Playstation Vita Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Playstation Vita RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network 13 Indies to Get Even Though the PS3 & Vita Digital Stores are Staying Open Wed, 31 Mar 2021 11:14:26 -0400 Anthony McGlynn


Tokyo Jungle

Platforms: PS3

As everyone learned about the PlayStation 3, PSP, and PS Vita's digital stores closing, this was one of the games atop many lists of recommendations. Made, once again by Japan Studio, you control a cat, exploring a derelict Tokyo that's become overgrown, meeting other animals. It's science fiction that's quiet, all about the years between anything of note going on.




Given the circumstances, it stands as a metaphor for digital spaces long after we've upgraded and moved on. Someday, much of what we love will be unkempt and covered in vines, and our attempts to salvage it will be like this cat, navigating the wilds of a different community that's formed in the aftermath.




Keeping these games gives them another life, one that's just as valid as what came before. What games are you downloading ahead of the closure of these digital stores? Let us know in the comments below. 



Platforms: PS3, PS Vita

The best and worst pitch for Proteus is from its Wikipedia page: “The game was involved in numerous discussions of video games as art, with some debating whether it could be considered a video game at all.”




Upon landing on an island, full of bright green pixel-art trees and greenery, you wander, and then you wander some more, enjoying the sights and sounds, and then you wander some more.




Very little happens in Proteus, but that's the point. In a time when we've barely left our houses for a year, Proteus stands to make you remember why going outside is such a privilege. Games can be many things, and sometimes, what they aren't making us do helps us understand what we can do. Proteus is a video game, and it's a great one.


The Last Guy

Platforms: PS3

A novel spin on the survival genre: you control the character using a top-down satellite feed, rounding up people that are still alive in cities under attack from a monstrous threat, and bringing them to safety. Moving away from the likes of Earth Defence Force or Resident Evil, The Last Guy evokes Snake on the Nokia 3210, growing a tail that you've to constantly maneuver around, moving around the map's buildings and pathways.




Playing it now, you can see shades of what it was trying in 2019's Days Gone. Japan Studio made something different here that's well worth preserving for yourself.



Platforms: PS3

A physics-based platform-puzzler, Might and Delight's Pid won't deliver anything you haven't seen a dozen times already, especially in a post-Celeste world. This still holds weight, however, because you can feel the excitement of its era when you play it.




Arriving in 2012, Pid is part of the tail end of that first wave of Xbox Live Arcade indie classics. It's not genre-defining by any means, but the strange, alien characters and landscapes, and ridged use of corridors and forward momentum still hold that air of mystique that came with exploring the PS3 and Xbox Live stores back then. Retro Family's grooving soundtrack doesn't hurt either.



Platforms: PS3

Another piece of twee magic from Japan Studio, Rain has a lot of Ghibli-esque charm to it. A young boy and girl must escape evil forces in a mid-twentieth century European city, eventually finding themselves in a heartwarming tale of companionship.




Ori and the Blind Forest, Inside, and many other fantastical platform adventures since have dulled this a little, but the watercolor imagery that bookends it, and the Eurocentric locales, do tug on the heartstrings still. Give it a look on a quiet afternoon.


Frobisher Says!

Platforms: PS Vita

Once upon a time, it seemed like Sony believed in the Vita. Frobisher Says! is a product of that. It's a strange, WarioWare-like collection of minigames that deftly demonstrates the touchscreen capabilities of the handheld. The animation looks like something thrown together in Flash, then fixed up in Photoshop, and one of the games is just about finding cats in the living room.




Where many of the Vita exclusives rely on AR cards, making them much harder to pick up nowadays, this just needs you and a console. Up to eight players can take part – when we can all hang out again, there's no better way to remember Sony's forgotten child.


Trash Panic

Platforms: PS3



It's Tetris but it's trash, and if you're anything like us, that'll be enough to perk your interest. For the rest of you, this anarchic version of Alexey Pajitnov's puzzler from Japan Studio is a reminder of just how easy, and endless, sorting out the rubbish really is.




When you're winning, it's good encouragement to keep up with your chores because they only take substantial time if you put them off. When you lose, there's a little sense of understanding that these tasks are forever, and it's OK to be overwhelmed sometimes because we are messy creatures. Tetris clones are a dime-a-dozen but don't let this one get lost in the pile.


Cloudberry Kingdom

Platforms: PS3

For a minute, the industry was obsessed by two things: hardcore platforming, and procedural generation. Spelunky, Super Meat Boy, Terraria, Minecraft, The Binding of Isaac, many of the hits of the late-noughties, and early-tens used one or the other, or both.




Cloudberry Kingdom by Pwnee Studios is part of the latter. You and up to three others can bounce through its loud, freeform stages, engaging in friendly competition about who can die in the most ridiculous way. Rayman Legends and New Super Mario Bros have since become the rulers of this kind of chaotic play, making Cloudberry Kingdom like a strange deconstruction of their wily charms, like either has been left in the sun too long. Good fun.


Ibb and Obb 

Platforms: PS3

Given the success of It Takes Two, it's safe to say co-op adventures have a lot of life in them. Ibb and Obb is a physics-bending co-operative jaunt from Sparpweed Games whose use of warm, garish colors, soft corners, and blobby titular characters make it a solid throwback.




Every surface is a dividing line, and you'll have to take turns to figure out what the best way forward is. Everything's 3D-modelled but held in 2D space, like an internet animation from 1999 come to life, and the rectangular hills give a nod to Super Mario Bros. 3, but as if someone's truly mangled it for their own devices. Delightfully weird.



Platforms: PS3

Some of the finest game developers in the industry came through the PlayStation 3 and Xbox Live Arcade, including Tyler Glaiel, a recurring collaborator of Edmund McMillen's.




Glaiel co-developed Closure, a simple black-and-white puzzler about finding and getting the most out of the light in any given stage, with Jon Schubbe. It's a simple, intuitive game and is part of the foundation of the indie scene we understand today. This is history, and you'd do well to keep the lights on for it.


Papo and Yo 

Platforms: PS3

Three years before we had The Last Guardian, Papo and Yo gave us all the feelings about a boy and his monster. Running from his abusive father, Quico finds himself transported to a strange, fantasy favela where he befriends a gorilla-like companion. Together, the pair solve puzzles, moving around the rooms and blocks of the favela at will to progress.




Lead designer Vincent Caballero developed the game as a way of dealing with the abuse he endured throughout his upbringing from his alcoholic father. The metaphor isn't subtle, but it's well-handled, delivering a heartbreakingly candid ending.


Sine Mora

Platforms: PS3, PS Vita

Remember that time Goichi 'Suda51' Suda and famed Silent Hill composer Akira Yamaoka worked together on a bullet hell shooter? No? Well, now's your chance to catch up. Co-developed by Digital Reality, this arrived in 2012, the same year as Lollipop Chainsaw, and was very much under the radar as a result.




On top of being a finely-tuned piece of arcade action, the flow of the 2.5D art, especially in the transitions from stage-to-stage, is at times distractingly good. The backgrounds are rich in detail, closely resembling the concept art they're based on. An enhanced version was released for PlayStation 4, but if you want the original, or if you're like it on the go, you know what you have to do.


Eat Them

Platforms: PS3

There aren't many good kaiju games, but Eat Them! is one of the greats. This cel-shaded destruct-a-thon from FluffyLogic is a neat little package of big monster action, featuring single-player and multiplayer.




The action is simple, and the charm of breaking stuff and defeating other beasts does tend to wear off after an hour or two. But those quick sessions are so satisfying that this is one capable of sitting happily on the hard-drive for years to come.




When you aren't crunching through all the buildings and objects in your way, the charming comic book-like menus and layout frame everything like a late-nineties comics event that never happened. 


Editor's note: Sony has announced that it will not close the PlayStation 3 and PS Vita digital stores in summer 2021 as the company had previously planned. They will still close the PSP store, though. You can read more here. The original list follows. 


Sony has announced the sunsetting of the digital stores for PS3, PS Vita, and PSP. This, unfortunately, means a great many games are going to become unavailable for purchase.


The PlayStation 3 was part of a boom in indie development, when the freeware and shareware model from PC finally came to home consoles in the form of the PlayStation Store and Xbox Live Arcade. The result was wave after wave of creativity from some of the best studios and developers of the modern era.


From July 2, 2021, the PS3 and PSP games on this list won't be available to buy anymore, and starting August 17, neither will the Vita games.


Though it seems some major companies don't care much for preservation, you will (thankfully) be able to always download anything you already own, doing your part to keep games history alive and playable.


However, the number of indie games on these platforms is massive, so there may be some you've missed out on. Just in case, we've put together a list of 13 games you really should consider picking up now, lest you miss out on them forever.

VA-11 HALL-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action Review -- A Hip Flask of the Human Condition Thu, 16 Nov 2017 13:55:14 -0500 Greyson Ditzler

DISCLAIMER: This review will be SPOILER-FREE. Enter with confidence.

I'm so glad that I finally get a chance to talk about VA-11 HALL-A: Cyberpunk Bartender ActionDeveloped by Venezuelan developer Sukeban Games and recently brought to PlayStation Vita thanks to publisher Wolfgame, VA-11 HALL-A is a visual novel/bartending simulator set in a fascinating Cyberpunk future world. 

VA-11 HALL-A is a narrative-driven game loaded with compelling human themes as well as radical cyberpunk storytelling. It's a game that prioritizes narrative and characters over gameplay, letting the writing take up most of the screentime, and allowing the minimal gameplay to simply function well and exist mainly to serve the story it's telling.

Originally released in 2016, the game was only recently ported to the PlayStation Vita, introducing  some slight differences, which gives people like me an excuse to talk about it again. So, is VA-11 HALL-A so good of a narrative game that it's worth playing again on a handheld? Is it a game that's worth your time at all if you aren't into this kind of "interactive story" sort of game?

Pull up a seat and we'll discuss it. There's a three-drink minimum.

What's in a game?

I'd like to start off this review by addressing the talking point people have brought up regarding whether or not VA-11 HALL-A is really a game or not. This sort of debate tends to come up with games like this (or Gone Home or The Stanley Parable), which emphasize storytelling over gameplay.

To me, in order to be a game, something must have a win condition and a lose condition, the exact definitions of which are up to interpretation. In the case of VA-11 HALL-A, while it's very hard to truly "lose" the game, it is possible to get what the creators call a "good ending" and a "bad ending," which, to me, constitutes both success and failure. So in my mind, VA-11 HALL-A is definitely a game.

Sex, Dogs, and Rock and Roll

VA-11 HALL-A is loaded with intriguing dialogues about a variety of topics, ranging from sensationalist media, racism, mental illness, human augmentation, drugs, family, love, fear of the future, sex (there's quite a lot about sex), and so on. 

If this dialogue makes you uncomfortable, then this might not be the game for you. This stuff isn't constant, but it's very prevalent.

You play as Jill, the bartender working at the BTC-certified chain bar VA-11 in Hall-A, commonly referred to as Valhalla, which is tucked away in a corner in one of the seedier parts of the dystopian cyberpunk setting of Glitch City. The game's story isn't about the city or the world but rather our main character Jill and the many clients she encounters over the course of most of a month during the Mega-Christmas season.

The writing is the most prominent and noteworthy aspect of this game -- which should be expected from a visual novel -- but the gameplay isn't bad either. Your main goal -- as well as the core gameplay -- is to mix drinks in accordance with orders you receive from customers, making sure to carefully read the instructions and get it right. Depending on the situation, you can decide to make a drink bigger or stronger, which can lead to different dialogues and even different story arcs, making every drink in some way matter in terms of overall plot progression.

Some people don't seem to like this game's writing, and a lot of those people say it's because they don't think the characters speak very realistically. To some extent, I can see the validity of their argument. While the characters in VA-11 HALL-A are definitely unique and well fleshed-out, most of the dialogue that comes out of them doesn't exactly sound like average, everyday conversation but rather more like well-composed arguments and anecdotes a lot of the time.

But for me, this isn't a big issue. While it's true that a great deal of VA-11 HALL-A's dialogue doesn't sound all that natural, a fair bit of it still does, and it's always cleverly written, cleverly delivered, and -- perhaps most importantly -- consistent in its quality. Every character in VA-11 HALL-A -- whether you like them or not -- is consistently written whenever they're on screen. You never see a writing discrepancy that makes you think, "That character wouldn't do that," which makes the cast feel alive and often sympathetic, even if they don't always talk like real people. 

What really helps the cast come to life is the wonderful presentation. VA-11 HALL-A is a game meant to visually emulate old PC-98 games, and it does so very well, using gorgeously drawn and emotive character sprites in addition to a color palette that's equal parts bright and colorful and cool and muted. The music is just as diverse, with a variety of original tracks (including a few remixes) that range in mood from calm to frantic, all of which the player can pick out and make a playlist of on the bar's jukebox before the start of every in-game shift. All of these elements help to make the whole experience feel more immersive, and it draws you in quickly and keeps a tight hold on you. 

It also helps that this game can be flat-out hilarious. I laughed constantly while playing through the game, even when doing it for a second time for this review, and I was smiling throughout most of my time with it. It covers all the comedy bases from sight-gags, to puns, to serious jokes and childish jokes, as well as a number of truly dark or perverted jokes (sometimes both) that will leave your mouth hanging open -- all done with expert timing and just the right amount of seriousness for each situation.

Rad Shiba is the best dog. I will fight you on this.

While it excels at comedy, VA-11 HALL-A as a whole isn't afraid to paint with the whole palette of the human experience. The game isn't afraid to be dark or serious when it needs to be, and it pulls this off really well, often creating a great deal of anxiety or tension as you worry for a character you haven't heard from for a while being alone out there in the big, cold world. 

Whether it's Dorothy pushing the boundaries of comfort and making you laugh with stories of her life as a robot sex-worker, hearing more rumors about the origin of your boss Dana Zane's robot arm, or speculating where your co-worker Gillian goes most nights, there's always something interesting going on and some story arc developing. The bartender angle is seriously a perfect approach to organic storytelling, as you're always hearing different news and opinions from regulars as well as one-timers, and you're slowly piecing together the world's story and your own.

The game does an amazing job of using little more than its writing and a variety of unique characters to paint a picture of a truly fleshed-out fictional world that feels alive, all with maybe a dozen different screens and less than half as many locations. VA-11 HALL-A's excellent writing allows it to create a world more real and expansive than the biggest outer space skyboxes that AAA money can buy.

Differences With The Vita Version

This is a review of the recently released PlayStation Vita version of VA-11 HALL-A, which is mostly the same as the PC original but with a few noteworthy differences that might be worth knowing about if you're unsure about which version you'd like you pick up. 

For the most part, Wolfgame has made what I consider to be an excellent port. The smaller screen on the Vita compared to an average PC monitor has been compensated for by cleaning up the user interface and reworking it slightly so that it fits in its new home, which I think was done neatly and efficiently.  

The touchscreen controls working in tandem with the buttons and sticks works very well, and in many ways feels smoother than the original ever did. The visuals also haven't suffered either, as despite being on a much smaller screen, the backgrounds and sprites are all still wonderfully drawn and lively. In all honesty, I would have basically no reservations about calling the Vita version of VA-11 HALL-A the definitive version were it not for just one small difference between it and the PC version.

In both versions of the game you can select your playlist for the jukebox both at the start of your shift and after your break, so that's all the same, but one thing I was actually a bit saddened to see absent from the Vita version was the ability to shuffle through your selected songs during regular gameplay. In the PC version, you could skip between your selected songs, put one specific song on repeat, or even put your whole playlist on shuffle, which was a really cool feature that is unfortunately absent from the Vita version. 

I reached out to the publisher of the Vita version, Wolfgame, in order to ask them about it. I asked if the live jukebox feature was present in the Vita version, and Wolfgame replied with "Not at this time." Their wording makes me think that maybe they're still trying to incorporate the feature into the Vita version (but that could also just be speculation), and if not, I won't hold them to it. It would nice to see it come in at a later date if possible, because with it included, the Vita version really might just be the definitive edition.

Taking a Break From All Your Worries Sure Would Help a Lot

At the end of the day, VA-11 HALL-A isn't a perfect game on either PC or the Vita. The writing has its occasional bumps, the basic gameplay may flat-out bore some people, and it could have done a better job in certain places of conveying information relevant to progression to the player. But despite all that, I'm willing to forgive most its flaws, simply by its virtue of being one of the best narrative-driven games I've ever played.

While I don't want to spoil anything too specific, I will say that after a brief adjustment period to get used to the game's unique style and pacing, I was in love with VA-11 HALL-A. Its diverse cast of characters is one of my favorite that I've seen in video games, the graphics and stylistic presentation are phenomenal at evoking the tone and setting, the music is jammin', and even at its slowest, its story is more engaging than most I've played. 

The gameplay may be basic, but it's just complex and variable enough to be engaging, opening up subtle options for the player in how they want the story to progress and how they want to interact with the fascinating world. I could go on about the game for a good while longer, but it really is just something you need to experience for yourself.

VA-11 HALL-A is a beautifully written, beautiful-looking, beautiful-sounding glimpse into an amazing world full of wonderful characters, and one that I can recommend to absolutely anyone who wants a game with a truly great story -- and even to people who aren't sure if it's for them. It's a world I'd love to live in, and one I know I'll be visiting again very soon. 

VA-11 HALL-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action is available now on Steam and PlayStation Vita. You can watch a trailer for the Vita version of the game below:


Note: [Review copy for PlayStation Vita provided by Wolfgame.]



VA-11 HALL-A On Playstation Vita Gets Release date Mon, 06 Nov 2017 16:12:07 -0500 Greyson Ditzler

Last year's surprise hit visual novel "booze 'em up" VA-11 HALL-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action has finally been given a release date on the PlayStation Vita. After some small periods of silence, and a few trade show tours to show it off to the press, the Vita version of the game will be released digitally on November 14th thanks to publisher Wolfgame. 

VA-11 HALL-A was developed and released last year by Sukeban Games and is an experience that prioritizes story over gameplay. The game has players mix and serve drinks to a variety of different customers over many in-game days, and slowly piece together the story and scope of the game's cyberpunk world through its unique inhabitants.

A new trailer was released for the game that confirmed the Vita version to be releasing digitally in most regions on November 14th. This version will include both new added touch screen support, as well as PlayStation TV compatibility.

The new trailer also revealed at the end that the game will soon be available in a limited physical print from indie game publisher Limited Run. This physical release will also be for the Vita only.

VA-LL HALL-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action will be released on the PlayStation Vita on November 14th. You can watch the new trailer for the game with all the details below: 

Factotum 90 Review: A Solid Idea Lacking Flair and Polish Fri, 22 Sep 2017 15:13:58 -0400 Greyson Ditzler

Factotum 90 is a 3D puzzle game from one-man developer TACS Games, headed by Thomas Hopper, and published by Poppy Works. It began life as a Wii U exclusive, but has migrated to other consoles over time -- most recently the PS4 and PlayStation Vita.

The game involves swapping between two identical box-like maintenance robots in order to navigate through a series decks on a spaceship by solving puzzles. You are guided by a man on a screen who wants you to navigate your way through the ship in order to restore the main power after a massive collision.  

A basic premise for a basic concept, but more importantly, does Factotum 90 deliver an enjoyable game? The answer is both yes and no. 

Whip out your admin password and login to find out.

The Good, the Bad, & the User-Friendly

While the setup and core concept are pretty basic, Factotum 90 does have some pretty nice little design ideas. Quite a few steps have been taken in order to make this game as user-friendly as possible. For example, whenever you press a switch to raise a platform, the game very kindly connects the switch and platform(s) with a translucent white line so that you know what in the room has changed. You can even re-read any dialogue that has already happened in the level from the pause screen.

The game also provides both a respawn button on top of the level reset option in the pause menu. This causes the robot you are currently controlling to respawn at the start of the level without undoing any actions that you've already done. This can be useful when you've made a mistake and find yourself stuck, or when you aren't quite sure you're doing things right but still don't want to start over completely.

These lenient features make solving the puzzles feel very relaxed -- and it was helped a bit by the game's simple synth soundtrack, which is more atmospheric than anything else, but still gets the job done just fine. There is definitely a sense of satisfaction to be gleaned from completing the game's puzzles -- though they are similar to each other at times -- and the difficulty curves at a steady pace the whole way through, with only the occasional head-scratcher that takes you longer than average to figure out.  

The white line in action in a simple scenario.

However, while these are all nice features, they can only help so much to fight against the conflicting elements of the game's core design.

You Always Want What You Don't Have

The biggest problems that Factotum 90 has are all things that it doesn't have. For example, while the white line connecting the button you press to the thing it operates is a nice feature, it doesn't solve the problem completely. Several times I saw where the line went -- but due to other obstacles being in the way, I couldn't actually see where it ended. This is especially tricky when the switch affects several things in different locations or something far away.

On several occasions, this led me to attempt to move the other robot into close range to the first bot, then have them press the button, and essentially screen-peek using the other robot to try and verify where the line ended.

And that brings me to the camera.

While you have plenty of open space to move around in, and the camera functions perfectly fine and never really gets stuck on anything, the scope of what you can see is still fairly limited. It's difficult to get a bearing on your surroundings at times because there's just too much keeping you from seeing very far out, such as with my screen-peeking example above.

The game could have benefited from a simple map screen, or maybe an alternative overhead camera angle of some sort which allowed you to asses your surroundings more easily, similar to something like Pikmin 3

Additionally, most of the concepts for puzzles in the game, especially early on, are ones that you've more than likely seen before -- and I have definitely seen some of them before. Levels constantly have you weighing down switches with boxes, redirecting laser beams, opening doors from one side to let the other droid through, and so on. This is not to say that the puzzles are badly designed, because they aren't. The layout of each stage is completely different, but you can't help but shake the feeling that you've seen it all before.

An early level where the laser directing mechanic is introduced.

It would also have been nice to have a co-op mode. Considering the fact that you've always got the two robots to control and you always need to switch between them, this game would have benefited greatly from a co-op mode for two players. It's really well-suited for co-op, and having two people on hand would have helped a bit with the game's occasionally slow pace and sometimes confusing level design.

Lastly, I have a minor thing to note regarding the game's visuals that only seems to apply to the PlayStation Vita version. The graphics are perfectly fine for what they are on all versions, but it seems that the console versions have a slight advantage over the Vita in this regard. The PC and console versions of Factorum 90 feature a security-camera-style film filter over the screen, which I personally feel adds a bit of immersion and charm to the game's aesthetic.

For some reason, this filter is completely absent in the Vita version, and there's no option anywhere in game to turn it on if desired. If this omission was made because it just couldn't be done on the Vita, that's perfectly fine -- but if it can be there, I see little reason to not include it. Maybe Thomas Hopper thought that the filter would make visibility on the already small Vita screen more difficult, but the option at least would have been nice.

A Game About Robots That Could Use More Soul

I don't want to say that Factotum 90 is a bad game, because I did have some fun with it. But I will say that it could have been much better. The slower pace and repetition drag it down, as well as its general lack of new ideas -- though it does still have a few good ideas thrown in the mix. As a game designed and developed by just one person, it's still pretty impressive considering its budget price.

But when judging it by it's own merits, and comparing it to other budget titles and puzzle games on the market, it's just not that great. I do want to emphasize, though, that while I spent more time discussing the lesser aspects of Factotum 90, but there's still a lot of good stuff to be found here.

Maybe the budgeted charm, the low price point, and the respectable amount of content will be enough to grab you -- but for me it just wasn't quite enough. If you're looking for a cheap puzzle game it's not a bad time, you may find the baton-pass style gameplay more interesting than I did. So Factotum may still be worth checking out if you're a budget gamer or die-hard puzzle enthusiast. 

Factotum 90 is available now for $6.00 for PC, Wii U, Xbox One, PS4, and PlayStation Vita. You can watch a trailer for the console version of the game below:

[Note: Poppy Works provided the copy of Factorum 90 used for this review.]

7 Vita Games to Look Forward to This Year as Sony's Handheld Putters Out Wed, 22 Feb 2017 08:00:01 -0500 Michael Llewellyn

Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana

Release date: Fall, 2017


The second Ys title on this list Lacrimosa of Dana is a new installment in the series and received a score of 34/40 on Famitsu praising the game's improved story and the pace of its battle system.


The story focuses once again on the red haired lead character Adol, who while on a journey to the continent of Eresia has his ship attacked and sunk by a giant sea monster. Adol later wakes up realizing he is on a cursed land known as Seiren Island.


Fans of the series will be familiar with its fast based real-time combat system, where skills are activated by pressing certain button combinations. Attack types are classified in three groups known as slash, strike and pierce, and it is up to the gamer figure out what enemies are weak or resistant to the groups of attacks they have at at their disposal.


Which Vita game are you most looking forward to in 2017? Have I missed any off this list? Let me know in the comments below!


Release date: TBA 2017


Valkyria: Revolution is a follow up to the excellent but criminally overlooked PS3 title Valkyria Chronicles, and features an all new alternate timeline set during the European Industrial era as well as a new real-time and tactical hybrid combat system.


The combat system consists of preparing your strategies at the base before battle, then carrying out your objectives on the field. One big theme in this game is the feature of permadeath for major characters in the game's story thus affecting how the story unfolds in the presence or absence of such characters.

Berserk and the Band of the Hawk

Release date: February 21, 2017


Based on the manga series of the same name, the game faithfully retells the story from its Golden Age arc that depicts the meeting and relationship between The Black Swordsman Guts and the Band Of The Hawks leader Griffith, through to the huge and violent battles of the Millennium Empire story arc.


The game features the hack and slash mechanics that were previously seen Koei Tecmos Warriors series only this time with far more brutal and bloody battles than previously seen from past titles.

Ys Origin

Release date: May 30, 2017


Falcom's Ys Origin is a Japanese action rpg that was originally released on Steam and now it is finally getting a release on both the Vita and PS4 as downloadable title from the PSN store.


Played through the perspective of the three protagonists that offer unique stories, the game is set 700 years prior to the events of the first Ys game. It provides a backstory for Ys, Darm Tower, the Black Pearl, the twin goddesses, and the six priests. So the game serves not only as a great starting point for newcomers to the series but offers fans a great deal of depth adding more to the lore of the long running series.

God Wars: Future Past

Release date: March 28, 2017


God Wars is a tactical RPG that blends Japanese legend with traditional stories of Japanese origins.


The tactical combat is traditional take on the genre while adding new layers to the gameplay to help truly immerse the player in the game's mechanics. Characters get stat boosts by making offerings at shrines before the combat begins -- naturally making the right choices can lead to victory.

Toukiden 2

Release date: March 21, 2017


Toukiden 2 is an action RPG set after the events of Toukiden: Kiwami. Where you play the role of a Slayer tasked with hunting dangerous creatures and defending mankind against a demonic threat. The game has an all new narrative and a near endless bestiary of demons and monsters to defeat.


The gameplay of Toukiden is very reminiscent of the Monster Hunter series offering up a great albeit darker alternative to that long standing series.

Super Robot Wars V

Release date: February 23, 2017


Super Robot Wars V is a 25th anniversary release for the series and is a game that has crossovers featuring anime mech characters from series such as Mobile Suit Gundam, Evangelion, Invincible Super Man and more.


It's a tactical RPG with a story based after the destruction of earth and several other colonised planets by the Gamillia. Humans have one year left to survive until a few decide to try and fight back for the sake of humanity.


Despite having a great opening year in 2012 and selling well in Japan for several years there after, the Vita never saw the same success in the West. With its sales completely eclipsed in all regions by the Nintendo 3DS as well as tablet devices that were cheaper and technologically better than Sony's offering, the support for the machine soon started faltering. The machine lost app support in the way of maps and perhaps more prominently YouTube.


The PSVita was granted some extra life when Sony introduced remote play on the PlayStation 3, and later more reliably on the PlayStation 4. But even then it was promoted more like it was an accessory rather than a gaming machine, and was even bundled together with some PS4 deals.


Through Sony's main focus on getting remote play working on PC's, the company is slowly moving away from the PSVita and as a result it looks likely it will become part of Sony's legacy systems.


While it wasn't the runaway success that Sony had hoped for, the PSVita still had access to some fantastic and niche titles you didn't see anywhere else, especially those that were coming out of Japan that may not have seen the light of day in the West at the time.


The Vita still has some life in it yet and has quite a few titles still due for a release this year. Here I have picked 7 of the best upcoming PlayStation Vita games for 2017.

10 Strangest but Compelling Games on the Vita Wed, 28 Dec 2016 08:00:01 -0500 SarahKel


And there we have it -- 10 weird but wonderful games for the PS Vita. They may appear strange on the surface, but they also offer compelling, fun, and sometimes suprisingly deep gameplay under the strange exterior.


What do you think of this list? Are there other strange Vita games out there that you think deserve a mention? Let me know in the comments!


This is a rhythm and strategy game where players tap their Vita in order to issue commands in battle -- quite literally great beats mixed with tactical action.


Players roleplay as a god who commands their army, moving through the world on a predestined path. You must combine rhythm and quick thinking to take on whatever enemies come at you -- and they come quickly, which means they can land right on top of you and force split-second decisions and reactions. That makes for one crazy game!


Enemies come in three colors, each with the ability to counteract the other. So you must move your troops, tap specific colors to a beat, and then tell your troops where to go. To battle bosses, you must utilize the best of your troops and quickly swap between close or ranged combat to be successful. Every action you take will be rated, and you only get to move forward when you've earned an "excellent" or better. 


This is a combination of great tunes and quick thinking action that should get Vita owners scrambling for their consoles. You can buy Orgarhythm for $9.99 on the PS Store.

Octodad: Dadliest Catch

This is a game about a father who is actually an octopus in disguise. It is a hilarious romp through everyday human occurrences, such as going shopping. Octodad is a crazy marriage between an invertebrate and the sim genre -- one which GameSkinny thought was "downright hilarious."


The controls in the game are almost as strange as the concept itself. An octopus is naturally a wobbly and aquatic creature, so Octodad must overcome his lack of vertebrae in order to maintain the ruse. So sometimes it’s funnier to fail at a task that you're trying to complete in a very uncontrolled and floppy manner.


The game is divided into several levels, with a number of tasks required to progress in a level -- for example, collecting certain grocery items in a store.


As the game continues, it becomes more about stealth and action and gets a little more serious, as Octodad continues to hide his true identity.


All in all, this is a really strange and unique game to be played for fun. You can buy Octodad: Dadliest Catch for $14.99 on the PS Store.

Murasaki Baby

For something developed by Massimo Guarini (of Shadows of the Damned fame), this game was always going to be weird. It's about an abandoned baby who is searching for her mother and is very fearful. Players are tasked with guiding this baby through an eccentric world, holding her hand and protecting her from dangers.


But more than that, it's a look into how children rationalize the world around them and work through their fears of being alone. 


With a Tim Burton style artistic style, it is the player’s role to prevent the life balloon from popping. But when baby meets other people, sometimes the balloon needs to be popped. This is never explained, but simply experienced.


The game works great on the Vita touch screen too. You swipe through to move the baby or complete puzzles -- and dexterity is very much required to undertake different tasks at the same time, such as moving baby whilst killing flying baby pins.


A perfect choice for Vita that is strange but works well. You can buy Murasaki Baby for $14.99 on the PS Store.

Hatoful Boyfriend

This is a pigeon dating sim with a wonderfully weird post-apocalyptic tale. (Read our full review here.) Even if this game is bought for a laugh, players might find themselves surprised by its compelling narrative.


You play as a second year student at St. PigeoNation’s Institute and progress through this visual novel-style game by clicking your way around. The catch here is that you're a human character....surrounded by pigeons who are intended to be your romantic interests. The usual stereotypical high school romance story is replaced by the deeply personal and strange stories gleaned from these pigeons.


The game has a lot of replayability, as you have to play out eight different paths to reach alternate endings with all the dateable birds. These birds are photo-realistic and a quirky disguise that hides emotionally repressed characters.


The game rises above its ridiculous concept and interweaves several stories that last -- begging you to play and keep playing. 


You can buy Hatoful Boyfriend for $9.99 on the PS Store.

Get Off My Lawn

This game stars a grumpy old man who, armed with a shotgun, repels aliens that have landed in his yard.  Shoot first and ask questions later in this endless arcade style shooter, and keep the nefarious aliens off Murray’s perfectly manicured lawn.


Clearly, first contact for the aliens did not go exactly as planned. Pulling the trigger has drawn Murray into full scale war with his alien visitors, and they will stop at nothing to destroy him. Armed with his musket and inconsolable rage, Murray must defend his home against all odds. Why are the aliens attacking only this one house? Nobody knows!


Collect valuable alien orbs to upgrade your weaponry, and use power ups to gain the upper hand in the most desperate of times. The longer Murray holds the lawn, the stronger the aliens get. However, there is plenty of firepower waiting to be used in The Shed.


Players must lock and load and get ready to tell aliens: "get off my lawn"!


You can pick up Get Off My Lawn for free on the PS Store.

Earth Defence Force 2: Invaders From Outer Space

This game allows player to battle as many giant insects as they want! It’s pretty much a B-movie turned into an infectious and weird game.


The voice acting is unashamedly cheesy and an assault on the eardrums, with voice actors being as hokey as possible. The commanders declare their constant shock and horror at the increasingly absurd horde of kaiju and mecha. The soldiers scream in terror as they are mauled and eaten. There are also lots of intentionally trope-ish phrases, such as "we have no choice but to destroy it". 


This is a mindless shoot ‘em up at its absolute purest, with emphasis on the non-diplomatic option at every given opportunity. Whether you're playing alone or with friends, you won't be able to help but laugh at the absolute absurdity of it all.


You can buy Earth Defence Force 2: Invaders From Outer Space for $19.99 on the PS Store.

Doki Doki Universe

Doki-Doki Universe is an adventure game designed around taking a really in-depth personality quiz. If this isn’t strange enough, players play as a lovable robot who has to visit alien planets filled with even stranger characters.


Players take on the role of QT3, a robot who has waited 30 years for his master to return. One day he meets Jeff the alien, who teaches him about humanity. The game appears to be extremely childlike, but hidden underneath there is a lot of depth.


You can question the locals to learn more about them, or respond to them as they ask for things like money. In between your actions, there are a number of quizzes with strange questions that range from "which movie would you rather see" to "what do you think this cat is thinking in this picture". Players can also decorate their home planet, or even change their character's appearance.


You can even collect noble steeds and ride into battle as a lumberjack on top of a pile of poop!


It's a fun, if unusual, game for your Vita. You can buy Doki Doki Universe for $14.99 on the PS Store.


Divekick pays homage to the fighting game community, and there is a lot of strange behavior in this game. There are tons of inside jokes, such as a character with a large head. There are also crossover characters from Nidhogg, which makes this the best and strangest fighting game for the Vita.


It’s a two-button fighting game, where the player can either jump or kick. It is that simple. As such, it is competitive and easy to pick up too. There are a few more advanced characters that offer a little more gameplay, making a full roster of 13 characters.


Plus, we can teach you special moves in Divekick. Score. 


Though its unusual for a console, this game allows two players to simultaneously control characters, with each player controlling two actions and then fighting on one screen on the Vita.


For players that  a fun, introduction to fighting games, this one is an interesting choice. You can buy Divekick for $4.99 on the PS Store.

Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc

The game is full of characters with personality and individual quirks. One only has to have a few conversations with Hifumi Yamada to realize that his love of 2D girls is a bit much!


If a person was in an enclosed environment with 15 strangers, who could be trusted? And would it change the player’s view if murder was encouraged within the group? The game’s goofy appearance juxtaposes with a play experience that's about deceit, betrayal, and despair.


You play as a high school student who goes on a school trip to a tropical island -- a trip that turns into a deadly fight for survival. A talking stuffed bear describes the trip as a killing school trip, pitting students against each other so they must fight to leave the island. 


Overall, this makes the game into a murder mystery, where players gather evidence to uncover the murderer...but with a dark malevolent twist.


You can buy Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc for $39.99 on the PS Store.

Conception 2: Children of the Seven Stars

The plot of this game sounds like a cheesy pick-up line -- the game’s protagonist must create star children with female students in order to fight monsters and save the world. Given that childbirth is a long process, they have sped up the process using a Matryoshka doll. Ignore the science and just enjoy the JRPG wackiness instead.


The game is technically a dungeon crawler, where players require extra help to defeat they procreate using magical energy and softcore psychic pornography. From these rituals, cute RPG characters are born.


The agreement for ladies to meet, become friends, and serve the protagonist is a little strange, but it does allow players to speed up combat and unlock features.


You can buy Conception 2: Children of the Seven Stars for $29.99 on the PS Store.


Video games are a fantastic medium that doesn’t shy away from letting players experience new things -- and they're equally unafraid of getting weird occasionally on a variety of platforms.


In particular, the PS Vita has quite a few different styles of game, and offers titles which may be considered strange -- but are equally addictive and compelling. Whilst the PS Vita library might be lacking in quantity, it can provide something a bit more unique than just generic soldiers.


Here are 10 strange, but compelling games for the PS Vita that are worth playing.

Expect To Hunt Demons On 2017 With Toukiden 2, But On Which Platform? Fri, 16 Dec 2016 03:25:38 -0500 Danny21_2396

Fans of the Monster-Hunter-style, demon hunting game set in a pseudo-Japanese setting better get their hands, and wallet, ready. We have known for quite some time that the latest title in the Toukiden series, Toukiden 2, will see a western release by early 2017. Just recently, Koei Tecmo announced that Toukiden 2 will see a Spring 2017 release window. No exact date has been given yet, but we're sure that Koei Tecmo will update us as we ease our way into 2017.

In Japan, Toukiden 2 was released on PS3, PS4, and PS Vita, but Koei Tecmo has not stated which platform western audiences will receive the game on. We can be optimistic that the game will land on PlayStation's console and handheld, like its Japan release, and expect Koei Tecmo to spill the beans closer to release.

Toukiden 2 is the third game in the franchise, after the initial Toukiden game and its sequel Toukiden: Kiwami. It takes place two years after Kiwami, where players must fight demons that have engulfed Nakatsu Kuni with a peculiar miasma. Nakatsu Kuni just conveniently happens to be an ancient name for Japan!

Both the first Toukiden and Toukiden: Kiwami eventually became available on PC via Steam.

In Toukiden 2, players will create and customize their own character, called Slayer, to fight the demons. There are numerous weapons which players can choose that will provide a wide array of strategy in fighting the numerous demons. Players will explore the land in an open world environment, complete with day and night cycles. Combat is designed to be a seamless encounter that can happen anywhere in the field.

Koei Tecmo initially announced Toukiden 2's western release along with games like Atelier Firis, Nights of Azure 2, and Samurai Warriors: Sanada Maru. It is not clear if all of these games will receive the same release window or not, but stay posted on GameSkinny for more details!

Don't Ignore the PS Vita, There Are Some Great Niche Games out There Thu, 10 Nov 2016 06:00:01 -0500 SarahKel

PS Vita is a legacy platform for gaming. The handheld didn't sell well due to lack of memory, and the cost of memory cards. The lack of interest killed off 1st party titles, and it suffered from an identity crisis as it contained too many features.

However, the benefit of the PS Vita was that premium games could be played on the go, which was always an interesting prospect. However, there are many people who still love the device.

There are a number of AAA titles that have been available for the PS Vita, but when you can play them on a number of other consoles, they lose their appeal. It's always more interesting to look at the more niche titles in the market. Here are a few that I highly recommended:

1) Project Diva

Project Diva is a rhythm game where the player controls a vocaloid, which are based off of a popular voice synthesizer from Japan. Player can control several different vocaloids, including, but not limited to, Miku Hatsune, Rin and Len Kagamine, and Luka. In effect, it's similar to the Rock Band games.

There are 4 different modes to the game, easy, normal, hard and extreme. The better you play, the more points you receive.  These Diva points can be spent to buff the game, at the expensive of receiving less points. Diva points can also be used to customise the character and their room.  It is a fun game, and great for a party too.

2) Tearaway

Tearaway is a third-person platformer from Media Molecule that really does utilise the very best features of the PS Vita. This includes taking pictures using the camera to add real life images into games and the back panel being used to simulate moving items around with players fingers. The touchscreen can also be used to cut materials.

In the game you play as a messenger on a mission to deliver a unique message to the player. The character is navigated through a paper world to deliver the message and there are enemies and obstacles in the way to delay the messenger. This game looks superb on the PS Vita.

3) Gravity Rush

In this is an action adventure game players control Kat, who has lost her memory, and meets a cat who provides her with the power to control gravity.  Kat uses this power for good to protect people from a gravity storm and also meets her antagonist, Raven.

All of the game mechanics revolve around manipulating gravity, allowing unique movements and navigation. The portable nature allows players to tilt the console to keep items moving, along with using the joystick and the buttons.

There are RPG elements as well, as characters level up, complete side quests, fight villains and explore the open world and new abilities are learnt. The graphics are cel-shaded, which look very appealing and unique when compared to photo realistic games.

4) Luminous Arc Infinity

This is a tactical role playing game, with turn based battles taking place on a grid. Characters called The Nine Pillars of Lapis rule over the world and maintain its order. They use magical power to ensure the world remains preserved. Once a year, there is a special ceremony for Imperial Rites, where people gather to meet the Emperor, but things take a sinister turn when the Amadeus group arrive to derail proceedings.

Players control the protagonist Seed and ensure that he enjoys his everyday life. There are battle briefings, so players choose which character they take along to battle and customise the character's abilities. Battles are turn based and action timings are dependent upon the commands selected during the turn. There is the character's "after break," where the player can get to know characters better, communicate with them, and deepen the bond and understanding of the character.

Luminous Arc Infinity is a great portable RPG on the PS Vita and definitely fits into its intended audience.

5) Chronovolt

This is a puzzle platformer with a steampunk twist. The villainous Scabious has stolen Professor Chase's blueprints and the Chronosphere, which he plans to use for nefarious purposes. There is an element of mental aptitude necessary to complete the puzzles and to complete them quickly enough to be top of the leader board.  

Through manipulating the Chronosphere, players can speed and slow time and send people into other dimensions.  The game has some beautiful locations, including forests and ancient Chinese architecture.

Players control the Chronosphere, guiding it through levels utilising the Vita's touch sensitive motion controls, while using the buttons to navigate the in-game camera . The touch screen menu works extremely well and if players want to improve then there is a great opportunity for replayability.

The PS Vita is now more or less obsolete. So, why bother acquiring AAA games when there is such a wealth of beautiful, slightly more obscure games out there that are excellent and worthy of playing? Don't trade in your Vita just yet, the tactile nature of the Vita and the incredible OLED screen alone make it worthwhile. Paired with the incredible amount of independent games available, it is an excellent item for a whole range of niche games.  But here are many more examples of great Vita games.

What are your niche games you loved on the PS Vita? Go ahead and share them in the comments!

Are the PlayStation 4 Pro and PlayStation VR Doomed to Fail? Mon, 31 Oct 2016 06:00:01 -0400 Clayton Reisbeck

Sony has been pretty busy in the past couple months. Last month at a meeting in New York, Sony announced the PlayStation 4 Pro and two weeks ago the PlayStation VR was released. With all these new toys, we should be excited, right? I seriously doubt it.

Let me preface all of this by stating that I game primarily on PC. I find it to be the best place to play games on and feel that I get the best bang for my buck with it. I do have ready access to a PlayStation 4. My roommate has one that I can play anytime that I want sitting out in my living room (we affectionately refer to it as the Bloodborne machine).

With that out of the way, I still feel that the latest hardware offerings from Sony are on a line of items that are doomed to fail. Let's look at a couple reasons why I feel that is the case.


I'd have to say my biggest concern with both of these items is their price. First of all, there's the PlayStation VR. The headset itself is $399.99 but you need a PlayStation 4 (tack on another $299.99), and you need the PlayStation Camera (add another $59.99) to play it. If you want to take advantage of the motion controls, you'll have to pick up a couple of six-year-old PlayStation Move controllers which Sony is conveniently selling you a bundle of two controllers for $99.99.

Luckily, there is a launch bundle that has the headset, camera, and controllers for $499.99. So if someone is just now jumping into the PlayStation VR scene without the console, they're going to be dropping $799.98 without tax. The issue here is that they are spending that much on the inferior version of this experience.

The best way to experience the PlayStation VR is to buy the PlayStation 4 Pro when it comes out in November. The PS4 Pro is going to run you $399.99. So instead of $799.98 you'll be slapping an additional $100 onto that to get the best experience -- and if we're talking about playing in virtual reality, you want the better experience. Sony is saying that the PS4 Pro will be able to put out a higher frame rate and better graphical output for VR and considering that one of the biggest concerns with VR is motion sickness, having the best hardware to reduce the chance of that happening is needed.

With the both of these items, I just feel that the common consumer isn't going to rush out to pick up these items. The PlayStation VR, while being the cheapest VR option on the market right now, just doesn't have the support or the games to make it worth its price right now.

The PlayStation 4 Pro is the bigger issue I see with the common consumer. First of all, the PlayStation 4 is 3 years into its life. I really think the big surge of people buying those consoles has died down. I just don't see people dropping an extra $100 on top of the PlayStation 4 (the new slimmer model) price just for the chance of things looking a little prettier.

The other issue is that the PS4 Pro is being marketed to run games at 4K and put out more games at a stable 60 FPS. As of right now, the amount of people who own 4K TVs is still pretty low. 4K is a new technology that hasn't been able to be made cheaply. A quick search on Google, tells me that some of the cheapest 4K TVs are $500. So if you want to get the most out of that console, you'll be dropping an additional $500 minimum to make everything look pretty -- and those TVs are simply not that great. I just don't see the common consumer going out of their way to do that. Of course, you'll have the hardcore folks out there with plenty of expendable income to afford these things. I just don't think that those people are the core of the market that Sony is hoping to sell to.

Sony Loves to Forget About its Toys

If you wander back through Sony's recent hardware history, you're going to find quite a few things that just aren't heard about anymore. Does anyone remember the PSP Go? How about the PS Vita? And we just talked about how the PlayStation Move controllers sat in a warehouse collecting dust for six years before Sony decided that they would package them in pairs and re-sell them for $100 -- $50 a piece for six year old hardware is crazy high. Sony is very quick to announce some amazing new hardware only to toss it in a ditch a couple years (if not months) down the line. I really think that this ditch could be the next home for the PS4 Pro and PS VR.

I think the first thing to hit the ditch is going to be the PlayStation VR. As of right now, the PS VR has very little to offer in the way of engaging games that use the technology; right now it has nothing more than tech demos. If they want that device to survive, we have to start seeing games that give us a reason that VR is the better option over using a standard display and controller. The gimmick of being able to turn around and see that the game world as you would the real one, will only last for so long. I just don't see people going out to buy such an expensive device to do that for extended periods of time, and if people aren't willing to do that, Sony will drop it like a hot potato -- the past has proven even if something sells decently, the PS Vita, Sony will drop it anyway.

The PS4 Pro probably won't be far behind the PS VR in hitting the ditch. The amount of games that will be getting the 4K upgrade isn't very large at this point, and I just don't think people will be rushing out to get this thing just to see the threads on someone's clothes. 4K still hasn't completely caught on in the common gaming world so buying a console that is made to showcase that, just doesn't seem viable to me. Again, if people don't buy it, Sony has no reason to support it.

Better Things Already Exist and are Coming

Both the PS4 Pro and PS VR are not the best items on the market for what they are offering. Let's start with the PS VR here. The PlayStation VR is the latest virtual reality headset to hit the market after the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. While it is the cheapest headset on the market, it is most definitely the least powerful. Both the Rift and the Vive are much more powerful devices that are capable of much more. The Vive offers room-scale technology and the Rift has updated to be able to support it as well (but as of right now, you can't get the extra sensors needed). The PS VR doesn't have this technology, as the only camera it has is the single PlayStation camera needed to sense the headset. The current play area that is allowed by the camera is smaller than what the Vive offers.

The other issue with the PS VR is that it has nowhere near as much game support as both the Rift and the Vive do. Both the Rift and the Vive are PC-based peripherals so finding support for games to be played in VR is much easier than that on the PS4 currently. That and, the Vive has the backing of the Steam storefront so finding games for it is much easier than that on the PlayStation. The Rift is also PC based and there are rumors that it will be able to be used with the Project Scorpio console that Microsoft announced at their Xbox press conference during E3 2016. The PS VR is locked to the PS4 currently so unless lots of companies start churning out VR games or older games start offering VR support, both the Rift and the Vive beat out the PS VR in games.

Let's talk about the PS4 Pro now. The PS4 Pro is offering gamers a home console that will output 4K images and support for HDR, with a new GPU with 4.2 TFLOPS, and an 8-core processor. These all sound nice until you look at what we already have on the market and what is coming. Earlier this year, Microsoft launched the Xbox One S which supports 4K video streaming and Blu-Ray, and supports HDR gaming. And it's only $299. Already, the PS4 Pro is being beaten here. For $100 less than the PS4 Pro, you can get 4K Blu-Ray (which the Pro doesn't even have) and HDR gaming.

Now you may be saying, "but what about 4K gaming? The Xbox One S can't do that!" The Project Scorpio which will also have an 8-core processor, but will also have a GPU that puts out 6 TFLOPS and support true 4K output. The PS4 Pro can't output true 4K. It uses a new form of rendering called checkerboard rendering which allows it to upscale its images to 4K, but not put out a true 4K image. Upscaled 4K is not as good as true 4K. Once again, the PS4 Pro comes up short.

Now all of that makes it sound like there isn't any good in these products. There are some good things about them. The PS VR is still the cheapest VR headset on the market right now and the PS4 Pro will be delivering the best console experience available at the time when it releases next month. The issue is that the benefits that they present just don't outweigh the drawbacks. Both of these products just seem too niche for the common gaming market to be a success.

What do you all think? Am I just being a pessimist? Let me know in the comments!

PlayStation Plus Free Game Lineup for August 2016 Sun, 07 Aug 2016 13:37:16 -0400 ThndrMge

It's that time again, Sony has updated their selection of free games available to PlayStation Plus members. This month features six games including a multiplayer physics-based puzzler, a space combat RPG, an open world action-adventure beat 'em up and karaoke simulator, two rhythm games, and a retro action arcade twin-stick shooter. Interestingly, there has been a bit of controversy surrounding the selection of one title in particular.

Retro/Grade, a 2012 music rhythm game by 24 Caret Games, is coming under scrutiny particularly in the European market for having previously been featured on the PlayStation Plus free game list once before. Online Content Producer for SCEE, Rhys Sutheran, commented on the controversy, stating:

"We’re keenly aware that you’ve had a lot to say regarding PS Plus this month – we’ve read all the comments and have passed your feedback directly to the PS Plus team."

No additional information has been given as to what action -- if any -- will be taken regarding this. As for the other titles in this month's offering, the current selection for PlayStation Plus can be seen below.

PlayStation 3 Titles

  • Retro/Grade
  • Ultratron
  • Yakuza 5

PlayStation 4 Titles

  • Rebel Galaxy
  • Tricky Towers
  • Ultratron

PlayStation Vita Titles

  • Patapon 3
  • Ultratron

Are you a member of PlayStation Plus or are you considering becoming a member? You can pick up any of these titles for free, or sign up for a PlayStation Plus membership, by accessing the PlayStation Store either on your favorite Sony console or through your browser here. These titles will remain available until being rotated out for a new selection in early September.

Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs. Force out tomorrow for the West Mon, 11 Jul 2016 03:30:01 -0400 FlameKurosei

After a 2-year long wait, Bandai Namco Games will release Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs. Force tomorrow for both North America and Europe. An exclusive for PlayStation Vita via the PlayStation Network, the western release will include all Japanese updates and downloadable content.

Fans of this mecha genre (i.e. "people commandeering giant robots") anime series will love this new Gundam title's enormous playable cast, including characters from:

  • ∀ Gundam ("Turn A" Gundam)
  • After War Gundam X
  • Gundam EXA
  • Gundam Reconguista in G (New!)
  • Mobile Fighter G Gundam
  • Mobile Suit Gundam
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 00
  • Mobile Suit Gundam AGE
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans (New!)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED
  • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Wing
  • Mobile Suit Victory Gundam
  • Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam
  • Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ

Furthermore, along with the classic 2 versus 2 gameplay, Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs. Force now has a new playable fighting system for team battles. In this mode, players function fight in teams of 6 Mobile Suits (with one "Chief" commander) and 1 battleship against opposing enemy forces.

Another new playable mode is titled "Extreme Force", where players can reenact their favorite scenes from the various Gundam anime, such as Mobile Suit Gundam: Universal Century.

Japanese Box Cover Art for Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs. Force

For those unaware, the Gundam Vs. series plays in an arcade-based style.

In particular, each team has a set amount of points, and destroying an opponent's mecha will subtract points from that team's total. The teams fight it out via shooting and melee combat, and the first team to zero points loses.

Extreme Vs. Force will be the first localized title in the Gundam Vs. series since 2006 with Mobile Suit Gundam: Gundam Vs. Zeta Gundam for the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube.

Interested for more mecha-related titles? Check out the teaser trailer for the upcoming Super Robot Wars V here on GameSkinny!

Check Out What LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens Has in Store for Its Upcoming Release Mon, 13 Jun 2016 11:19:20 -0400 Daniel Lopez

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment's LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens is releasing in just a couple weeks, giving fans of the Star Wars saga a chance to experience Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens in the charmingly whimsical way that only the LEGO series can deliver.

LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens is not just a simple re-telling of Episode VII. Developer Traveller's Tales is delivering exclusive story content that expands on plot points the film never touched on — such as Han Solo and Chewbacca's dangerous Rathtar hunt and the adventures of the legendary Outer Rim space pirate, Crimson Corsair. So if you were just as confused as me about the old dude who bit the dust in Jakku at the start of Episode VII, don't worry, because the game will shed some light on this mysterious explorer, Lor San Tekka, and his connection to the fallen Jedi Order.

For folks who would like to dive even deeper into the events surrounding Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, there will be an accompanying season pass available that will further explore key moments from the film with additional level packs, along with character packs that expand the already massive roster of the galaxy's most famous force wielders, bounty hunters, and droids. The season pass has a $9.99 price tag and will be available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC.

There are two editions available for pre-order: the $59.99 Standard edition and the $69.99 Deluxe edition. The Deluxe edition includes the season pass, exclusive LEGO Finn minifigure, and collectible 3D graphic art. Those who pre-order the Deluxe edition will also secure early access to "The Empire Strikes Back" character pack. The Deluxe edition is exclusively available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens is set to release June 28th for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, 3DS, PlayStation Vita, and PC. PlayStation 4 and PS3 owners will get treated to exclusive DLC, including the Droid Character Pack and Phantom Limb Level Pack.

PQube announces Steins;Gate 0 for America and Europe Wed, 25 May 2016 10:38:18 -0400 Jeffrey Rousseau

Today, PQube has announced that they will be releasing Steins;Gate 0 for America and Europe this year. The sequel to Steins;Gate will be available on both the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita consoles. 

The original Steins;Gate, developed by 5PB and Nitroplus, was released for America in 2015. Steins;Gate is a visual novel featuring a nonlinear story exploring the themes of cause and effect. Players took the role of protagonist Rintaro Okabe, as he attempts to avoid tragedy. Rintaro must time travel many times in hopes of being successful. The game featured a number of endings based upon the choices you make interacting with friends and acquaintances alike.

The sequel will continue the time traveling adventures of Rintaro and will explore one of the alternate endings from the first title. This time, however, he will be joined by friends from Future Gadget Lab and new characters. The story will also focus on AI and the creation of something known as "Amadeus".

A release date hasn't been announced but science fiction and visual novel fans can look forward to Steins;Gate 0 later this year.

Aksys Games to release Shiren the Wanderer 5 this Summer Mon, 09 May 2016 04:09:02 -0400 Jeffrey Rousseau

Shiren the Wanderer: The Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate was announced by Akysys Games for release on July 26. Developed by Spike Chunsoft, the adventure continues in the fantasy world of feudal Japan for the PlayStation Vita.

The series tells the story of a ronin, Shiren, and his talking weasel companion Koopa as they search for legends and secrets. Shiren titles are roguelikes; games which features primarily dungeon exploration, randomly generated dungeons, permanent death, and RPG elements. Shiren the Wanderer was originally released in 1995.

The newest adventure follows the traveling duo as they traverse the Tower of Fortune. Within the tower, they hope to meet a god that can change their fate, or so the legend says.

Aksys Games recently shared some details on the multiplayer features of the latest Shiren. In co-op mode, players can work together to clear a dungeon floor by defeating a boss. If either player dies, the co-op session will end in defeat. In versus mode, players can face off in head to head battle.

Adventure and RPG fans can look forward to the fifth title in the series this Summer.

SNK Playmore announces The Last Blade 2 for PS4 & PSVita Wed, 20 Apr 2016 10:21:07 -0400 Jeffrey Rousseau

SNK Playmore recently announced via the PlayStation Blog that they will release their port of arcade game The Last Blade 2 on May 24. The game will be available for both the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita. The port will be handled by developer Code Mystics, and will feature pixel perfect emulation.

The Last Blade 2 was released originally for arcades in 1998. The series takes place towards the final years of Japan's Edo period and focuses on the battle between mythological creatures. During these turbulent times, evil spirits are scheming to free themselves from the underworld to be reborn into the world, and heroes are posed to stop them.

Last Blade 2's  gameplay is split between speed, power, and/or extreme mode for your swordsman. Power mode will feature straightforward attacks, while speedmode relies on executing longer combos. Extreme mode essentially allows you use the strongest attacks and super combos available to your character.

The port will feature the cross-buy support and cross-save support. Purchasing the game on either console will allow you to play it on both, and you will be able to share your save date between both consoles. Online multiplayer will also allow you to play against others from either console. The Last Blade 2 themes will available for purchase on launch day as well.

With 18 characters to chose and various fighting styles available, get ready to clash in the Japan of old.

Giants will be slayed with Attack on Titan, releasing on August 30th Fri, 08 Apr 2016 06:09:17 -0400 Jeffrey Rousseau

Koei Temco has announced that they will be releasing their Attack on Titan game on August 30 for the US and August 26 for Europe. This anime-inspired action title will be available physical only for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. It'll be available digitally for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita and Steam.

Attack on Titan began as a popular manga, written and drawn by Hajime Isayama in 2009. The series than became an anime series that aired in 2013. The story stars Eren Jeager and his comrades' battle for survival. He lives in a world where humanity stays behind massively walled communities. The outside world is wrought with danger due to Titans -- man-eating giants that will pursue and eat human beings on sight.

Eren's sheltered life changes when Titans manage to infiltrate his impregnable walled society. Disaster ensues and causes a ripple effects that fuels the boy's dedication to hunting the man eaters.

The series gained fan and critical praise for depicting emotionally charged scenes, high intensity battles, and Band of Brothers like camaraderie among its cast.

Get ready to join your series favorites in fighting the Titan threat this August.

Skullgirls 2nd Encore is now available for PS Vita Thu, 07 Apr 2016 08:18:04 -0400 Jeffrey Rousseau

Developer Lab Zero Games has announced that Skullgirls 2nd Encore is now available for the PlayStation Vita. The 2D fighter is available via the PlayStation Network for purchase. 

Skullgirls was initially developed by Reverge Labs, published by Konami and Autumn Games, and saw a release back in 2012. Due to finalncial issues that both publishers faced, post release content was cancelled and the entire development team was fired.

Reverge Labs reemerged as Lab Zero Games after the fallout. In late 2012, they were able to continue post game content after launching a successful indiegogo campaign.

Autumn Games eventually ended their relationship with co-publisher Konami. Konami then requested that Skullgirls be removed from both Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Network in December 2013. The game was eventually re-released as Skullgirls Encore in 2014 with newly secured publishers

Skullgirls is unique due to certain features partly unique unto itself. It features a cast of 14 characters that are fully hand drawn. The roster features a motley crew cast of mainly female characters with only 2 male fighters (Big Band & Beowulf) to date. The story focuses on the Skullheart, an artifact which grants wishes for any woman who obtains it. Each heroine clashes with the other in hopes to get her wish granted. If she is has an impure heart, she'll become a monster bent on destruction.

Skullgirls was praised by both fans and critics alike for highly technical gameplay reminiscent of Marvel vs Capcom. The game is also recognized for having fluid animation for all it's characters.

Skullgirls 2nd Encore features include all DLC fighters, cross play with the PlayStation 3 & PlayStation 4, and challenge mode to name a few. If you're looking for a fighter as technical as it is visually expressive, Skullgirls may be for you. 

Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth Review, all JRPG fans may apply Sat, 19 Mar 2016 16:06:05 -0400 Jeffrey Rousseau

The Digimon (Digital Monsters) franchise began its popularity in the late 1990s. Over the years, we've seen a fair share of game and anime releases. In celebration of Digimon's 15th year anniversary, Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth (DSCS) was released in Japan back in 2015 for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita.

It was well received overseas and then Western fans asked Bandai Namco if we could see a release. Thanks to a petition signed by over 65k fans, DSCS was released this past February. So, is DSCS a game that only Digimon fans enjoy or can any fan of JRPGs find something worthwhile? Here's our spoiler-free review to answer both.

Detective Fiction

Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth doesn't require any knowledge of the anime or past games. But is is important to note that the game's voice-work is in Japanese and it is subtitled English. It's a tale involving a young man (or young lady depending on your choice) that get's caught up in a near-future mystery. A local gumshoe takes our main character under her wing, they become her assistant beginning a career as a "cyber sleuth". With an array of special skills you'll find clues, solve cases, and reveal secrets for the people of Tokyo and digital life-form alike.

The narrative plays out across 20 well-paced chapters featuring a colorful cast of characters. If you're familiar with the cyberpunk genre then the narrative here isn't entirely groundbreaking. However, the story does feature a healthy dose of mystery and writing. The result is a memorable and unique experience that lasts for 40-50 hours.  

Gameplay Trifecta 

The overall gameplay of DSCS falls into three categories: detective work, battling, and training digi-buddies. As a detective you'll be traversing Tokyo, cyberspace, and digital dungeons for cases. Cases will either involve locating objects (or people/monsters), fighting hackers, and some other possible *ahem* "barely legal" activities. If you ever happen to forget case details, you can always refresh yourself by talking to NPCs or looking at your case profile. Also, the main story only progresses as you see fit. So you can always take your time with extra cases to expand the roster, get more items, and money.

Next, there's the matter of battle. The details of battle are surprisingly deep but overtime you'll get the hang of it. First and foremost encounters are random which can be seen as an old mechanic by some. Battles are turn-based (also considered dated) but fast paced. How fast you can dispatch foes hinges upon your command of the rock-paper-scissors weakness system of the game.

I'll try to keep this brief and uncomplicated as possible. Beasts fall into types and elemental affinities. Data types are effective against vaccine types and vaccine types beat virus types. A fire attack is effective against a monster with a plant affinity. So what does this mean? Attacks can be at most 3x as effective in a good match or barely effective in a bad one. Unless you exploit types and elements properly, a quick and painless fight can become long and excruciating. 

The final and most time consuming part of the gameplay experience is raising your team. With over 200 Digimon there's a lot of choices available. The Digilab is where you'll hatch creatures you've encountered in the wild, digivolve them, and more. To help with training, you can place your critters in a Digifarm where they can gain experience and level up their stats.

This will allow you go about the story or side quests while you'll have non-party participants gaining experience to be champions later. The game will remind you (in boss fights no less) that having fully evolved versions of your party is a necessity. To access stronger evolved versions of the little guys certain requirements need to be met. These requirements include specific stats, story progression, and a variety of other things. 


Visually speaking, DSCS is pretty easy on the eyes. The game is perpetually bright and stands out. A good example is the digital environments. The game mixes a cel-shaded design for digital space with 3D character models. The human characters and monsters are equally beautiful in battle and cutscenes. The amazing art is thanks in part to designs by Oh! Great (Air Gear, Tenjho Tenge) and Suzuhito Yasuda (Devil Survivor 1 & 2, Gundam Build Fighters)

Finally, there's the impressive soundtrack that's a varied mix of jazz, techno, 8 bit, ambiance and more. Nearly all the tunes are fitting, contemporary, and natural (especially the digital tunes). The soundtrack is brought to you by Masafumi Takada. If you've never heard of him his works include Dangan Ronpa 1 & 2, No More Heroes, and Killer 7.

Case Conclusion 

In short, it's a good JRPG and one you should give your attention to if you're looking to play something different. We often don't have games that are cyber punk in nature and it's rare that it's a detective story as well. The game is packed with enough content to keep you engaged. I haven't even mentioned that there are post game challenges, a new game plus mode, local/online battle, and arena challenges as well. Ultimately, DSCS is a game any lover of JRPGs will enjoy, Digimon fandom isn't required.

Here's 16 minutes of Grand Kingdom and its sprite on sprite violence Wed, 16 Mar 2016 07:07:23 -0400 Jeffrey Rousseau

NIS America and Spike Chunsoft are teaming up to release Grand Kingdom (GK) on June 21 for both the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita.

So what is GK? It's medieval fantasy themed tactical RPG developed by MonoChro. A great empire has fallen and war is no longer the duty of knights. War is now the profession of mercenaries. You play the commander of a mercenary squad in a war-torn continent, seeking to put food on the table and gain some prestige.

As seen in the preview (PS4 footage), the game features many gameplay elements and blends them together. GK is part board game; where you'll move out your mercenaries across a map. While traversing around, you'll discover treasure, NPCs, enemies, and traps (Yay danger! I mean...oh no).

GK is also part chess game when it comes to enemy encounters. Your unit positioning is critical to success. You'll have to match and counter your enemies advancements to maximize damage. You may also want to minimize damage to the troops too. Sure, battle is turn-based, but it's a fine line between a random battle and  a possible gameover.

You'll notice that the characters Flint and Lillia present you with two schools of thought for approaching dangers. Do you go in guns blazing, or exercise caution? These choices have their respective pros and cons.

GK features some pretty entertaining voice over work as well. You may even recognize a few of them. GK is bright, keeps you on your feet, and looks like a fun addition for Tactical RPG genre. Why is June so far away?

Digimon World: Next Order is around the corner Tue, 08 Mar 2016 11:37:31 -0500 Engela Snyman

As a series, Digimon World has had an interesting run since its debut in 1999. As a whole, the series has received mostly negative to mixed reviews, except for the 2012 Digimon World Re:Digitize, which was quite acclaimed by critics.

And now Bandai is back, and taking us for another adventure into the Digimon world, with its brand new game: Digimon World: The Next Order

Set to be released on March 17th in Japan, the game seems to be very reminiscent of the originals. You can train Digimon, help them evolve, and then battle, battle, battle before battling a bigger baddie than before. Same old same old, but with new graphics.

But there is one key difference - this time around you have two Digimon to take care of!

Now you can have Agumon and Gabumon!

How this will play is still a bit of a mystery. The story hasn't been revealed yet, and the trailer only shows a few slides of meadow-like areas, and what appears to be a floating castle. 

Graphically the game is probably as good as it's going to get. It's being released on PlayStation Vita, and one can't expect NextGen graphics. But the landscapes look pretty, and the Digimon look like Digimon.

It looks pretty, what more do you want?

But this little game already has a bit of a hill to climb. Another Digimon game, Digmon Story: Cyber Sleuth, created by Media Vision, was released just last year and, according to critics, was pretty darn good. It boasted an interesting story, decent RPG elements, fun fighting and a lot of epic Digimon.

With March 17th just around the corner, it will be interesting to see the reaction in Japan, and if the game can live up to its predecessor. If we get enough sales, Bandai has promised to release it in the West, so here's fingers crossed it doesn't suck. 

Because as well know, Digimon is awesome, and we need more Digimon games.