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Animated GIFs Show Off The Powers Of Murasaki Baby On Vita

Developer Ovosonico has released a series of animated gifs showing off the assorted powers present in Murasaki Baby, the dark nightmare tale of a child searching for its mother.

Players activate Baby's powers by swiping the rear panel of the Vita to change out the background. Below, you will see a power that turns Baby's balloon into a stationary rock, preventing her from being blown away.

The freezing power is useful for freezing bodies of water, but using it for too long will break Baby's balloon.

This Eye of Scrutiny power shrinks Baby, so the balloon can lift her into the air to bypass large gaps.

Finally, the red background is neutral with no powers activated, so you can just gander at the game's attractive art.

For more on Murasaki Baby, head here.

[Source: PlayStation Blog]

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Opinion – E3 Is A Crossroads For PlayStation Vita

Every three months, we get a brain dump of financial data from most publishers. We see what’s done well, and what might have underperformed. What isn’t said is often just as telling as what publishers put in the spotlight.

Sony released its troubling year-end financials today, and as you might expect, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 were both mentioned. However, there wasn’t a single nod toward Vita, VitaTV, or the software for that platform.

It’s not good when a system underperforms, but it’s worse when the company doesn’t even mention it. Vita has been kept alive by a steady stream of niche titles and indies, but Sony hasn’t even bothered to make the case for owning one recently.

The games I play today make me happy I have a Vita, but wouldn’t inspire me to purchase one. In many ways, my feelings about the Vita mirror how I feel about the Wii U.

The titles that are coming serve those that are already invested, but they don’t give new buyers a reason to come aboard in significant numbers. Right now, so much of what is on the Vita is available on other systems, including Sony’s home consoles, that the handheld functions better as a companion than a standalone (and even more so if you weigh the value of PlayStation Plus as a Vita owner).

As a Vita owner, I love the indie support and the niche offerings, but they aren’t the reason I purchased the system when it was released. Rehashes and remakes are good to play on the go, but they wouldn’t work $ 200 out of my wallet.

Core first-party titles must show up at E3 (something I wrote about in January). Games like Uncharted: Golden Abyss and even Killzone: Mercenary, which leveraged key first-party properties for the handheld are why I signed on. Titles like Gravity Rush, which makes smart use of the Vita's functionality, and Soul Sacrifice's Monster Hunter-like gameplay, are few and far between. Major titles seem to be diminishing in number and quality.

And I’m not alone in my feelings. In 2012, Sony sold 7 million handhelds (PSP and Vita). This past year, even with the inclusion of VitaTV, the company only sold 4.1 million. Next year, the numbers are even softer, with a forecast of 3.5 million. The trend is going in the wrong direction.

Sony recently introduced a new bundle that includes the lackluster Borderlands 2 port (a valiant endeavor that falls short, unfortunately). That $ 200 bundle includes an 8 GB memory card, which reveals one of the Vita’s largest problems: hidden costs.

Even after Sony dropped the price on memory cards, Vita owners can expect to spend $ 100 retail ($ 70 with a bit of hunting) on a 32 GB card. 64 GB cards are available in Japan, but haven’t made their way to North America officially (importers have them for sale, though).

My 32 GB card is constantly full, and nearly every time I want to put something new on it, something else needs to come off. On my 3DS, I just bought a new, larger card when that happened. By comparison a 32 GB SD card costs under $ 20.

Sony had its chance to change the memory requirements for the Vita with the new model and did not. Now, we just have to hope for a price normalization to reduce the overall ownership cost and increase convenience of owning one of the handhelds.

The Vita needs a shot in the arm in the form of a multi-pronged strategy. Memory price needs to come down, cross-buy and cross-save must be incentivized, and there must be marquee, must-play titles that can only be found on the Vita.  

There aren’t many platform-exclusive games announced for the Vita right now (though titles like Murasaki Baby will keep existing owners happy). Either Sony needs to step up its game development or rebrand the device as a companion with a bundle and even greater cross-platform functionality. Regardless of which direction it chooses, what we see at E3 will be a strong signal for what to expect from the Vita’s remaining life (however short that might be).

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Borderlands 2 Vita zeroes in on Europe

Europe may have got the Vita 2000 a few months before North America, but it’ll have to wait a few weeks more to play Borderlands 2 on it. Sony says starting May 28, Europeans can loot wastelands on the go too.

Borderlands 2 Vita is part of the new…
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Explore the whimsy of Hohokum on PS4, PS3, Vita this Summer

If the warmer, sunnier months put you in the mood for something a bit less bloody and a bit more adorable, you’ll be pleased to hear that Hohokum is now slated to hit the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and Vita this Summer.

Artist Richard Hogg…
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Save your Borderlands 2 progress across Vita and PS3 ‘shortly’

Borderlands 2 on Vita will support cross-save capabilities with PS3, but that feature isn’t live just yet. A patch to add cross-saves is heading to PS3 “shortly,” a Gearbox representative said in the Borderlands 2 forums.

Borderlands 2 launched in a…
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Borderlands 2 On Vita Supports Two Players Only

At PAX East, Gearbox president Randy Pitchford told the story of how Borderlands 2 on Vita came to be. Demand from fans made the portable version a reality, though it won’t be exactly the same as on other platforms.

The absence of two buttons on the Vita means the front and rear touch pad will be used for some common functions. The back will be used to activate sprint on foot and vehicle hand breaks.

Lower corner sections of the front screen (corresponding to HUD graphics) will be used to trigger active abilities and toss grenades. Shoulder buttons are still used for aiming and shooting, so it should feel familiar if you are carrying over your save from PS3.

The game will run "in the vicinity of 30 frames per second" on Vita, but Iron Galaxy Studios had to make a cut to online play. You’ll only be able to take a single friend with you on another Vita. Two-player co-op is the limit in this version.

Borderlands 2 for Vita will arrive on May 6. It will come with both add-on characters (Gaige and Krieg), two of the four major DLC packs (Captain Scarlett and her Pirate’s Booty and Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage), the Collector’s Edition pack, and the Vault Hunter Upgrade pack. No word yet on the other two pieces of major DLC (Sir Hammerlock’s Big Game Hunt and Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep) or the Headhunter packs.

[Source: PlayStation Blog]

 

Our Take
Sure, the drop down in number of players is disappointing, but I’m still very interested to see if this conversion works out. Shoving a full PS3 game into a Vita is no small feat, and if successful, could open up a world of possibilities for Sony’s handheld.

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Borderlands 2 caps co-op play on Vita at two Vault Hunters

In sad news for fans of the frenetic multiplayer gunplay found in Borderlands 2, it has been revealed that the game’s upcoming Vita incarnation will only support a maximum of two players during co-operative play.

“We checked in with the SCEA Third…
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PS4, Vita game Axiom Verge isn’t Metroid, but it’s damn close

Pixelated platformer Axiom Verge is on its way to PS4 and Vita thanks to a boost from Sony’s Pub Fund initiative, which offers cash and support to independent developers.

Axiom Verge is a blend of Metroid, Contra and pretty pixel art, and it has a…
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Vita shooter Velocity Ultra free this week on PlayStation Plus

FuturLab’s Velocity Ultra is this week’s featured addition to the PlayStation Plus Instant Game Collection, giving subscribers a chance to check out an underrated PS Vita gem free of charge.

Velocity Ultra is both a vertically scrolling shoot-’em-up…
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REVIEW / Demon Gaze (Vita)

 

Demon Gaze is one game that, under normal circumstances, might not get your attention.   As old-school dungeon crawler’s go, the terrible 3D dungeons, partially voiced dialogue and seriously lacking musical score might initially have you regretting your purchase and trading it in for something else.  However, it would be something of a mistake to ditch this one before giving it a chance to show you what’s under the hood.  Seemingly never-ending, anime-inspired shapely heroines and disappointing graphics aside, this RPG from developers Kadokawa Games and Experience Inc. has something about it that will keep you playing until the very end.

 

Beware my muse. She's a fickle b!$ *# with a short attention span.

 

In this game, you take on the role of a Demon Gazer, a rare breed of warrior that can capture the souls of demons and use them as powerful allies.  Having lost his memory while exploring a dungeon, he meets up with another Demon Gazer who has lost her powers and takes it upon herself to train you in the ways of the trade.  The in-game action is reminiscent of early dungeon crawler classics, in other words it features old-school difficulty as well as slow turn-based battle mechanics.  All action in the dungeons takes place in first-person view.  Each dungeon is even more perilous than the last and tasks you with leveling your character sufficiently enough to eventually face down and defeat the dungeon boss.  One disappointing aspect of Demon Gaze is that there is no 360-degree movement therefore in order to traverse the varied environments, you have to walk through grid-based locations that offer a myriad of branching paths with plenty of enemies and loot scattered throughout.  Having the view this way doesn’t allow you to actually see yourself or your party but you do get the option of placing your party member’s in strategic formations to enhance your battle effectiveness.

While exploring the dungeons, battles are either triggered as you walk around the corridors or are static encounters.  You can usually go around the static encounters but you will still be confronted by enemies that pop up randomly.  This is a game where you will need to do some grinding if you want to be sufficiently strengthened to face the dungeon bosses, so fighting enemies as you come upon them only works in your favor.  And don’t just think that you can breeze through the combat because you would be sadly mistaken.  You and up to five party members will need to have a strategy prepared for basic attacks, spells and defensive schemes when you come face-to-face with waves of enemies out for your blood.  There will be times when enemies that you have confronted will wipe out your entire party so to balance that out, you need to have a party that consists of characters that possess efficient combat abilities so that you are never at a disadvantage.

 

Beware! Monsters ahead.

 

Although the character designs in Demon Gaze are very spectacular and are inspired by anime, the dungeon art is severely lacking in imagination and polish.  The character designs are very sophisticated and are very unique.  It is clear that a lot of time was spent designing characters that would be interesting and help to set the theme of the game as a whole.  Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about the dungeon designs.  The locations outside of the Inn, where you have a room rented, are drab and very unappealing to look at.  It is such a jarring experience to view the awesome artwork of the characters and then to travel into the world and be presented with environments that do not balance with the rest of the game and seem like they were tacked on after everything else in the game was completed.

The score for Demon Gaze was another chance for Kadokawa Games to really wow the player yet it ended up being a missed opportunity.  By about the second hour of playing, I was already tired of hearing the same score over and over.  Boasting between 30 to 40 hours of gameplay, it’s hard to believe that a more robust musical score wasn’t included with this game.  Sound effects, however, are meticulously spot on and really help to get you into the battles and feel like you are landing some serious blows on your opponents.  The voice over work as well is some of the best that I have heard and really is one of the finer points of the game.

 

Don't be fooled. These little guys are dangerous.

 

Demon Gaze is a throwback to a time when RPGs were simple, didn’t spend a lot of time holding your hand and threw you into the world telling you to succeed at all costs.  At times, it feels cheaply made but the steep challenge that it presents to the player will keep you hooked for hours on end.  Regardless of the ugly environments, you will find yourself wanting to conquer the next dungeon or see what cool weapons and items that you can find next.  For the price of admission, you really can’t beat the length of gameplay and the immersion that will happen when you get sucked into the quirky storyline.  As far as RPGs go, Demon Gaze is a perfect fit for the Vita and one that you should add to your library.

 


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