Jaggy Race PlayStation Mobile

Game Review: Jaggy Race! (PlayStation Mobile)

With such a diverse range of games that have been released in the last two years and such varying degrees of quality, it’s not a surprise that many PS Vita owners are wary when it comes to PlayStation Mobile. Even the promise of PSM making greater use of the Vita’s capabilities with the advent of Unity hasn’t swayed many to it’s cause and looking at some of the early Unity releases it’s no wonder but Tiziano Bizzini hopes to change that with the PlayStation Mobile port of his iOS racing game AeroDrift…

Jaggy Race! can be best described as being a platform based, stunt kart racer but unlike most racers where you’re competing against other drivers, in Jaggy Race! it’s just you, your kart and a series of sprawling tracks across varied terrain… oh, and there are sheep as well, but more on them later!

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Nova 111 PS Vita

Curve Digital Brings Funktronic Labs’ Nova-111 To The PS Vita In 2015

Curve Digital have announced a new partnership with California-based indie developers Funktronic Labs to bring Nova-111 to Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and Wii-U in early 2015. The console versions will release on the same day as the PC, Mac and Linux versions of the game, and highlight a growing trend amongst developers and publishers to bring console indie titles out simultaneously with their PC counterparts.

Nova-111 is a sci-fi themed adventure game that cleverly combines turn-based gameplay with real-time action, forcing players to utilise both real time decisions and turn based strategy to fight enemies and solve puzzles. The combination of two very different methods of interacting with the world creates a title that allows for the sense of urgency of real-time games while providing the depth of strategy and methodical combat decisions typically associated with turn-based titles.

Since being announced, the game has been a mainstay in the American expo scene, being selected for Indiecade, MIX, Indie MEGABOOTH and PAX10 and has received recent large amounts of positive press in the PC indie scene.

We had originally planned a PC release first, followed by a console release later in the year,” said Eddie Lee, Co-Founder of Funktronic games, “Working with Curve allows us to actively develop the PC version while bringing the console versions out at the very same time. With indie games branching out from Steam to other formats, we want to make sure our fans are able to play the game on day one on as wide a variety of systems as possible.”

Jason Perkins, Managing Director of Curve Digital stated “We first played Nova-111 at GDC this year and were instantly hooked. The game mechanic is smart but very easy to learn, and the overall design and presentation of the game really stood out as something that we felt would make a high-quality indie console experience.”

Curve Digital have been responsible for bringing some of the best PC indie titles to console in 2013 and 2014, working on games such as Lone Survivor, Thomas Was Alone and most recently, The Swapper. Nova 1-11 will be developed for consoles in house by the Curve Digital development team in London.

Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus PS Vita

EU Release Date Confirmed For Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus

Marvelous Europe today announces that Japan’s most tantalising fighting game, Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus, will be available for digital download on October 15, 2014 in Europe, Australia and other PAL regions on the PlayStation®Store. Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus will also be published in North America on October 14th by sister label XSEED.

They have also released the first in a series of brand new gameplay trailers – the first showcasing the characters, moves and costumes of the Hanzō Academy – one of four fighting factions in the game. This trailer can be viewed at: http://youtu.be/k4qHZRqn1es

Fans of the hugely popular series, with around 500,000 sales in Japan alone and spinoffs including manga comics, anime TV shows, toys and even pillow cases will be delighted to see that everything is bigger and better this time around. Busting out of the 2D side-scrolling action of the first title, Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus sees battles unfold in a fully realised 3D environment.  The infamous SENRAN KAGURA formula remains intact, though, with sprawling mid-air combos, over-the-top humour and revealing Secret Ninja Art techniques making this the biggest Senran Kagura experience to date.

The game features 20 unique shinobi fighters for players to master, each with her own unique weapon, techniques and special moves, while Secret Ninja Arts can be exploited to change costumes and power up mid-battle. On top of the single-player game, up to four players can battle online or via ad-hoc connection to determine which shinobi is the best of them all.

Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus is developed by Tamsoft together with Marvelous Inc. of Japan for the PS®Vita. Marvelous Europe will publish the title in Europe digitally on the PlayStation Store with an estimated retail price of €29.99. This title has been rated 16+ by PEGI in Europe, 16+ by USK in Germany and M in Australia. XSEED will publish the title in North America, where it has received a Mature rating by the ESRB.

Steam Lands PlayStation Mobile

Game Review: Steam Lands (PlayStation Mobile)

Whenever I see the name B.P. on the PSN Store now, I dread making that all-important purchase and download. I fear that the latest title from Lightning Game Studios is set to be another disappointing release at best and at worst another travesty that should never have seen the light of day so it was with trepidation that I added Steam Lands to the collection…

Having released games in a wide range of genres already, Steam Lands enters another for Lightning Game Studios being their first foray into the world of the side-scrolling shoot-em-up. As with all their releases, you’re thrown pretty much in at the deep end with no plot, or instructions being left to figure out what to do for yourself, it’s quite a simple game and easy to pick up and get into so you can just concentrate on getting on with playing the game itself.

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Zodiac PS Vita

Kobojo To Release RPG Zodiac For PS Vita

Kobojo, the French developer creating engaging, multi-platform games with an artistic flair for mid-core players, today announced details for Zodiac, a 2D persistent online role-playing game (RPG) developed in conjunction with creative minds from the smash-hit Final Fantasy franchise.  The game is being unveiled to the public for the first time this week on PlayStation® Vita and iOS devices at the Tokyo Game Show.

The multi-platform RPG, is being created by a renowned global team stretching from France to Scotland to Tokyo, including well known ex-Final Fantasy developers such as composer Hitoshi Sakimoto and scenario writer Kazushige Nojima, who combined have written, scored many of the most iconic RPGs of all time, including Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy Tactics, Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy X-2, Final Fantasy XII, Final Fantasy XV and the Kingdom Hearts series. All audio and sound effects are being created by Basiscape who are renowned for their work on RPG’s such as Dragon’s Crown, Muramasa: the Demon Blade and Valkyria Chronicles.

“Working with iconic developers such as Sakimoto-san and Nojima-san has pushed us to perfect every element of the RPG experience for mobile and handheld devices,” said Mario Rizzo, CEO, Kobojo. “The combination of their deep knowledge and history along with our company’s experience and artistic style is leading to the creation of Zodiac, our dream cross-platform RPG.”

Zodiac blends classic elements from Japanese RPGs with beautifully 2D hand drawn art, creating a gameplay experience that is as deep and engaging as it is stylish.

Zodiac is being developed at Kobojo’s new studio in Dundee, Scotland and is set to be released in 2015.

News

EU PlayStation Store Update – 17th September 2014

It’s been a little while since we brought you an update regarding new content on the PSN store so without wasting any more time we’ll look at the latest additions to the EU PSN Store this week…

PlayStation Vita

Jetpack Joyride Ultra Bundle – £3.29/€3.99/AU$5.95

Murasaki Baby – £7.99/€9.99/AU$14.95 (20% off for PlayStation Plus members until 24th September)

Run Like Hell! – £3.29/€3.99/AU$5.95

PlayStation Mobile

Steam Lands – £3.39/€4.29/AU$7.45

Pong Breaker – £1.39/€1.79/AU$2.95

Inflatable Maths – £3.39/€4.29/AU$7.45

Solbrain I – Village – £5.89/€7.49/AU$12.45

Flight World Simulator – £3.69/€4.49/AU$7.75

One Image Viewer – £1.19/€1.49/AU$2.45

PS Vita DLC

LittleBigPlanet PlayStation Vita

  • Run Sackboy! Run! T-shirt – Free
  • World Peace Day Costume (Sept Seasonal) – Free

Run Like Hell

  • Medium Coin Pack – £1.69/€1.99/AU$2.95
  • Big Coin Pack – £4.99/€5.99/AU$8.95
  • Great Coin Pack – £7.99/€9.99/AU$14.95
  • Dead Man’s Chest – £15.99/€19.99/AU$29.95
  • Small Coin Pack – £0.79/€0.99/AU$1.45

Deal of the week

Another World – 20th Anniversary Edition (PS Vita/PS3/PS4) – Was £6.49/€7.99/AU$11.95, now £3.29/€3.99/AU$5.95

MXGP – The Official Motocross Videogame (PS Vita) – Was £34.99/€39.99/AU$54.95, now £11.99/€14.99/AU$22.95

Disney discounts – ends 24th September

LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean [PSP] – Was £7.99/€9.99/AU$14.95, now £3.99/€4.99/AU$7.55

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End [PSP] – Was £6.49/€7.99/AU$11.95, now £1.99/€2.49/AU$3.75

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest [PSP] – Was £6.49/€7.99/AU$11.95, now £1.99/€2.49/AU$3.75

PSP Pirates Double Pack - Was £9.49/€11.99/AU$17.95, now £3.29/€3.99/AU$5.95

Availability change

Fate/EXTRA (PSP) – Now available in Finland, Norway

SteamWorld Heist PS Vita

SteamWorld Heist Coming Soon From Image & Form

The developers at Image & Form finally ungag their CEO to talk about SteamWorld Heist, the next game in the SteamWorld franchise. “It’ll be full of surprises and probably the best game ever,” says Brjann Sigurgeirsson with typical modesty. Release is set for spring 2015; platforms, price and release schedule are yet to be determined.

In the brief teaser video below, Image & Form reveals a glimpse of what they’ve been up to since last year – SteamWorld Heist.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRPQahcRigg

SteamWorld Heist is a game about space adventures and survival. Recruit a team of ragtag robots to explore and scavenge the remains of a destroyed world. Board enemy ships and command your crew in a unique variety of turn-based combat.

Taking place some time after SteamWorld Dig, a cataclysmic event has shattered the planet and forced its population into steam-driven spaceships. It’s a robot-eat-robot world out there, and water is desperately hard to come by. Heisting other ships and bases – bad guys fortunately, the lot of them – is their only way to remain in operation.

“Heist isn’t a sequel to SteamWorld Dig,” says CEO Brjann Sigurgeirsson. “It’s set in the same world and the cowbots are still the heroes. But a lot has happened to SteamWorld since then, and we want to make a game that is radically different. Partly because we really wanted to make a turn-based strategy game, but also because it felt like a clever move. The obvious follow-up would’ve been Dig 2; we wanted to surprise instead.”

Image & Form aims to self-publish also SteamWorld Heist – although it will be different this time. Before the release of Dig, the studio sent out one measly press release three months prior to launch. “Yes, it was quite ridiculous and we got lucky with the massive response at launch,” Brjann recalls. “This time we’ll keep our fans and media in the loop. So much is happening with this game. I have the patience of an insect, but will try to keep from pestering you every day.”

* * *

It has to be said that while a PS Vita has not been officially confirmed right now, Image & Form have stated that it is their intention to release the game on all platforms – “We’re aiming to release it for all platforms, and we’re now deciding on the release schedule – which platform goes first and so on.” – so we would assume that the Vita would be part of their plans, especially following the success of SteamWorld Dig.

PlayStation Mobile Logo

PlayStation Mobile Update – 17th September 2014

It’s been another busy week for PlayStation Mobile here in Europe with another six releases hitting the PSN Store and more updates to existing releases. Refreshingly there are some new developers on the scene once again and it’s clear that Unity is really playing a part both in terms of the steady flow of new titles and the complexity of the games we are seeing.

New Releases

  • Flight World Simulator (Johan Valfridsson) – PSM’s first flight simulator and the biggest title to-date weighing in at almost 1Gb in size!
  • Inflatable Maths (Cooply Solutions) – Well presented educational game
  • One Image Viewer (MMA Developers) – cloud based image viewer linked to Microsoft’s One Drive
  • Pong Breaker (Warren Gaspard) – cross between Pong and Breakout if the title hadn’t already given it away
  • Solbrain I – Village (Lightning Game Studios – 3D exploration game
  • Steam Lands (Lightning Game Studios) – side scrolling shooter

I have been extremely scathing of titles released by Lightning Game Studios over the last week but these latest titles do give me the impression now that they seem to be a publishing studio rather than a small development team. Certainly, this week’s titles are an improvement on the first releases both technically and in terms of gameplay but they still fall short of the mark in terms of what they offer overall in terms of quality gaming experiences. Lasting appeal and pricing is still an issue with Solbrain I on first impressions offering a game length of under 5 minutes for almost £6 although I will report on this properly once I’ve had the chance to fully evaluate the game.

Updates

  • Behind You – updated to version 1.20
  • COSMOS – updated to version 1.09
  • Helicopter – updated to version 1.20
  • Raptor RPG – updated to version 2.10
Run Like Hell PS Vita

Run Like Hell Hits PS Vita This Week

Hitting the PSN Store later today in the USA and EU territories tomorrow, from developers Mass Creation the creators of DRAW SLASHER, comes their second release for the PS Vita – Run Like Hell! An endless runner, you take on the role of a fearless treasure hunter, stuck on a tropical island. Spotted by a local tribe of hungry cannibals, you’re faced with two choices: check out if you’re tasty with garlic to the locals or… Run Like Hell!

As the player. you can run and escape from your pursuers by jumping through hoops, sliding under obstacles while admiring the vivid hand-drawn tropical island with procedurally generated levels. Race through a jungle, run through a calm village, avoid the sun in cool caverns, and even can get melancholic at dusk on the beach.

Offering three game modes: “The Great Escape” (story mode), “Arcade” – endless running through various locations and the icing on the cake – “Online” modes containing “Versus”, “Tournaments” and “Challenges”. Players who are into the more serious challenges can climb up the global leaderboards and complete in 50 exacting objectives.

The game is priced at $4.99 (USA) and €3.99 (EU).

Fruit Space PlayStation Mobile

Game Review: Fruit Space (PlayStation Mobile)

There are some games that just flatly refuse to go away. Despite making its debut in the arcades back in 1978, Taito’s Space Invaders is still doing the rounds today in one form or another officially or unoficially with clones, new interpretations of the seminal classic or games like Fruit Space trying to make a few minor changes to the game in the visual department…

The name of the game probably gives you the biggest clue as to where these changes lie – instead of destroying wave after wave of incoming alien invaders, instead you take control of a giant space pineapple (seriously, I kid you not!) and have to fend of hordes of invading fruit bowls. Apart from a few minor tweaks, the gameplay is basically Space Invaders and you’d think that you’d be in for something remotely entertaining just with quirky visuals but unfortunately the novelty factor wears off quickly once the reality of the game itself hits home…

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Auto Assembly, Europe's Largest Transformers Convention