Master of The Free World Productions | Jumpcut Entertainment Network

The Banner Saga’s Vita Comes Back To Life In 2016

After an extensive delay, Stoic Entertainment's fantasy, viking-themed strategy game The Banner Saga will finally be headed to the PlayStation Vita in 2016.

The Banner Saga originally released on PC back in January of 2014. Console and Vita versions have been in the works for a long time. Earlier this month, however, Stoic announced that the vita version was being put on hold. Thankfully, Vita owners don't need to give up hope entirely. PlayStation's Director of Third Party and Production Gio Corsi just tweeted that Sony would be helping publisher Versus Evil bring the game to its handheld.

The current-gen console versions are still due for release on January 12. To find out if the game is worth playing, check out our review of the original PC version.

[Source: @giocorsi]


Our Take
This is a little surprising. After the delay – and given the state of the Vita's library – we might have assumed that the game would never make it to Sony's handheld. This is good news for Vita owners. Hopefully, we'll see the handheld get more support next year than it did this year. – The Feed

Volume Is Releasing On Vita Next Month

Have you been pining for a Vita release of Volume? You're in luck! It's coming next month.

Mike Bithell's stealth game that's inspired by Metal Gear Solid will finally be available for Vita on January 5. As a bonus, the game will be cross buy, so if you already have it, the Vita version can also be yours. And if you purchase it first for Vita, that will give you access to the PS4 version.

If you want to learn about more about Volume, you can check out Brian Shea's review, where he gives it high praise saying, "Volume’s story levels are designed with the same care that players must use when playing, and I enjoyed the experience from start to finish." 

For more information on this news, you can check out Bithell's latest blog. – The Feed

The Banner Saga Marches Onto Console January 12, Vita Version On Hold

Update: When The Banner Saga was announced for consoles, a handheld version on Vita was in the works. Unfortunately, the realities of business have put an indefinite hold on that edition.

In a post on the Stoic forums, founder John Watson lays out the troubled road the company walked in order to make the console versions happen. It's a glimpse into how ports get made and the outside companies responsible for making them a reality.

The entire statement follows, but the summary is that the Vita version is on hold. Stoic lost money due to the collapse of its first porting company partner and needs to recover those funds before it can move forward.

Many of you have been asking for status updates on the Playstation Vita port of the Banner Saga. Now that we've completed porting and the certification process for Playstation 4, I thought I'd take a moment to bring my head above water and provide some information.

Our console and Vita porting has been more expensive and time consuming than we had originally expected. We started the porting process only a few months after the initial launch of Banner Saga on PC. In fact, we started console port development work at the same time we started iOS and Android development. I performed the initial proof-of-concept porting myself, to determine what our technological approach should be. Once this was complete, I hired 3 different porting companies to do a 1 week prototype for a fixed price. Of the 3, one of the companies exceed the others in performance by a wide margin. As a result, I decided to hire them to work on the PS4, Xbox One, and Linux ports, and they got underway. Their deadline for completion was November 2014.

The porting company made good progress at first, but suffered some internal personnel turnover which slowed the project. The first deadline was missed, but progress steadily continued. We were able to show a hand-on playable demo of the Banner Saga running on PS4 at the Playstation Experience in Las Vegas, December 2014.

In January, the porting company hired additional programmers and took on the contract for performing the Playstation Vita port. The deadline for completion was July 2015. Over the subsequent months, the porting company suffered more personnel turnover, and the project limped along. Finally, in May 2015, the company folded, went out of business, and failed to complete the project. All of the expenses sunk into that project were lost, with no realistic way for us to recover them.

Over the next few months, we scrambled to find another porting company that was able to pick up the porting where it was left off. Fortunately, we found a great company who has been able to exceed our expectations in every way. They started work in August, and now, 4 months later, we have the Playstation 4 and Xbox One ports completed and ready to launch.

The side effect of this is that we have had to put the Playstation Vita port on the back burner. I have been excited about the Vita port since day one, and I would love to see the Banner Saga running on my own Vita. The realities, however, of a very small team and a limited budget, put an immutable check on the speed of our progress. Stoic is composed of only 4 full time internal team members, all of which are currently working 100% on Banner Saga 2. Our initial budget for porting to Vita has been burned by essentially having to pay twice for the console ports. Once we can recover the substantial costs of initial console porting, we can consider our strategy to move forward with Vita.

One of the most positive results of all this, is that since the Banner Saga 2 shares the same engine with Banner Saga (albeit an upgraded, enhanced, and more featureful version of the engine), all of the porting work so far is directly applicable to our next game. This means that porting should be much, much faster than initially.

Thank you very for your patience and support!


Original Story:

The Banner Saga is missing its 2015 console release, but you won’t need to wait long into the new year to take on the viking quest. Xbox One and PlayStation 4 releases are due at the start of January.

Developer Stoic explains that the console ports were a bit more challenging than original anticipated. This led to a longer than expected development cycle.

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“We have been working on porting Banner Saga to consoles for some time” said Stoic founder John Watson. “Porting the game certainly presented technical challenges  that we needed to overcome, and gave us an opportunity to redesign the experience for console controllers. We have managed to merge the story and gameplay from Banner Saga with a refined controller  interface to make it a very enjoyable console gaming experience.”

The current-gen console versions are due on January 12. For more, check out our review of the original PC version. A sequel is currently in the works for release in 2016. – The Feed

Towerfall Finally Comes To Vita On December 15 With Ad-Hoc Multiplayer Support

Towerfall might have started its life on the ill-fated Ouya Android microconsole, but it has flourished on other platforms. PC and PlayStation 4 iterations have been well received, leading friends to shoot each other in the back and dish out healthy doses of trash talk and profanity.

The Towerfall Ascension experience finally makes the jump to Vita in just a few days. It will support cross-buy, so if you already own the game ($ 14.99) and its Dark World DLC ($ 9.99), you’ll be able to start playing immediately.

Despite multiplayer being Towerfall’s raison d’être, its single-player mode makes the transition to the smaller screen. You can still play against friends, though. The game supports ad-hoc multiplayer, meaning you’ll need to be in the same room to compete.

Towerfall Ascension arrives on Vita on December 15. For more, check out our original review.

[Source: PlayStation Blog]


Our Take
It doesn’t sound like networked multiplayer is going to be part of the package, and that’s a bit of a bummer. However, given that the trash talk and angst of playing against friends is the big draw, ad-hoc play makes sense. – The Feed

Super Star Wars Arrives On PlayStation 4 And Vita On Tuesday

A re-release of the classic Super Nintendo platformer, Super Star Wars, is coming to PlayStation 4 and Vita this week.

The game originall released on Super Nintendo in 1992 and on the Wii Virtual Console in 2009. The PlayStation 4 and Vita versions will be available on Tuesday November 17. Updates to the game include new save features, leaderboards, Trophies, and updated display and controller options. A voucher to download the game is included in the Darth Vader PlayStation 4 Battlefront bundle.

To see us play the game on an episode of Replay, head here.

[Source: PlayStation Blog, via NeoGAF]


Our Take
I definitely want to play this on Vita. I will happily accept some Trophies for revisiting this game. I'm curious to see if the visuals or performance have changed dramatically from the original Super Nintendo version. – The Feed

Civilization Revolution 2 Plus Coming To Vita In December

Last generation’s Civilization Revolution introduced the long-running series to console gamers in an extremely accessible way. Its sequel, however, only debuted on smart devices when it was released last year.

On December 3, 2K and Firaxis are expanding it to another platform. Civilization Revolution 2 Plus will arrive on Vita with new leaders and scenarios.

The additions bring a number of Japanese elements into the game from throughout the country’s history. Leaders include Oda Nobunaga, Heihachiro Togo, and Himiko. Civ Rev 2 Plus also introduces Yamato class warships used during World War II.

[Source: PlayStation Blog]


Our Take
As much as I adore the PC Civilization series, I found time for many a game of Civilization Revolution. Games can be played more quickly, which gave me a quick fix when I didn’t want to sit down for a multisession attempt to conquer the world. – The Feed

Report: Sony reducing first-party game dev for PS Vita

During a recent interview with Japanese website 4Gamer, SCE senior vice president, Masayasu Ito, all but confirmed the death of first-party games on the PlayStation Vita. …

Gamasutra News

Report: Sony Has No First-Party Vita Games In Development

The writing has been on the wall for some time that Sony isn’t investing in big titles for the Vita. A new report indicates that the company has pulled back even further.

Speaking with Japanese outlet 4Gamer (and translated by Siliconera), Sony executive vice president Masayasu Ito delivered the bad news. “Currently, there are no first party titles that are in development for the PlayStation Vita,” says Ito. “Third party companies are working hard on the PlayStation Vita, so we here at SCE have strategized to focus on our new platform of PlayStation 4.”

When we spoke with Sony president of worldwide studios Shuhei Yoshida at E3, he explained why the company was starting to shift its focus. "The expectation of the graphical quality and size of the world for these type of games have risen after the launch of PlayStation 4,” he said. “The same thing happened with the PSP. People were so excited to be able to play PS2 graphics games on the go. After PS3 launched, expectations grew. The types of games on PSP were not as attractive."

While Sony doesn’t have anything in the pipeline for its own device, that doesn’t mean games are drying up entirely. Many indie studios have opted to port PS3 and PS4 games to the device, while offering cross-buy incentives.

Still coming in the near future are Volume, Sword Art Online: Lost Song, Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires, Lego Marvel’s Avengers, Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth, Darkest Dungeon, and more. 

[Source: 4Gamer via Siliconera]


Our Take
Sony has been slowly backing off the Vita for quite a while now. Unfortunately, that meant that the PlayStation TV met an early demise, too. Decisions like this are what gives me pause about the long-term prospects for PlayStation VR. I love the technology, but I’m not confident Sony will support it long-term. – The Feed

X-COM: Enemy Unknown ESRB Rating Points To Vita Release

2012's X-COM: Enemy Unknown saw release on platforms both mobile and home-based, but it never made it to the Vita. It looks that may be changing.

A rating on the ESRB website lists a Vita version of the game and an updated title – X-COM: Enemy Unknown Plus. Outside of those details, not much else is known, The descriptor for the game's content describes nothing new or any new content outside of what was featured in the original release, but those descriptors just look at the content from a ratings perspective.

X-COM 2 is on the way for PC. You can find out more about the game here.

Thanks to Dan Schafer for the news tip!

[Source: ESRB]


Our Take
Considering the game saw release on iOS and Android platforms, I'm surprised a Vita version doesn't already exist. I love the Vita and am always excited to see highly-regarded games make their way to the platform – even if they're about three years too late. – The Feed

Check Your Email – Sony Vita False Advertising Settlements Arriving

If you were eligible for a settlement in the successful FTC action against Sony over Vita advertising, check your email. You should be receiving information on how to redeem your compensation.

The FTC pursued Sony over false advertising related to the Vita’s remote play feature and online play over 3G (available on some models). The settlement site went live in April, offering eligible Vita owners $ 25 cash, $ 25 in PlayStation Store credit, or one of three game bundles for PlayStation 3 and Vita.

For those opting for store credit or games, your emails should contain redemption codes. We’ve not received word from anyone opting for cash, but if you did, keep your eye on the mail.


Our Take
As is often the case with these things, fulfillment takes time. I had almost forgotten about this until I received an email. – The Feed