My adventure with the HD remake of the Jak and Daxter trilogy on the Vita came to an end. I finally beat Jak 3, which I enjoyed more than Jak 2, even though the games look, sound and play very similarly. Naughty Dog pretty much reused the engine from the previous game, upscaling the models and upgrading the audio-visuals. Unfortunately, the Vita versions suffer from dramatic frame rate issues, especially with many characters on the screen at the same time. Still, the visual quality is not the most important thing in this 10-year old title and there’s no denying that the game is fun to play, with diverse missions, challenging platforming sections and cool boss battles. And you should know by now how I feel about boss battles…
I bought Killzone Mercenary the week it launched here in Europe and it was my first card released games I got for the Vita. The handheld being my travel console of choice, I prefer digital games, since I don’t want to carry the cards with me. Yet, it’s nice to get a physical game once in a while and since I expected big things from Killzone, I decided to add its box to my collection. I’ve written about my adventures with Killzone Mercenary before and I’ve been enjoying the game ever since I started playing it five months ago.
Being the trophy whunter I am, I considered having a go at the Platinum trophy but the prospect of spending many hours playing online and thinking I would suck at it made it seem unreachable. However, it turned out that multiplayer was fun and I was able to compete with many of other players and after around 50 hours of gameplay the final trophy popped up in the upper right corner of the Vita’s display.
Let me start by saying that the first time I started this game I was certain I would play it for half an hour and never go back to it. The first races were just too easy and the cars looked just too small and I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to enjoy it. But then, the challenges started to become more difficult. I no longer managed to beat the threshold time to get all three medals for each of them. I realized that the fastest times on the leaderboards were up to 30 seconds better than mine. Finally, I broke and I decided I would not put this game down until I managed to shave enough seconds off my total time to unlock its most difficult trophies.
It’s the challenge of MotorStorm RC that kept me coming back for more. It’s a classic case of a game that’s easy to learn but very difficult to master. The premise sounds easy enough. A Micro Machines clone that offers several game modes, including straightforward racing, drift challenges, hot lap time trials and pursuit (overtake a given number of enemies as fast as possible). The courses are very short and seem simplistic at first glance – most of them have literally 5-6 turns and it takes on average 15-20 seconds to complete a lap. Nothing so far seems too appealing. But the fact that the race is over so soon makes the challenge to push the boundaries by hundreds of milliseconds at a time that much more exciting.
So here’s something I haven’t done on my blog yet. It’s a Platinum Tracker post for a brand new game. Tearaway launched here last Friday and I knew it was a must-have for the PlayStation Vita so I didn’t hesitate much and got it. The fact that it’s cheaper than most other Vita retail games was also a nice bonus. Since the game is new I will avoid spoilers in the text and the screenshots I took are also spoiler-free so don’t worry if iota’s (or atoi’s) adventure is still ahead of you (or should I say, You?).
In Tearaway, the player controls an anthropomorphic envelope, called iota, on its quest to deliver a secret message to an even more mysterious recipient. We don’t really know much about this task until the very end of the game where everything suddenly sense and is incredibly rewarding. On his way, iota meets many friendly characters who try to help him and who are fascinated by the You which appears in the world’s sun. As you can see in the screenshot below, the You is… you, the player. The most interesting point about this fact is that You can directly interfere with the game’s world using all of the PS Vita’s capabilities.
We’re literally hours away from the official launch of PlayStation 4 in North America. Some of the luckier players have already been able to put their hands on their own console and those excellent DualShock 4 controllers. Although it is possible that many of the day-1 crowd, the ‘hardcore gamers’, also own the PlayStation Vita and are familiar with all the great stuff it brings, some of the more casual players may not even know that a de-facto companion console to the PS4 exists.
In this post I would like to give five reasons why I think buying a PS Vita is worth it. There’s obviously more but we have to start somewhere, don’t we? How do you feel about the console. Do you have one? Will you get one with the new PS4? Let me know in the comments below the post!
1. PlayStation 4 connectivity / Remote Play
OK, so the delivery guy has just left the new console at your doorstep and you can’t wait to put that Killzone: Shadow Fall Blu-Ray in the system and boot it up. Not so fast. The wife wants to watch the new episode of whatever it is that wives are watching now. Do you see the problem here? PlayStation Vita comes to the rescue with the Remote Play functionality. Sony tried this idea previously with the PSP and PS3 and also the Vita and the PS3, with very poor results. Only few titles supported this feature and the quality of gameplay was less than acceptable in most cases. All this changes now. In just a few simple steps, explained in one of Sony’s pre-launch videos, you are able to continue playing on the handheld device, sitting next to the lady who is happy that you’re spending quality time together. The minute the show ends you can go back to playing the game on the big screen and feast your eyes on the next gen (should we start calling it current gen already?) graphics. The Vita can also be used as an additional controller, even providing some extra gameplay options, Wii-U style. Although currently the connectivity range is realistically limited to your local area network, with the increase in the quality of general Internet availability, it might be possible, in the future, to take your PS4 games on the road, and that’s something else.
It’s Vita week here at PlayStationPalo blog. Fortunately, contrary to popular belief, there are games on the handheld so it’s not a problem that I currently don’t have access to my PS3. The trophies keep flowing and the games are being played. Obviously, some might say that the titles on today’s list are not Vita exclusives nor even mainly Vita games but let’s not be too picky about it. Last week, in preparation for PS4’s Resogun, I decided to give Super Startdust Delta a shot. I also played some Stealth, Inc. but I spent most of my playing time on Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time. Read on to see how I did in those games and what fun trophies I managed to unlock. How have your Vitas been lately? Any interesting titles that I should look into or did you just kept trying to connect to random PS4s with the new PS4 Link app? Let me know in the comments!
We’re just 24 days removed from the launch of the PS4 (yes, I’m sticking with my European bias, you lucky Americans…) and Sony flooded us today with four new YouTube propaganda videos praising the greatness that awaits us with the new system. Let’s have a quick look at them and see if they add to the excitement about the next-gen revolution. Don’t hesitate to add your own opinions in the comments below the post. Are you cancelling your pre-orders? Are you getting two more units? How many DUALSHOCK 4 controller will you get day one? My answers are no, no and two, respectively. Now, onto the videos!
A New Age for Games on PS4 System
The video starts with a blurb from TechRadar which can be interpreted in many ways. “This is a new age for Sony and its games”. Well, obviously a new console is coming so we might as well call it a ‘new age’. The literal meaning is not too exciting, as you see, but that’s obviously not what Sony means by that statement. You might have noticed that I’m not a fan of marketing-speak and I don’t (want to) believe that lines such as this one really influence people’s consumer habits. I know they have to do it in an advertisement video but I would rather they didn’t. Anyway, let’s move on to a more exciting part of the clip where we’re shown a reel of all the games we’re patiently waiting for and are excited for on PS4. FIFA14 is also there. All the usual suspects are present including NFL Madden 25, inFamous: Second Son, Battlefield 4, Killzone: Shadow Fall, WatchDogs. To emphasize that PlayStation 4 is THE console to buy, Sony then proceeds to boast all the timed exclusives they got. Still nothing new.
In the ‘Discover future hits on PS4’ we come across a couple of titles that I haven’t heard of until today. The first one is Warframe, which is a free-to-play cooperative third-person shooter (useful abbreviation: FTPCTPS) that apparently has been available on PC since March and is going to debut on consoles with the PS4. It’s Metacritic score is not too exciting at 67 but the users seem to like it with an 8.0 average. I’m not too pumped up about this one since I don’t play online too much but a game with so many genre descriptions could be interesting and develop a small but devoted group of followers.