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Europe’s getting a 5-game Vita Slim bundle this summer

Sony’s bringing a new Vita Slim bundle to Europe in June, this time with codes for a quintet of games. The famous five are Injustice: Gods Among Us, God of War: Chain of Olympus, PlayStation All-Stars, Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate and Killzone:…
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Sony unveils Ratchet & Clank Collection for Vita

The first three Ratchet & Clank games are warping onto Vita, with the duo’s portable re-release officially confirmed. Sony announced the HD Trilogy hits Europe on July 2, priced 30 euros, and Australia on July 9 – we’re waiting to hear on North…
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Sneak Through Sly Cooper’s Original Adventures On Vita

The Sly Cooper HD collection, which gather Slys 1, 2, and 3, is now available for Vita.

The release of this collection means every Sly Cooper game is now available to play on Vita, as well as PlayStation 3. You can check out the trailer below, which shows the games upgraded in high-definition and in widescreen – updates also afforded to the PlayStation 3 version of the collection.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

[Source: PlayStation]

 

Our Take
I was excited, but ultimately disappointed by the Vita port of the Jak and Daxter collection. It crashed on me multiple times, and just generally ran poorly. The Sly Cooper collection is built by a different team, but I always relate Jak and Daxter, Ratchet and Clank, and Sly Cooper into the same family. Hopefully this collection runs smoother.

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Farming Simulator 14 plants crops on Vita, 3DS in June

Having already conquered the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 with its inexplicably compelling blend of heavy machinery and virtual backbreaking drudgery, Farming Simulator 14 is now coming to the Vita and 3DS handhelds.

The official Farming Simulator…
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Immensely difficult 1001 Spikes launching on PS4, Vita, and PC June 3rd

Developer Nicalis, Inc. has announced that its upcoming multiple life depleter, 1001 Spikes, is releasing next Tuesday for the PS4, Vita, and PC through Steam for $ 14.99.

The spitting image of multiple deaths

The PlayStation Network version of 1001 Spikes will feature Cross-Buy, which means Vita and PS4 owners will be receiving the title on both platforms for the price of one. And if you were a good person who purchased Nicalis, Inc. titles Cave Story or Night Sky on Steam, you will receive a $ 5 discount when you buy 1001 Spikes on PC.

In 1001 Spikes, gamers take on the role of Aban Hawkins as he searches for his estranged father, famous archaeologist Jim Hawkins, in the ruins of Ukampa, South America. Unfortunately, Jim left his daughter Tina a map to the location of the ruins with a grave warning that death awaits around every corner, so Aban is probably crapping his pants with that knowledge embedded in his brain.

1001 Spikes contains the following:

Super tough difficulty

Razor-sharp controls

Clever yet evil game design

Single and simultaneous 2-4 player co-op and vs. multiplayer

8-bit inspired visuals

Soundtrack by Chiptune masters, Rushjet1 and Misoka

Nearly two dozen unlockable characters with different abilities, including superstars Curly Brace, Commander Video, Juni, and Nyx (personally excited for those first two)

Over 100 stages

Multiple endings

More info on 1001 Spikes can be found at the Nicalis, Inc. website, while a “New Challengers” teaser trailer can be found below. Looks delightfully masochistic to me; what do you guys think?


That VideoGame Blog

Child of Light Coming To PS Vita

Ubisoft have announced that Child of Light will be released digitally on PlayStation Vita on July 1st, 2014. It is a turn-based RPG set in the spectacularly presented magical world of Lemuria, where fairy tales are recreated throughout a young hero’s journey. Aurora, the protagonist, is a princess that was taken from her home and must return while restoring the Sun, the Moon and the Stars to their rightful places after they were held captive by the Queen of the Night.

Child of Light is graphically stunning, with backgrounds that look like they belong in an art gallery and delightful characters to match. Powered by UbiArt Framework, it is no surprise that CoL looks so good. UbiArt has been used for Rayman Legends and Valiant Hearts; games that have been praised for how good they look, showing that 2D is still good enough to compete with 3D games.

As well as fun puzzles and an excellent combat system, combining turn based and real time elements, Child of Light gives you the opportunity to play co-operatively with one person using Igniculus, who despite being a helper is actually vital in battle. He picks up important items such as health and mana as well as slowing down enemies. If you do not have someone else to play with him you can even control him yourself.

With Shakespearean like dialect and Van Gogh like backgrounds, Child of Light has gotten incredible reviews on all the platforms it’s already been released on. Its combination of elegance, spectacular visuals and clever combat system has given us RPG lovers a reason to smile, but despite all this, its forced use of poetry and hard-to-get-into nature has been its bane since its release. It seems that the gamers who have played CoL have the general consensus that they just don’t bond with the game or the characters the way you would in other RPGs, with some branding Aurora “a brat” and others harshly proclaiming that they don’t want to bring her home. There are clearly things to be worked on from Ubisoft’s point of view, but Child of Light has enough about it to be a great platform for greater things.

The PS Vita needs new games and while it isn’t going to set the world alight (pun intended), CoL will give it a big boost. It has a little bit of everything. It’s fun to play, good to look at and despite being just 12 hours long, it has enough about it to be engaging while not feeling chaotic.

Child of Light is already available to download on all platforms: Xbox LIVE for the Xbox 360 and Xbox One, the PlayStation Network for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, the eShop from Nintendo for the Wii U, and PC Digital.

 


That VideoGame Blog

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]

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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).

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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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