Mysterious countdown appears on the Steins;Gate 0 official site
5pb has mysteriously updated the official website for Steins;Gate 0, its upcoming visual novel based on the hit anime and manga series. The site now contains a countdown themed after the Divergence Meter device from the series. The countdown is expected to end in roughly five days. What could they be teasing?! Click here to view the […]
Atelier Shallie Plus: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea coming to PS Vita
The latest edition of Famitsu Weekly has revealed that Atelier Shallie Plus: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea will be released on the PlayStation Vita in Japan on March 3. Standard edition copies of the game will cost 5,800 yen, and the “Premium Box” edition will cost 8,800 yen. Added features include: Ayesha and Logy from […]
Koei Tecmo has announced that Attack on Titan will launch on the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Vita in Japan during February, 2016. Additionally, first-print copies of the game will include downloadable costumes of Eren and Levi, as well as the “Duster Blade” weapon. You can check out the trailer below:
New Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir Trailer Showcases Velvet
Atlus has released a new trailer for Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir. This trailer showcases playable character Velvet’s actions and skills, which we will see in the game. Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir is due out on the PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4 in 2016 for Europe, and on January 14 in Japan. You can view the […]
Team 17 Announces Strength of the SWORD: ULTIMATE For PS Vita
Things may have been quiet from the veteran publishers, but Team 17 have confirmed that they are continuing with their commitment to the PS Vita with the announcement of Strength of the SWORD: ULTIMATE for 2016 as part of their 2016 line-up from the UK studio. Following their move into publishing titles from external developers […]
If you are still contemplating getting a PlayStation TV (known as the PS Vita TV in Japan) you might want to take a look at Base.com if you are in the UK. As reported on Postabargain, you can get the microconsole for under £35. For more information visit: http://www.postabargain.co.uk/categories/ps4/sony-playstation-tv-vita-ps4/057401 Don’t forget to check out our […]
After The Dust Has Settled 11: EGX and Sony (What IS going on?)
EGX moved this year to the NEC on the extreme outskirts of Birmingham, and the event spanned 3 halls plus press area. In amongst the sea of PlayStation 4s I found a total of 4 PS Vitas in the entire event – two on Sony’s stand in their museum section along with the original PlayStation […]
Things may have been quiet from the veteran publishers, but Team 17 have confirmed that they are continuing with their commitment to the PS Vita with the announcement of Strength of the SWORD: ULTIMATE for 2016 as part of their 2016 line-up from the UK studio. Following their move into publishing titles from external developers as well as working with their own IPs, Team 17 have confirmed the game although there is a second title, Allison Road, which they have currently not confirmed which platforms it will be released for so whether or not this will be a contender for a PS Vita release is as yet uncertain.
Strength of the SWORD: ULTIMATE
This is a a charming yet brutal 3D fighter/brawler. Brimming with old school attitude Strength of the SWORD: ULTIMATE is the kind of game you BEAT instead of finish. Playing as the awesome War Golem who is magically powered by awesomeness and destruction, you will engage in tactical and skill based combat as Strength of the SWORD: ULTIMATE pits you against multiple deadly enemies at once and includes epic boss battles!
Defend the realm against a rising evil that has swept the land in Story Mode or battle against not only enemies but the clock in the gruelling Survival Mode.
While not confirmed as a Vita release (or confirmed specifically for any other format for that matter) Allison Road is a narrative-driven survival horror game developed by entertainment industry veterans and life-long game enthusiasts.
It is late autumn and the trees and bushes have long lost their green summer coat. Thick clouds and rain dominate the grey days and chilly nights. With nothing but the sound of distant traffic and crows to pierce the omnipresent silence, you wake up one night without any recollection or prior events. Now it is your turn to uncover what happened to your family, and face off against the horrors that await in the house…
… and beyond.
What would you do if you could feel something stalking you in the dark, in the safety of your own home?
I’m all for short games. I think they have their place in the ecosystem. There’s something about the almost instant gratification that’s hard to describe, like an Elvis song, or an Edgar Allan Poe poem.
It’s also a very hard craft to master, despite what one might think at first: you don’t have 10 or 100 hours to develop character arcs, and build an emotional attachment with the players.
I like good short games so much, that I recently gave the harrowing “Actual Sunlight” a glowing review not long ago.
Maybe that’s why I don’t mind that “Three Fourths Home” is about an hour long. Maybe it’s because the older I get, the less time I have to play, so a short game suits my schedule better.
But I think I like this game, quite simply, because it’s a fantastic story.
You are Kelly, driving under a torrential downpour. You establish a phone conversation with your family, and while it all starts lightheartedly fun, the conversation quickly turn to very adult, mature and serious themes, such as alcoholism, mental health and of course, family issues.
The dialog is so well crafted, it’s a shame that the game is not narrated. In fact, I found out about TFH because I watched a Let’s Play by Colin Moriarty and Greg Miller (you can watch that here), and I really missed hearing people tell this fantastic story.
Stories, I should say, as Kelly’s brother Ben tells a fantastic story to Kelly during their phone conversation, a completely made up story, that is actually as good as Tim Schafer’s “Broken Age“.
There isn’t really that much in terms of gameplay, and I find the use of the rear touchpad unnecessary (thankfully you can turn this off in favor of a pure button control scheme). You simply advance the story, and choose from a couple of dialog options here and there.
But, this is not really a “game”. This is an interactive short story, and if you realize this going in, it can be a very fulfilling experience. It’s not a AAA shooter, and it doesn’t need to be, to be good.
The graphics look great, though. I like their minimalism. I’ve been a fan of grey lately, too.
My only complaint, and the reason I’m rating this a 7 instead of an 8 or higher, is that for such a short story, they tried to cram so much into it, that it feels like there’s too many lose cables by the end of it.
I know that, to some extent, that was the intention. The suddenness of loss. But I feel like some angles, like Kelly’s failed romantic relationships, could have been explored further.
All in all, for $4.99, you can immerse yourself in a world that will make you re-think your priorities in life. And hell, that’s a hell of a deal compared to my last therapist.
“Three Fourths Home” is not perfect, and it’s definitely not for everyone. But if you are part of the niche market of people who would enjoy an experience like this, then [bracket] Games’ Vita prima opus is well worth considering.
It’s been a while since I posted my First Impressions article about this game. The reason: I was waiting for a patch to fix some of the audio and graphics issues I had with the game. I was hopeful. I was naive. I am, alas, disappointed.
The main problem is that I really want to like this game: I am a motorsports fan. I know about cars. I watched and re-watched all of the episodes of Top Gear (UK only, thanks). I love driving. I love engines. I love rally, and rally games.
So, in theory, this game was tailor-made for me. The reality, however, is that it was made by a tailor who was half blind.
Let’s start with the good: the mechanics are spot on. If you’re a rally game fan, you can feel the heritage of games like Colin McRae Rally and even Sega Rally in WRC 5. You can change the realism if you want something a bit more “sim-like”, but if you want arcade rally gaming, it’s here in all its glory.
The “rally simulation” setting adds a lot of realism, but takes away the fun. Instead of easily oversteering, you need to steer with your throttle on most cars. Oversteer is everywhere.
If you play with arcade settings, though, it’s glorious oversteer, specially lift-off oversteer and four-wheel drifting.
Another good thing is the amount of content: I don’t mind that it doesn’t really have multiplayer (other than “ghost mode”). Rally games (and real-life rally) are solo experiences by nature. If you’re expecting something like Need for Speed or Grand Theft Auto, even, you’re out of luck. The solo modes, though, are fantastic: the career mode specially, as it has a plethora of tracks from all over the world, including some that are out of commission.
But this is where it all starts to come undone.
Even though there are tons of tracks, the graphical sacrifices made to port the game to the Vita mean that all tracks look the same: drab. There are also no particle effects, so whether you’re on tarmac or gravel, the only difference is in the behavior of the car, and the color of the road.
Car models are beautiful, and I think that’s where they got it wrong. They should have used less polygons on the car, and more on the track. At the very least give me some dust! Some snow! Some mud!
At least it sounds great, right? Well, no.
There’s no music, but I didn’t really notice that until I read people complaining about it. I guess it’s because I prefer to listen to engine sounds, so usually in rally games I mute the music anyway. But the thing is, even though there’s no music, you still can’t hear the engine.
All you can hear is the crackle of the exhaust, and even that sounds tinny.
There are other nuances in the game that could have helped set it apart. It could have been a great game.
Sadly, WRC 5 was made by a team who really understood the physics of a rally game (and a rally car), but not really the visual and aural appeal of the sport.
This means that WRC 5 is the game that could have been great, but is just good. And that’s not good enough for me.
At A Glance
Title: WRC 5
Publisher: BigBen Interactive
Developer: BigBen Interactive
Format: Physical / PSN Download
Cross Buy: N/A
Cross Play: N/A
Cross Save: N/A
Memory Card Space Needed: 2.9Gb
(Note: Here’s where the official screenshots would have gone, but none have been uploaded to the Playstation Store Page of the Vita version of the game).
If you are still contemplating getting a PlayStation TV (known as the PS Vita TV in Japan) you might want to take a look at Base.com if you are in the UK. As reported on Postabargain, you can get the microconsole for under £35.
EGX moved this year to the NEC on the extreme outskirts of Birmingham, and the event spanned 3 halls plus press area.
In amongst the sea of PlayStation 4s I found a total of 4 PS Vitas in the entire event – two on Sony’s stand in their museum section along with the original PlayStation and it’s sucessors prior to the PS3. That meant that like the PS3, no new releases or games in development were on display for the format on Sony’s stand.
The other two machines were demoing the PS Vita version of Superbeat: Xonic.
…and that was it – there was pretty much no mention of the Vita, let alone anything on display anywhere else at the event.
I have been talking to a handful of developers of late, and rumours of massive internal issues at Sony keep cropping up. They appear to be struggling with their own arrogance, as they lead the way in home consoles and extending their lead over the XB1… Leading some of those in charge to rest on their laurels as in the latter days of the PS2 era, while other recognise that this is exactly why things went so wrong previously, and try and steer clear of the same outcome. However regardless of the internal issues, it seems the PS Vita may as well not exist.
Two developers (and probably far more) have recently offered PS Vita version of their titles to Sony, only for them to be dismissed out of hand, with Sony appearing to only be interested in PS4 content at this stage – even when suggesting that a PS Vita game could make a great PS+ cross-buy title. No interest… at all.
At this stage it’s quite clear that outside of Japan, Sony sees the PS Vita and PS TV as nothing more than remote play devices that also offer PS Now and creation of further product to run natively is not of any interest to them. Even in Japan where the PS Vita *is* the lead console, there is *NO* AAA 1st party development. SCE have protested that even after a possibly poorly translated quote from Masayasu Ito seemed to state that no 1st party title development for the Vita is going on *at all*, that they are still developing for the machine – it’s just not AAA product (though what “AAA” means at this stage is anyones guess – surely the titles having the most spent on them on a format become the AAA product, if there is no tier above?) However much as Jim Ryan (SCEE) protests this is the case, there is precious little evidence of anything of interest coming. Mind you the assualt of mobile gaming on smartphones isn’t going away and with the 3DS embattled as well as the Vita outside of Japan the business case for either format is looking to be on increasingly shaky ground. Masayasu Ito (SCE/SCEJ) also underlined that they are supporting third party AAA and non-AAA development, but the evidence from UK developers interaction with SCE UK/SCEE seem to suggest that this isn’t the case outside of Japan.
With 500GB PS3 consoles having an SRP of £249.99, while 500GB PS4’s are SRPing at £299.99 and can be purchased as cheaply as £245, and Sony officially discontinuing the PS3 in the Australasian territories as the cost price of manufacturing PS4 hardware units seems to be on a par if not below PS3 now (due to the numbers being produced and less exotic silicon) Sony Computer Entertainment increasingly looks like a one format platform holder. Surely if they wish the PS Vita and the PS TV/PS Vita TV to remain viable as remote play devices, there needs to be more incentive to get one in the first place. I personally have believed for a while a PS mini type system for developers has been needed to replace PS Mobile, but Sony (at least outside of Japan) now seems to be one step away from actively discouraging developers from making Vita games. C’mon guys – deal with this – either set up a structure for small studios to release titles onto the machine (and perhaps also PS4) in a PS Mini style (ie anything under 500MB?) or come clean that it’s just no longer part of any future plans (indeed it’s already been made clear you have no interest in replacing it with a sucessor.) Surely a £99.99 Vita (preferably using MicroSD cards….) with a range of games at £1-£5 as downloads would be a viable business model… unless of course the manufacturing costs for the handheld console make that a nonsense.
Seems such a shame considering all the PSP, Mini, PSOne and PS Vita gaming titles that can be played on the handheld that Sony seem so disinterested… though if rumours are to be believed emulation of at least some of those, and perhaps PS2 isn’t too far away for the PS4 to allow PS Store downloads to work, if not discs.
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