2014-07-16-011048

Title: Pop Bugs Zap
Developer: Henchmen Interactive
Game Type: PlayStation Mobile
Download:  53 MB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download, Direct Download

EU Availability: Digital Download, Direct Download

The Mobile gaming world has evolved a lot over the years.  The biggest part of it is the way things have gone in trends.  In recent years, there have been a lot of games that have done well, and started a trend.  Flappy Bird is a recent example of this.  Flappy Bird released and was a huge sensation.  Afterwards, many small developers made “clones” of the game, offering the same gameplay, but different design or characters.  Just small differences to avoid a copyright infringement.  Even the PlayStation Vita saw Flappy Bird clones through a custom level in LittleBigPlanet and various PlayStation Mobile games.

One trend that has come to a lot of consoles, though, is what is referred to as “Freemium” games.  These games pull people in with the fact that they are free to download and play.  The catch, however, is that they are filled with Micro-Transactions, similar to DLC.  These will offer you Micro-Transactions in the game to try to get you to spend real money for in-game bonuses, whether they can be acquired in the game or must be acquired through the purchase.

The PlayStation Vita is not an exception, either.  There are many Free-to-Play games on the Vita, both in the native library and in PlayStation Mobile.  The latter has more of these games, though.  Taking a look into some of these free games, we come to today’s review.  About a month ago, a game came out that had very simple, yet challenging gameplay.  Giving a similar stage progression as games like Angry Birds, here is our official review of the PlayStation Mobile game, Pop Bugs Zap.

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It’s the end of another month, and we have done very well!  Taking all of our efforts into account, we have reviewed a lot of games this month, as well as getting more PS Vita native reviews out to make a proper balance between it and backwards-compatible titles.  This month had some pretty big releases.  Without further ado, here is our Review Recap for the month of August 2014!

Assassin’s Creed: Bloodlines (PSP)
Behind You! (PS Mobile)

Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited
Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 1
LEGO Batman (PSP)
LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes
LEGO Ninjago Nindroids
Paper Boss (PS Mobile)
Phantom Breaker: Battlegrounds
Sega Genesis Collection (PSP)
Silent Hill: Origins (PSP)
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories (PSP)
Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment
Tomb Raider: Anniversary (PSP)
Xblaze CODE: Embryo

16 reviews in just one month!  That has got to be a record for us.  We will keep the reviews coming and thank you all for your continued support!

2014-08-23-233740

 

Title: Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
Developer: Nippon Ichi
Game Type: PlayStation Vita
Download: 1.3 GB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download | Retail

EU Availability: Digital Download | Retail

When it comes to exclusive games for the PlayStation Vita, many feel that there aren’t a lot out there.  While there aren’t a lot of First-Party-Specific exclusive games, there are exclusives.  Looking around at the Vita’s library, completely, you can find them.  Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment.  Gravity Rush.  Demon Gaze.  Soul Sacrifice.  Games that you cannot find anywhere else, at least for the moment.

Looking into exclusives, you can see a lot of action games and RPGs.  These are definitely popular genres, but they aren’t where the Vita’s exclusive games end.  If you take a closer look at the library, there are others as well.  Some seem more niche and others have gotten quite popular, over time.  One genre that has gotten a fair amount of popularity on the Vita is the genre of Visual Novels.

Visual Novels come and go, though not many of these games cross over to the West.  Some have, like the recent Xblaze CODE: Embryo and others.  Some Visual Novels are more interactive, though.  Some of them have brought people in, making them feel like they’re watching and playing an anime, but also adding a fair amount of mystery to the game as well.  As we prepare to slink down into despair, here is our official review of Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc!

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Title: Silent Hill: Shattered Memories
Developer: Konami
Game Type: PlayStation Portable
Download: 760 MB
NA Availability: Digital Download | PS3 Transfer Required
EU Availability: Currently Unavailable

The horror genre has been changing, over the years.  From back in the 1990s, there have been two major gaming franchises that people go to for horror: Resident Evil and Silent Hill.  These two franchises offered some very unique horror experiences for gamers, from the jump scares of a zombie bursting in the window in Resident Evil 2 to the creepy atmosphere or wandering through the foggy streets of Silent Hill.

As the years have gone by, both of these franchises have changed and evolved.  While they both started as very “Tank” type horror games, they’ve been experimenting with different genres.  Many of the recent Resident Evil games, for example, have played a lot like Third Person Shooters/Action games with horror elements thrown into the mix.  Silent Hill, however, has gone through a lot of changes in the past few years.

Back about five years ago, Konami announced that they were making a “re-imagining” of the first Silent Hill that would focus more on the psychological elements of the series than the combat elements.  What came out of that was a game that played very much different from all of the Silent Hill games before it.  Having released on the Wii, PS2, and PSP, here is our official review of the psychological horror game, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories!

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2014-08-13-003542

Title: LEGO Ninjago Nindroids
Developer: TT Games, Traveler’s Tales
Game Type: PlayStation Vita
Download: 1.4 GB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download | Retail

EU Availability: Digital Download | Retail

LEGO games in handheld form have become a different type of game than their console counterparts.  TT Games have made a habit of developing the handheld versions of their games to have a different feel than the console games, and many people have criticized the games for it.  This began with LEGO Marvel Super Heroes and has gone through LEGO: The Hobbit.  The games are still fun, but they’re not the same as the console versions of the same game.

However, not all LEGO games release on every system.  While many of the big, license-based like LEGO: The Hobbit and LEGO: Batman have come out on every system around, there are some that are more exclusive to certain types of systems.  One of the more recent LEGO games has released only on handheld systems, bringing the newest LEGO adventure only to the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita.

Seeing games come out like this is interesting, but also brings about certain elements.  Since the new game is only on handheld platforms, there is no console version to compare it to.  Has the gameplay engine for these handheld games improved since LEGO: The Hobbit?  Let’s find out.  Based on the LEGO Ninjago TV Series, here is our official review of LEGO Ninjago Nindroids!

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2014-08-24-103323

 

Title: Behind You
Developer: Satoshi Hamano
Game Type: PlayStation Mobile
Download:  140 MB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download, Direct Download

EU Availability: Digital Download, Direct Download

Stealth games is a genre that has evolved over the years.  When you think of “Stealth” you could think of a lot of different types of games.  However, one of the biggest names that comes up when think of stealth is also another “genre” in a way.  A big entry in the stealth genre has been known and even has subtitles of “Tactical Espionage Action”, which is talking about none other than Metal Gear.

Other than Metal Gear, how many stealth games are there for the Vita?  There may be an Indie Game or two but, other than backwards compatible games, your Vita Stealth experience will likely start and end with Metal Gear Solid HD Collection.  While this is a great collection, as we stated in our review of it, there should be multiple games of every genre on any specific platform.  While there aren’t many, the list of stealth games is growing and from one of the most unlikely of places: PlayStation Mobile.

Sony recently stopped Android support for PlayStation Mobile.  This means that PS Mobile games are now only playable on the PS Vita.  Some think they’ve stopped the support, altogether.  However, there are more games coming, and the games are getting better and more unique, thanks to Unity Support.  A recent release on PlayStation Mobile, here is our official review of the stealth game, Behind You!

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2014-08-06-000728

Title: Hyperdimension Neptunia Rebirth 1
Developer: Idea Factory International, Compile Heart
Game Type: PlayStation Vita
Download: 3.0 GB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download | Retail

EU Availability: Digital Download

As one of our last reviews stated, the PlayStation Vita is home to many RPGs, and most of those are Action RPG’s.  Like the PSP before it, the PS Vita is quickly becoming a system that caters to much of the JRPG fanbase with games like Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment, Persona 4 Golden, Ragnarok Odyssey Ace, and Ys: Memories of Celceta.  With more games on the way, like Chaos Rings III and Natural Doctrine, the library of RPGs available to the Vita is growing more and more.

What one looks for in some RPGs, though, is uniqueness.  Something that makes it unique and something people haven’t seen much of before.  While you have some unique games, like Ys: Memories of Celceta and Sword Art Online, that partially pull their roots from series on other systems to bring that uniqueness to the PS Vita, one thing that some RPG fans look for are not only uniqueness in the game, but also crossings between genres.

There aren’t many RPGs out there that cross genres, though there are some.  One such game is about to release on the Vita, and is from a very niche franchise.  By niche, I mean it’s a franchise that most gamers will not have heard of unless they’ve played the series before.  I am, of course, talking about Hyperdimension Neptunia.  This game does cross genres, as you will soon find out.  With Idea Factory International completely remaking and revamping the original PS3 game, here is our official review of Hyperdimension Neptunia Rebirth 1!

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sega 1

 

Title: Sega Genesis Collection
Developer: Sega
Game Type: PlayStation Portable
Download: 724 MB
NA Availability: Digital Download | PS3 Transfer Required
EU Availability: Digital Download | Direct Download

Game Collections have been a very big trend in the past several years.  We have seen what are called “HD Remaster” collections and more for various series.  If you take a look back, there are collections for Silent Hill, Dragon Ball Z, Devil May Cry, Final Fantasy, God of War, and more.  There are even HD Collections happening for last-gen games for consoles like the PS4 and Xbox One.

Though if you look back, game collections had happened before.  Not in the same way, but they did happen.  Previous collections, say, in the PSP/PS2 era, were actually bigger than the ones that are coming out right now.  Some collections not only offered games, but offered a huge number of games.  They weren’t up to the level of PS2 games like today’s collections are, but they offered a lot of content.

Thinking back to the PSP generation, there are such collections that can be played on the PS Vita.  One game to offer hundreds of hours of content are available, if you have the right tools.  One such collection just wouldn’t make a PSP library complete without it.  Here is our official review of the PSP title, Sega Genesis Collection!

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Title: Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment
Developer: Namco Bandai Games
Game Type: PlayStation Vita
Download: 3.0 GB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download

EU Availability: Digital Download

Action RPG’s are plentiful on the PS Vita, but their variety is not.  If you take a look at the Vita’s collection of Action Role-Playing Games without looking at backwards compatible games, what will you find?  Ys: Memories of Celceta.  Ragnarok Odyssey Ace.  Soul Sacrifice Delta.  Toukiden: Age of Demons.  God Eater 2 in Japan.  The upcoming Freedom Wars and Monster Hunter Frontier G.  These are many, and there are others as well.  However, almost all of these are one specific type of Action RPG’s: Hunting Games.

Hunting Games are slowly taking over the handheld market.  Even Nintendo is jumping in the trend.  However, PlayStation Vita fans don’t have to fret for much longer, as there are more Action RPG’s coming, and some of them are quite unique and different from Hunting Games.  Some of them are almost in a genre of themselves, though some still feel that any Action RPG where you fight giant monsters is automatically a Hunting Game.

That statement is false, and a misconception about the review I am about to give you.  Namco Bandai Games have brought a truly unique Action RPG to the PlayStation Vita, getting its roots from a video game-themed anime series.  An Offline MMORPG for all intents and purposes, here is our official review of one of the most anticipated PS Vita titles of the year, Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment!

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entwined

 

Another giveaway has drawn to a close for the month.  Our August giveaway was a unique giveaway as it was an Indie Game, though that didn’t stop a huge 72 people from entering to get this beautiful game!  Tied with the fact that this is a cross-buy game, it’s definitely a game worth a look!  Let us give congratulations to our winners.

As promised though, we reached over 1,000 followers on Twitter this month, which allowed us to celebrate by doubling this giveaway!  We normally only have one winner for our US giveaways, but in celebration of 1.000 Followers, here are not one, but our TWO winners!

- DarkAngelRafael
- Felix824

Congratulations to them for winning the contest, and for the 70 others who entered!  Remember that we will be back next month with another giveaway, and also remember we have a very big review coming tomorrow, for all anime and RPG fans!

Thank You for the continued support and have a great day!