Reviews

All PlayStation Vita and related reviews.

T3B

Title: The 3rd Birthday
Developer: Square Enix
Game Type: PSP
Download: 1.2 GB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download

EU Availability: Digital Download
PSTV Support: Yes

There are many franchises that didn’t seem to last very long, and got revived years later.  There aren’t a lot of franchises this has happened to, but there are some.  Doom, for example, went almost 10 years between games.  Final Doom in 1996 and Doom 3 in 2004.  That is a more well-known franchise that this happened to.  There are other franchises this happened to as well.  Some of them are even from the big company for Japanese RPGs, Square Enix.

Back in the days of the original PlayStation, Square Enix, then called Squaresoft, developed a cross between Survival Horror and RPGs called Parasite Eve.  These were essentially called “Resident Evil with a touch of Final Fantasy”, offering a horror game with RPG elements.  The series lasted two games and dropped off the face of the Earth, or so gamers thought.  10 years after the release of Parasite Eve 2, Square Enix released a sequel.

Every time one of these franchises gets revived, it’s a surprise.  After all, when 10 years goes by and there isn’t a sequel to a game, the series is considered halted.  However, every so often, companies pull some tricks out of their sleeves and continue old franchises, although most of these are reboots rather than sequels.  As we dive into one of these revivals, here is our official review of what is considered Parasite Eve 3, the PSP title, The 3rd Birthday!

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2014-10-22-121536

Title: Race the Sun
Developer: Flippfly
Game Type: PlayStation Vita
Download: 111 MB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download

EU Availability: Digital Download
PSTV Support: Yes

Among Indie titles, there are a lot of new genres that are being formed.  Some of these genres, we have already done reviews of.  For example,  not too long ago, we reviewed the game Run Like Hell, which is in the Endless Runner genre.  That game was a side-scrolling game where you are endlessly running and gaining power-ups while avoiding traps and enemies.  It was set like Mobile games such as Sonic Dash or Temple Run.  The Vita has a few of this type, and that list is growing.

There are a few variations of this genre, too.  There are Endless Runners, but there are also runners that are called Endless Flyers.  These are games where you fly through the air instead of run.  These also tend to be 3D runners, as opposed to 2D side-scrolling games.  An example of this would be Iron Man 3 on the Mobile platform, but there are also others out there, on the PC platform, like Flippfly’s game, Race the Sun.

Since that game had released on PC, the developer has been working on bringing its high-speed flying action to the console world. As of this past week, it has come to the PlayStation Ecosystem, having released as a Cross-Buy game.  This means that if you buy it, you will get the game for PS Vita, PS3, as well as PS4.  If you’re interested in this high-speed flyer, here is our official review of Race the Sun!

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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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