Falling Out of Love With the Vita

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psvitaDear Vita,

This is so hard to write but I have to tell you that it is over. It’s nothing you did, please don’t blame yourself. Really, it’s not you…it’s me. I just want more than you are capable of giving me. That sounds so selfish and terrible. I hope that you don’t hate me.

We had been growing apart for quite some time. After all, I hadn’t really touched you in a long time and that is no way for a relationship to be. Don’t pretend like you haven’t seen me with my hands on some other console’s sticks during the last few weeks. I don’t want you to try to fool yourself into thinking it wasn’t happening.

I really thought we could give it one last try. We took that trip out of town to see friends and I had such high hopes that we could rekindle what…

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Denial Might Be a River In Japan

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We’ve been outspoken about Nintendo’s ineptitude to say the least. It hasn’t only been in our more recent podcasts that we’ve been critical of the company, we spoke of their issues back in May of 2014. Apparently, we are not the only ones concerned since Michael Pachter has stated his view of Nintendo in a recent interview with GameInformer.

“I think that they are not a particularly introspective bunch. I think that they are still in denial about the Wii U failure.” – Michael Pachter

Pachter spoke about the Xbox and PlayStation platforms, but it was his answers to questions about Nintendo that were the most intriguing. No words were minced when asked about Nintendo and their failure with third-party support for the Wii U. Not only did he feel they have outright failed, he believes that the failure started with third-party support on the Wii and it is unlikely…

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Buyer’s Remorse – PlayStation TV

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pstv-boxFor those with a few bucks to spare, you may want to spare yourself from buying the PlayStation TV.  With the PS TV having been around for over a year since its introduction in Japan as PS Vita TV, it continues to struggle and has only itself to blame.

Available as a base unit for $100 and a bundle for $130, the price point for the system was not necessarily very attractive. The 2014 holiday season saw the price drop, at least temporarily, to $80 and $100, respectively.

pstv-contentsThe base unit is a bare bones configuration consisting of only the PS TV and HDMI cable. The bundle is more robust, offering the PS TV system, HDMI cable, 8GB memory card, The LEGO Movie Videogame, USB cable, and DUALSHOCK 3 controller. The increment in price makes the bundle a far superior value.

pstv-compareTake away the screen of the PS Vita and…

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PAX Prime Sale At Sony

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sony2014paxsaleFor those looking for a price break on some games, Sony is having a sale in honor of PAX Prime. Eighteen games are on sale for up to 60% off and PS Plus members can get up to 80% off the retail price. The sale prices are good through September 1st. Check out the line up to see if there is anything you feel the need to have.

TitlePS Plus PriceSale PriceOriginal Price
Alien Spidy (PS3)$2.50$4.99$9.99
BEYOND: Two Souls (PS3)$19.59$27.99$39.99
BIT.TRIP Presents… Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien (PS Vita)$4.89$6.99$9.99
BIT.TRIP Presents… Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien (PS3)$3.59$5.99$14.99
Bound by Flame (PS3)$19.59$27.99$39.99
Bound by Flame (PS4)$24.49$34.99$49.99
Child of Light (PS3)$10.34$11.49$14.99
Child of Light (PS4)$10.34$11.49$14.99
Closure (PS3)$3.74$4.99$14.99
Don’t Starve:…

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Console Wars: Reality Versus Perception

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Console+Wars_fc3df4_4885012Who’s better and who’s best is not something that can be decided by numbers alone. In sports, people will argue that a team with a perfect record is better just because they never lost. Boxers are unbeatable until they are beaten. When it comes to consoles and games, even the most bitter sports rivalry can be matched.

We can all argue for who we like best and why. We can even disclude the fair-weather fans and fan boys if we want, but inevitably we make our own choices. In the court of public opinion, marketing is an unfortunately heavy influence. Furthermore, marketing likes to lean on raw facts and ways that they can “represent” them to us.

One of the most popular topics of the day is console sales. Even being only eight months into the most recent consoles, people want a winner declared and the war to be over, but…

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Sharknado: The Video Game – This Is Not A Joke

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sharknado2If you can’t wait until July 30th for some Sharknado action, then get your iOS device ready for Sharknado: The Video GameSyfy has promised that the endless runner game for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch will be available before Sharknado 2: The Second One airs on July 30th.

I don’t have the word to describe my giddiness over this. My only hope is that it is as ridiculously stupid as the original movie.

(Source: GameInformer)

Bio Card Paul

Paul Novak is a self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing in the west side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet. Found here at What’s Your Tag? and on the Twitter @dudewantshisrug. Game on with Team XBRO!

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Batman: Arkham Origins Blocked Gate

Batman: Arkham Origins BlackgateOne of the better Vita games I’ve played but that isn’t much of an endorsement.

Batman is on patrol in Gotham when he comes across Catwoman for the first time. After a chase and fight, he apprehends her and she is sent to Blackgate. After a time lapse, Batman is alerted to a riot condition at Blackgate. He goes there to settle the situation only to find it worse than he imagined. The Joker, Penguin, and Black Mask are all working plans to use the chaos to expand their criminal enterprises. Now Batman must stop all of them and deal with Catwoman who has tentatively aligned herself as an ally.

Much like the console Batman games, there are good and bad things about this game. As I stated previously, this is one of the better games that I have played on the Vita. With that said though it was also one of the most frustrating. Controls were a big issue throughout the game. When trying to enter an air shaft or other crawl space, you are prompted to hold O or X but if you do not press and hold it as the exact time the game expects you to you may or may not enter into the air shaft. The same timing issue also crops up in game action during fights, particularly when trying to counter an enemy. This is a huge frustration during certain boss fights. On the plus side, the graphics were very good for a handheld game. Keep in mind that this is not meant to be the equal of a Batman console game and is exactly what it was meant to be, a handheld game. The available actions and gadgets are scaled back and this is another plus. It would have been a disservice to the player to try to make them aim a Batarang as they do on the console version.

Even though the name implies a connection to the Batman: Arkham Origins game, there is little if any link other than the name. The story doesn’t hand-off or pick up much if anything from the console game. There is an attempt to bring the two together in the credits if you watch through them. I personally could not figure out when this game fits into the timeline of the Batman game series. It has to be after the story in Origins but felt like it was before Arkham City. If you or anybody knows how this timeline works, feel free to let me know.

As much as I want to recommend this game I can’t, at least not at the current asking price. I enjoyed the game in the long run but also can’t say that its value was worth the cost.  Amazon and other retailers are still asking about $35 for the game.

Unfortunately, this game and its console companion have been less than what I expected. Perhaps the only hope left is that Rocksteady will take the reins back and do things right on the next-gen consoles but will I still be interested by then???

Dead Pace

Dead SpaceA side story to the console classics that makes me want to play the full Dead Space games.

Vandal is tasked by the church on a special mission. Quickly, the mission goods terribly wrong and Vandal’s actions have released an unknown horror that raises the dead as horrible, thoughtless, and violent creatures. In trying to stop the creatures from spreading, Vandal is betrayed again. There is only one last chance to halt the creatures escape and find redemption.

Having never played any of the Dead Space games, this was somewhat new territory for me. I knew a little bit of the Dead Space background and that the iOS game did not have the same characters as the console games. That was not an issue since this game played as a separate story in the same universe. The tone of the game was well done. There were several times I found myself genuinely surprised. Many times it seemed like you were mundanely walking along only to be suddenly attacked.

If you want to play this game you’ll to accept some of the limitations of the platform it is on. The graphics and sound are good considering the platform. For a third person shooter to work the controls had to be modified. Moving around works much like a left analog stick but panning up, down, and side to side is swipe based. The character will only turn so far based on how far you swipe, it will not continue to turn if you leave your thumb at the end of your swipe. This seemed to be more workable than emulating dual analog sticks as other iOS games I have played chose to try.This game played well on my iPad but I felt that the controls may have been better suited for the iPhone screen. I tried to play it on my tv via Air Play but found myself having to look at the iPad when an action required me to tap a specific area.

As much as this game made me interested in the Dead Space universe and story, there is little chance that I’ll actually play the console games. There is just too much coming up that I want to be in on. Perhaps if there is a lull in new releases I’ll come back for these.

At $9.99 the game is in the pricey range for what it is. Beware of the micro-transactions in the game. A lot of money could get dumped into this game real quick and I’m not sure it would be worth it. I had gotten this game for free while Apple was giving it away and I don’t think the in-game purchases are worthwhile even with not paying for the actual game.

Fast & Furious Sux: The Game

ff6Do you like cars? Do you like fast cars? Do you like cars racing? Do you like loose plots of people racing cars and fighting crime? Then you are a Fast & Furious fan. While you wait for the sixth movie to arrive, take some time to download this game but set your expectations appropriately.

Let’s take a look at the good and the bad things about the game.

Good things – it’s free, great graphics, and good controls. The base game is free but it uses micro-transactions(more on that later). I played this game on an iPad 3 and was very impressed by the quality of the graphics. Every car looks exactly like its real world counterpart and as you add upgrades the detail is shown every time you race. You don’t steer your car in this game. The game is based on drag racing so your controls are for shifting, drifting, and nitrous.

Now on to the bad – unclear ranking system, micro-transactions, and waiting for purchases. Each car is rated based on the its abilities/characteristics(grip, power, weight, gearbox, and suspension) but it doesn’t seem to correlate correctly. For example, in one race my car has a rating of 300 and the opponent has a rating of 278. Based on that I should be able to win but some how this opponent blows past me on the last half of the race every time. As far as the micro-transactions, some are not so micro. There is a $99.99 transaction in this game and I’m not sure that gets you everything in this game. To get upgrades and cars you have to spend the points and gold you earn racing. If you want to fast track you can buy fake gold for the game with real money from your life. To further exacerbate this, when you buy upgrades for your car you will have to wait fifteen minutes for it to be delivered or you can use gold to get it immediately. This is a blatant and terrible way to draw people into spending money on this game.

The game is both fun and frustrating at the same time. The races are short but well laid out and the controls are easy to follow. Trying to progress through the game is limited by your car’s ability. You won’t be able to progress in the main story line until your car is good enough to win certain races. This goes back to doing other races or straight out paying to earn upgrades. If you are willing to drop cash into an iOS game, you can spend as little as $2.99 or as much as $99.99. I’d be really curious to know how may people paid $99.99 in a free game but I’m sure we’ll never know. The game is good if you want to jump in and out of a quick race every now and then. Check it out and if you don’t like it just delete it. I won’t cost you anything unless you want it to.