Content about PS Vita

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Ubisoft is set to have a huge showing in the next few days at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, and if the rumor mill is madly churning for any company, it's them.  Rumors about Beyond Good and Evil 2 footage, a Prince of Persia revival (sans Jake Gyllenhaal) and the Rayman Legends Wii U project have already been making the rounds.  But today, a sweet new one has emerged -- Assassins Creed 3 isn't the only "killer" game releasing this year.


When I first played Gravity Rush last year at E3, I saw how it stood out in the PlayStation Vita line-up at the time, with its exquisite art style and its innovative gameplay style.  But then I thought…”What if they ‘gimmick’ this and make it more about the features of the game than the game itself?”  And doubt began to sank in.  But, as I usually get these days with game developers, Sony Japan Studio pulled a 180 on me and actually made Gravity Rush one of the more entertaining Vita efforts to date.  Gotta love surprises.


A lot of folks I know were pretty disappointed with Resistance 3, despite Insomniac Games’ efforts to take the series in a new direction following the death of its main hero, Nathan Hale.  Me?  Well, it irked me in places, but I could see what the developers were trying to do, and I had a fair amount of fun with it – even though I still turned to Killzone 3 by default afterward.  Now, people are once again getting divided up over the release of Burning Skies, the first portable entry for Resistance on the Vita.  (In this case, game critics.)  But, honestly, is it really that bad?  Nope, in fact, it’s pretty good.


Since its release over the past few months on both mobile platforms and consoles, The Pinball Arcade has become a popular release with both pinball fans and newcomers alike, as the development team at Farsight Studios has managed to perfectly recreate some of the more popular tables out there for digital play, including Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! and most recently, Funhouse and Bride of Pin-bot, which are coming to Xbox Live and PlayStation Network next month.


If you like baseball video games, chances are you’re doing one of two things right now.  You’re either heavily investing yourself in Sony’s dominating simulator MLB 12: The Show on PlayStation Vita or PS3, or you’re playing 2K Sports’ Major League Baseball 2K12, which actually fared pretty well considering how the series has been in a bit of a (pardon the pun) slide here.  But it looks like the competition may be whittled down, as 2K is considering letting its deal with MLB expire in 2013, though that wasn’t officially announced.


The PlayStation Vita.  Though it may not be everyone’s ideal handheld choice (the 3DS is out there, along with cheaper handhelds and that iPhone thing), it’s still a sleek little thing that’s well worth playing.  Sony has made quite a push with the system so far, with a number of impressive games and a few more on the way, including Resistance: Burning Skies landing at retail (and digitally) later this month.  But when it comes to games you MUST have, what are the best choices for the system?


When StarDrone came out for the PlayStation Network a few months back, it introduced an interesting concept that could be used with the PlayStation Move controller, one that had you directing a star-shaped drone across universal maps, collecting stars and other content while getting from point A to point B while you directed it on its journey.  Though hardly as addictive as other PSN games, it had enough moments to give the game a look.  With that, Beatshapers has brought the same experience to the PS Vita, but with touch-screen controls and a few exclusive levels for good measure.  The only question now is whether it’s enough to warrant another purchase.  Sorry, but not this time around.


Kart racers are usually a dime a dozen, especially back in the old days, when it seemed like every gaming company wanted to make its own version to capitalize on the popularity of the Mario Kart games.  But Sega did it quite effectively several months back with Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing, a smorgasbord of racing goodness stemming multiple characters and tracks inspired by various Sega classics, including the House of the Dead, Samba de Amigo and more.  The formula worked extremely well for both the company and players, so it should be no surprise that the long-rumored sequel was finally announced today.


Ever since God of War III came out a couple of years back on the PlayStation 3 and wrapped up the current trilogy in entertaining fashion, fans have been wondering what was next for Sony Computer Entertainment of America and Kratos.  Sure, he's been back in a couple of God of War compilations, including a recently released one that brought Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta to consoles in high-defintiion form.  But we mean a true God of War sequel.  Well, according to recent ads that have popped up, one may not be far off.


When Okami came out a few years ago from Capcom, it introduced an awe-inspiring hand-drawn world, provided by Clover Studios, that few games can match today.  It’s still highly regarded as a classic, and for good reason.  That said, Acquire, the same studio behind the old Tenchu games, has teamed up with XSEED Games to give their own artistic touch a try with Sumioni: Demon Arts, a game that combines beautiful traditional art with platforming gameplay.  It sounds like a dreamy combination, but the lack of replay value sets in way too quickly.


Mortal Kombat was a colossal hit when it came out for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 last year, reaffirming the strength in the franchise after all these years.  So, naturally, the development team wanted to continue the trend, releasing the Komplete Edition last month and following suit with the series’ debut on PlayStation Vita, coming next month.  What can fans look forward to when it comes to the portable edition?  Plenty.


At the Game Developers Conference, there are plenty of surprises making the rounds, with new reveals happening and information dropping on new projects.  Sony was expecting to make some PlayStation Vita announcements over the course of the week, big new games that would carry their new handheld system into the fall system.  However, thanks to a leak over at, we have an idea of what these projects could very well be…


Zipper Interactive has been in the military shooter market for quite some time, tearing up system after system with SOCOM U.S. Navy Seals exploits.  We thought that the team would continue said exploits on the PlayStation Vita, but apparently it had a different approach in mind for it with Unit 13.  Instead of taking you through a full-fledged campaign with objectives that span across huge levels, it instead takes the “bite-sized” approach, going with smaller, more intense missions.  And surprisingly, this works for the better.


There really is no game series out there right now that’s like the Katamari Damacy series.  Originally started on the PlayStation 2 and literally rolling ever since, each game has pretty much been the same lunacy over and over, with the Prince of All Cosmos following his arrogant father’s commands and rolling up objects to turn into stars.  The concept hasn’t really changed, but at least each game has offered its fair share of lunacy between wacky presentation and simplistic ball-forming fun.  The PlayStation Vita version, Touch My Katamari, follows the same trend, though an interesting new shape-shifting feature is worth playing around with.


The PlayStation Vita is capable of so much.  Maybe a little too much.  Sony really went all out loading it up with features, from the front touch screen to the dual analog sticks to the gyrosensitivity to the rear touch pads.  Some games out there are really making fine use of these, but only one really uses them all in one form or another, and that’s BigBig Studios’ Little Deviants.  This game is a cute diversion from the more serious affairs available for the system, but unfortunately offers very little for the long-term.


Though it’s not exactly overflowing with content, the PlayStation Store for the Vita is loaded with some good games to choose from.  Hustle Kings offers some pool on the go; Super Stardust Delta has shooting thrills galore; and literally all of the system’s retail releases are available alternatively as downloads, for a slightly cheaper price.  But then there’s Escape Plan, a deviant little puzzle game where you guide two would-be heroes through a labyrinth of puzzles in an attempt to escape the clutches of a mad scientist.  There’s no question that this game is truly different from anything out there; the main question that leaves, though, is if it’s fun.


Usually, when Square Enix announces a launch title for a new system, it’s something that’s from their storied library of role-playing games or, as of late, a resurrection of a franchise from Eidos, like Tomb Raider.  But with the PlayStation Vita, it turned to an unlikely source for inspiration with its debut title – hell.  Yep, in Army Corps of Hell, you’re a demonic overlord who’s been wrongfully unseated from his throne – and it’s up to you and your goblin horde to reclaim it.


Though it would’ve been nice to see a new Guilty Gear game by now, I’m rather overcome by the amount of effort Arc System Works has put into its latest fighting series, BlazBlue.  Sure, there have only been two really complete games to the series, but both of them come with the kind of presentation that resembles an anime being brought to life in a video game, and controls that a true fighting fanatic can certainly appreciate.  To help build the series even further, Arc, along with Aksys Games, has opted to release a portable version of its fighting phenomenon with BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend.


Ever since it took over the franchise from Camelot (who have gone on to produce Mario Golf games), Clap Hanz has been doing great stuff with the Hot Shots Golf franchise.  No longer just a “cutesy” golf game for kids, it has managed to add some thrilling challenges to go along with the golf action, along with bonus characters and an RPG-style level-up system to help you bond better with your golfer.  The latest handheld version of the game, Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational, follows a similar path, with plenty of swinging to do around various courses.


Say what you will about Capcom’s practice of releasing a fighting game, and then releasing an improved version of that game months later, but it’s quite effective, giving them time to add characters that make a difference to fighting fans, or adding the key features that will bring in an even bigger audience.  Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 easily fits into this business pathos, and after creating havoc on consoles a few months back, it’s making its handheld debut on the PlayStation Vita, along with a couple of extra features.  So, is it still good?


When Ubisoft released Rayman Origins for consoles last year, it brought back one of its longest running franchises in a fresh new mold, one that all gamers could appreciate, from its classic platforming set-up to its gorgeous presentation, which makes it resemble a Saturday morning cartoon brought to life.  Somehow, Ubisoft has managed to cram almost every bit of goodness from the original game into on-the-go play for the PlayStation Vita – and that’s the primary reason why it’s a must-own.


It seems no matter what kind of system is launching, Ubisoft and Gameloft are on standby with some version of its long-standing Asphalt racing series.  Not that there’s anything wrong with having an arcade racer on hand, especially one where you can ram into opponents and send them crashing to a halt, Burnout-style.  But it almost seems like the development of these games has become by the numbers, wherein going for a fresh approach would’ve been more welcome.  Alas, Asphalt Injection doesn’t do that, and so it stands as an “average” pick for the system’s launch today.


Who doesn’t want to be a ninja?  Don’t sit there and tell me you’ve never dreamed of the day of being insane enough to throw stars at objects with utmost accuracy, or get the sneak-up on someone from behind to subdue them.  Well, very few games these days make you truly feel like a ninja, since the Tenchu series has fallen by the wayside.  To make up for this, Namco Bandai has brought in Acquire, Tenchu's development team, to produce Shinobido 2: Revenge of Zen to the PlayStation Vita, giving gamers the opportunity to go all ninja-like with a vengeful assassin named, well, Zen.


Following his unexpected death, Ubisoft has been looking to tribute Michael Jackson with its line-up of dance games.  And while they’ve been popular in certain circles, not everyone could get into Michael Jackson: The Experience, despite the cavalcade of songs from the King of Pop’s collection.  Maybe it was just trying to even come close to mimicking the guy that was the challenge.  The PlayStation Vita version, launching with the system this week, takes a different approach, but its limitations end up working against it.