Tag Archives: vita

New Switch Game Is Like Symphony Of The Night With JRPG Graphics

Timespinner is a game that’s trying really hard to be Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. It’s got the platforming, the inventory, the experience points and all sorts of artifacts that give main character Lunais new paths to explore. It’s the most Symphony of the Night game I’ve played that wasn’t actually Symphony of the Night.

Kickstarted in 2014 and released last year for the PC, PlayStation 4 and Vita, Timespinner is a game I should have played prior to this week’s Switch and Xbox One releases. It wasn’t on my radar until this past Sunday, when Jason Schreier offered up a code in our work Slack. He said it is “basically Symphony of the Night,” which should be on the game’s official marketing materials.

Instead of the son of Dracula, Timespinner stars Lunais, a blue-haired hero chosen to wield the ability to control time. Upon taking up the mantle of Timespinner, Lunais’ village is invaded and her mother murdered by the evil Lachiem Empire. Transported to a strange world far in the past, Lunais must reclaim her Timespinner powers so she can travel back to the present and get revenge. As the story unfolds, our hero learns that history isn’t always right, and nothing is ever as simple as it seems.

As with all good Metroidvanias, a term coined to describe Symphony of the Night, Lunais’ path is almost never straightforward. Using her ability to warp through time, she bops back and forth between the past and present at will, slowly uncovering all the nooks and crannies of two different but somewhat similar sprawling maps. There are out-of-reach ledges that can’t be accessed until Lunais earns the ability to double jump. Later on she earns the Water Mask, a relic that allows her to breathe and maneuver underwater. Sometimes her path is blocked by more mundane means, like keycards or petrified vines that can be burned in the past but not the future.

There’s a lot of backtracking. Fortunately, the combat and movement in Timespinner is excellent. It’s got that good sticky friction, making tricky jumps easy to pull off. Lunais’ pirouetting double jump is lovely, great for exploration and enemy avoidance. And then she’s got a slide move, like she’s some sort of vampire offspring or something.

In battle, Lunais wields a pair of orbs that can be swapped out and leveled up. Currently I have one that spawns a small sword when I attack and another that shoots fireballs. Both are augmented by a Scythe Ring, which adds spinning blades to the orbs so anything that comes into contact with Lunais takes damage. Finally I’ve got the Colossal Blade necklace as my major magic power, spawning exactly what it sounds like for a massive attack in combat.

Traveling back and forth across maps in the past and future never gets old, especially once Lunais gains the ability to fast travel to special gate rooms scattered about the game world. If anything, fighting and exploring is a bit too compelling, as I have a tendency to out-level enemies, making challenging boss fights much less so.

Timespinner does Symphony of the Night quite well, but it’s not that great at spinning time outside of switching between maps. Lunais has the ability to temporarily freeze the action, based on the amount of sand in an hourglass located in the top left corner of the screen. When frozen, enemies become platforms, which is a neat way to explore out-of-reach space, but it feels like it’s hardly ever necessary. I’ve hit the button to freeze time accidentally more than I’ve done it on purpose.

Time manipulation in Timespinner feels like an afterthought, but when the forethought is Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, that’s not so bad.

Source: Kotaku.com

The Week In Games: Too Many Zombies!

Screenshot: Focus Interactive/Saber

Once again, it is time to kill some zombies. World War Z comes out this week and brings with it thousands of zombies. Literal hordes of zombies. I might even say too many zombies. How much time do you think I have, World War Z. Do you think I can kill all of these things? I got things to do, folks.

I watched some gameplay of World War Z a moment ago, before writing this, and I was immediately reminded of that fact that we don’t have a Left 4 Dead 3. Not a knock on World War Z, it looks fine. But why are we this many years away from L4D2 and we have no official update on a sequel? I hate it.

Outside the zombies of World War Z, the week is filled with some other releases. Final Fantasy X/X-2 are showing up on some new platforms, Katana Zero looks amazing and Switch owners get to experience the cartoon platformer Cuphead. And look, hidden on this list is a Vita game. That little console will never die. It is like a zombie!

Other stuff is coming out this week! Check out the list below:

Monday, April 15

  • Graveyard Keeper | PS4
  • VAST | PC, Mac
  • Franchise Wars | PC
  • One Finger Death Punch 2 | PC
  • Back To 1998 | PC, Mac

Tuesday, April 16

  • World War Z | PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • Eternity: The Last Unicorn | Xbox One
  • Ghost Giant | PS4
  • Heaven’s Vault | PS4, PC, Mac
  • Path To Mnemosyne | PS4
  • My Time At Portia | PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • Anno 1800 | PC
  • Table Of Tales: The Crooked Crown | PS4
  • Dark Quest 2 | PS4
  • Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD | Xbox One, Switch
  • Tanks Meet Zombies | Switch

Wednesday, April 17

  • Truberbrook | PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • Revenant Saga | Xbox One
  • Snooker 19 | PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • 30 Days To Survive | PC
  • Tether Together | PC, Mac
  • Paradox Vector | PC
  • Foxyland 2 | PC
  • Whispers Of A Machine | PC, Mac
  • Life Source | PC
  • Tropia | PC
  • Dumb Little Creatures | PC, Mac

Thursday, April 18

  • Katana ZERO | PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, Mac
  • The Padre | PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
  • God’s Trigger | PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • Our World Is Ended | PS4, Switch
  • Nurse Love Syndrome | PC
  • Forager | PC
  • Cuphead | Switch
  • SlabWell: The Quest For Kaktun’s Alpaca | Switch
  • DayD: Through Time | Switch
  • Sodoku Relax | Switch
  • Dawn of Survivors | Switch
  • Hell Is Other Demons | Switch
  • The Knight & The Dragon | Switch
  • Grim Earth | PC
  • Super Tennis Blast | PC
  • Sigma Theory: Global Cold War | PC, Mac
  • Bossgard | PC
  • Golf In Paper | PC

Friday, April 19

  • Konami Anniversary Collection: Arcade Classics | PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
  • Nurse Love Syndrome | PS Vita
  • Moto Rush GT | Switch
  • ALPHA | Switch
  • You Died But A Necromancer Revived You | Switch, PC
  • Maze Of Memories | PC
  • bit Dungeon II | PC
  • Muscle Magic | PC

Saturday, April 20

  • Crystallo | PC
  • The Cat And The Box | PC

Sunday, April 21

  • Diacrisis | PC
  • Room of Pandora | PC

Source: Kotaku.com

The Week In Games: Can You Dig It? [Update]

I wonder how much longer the Vita will keep getting new games released on it. I know indie devs have supported it for some time now, but it feels like the Switch has taken on the role of “Portable console that is perfect for smaller games.” Do you think that when the inevitable PS5 is released we will still be getting Vita games? I think not, but stranger things have happened.

Like last week, not a huge amount of “AAA-SUPER BIG” video games releasing this week. But that’s not to say there isn’t anything wonderful dropping in the next seven days. On Tuesday, the Phoenix Wright series jumps to PS4 and Xbox One with a bundle of games. Later in the week a favorite of mine, Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2, is released on more platforms. Pathway looks cool. Former Kotaku writer Patricia Hernandez over at Polygon called it a mix of Xcom and Indiana Jones, which sounds great!

Update (5:58 PM)

It seems Shovel Knight King Of Cards and Showdown AREN’T coming out next week. This mistake has been fixed and I’m sorry that I included the games in this week’s post.

Other stuff is coming out this week! Check out the list below:

Monday, April 8

  • Ghost 1.0 | PS4
  • Assault Of The Robots | PC
  • Magic Farm 2: Fairy Lands | PC
  • Hotel Mogul: Las Vegas | PC
  • 30 Days To Survive | PC
  • Jungle Z | Switch

Tuesday, April 9

  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy | PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch
  • Shovel Knight Showdown | PS4, Xbox One, PC, Mac, Switch, PS Vita, 3DS, Linux [Delayed]
  • Shovel Knight: King Of Cards | PS4, Xbox One, PC, Mac, Switch, PS Vita, 3DS, Linux [Delayed]
  • Zanki Zero: Last Beginning | PS4, PC
  • Dangerous Driving | PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • Airport Simulator | PS4
  • Falcon Age | PS4
  • Vaporum | PS4
  • Out There: Ω The Alliance | Switch
  • Dissection Simulator: Frog Edition | Steam VR, Oculus Rift
  • Vacation Simulator | Steam VR, Oculus Rift
  • OverTheCloud : Lost Planet | PC

Wednesday, April 10

  • Vaporum | Xbox One
  • Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2 | Xbox One, Switch
  • The Mystery Of Woolley Mountain | PS4, Xbox One, PC, Mac, Switch, iOS, Android
  • Royal Roads | PS4
  • Plaguepunk Justice | PC
  • Metaverse Keeper | PC
  • Switch ‘N’ Shoot | Switch

Thursday, April 11

  • Way Of The Passive Fist | Switch
  • Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice | Switch
  • Shadowgate | PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain | PS4
  • Vaporum | Switch
  • Reigns: Game Of Thrones | Switch
  • Back To Bed | Switch
  • F18 Carrier Landing | SteamVR
  • Axiom Soccer | PC
  • Akabeth Tactics | PC
  • Pathway | PC, Mac
  • Weedcraft Inc | PC, Mac
  • Tiny Tracks | PC
  • Leaf | PC
  • Bot Vice | Switch
  • Box Align | Switch
  • Doggie Ninja The Golden Mission | Switch
  • Silence | Switch
  • Super Star Path | Switch
  • The Demon Crystal | Switch

Friday, April 12

  • Constructor Plus | PS4
  • Dark Quest 2 | PS4
  • Rolling Sky | Switch
  • Street Basketball | Switch
  • A Dark Room | Switch
  • Paradox Vector | PC
  • Hotlap Heroes | PC, Mac
  • Bubbles The Cat | PC

Saturday, April 13

  • Train Valley 2 | PC

Source: Kotaku.com

Fans Are Finally Coming To Terms With The Vita’s Death

The PlayStation Vita spent much of its brief life dying. Now that Sony has officially ended production in Japan, who’s left to mourn its passing and pour one out for all the good times?

In May of 2015, then-CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Andrew House referred to to the Vita as a “legacy platform,” eliciting the first wave of reports proclaiming the handheld was dead. As the device’s audience continued to shrink, however, its biggest fans seemed to take some solace in seeing their own passion for the Vita reflected in those who remained. They could share thoughts water-cooler-style around the Vita Island hashtag on Twitter, or frequent a number of Vita-centric forums around the internet, including Reddit’s own r/Vita. Years later, even those once-vibrant microcommunities have stagnated and decayed.

Once upon a time, the top posts on the Vita subreddit tended to focus on announcements of new games like Digimon World: Next Order or ports like Stardew Valley. Later, they shifted to perennial favorites like people sharing pictures of their Vita game collections, discussing the best new PS4 games to play on the Vita using remote play, and laughing at the latest Vita burn by the Kaz Hirai parody Twitter account.

Screenshot: Sony (Gravity Rush)

More recently, the entire subreddit has the feeling of a retirement home. Occasionally, a new user will pop in with a post about how they just got a Vita, love it, and want to know what games are worth checking out, but more often, the posts on the front page revolve around someone trying to diagnose a problem with their Vita as age begins to catch up with it. The touch screens are becoming unresponsive. Static is coming out of one of the speakers. Games keep freezing.

The only real news that does come through almost always has to do with something Vita-related dying. Vita Lounge, once a premier fan site, stopped updating with news and reviews some time ago. Now the site no longer loads at all. The PlayStation blog used to feature a Vita shortcut button at the top of the page. Today fans woke up to discover it no longer does. Occasionally someone will ask which online Vita games still have players. The answers are always slim pickings.

A bizarre strain of gallows humor has also taken hold in certain parts of the Vita subreddit. A couple months ago some users starting shitposting about Michael Jackson: The Experience, a 2010 music game Ubisoft probably regrets ever making that was ported to just about every platform, including the Vita, despite being generally loathed by everyone who ever came into contact with it. In posts that have since been deleted, they would talk it up as a hidden gem in the style of a hundred other posts doing the same for other forgotten Vita games.

Photo: Kotaku

“There’s definitely undertones of defeat,” one of the posters told Kotaku in an email when reflecting on the Vita subreddit. “After the Switch came out, I think most people there had to accept they were talking about an antiquated piece of history. Personally I think the sub’s at the point where Michael Jackson shitposting is a ‘shot in the arm’ rather than unnecessary spam. That’s a bit sad.”

Other forums dedicated to the Vita aren’t in much better shape. The GameFAQs Vita Message Board is similarly awash in posts like “How long will Sony keep the store up?” and “How does a memory card die?” In the ResetEra thread devoted to the Vita, it’s not unusual for days or weeks to go by between posts. With Vita games no longer a part of each month’s PlayStation Plus offering, there are fewer and fewer opportunities for Vita fans to connect on the official PlayStation Blog either. All the ones that do have to talk about is which of their favorite games had once been free to download in months past.

The Vita Island hashtag on Twitter still has a little life in it, like messages in a bottle being cast into the ocean. You can still search the words on Twitter to find Vita owner’s joyously blasting off pictures of their modified console or whatever Vita game they’ve currently fallen in love with. But it seems like the momentum Vita enthusiasts clung on to is finally fading. Acolytes seem to be running on fumes now that it’s clearer their passion alone won’t propel the handheld toward some future. Still, no one can accuse them of not making the most of it while it lasted.

Source: Kotaku.com

The 3DS Is Even Dying Better Than The Vita

Image: Kotaku (Nintendo)

People have been calling PlayStation Vita a dead console for years. Now, Nintendo’s 3DS seems poised to join it, with hardly any new games on the horizon for the rest of 2019. Yet even in death, Nintendo’s clam-shelled handheld still feels more alive and vibrant than Vita.

The 3DS’s annual lineup has grown thinner with each passing year. It had a sleepy fall 2018, punctuated only by a port of 2001’s Luigi’s Mansion and a Yo-Kai Watch spin-off, with nothing notable releasing in November and no new games at all in December. Since last September, 21 games have come out for the 3DS. That’s less than a game a week. The Vita has gotten 43, including the Persona 3 and Persona 5 dancing games over the holiday. Despite that asymmetry, the 3DS continues to do more with less.

Both devices have barely any games coming this year, but while Sony prepares to cut off all remaining life support to a portable console wasting away on its deathbed, the 3DS feels like it’s soaring into the grave, by comparison, thanks to Nintendo’s continued commitment to it. It turns out great games can make for a great console, a lesson Sony seems to have learned in the era of the PlayStation 4 and unfortunately too late to change the Vita’s fortunes.

Considering where it ended last year, Nintendo’s handheld started 2019 off with a relative bang. 3DS owners are currently benefiting from a last gasp of first, second, and third-party games this winter in the form of Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story + Bowser Jr’s Journey, Etrian Odyssey Nexus, Yo-Kai Watch 3, and Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn.

The 3DS only has retail game currently planned for the 2019 fiscal year but even if it turns out to be the last it’s not a bad one to go out on.

As Kotaku editor Chris Kohler pointed out on Twitter yesterday, the rest of the year is a desert. Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth is the only retail game currently confirmed to come out in North America for the 2019 fiscal year, which begins in April. It’s also still possible Nintendo could announce further games in its next Direct, especially given all of the recent remasters and ports.

Vita owners should be so lucky. While players in Japan will see the Catherine: Full Body remaster come to Vita later this month, North American owners will have to settle for physical releases of old games like Spelunky thanks to Limited Run Games. The Vita’s only notable upcoming new release is Fate/Extella Link, a Dynasty Warriors-style action game due out in March. After that: who knows, but those physical cartridge games will dry up since Sony won’t make any more carts after March.

Though both portable consoles came out only a year apart, the 3DS in 2011 and the Vita in 2012, it became clear early on that Sony’s handheld was going to pale in comparison to Nintendo’s. Nintendo doubled down on the 3DS despite a rough launch. Years of Mario, Pokémon, and Zelda games turned it into a worthy successor to the DS, Nintendo’s best selling console of all time. Sony eventually abandoned the Vita after it failed to find momentum with early first-party games like Uncharted: Golden Abyss and Killzone: Mercenary and mediocre ports of big console games like Borderlands 2.

Catherine was a cult classic on the PS3 and a solid Vita port would have been a nice parting gift to the portable’s North American fanbase.

As of December 2018, the 3DS had sold 74.84 million units. Nobody knows how much the Vita sold since Sony stopped releasing sales data early on in its lifecycle, instead combining it with sales of the PlayStation TV and PSP. 7 million sales were reported for that part of the business by the spring of 2013, followed by an additional 4.1 million in 2014. Sony stopped reporting even those combined numbers by 2016.

As a result, Vita owners have spent the last few years watching the handheld continue to crawl along, buoyed almost exclusively by the occasional monthly PlayStation Plus game and indie developers who continue to port their wares due to the console’s reputation for players who will buy lots of games.

February marks the end of that PlayStation Plus support. The end of physical Vita cards is also here. All remaining purchase orders are due in to Sony by February 15. Rather than any sort of memorable send off, the company has moved on in relative silence. No physical, special edition re-releases of first-party games, a not-ridiculous idea given Vita owners’ love of collecting and the fact most of the games are unlikely to resurface in the future outside of emulation. No slew of free digital first-party releases through PlayStation Plus, either. Just one more firmware update to “improve system performance.”

Source: Kotaku.com

Hitman Headlines February’s PlayStation Plus Lineup

If you never played 2016’s Hitman on its own or via the levels’ inclusion in Hitman 2, this month’s PS Plus lineup will help you rectify your grave error. As always, these games are only “free” if you have an active PlayStation Plus membership.

February’s PlayStation Plus games are:

PlayStation 4

  • Hitman
  • For Honor

PlayStation 3

  • Divekick (crossbuy with Vita)
  • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

PlayStation Vita (crossbuy with PS4)

  • Gunhouse
  • Rogue Aces

(This month’s PS3 and Vita games will be available for download until March 8, in anticipation of the platforms’ removal from PS Plus after that date.)

Source: Kotaku.com

The Week In Games: Grab Your Keyblades & Get Ready!

Sora, Goofy and Donald Duck team up once more to take down evil in this week’s biggest release: Kingdom Hearts 3. I hear a lot of folks enjoy them some Kingdom Hearts and they now will finally be able to play this long awaited sequel. Which is great! Hope it was worth the wait!

As a big fan of Valve games, I know what it is like to wait years and years for the third game in your favorite franchise. Maybe one day I’ll get to play Portal 3...

Beyond Kingdom Hearts, the upcoming week is packed with a whole bunch of games. If you are looking for some traffic puzzles to solve Unblock Gridlock looks nice. Also a cold and icy new Subnautica spin off hits PC early access later this week.

Plus other stuff! Check out the list below:

Monday, January 28

  • The Devil’s Calculator | PC, Mac
  • Adventure Land – The Code MMORPG | PC
  • Drumbeats VR | SteamVR
  • Aivoltuion | PC, Mac
  • Biathlon Battle VR | SteamVR

Tuesday, January 29

  • Kingdom Hearts 3 | PS4, Xbox One
  • Ridiculous Rugby | PC, Mac
  • Earth Atlantis | PC
  • Tank Mechanic Simulator | PC
  • Stormhill Mystery: Family Shadows | PC, Mac
  • Genesis Alpha One | PC, Xbox One, PS4
  • Sphinx & The Cursed Mummy | Switch

Wednesday, January 30

  • Puttin’ Around | PC, Mac
  • Unblock Gridlock | PC
  • Heat | PC
  • Subnautica: Below Zero | PC, Mac
  • Changeling | PC, Mac
  • Goodbye Deponia | PS4, Xbox One
  • Drowning | PS4, PS Vita, Switch
  • Fishing Star World Tour | Switch

Thursday, January 31

  • Config Wars | PC
  • Fantom Fest | PC
  • Super Pixel Racers | PC
  • Caverns: Lost Sky | PC
  • Bombfest | PC, PS4, Xbox One
  • Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown | PC
  • NightCry | PS Vita
  • Bleep Bloop | Switch
  • Downwell | Switch
  • Zombie Night Terror | Switch

Friday, February 1

  • Wargroove | Xbox One, Switch, PC
  • Story of The Green Dragon | PC, Mac
  • Baby Bee | PC, Mac
  • Rainswept | PC, Mac
  • Cat Notebook | PC, Mac
  • 8 Bit Hordes | PS4, Xbox One
  • Dead Land VR | PSVR
  • Royal Assault | PS4
  • Animal Super Squad | Xbox One

Source: Kotaku.com