PS Vita Reviews

Reviews of PlayStation Vita titles.

2014-09-18-013039

 

Title: Arcana Heart 3: Love Max!!!!!
Developer: Examu, Arc System Works, Aksys Games
Game Type: PlayStation Vita
Download: 2.0 GB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download | Retail

EU Availability: Digital Download | Retail 

Fighting games are nothing new to the PlayStation Vita, and the system is quickly becoming home to a lengthy library of the genre.  From PlayStation All-Stars to BlazBlue to Dragon Ball Z, there is a lot for a fighting fan to find on the Vita.  With the year going strong and Tokyo Game Show passing through, a new fighting game has launched on the PlayStation Vita, thanks to Arc System Works and Aksys Games, the two developers responsible for bringing the BlazBlue games over to the West.

Among fighting game developers, Arc System Works is mostly known for the Guilty Gear and BlazBlue franchises.  If you have played any of these games before, you also know that these are not for gamers new to fighting games.  Freestyle Mode aside, BlazBlue and Guilty Gear are very hardcore fighting games, offering very intense difficulty settings, even against AI opponents.  The same was known with the Arcana Heart series.

That series is what we have for you today.  Arcana Heart 3 was an Arcade fighting game that released on the PS3 in North America and Europe back in 2011, two years after the original version came out.  After 3 years, the series is making a return.  Releasing on September 23, not far away from now, Arcana Heart 3 is being remade with new content for both the PS3 and the PS Vita.  Here is our official review of Arcana Heart 3: Love Max!

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2014-09-07-012451

 

Title: Velocity Ultra
Developer: FuturLab
Game Type: PlayStation Vita
Download: 176 MB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download 

EU Availability: Digital Download 

Indie games are a breed of games that don’t have a lot of good reputation on the PlayStation Vita.  Although the number of these games increases on multiple platforms each day, the majority of the Vita community isn’t very accepting of them.  Many people think that Indies are causing the Vita to not get more big-name titles.  Or, as they call them, AAA Games.  Whether this is true or not, though, the Vita is getting more big games as well as Indies every day.

Here at the PS Vita Review Network, we have touched on Indies, but not too many.  Other than PlayStation Mobile, we have only reviewed a few of the mass library of Indies available on the Vita.  Games like Entwined, Flow, and Rainbow Moon have entered our library.  The bulk of our library and database are non-Indie games, though that number may start to change soon.

Today, we are offering a new Indie review for those daring enough to take a look at the world of Indie Games.  This game was one that had actually won awards for its gameplay and gimmicks.  Sporting a science fiction atmosphere and simple yet fast gameplay, here is our official review of the Indie game and remake of the PlayStation Mini title known as Velocity, Velocity Ultra!

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2014-08-27-052750

Title: Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair
Developer: Nippon Ichi
Game Type: PlayStation Vita
Download: 1.5 GB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download | Retail

EU Availability: Digital Download | Retail

Mystery and murder games are a rare breed.  When you take a look at the genre, there isn’t a whole lot to look at.  On the topic of solving cases and mysteries that involve murder, you can think of games like Ace Attorney and visual novel-type games like Virtue’s Last Reward.  The fact that I can only think of a few off the top of my head goes to show how much of a rare breed these games are.

Earlier this year, the PlayStation Vita got a pretty unique game in this genre.  Thanks to the localization efforts of Nippon Ichi America, Vita gamers got to experience Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc.  Taking visual novels, adventure games, and murder cases, the game offered a very unique and thrilling experience that did so well, it got an anime series made for it.  Since then, there have been many fans popping up all over the place, with Monokuma dolls and more.

Since then, it has been known that there are two sequels to that game.  The first, which isn’t out yet, is going to be a sort of “bridge” between Danganronpa 1 and Danganronpa 2.  However, the full-blown sequel to the game has released on the PlayStation Vita.  If you’re ready to jump back into despair, here is our official review of Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair!

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2014-07-30-092458

Title: Ratchet and Clank Collection
Developer: Mass Media, Inc
Game Type: PlayStation Vita
Download: 3.3 GB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download

EU Availability: Digital Download | Retail

There are a lot of different First-Party franchises that Sony has up their sleeve.  God of War.  Sly Cooper.  Ratchet and Clank.  Among others, a lot of these franchises haven’t seen a lot of light on the PlayStation Vita.  It has always been one of the biggest requests from the fanbase that Sony bring more first-party games to their portable powerhouse, and many don’t see a lot of these games coming.  While Sony is bringing first-party games, like Freedom Wars, many fans want games from franchises they already know.

In light of all of this, there are games in each of these franchises on the Vita.  In many of them, however, they are not new games.  Sony has made it a habit of bringing over HD Collections from the PS3 to the Vita, so gamers can take these classic games on the go.  There are HD Collections on the Vita for many of these franchises, from God of War to Jak and Daxter.  There are others as well, and more could be coming in the future.

One such franchise that hasn’t seen much on the Vita is Ratchet and Clank.  The Vita did get a digital-only version of Ratchet and Clank: Full Frontal Assault, which was met with mediocre reception from the fanbase and reviewers alike.  Sony is trying again, though.  A digital-only title in North America, here is our official review of Ratchet and Clank Collection!

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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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