Tag: PS VITA (page 1 of 2)

Dragon’s Crown: Questing on the go

Dragon’s Crown is a hack and slash, beat ’em up, with some RPG elements mixed in. The eye catching artwork is the bait but the fast and furious gameplay is the real draw. Prepare to fight your way through horizontally, scrolling worlds, building up your experience points and weapon stash as you progress. The combination of proper preparation and button-mashing resonates with me.

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Owning a PS Vita has been bitter sweet. On one hand it’s a powerful, sleek handheld console and in the other hand it gets as much action as a paperweight. You can count all the great Vita games on one hand. The launch titles were a mess and can all be found rotting away in a marked down bin at Gamestop. The droves of titles that are available are mainly ports from PS2. Then came a system-saving title from the geniuses at Media Molecule, Tearaway.

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lego lord of the rings

RELEASE: 10/2012 | PUBLISHER: Warner Bros. | ESRB: E for Everyone 

Silly? Yes, of course, the Lego franchise of video games are a bit silly. That silliness is the undeniable charm they bring to gamers. They are also very easy; there is no level you can’t pass, no enemy you can’t defeat and there is no dying. It’s world-peace in the otherwise frantic array of mature games available.

It has been years since I played a Lego title (Lego Star Wars TVC 2005 NGC) I was expecting to be floored with all the new additions to the gameplay. I may have had my hopes set too high for this one.
Being pretty eager for Vita content the trailer for this game really got me. Seeing the members of The Fellowship in their Lego incarnations was just the cute explosion I was looking for. Another compelling purchase factor was having the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy playout in one game was also another inviting factor.

There is nothing new in this title than the other 20 (or so) Lego Games that have come before it. Jump or hit, gather collectables and, at it hardest, figure which specific character unlocks a puzzle.There are really only two goals to any Lego game. Collect “studs” (the round connector parts on Lego pieces) and solve the puzzles to finish the level. Both of which leave me wanting more from the game. Studs are pretty much worthless, you can buy additional characters but nothing you won’t find on your own through the course of the story. The puzzles are very easy and thus not very rewarding either. I would suggest varying the difficulty and rewarding accordingly with additional weapons or exclusive cutscenes.

Tolkien would not be pleased with this Cliff Notes version of his epic tale. The story is condensed into short playable levels. The gameplay is also very limited. I was really hoping there would be some leveling up and character building. Perhaps maybe Gandolf would learn some magic? Nothing more complicated than simple button mashing is required.

I took interest in how they would handle some of the more violent scenes from the story. For instance, I was eager to see how Boromir’s death would be played out in game. Lego simply replaces what would be arrows in the movie with widget Lego parts for a death with little to no seriousness.

Another interesting twist happens when Gandolf falls before the Balrog. Rather than seemingly dying (like in the movies) it is more of a decent mini game where you battle the Balrog and come out victorious. Some more liberties were taken in Dunharrow (Path of the Dead) where they introduce some new characters to have a boss battle to gain the acceptance of the Army of the Dead.

Sadly the level design seemed to be taken lightly as well. Aside from the Shire, the levels were very generic in appearance. I could have been scaling the cliffs of Morder or really any rocky looking place.

Button mashing can be fun but it is rarely worth a second thought. Great for any child with an interest in the story but they would get more from actually reading the book. Better yet, take them to the Lego Store.

I don’t think there will be a return journey, Mr. Frodo.

E3 2012: playstation keynote by verdeberg

Sony, where to begin! I was anticipating news regarding games such as God Of War Ascension and Naughty Dog’s The Last Of Us but I got so much more!
Let me start at the beginning after the jump.

The keynote started at 9:01EST with Jack Tretton thanking the gamers and then he gave the stage to David Cage of Quantic Dream (who gave us Heavy Rain). Cage introduces us to their new game Beyond Two Souls. The game’s main character, Jodie Holmes, is played by Academy Award nominated, Ellen Page. She is a mysterious woman with a link with an entity of the dead. We are shown a game intro in which Holmes is being questioned by a local police officer. Holmes is just sitting silently offering no answers but then demonstrates a mysterious power. Just then, the swat team shows up. Cut to a montage of destruction. Beyond Two Souls is “a game about death and what’s on the other side”
Then came the unveiling of the “Toast to Michael”, PS’s viral teaser is revealed to be promotion for Playstation All Stars Battle Royale. This game is Playstation’s answer to Nintendo’s Super Smash Brothers. Available for Playstation Vita and Playstation 3 and works with the new Cross Compatibility between both platforms (CrossPlay) allowing people to compete with friends on either platform via the Playstation Network. The game is slated for Holiday 2012.
Sony announced that they were doubling down with their Playstation Network, with over 200 downloadable games over the next 12 months. They have sweetened their Playstation Plus offerings, for a $5 per month subscription offer, with the promise of 12 free games per month and all of the attendees of the keynote received a free year of Playstation Plus.
Playstation Vita was up next with the announcement of such new games as Call Of Duty Black Ops: Declassified, When Vikings Attack, Retro City Rampage and Assassin’s Creed 3 Liberation as well as the announcement of the availability of Playstation One Classics (yes!) starting with Tomb Raider and Final Fantasy VI! Assassin’s Creed 3 Liberation will be available later this year in a highly anticipated PS Vita bundle. The new bundle comes with a Crystal White PS Vita and a 4 gig memory card.
Ubisoft’s was next on the stage with a closer look at their AAA title: Assassin’s Creed 3. Set during the American Revolution, we see Assassin’s Creed break new ground with, a new character, Connor battling on land & now at sea with full control of a boat and its cannons! Dan Hay was next on stage for Ubisoft showcasing Farcry 3. The PS version will have an exclusive, intense, 4 player co-op campaign.
Playstation Move had its moment on the stage. Presented by Andy House, the new President and Group CEO, is Wonderbook. Wonderbook is a reinvention of the storybook that is interactive using augmented reality. The announcement of JK Rowling’s Book of Spells was the big deal and was showcased by Dave Ranyard. Wonderbook has a lot of potential if I had children I would be very excited about this.
Playstation Mobile is announced in partnership with HTC, a leader in the smart phone industry.
The Keynote then took a turn for the dramatic, on-screen gameplay from God of War Ascension and Todd Cappy simply saying “March 12th, 2013″. The room went dark and the ultra violent gameplay for Naughty Dog’s (Uncharted) The Last of Us began with a ton of violence and bleeped gameplay dialogue.
Overall, Sony’s keynote was pretty eventful. They didn’t make me yearn to go out and buy a Playstation Vita but they did make me feel like I was missing a lot by not springing the 5 dollars a month to subscribe to Playstation Plus. I was left with a need to know more about Beyond’s Jodie Holmes and what the “Dawn of the Wolf” posters are all about in The Last Of Us.



E3 2012: microsoft keynote
E3 2012: home viewing guide

E3 2012: home viewing guide

Once again, it’s that time of year to gaze upon the oracle of gaming-to-come, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). My NeverEnding Story of trying to get inside is still being written. The gatekeepers to the kingdom of gaming (the E3 committee Sphinxes’) have thwarted even my most “Atreyuian” moves towards the gates.
Nevertheless, E3 2012 is happening June 5-7th with major keynote addresses starting on Monday, June 4th. You’re viewing choices have grown (slightly) this year over last, with more network choices and dedicated streams over the Internet. Televised on Spike TV and sister Viacom Media Networks, including MTV2; MTVU; VH1; Tr3s: Música y Másand will all air the coverage simultaneously. Check your local listings for their correct channels. The Microsoft keynote will be airing for the first time on XBox Live through an app called: Playbook 360. I’m starting to wonder if by attending E3 you actually risk not seeing everything; and the best move may be getting all the information in one massive media download.

It’s interesting to ponder what’s in store and its affect on how the industry is fairing. E3 has high expectations associated with it, namely first look at new consoles. While I personally don’t think we will be seeing any new hardware besides the Wii U, there are some highly anticipated games we can expect to hear about.

The Gamedae E3 2012: Home Viewing Guide is below.

GAMEDAE E3 2012: Home Viewing Guide
A Guide to Where and When to get the most of E3 from your Couch.

FRIDAY JUNE 1st (Weekend before the expo)

10:30 PST / 1:30am EST || Konami Pre-E3 Show

 || Nintendo Direct Pre-E3 2012

MONDAY JUNE 4th (day before the expo opens)

9:30am PST / 12:30pm EST || XBox: Entertainment Evolved
  • Expectations: Halo 4, Fable: The Journey, the newest Call of Duty and a Spotify-like Music Service
  • On XBox Live through an app called: Playbook 360.
  • TV: Spike TV and sister networks
  • WEB: http://www.xbox.com/en-US/e3
1pm PST/ 4pm EST || Electronic Arts: The Download at the Orpheum Theater in LA
  • Announced Featured Content: SimCity, Crysis 3, Battlefield 3, Medal of Honor Warfighter, Madden NFL 13, FIFA 13 and other unannounced projects
  • TV: Spike TV and sister networks
  • WEB: http://www.ea.com/e3 & GameTrailers.com
3pm PST/ 6pm EST || Ubisoft
5:30pm preview, 6pm PST / 8:30pm preview, 9pm EST || Sony

TUESDAY JUNE 5th (First day of Expo)

9am PST/ 12pm EST || Nintendo All-Access
  • Expectations: New Mario Launch game, Wii U redesigns, release date and price
  • TV: Spike TV or MTV2 networks, watch the presentation live with no commercial interruptions
  • WEB: the Nintendo All-Access @ E3 2012 website at http://e3.nintendo.com
1pm PST/ 4pm EST || E3 Conference Coverage
  • TV: E3 2012 LIVE continues on G4
WEDNESDAY JUNE 6th (Second day of Expo)
3pm PST/ 6pm EST || E3 Conference Coverage
  • TV: E3 2012 LIVE continues on G4
6pm PST/9pm EST || Nintendo Software Showcase
    •  WEB: http://e3.nintendo.com/

THURSDAY JUNE 7th (Third day of Expo)

3pm PST/ 6pm EST || E3 Conference Coverage

rayman origins


ESRB: E10+

I didn’t expect to like this game. I bought two launch games for the PS VITA and this was my second choice. Rayman Origins (Feb 2012), originally out on consoles but I’ve picked up the PS Vita version. This game stands apart from other Ubisoft titles like Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry — by being nothing like them. This is a platformer, in-fact a great platformer.

Platformer game-play staples like side-scrolling, jumping and punching are all you will need to learn. This game follows the footsteps of classic gaming franchises like Super Mario Bros. Rayman, however, is a franchise with a history all its own, established back in 1995 on the Sega Saturn and PS1. Rayman has had loads of sequels, learning-games and even a kart racer. Most recently, he appeared in a spinoff game for the Nintendo Wii, Raving Rabbids. This is my first encounter with Rayman, as I was originally put off by the graphics. I’m very impressed by the quality of the game play.

You too, may easily pass this gem-of-a-game by because the graphics are loud, colorful and straight out of a Ren and Stimpy cartoon. Quite the opposite of the dark, gritty landscape of most AAA games. The flat 2D graphics are misleadingly kiddish and I’m glad I took a closer look. The animation quality is supreme and really brings not only the 2D characters, but also the levels, to life. The characters are kooky, including Rayman, most are missing arms and legs but have hands and feet. The disconnected appendages of our protagonist allow for some really expressive movements.

The PS Vita version brings some added functionality and collectables. Runes are tear-shaped collectables hidden out of site in each level. The touch screen is used to find hidden runes with the help of a sound prompt, when you hear the jingling of bones touch around the screen until you find the hidden rune. You can also “pinch” the touch screen to zoom in on the action.

I haven’t completed the game yet but that’s not for lack of time spent. There are over 60 levels to master. I’ve replayed all the levels I’ve completed, over and over, looking to unlock collectables and beat timed races. Much like other platformer games, you collect points throughout a map, in this case firefly-looking creatures called Lums rather than coins. Each level has a handful of requirements that will require replaying to get them all.

Pick it up if you’re looking for the perfect game for your PS Vita. The console versions allows for 4-player drop in and out game play, if co-op is your thing, surprisingly this handheld version does not. Charming characters and silly level romping will certainly allow you to share this with kids. I’m having a great time and will continue to play Rayman Origins for a while to come.

Seems I’m always looking for forest nymphs
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