously close to investing in a rig so I could play with an Oculus Rift.
But is Project Morpheus doomed to follow the disturbing pattern Sony has dragged itself through over the last few years? The main PlayStation consoles have been huge successes of course; I’m talking about the state of affairs for the PS Move controllers and the PS Vita.
Continue reading Sony let the Vita and Move die. Is Project Morpheus already doomed?
Time to clear out some of those old demos again folks. Next week sees a host of new titles arrive for PS Plus members on PS3, PS Vita and for the first time, PS4.
On November 27th, PS3 gamers will get one of the best racers out there in the form of Grid 2 and the mad mexican platformer beat’em up, Guacamelle. The Vita is getting Guacamelle too, Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed and the former PSP title GTA: Liberty City Stories. When the PS4 launches on the 29th, next-gen owners will be able to help themselves to the jazz noir platformer Contrast and the retro (but oh so shiny) shooter, Resogun. Continue reading Grid 2, Contrast, Resogun, Sonic Racing and More Coming to PS Plus Next Week
After a strong launch line-up the Vita’s release schedule has been worryingly quiet. It has also been without anything resembling a decent RPG to really get our teeth into. Hopefully that’s all about to change as Disgaea 3 gets a re-release.
We’re not entirely sure why NIS didn’t release Disgaea 4 instead as it’s generally seen as the superior title. What you have here is a full priced game that has been out on the PS3 since 2008 and available for under a tenner today. On the plus side, Absence of Detention does come with all the separate DLC from the PS3 game, including an extra four chapters. Not that you’d miss it, this game is huge. You can level up to Lv. 9999 type of huge.
Continue reading Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention (Review)
Third-person shooters were something to be avoided on the PSP, but thanks to the Vita’s second analogue stick we can now safely embrace the genre on a handheld device. Unit 13 comes from Zipper Interactive, the team behind the Socom games, most recently the impressive Socom: Special Forces, so there’s potential here.
Despite Zipper’s last game having a decent plot, this game is very much business only and broken up into individual missions with no story at all. Essentially, you pick one specialist from the unit and get dropped into a level to kill terrorists, kill leaders, kill intel, I mean pick up intel and diffuse bombs. Standard 9-5 counter-terrorism.
Continue reading Unit 13 (Review)
A cheap price and pool on the go are certainly good ingredients for the Vita’s take on our favourite pub game. No arguments over whose 50p is on the table at 3am either, which is always a good thing.
A very long tutorial begins well enough by telling you how to use the three different cue shot methods and spin shots. But the help and controls for jump shots and straight backspin are terrible and anyone who can do these shots in real life will no doubt be shouting “Bullshit!” many times over.
Continue reading Hustle Kings (Vita Review)
Until Street Fighter X Tekken arrives on the Vita the fighting market is pretty open. Sure you could go for BlazBlue, but some may prefer something a little different and a new IP to go with their new handheld. Reality Fighters comes loaded with gimmicks, but does it pack enough punch to warrant a place in your collection?
This arcade fighter’s hook is letting you put your own face onto the fighters. A further use of reality takes advantage of the Vita’s rear camera to fight against a real-world background, in real-time or from pictures you snapped earlier or from a few glossy pre-loaded ones.
Continue reading Reality Fighters (Review)
Within the first few months of the Vita’s release I expect we’ll be seeing this sort of thing a lot. What, artsy black and white puzzle games? No, that would be fine; I mean games with overly-reliant touchscreen and touchpad inputs hampering a potentially enjoyable experience. These aren’t the only flaws behind Escape Plan, but they certainly tip the scales towards indifference.
The premise is simple; controlling two characters you must escape a long series of 2D challenge rooms. A sideways screen swipe makes them walk and a tap stops them. Interacting with the environment on their behalf is the key to their freedom. Drawer-like platforms can be pushed out from behind for a limited time, so timing your walks (they can’t be called runs) across them is of vital importance. Not being able to use the X button to start/stop walking is a miserly and foolish omission as the touches don’t always register first or second time.
Continue reading Escape Plan (Review)
Sport games are off to a good start on the Vita and the trend continues with Sega’s Virtua Tennis 4: World Tour Edition. This game is almost identical to the PS3 version, which is certainly no bad thing. In fact, I’d go as far as to recommend this version over the PS3 one as the gameplay is better suited to the stop/start nature of handhelds, not that you can’t lose yourself for hours as well.
Graphically the game is on a par with the big consoles and has even inherited the dodgy likenesses. Take Djokovic, they’ve nailed the geeky haircut, but there’s something unsettling about his face. Oh and talking of unsettling, wait until I tell you about putting your own face into the game later on. It’s a bit Silence of the Lambs.
Continue reading Virtua Tennis 4: World Tour Edition (Review)
In many ways, Everybody’s Golf is a perfect fit for the PS Vita handheld. It’s a fast-loader, gameplay is quick and it can be played for hours or just a few holes at a time before slipping the game into sleep mode when the ad break finishes. One negative that it does find though is being on your new, shiny and expensive console that probably has no desire to be thrown at a wall, punched, bitten or burned, which are all possibilities when the game f**ks you over again then runs off giggling with its stupidly happy cast of freaks. So, um, yes, I really like Everybody’s Golf on the Vita, but I want to kill it.
I suppose I should talk about the rest of the game before the red mist takes over again. If you’ve played the PS3 or PSP versions, then you’ll know what to expect. The game provides a generous six 18-hole courses (plus the mirror versions) for you to play and I’m pleased to report that they’re new and not just ports of the PS3 ones.
Continue reading Everybody’s Golf (Vita Review)
This collection of thirty minigames is aiming to tempt gamers as a launch purchase as it utilises all of the Vita’s functions. Except the analogue sticks. And the face buttons. So yes! Smear, tickle, rub, wobble and even sing your way through the world of Little Deviants!
The visual style is clearly aiming for a younger market, but nothing’s so garish as to make it unplayable for adults too. So you won’t feel like a berk playing it, unless people are watching you. You play as a race of aliens trying to rebuild their ship so they can return home. This will involve not attacking humans and defending their planet from zombies and robots. As you do.
Continue reading Little Deviants (Review)
Gaming’s best kart track editor on a portable device? Damn straight we’ll have some of that. The PS3 game suffered from long load times and some miserably tight (and cheaty) AI, but here’s a chance to really push the game into a contender position.
Diving straight into the now cutscene-bare (yay!) Career mode, I was pleased to see new tracks galore. With the series having such a large focus on its impressive track editor, it would have been a shock if they had just reissued the PS3 ones.
Continue reading ModNation Racers: Road Trip (Review)
As the next generation of portable gaming steps forward, the WipEout series returns to its roots. 2048 is the first official season of WipEout’s familiar antigravity racing league, with a compelling intro video showing the Feisar team’s growth from traditional racing in the 1960s and through the generations and more advanced vehicles all the way up to the vicious arrowhead-shaped beasts we know and love.
Just because the game predates the others in the timeline doesn’t mean it’s particularly different. A few tracks start at street level, complete with road markings and tarmac, but it isn’t long before you’re racing up the sides of skyscrapers. The developers have featured wider sections of track in some areas to encourage combat, but in reality most of the tracks are still tight, especially when you’re coming into a corner at top speed amongst a pack of rivals. There’s a larger emphasis on skillcuts, difficult shortcuts that will give you an advantage as long as you don’t bounce wall to wall all the way through them. All the AI opponents seems to know about them and don’t blunder their way through like you will for you first dozen attempts. With no difficulty sliders available, there’s no getting around that this is one of the tougher WipEout games.
Continue reading WipEout 2048 (Review)
It’s strange how the one thing many of us gamers clamour to first for a new console is something familiar. It’s a brand new machine, but let’s not go nuts. With most only buying one or two games at best for launch, you’ll want something reliable, familiar and with just enough ‘new’ about it to make that transition to a new machine that little bit smoother. Uncharted: Golden Abyss is the perfect purchase for that purpose.
This is a great entry point to the series for non-PS3 owners as the game is a prequel, with a story that never relies on past knowledge of the series, not that there aren’t a few familiar characterisation elements for fans to enjoy. This time Drake is in the jungles and ruins of Central America. Initially hired as a sort of archaeological plundering partner in crime with new-guy Dante, Drake stumbles upon a mad army General intent on a typical power-mad scheme. With Elena not yet on the scene we’re introduced to new girl, Marisa Chase. Sharing -and perhaps really kick-starting- Drake’s passion for all things ancient, it’s not long before a new friendship is born. This relationship is well written with plenty of Uncharted’s trademark humour despite Naughty Dog not being at the helm. The writing and the flow of the story is pretty dam excellent throughout to be honest. A few hours in and you realise that we have another development team that can do the series justice.
Continue reading Uncharted: Golden Abyss (Review)
Portable handhelds, as we know them, are under threat. As smartphones become more powerful, tablets become more prevalent, and the wealth of functions offered by Android and iOS surpass in breadth and depth those of the old crop of pocket-sized games consoles, traditional models are in jeopardy. So there’s no better time, one would think, to pull out the stops. Sony’s (rather large) new handheld strives for exactly that – with more gadgets, features, bells and whistles than you could possibly imagine, including, crucially, two analogue thumbsticks. But is it worth the £230+ price tag? Can the Vita really offer an experience that surpasses those offered by the likes of Apple, Google and Nintendo? We look for answers in our MASSIVE Playstation Vita hardware review below…
Continue reading PS Vita (Hardware Review)
Less than a month to go now before the PS Vita arrives and we can’t wait. There’s a fantastic number of titles available around the launch and we’ve been everywhere from LA and E3, Germany and Gamescom, and more recently London and Manchester to try them out. So take a few minutes to look through our guide to see what you fancy picking up.
Continue reading PS Vita Preview: The Launch Lineup
If there’s any name in PlayStation gaming that demands attention it has to be Uncharted. The signs are pointing to a mightily positive launch title that should be on everyone’s pre-order list.
The game has been developed by Sony Bend studios rather than Naughty Dog, but that certainly hasn’t harmed the brand. The best comparison would be the amazing job Ready at Dawn did when they brought the God of War series to the PSP.
Continue reading Uncharted: Golden Abyss (Hands-On Preview)
This is one the first action beat em’ up titles we’ve seen on the PS Vita and from this hands-on demo it’s fair to say that it’s one of the most visually appealing Vita games yet. Despite the demo being in English, there’s not much we can gleam about the story. There’s a mystical cat in a quaint town square, then monsters attack.
The aesthetic style is a hybrid of comic-book visuals and anime cell-shading. Storyboards illustrate some plot elements and you can move the Vita around to peak around the frames, providing a rather pleasing semi-3D effect. The gameplay seems to have been influenced by a wide range of sources as gamers will be able to spot elements of Bayonetta in the combat and the Spider-Man games in the way you utilise walls as traversable surfaces.
Continue reading Gravity Rush (Vita Hands-On Preview)
With the Vita on a seemingly unstoppable display of going from strength to strength, it was almost unsurprising to see a complex title like Little Big Planet appear so at home so soon on the new handheld.
During our hands-on time, we were able to try out a few levels that showed off how the Vita’s extra features would be uniquely utilised during gameplay. We were also invited to a developer demonstration of the create mode too, and we’re now convinced it has the potential to be much more user-friendly than the PS3 versions.
Continue reading Little Big Planet Vita (Hands-On Preview)
One of the biggest challenges facing the PS Vita handheld is its ability to work with first-person shooters. The addition of a second analogue stick -and they are proper sticks now instead of nubs- is an important leap forwards from the original PSP and from our hand-on experience it’s a challenge the device and developers are already relishing.
Nihilistic are bringing the Resistance series to the handheld market for the first time in FPS form, after the third-person adventures of Retribution. The improvements are instantly noticeable, making the console’s 2012 arrival seem very far away for everyone outside of Japan.
Continue reading Resistance: Burning Skies (Vita Hands-on Preview)