Posts tagged ‘handheld gaming’

04/30/2012

Tabs!

by wfgodbold

The #Occupy Little Rock crowd is pretty pathetic. Who even cares about LR City Hall? For that matter, doesn’t “march” imply that someone is leading?

The only thing better than a life-size VF-25 Valkyrie would be a functioning life-size Valkyrie. Because the only thing better than mecha are transforming mecha!

How scientifically literate are you? I got 43/50; I should’ve gotten a few more right, but made some stupid mistakes.

Ever wonder what Philip K. Dick thought of Blade Runner?

I think the last one is my favorite.

And just because Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention is awesome, here are a few screenshots (click to embiggen):

A boss tries to dictate to the main character how he should fight her.

A newly created Shaman introduces herself.

A new party member shows up to save the day!

Prinny Mask (who has nothing at all to do with Science Ninja Team Gatchaman) takes over as homeroom teacher.

The party faces off against an army of enemy gunslingers!

The gunslinger homeroom teacher gives us some good advice.

03/26/2012

Thoughts on Uncharted: Golden Abyss

by wfgodbold

I finished the game Sunday night on normal. Overall, I’d say it was a pretty good handheld adaptation of the console Uncharted experience.

The gyro-assisted aiming was great; I think this would work even on the console versions of Uncharted with the PS3’s Sixaxis controllers. Once I figured out how to use it properly, I was getting headshots more often than not.

There wasn’t much deadtime; the game was good about taking Nate from one action setpiece to the next.

The story was decent; it’s set before Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune (the first game), but aside from Elena not showing up at all, you’d never have known.

However, there were some things I didn’t like at all.

The final boss fight was terrible; it combined the tediousness of quick time events with the annoyance of swiping all over the Vita screen. If I wanted to play a touchscreen-based game, I’d have bought a damn iPad. There were plenty of touchscreen quick time events throughout the game, so it’s not like they surprised me with it; but I didn’t like those either, and so I really didn’t like it when I had to swipe around on the screen for five minutes to beat the final boss. If you miss three of the swipes, it’s game over; it’s also game over if you miss the final swipe, even if it’s not the third.

The graphics were pretty good, in spite of the jaggies. It looked better in motion than in the screenshots I took, but the jaggies were still noticeable.

Your sidekicks are morons. They get in the way, and thanks to collision detection, you can’t just walk through them; you bump into them and have to go around. It was especially annoying when they would start climbing down ropes before I could and then when I tried to follow them, I’d roll off the ledge and fall to my death.

I’d say if you’re on the fence about whether to buy it or not, either pick it up used or wait for a sale. It’s good enough to play, and a fun game, but it’s definitely not worth the $50 MSRP. Maybe if it had been made by Naughty Dog instead of Bend, it would have been a bit better; I guess we’ll never know.

03/16/2012

I had an idea for a post when I clicked “New Post”

by wfgodbold

But it’s completely gone now. Like it never existed.

I think it was something about Kickstarter and how it’s reviving long-dead series and genres (Wasteland 2, a new Tim Schafer adventure game, etc.), but I’m not really sure.

I guess I”ll just do some tab clearing, instead.

Falcom posted some samples of the rearranged music from Zero no Kiseki Evolution, their PS Vita full voice remake of the PSP game. Like the most of their music, it sounds great.

New this month from Baen Night Shade Books is a sendup of the John Carter of Mars books, called Jane Carver of Waar. Good timing on their part, what with the movie release (which everyone has seen, right?). I may have to buy it.

Sony sent out the Super Stardust Delta download codes for PS Vita 3G buyers who signed up for their free month of 3G with AT&T. It’s just as addictive as the PS3 version; you keep playing one more game to try to better your score.

Diablo III comes out on May 15. I still haven’t decided if I’m going to buy it.

The newest Rurouni Kenshin trailer looks awesome. They even have plans to release it internationally!

SNK is getting back into the handheld market with their new Neo Geo X, which comes with 20 Neo Geo games and an SD slot for future expansion. No word on pricing yet, though.

I added a link to my Amazon store on the right side of the page under the twitter widget; if you want used imported video games, knock yourself out. I’ll add more to it this week after going through my PS2 collection.

And finally, a comparison shot with my Vita and PSP-1000, with a game case from each:

Edit: Fixed the publisher for Jane Carver of Waar; it looks like Baen is handling the ebook, and Night Shade Books is publishing the trade paperback.

03/02/2012

Livin’ la (PS) Vita loca?

by wfgodbold

Vita game-wise, I have Tales of Innocence R and Uncharted: Golden Abyss. I also bought a couple Vita-compatible PSP games off the US PSN (Ys: The Oath in Felghana and Ys Seven), and I’ve put in some time on each of them. I’m a ways into ToIR, a couple chapters into UGA, and almost to the end of Oath (aside from making sure Ys Seven worked, I haven’t played it), and the PS Vita is great.

Unfortunately, the screenshot functionality doesn’t work on PSP games, only on Vita games (at this point, anyway; maybe Sony will patch it so it works later). Uncharted looks better on the system than it does in the screenshots (damn compression!), but ToIR looks about the same. The analog sticks are great, and far better than the slider the PSP had. Even the d-pad is much improved.

Uncharted falls prey to the same problems most first-party games on new, innovative hardware do; it uses the touch screen, rear touch panel, and gyro controls in gimmicky ways when they’re not really necessary. I should be able to navigate the menu without using the touch screen if I want; balancing with gyro controls as you walk over logs was stupid in Uncharted 1, let alone here (and was rightly absent in UC2 and 3); and having to tap the ammo indicator to reload instead of a button is unintuitive. That said, a couple of the uses of the Vita’s capabilities are actually good: coarse aiming with the analog stick coupled with fine aiming via gryo controls makes targeting enemies a breeze, and using the rear touch pad to control zoom on the sniper rifle is very quick.

The touch screen is barely used in Tales of Innocence R; you can assign each party member a spell to cast when you tap their portrait during battle. Other than that, it’s only used when saving/loading (which appears to be a Vita system-level requirement, like the PSP save/load system). I’m inclined to believe Namco was working on this “reimagination” for the PSP, and just switched tracks when Vita development was feasible.

I’ll play through these games before I get any new Vita software (probably, at least). Until Disgaea 3: Absence of DetentionGravity RushYs: Woodland of Celceta, and possibly Zero no Kiseki: Evolution come out, I’m not interested in much.

Which basically gives me a month (until Disgaea 3), and then another month or two (until Gravity Rush), and then however long for those other games. Unless other games pique my interest in the meantime, anyway (Thanks to the launch 3G bundle deal, I’ll get Super Stardust Delta for free in another 3-4 weeks).

All in all, I’m pleased with the Vita launch; there are plenty of games in plenty of genres, and while most are worth at least playing the demo, some are actually even good!

 

 

02/22/2012

In which Amazon lets me down, Or First World Problems strike home…

by wfgodbold

For some reason, my PS Vita order (which ended up costing me $89, thanks to various amazon.com credits) didn’t ship with release date delivery.

So instead of amazing handheld gaming today, I have to wait almost 24 whole hours for its delivery tomorrow.

I used to think #FirstWorldProblems were something that happened to other people, but now I know better.

They can happen to anyone!

02/07/2012

Looks like all regions *except* Japan are out of luck…

by wfgodbold

As far as PS Vita UMD backwards compatibility goes. Sony’s UMD Passport program will not be available in the US.

Of course, if you’ve got a Japanese PSN account, you can make it the primary account on your Vita and use Japan’s UMD Passport program. Even then, that will only get you a smattering of the games available on the PSN, and for a price.

If you’ve bought most of your games on the PSN (and not on UMD) you won’t have a problem; the Vita is compatible with downloaded PSP games without issue.

11/30/2011

The current PS Vita backwards compatibility list* is live

by wfgodbold

Looks like I’ll be forking over ¥1,000 to play Growlanser and Disgaea on the PS Vita.

Siliconera notes that this is roughly 3/7 of the total PSP games currently on the PSN for download. (Well, they give the numbers themselves; I provided the fraction, because fractions are awesome. Who can’t immediately visualize 3/7?)

Square Enix, Capcom, and Namco Bandai haven’t joined in yet, but this list isn’t comprehensive; Sony’s original news regarding the UMD Passport program listed Falcom (and Square Enix, for that matter). I figure it will be updated as they work out the licensing arrangements with the various developers.

That said, I’ve decided to bite the bullet and get a PS Vita at the US launch (using a combination of various credits, coupons, game trade-ins, and the like to lower my price at amazon by a great deal). I’ll probably just pick up Uncharted: Golden Abyss from the US launch lineup; I’ll also have Tales of Innocence R (which releases in Japan ~1 month before the US system launch), and with Growlanser and Disgaea, that should keep me busy for some time.**

*For Japan, at least.

**When I’m not losing my mind at law school, anyway. I think a portable system will be convenient for between classes; I’m more likely to have time to game there than at home, and I can’t study all the time.

11/12/2011

The PS Vita and PSP backwards compatibility

by wfgodbold

Sony has finally come clean about the limited BC the PS Vita will have available.

After downloading a registering app onto your PSP, you can register UMDs to a specific PSN account, and then, if the developer of that game has allowed it, you can pay a fee (ranging (at this time) from ¥500-1500 (per game)).

This is better than nothing, and probably the best Sony could do; the games are the developers’, and if they don’t want people to be able to copy them, that’s their right. Not all developers have agreed to make their games available, either.

Any PSP games bought through the PSN are already compatible with the PS Vita, no hoop-jumping required.

I imagine most people will keep their PSPs around for their old games; if you’ve got a big library of games, it could cost you quite a bit to make them all PS Vita compatible. For a few select games, though, it would make more sense.

10/25/2011

I don’t grok Nintendo’s thought process…

by wfgodbold

As part of a way to sell more 3DS widgets, they’ve developed a steering wheel peripheral that fits on the outside of the 3DS so that you can more easily (I guess?) use the accelerometer to steer in-game.

The only problem with that plan is that the 3D effect of the screen only works if you hold the system in one position.

If you use this steering wheel doodad to play Mario Kart “3D”, you won’t actually be able to play it in 3D; you’ll have to fix the screen so that it’s displaying 2D. If you want to play in 3D, you have to hold the 3DS in the regular position without moving it to steer.

They had the same problem with Super Monkey Ball 3D; if you tilted the system to control the ball’s movement, you wouldn’t be able to see the eye-popping 3D you paid extra to get.

Well played, Nintendo. You’ve managed to come up with an entirely useless product that millions of people will nonetheless buy.

I only wish I’d thought of it first!

09/15/2011

An Ys IV remake? On the PS Vita?

by wfgodbold

And at/close to the system’s launch?

That’s awesome!

Falcom’s risky decision to publish games on the PSP turned into a brilliant moneymaker for them, and so it makes sense that they’d stick with Sony for the next iteration of the hardware (which is due out in Japan in mid-December).

Ys: Woodland of Celceta is scheduled for release in 2012, as long as it comes out in January or February, that should be close enough to the PS Vita launch date to fall within the window.

Given Xseed’s deals with Falcom, especially in bringing over the PSP Ys remakes (I & II Chronicles, The Oath in Felghana (and the PSP original Ys Seven)), it’s likely that they’ll work out some sort of deal to localize the Ys Seven engine remake of Ys IV.

I’ll post other news I’ve gleaned from this year’s Tokyo Game Show coverage in the next couple days.

Via Siliconera.

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