Reviews

All PlayStation Vita and related reviews.

2014-10-15-014627

Title: Minecraft: PlayStation Vita Edition
Developer: Mojang, 4J Studios
Game Type: PlayStation Vita
Download: 170 MB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download | Retail 

EU Availability: Digital Download | Retail
PSTV Support: Yes

When you talk about Indie games, there are a lot of people in the console community that will have their moods and hearts sink.  With the Indie library flourishing, especially on PlayStation systems, many gamers have become uneager to play them, or even acknowledge them.  Many feel like the Indie Movement of sorts is a scourge to the gaming community and is stopping the Vita from having new AAA games like a new Uncharted, Gravity Rush, God of War, Gran Turismo, and others.

Indies are widely regarded as low budget “shovelware” in the views of a large chunk of the community.  However, one thing that those people may not know is that not all Indie games are games that are looked down upon.  There has been an Indie game that has risen up even higher than many console and PC games in terms of popularity and is a AAA game of sorts: Minecraft.

Minecraft has gotten so popular there is merchandise, hand books, shirts, and more available to it.  For the Vita, though, Minecraft hitting the digital release catalog a week ago was a big deal.  This will be the first time that the full Minecraft Console experience will be available on-the-go, not to mention the cross-buy and upgrade opportunities for the PS3 and PS4 versions.  How does the game stack up in its transition from PS3 to PS Vita?  We have answers.  Here is our official review of Minecraft: PlayStation Vita Edition!

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2014-10-10-125704

Title: Flying Hamster HD
Developer: The Game Atelier
Game Type: PlayStation Vita
Download: 96 MB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download 

EU Availability: Digital Download 

The age of Mobile Gaming is getting more popular by the day.  You will see a lot of people out there, playing Mobile games.  Angry Birds.  Plants vs Zombies.  There are even more games out there that are getting popular in the Mobile Gaming scene.  With all of these games getting popular on Mobile, many of them are coming over the borders and into the console gaming scene.  From the Xbox One to the PlayStation Vita, more and more Mobile games are crossing those borders.

On the PlayStation Vita, there are a lot of Mobile games coming, both through PlayStation Mobile and native games.  We have reviewed some of these, from Angry Birds Star Wars to Plants vs Zombies.  As the months go by, more and more Mobile titles are crossing those borders.  Some of these games are lesser-known titles as well, allowing handheld gamers to see more of these games.  Some of them come over, even with an “HD” name attached to them.

Today’s review is going to be on one of those Mobile titles, and is a fast-paced shoot-em-up game.  Not only is this a fast-paced game, but it’s also a more everyone-oriented game.  Starring a cute little hamster and his constantly-kidnapped lady hamster, here is our official review of the side-scrolling game, Flying Hamster HD!

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2014-10-10-194106

 

Title: On Call
Developer: Ecto
Game Type: PlayStation Mobile
Download:  156 MB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download, Direct Download
EU Availability: Digital Download, Direct Download

Thanks to Unity, PlayStation Mobile has been getting more 3D games coming out.  Some of these games are turning into solid experiences and others are not.  There are some very pretty Unity games, like the Soulbrain games, though they don’t run very well.  That has been a huge let-down with PlayStation Mobile, lately.  Some games have very unique experiences, but don’t run very well.  This can easily turn people away from those games.

However, not all of those games run poorly.  If you checked our last PlayStation Mobile review, Jaggy Race, you will see that the platform is very capable of making games that run well.  That game ran at an impressive 60 frames per second, something that even some native Vita titles struggle to reach.  As we think about that, there are other PS Mobile games out there that run well and offer unique and some familiar experiences for quick on-the-go gaming.

Today’s review is for a game that brings back a genre that isn’t highlighted much on the Vita: First-Person Shooting.  While this game is more exploration than anything, PlayStation Mobile has a few games that can bring large areas and first-person shooting action to owners of the Vita.  Mixing science fiction aerial combat with first-person exploration, here is our official review of the Unity game, On Call!

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2014-10-01-010255

Title: Invizimals: The Alliance
Developer: Novarama, SCEA 
Game Type: PlayStation Vita
Download: 1.3 GB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download  | Retail

EU Availability: Digital Download  | Retail

Ever since Sony went into the handheld market with the PSP, and now the PS Vita, there have been a lot of questions.  Many of these questions regarded when certain types of games would be coming out on those handheld systems.  Big franchises like Metal Gear Solid and God of War, among others.  One of the biggest questions, though, is when or if Sony will make a new IP in response to the ongoing Nintendo monster-catching franchise, Pokemon.

Since the PSP launched, there were a few attempts at this.  One notable game is called Monster Kingdom: Jewel Summoner.  This was a third-party PSP game that featured jewel-gathering to capture monsters to summon and use in turn-based battles.  Three years later, though, there was a franchise that began that has dawned five games across three PlayStation consoles.  Taking the monster-capturing theme of Pokemon and combining it with Augmented Reality, the franchise known as Invizimals was born.

Invizimals began on the PSP as more of a test to combine camera-based augmented reality with monster-catching.  As it went into the world, it became a franchise.  Mostly based in the Europe region, Invizimals has seen three PSP games, a PS3 game, a TV series, and one game on the PlayStation Vita with another on the way.  Being the series’ first entry on the Vita and its much-anticipated debut in North America, here is our official review of Invizimals: The Alliance!

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2014-10-02-091225

 

Title: Jaggy Race
Developer: Tiziano Bizzini
Game Type: PlayStation Mobile
Download:  148 MB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download, Direct Download
EU Availability: Digital Download, Direct Download

Racing games are a genre that the Vita definitely needs more of.  If you take a look at the genre, the Vita doesn’t have a massive amount of games available to it.  The notable games are Need for Speed: Most Wanted and Wipeout 2048.  Both of these are not recent, though.  There’s also Tabletop Racing, but there isn’t a lot of variety there with the Vita library.

However, there are other venues you can look through.  The PSP and PS1 libraries do have some driving games available.  Games like Gran Turismo PSP among others.  Those are not new games, though.  If you are looking for new driving/racing games for the Vita, you’ll need to look towards the PlayStation Mobile store.  It doesn’t have much, but it does have a newly-released game that also came to Mobile.

This game is not a traditional racer, but it does provide some fun for people who are into racing games.  Developed by a small group and also releasing on iOS, there is a unique side-scrolling racer available on the Vita.  Having been requested by the developer, themselves, here is our official review of Jaggy Racing!

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Lord Title

Title: Lord of Arcana
Developer: Access Games, Square Enix (Publisher)
Game Type: PlayStation Portable
Download: 656 MB
NA Availability: Digital Download | Direct Download
EU Availability: Digital Download | Direct Download

Hunting RPGs are a growing trend with handheld systems.  They have also gone by many names.  Raiding Games.  Hunting Games.  Or, just in the mix of Action RPGs.  There are many different types of these that even the Vita can play.  God Eater.  Soul Sacrifice.  Ragnarok Odyssey.  Monster Hunter.  There are many different franchises for this and they keep growing larger as the years go by.  Even the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation 4 are getting them.

Among all of the Hunting RPGs, though, there are some things that some RPG fans feel are missing.  Many of the Hunting RPGs don’t feel quite like standard RPGs.  Many RPG fans have wanted other things available to these games.  Like the ability to increase your stats by gaining experience rather than just by clearing chapters.  Leveling systems and the ability to use weapons as well as magic.

As we dive into another Hunting RPG franchise, we go back into the PSP library.  Among all of the franchises, only one has come from a game company known for RPGs.  Today we dive into a game done by none other than Square Enix, the company behind the Final Fantasy franchise.  While they are working on a new Hunting RPG in the Final Fantasy universe, today we are going into their first try at this genre.  Here is our official review of Lord of Arcana!

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AC Title

Title: Ace Combat: Joint Assault
Developer: Access Games, Namco Bandai (Publisher)
Game Type: PlayStation Portable
Download: 1.3 GB
NA Availability: Digital Download | Direct Download
EU Availability: Digital Download | Direct Download

Air Simulation games have been around for quite some time.  However, have you ever thought about how many of those have turned into ongoing franchises?  You could probably name a couple, but not many.  In recent days, there aren’t that many plane-based franchises that have lasted more than a couple games.  There has been Warhawk before, from Sony, but how many games has it really had?  Not that many.

Among all of the hit-and-miss aerial combat games that this reviewer has seen, there has only been a single series that has lasted a decent amount of time.  This series is actually still going, having seen more than a dozen game since the PlayStation era.  Having spanned the world of Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, and even the portable console world, the top dog of the air simulation and combat genre is none other than Ace Combat.

Ace Combat has been progressing and expanding since the first PlayStation console, and has had several games in the handheld scene, spanning the PlayStation Portable, Nintendo 3DS, and iOS alike.  Having gotten two games on the PSP, the Ace Combat series is playable on the PlayStation Vita.  Having originally released back in 2010, here is our official review of the PSP combat flight game, Ace Combat: Joint Assault!

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2014-09-22-235236There are a lot of Indie Games out there to be played.  Some are great.  Some aren’t so great.  The big thing about them is that they vary in genre.  On the Vita, you have RPGs like Rainbow Moon and Rhythm games like Kickbeat.  There are also side-scrollers, fighting games, and more.  The one thing about Indie games is that they add a lot of variety to your game library, if you give them a chance to shine.  Some aren’t great, but some are pretty good.

One genre that is interestingly-sparing on games for the Vita are twin-stick shooters.  These games, much like Super Stardust Delta, have a top-down view with your character taking out waves of enemies.  This is a very simple type of gameplay, but can be complex at the same time.  They are also generally only coming from Indie developers, nowadays.  The Vita does have some of them, though, and the list is growing.

One such game is a fairly recent game called Crimsonland.  This game used to be a PC game, but was brought over to the PlayStation Ecosystem, gunning its way onto the PS4 and the Vita.  Bringing in the top-down gameplay and support to Twin-Stick gameplay, is it a thrilling experience or a failing one?  It’s time for you to find out.  Here is our official review of the twin-stick shooter, Crimsonland!

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SW Title 2

 

Title: Star Wars Battlefront II
Developer: Lucas Arts
Game Type: PlayStation Portable
Download: 668 MB
NA Availability: Digital Download | PS3 Transfer Required
EU Availability: Digital Download | Direct Download

There are many different types of games that have yet to come to the current generation of handheld consoles.  If you look back on the history of gaming, there are lots of games that came out in the last generation.  Many of these game types or franchises haven’t come to this generation, as of yet.  There are many different types of games that fit this description.  However, one franchise that stands out to me that haven’t crossed over to this new generation is Star Wars.

Star Wars is a series that has been getting video games since the NES era.  It has games based off movies.  It has games based off the TV series.  It even has multiple of its own video game-specific series, like Knights of the Old Republic, Jedi Knight, Battlefront, and more.  However, many of these games haven’t been seen, as of late.  Particularly missing is the inclusion of a new Battlefront game in this generation.  Battlefront III is supposedly being worked on, but nothing new has come out on handhelds, as of late, other than a pinball game and a variation of Angry Birds.

If we want to play Star Wars games, we need to look to backwards-compatible titles.  As far as the Vita is concerned, the PSP had multiple Star Wars games.  However, only one of those games is able to be downloaded directly to the Vita, which is LEGO Star Wars III.  There are others, though, if you have a PS3 for the workaround method.  As we dive into the beef of the PSP Star Wars library, here is our official review of the PSP’s first games in the series, Star Wars Battlefront II!

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2014-09-20-185256

Title: Murasaki Baby
Developer: Ovosonico
Game Type: PlayStation Vita
Download: 291 MB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download 

EU Availability: Digital Download 

The PlayStation Vita’s library of exclusive games is grown and falling, depending on who you ask.  There’s a host of games available on the Vita, and only the Vita.  Some of these games have retail releases, like Demon Gaze, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, and Gravity Rush.  However, many other games are releasing only in digital form, like Run like Hell and Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment.  The digital age seems to be coming fast for Vita owners, and more titles are coming digital-only.

As far as digital-only titles, there are some very unique experiences on the PS Vita.  Not only games that are only available on the system, but experiences unlike anything you can find on any other system, at the moment.  Some developers are spawning and experimenting with new things, from Indies to others.  Just this past week, a unique experience did come to the Vita, published by Sony, themselves.

As we dive into the library of digital-only games, we take a look at that very game.  This was developed by a brand-new game studios known as Ovosonico.  Taking you into the world of hand-drawn visuals and an experience both horrific and cute, here is our official review of Murasaki Baby!

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