Platform: PS Vita
Sony has repositioned the Vita as a champion of indie titles and Murasaki Baby has been on our radar for what seems like forever. The wait is over though and we finally get our hands on one of the most visually-striking games to land on the handheld in ages.
The aim of this 2D puzzle platformer is to help this incredibly creepy, yet somehow adorable, little girl find her ‘mummy’ as we guide her through the nightmare-like environments via a multitude of touchscreen and rear touchpad controls. Early Vita adopters may hear a few distant alarm bells ringing if they remember the infuriatingly clunky launch title Escape Plan. Thankfully, the controls in Murasaki Baby are much better. Mostly.
To move the child, you use the touchscreen to hold her hand and drag it across the screen as her arm stretches out and she follows your movements. Pull too far and too fast and she’ll trip, so you must be mindful of moving at a consistent pace. Players also need care for balloon she carries. If it pops, you must restart the scene, so you’ll need to use another finger to drag it around the screen in order to move it past thorns or avoid flying safety pins, the latter of which you can also flick from the screen.Click here to read more...
Finished Destiny already or just have a really short attention span? Fear not, we’re back with our weekly look at next week’s releases. This is the week that parents will be dreading ahead of Xmas as Dinsey are rolling out their latest toy-fest. Will Zelda survive it’s whoring out to the Dynasty Warriors franchise and why are those sheep acting like Lemmings? This is the week to find some answers.
This might be the year to check out Disney’s Skylanders-baiting franchise that sees real-life toy figures used on a portal to appear in-game. Since Disney acquired Marvel, it’s always been a sure bet we’d see them in Disney Infinity. So get ready for new playsets including The Avengers, Spider-Man and the crew from Guardians of the Galaxy. 2.0 also marks the series next-gen debut on the PS4 and XO. The base game and some extra figures is looking pricey, so be sure to check out our past coverage below first and stay tuned for Jon’s verdict on the XO version.
Cheapest PS4 / XO Pre-Order: Simply Games £50.94Click here to read more...
Hold onto your hats, retronauts, because this week's PSN sale is all about catching up with the classics. From new takes on legendary games like Okami HD, Superfrog HD and Metal Gear Solid 2 HD to genuine golden oldies like G-Police and Bishi Bashi Special, there's a whole host of discounted nostalgia on sale. Remember that the PS1 games will be compatible with PS3 or Vita.
You can browse the selection below or at the PlayStation Blog, courtesy of feeder16 @ HUKD!Click here to read more...
Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster is frankly something of a must for JRPG fans. The Vita has not been getting much love from Sony themselves, but it's rapidly become a cracking niche proposition for JRPG fans and import aficionados. The Remaster of FFX and X-2 is fantastic, with the latter looking practically current-gen, such is the job they've done at buffing it up. Definitely check out the reviews above for some in-depth analysis of the changes if you're on the fence, but really this one is a no-brainer.
Worth noting that Amazon have price matched, but they're estimating delivery in 2-4 weeks which could indicate stock issues.
Nice spot, Bure11!
Platforms: PS4 (reviewed) | Vita
Futurlab may have just gone and made one of the best games of the year. And for anyone on PS+, you can download it for free now on PS4 and Vita.
The original Velocity title on the Vita was a cool retro shoot ‘em up that had you teleporting through barriers to reach other parts of a scrolling stage. We would have been happy enough with more of the same, but Futurlab really went the extra mile by adding in on-foot 2D platforming sections when you leave the ship. The game effortlessly shifts between the two modes with no loading screens to complete one of the slickest experiences we’ve seen on PS4.
But let’s go back to the flying parts of the game. Like many classic shooters, you travel up the ever scrolling screen to reach your goal at the top. Rather than fly to the top of the screen to speed up the scrolling, you hold R1 to boost, which effectively scrolls the screen a bit faster, with you needing to stick near the bottom of to have more time to avoid getting smushed.Click here to read more...
Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc is magnificent. Genuinely, truly superb. Both a compelling visual novel and engrossing tense videogame, this disturbing yet playful cult classic tells an incredible yarn with fantastic characters and gruesome murders to unravel. The sequel is out soon, but as far as I'm concerned, it doesn't hold a candle to the original.
So, if you have a Vita, I'd suggest taking advantage of the PSN discount that will save you £8 vs Base.com - and more if you're a PS Plus member. That way you'll know what I'm talking about when I award it GOTY 2014 (your move, holiday season!). Thanks to RicknVic @ HUKD!
Rising Star Games turn ten this year, marking a decade of bringing niche Japanese games to the US and Europe. So what better way to celebrate than a whole host of sales on multiple platforms? A number of 3DS titles will be discounted next week -- I've already scheduled the post (details on HUKD) -- but today PS3 and PS Vita owners can reap the benefits on a number of cult classics.
Speaking of cult classics, Deadly Premonition is probably the cream of the crop at £8.99. Love it or hate it, this mechanically flawed gem still delivers one of the best storylines to ever grace a videogame. So says Mr Lester. Other highlights include Sorcery Saga: Curse Of The Great Curry God for £8.99 on Vita and Half-Minute Hero at £2.99 on PSP (Vita compatible). I've linked to our reviews, so do check them out if you want to know more.
Peruse the savings below or at the EU PlayStation Blog, and do wish Rising Star many happy returns!Click here to read more...
We’re getting awfully close to gaming’s silly season and there are a lot of games arriving in the coming months. So, we’re starting a weekly release roundup running through the new titles in the week ahead, with a bit of information about the games that will be appearing in the New Release section of your local retailer or digital store. Be sure to check out the links too for deeper coverage via our reviews and features.
Warframe has been out for a while now on the PC and PS4 and the FTP title is coming to the Xbox One early next week. Be warned, this third-person shooter/slicer has a very grindy start that isn’t for everyone as you’ll struggle to shake the feeling you need to pump actual money into the game to get any decent weapons and upgrades.Click here to read more...
Platform: PS Vita
Developer: Spike Chunsoft
Once more with feeling: Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc is magnificent.
Seriously, I'll keep banging on about it until you buy it or show me a letter from your GP proving that you're allergic to visual novels. Halfway between Corpse Party, Cluedo, Battle Royale and Ace Attorney, this grim and frequently disturbing tour de force managed to be both an engrossing page-turner and a gripping videogame. Great characters, fantastic story, despair and hope in equal measure. It's still my GOTY thus far.
The reason I'm telling you this now is that you absolutely mustn't play Danganronpa 2 without fully enjoying the original. Partly because the sequel builds on the revelations of its predecessor, but also because it's worse.
Not bad, mind you. It's actually rather good. But stacked up next to Trigger Happy Havoc, Danganronpa 2 lacks the subtlety, pacing and restraint to be a truly effective mystery, and often feels like a fan-service holiday special instead.Click here to read more...
Platforms: PS Vita
Developer: Nippon Ichi Software
Handhelds and strategy RPGs were made for each other, and Disgaea continues to be one of the biggest names in the business for those in the know. Nailing that sweet spot between quirky upbeat humour, insane social life-destroying tactical depth and adorable exploding demon penguin murderers, the irreverent series always feels more at home on portable consoles than it does in the living room.
Case in point, Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited, which provides the ultimate definitive edition of arguably the strongest game in the franchise.
Sardines, dood! Yes, once again, Disgaea isn't ashamed to be deeply silly when it comes to the storyline. We find ourselves following Lord Valvatorez, a once-terrifying vampire tyrant now relegated to a lowly exploding penguin instructor in the depths of hell thanks to some hastily-made promises. His mission, not to mention his obsession with the nutrient value of sardines versus human blood, quickly derails as all manner of crazy characters show up and hilarious diversions poke fun at established conventions, but a strong central theme and great localised dialogue keeps things interesting even if you've never played a Disgaea game before.
It's a surprisingly engrossing tale, even providing alternate 'bad endings' with their own non-canonical epilogue when you fail certain battles. Just remember not to save after seeing one! More importantly, though, Valvatorez is by far the most interesting protagonist in the series. Older and more experienced (but no less bizarre) than his predecessors, he's genuinely hilarious, likeable and benefits from a believable and relateable motive. Move over Laharl.Click here to read more...
Another week, another sale, another hilariously poor offering of PlayStation 4 "discounts." Oh ambassador, with this £39.99 Watch Dogs deal you are really spoiling us. No Ferrero Rochers for you, Sony.
Thankfully it's a different story on PS3 and Vita, which boast plenty of actual savings to be made. XCOM: Enemy Within is only £9.99, including the original game, while the Splinter Cell Trilogy will set you back £5.49. For me, though, it's an opportunity to sample a host of niche localised Japanese titles at a serious discount, including the "dangerously sexy" Demon Gaze for £15.99, the Atelier series alongside Earth Defense Force 2017 Portable and 2025. Forget the Ferrero Rochers, have some Pocky instead.
EDF! EDF! As always, we've got the prices and links below courtesy of the PlayStation Blog and voyager123 @ HUKD!Click here to read more...
Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD remaster is one of Matt and Carl's favourite games of 2014 -- or technically two of their favourite games, I suppose -- especially on Vita. Square's HD rebuild really shines on that luscious screen, while the gameplay apparently still holds up. £18.99 is a £1 saving versus ShopTo, while Amazon are out of stock at a similar price. Thanks to Wortho @ HUKD!
ShopTo have got some very attractive PS Vita bundles going for under £135 right now, and determining the ebst one is all about what you want out of the console as a gamer. For my money, it's all about snagging the best 16GB memory card package possible, but again, it all depends on the games themselves. Most of the bundled digital game packs contain a mix of large and small Vita titles, along with a couple of PSP games thrown in for good measure.
I'd probably go with the bundle that gives you three of the Vita's finest titles in LittleBigPlanet, ModNation Racers, and WipEout with that bumper card. Do be aware that the Vita itself is wi-fi only, though, and it's the newer model which trades the OLED screen in for a more efficient battery.
Hohokum is beautifully endearing, whimsically comical, filled with bold colours and sumptuous aural dreamscapes. Its fluid mechanics are simple and straightforward, allowing players to concentrate on finding ways to interact with the cartoonish worlds and uncovering little visual rewards for their troubles.
But I found it to be somewhat problematic at first.
Hohokum feels like you're playing through a drug-induced cartoon from half a century ago in some ways. I half expected to be ambushed by Blue Meanies as I meandered through its myriad worlds. It's lovely to behold with its bright, bold colour scheme and cutesy art courtesy of Richard Hogg. I spent a good deal of time in one chamber of the game where the long, snake-like, cycloptic rainbow eel thingy that you control links up with a bunch of friends and they all respond to your controller inputs for a bit. It was like playing with a virtual spirograph, and I just danced for a bit with my rainbow eel chums and I looked up and I'd been doing it for almost half an hour.
That's probably my favourite bit of Hohokum so far, to be honest. it's a simple game once you peel away the quirky art. You steer this one-eyed spectrum snake around, occasionally slowing it down, sometimes speeding it up. And that's it. There are a bunch of multi-screen levels to the game that present you with some sort of bizarre tableau and just leave you to figure things out for yourselves. It's like a PixelJunk Proteus in some ways, or what Nokia's Snake did during the acid years, forgetting all about eating that square pixel, and going on a colourful bender.Click here to read more...
Hohokum is another one of those arty games that's going to polarise people. Some will hold it up as an example of unconventional interactive entertainment and proof that games can and are art. Others will passionately argue that it isn't even a game. There will be those that miss the point completely, some for whom this really isn't their thing. Equally, there will be others that pronounce Hohokum to be one of the best things to be seen all year.
I like the way it encourages a genuine spirit of "play" in a manner that's rather unique.
It's a combination of beautiful, striking art from Richard Hogg, various aural dreamscapes that soothe and relax, and fluid mechanics that aren't explained outright, instead encouraging you to discover little cartoonish vignettes through direct interaction as well as poring over the scenery with your eyes.
It's quite possibly the bubble bath of gaming.
The review's on its way.
Platform: PS Vita (reviewed)
Developer: Wales Interactive
Gravity Badgers joins the illustrious line of rubbish games with fantastic names. Though nowhere near as bad as the genuinely offensive Hyper Fighters, this Angry Birds clone really does the bare minimum to live up to its sensational monicker.
Seriously: Gravity Badgers. Gravity. Badgers. What a waste.
I never, ever, use the term 'clone' lightly, but I'm afraid that Gravity Badgers earns it hands-down. We find ourselves flinging badgers into outer space by virtually pulling back and dragging them across the screen, only instead of castles, they're presented with an array of physics-based obstacles. Critically, celestial bodies can either attract or repel your furry cosmonaut, deflecting their path towards the exit. Judge it right and you can pull off crazy slingshot effects; mis-cue and you'll send your badger into deep space.Click here to read more...
Sony’s handheld just gets quieter and quieter each passing expo season and this year was arguably its darkest yet, with Sony barely mentioning their once proud handheld. The Vita is a quality piece of kit, but it never caught the imaginations of the third-party developers in the triple A scene. Instead it has become the champion of niche and indie titles. While we here at Dealspwn love our indie games, they’re never going to be the true system sellers the Vita badly needs. That said, we’ve done some digging around at Gamescom 2014 to see what lies ahead for the PS Vita. Here’s our Top 5 most important moments we took away from this year’s Gamescom.
The device released as PS Vita TV in Japan will be available on these shores later this year for around £85, allowing gamers to stream their PS4 games to a second TV in the house. As the original name suggests though, it will also effectively be a Vita console that you play on the TV. ‘Most’ card and digital titles can be played on PSTV, we imagine the ones that don’t will be those that include a lot of touchscreen/tilt controls like Uncharted: Golden Abyss. PSTV is considerably cheaper than a Vita handheld and could lead to more Vita software sales from gamers currently on the fence. There’s still a bit of a chicken before the egg scenario going on here though as there needs to be interesting titles to entice people to buy. Because let’s face it, remote play on the Vita doesn’t exactly inspire the smoothest of experiences with using the new device to stream PS4 gameplay to another TV. We’d love to be wrong on that though.
If you read my recent 9/10 review for Table Top Racing on the Vita, you'll know that I think it's one of the best racers available on the handheld to date. The game inspires fond memories of older games like Micro Machines and Mashed with its miniature vehicles, weapons and old-school camera options.
At £4.99, it's an absolute bargain, but if you'd like a chance to get a copy for free, you should probably get involved with our competition. It's super simple to enter after all.
We have a UK/EU PSN code to give away and all you have to do is comment in the box below and enter a valid email address in the relevant box too. Say anything you want, there's no catch. Tell us your favourite racing game you played recently. Which one you're looking forward too? What makes a great burger? Anything really. Just remember, only one entry per person will be counted. A winner will be picked at random when the competition closes Sunday 24th August at 17:00 UK time. Good luck!Click here to enter.
Platform: PS Vita
Developers: Playrise Digital
Racers, start your engines! Well, charge up your PlayStation Vitas first, as I’ve no doubt many of you haven’t had a reason to put it on for a while unless you’re a fan of niche Japanese titles. But that’s about to change and for a no-excuses price of £4.99 too.
Table Top Racing is an arcade racing title with healthy influences from the likes of Micro Machines and the weapon-sporting Mashed (but not Wrecked, thankfully). You race miniature toy cars across a range of tracks that include sushi restaurants, picnic areas and tables full of junk. Every course is fantastically designed with lots of tight turns and sudden shear edges that keep the racing pack together throughout.
Slight rubber-banding keeps the races tight too, but when some laps are as short as twenty seconds it never feels unfair. The AI is sharp too, especially in the later tournaments. Unlike many racers with weapons though, the AI don’t just focus on you, instead they’ll ruthlessly fight amongst themselves, often providing you with a chance to slip by an angry huddle, although you’ll often risk a rocket up the backside for such slyness.Click here to read more...
We know you've been keeping some stuff back, Sony. We know you love to make a splash at Gamescom. Now is the time to do it. Sony have been teasing surprises for the past week or so. Will Until Dawn be returning? Can we please have some news from Media Molecule and Guerilla Games? Is there a timeframe on Morpheus? It's time for some answers, and you can check out the Twitch embed and my live Tweets after the jump.
Jon's fashioned a list of expectations and predictions, and you can find that right here.Click here to read more...