Friday, 28 March 2014

News - Mind Zero Release Date

Aksys Games today have announced that Mind Zero will launch on the PS Vita physically and digitally in the US on the 27th May.  The title is also set for release in Europe on the 28th May, but only in the digital format.

Mind Zero sees you playing as Kei.  A high schools study whose life becomes complicated when he creates a contract with creature, knows as a "Mind", who has deadly powers.  The government after him, Kei, along with his friends, must discover the secret behinds the "Minds".

Check out the first English trailer for Mind Zero below;

Retrospective: Tecmo's Deception/Devil's Deception (Ps1)

The original Deception, launched in 1996 on the ol' Ps1. Referred to as Tecmo's Deception in the US & Devils Deception in the EU, its worth a look at with the latest iteration currently abound. With Albert (@GloriousBagel) currently penning a review for Deception IV for ourselves, I had a thought the other day that having a look back at the original on Ps1 may be a good idea leading into the review. So Ive spent the past few days playing around on Deception for those interested in a walk down memory lane.

Kokumeikan (刻命館)

News: Persona Q latest Trailers

The latest Persona Q character trailers have been released -



Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth is set for release on June 5 in Japan and penned for release in fall 2014 for the US on the 3DS.

Source [Siliconera]

News: Latest Project Diva F 2nd Trailer

With Project Diva F 2nd getting a release in Japan lately, SEGA have seen fit to release another mammoth 12 minute trailer showcasing all the songs available in the latest release. A few notable inclusions some may notice from previous versions, which isn't as bad as you would expect. With the refinements & updates to the games engine, things will no doubt be suitably improved over the previous release. The game is already available in Japan with a release in the west set for later in the year. For those that can't wait or Import, There a demo available on the Japanese PSN store for you to try featuring 3 songs (Cinderella, Packaged, Suki Kirai and Lariat) which we may look in to for a short impressions piece.

Source [Siliconera]

Thursday, 27 March 2014

News: The Legend of Zelda Zone Launch Trailer

A new DLC map will be released today for the Wii U version of Sonic Lost World entitled “The Legend of Zelda Zone”. This will be styled & inspired by numerous areas from the Nintendo's  Zelda franchise. You'll be tasked with collecting pieces of the Triforce and other items throughout a level & Sonic even dresses for the occasion with a Link-esque green tunic and cap. “The Legend of Zelda Zone” DLC is available to download for FREE on Wii U through the Nintendo Wii U eShop.

Source [Dualshockers]

News: The Guided Fate: Cross Thesis Awakening Story synopsis

Nippon Ichi software recently revealed a sequel to The Guided Fate paradox named The Guided Fate: Cross Thesis Awakening. A story synopsis was recently released -

Several years after the revolution from a certain young man’s fate… a powerful demon known as Satanadia has fallen; however, the absolute superiority of the demons continued to dominate, as angels and demons continued to shed blood across the war-plagued lands of the realms.In the midst of the heated war, there was one area in the heavenly realm, where guerrilla tactics have been used as an effort to keep themselves from falling. This is where they’ve continued God’s research on the ultimate anti-demon weapon, the Fate Awakening Crystal, that could change mankind into gods themselves. Meanwhile, the people waited impatiently in the human realm.

The protagonist is on his way back home from school, when he is suddenly attacked by an ensemble that fell from the sky. He dies shortly after his heart is pierced. However, after being saved by a mysterious girl, he finds himself somewhere he’s never seen before… as he awakens in the heavenly realm. After having the Fate Awakening Crystal transplanted within him, it has been decided that he will be taking part in the war between angels and demons.

From force and suffering, comes the “ultimate choice,” which at times results in the unexpected killing of others, involution, and other irrational consequences… but in order to defeat the enemy, the protagonist will have to choose between the death of two beloved women. He can only save one of them… which path will he ultimately choose?

It all sounds a little more fleshed out than the original with the prospect of multiple playthroughs by making different choices sounding a little tantalising. On your radar? The reveal trailer embedded above may help if not. The game is set for July in Japan with a localisation still to be announced.

Source [Siliconera]

News: Short Peace: Ranko Tsukigime's Longest Day set for EU

Short Peace: Ranko Tsukigime's Longest Day, a collaboration between Suda 51 &Crispy's! Inc's Yohei Kataoka, is making its way to the Ps3 on 18th April in the EU. This bundle is made up of four animated short movies (including Academy Award nominee Possessions ) and a side-scrolling 2D game that follows the exploits of a high school girl that transforms at night into an assassin of sorts. The gameplay consists of you chaining combos with a violin and taking on gigantic enemies against a a nicely rendered Japanese style backdrop, with hits slowing you down & the rate of your accumulatiuon of points. Is this announcement something thats been on your radar? If not, maybe the trailer will change your mind.

Source [PushSquare]

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

News: Famitsu interviews Naoki Yoshida

During a pre-GDC interview with Famitsu, Naoki Yoshida shed some light on his thoughts about making MMORPGs with a free-to-play model, versus subscription-based titles.

Famitsu begins by asking about Yoshida’s thoughts on subscription and free-to-play games, and why he believes Final Fantasy XIV must stay subscription-based.

I don’t recall ever saying that it ‘must’ but rather, ‘a good choice to go with,’ says Yoshida. “Actually, when the MMORPG rush started around 2005, about 100% of them began with subscriptions. The reason being, when there’s a stable subscription, you can easily see how much profit you can make each month. And you’d also want a stable development team to go with it.”

When there’s a F2P model, it goes like, ‘we sold this much for this month, but who knows how much we’ll sell next month,’ and also makes employment unstable. When that happens, the developers will also feel uneasy, and it makes it harder to draw the roadmap from there on.”
“In order to have customers enjoy the game for longer periods of time, you’ll want to properly release content on a regular basis,” Yoshida says. “With that in mind, you’ll need a good development team, and in order to support that, a stable profit would be better.”

“I’ve always thought that MMORPG producers are all very nice,” says Yoshida with a laugh. “That’s not because of all the profit [they’re making], but because they’re making money in a stable fashion, and properly investing it back into the game. The reason they’re able to continue doing that, I believe, is because the content that comes from the updates is just fun.”

When you go F2P, you can’t make money from the game’s content itself, but rather, you have to make profit from items and things based on time, or else the game can’t continue. However, even if you’d like to focus on updating the content, you’ll be required to work on many items and the shops used to sell them, and that’s not related to what makes the game fun, right? When you want to put 100% of your energy into making new content, but you have to split 30~40% of it into ways of making money, you might end up thinking, ‘why am I making this?’”

“However, developing MMORPGs costs a great deal of money, and in order to acquire such vast funds, you need to go through all kinds of investors to put in money as you develop,” explains Yoshida. “When you start a subscription-based game and fail to deliver the gift of all the subscribers you promised to the investors, they will immediately sense the risk, and say, ‘I’d like to have my money back,’ or ‘I can no longer invest in you guys.’If that were to happen, there’s no way you can keep going with the subscription.

 “Once you can no longer charge customers, you won’t even be able to update anymore,” he continues. “In the end, you’ll be forced to go F2P in order to immediately increase sales so that you can pay back the investors, while you try to keep it going. I believe that is the harsh reality of the present day.”
“Also, I believe that players lately don’t like the idea of having a daily time restriction,” Yoshida says. “I personally feel that way, too. Instead, starting out lightheartedly, then suddenly having a high voltage of gaming experience, and you can quit whenever, but when you look at the total [time played] you realize that you’ve spent an incredible amount of time on it—I believe something like that is what’s ideal now. I think games that have that going, with PvP features, such as League of Legends or World of Tanks, are perfect for F2P.”

“In the end, I believe it boils down to choice,” concludes Yoshida. “When it comes to business models, you choose from things like “what’s best for what game,” “what kind of experience you want it to convey,” and “how you’ll administer it”; it’s not a matter of simply what’s best, what’s strong, or what’s weak… well, I plan on talking about it at a GDC lecture.”

“Really, you can just change your choices depending on the games. If demands change, you can also just change your choice. Rather than having a backward way of thinking like ‘I’m going to change it because we’re not making profit,’ go with a more positive one like, ‘I’m going to change it to increase the number of players.’ If there’s a misconception that I’m just persisting in subscriptions, then it’s wrong.”

Famitsu then asks Yoshida whether, if there’s demand from players to sell them items he would do it.

“If it won’t have an effect on the game’s balance, and the demand is there, and we can deliver such items, then sure, I believe we’d sell them,” answers Yoshida

Famitsu finishes the talk by asking when Yoshida made up his mind on the subject of selling purchasable items.

“The demand from players [for them] are really high…” he replies. “Even for one of the question items for our next Letter from the Producer, there was a question that asks ‘when will we be able to start buying items?’ and it had about 400 thumbs ups on it. I felt that the times sure have changed.”

Source [Siliconera]

News: WiiU Virtual Console GBA release schedule

Nintendo announced earlier that they will be starting to roll out more releases for the GBA Virtual Console during April in the US. The list of GBA games & dates for April so far is:

April 3rd:
Advance Wars – $7.99
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga – $7.99
Metroid Fusion – $7.99

April 10th:
Kirby & the Amazing Mirror – $6.99
WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$! – $6.99

April 17th:
F-Zero: Maximum Velocity – $6.99
Golden Sun – $7.99

April 24th:
Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3 – $7.99

As well as off-TV play these games will feature Restore Points that act as save points during the game, as well as Miiverse functionality. No word yet on an EU release, but they can't be too far off. Any titles in paticular your hoping makes its way into the Virtual Console GBA library?

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

News: Hyperdimension Neptunia Rebirth set for the West

A surprise announcement sprung up today concerning Hyperdimension Neptunia Rebirth on the Vita. A localisation has finally been confirmed, curiously though it's from Idea Factory instead of the usual NISa. No firm date has yet been given, just a 'summer' window has been noted so far for both the US & EU. No word on physical or digital release either but there's more news to come at a later date

News - Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd Announced!

Well, the fans shouted and SEGA listened.  With the reception to the US and EU release of Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F being well received, it looks like the sequel, Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd, will be hitting the shores of the US and EU later this year!
Aaron Webber (Assistant Community Manager, Sega of America), announced this news over at the Playstation Blog and insists that you are not dreaming.
"That’s right. You’re not dreaming. We believed in all of you and we asked for your support – and you gave it to us without reservation. It was your supportive comments, your encouraging words at every place we showed the game, and your drive that made all the difference. Some of you bought the game twice – others three or even four times. But whether you picked it up once or four times, all of you helped make Miku a success, and still do. Thank you so much for that."
This new title is heading to the PS3 and Vita later this year and features similar, but improved gameplay.  The game will contain 40 songs.  "This is a collection of the best new songs, and some of the most loved classic songs, previously only available in the Japanese releases."

Along side the 40 songs and the four difficulties for each Rhythm Game, the Edit Mode makes a return.  With this you have the freedom to great your own Rhythm Games and videos using in game assets which you can share with the world!

And the best new?  The game is coming to Europe in a physical release - everyone's memory cards breathed a sign of relief!

News - Destiny of Spirits Release Date

The free to play, social strategy RPG, Destiny of Spirits is launching exclusively for the PS Vita tomorrow.

Never heard of it before?  It is a "free to play location based strategy and RPG game, where you work together with friends and other players across the globe to summon, trade, merge and rent Spirits to use in battle!"

So as you see, the Spirits are the main point of the game and these can be obtained in various ways.  One way is Summon and from time to time, you will find familiar Playstation faces.  To begin with, Knack Spirits will be available for a limited time

Within the game there are three types of magical substances; Spirit Points, Summoning Stones and Destiny Orbs.  
  • Spirit Points are earned after battles.  They can be used to rent other player’s Spirits, merge Spirits to level up, and trade Spirits with other players.
  • Summoning Stones are also earned through battles and you can use these to summon Spirits. 
  • Destiny Orbs are available for purchase at the PlayStation Store. Some features require Destiny Orbs like Advanced Summon, Rare Summon, restoring Spirit’s health, and other features at the Shop.

News: Betrayer launches on Steam

Blackpowder Games, comprising of some of the the creative team behind the No One Lives Forever series and the original F.E.A.R, have unleashed their first (and apparently self-funded PC title) Betrayer.

Betrayer washes you ashore in the New World in 1604, where you’re expecting to join a struggling English colony on the Virginia coast. Instead you find only ghosts and mysteries in a land drained of colour and life. You’ll build up an arsenal of weaponry including muskets, crossbows and throwing axes, collecting untold treasures along the way. Chart your own course through an untamed wilderness teeming with danger and discovery as you search for survivors and unravel the colony’s many mysteries, including the identity of the strange, silent woman in red who helps from afar.

The game art style sure is striking, contrasting black-and-white with lashings of  red on some foes. There’s also the option of turning the world back to colour for those that want to enjoy the game yet fine the style a little too uncomfortable

Betrayer is available now on [Steam]

Minimum Specs:
CPU: 3.0 GHz dual core or better (2.4GHz Quad Core recommended or better)
RAM: 3 GB (4GB Recommended)
OS: Windows Vista/ Windows 7/ Windows 8 (64-Bit recommended)
Video Card: DirectX 9 compatible with 1GB video RAM or better (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti/AMD Radeon HD 6870 or better [GTX 660 Ti/Radeon 7950])
Sound Card: Yes
Free Disk Space: 4 GB

Screenshots available at [Siliconera]

News: Vita System Update 3.10

This morning the Playstation Blog has announced that the PS Vita Firmware 3.10 will be available to download today.  They have finally removed the 100 icon limit and raised it too 500.  Also there this an improved Content Management System and a new calender feature!

New Features;

  • Limit of icons on the home screen has been increased to 500.
  • Users will be able to exchange voice messages between each other (including PS4 players)
  • Parental Controls have been tweaked to include Store restrictions and a notification on what age is suited for each level of restriction.
  • New Calendar added to the system.  You can create gameplay events with friends and import your Google Calendar straight into the application.
  • You can now manage your Vita's content now via Manage Content on Memory Card
  • Music - You can now search for content on devices connected to your Vita such as a PC
  • Video - Sort content by size
  • Photo - Rotate Screen Automatically has been added.  Free form has been added to the Panoramic mode selection list. 
  • Settings - Adjust Daylight Saving Automatically has [finally] been added.  30 Minutes has been added to Enter Standby Mode Automatically.

Are you happy with the features?  Either way share your views in the comments below

Monday, 24 March 2014

Opinion: The Hanzo/Hebijo Witch-hunt

The other day I read another one of those articles jabbing away at Senran kagura Burst. The article itself wasn't too bad, although basing the entire thing on a single tweet by an unnamed 'Veteran female gamer' seemed a tad odd to myself, instead it was the opinionated & baseless ignorance displayed in the comments section that was jarring. It devalued the debate for me that the original article intended to illicit. As always with an opinion piece, the reviews expressed here are my own & may not be the same as the rest of the staff here

News: Sword Art Online Asian release features English subtitles

Japan will be getting Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment next month (April 24th), which is high on some import gamers lists for importing early this year by the sound of things online. If importing Japanese titles is your thing, then you also have the possibility of waiting another month, as Bandai Namco Games Taiwan have recently announced that their version of the PlayStation Vita title will also include English subtitles! The good news with this in mind is that those who don't ususally import could do so with little need to brush up on their Japanese with a May 29th date set for the Taiwanese release, or taking the idea a little more forward - maybe a localisation could be on the cards with the game already subbed? Who knows..

News: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn 16-Bit Trailer

Not too long ago, a nostalgic trailer for Final Fantasy XIII retold the events from the saga in 16-Bit SNES fashion & was released prior to Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. Square Enix have decided to go ahead and apply the same routine to Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn with a 16-Bit retro version of Titan’s Extreme Mode fight. Enjoy. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is already available for PC & Ps3 with the Ps4 version set for the 14th April (With a second Beta phase lined up just before release)