Sony Compensating Fans For Recent PSN Downtime

If you were affected by the recent PSN downtime, then Sony is giving you 5 free days of PSN onto your current subscription.

The PlayStation Network was attacked by the Lizard Squad at one of the busiest times of the year, when thousands of gamers are home for the holidays and trying out their new games.

So, to compensate for the downtime, Sony is adding five free days to all PS+ subscribers current subscription. Here’s what Sony wrote on their official blog:

“Since access to PlayStation Network was impacted during the holidays, we wanted to show our appreciation for your patience by offering all PlayStation Plus members that had an active membership or free trial on December 25th a membership extension of five days.”The extension will be automatically applied, so no action is necessary to receive the extension. We will post additional information here on the blog when the extension becomes available. If your membership or trial ends before the extension is available, you will receive five days of Plus to enjoy once the extension becomes available (we will notify you when).

 

In addition, sometime this month we will announce that for a limited time, we will be offering a 10 percent discount code good for a one-time discount off a total cart purchase in the PlayStation Store as a thank you to ALL PSN members.

 

The discount can be used towards great content available on PS Store including blockbuster new releases, award winning indie games, game add-ons and season passes, and an enormous selection of TV and Movies.”

The Next SaGa Game Will Be A PlayStation Vita Exclusive!

Oh yes, the Vita IS getting some love next year.

Squaresoft’s little talked about SaGa series is gearing up for its 25th anniversary, and during a livestream for the occasion SEGA revealed that a new game is in the works. In a shocking turn of events, the game is actually slated to be a PlayStation Vita exclusive! Hooray!

The livestream consisted of footage from all of the previous games in the series, but it ended with two concept art pictures from the upcoming game that is set to release sometime next year. Very little to go on, but hopefully it delivers something for Vita owners to be excited about. Check out the artwork below. SaGa PlayStation VitaSaGa PlayStation Vita

Vita Sales Heating Up Thanks To PS4’s Remote Play

Don’t count out the Vita yet!

The Vita has been almost entirely ignored lately, with Sony’s full attention being on the PlayStation 4. The Vita has failed to really gain any traction, which has resulted in the lack of any major titles being developed for the system.

However, SCEA President and CEO, Shawn Layden, recently spoke with IGN about where the Vita currently stands and remains hopeful for its future. He mentioned how the Remote Play functionality that lets PlayStation 4 owners control those games with a Vita system has boosted the Vita’s sales:

“Vita sales have actually been picking up ever since we enabled Remote Play on the handheld. There’s a lot of interest in the PS4 community to have that opportunity. We have not stood back from it. We have not started to withdraw from it. I think we’re just seeing it maybe move into a new place as far as game content goes. But I’m still keen on it, I still play [it], and I still bring it up with the development community when I see them.”

It’s understandable that Sony wants to give everything they have to the PlayStation 4, due to the fact that they are currently scrambling for exclusives for the new system as it is. However, if the Vita ends up being one that is the home of smaller, more unique titles then so be it. If we can continue to get gems like the Danganronpa series for it then the Vita will slowly but surely continue to build its loyal following.

‘Luminous Arc Infinity’ In The Works For PlayStation Vita

The Luminous Arc series is back, but this time only on Vita.

The Luminous Arc series is still alive. It was revealed at Sony’s pre-TGS press conference that a new game in the series called Luminous Arc Infinity is coming exclusively to the PlayStation Vita. All previous games in the series had appeared on the DS, though there were rumors of a game showing up on the PSP at one point.

The original Luminous Arc game arrived on Nintendo DS in 2007, with sequels following in 2008 and 2009 called Luminous Arc 2 an Luminous Arc 3: Eyes. It’s worth noting that the final entry in the series was only released in Japan, so it’s possible that this game could end up being released exclusively in Japan.

There’s not much else information for this game, but when there is you’ll be sure to find it here.

Condemn O.R. Condone:

I’ve never tried out the Luminous Arc series, as they never really garnered enough attention for me to really get interested in them. However, now that it’s on the Vita and maybe going the reboot route this could be a great time to try it out. Hopefully it does end up coming to North America so I can give you guys a review.

Condemn O.R. Condone – Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection (PlayStation Vita)

Tedium in video game form.

Throughout my experience as a gamer and especially a game writer I have never had to deal with something like Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection. It’s essentially a game of stats, where you must make the right decisions in order to get the optimum stat increases with each given opportunity. Done the right way, this could be a really zany and funny type of game along the lines of the Nintendo DS’s Elite Beat Agents. Unfortunately, this game was not done the right way.

The concept of Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection is simple (and strange): you are a student who is just about to embark on a summer vacation that will be filled with nothing but gaming when you are suddenly summoned to a world called Gameindustri (clever) by 4 goddess-like Console Patron Units (CPUs). These 4 CPUs rule the realm of Gameindustri and each represent one of today’s major consoles, though they are in a bit of deep water. An idol group called MOB48 has passed the CPUs and taken the most shares of Gameindustri, as a result. So, the goddesses want to become idols with your help to win back the shares and return everything back to normal. Got that?

The 4 ladies you have to deal with all feature firm-yet-super-naive personalities as there is no question in their minds that they are going to be pop idols with your help. I ended up with Vert as my “idol” and her character ended up being someone who was a confident and hard worker that had a hardcore gaming attitude. As a result, I had to make sure that she stayed focused on her work and still had the amount of time she wanted to go on gaming marathons. This is the part of the game that I liked the most, because the characters (for the most part) are pretty likable and it’s entertaining to see what they have to say.

Producing Perfection

Unfortunately, the majority of the game has you performing the same actions over and over again which makes everything very tedious. As the producer you have the the following options to perform with your idol: work, lesson, relax, move and concert. Work increases your fanbase while lesson increases personal stats like vocals and rhythm. When you have done too much working and stress has built up you need to make sure that you choose the relax option to bring those stress levels down, as high stress levels result in diminished returns in both work and lessons. Move allows you to relocate to one of the other Gameindustri nations in order to reach new audiences, which brings up new scenarios for the characters to go through. All of these scenarios are implied, however, as you don’t get much more than a quick bit of dialogue showing that the event took place.

The most hands-on option is concert, in which you actually witness your idol performing a song. You get to chose the stage, what your idol wears and stage effects that all effect the audiences engagement in the show. However, your main job is to control the camera and come up with dynamic camera angles for the audience, but the game’s registration capabilities seem really limited in this area. Most of the time I just kind of moved the camera angle around wildly like a nut job and it resulted in me doing better than I did when I was actually trying to get good angles. Thus, the one aspect of the game that has true gameplay is broken.

And you must repeat this process day in and day out to increase your idol’s stats and rise her to the top of the charts before 180 in-game days pass. A day passes after one action has taken place, so the days pass rather quickly. I had no problems getting my idol to the top of the charts way before the 180 days passed, though it still felt like a complete grind because of the lack of depth in these events. You’re basically just selecting one of the 5 options, checking out which stats go up and repeating that process… over and over and over again.

Producing Perfection

Apart from the main mode you also have a Viewer Mode, which is perhaps the most weird part of the game. You are just given a screen of an idol of your choosing that you can touch and watch them react in a bunch of random and disturbing ways. It’s one of those things where you really just kind of scratch your head wondering why it’s in the game at all. I guess in a game that has literally no gameplay engagement something like this can pass as an actual “mode”, but on planet Earth this is completely lame.

Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection can offer slight entertainment in very short bursts, but playing the game any longer than that results in extreme frustration and boredom. There is no true interactive gameplay to speak of and the little that you actually do control must be done far too many times. The game’s likable characters make some of this tedium easier to swallow, but for the most part this is a game that should be avoided by just about everyone.

Condemn

Ratchet & Clank HD Trilogy Coming To PS Vita

If you happen to be a Ratchet & Clank fan and own a PlayStation Vita then I have some very good news for you. Sony and Mass Media have announced that the PlayStation 3 collection of the first three Ratchet & Clank games will be getting a new version on the PlayStation Vita.

Insomniac Games’ James Stevenson said that, “Since the HD trilogy was released, one of the biggest requests from many of you was for a version of the Trilogy to come to PlayStation Vita. We’ve heard you loud and clear, and thanks to Sony and Mass Media, the Ratchet & Clank HD Trilogy will be something you can play on the go from 2nd July (and from 9th July in Australia),”  said Insomanic Games’ James Stevenson.”

Ratchet & Clank HD Trilogy on PS Vita will cost $30 and will be available both physically and digitally.

My Judgment:

I love the Ratchet & Clank series and I love the PlayStation Vita, so this is a win-win for me. Although I already own this HD collection on PlayStation 3, I can see this game playing great on the Vita due to its control-scheme and vibrant graphics. My first Ratchet & Clank experience was actually on the PSP with the spin-off game Clank, so I can attest to the series being a perfect fit on the hand-held.

New Video Game Releases (May 19th – 25th, 2014)

Things are picking up this week as we have a major new release in the form of Wolfenstein: The New Order. The game is a reboot by MachineGames of the classic FPS series that is set in an alternate historical reality where Nazis won World War II. Scroll down to see a complete list of what is coming out from May 18th to May 25th, 2014.

3DS

  • Mega Man V (Virtual Console – Game Boy)

PlayStation 3

  • Wolfenstein: The New Order
  • Drakengard 3
  • Mugen Souls Z
  • R-Type Dimensions (PSN)

PlayStation 4

  • Wolfenstein: The New Order
  • Transistor (PSN)
  • Sparkle 2 (PSN)

Vita

  • Sparkle 2 (PSN)

Wii U

  • Swords & Soldiers HD (eShop)
  • Squids Odyssey (eShop)
  • Fit Music for Wii U (eShop)

Xbox 360

  • Wolfenstein: The New Order

Xbox One

  • Wolfenstein: The New Order