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Playstation 3 Playstation VIta Playstation Vita Reviews

Gucamelee Review

Guacamelee is “Juan” heck of a game. Drinkbox has done it again, and brought another great PSN game on to the PlayStation consoles. Guacamelee! captures the humor, art, and musical style that all of their previous games have brought. The game also has wonderful platforming elements, a great combat system, and a really good story. It has all the elements a game needs to be a great game, but Guacamelee! has a lot more than just those.

The game starts off introducing you to the main character, Juan. He is a farm boy from Pueblucho, a town that greatly respects luchadors. Juan goes to help out a man when El Presidente’s daughter is caught in a fire. Juan rushes over, only to find a skeleton by the name of Calaca, has captured her. Juan tries to fight back, but sadly, Calaca kills Juan. In the world of the dead, Juan finds a mysterious luchador mask. He then progresses out of the world of the dead, and obviously, tries to save El Presidente’s daughter from Calaca. This makes for an interesting plot line throughout the game, and is not just a complement to the excellent gameplay that comes along with it.

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Speaking of that gameplay, it is arguably one of the best platformers I have ever played. Why it is, is because it actually makes you think, and it can actually become quite difficult. At some points, I had to pull off crazy combos to get to the next platform, and after I had completed them, I felt like a luchador myself. The platforms are laid out perfectly, and I never had a problem with something being impossible or too hard to pass. As the great Goldilocks once said, “It was just right.”

Juan can also beat up baddies along the way. The excellent combat system makes that super fun. Juan can pull off awesome combos, in both the air, and on the ground. It’s fluid, and it just feels right in place with how everything else in the game works. Along with just his punches and kicks, Juan also learns some mystical attacks from a goat-man. These can be used to break objects in the environment or when battling enemies. These have great, funny names attached to them like the Rooster Uppercut, and my absolute favorite, The Dashing Derp-Derp. I just love how the combat works, and it just feels right for the game.

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The enemies won’t cause you too many problems (in the normal mode that is), but the bosses will kick your butt over and over again. These bosses will take you many, many times to figure out. Their attack patterns are all so diverse, and finding out how to stop them is even harder. Eventually, when you do figure them out, it feels awesome, and like I said before, like a real luchador.

My only real problem was that the game was a bit too short. My first time through clocked in at 4 hours, and 4 minutes. I didn’t go out of my way for collectibles, or do any of the side-missions on that run-through. However, if you were to play on hard, the game lasts longer (you will have to re-do more parts), or if you did look for collectibles and do the side missions. If you did any of those things, the game could last you 10-20+ hours. Still, I wish there was a little more content to it, even though I really enjoyed what it had.

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Humor is where Drinkbox excels the most. There are references to so many things you wouldn’t believe. On the billboards, there are ads for “Mega Hombre”, “Casa Crashers” and even an ad in Spanish for their last Vita title, Tales from Space Mutant Blobs Attack. There are also funny references to other things outside of games, like the meme, Grumpy Cat, or the movie Wreck it Ralph (they put “Bust it Bill”). All of these were hilarious, and the character dialogue and gameplay has even more references and jokes. Guacamelee! had me laughing the entire game.

The art and music are great as well, and fit with the overall aesthetic of the game. The art has a 2D beautiful surface in the front, and some kind of background that pertains to the kind of environment you are in. Like for example, the desert scene has sand dunes in the back. The game looks beautiful on both my TV, and my PlayStation Vita’s 5 inch display. The music is an upbeat, Mexican style. It fits wonderfully, and sounds especially nice when coming through headphones.

Guacamelee! is an all-around awesome game, and anyone with a Vita and/or a PlayStation 3 should pick it up. It’s one of the greatest platformers that I’ve played in a while, and it has all the elements a game needs to be great; awesome gameplay, great soundtrack, good graphics, and a fun story. Guacamelee’s got it all. It doesn’t matter if you’re broke, or don’t have any money, you need to buy Guacamelee. Believe the hype, it’s really that good.

PG9_10

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Playstation VIta Playstation Vita Reviews

Machinarium PS Vita Review

Machinarium is a fun puzzle game, but it’s not without its problems. The art style is great, and the gameplay is good, but it’s a little bit hard. It’s not a good kind of hard; it’s hard in a cryptic way. The story really isn’t enough to keep you going either. Even though it is kind of hard to get through, you can still have some fun with some of the more fun puzzles.

Machinarium is a point and click adventure game; a genre which I usually enjoy playing. It controls very well, and there are many ways to control on the Vita. You can use the front or back touchscreens, or you can control it using the analog stick. All three ways are very fluent, and the game is really easy to control.

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The game is simple enough at the beginning, and only require a little of thinking to get through. By the third puzzle though, things start getting very, very hard. In that puzzle, you need to get past a police guard. He doesn’t let you through if you are in uniform; a white hat with a light bulb on top. You find a cone to use as a hat, that part is not that hard. You dip it in a white paint bucket, and there’s our white hat. Now you have to get the light bulb. You can climb up the pole, but it’s missing a rung. This is only a one screen puzzle, so there aren’t many places to look. I wandered around for about 10 minutes, only to realize that I could throw away the other cones, to find a rung to put on the pole. I don’t know if this is my deductive reasoning failing on me, or if this game is just too cryptic. Compared to the other puzzles late in the game, this one isn’t even that hard. For some people, figuring out these impossible puzzles might be super fun, but for some reason I only got past a few on my own without using clues.

I think Machinarium knows how hard it is, because it gives you two forms of clues you can look at in the game; the one-time clue and the walkthrough book. The one-time clue is self-explanatory; it’s a clue that can be used one time. However, these are always very vague, and don’t really give you a great sense of where to go. The walkthrough book is a great source, but it is always a pain in the neck to use. First off, the game makes you do a little side scrolling shoot ‘em up to just get into the book. Then, it gives you a picture by picture walkthrough of what you need to do on that screen. There is one thing that really makes it hard to use, though. Let’s say you walk into the bar part of the main square to do part of a puzzle. You open the book with the mini-game, and realize you have to walk out to get something you forgot. If you go back into that bar again, you have to do the mini-game over again. It gets extremely repetitive, and for those multi-screen puzzles, it’s an absolute pain in the neck.

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Even though most of the puzzles are really hard, some of them are still fun, like the games in the arcade level, and other little, fun puzzles scattered throughout the game. They gave my brain a well-deserved break, and were a lot more creative than the cryptic point and click puzzles in the base of the game. I probably enjoyed the mini puzzles more than the actual game, because the mini puzzles were not as cryptic, and easier to understand.

The art and ambiance of the whole game was stunning. The characters in the foreground were all designed beautifully, and the backgrounds and buildings are pretty as well. The story was okay; there really was nothing to it. The little robot you play as is trying to find his girlfriend and he is dealing with some “bully robots” along the way. I wish there was more to the story, but that’s not the reason people would want to play this game, so it probably wasn’t the priority.

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Machinarium is an okay point and click adventure with a great art style and some fun mini puzzles, but along with that comes a so-so story and some really hard, cryptic puzzles. If you enjoy extremely hard point and click adventures, you’ll probably get some fun out of Machiarium.

PG6_10

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Playstation VIta Playstation Vita Reviews

Switch Galaxy Review

Switch Galaxy is a game by former Liverpool Studios developers, and you can tell in every aspect. Switch Galaxy captures the same sense of speed and beauty that Wipeout always shined in. The music is great, along with the designs of everything from the vehicles, down to the tracks and barriers. Even the price is great. The only real major problem I have with it is that it is a little too short. When that is your only complaint, you know you got a pretty good game on your hands.

The gameplay is simple, yet wonderful. You move from lane to lane, dodging enemies and barriers, and collecting credits as you go. There are power-ups to help you pass barriers; destroy barriers, and one to steal credits from enemies. They are all basic, but can get hard to see when flying across space at the break-neck speeds you can reach in this game. It can also be a little hard to see upcoming enemies, as they sometimes can blend in with the surroundings, but I think it just adds to the little difficulty in the game.

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The “story” mode of the game lets you travel from galaxy to galaxy, imposed with a time limit. Hitting barriers and enemies will slow you down, but most of the time they are really easy to dodge. I only failed to make time once in a level in the latter half of the game. There are about 25 levels, which, if you take every path and do the challenges, equates to about a an hour or so of content. The challenges are really no challenge; they just require you to reach an easy distance on the track. I wish there was more to the story mode, it had lots of potential.

However, there is one mode that can become obsessive, and what I think is the real “meat” of the game. It is the survival mode, where it makes the game like an infinite runner. Once you get far enough, it really gets hard, and it always makes me want to try to beat my previous score. They set goals for you, but I wish there was some sort of leaderboard, so I could strive to beat other peoples’ scores. If you reach these preset goals, you get a ton of credits, which can definitely help you go farther.

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The credits I speak of are the in-game currency. You can use them to buy upgrades, new ship skins, and one time shields and such. The ship upgrades are cool, and will definitely help you with that survival mode, but everything else is just okay. However, you cannot use the barrier passes in the survival mode, which stinks, because that’s where I really need them. The ship skins are okay looking (I prefer the original), and the barrier blocks just weren’t doing it for me. The ship upgrades are the only thing I really bought, and are the only things that really did any good for me in trying to make my performance in the game any better.

Everything else about the game is awesome. To the upbeat sort of dubstep-like music, from the beautiful graphics of all the ships and the tracks you travelled on, all the way down to the minute details of the game, like giving population numbers and race percentages for each galaxy. Even though it’s a Playstation Mobile title, you can really tell that Atomicom put a lot of time, detail, and effort into the game.

Switch Galaxy is a great Playstation Mobile game, with simple yet fluent gameplay, a good upgrade system, awesome graphics, and a great soundtrack. The game captured the great sense of speed, aesthetic, and style that Wipeout nailed for years, and it has worked out amazingly. The only thing that’s wrong is that there aren’t a lot of levels for the story mode. This is a great game, and I suggest you go pick it up right away.

PG8_10

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Playstation VIta Playstation Vita Reviews

Nun Attack Review

Nun Attack is one crazy game. In short, you take a group of nuns who happen to have shotguns and assault rifles to different graveyards to try to take down Mortana, the Fallen Nun. You go through 40 levels, spanning across four worlds. These levels have players running through them, destroying portals, and killing enemies at their flagged points. You can level up the nuns, and level up their guns with the in-game currency. Crazy, right?

The levels are all basically the same. You tap, drag, and release your finger to direct the nuns where to go. All the while, there are portals firing flying skulls at you. Each portal has a different skull, and a different way to destroy/block the projectiles. You destroy those portals by destroying the skull near it, which can be quite difficult and annoying in some levels. There are also flags in each level, each one starting a combat sequence. In these, the camera pans in, and you are given access to your weapons. You then move around every nun separately, the same way you do in the non-combat parts. To attack, you drag your nun’s cursor over to an enemy, and she will attack automatically. This was a problem at times, because the nuns would group up, and I wasn’t able to specify which enemies they were to attack. Some nuns would just stand there, and do nothing. After that, I would just keep swiping randomly, and lose the tactical feel of the game.

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You can’t have a game this weird without powers and miracles, right? Each nun has a special power that can be used in the battles for support. They are all  important, as you must use them if you wish to succeed in battle. The other form of powers was the miracles. These could be used at any time in the level, and are activated by drawing out a symbol in the miracles screen. These could be used for attack and support. Even though I didn’t use these as much, both are cool features, and are necessary to battles, and the game as a whole.

The boss fights are easy for the most part, just a larger version of the most common enemy in the world you are in, with advanced attacks. But, the last boss made me want to throw my Vita across the room. Let me just tell you now, that I have EVERY nun up to level 15 (the highest) and the best guns for every nun upgraded to the max. Even still, I couldn’t get the last boss under half health. There is a serious balancing issue or something, and it needs to be patched. Badly.

Speaking of the upgrades, the system is actually pretty cool. You can upgrade the nuns just by defeating enemies, and finishing levels. But, each nun has four guns which are found in golden chests in some of the levels. Each gun has 4 upgrade levels, which improves their fire rate, damage rate, etc. It can also change a bonus effect the gun has, such as poison, or burning. The upgrades are all good, but they still won’t help you beat that dreadful final boss.

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Everything else about the game is all pretty good as well. The menus are easy to navigate, and have a lot of color, making them nice to look at. The art styles along with the menus are pleasing, but in-game, everything seems to look flat. The music doesn’t play a huge role, but isn’t very good. It’s got kind of a jazzy soundtrack, and doesn’t seem to fit right with the game.

Overall, even with my gripes about the game, Nun Attack is pretty fun. It has a good combat system, cool powers, and a good way to upgrade you weapons. The games problems (such as the hard final boss fight) don’t completely ruin the good parts. I suggest you buy Nun Attack, you will have some fun with it.

PG7_10

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Playstation 3 News

Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain announced

Today at GDC Konami announced that both the Phantom Pain and Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeros would combine to make up Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. MGSV will be an open world game, and David Hayter will not be doing the voice of Snake.

 

In a gameplay demonstration shown at GDC, Snake has awoken from a nine year coma. With help from a fellow patient named Ishamael, they escape from the hospital in an on-rails shooting sequence. It was also stated that after this initial tutorial stage of escapting the hospital, Snake will be able to freely explore the open world of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain.

Below you can find Konami’s official trailer for the game.

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Mobile PC News

XCOM: Enemy Unknown coming to iOS this Summer

2K Games announced at its PAX panel today that the “full XCOM experience” will be coming to iPhone and iPad this summer. 2K also put up a video on YouTube showing off the gameplay and how it works on iOS. 2K also states that they have optimized the touch controls for the game, and haven’t resort to just using virtual buttons. Though, the game looks like it must have made some graphical compromises and cutbacks in order to fit the 20 GB game on an iOS device. No price point was announced, but we do know that XCOM: Enemy Unknown will release on iOS devices this summer.

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Playstation 3 Playstation 3 News XBOX 360

Insomniac’s Fuse gets release date of May 28th

Insomniac’s third person squad shooter Fuse (formerly “Overstrike”) now has a release date, announced today at PAX. Fuse will arrive May 28th in the U.S., and May 31st in Europe. No date was given for other countries, but if anything changes, we’ll let you know.

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Playstation 3 Playstation VIta Playstation Vita News

Jak and Daxter HD Collection rated for PS Vita by ESRB

The Jak and Daxter Collection has been rated again by the ESRB, but this time for the Playstation Vita. This means the game was re-certified and will probably come pretty soon to Sony’s handheld. The game would be the first of the Sony collections to come to the Vita. If there is a formal announcement, we will let you know.

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Playstation 3 Playstation VIta Playstation Vita Reviews

Zen Pinball 2: Star Wars Tables DLC Review

I love pinball and I love Star Wars. So, you can imagine how excited I was when Zen Studios announced they were making Star Wars Tables. Their first pack was released recently, having three tables: Boba Fett, Episode V The Empire Strikes Back, and Star Wars the Clone Wars. Some tables I like more than others, but they are all great. If you enjoy either Star Wars or pinball, you should definitely check these out.

The first table is the Boba Fett table. I don’t like this one as much as the others, but it is still great. Your ball is Boba Fett, and by hitting different lanes, you can take contracts from the Empire, or from Jabba the Hut. These are fun, and a cool part to the table. The table has a ton of other bells and whistles that other tables have, such as a multiball mode, lane combos, and some fun hurry ups. The table itself is beautiful, with its vibrant colors, and character models. The table is well branded to Star Wars, as Darth Vader and Jabba make live, spoken appearances on the table. Boba Fett will even say lines as you complete missions, and get combos. There is even the Great Pit of Carkoon from Return of the Jedi that ruins your combo when you fall into it.

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Even though this table sounds awesome, it has some flaws too. My ball seemed to lose momentum at random times, and it came off the left flipper way too fast. Also, some of the set pieces stopped my ball. I like a table where the ball can move smoothly across without it ramming into something. This is a good table, but the others are better.

TABLE SCORE: 6/10

 

 

The next table is Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. Like the Boba Fett Table it looks nice and has good character models. These tables’ main missions, however, are based off the movie. If you hit the middle part of the table on both the left and right parts, you activate a movie scene. The scenes are taken directly from the movie, showing Luke tying up the AT-AT on Hoth, or the Ewoks taking back Endor from the Empire. This table is obviously greatly branded as well, with everything being taken from the movie. The only complaint I have about this table is the difficulty in scoring. This is tied with my other favorite table, the Clone Wars table.

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TABLE SCORE: 9/10

 

 

I am not a big fan of the Clone Wars series, but I am a huge fan of this table. Zen once again did a great job with visuals, character models, and branding. You can train to be a clone in this table which helps you rack up huge points and has you doing missions as the Jedi trying to take down the Sith Lords. These are all great for points, but there is one spam combo called the Liberation Hurry Up which you can use to get tons and tons of points. You hit a top-left lane multiple times to activate it, and once you do, you can hit another lane over and over for millions of points per hit. One time, I got over 20 million points in under 30 seconds with it. You can also hit the hurry up lane, where Yoda will give you quotes that I promise you will hear over 9,000 times. They got really old, and quite annoying while hitting the lane. That minor complaint aside, this table had some excellent features to it, and is another great table to add to your collection.

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TABLE SCORE: 9/10

 

 

The Star Wars tables are the best I have played in a while, and I suggest you check them out. They are well branded and designed, so even if you don’t like Star Wars you will definitely enjoy these tables. They come in one big pack, so you will have to get them all to play them, but it is well worth the $10 spent. May the force be with you.

PG8_10

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Playstation VIta Playstation Vita Reviews

Life of Pixel Review

Short, annoying, and terribly designed, Life of Pixel is a game that should be avoided. That is the best way I can describe this game. It has only 64 levels, all which can be beaten easily in under a minute by most people. The enemy patterns are all the same, the graphics and sound are just ok, and I beat the game easily in one sitting.

First of all, the platforming is the heart, and this game cannot even get that right. The character has a weird jump, and is very floaty. You can do a double jump and can usually hit the top of the stage on a regular level. This makes the platforming on some of the levels pretty easy, as you can basically float with your giant jumps across the level. The character moves a little too fast as well, making enclosed levels a real problem. The cramped levels pose another problem, with your character hitting the top, and falling down into water, lava or an enemy. The character definitely needs to be a little more grounded, and the levels need to differ in design to accommodate to the character.

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The problem is that most of the levels are often times cramped and swarmed with enemies, making them impossible. It wouldn’t be bad if the levels were genuinely hard, but the enemies blindside you, and make getting through them extremely frustrating. The gigantic levels are also genuinely awful because of one enemy who is basically impossible to pass. For example, there was one level where you had to climb a ladder, but there was one enemy who was standing directly over the ladder. This level took me literally 50 tries, until the one time I lured him away from the ladder. A level should be passed based on skill, not by the luck of the character movement patterns.

In Life of Pixel, you travel across 8 different consoles, and each console has 8 levels. The consoles are all fairly old, such as the Atari, Commodore, and the NES. The graphics and art style change, along with the music, but the one constant, is the awful level design. These levels could take a short or a long time to complete depending on the number of blindsiding enemies. Even so, I finished the game in one sitting, and it was quite unfulfilling.

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Life of Pixel was short, and not that good. Bad platforming, annoying level design, and enemies that blindside you at every corner mar what could have been a great platformer. Overall, I was disappointed with Life of Pixel. Even with its low price tag, Life of Pixel isn’t worth your time or money. This pixel should have stayed with the crowd.

PG3_10

 

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Playstation 3 Playstation Vita Reviews

Fuel Overdose Review

Fuel Overdose is much more than a top-down racer. It is an excellent game that combines features from other games, and implements them perfectly. While most top down racers are just racing, ut Fuel Overdose tests your dexterity and strategies like no other racer I have played. Its combination of cars and combat provide many possibilities, and will keep you coming back for more, and believe me there are a lot. Fuel Overdose is a PSN game you shouldn’t pass up.

Let me start off with the racing mechanics, the heart of the game. The feel of it is very reminiscent of Motorstorm RC, in the way the driving controls, but Fuel Overdose has shifting camera angles. The camera won’t stay top-down the whole time, it strategically places it in the best viewing angle for the situation. This doesn’t always work well, as it would glitch and I wouldn’t be able to see my car, but those moments were few and far between.

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But where Fuel Overdose starts to set itself apart is in its combat. There are three basic weapons that every vehicle is equipped with, the machine gun, the rocket launcher, and mines. You also have bomb triggers. There are bombs on the track, and you have triggers you can use to detonate them when they are on your screen. If you have ever played Split Second, it’s similar to that. I used this very often, and it is one of my favorite weapons. One more weapon you have is your special weapons. Each character has his or her own, and are earned by building up your berserk meter to certain levels. You build up your meter by getting hit by other cars weapons. I never felt the urge to use these much, as the base weapons are powerful enough.

There is another tool fundamental to the arsenal in Fuel Overdose, the grappling hook. There are endless possibilities for the grappling hook. You can use it to turn sharp corners and give yourself a massive speed boost. But, you can also hook onto other cars, and that is where it really shines. You can use other cars to give yourself a boost, electrocute them and damage them badly, or even use them as a comeback in a race. I say that last one because if your car turns around and you are backwards, you can use the grappling hook to turn your car around and boost ahead of everyone. You don’t know how many times that grappling hook saved a race for me. Especially with the tiny car I always used.

The cars are all unique, with their handling, speed, and acceleration. I used one car the majority of the time called the Cadiz. It had good handling and acceleration, but not much speed or durability. But you can play with any strategy, and use a bulkier car with more speed and less grip, or even a big rig.

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There are 4 different game modes, free race, championship, story, challenge, and multiplayer. The free race is self-explanatory, pick your car, character, track and race. Championship is something similar to what you would see in Mario Kart, where there is a series of 5 races, and the person with the most points wins. The multiplayer is okay, but is really only good for playing with friends. It’s fun, but can’t keep my attention for a long time, because there is only one fun game mode. The driving mode is not fun, because if you start out in last, you stay in last because it is pretty much impossible to make a comeback without weapons. Also there is basic, with only your basic weapons. So there are 3 game modes, and they are mostly okay.

The story mode is also okay, there is a cool apocalyptic sort of premise, but the individual character stories are not good. The premise is that the Earth gained an asteroid satellite, and it caused some crazy disease. One group of people called the Consortium took all the vaccine, and kept it for themselves. The started an event called the “Race of Chaos” and had representatives from other clans race to earn the vaccine. You race as each character, and find out why each is in the race. This is cool, but the story cutscenes are only character models and dialogue boxes. I wish they would have done a little more for the story, it could have been great.

The last game mode is the challenge mode, and the word challenge is an understatement. The challenge mode has different kind of races, such as the no weapons we saw in the multiplayer or a mode where instead of winning; you have to wreck all of your opponents’ cars. Some of them are impossibly hard, and will take multiple tries. This is fun though, and a great addition to the game.

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The art style and music fit the atmosphere as well. The music is an upbeat kind of techno music. It is good for a racer like this, and never got boring. The art style is great too, with a look reminiscent of Borderlands , with the exaggerated black outlines and vibrant colors. The story cutscenes have an anime look, and are cool. The music or art never get old or boring, and are designed very well.

Fuel Overdose is a must buy PSN title, that will be out for only $9.99. It is unique, and like nothing I have ever played before. It also offers tons of content, and a challenge that I haven’t experienced in a long time. This is not a top down racer, it is Fuel Overdose, and Fuel Overdose is one amazing game.

PG9_10

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Playstation VIta Playstation Vita Reviews

Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken Review (Vita)

Rocketbirds is a cinematic puzzle platformer, that is definitely fun, but has plenty flaws too. Puzzles get repetitive, the story is pretty bad and often doesn’t make sense, the combat can be very frustrating, and the game is pretty short. Platforming is fun, and is the heart of the game, but the other aspects are not as good. If you are able to overlook the flaws, you can find an okay puzzle platformer in Rocketbirds. But those flaws are unfortunately very hard to ignore.

The gameplay is simple, being a platformer. The puzzles are for the most part easy, except for near the end of the game. The puzzles don’t provide the same sort of satisfaction given from games like Portal, where you feel intelligent for solving them. Instead, they hide things from you, things that often feel too hard to find. You can spend buckets of time just looking for things that blend in. The art style doesn’t help this at all. While the art style is aesthetically pleasing, it makes seeing where you have to maneuver difficult. Some of the puzzles are fun, but most are bland and repetitive.

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Combat in Rocketbirds is okay, but can get quite annoying and frustrating. When it works, it is a good and fun system, but sometimes the enemies just overpower you. For example, with this combat system, the final boss is ridiculously difficult. It took me far too many tries. There were times it worked well, and those were some really fun times in the game, but when it doesn’t work, and the level is too hard, it can get really frustrating.

The story is confusing, and with the limited dialogue, it doesn’t really explain what is going on at all. What I got out of the story is that Hardboiled Chicken was recruited by the penguins, and didn’t like that they were taking over innocent towns and people, and then quit and became a renegade soldier. He then goes and tries to liberate the town that the penguins have most recently taken over, Albatropolis. The story really does matter much in the grand scheme of things, and it didn’t get in the way much.

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The amount of content is kind of disappointing as well, as the game is really short. There are 15 missions, lasting at most about 20 minutes each. That turns out to be about 5 hours, which feels a bit short. There are 3 signs, or collectibles, in each mission, for a total of 45 signs in the game. Other than that, the only things that will keep you playing are the Co-op campaign, and that lovely platinum trophy.

Speaking of the trophies, they are mostly pretty easy. There are trophies for collectibles, doing specific things in the levels, and that one trophy that prevents you from a platinum trophy. You have to complete the Co-op campaign. That shouldn’t be very hard, except you can only play online via invite only.

As far as sound design goes, the voice-overs are not great, but few and far between. But a real plus is the music, which is pretty great. The music is done by New World Republic, and pairs up really nicely with the gameplay. It was a sort of rock-techno band, and their stuff in the game is great. Especially at the end of the game is when the music starts to kick in, and I was rockin’ out on my little Vita earbuds.

RB1

Rocketbirds Hardboiled Chicken is a mediocre platformer, with a few too many flaws. A confusing story that doesn’t really matter, bland puzzles, not so great combat, and a lack of replay value. There are some positives, however; some decent platforming, a good soundtrack and a pretty art style. For ten bucks, you could do a lot worse, but there are plenty of better times to be had on the Vita.

PG5_10

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Playstation 4 Playstation 4 News

Sony Announces Playstation 4

On Wednesday Sony held a press conference announcing the Playstation 4, and if you didn’t catch it, here’s everything that happened. From specs, games, to even the final controller design, Sony announced a lot, and this will cover it all.

First and foremost, they announced the Playstation 4 and its specs. Here they are:

  • 8GB unified RAM
  • X86 graphics processor
  • Harddrive (Unknown space amounts)
  • Enhanced PC GPU

They then showed a game being made by the console architect, Mark Cerny, called Knack. The game has has a cartoony look, and seems pretty humorous. We saw little gameplay that looked pretty fun.

Dualshock 4

While they were debuting the console, they went in depth on the controller. It looks sleeker and more comfortable then the Dualshock 3 and that is good because this is the final design. It is basically the same as the Dualshock 3, but with a few major and minor changes. The two major changes are the touchpad, and the “Share” button. We don’t know anything about what the touchpad will do, but Sony really put some effort into that share button. The share button, allows you to record footage of whatever game you are playing, and stream it to Ustream, or post it to Youtube or Facebook. I will talk more about this later in the article.

After all this, the real star of the show came on, Gaikai. Gaikai is the cloud gaming company that Sony bought a few months back, and they have been hard at work. Here are a few examples of what they are doing for the Playstation 4:

  • Posting of videos via the share button.
  • Stream demos of any games for free.
  • Stream any PS4 game to Vita.
  • Remote play other people’s PS4s.
  • (Still Developing) Backwards compatibility on any devices for PS3 games and earlier.
  • Watch exactly what you friends are playing.

These are the things that Gaikai said they were working on, and they said they had many plans for the future as well.

Killzone shadow fall

Sony showed a video with many great developers, to advertise that this was the “Developer’s Console” and how it was shaped by them. But then, they got on to the games. They started with the first party stuff. They did the new Killzone game first, calling it “Killzone: Shadow Fall”. It looked stunning. They did a live demo of a level during the confrence. It looks like Killzone, and I would suspect feels like Killzone. After the level they posted the video to the Killzone Facebook page, using that handy dandy share button. It took the guy on stage literally 15 seconds to upload it right to the page, that’s pretty awesome. I look forward to using this feature a lot.

The next game was Driveclub, a racing game from Evolution Studios. They stressed “team racing” and racing with your friends. I didn’t care much for what they showed; it looked just pretty much like eye candy. They seemed really excited about it. Media Molecule then showed a sculpting app using the Move for the Playstation 4.

The last of the first party games was Sucker Punch, who debuted their title “Infamous: Second Son”. There was no gameplay, and didn’t give us much info about the game, except that there are more people with crazy powers, and Cole is probably not in it.

Sony and Gaikai

As for third party stuff, Sony put up a picture that said “These people are supporting the PS4” that showed a large ammount of third party developers. We got more Watch Dogs from Ubisoft, and Square Enix showed that video from a year ago that everybody speculated was next gen (it is). However, we still got some surprises. Diablo 3 is coming to PS4 as well as PS3, and Bungie’s Destiny is making its way as well to the PS3 and PS4, and Capcom showed of a working title codenamed Deep Down.

They wrapped up the show after that, putting a picture on the screen that said “PS4 Coming Holiday 2013”. Interestingly, we didn’t get a look at the console. With all that was shown, I think it hyped a lot of people up, as well as me, and it was smart to debut before Microsoft.

PS4 realase date

Categories
Playstation VIta Playstation Vita News

So What Happened At Last Night’s Vita Conference?

Sony held a conference early this morning on what was to come for the Playstation Vita. It was filmed in a Nintendo Direct style, with someone talking in front of the camera, then rolling game footage, or having an interview. However, it wasn’t really meant for a US audience. Even though it was prerecorded, and they had time to subtitle it, they didn’t. Most of the games were anime- based RPG’s, along with a lengthy demo of Phantasy Star Online running on the Vita.

To kick off the event, Sony announced a price cut for the Vita in Japan. The price has shifted to 19, 980 Yen, or about 215 dollars. It also seems that this is the price tag of both versions now, 3G and WiFi. It is unclear whether this price drop will also come to America.

PSO2 vita

Sony showed off several games, such as Phantasy Star Online 2 for Vita, Vallhalla Knights 3, and God Eater 2, and debuted new trailers for games such as Soul Sacrifice and Dragon’s Crown. Along with those, they announced two new Vita bundles, The Soul Sacrifice bundle, that includes some Vita skins, a case, and some other game bonuses. There is also a new Vita color with one of the bundles. The Phantasy Star Vita Bundle comes with a slick silver Vita, one that has not been shown before. We in North America have not even been given the red and blue Vitas yet, so I wouldn’t expect the silver one anytime soon.

They also touched on an update to PS Plus in Japan. It looks like PS Plus users in Japan will be getting Uncharted: Golden Abyss for free, along with Dokuro (a platformer with a cool art style), and several other games we couldn’t catch (but they looked like RPGs, surprise, surprise).

When Final Fantasy X HD was talked about, they did something similar to showing Call of Duty Black Ops Declassified at E3 last year. No screenshots, no footage, just a verbal update that it still exists.

Another thing I found interesting, is that they are running a Cross Buy/Cross Play thing in Japan, but with the PSP and Vita. If you buy God Eater Burst on PSP, you get God Eater 2 on Vita. You can also cross play–or cross something–between the games, because they showed footage running next to each other with arrows, similar to what SCEA does when they show Cross Save from Vita to PS3.

gundam

They also announced Gundam Breaker, which looks insane; it even slowed the stream on my computer. Soul Sacrifice looked great as always, and we know we are getting that game so I can at least be excited for that one. Those were the games that stood out to me, but what did you think? Post in the comments below, or send me an email at noah@provengamer.com.

Categories
Playstation 3 Playstation VIta Playstation Vita Reviews

Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time Review

Sly Cooper Thieves in Time does not have the same developer or graphics, but it is still Sly, and that’s a really good thing. Sly Cooper Thieves in Time is a stealthy platforming game with tons of content, a good story, and humor that doesn’t get old. Sanzaru’s love for the franchise really shines through, as they were able to emulate it perfectly over to the PS3 and Vita. Even though this is Sanzaru’s first game, it is a pretty darn good one.

Sly has a single player campaign, but it is filled to the brim with content. There are about 8 missions to a chapter, and each mission lasts from 20 to 30 minutes. The main story lasts about a good 15 hours, and if you want all of the clue bottles, Sly masks, and treasures, prepare to spend a lot more time with Sly. The story of the game is that the book written by Sly’s ancestors, The Thevius Raccounus, is losing the information right off the pages. Sly needs to go back in time, and rewrite Cooper history, along with his friends, Murray, and Bentley. You meet plenty of interesting characters along the way with great senses of humor, including ancestors and bosses. You can’t go 2 minutes in this game without Sly making a wisecrack or another character cracking a joke or a pun or just a funny phrase. It really adds to the game, making it less serious and lots more fun.

sly2

Ever since the first Sly game the boss missions have been my favorite. Bentley gives you an elaborate slideshow on what you will be doing and he sends you off. You play as every character during these: the original Cooper Gang, and sometimes special guests, each with their own little task. It adds an interesting dynamic and is super fun to play. At the end, you finally face a boss. The boss has cool attacks, but they can usually be easily timed, and dodged. There are huge set pieces jump around the level a lot which you must traverse to get to the boss. They take a while to beat, and at the end it transitions very nicely to the next time period, fitting in to the story perfectly.

Even though it is a platformer, there are plenty of other things to mix up the game and keep it fresh. There are dance minigames, shoot ‘em ups, and even a whack-a-mole type of game. These are things you would never expect in a Sly game, but they just feel right. They didn’t feel like a chore and they actually added some spice to the game. If you want some more of these types of games, there is a separate package with a ton more of these minigames in the Bentley’s Hackpack PSN game for $4 dollars.

sly1

As much as I love this game, there are still some problems; old and new. Most of the regular enemies are quite dumb. I can stand literally a couple feet right in front of them and they usually will not see me. Also, the enemies are all the same! They all have the same attacks, and it seems like they just re-skinned the enemies over and over to fit the theme of the chapter. The one last problem I had with the game was the ridiculous load times. On both the PS3 and Vita, it takes very long to load levels, missions, and even the hideout. It really got annoying, but it’s a small price to pay for the game’s beauty.

sly3

Speaking of the game’s beauty, it is very pretty. Running through the open areas in the Japan level, and staring down at it from the tallest building, you could see all the time and effort that went into creating this game. The Vita game is still stunning, but obviously not as pretty as its console twin. The Vita version doesn’t compromise on anything but that, so the games are the exact same thing. L2 and R2 controls are moved to the touchscreen, but nothing other than that.

The trophies are difficult, if you are bad at looking for collectibles. Other than that, the trophies are given for the story, and for acing dance minicamps, and such. Also, the Vita and PS3 have separate trophy lists, so if I earn 12 trophies on my Vita, when I sync it over, I will unlock 12 trophies on PS3. It is reminiscent of Sound Shapes, if you did the “cross” features in that game. So overall, the trophies in this game are difficult but fun, and will take you a long while to achieve.

Sanzaru did an excellent job emulating the PS2 classic on to the PS3 and Vita, in both the good, and the very minimal bad parts. The story is original, the humor is great, and the gameplay is just fun. With “cross” everything, you really can’t go wrong. Even with my tiny gripes, it was still a fun experience. I had a great time playing this game, and if anyone from Sanzaru is reading this, I promise you I will be first in line to buy Sly 5. Guaranteed.

PG9_10

Categories
Playstation VIta Playstation Vita Reviews

Super Crate Box Review

Super Crate Box was and forever will be an excellent mobile game. The extremely short rounds make the game easy to play in short spurts, exactly what most people want in a mobile game. There was only one thing missing though: actual button and analog controls. That’s what the Playstation Mobile Vita version of this game brings.

The game is basically a 2D side-scroller, but enclosed. You play as a little guy running around the 4 different areas in the game. The main goals are to dodge the enemies and collect the boxes. Each box supplies you with a new gun, from pistols to miniguns to laser rifles. You must use these guns, because if an enemy reaches the bottom, he comes back red, angry, and twice as fast. All the while there are tons of enemies streaming out of the top of the stage. This results in very crazy, frenetic gameplay that makes the rounds only about thirty seconds long.

scb1

There are 3 different stages all offering something new. The enemies go a different way. There are new characters and weapons to unlock, and new colors and stage layouts. The game is able to do all this, while still maintaining the fun gameplay that keeps us coming back for more.

 

I’ll admit it now. I’m obsessed with the stats screen. It gives me information on how long I’ve obsessed over this awesome game (too long), how many total crates I’ve collected, how many times I’ve killed and died from every enemy, and all of my unlocks. This is great for people like me who constantly like to check their stats.

20754screenshot-03-discgun-imminent-800px

There is an exciting, upbeat 8-bit audio track for each stage that is exciting and fun at first, but after 30 seconds it seems like it is looping over and over. This sadly makes the audio go bland after couple minutes and then starts to become flat out annoying. I like the soundtrack I just wish there could be more, so that I’m not hearing the same thing over and over again every thirty seconds. Similarly, the gun noises sound very good at first, but after hearing that pistol blast 1,000 times, it will get annoying. The game’s art style is the wonderful pixel-art style we all know and love. The shape and polish to every detail in the game from the character models, to the bullet shapes, to the guns is superb. Even the extra character models you can collect have amazing and creative shapes and sizes.

 

This is an addictive, enjoyable game that you can pay for once and get on all your Android devices and your Vita. The Vita one is the one that improves it, adding button and analog controls. The soundtrack is good, but repetitive and the graphics are awesome. The game is only $3.49, making it almost impossible to pass up.

PG8_10

 

Categories
Playstation 3 PlayStation 3 Reviews Playstation Vita Reviews XBOX 360 Xbox 360 Reviews

Angry Birds Trilogy Review

My guess is that you don’t own the Angry Birds Trilogy, but that you have played most of the content before. This is just a re-release of the first 3 Angry Birds games, the original, Rio, and Seasons on consoles and select handhelds. The thing is, this game doesn’t belong on consoles. It started as a mobile game, and should stay a mobile game. The thing is it costs 1300% more than the mobile games, yes, this game costs 40$.

Angry Birds is a simple game. You launch birds at structures to knock them over and kill all of the pigs in the level. On mobile, you drag the birds back and let go to launch the birds. You can also tap the screen to activate the birds’ special powers. On the PS3, you aim the birds with the analog stick and launch with the x button. You also use X to activate powers. It kind of ruins the fun touch screen interactivity, and the controls feel gimmicky on console.

AB3

The entire reason Angry Birds got popular was because you could play it for only about 5 minutes and still enjoy yourself. That 5 minute aspect is gone with the console version. You can’t have that same short session experience that you can on an iPhone. You also can’t bring your progress on the go: you have to always be on the couch. Angry Birds is a mobile game, and should stay a mobile game.

The Ps3 version adds new levels: HD graphics, full animated cut-scenes, and awful Playstation Move controls. The extra levels are the exact same game though, and there are only about 15 “exclusive to console” levels. , I have to say, the graphics are beautiful, but they were good enough on mobile. The graphics are not a game changer. The cut-scenes are about 15 seconds long and not even very good anyways. The animation style is ugly, and they probably should have put more work into it.

AB2

Don’t even get me started on the Move controls. It is IMPOSSIBLE to be accurate, in a game where you absolutely must be accurate. The cursor is shaky, and has launched birds when I didn’t want it to. I always like to zoom out to see the whole stage to see everything I need to hit, but that’s really hard in the console version. You have to hold a button, and flick your wrist up like 10 times. It is ok but can get aggravating, because it resets when you restart a level.

Finally, if you enjoy extremely difficult trophies, and have way too much time on your hands, this game is good for you. There are easy ones, but then there is a trophy: the hardest, most time consuming trophy ever. If you have ever played an Angry Birds game, you know how hard getting 3 stars on one level is. Now try getting three stars on every level across every game. It will easily take over 150 hours, and probably much longer than that.

AB1

The Angry Birds games are fun, but not on console. With gimmicky controls, and a ridiculous price, I don’t think that the Angry Birds Trilogy is worth it, especially with all of the great games coming out in 2013. I think you should save your money for a better game that is actually a well-suited game for console, and not just a hopeless grab for money.

PG4_10

Categories
Playstation VIta Playstation Vita Reviews

escapeVektor Review

EscapeVektor by itself is an excellent puzzle game. But the developers at Nnooo wanted to add a story, something to push you onward, and passed with flying colors. The story isn’t just to break up the levels, the story actually means something. The puzzles, and the way you pass them, are excellent too. There is so much great content in this 10 dollar package it’s astounding.

In escapeVektor you follow the story of a man named Vektor, who has been trapped inside a computer. He wants to escape, but is held in by the evil CPU. You play as Vektor, guiding yourself out of the computer. Throughout the story, Vektor “codes” new powers from completing nodes and recovering Vektor’s memories from before he entered the CPU. You upgrade these powers by scoring high on levels. Upgrades include a larger blast radius for your detonate attack, a larger boost capacity and so on. He also hacks you wild cards, which I’ll go into detail in later. This is very creative, and shows they definitely spent a while on the game.

Screenshot_escapeVektor_02

To help Vektor escape, you must guide him across lines in the computer. At first this is simple, but then, the CPU “adapts” and starts to throw enemies at you. The game has an easy learning curve, starting out rudimentary, but then slowly progressing to get harder across the 150 “nodes” or levels. It starts to get crazy with laser gates, enemies that eat your progress in the levels, and alarms that make the enemies go twice as fast. These made the levels hard, but not “OH MY GOODNESS! WHY CAN’T I PASS THIS LEVEL!!!” hard. I had to retry a few times, but after a while I finally figured it out.

There also is a scoring and medal system in the game, in which you get points for filling in the levels, killing enemies, and finishing within the time limit. But the catch is; to get a gold or platinum medal, you (usually) have to use a wild card. A wild card doubles your score for the level, but can only be used once. If you die on that attempt, it is gone forever. The only ways to get new wild cards are by setting a new personal best on a level, or sometimes Vektor hacks them for you at random times.

escapevektor3

There are bonus nodes too, but they’re different from the rest. You can use them to upgrade your powers, or just for playing the game more. They have different rules to them, like time mode and eraser mode. Time mode is just a timed level–you have to finish in the time limit. Eraser mode is extremely difficult; if you run over a line you have made already, it disappears. You really need to strategize on these, and definitely plan out patterns to pass the node.

Nnooo has never developed for the Vita before, but you could never tell. The game has a cool gyroscope feature, great trophies, beautiful graphics, and an awesome soundtrack. The gyroscope lets you see around the level, and is cool while you are stationary. If you are in a car, or anywhere moving, it doesn’t work, but it is easily turned off. But in the right circumstances, it works pretty well.

The trophies are good and fair, like leveling up Vektor all the way, or unlocking every zone. They’re all obtainable for sure, except for one that will really give you trouble. That trophy is for finishing every level without detonating. And once you’ve played this, you’ll understand why it’s nearly impossible.

escapeVektor_screenshot04

escapeVektor is beautiful, and looks very sharp on the Vita’s OLED screen. The camera angles really show off the vibrant levels and colors well. Even the menus look good, which is a plus. The soundtrack goes with the game well. Even my dad said “Is that that the music game? (referring to Sound Shapes)” and he really likes the music from that.

escapeVektor is a must buy, and probably the best puzzle game on the Vita yet. I enjoyed the game a ton and I am going to try for the platinum medal in every level (even though that’s unlikely). Plain and simple, you should buy this game, it is a great time.

PG9_10

 

Categories
Playstation 3 Playstation 3 News

Check out Sony’s 13 for 13 PSN Sale

Sony always has great “kick off the year” sales, and this year is no different. Sony has revealed on the Playstation Blog, that they will kick off the new year offering 13 games at 50% off, and 75% for Playstation Plus members. The sale will include movies, but not at that wonderful 50% off. The sale will run for one week only, Jan. 22 through Jan 28, so jump on these deals as fast as you can.

The list of games include:

  • LittleBigPlanet Karting – Regular $39.99, Sale $19.99, PS Plus $10.00
  • The Unfinished Swan – Regular $14.99, Sale $7.49, PS Plus $3.75
  • Ratchet & Clank – Regular $14.99, Sale $7.49, PS Plus $3.75
  • Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy – Regular $7.99, Sale $3.99, PS Plus $2.00
  • Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds Complete Collection – Regular $24.99, Sale $12.49, PS Plus $6.25
  • Warp – Regular $9.99, Sale $4.99, PS Plus $2.50
  • Shank 2 – Regular $9.99, Sale $4.99, PS Plus $2.50
  • NiGHTS into dreams… – Regular $9.99, Sale $4.99, PS Plus $2.50
  • Jet Set Radio – Regular $9.99, Sale $4.99, PS Plus $2.50
  • The House of the Dead: OVERKILL Extended Cut – Regular $19.99, Sale $9.99, PS Plus $5.00
  • Psychonauts – Regular $9.99, Sale $4.99, PS Plus $2.50
  • Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 13 – Regular $39.99, Sale $19.99, PS Plus $10.00
  • Machinarium – Regular $9.99, Sale $4.99, PS Plus $2.50

 

 

And the list of movies:

  • Ted – Regular (SD) $14.99, Sale (SD) $12.99, Regular (HD) $19.99, Sale (HD) $17.99
  • Pitch Perfect – Regular (SD) $14.99, Sale (SD) $12.99, Regular (HD) $19.99, Sale (HD) $17.99
  • The Cabin in the Woods – Regular (SD) $14.99, Sale (SD) $9.99, Regular (HD) $19.99, Sale (HD) $12.99
  • Total Recall – Regular (SD) $14.99, Sale (SD) $12.99, Regular (HD) $17.99, Sale (HD) $12.99
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild – Regular (HD) $14.99, Sale (HD) $12.99
  • The Raid: Redemption (Unrated) – Regular (SD) $14.99, Sale (SD) $12.99, Regular (HD) $17.99, Sale (HD) $12.99
  • Safety Not Guaranteed – Regular (SD) $14.99, Sale (SD) $12.99, Regular (HD) $17.99, Sale (HD) $12.99
  • Arthur Christmas – Regular (SD) $14.99, Sale (SD) $12.99, Regular (HD) $17.99, Sale (HD) $12.99
  • Pirates! Band of Misfits – Regular (SD) $14.99, Sale (SD) $12.99, Regular (HD) $17.99, Sale (HD) $12.99
  • Safe – Regular (SD) $14.99, Sale (SD) $9.99, Regular (HD) $19.99, Sale (HD) $12.99
  • Margaret – Regular (SD) $12.99, Sale (SD) $10.99, Regular (HD) $15.99, Sale (HD) $10.99
  • The Do-Deca Pentathalon – Regular (SD) $12.99, Sale (SD) $10.99, Regular (HD) $14.99, Sale (HD) $10.99
  • Bernie – Regular (SD) $14.99, Sale (SD) $7.99, Regular (HD) $19.99, Sale (HD) $9.99

Personally, I will be picking up the Unfinished Swan and probably Psychonauts. NiGHTS into dreams… looks pretty cool as well. As for movies, nothing really interests me. Now tell me, what will you be picking up? You can message me on PSN at OTHERWISECIV, or email me at Noah@provengamer.com.

 

Source: Playstation Blog