PS Vita Reviews

Reviews of PlayStation Vita titles.

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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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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2014-08-06-000728

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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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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Title: Phantom Breaker: Battlegrounds
Developer: 5pb Games USA
Game Type: PlayStation Vita
Download: 1.1 GB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download

EU Availability: Digital Download

The PlayStation Vita is home to a lot of different genres of games, new and old.  One genre in particular that it is in no shortage of is the fighting and brawler genre.  There are a lot of fighting games on the Vita, from PlayStation All-Stars to BlazBlue to Street Fighter x Tekken.  One thing it doesn’t have a lot of is the kind of brawler that doesn’t always have you only playing through one on one fights in small arenas.  There were some games years back that had you playing a brawler against multiple enemies across expansive areas.

That genre isn’t completely dead.  Not that long ago, the PlayStation Vita got a game much like this.  Taking advantage of how eager Third Party developers are to port and remake games from other consoles onto the Vita, we have gotten a new brawler to the system that isn’t like any other on the system.  This game was taken straight from the Xbox Live Arcade.

Having only been released for about a week, this game still has a lot going for it, though it is one of the many digital-only titles for the Vita, only playable if you buy it and download it from the PlayStation Store.  Pulling nostalgic music and graphics with fast-paced brawler gameplay and an anime style of characters, here is our official review of Phantom Breaker: Battlegrounds.

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2014-07-30-100839

Title: Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited
Developer: NIS America
Game Type: PlayStation Vita
Download: 2.9 GB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download | Retail

EU Availability: Digital Download | Retail

Tactical RPG’s are a rare breed of games, and always have been.  In the realm of Role-Playing Games, you see a lot of Action RPG’s, like The Elder Scrolls, Kingdom Hearts, and Star Ocean.  Even more plentiful are turn-based RPG’s, often called “Console RPG’s” like Final Fantasy and Persona.  These two sub-genres make up the majority of the RPG library, no matter which system you’re playing on.  Rarely is it that you find a Tactical RPG, or a Strategy RPG.

Although they are somewhat rare, there are a fair amount of Strategy RPG’s out there to be played.  If you look at the PS Vita, in particular, you will find a few games, from the backwards-compatible Final Fantasy Tactics to the Indie Game, Rainbow Moon.  Still, though, there aren’t that many games out there of this breed.  For reason as well, as SRPGs normally require a lot of patience and power-leveling to manage their high difficulty spikes.

One SRPG franchise that has done particularly well is Disgaea.  This series started on the PlayStation 2 and has seen four main franchise games as well as multiple spin-off games.  On top of that, its success is noted in the fact that all four of the “numbered” titles of the series has been remade for handheld platforms.  For an entire series to not only be put on another system, but remade on another system is no small feat.  Here is our review of the series’ latest entry, Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited!

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2014-07-18-225702

Title: LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes
Developer: TT Games
Game Type: PlayStation Vita
Download: 1.1 GB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download | Retail

EU Availability: Digital Download | Retail

The list of LEGO games available on the PS Vita that we have reviewed is constantly getting smaller and smaller.  We have reviewed a total of seven LEGO games available on the Vita.  Five of those are native PlayStation Vita titles and two of them PlayStation Portable titles.  From LEGO Star Wars III to LEGO: The Hobbit, there are a lot of games of this nature available to the Vita, and it is still getting more.  As it stands, there are still three native PS Vita games of LEGO fashion that we’ve not reviewed.

As you know, the LEGO games have changed as the years have gone by.  The handheld variations of these games are true of this, especially in the current generation.  The LEGO games that come out now are very different from the same games that come out on home consoles.  If you put LEGO: The Hobbit for PS Vita and LEGO: The Hobbit for PS3 side by side, it’s a world of differences, from the lack of res-pawns to the top-down perspective.

However, in the beginning of the Vita’s life time, there were some LEGO games that tried to be like their home console counterparts.  Some of these games tried and failed, not being complete games, like LEGO: The Lord of the Rings.  Today, we bring you another PS Vita LEGO game that plays like its console counterparts.  Was anything taken out of this release?  Here is our official review of the Vita’s very first LEGO game, LEGO Batman 2: DC Superheroes.

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2014-07-17-002638

Title: Xblaze Code: Embryo
Developer: Aksys Games, Arc System Works
Game Type: PlayStation Vita
Download: 1.4 GB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download | Retail

EU Availability: Currently Unavailable

Visual Novels are something interestingly tied to games, nowadays.  Within visual novels normally shows scenes that show character artwork on either side of the screen, along with text and dialogue along the bottom of the screen.  This has been a growing trend in gaming, especially with RPGs and more.  Not only visual novels themselves, but just story scenes in that style.

Many games are now abandoning scenes that show cinematic cutscenes, in favor of easier, visual novel-style visuals in the scenes.  There are many different examples I could give you of games that do this, even on the PlayStation Vita.  Demon Gaze.  BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma.  Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection. Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars.  The list goes on.  While it isn’t bad to have this sort of scenes, it is becoming a very rapid trend.

While more and more games are having scenes like this, there are full-blown games as visual novels that are coming out as well.  In Japan, there is going to be a new Fate / Stay Night game based around being a visual novel.  However, that’s not all.  Recently, Aksys Games and Arc System works released BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma onto the PS Vita as well as a Visual Novel game that takes place in the very same
universe.  Here is our official review of the Visual Novel game, Xblaze Code: Embryo.

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2014-07-14-233432

Title: Street Fighter x Tekken
Developer: Capcom, Namco Bandai Games
Game Type: PlayStation Vita
Download: 2.1 GB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download | Retail

EU Availability: Digital Download | Retail

If there is one genre of games that the PlayStation Vita has plenty of, it is the genre of fighting games.  This thought isn’t even counting the many games of many genres in its backwards-compatibility list.  If you look at native PS Vita games, you will find a lot of fighters.  Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3.  BlazBlue: Continuum Shift EXTEND and Chrono Phantasma.  PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale.  Mortal Kombat.  Injustice.  For fighting fans, the PS Vita is a great system to have.

Fighting games have also presented a way to bring visually beautiful games to the PS Vita.  While some fighting games on the Vita, like Injustice and Mortal Kombat, didn’t look that great, visually, presenting a visual presentation that even the PSP might have been able to handle, some of them really raised the bar.  When Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 launched on the Vita, for example, it almost looked exactly like the PS3 version.  It was a visual masterpiece.

There are other games that were like that as well, which is what we’re going to get into today.  Back in 2012, Capcom got together and wanted to mash together two of the most popular fighting franchises on the market into its own game.  The result was a game that not only released on both the PS3 and the PS Vita, but also had exclusive features.  Here is our official review of the cross-over fighter, Street Fighter x Tekken.

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Title: Entwined
Developer: Pixelopus
Game Type: PlayStation Vita
Download: 862 MB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download

EU Availability: Digital Download

Indie Games have been increasingly important to the gaming market, especially on the PC front and the PlayStation ecosystem.  These games, built by smaller developers, have been given a focus, as of late, on several systems.  If you take a look on Steam, there will be loads and loads of Indie games for really cheap prices.  From huge games like Minecraft to smaller games like Thomas Was Alone, Indie Games are gaining a lot of traction in the gaming market.

The PlayStation Ecosystem has also gotten a large part of the Indie Game Movement.  The PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita have gotten many Indie Games, both brand new games as well as upgraded versions of Indies on other systems.  From games like Terraria to games like Rainbow Moon, there has been a lot of Indie activity on the PlayStation systems.

Even more are games embedded into the PlayStation Ecosystem.  Games like Flow and Flower are around for the PS4, PS3, and PS Vita and incorporate the Cross-Buy system, which lets you buy one version of the game and get the others for free.  Just recently, a new Indie game has hit the market, exclusive to PlayStation systems as well as launching on the PS Vita.  Having been shown off at E3 2014, here is our official review of the Indie Game, Entwined!

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