Omni Systems brings its latest project to the PlayStation Vita and supported Android platforms this week with the release of Eufloria Adventures, a PlayStation Mobile-exclusive follow-up to its ambient real-time strategy game Eufloria.
Eufloria Adventures puts players in control of a single floating Seedling Ship for a series of exploration-based challenges, contrasting the strategic, troop-swarming gameplay of the original Eufloria. Levels are procedurally generated, and players can choose to specialize in Speed, Strength, or Energy attributes as the difficulty ramps up at lower depths.
Eufloria Adventures includes both a casual mode focusing on low-key exploration and a roguelike mode for hardcore players. The game is available from the PlayStation Store for $7.99.
Natsume announced that it will release a digital PSone Classics version of Taito's Bust-a-Move 4 this spring, bringing the classic bubble-bursting puzzler to the PlayStation 3, PSP, and PS Vita.
Bust-a-Move 4 expands on the color-matching gameplay of Taito's arcade-born Puzzle Bobble series with new pulley mechanics, challenging players to balance bubble clusters throughout its single-player Puzzle mode. The game also includes a friendship-straining competitive Versus mode, along with an Edit mode that allows players to create and save up to 25 custom level layouts.
A specific release date for Bust-a-Move 4 was not announced.
It's football, fantasy, and FMX in this week's line-up of PlayStation Store additions for North America, starting with the full launch of Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn. PS4 players can hook up with the subscription MMO for $40, or $60 if they fancy some in-game items from the Collector's Edition. You can also transfer a PS3 copy across to PS4 - Amazon has the PS3 version going for $25.
Next it's FMX: RedLynx's next attempt to break your controllers is Trials Fusion, and it's the first in the series to arrive on PlayStation. The PS4 game - also available on Xbox One, 360, and PC - adds freestyle tricks to the trademark mix of motocross and puzzle-platforming. The regular game is $20 but if you're wheelie keen for the upcoming DLC, a Deluxe Edition is $40 and comes with the season pass.
Speaking of puzzles, the PS4 also gets a few brainteasers this week. Pure Chess and Backgammon Blitz are $8 each - you can get a game-pack stuffed Deluxe Edition of Pure Chess for $15 - and finally, That Trivia Game will set you back That Ten Dollars.
Onto to PS3, and football - the rounder, kickier kind. The catchily titled 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil is only on PS3 and Xbox 360, and you can score it as a $60 download on the former. Meanwhile, Beyond: Two Souls has been out for a while, but it's also now on PSN as a $60 download. Don't forget, this week's PS Plus freebie is the new Castle of Illusion, and that comes bundled with the Genesis original as a nostalgic bonus.
Finally, the Vita has plenty of new releases including Conception 2 ($40, also out on 3DS) and Cross-Buy portable versions of Dead Nation ($8) and Ethan: Meteor Hunter ($10). For the full list of new releases, sales, and Plus discounts, head over to the PlayStation Blog.
MechRunner, an endless runner/action game featuring mechs and a wonderfully suitable name, is coming to the PS4, Vita, PC and Mac in July, developer Spark Plug Games has announced. To help add additional polish to the game, Spark Plug is turning to Kickstarter with a campaign targeting $25,000. A $10 pledge will net Kickstarter users a copy of the game for either PC/Mac via Steam or a cross-play version for the PS4 and Vita.
"The game is feature complete, fully playable, and in its final stages before we launch in July 2014," the Kickstarter campaign page says, indicating that regardless of the crowdfunding effort's outcome, MechRunner will be released.
MechRunner is a video game adaptation of Jane Austen's seminal work, Pride and Prejudice. Wait, no... the story follows a giant mech that can also turn into a tank with an affinity for destroying just about anything that stands in its way, which sounds more like the story in Charles Dickens' Great Expectations.
MechRunner is the North Carolina-based developer's second attempt at Kickstarter success. In 2012, the developer canceled a project called Steampunk Bullet Train, which sought the same funding total before the end of its campaign.
[Image: Spark Plug Games]
The term "simulation" is appropriate for MLB 14: The Show, but not just because of its beautiful presentation, a defining trait of the series that's become a benchmark for other sports video games. Rather, MLB 14: The Show earns its simulation stripes by continuing the series' tradition of challenging players with mechanics and statistics that mirror the real sport. While MLB's gameplay has changed little this year, no matter what option players select for pitching, fielding and hitting (we'll get to that later), they will fail or succeed as regularly as athletes do in the big leagues.
Yet much like the faithfully-recreated and wildly differing batting stances of hitters in the game, MLB 14: The Show truly makes its mark in the baseball sim series by being one thing: dynamic.
On April 17, Terraria will receive a "massive and free" update on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Vita. Update 1.2 makes numerous tweaks to the console version and adds plenty of fresh content, including four new bosses, additional NPCs, new pets, and "over 1,000 new items."
The console version change log, which the game's official forum notes is "a direct copy from the PC change log with console exclusive changes added to them," notes a few other additions, including new ores, wood types, brick types and the ability to now imbue melee weapons.
Update 1.2 makes a few improvements to Terraria's graphical fidelity as well, making the sun brighter and making midnight in the open world darker. "Hell houses have been remodeled," the change log adds, which is itself a feat considering just how lazy the contractors in hell are.
The complete list of changes detailed on the official Terraria forum, can be found after the break.
[Image: Re-Logic / 505 Games]
Following a 2010 PlayStation 3 debut and a recent PlayStation 4 release, Dead Nation will complete the Sony trifecta by reaching the Vita handheld on April 15.
Originally developed by Housemarque (the studio responsible for Joystiq-favorite shooter Resogun), Dead Nation drops players into an ongoing zombie apocalypse. From a top-down perspective, would-be survivors navigate a decrepit city, blasting hordes of ambulatory corpses while collecting health packs, explosives and cash useful for upgrading both guns and a player's armor. Despite the zombies, Dead Nation is best described as an arcade shooter, rather than a horror game, though players should expect to see lots of gore and ominous shadows.
On debut, the Vita version of Dead Nation will be available from the PlayStation Network Store at a price of $8, while the game's Road To Devastation DLC will feature a $4 price tag. If you already own the PlayStation 3 version of Dead Nation, you will be able to download the Vita game for free.
Between PS1 Classics and newer games like Persona 4 Golden, the unheralded PlayStation Vita has become an essential beast for JRPG fans and today brings news of more cool Japanese stuff for western gamers.Read more...
Freedom Wars, announced for Japan last year, is coming to North America at some point in 2014. Sony announced the news on their YouTube channel alongside this new trailer (above) for the upcoming Vita game, which lets you team up with other players to take down monsters and shoot your way through prison colonies.
Looks neat.Read more...
Galak-Z will "have to be out by this fall," developer 17-BIT's CEO Jake Kazdal told us at PAX East. The new game from the Skulls of the Shogun developer, which also has a strong spiritual connection with Solar Jetman, will launch first on PS4, followed by Vita and Steam.
The top-down physics-based roguelike gameplay is highlighted by action reminiscent of Asteroids. "It's not about waves of enemies," said Kazdal. "It's about leading shots, the AI becomes apparent as you play. We put a lot of work into the AI dodging shots and being something we don't normally see in arcade shooters."
PAX East attendees can check out the game inside the Indie Megabooth.
Zen Studios continues to expand its nigh-ubiquitous virtual pinball offerings with the April 29 debut of four additional tables for Star Wars Pinball.
Included in the quartet of tables, collectively dubbed "Heroes Within," are Han Solo, Star Wars: Episode 4 - A New Hope, Star Wars Pinball: Masters of the Force, and, newly-revealed today, Star Wars Pinball: Droids. As its name suggests, that last one is a table focused on the adventures of R2D2 and C3PO. While you'd think an effete stereotype and a beeping trash can would live sedate lives, as the trailer above demonstrates, our plucky metallic duo must contend with Jawas and inexplicably dangerous machinery while attempting to escape the iconic Sandcrawler.
Though no price has been assigned to the Heroes Within DLC, Zen Studios notes that these four tables will be available to all Star Wars Pinball platforms on April 29.
[Image: Zen Studios]
Sony kicked off a PlayStation Network Easter sale in Europe today, dropping the prices of dozens of featured games -- including Retro City Rampage, Hotline Miami, and Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate -- for a limited time.
Starting today, PlayStation 3 owners in Europe can pick up digital versions of Battlefield 4 for €29.99, The Jak and Daxter Trilogy for €19.99, and the recently updated PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale for €9.99. PlayStation Vita fans can grab cheap copies of The Walking Dead, TxK, Terraria, Spelunky, Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition and many more sale-eligible games throughout the month.
Sony's Europe-exclusive Easter Sale ends April 30.
PaRappa the Rapper now stands a greater chance of winning a fistfight with Kratos, as Sony has released a major update for its franchise crossover fighter PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale targeting character balance.
The patch institutes more than 100 balance tweaks across its entire playable roster, ranging from frame adjustments to major gameplay additions. The game's throw system has been overhauled, players can now manually disengage timed super moves, and double-jumps can no longer be chained off of certain attacks and recovery animations, among other significant changes.
Battle Royale's latest update also unlocks alternate costumes for add-on characters Isaac and Zeus. Both characters are included as part of "The Graveyard Pack," a DLC expansion on sale for $1.99 through April 24.
Muramasa: The Demon Blade was truly a lovely game. While it was originally released in 2009, there are now allegations that it's been copied by a Korean game developer. There are claims that the knock-off even stole Muramasa's original code. Read more...
This week's PSN update brings PlayStation systems the the smallest of people in their smallest versions, courtesy of the newly released Lego: The Hobbit. It's out at retailers for PS4, PS3, and Vita, but if you'd prefer a download version it's also on the PlayStation Store.
That'll set you back $60 on PS4, $50 on PS3 and $30 on Vita, so if you're after the smaller of prices, King Oddball at $7 might pick your fancy. The physics-based puzzler has an Angry Birds flavor, except it has a floating rock head who chucks smaller rocks around with his bizarrely long tongue. Oh and he has a crown on his head. It's been out on Vita for a little while as well as iOS, Android, and a few other platforms, but this is its debut on PS4.
PS4 also has the new Director's Cut of Strike Suit Zero for $20, while the PS3 makes do with a Sonic Unleashed download for the same price. If you're after a more palatable vintage, Persona 4 is this week's PS2 Classic re-release, meaning you can get it on PS3 for $10.
Finally, Stealth Inc: A Clone in the Dark is the latest PS Plus freebie for subscribers, and Episode 3 of Telltale's The Wolf Among Us is available to PS3 owners, priced at $5.
Borderlands 2 comes to Vita on May 13, Sony just announced. Starting May 6, you can also get a bundle with the game, a Vita Slim, and an 8 GB memory card for $200. (Not that 8 GB is enough; if you really want to take advantage of the Vita—which is a great system!—you'll need a 32 GB card.)Read more...
I counted them: There are loads of bloodsoaked murders in the new trailer for Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number. Okay, I've watched it a few times and it's so fast-paced I'm still not sure, but I think there are at least 30 of them in there. Considering all the action takes place in the video's middle 30 seconds, that's some properly time-efficient ultra-violence.
For all of that, the trailer also has that darker edge that developer Dennaton Games has talked about bringing to the sequel. The studio promises things like more weapons and more enemies in Wrong Number, but it wants to put greater emphasis on the narrative.
"We want to work with other feelings than just being disturbed or feeling awesome," Dennaton's Denis Wedin told us at last year's E3 conference. "They're still in there, a lot of disturbed stuff and things to make the player feel great when they finish a stage, but we also want to see if we can add some bit of sadness to the game. This is the last game; it's the finale for Hotline Miami. We're gonna work with how you cope with things ending. All of our characters in the game, they're all going to meet the end of their mission or life or dreams. We're going to see how you cope with that."
Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number dials into PS4, Vita, and PC in Q3 this year.
[Image: Devolver Digital]
The middle part of a story is always the toughest. Lacking the oomph of the intro or the satisfaction of the conclusion, it must nevertheless keep events moving forward, stalwartly fulfilling its duty as the lynchpin keeping the entire narrative together. "A Crooked Mile," Episode 3 of Telltale's episodic whodunnit The Wolf Among Us, lacks the high drama of what's come before it and sets up the questions that will be answered in the Episodes to come. As a result, it's a good storytelling soldier, letting itself be bland and bleak so that the other chapters can shine.
Without spoiling the specific events of the first two episodes, Bigby and Snow have a promising lead into their investigation about the two murders, but it's one that hits uncomfortably close to home. No sooner have they started examining options as to how to follow up this lead than Bluebeard barges in and starts throwing his weight around. He has a large financial investment in Fabletown, and feels entitled to running whatever bits of it he feels like - so what if he's not actually an elected official or the Sheriff? He's rich and belligerent and it's going to take more than an ex-princess in a well-tailored suit to stop him.
Online electronics retailer Newegg is offering a $10 discount on PlayStation Plus subscriptions via its eBay store, discounting a one-year subscription to $39.99.
PlayStation Plus subscriptions, normally priced at $49.99 for 12 months, entitle users to a rotating bundle of free PlayStation 3, PS Vita, and PS4 titles from Sony's Instant Game Collection, with new games arriving weekly. This month's additions include Batman: Arkham City, Mercenary Kings, and Velocity Ultra, among other featured games.
Curve Studios' sneaky puzzle-platformer Stealth Inc. A Clone in the Dark is set to join the PlayStation Plus Instant Game Collection this week. Both the PlayStation 3 and PS Vita versions of the game will be available as free downloads for PS Plus subscribers starting tomorrow.
Originally known as Stealth Bastard, Stealth Inc. features more than 80 levels in which players must avoid detection and outwit deadly traps while searching for an escape. An enhanced version, Stealth Inc. Ultimate Edition, hit the PlayStation 4 last month, bundling the core game and all previously released DLC in a single standalone package.
PlayStation Plus subscribers also get a 20 percent discount on the upcoming PlayStation 4 version of Strike Suit Zero: Director's Cut this week, dropping its price to $15.99.
Luftrausers from Vlambeer is full of fiction. Its name is a made up word, and the game takes place in an alternate history, set some 10 to 15 years after World War II. The game's imagery, however, from its maniacal scientists and sharp-dressed military officers to its skull-emblazoned logo, are evocative of the very real Nazi party of the mid 1940s. This has made some players uncomfortable, which Vlambeer co-founder Rami Ismail addressed on the company's site earlier today.
Ismail noted that, while he believes that no interpretation of a game is "wrong," he and his fellow developers did not intentionally place players into the role of a Nazi pilot. Instead, Ismail said the game was inspired by the period between 1900 and 1980 where opposing governments were "capable of determining whether an opposing military force was working on secret weapons, but not quite what those weapons were."
The goal of Luftrausers, according to Ismail, was to have players take control of such a weapon. The only way for this to make narrative sense was to have players play the bad guys - someone we were spying on. "The player is part of an undefined enemy force that was not on 'our' side during the six or seven decades in which military intelligence was effectively telling us to prepare for a laser-equipped hoverboat assault," Ismail wrote.
Ismail made it clear he was explaining the game's aesthetics, but not excusing them. Ismail and studio partner Jan Willem Nijman are natives to the Netherlands, which was invaded by the Nazis in 1940. "We are extremely aware of the awful things that happened," Ismail wrote, "and we want to apologise to anybody who, through our game, is reminded of the cruelties that occurred during the war."
There’s a place for both fantasy and sci-fi nerds this week, as Strike Suit Zero: Director’s Cut and LEGO The Hobbit come to PlayStation. Rejoice, and bask in the glory of either fandom (Or both!).
Strike Suit Zero: Director’s Cut on PS4 propels gamers into heart-racing battles through space. Participate in an interstellar war and save Earth from destruction using the awe-inspiring Strike Suit — a powerful ship that can transform into a suit of armor. Take on 17 unique story missions, match wits with intelligent enemy fighters, and face colossal capital ships for unparalleled glory. Strike Suit Zero: Director’s Cut features customizable weapon loadouts, multiple craft, and unmatched dogfighting action.
If swords and questing sound more suitable, explore a delightfully blocky Middle-earth with LEGO The Hobbit on PS3, PS4, and PS Vita. Experience the first two feature films in a whole new way, with iconic characters rendered as loveable LEGO heroes. Guide Bilbo, Gandalf, and the Dwarves through familiar locations in an effort to reach the Misty Mountains. Forge new items, mine for gems, and take incredible loot from enemies.
Craving an old-school RPG instead? The original Persona 4 arrives as a PS2 Classic! Read on for a complete list of games coming this week, and enjoy the Drop!
New PlayStation Releases This Week
King OddballPS4 — Digital (Cross Buy with PS Vita)
End the world with boulders! The King uses a trio of rocks — and his tongue — to destroy all that oppose him. Simple, one-button gameplay with more than 120 increasingly difficult challenges. Master the system to make the most of each boulder toss.
LEGO The HobbitPS3, PS4, PS Vita — Digital, Retail
The Misty Mountains are calling. Guide Bilbo, Gandalf, and the Dwarves through familiar locations with a renowned LEGO twist. Collect items, loot, and gems along the way. Experience the thrill of the first two feature films alone or with friends.
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4PS2 Classic — Digital
The classic RPG returns. Conquer the mysteries of the Midnight Channel and save the innocent from an untimely and supernatural death. Command powerful Personas and quest through dungeons to unlock the power within.
Strike Suit Zero: Director’s CutPS4 — Digital
Earth needs saving, and the Strike Suit is ready to save it. Pilot the future’s most devastating weapon through space and engage in heart-pounding dogfights against intelligent enemy fighters. Drink in the spectacle of interstellar war, and live long enough to tell the tale.
Demos and Betas
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle — PS3 Demo King Oddball — PS4 Demo
The information above is subject to change without notice.
PS3 and Steam owners of instakill fighter Divekick receive the free Addition Edition update today, while the Vita ETA is pinned for "shortly there after." The Addition Edition is coming to PS4 and Xbox One when the game debuts on those platforms, but dev Iron Galaxy didn't spill any further news on that.
If you're not clued in on what's new in the Addition Edition, allow us to sum it up (guffaw chortle). In addition (guffaw) to a host of character adjustments that range from tweaks to complete revamps, the update introduces blind select for ranked matches, new tips and how-to-play screens, and d-pad input for menus rather than the madness of using the game's two button controls.
[Image: Iron Galaxy Studios]
While you'll have to wait a bit for the official debut of Zen Studios' pinball table based on Star Wars: Episode 4 - A New Hope, the developer offers the above primer demonstrating just how faithfully it has captured the beloved film in its trademark world of bumpers, lights and rolling metal balls.
[Image: Zen Studios]
Mechanically, To Leave is a very simple game, requiring players to hop from one safe location to another, avoiding hazards along the way. What elevates it beyond those mechanics, at least in my very brief experience with it, is its bold art style and soundscape. A simple platformer becomes the story of a young man escaping from the misery of his life, desperately clinging to a door as it flies through a bizarre dream world. There's no telling if that will be enough to carry a full game, but it makes for a very good first impression (watch the trailer if you haven't already).
For Estefano Palacios, To Leave is much more than the sum of its parts. Palacios is creative director of Ecuadorian studio Freaky Creations and, for him, To Leave is a shot at earning respect for Latin American games and developers. To Leave is headed to PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 4 as part of an incubation program that Sony instituted to court Latin American developers. Palacios believes - and Sony agrees, it would seem - that the region deserves more recognition.
Speaking with Joystiq at GDC, Sony account manager Mike Foster, who is in charge of the incubation program, tells me it came to be in 2007. A member of Sony's developer support group, who happens to be Guatemalan, wanted to "explore the developer landscape in Latin America," says Foster, "because nobody really knows what's going on down there. It's quiet."
NIS America has cleared the way for an upcoming North American and European release of Kadokawa Games' strategy role-playing game, Natural Doctrine, for the PlayStation 3, PS4, and PS Vita.
Launching in Japan this week, Natural Doctrine features an in-depth battle system, offering players a number of strategic options across multiple characters in combat. The game will feature Cross-Play and Cross-Save functionality, allowing players to resume their progress across PlayStation console versions and the PS Vita.
Natural Doctrine will launch at retail and digitally via the PlayStation Network this autumn.
[Image: NIS America]
When you're really excited about an upcoming game, it sometimes helps to completely wipe any trace of it from your memory, as I did with PlayStation Vita Pets. "Oh yeah, that game!" is slated for release next month in Europe and June in North America. I'm so excited I could forget again. Read more...