Gameplay Trailer For PS Vita’s Severed Looks Charming And Brutal

Back when Severed was announced for the Vita I was pretty excited because, well, someone was actually making a game for the Vita! It seems like a heck of a lot of time has past since then, but now we have a gameplay trailer for the new game from the creators of Guacamelee.

The game functions as a first-person dungeon crawler with touch-screen controls, but the twist is that you use the controls to slice off your enemies limbs. Sounds pretty brutal, eh? It is, but mixed with this charming art style it sounds a lot worse than it actually is.

There’s no official release date for Severed yet, but we could be getting more information during this week’s PlayStation Experience event.

PS Vita L2/R2 Triggers Now Available For Pre-Order Via Play-Asia

It seems like the only thing that people talk about regarding the PlayStation Vita anymore is its remote play feature with the PlayStation 4, and that very feature is getting some new gear to make it even better very soon.

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Joetsu Electronic Industries has revealed that they will be releasing an accessory for the original model of the PlayStation Vita that essentially adds L2 and R2 triggers to the handheld. This is vital for remote play with PlayStation 4, as many of the L2/R2 functions usually have to be awkwardly mapped to touch screen controls.

This accessory was previously only available in Japan, but thankfully Play-Asia is changing that and letting Western gamers get in on the fun. The accessory for the original PlayStation Vita model is $29.99, whereas the version for the newer models of the system costs $20 more.

Sony Confirms No First Party Titles In Development For PlayStation Vita

The PlayStation Vita has gradually fallen further and further off of the public’s radar, with most games appearing on the system also popping up on PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 3. Not only that, but the few exclusives that it has had are either being ported or re-imagined for the PlayStation 4, making the amount of reasons for someone to actually by the system shrink more and more.

Sony is doing nothing to change anyone’s mind on that topic, as executive vice president Masayasu Ito spoke to 4gamer where he revealed that there are no first party titles in development for the Vita. Here’s what he said:

“Currently, there are no first party titles that are in development for the PlayStation Vita. Third-party companies are working hard on the PlayStation Vita, so we here at SCE have strategized to focus on our new platform of PlayStation 4.”

That’s a nice way to put it, but in reality they’ve all but abandoned the poor handheld. It’s a damn shame, too, as the PlayStation Vita is one of the best constructed handhelds ever, in my not so humble opinion. It’s got the power, it’s got a great design and UI, and that beautiful OLED screen is a sight to behold. I know that their focus is pretty much entirely on PlayStation 4, but I still love playing on the Vita when I’m given the chance to.

A Blue PlayStation Vita Is Coming To North America This November

You read that right, folks! It looks like Sony is acknowledging the existence of the PlayStation Vita by releasing a brand new version of the system later this year. The system is a GameStop exclusive, however, so if you’re anti-GameStop then I guess just ignore this news.

Here’s a snippet of Sony trying to make buying the system sound like a good idea:

“PS Vita is home to more than 1,000 games and sports the ability to stream most PlayStation 4 games from your PS4 via Remote Play. And with the recent launch of PlayStation Now on PS Vita and titles like Super Time Force Ultra, Super Meat Boy, and Minecraft: Story Mode making their way to PS Vita, it’s the perfect time to pick up the system.”

Blue PlayStation Vita

Sony PlayStation Vita

New Persona 4: Dancing All Night Trailer Is Freakishly Groovy

All of the Persona 4 characters are getting there groove on in this new trailer for Dancing All Night.

The Persona series is really weird, which is why it isn’t such a crazy idea of taking the RPG characters and putting them into a dancing game. Now, that game has received a new Japanese trailer that looks freaky and groovy at the same time.

The trailer basically gives you a rundown of all of the game’s characters while they strut their stuff. It looks like there will be a heck of a lot of characters to choose from and stages to groove on. The trailer mentions some special editions of the game that will be released at the end, as well.

Persona 4: Dancing All Night is developed and published by Atlus exclusively for the PlayStation Vita. It will launch in Japan on June 25th, 2015, while a release in the states has not been confirmed as of this writing. Check out the new Japanese trailer for the game below. 

Condemn O.R. Condone – htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary (PlayStation Vita)

It’s one of the most punishingly-difficult games on the Vita, but those with a stomach for unforgiving puzzle platformers will find a lot to like in htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary.

Rarely do I happen upon games that truly infuriate me due to their dificulty. It seems like every game these days is designed to ensure that the player’s progressions is silky smooth, rather than presenting obstacles that the player must give their all to in order to overcome. Lately there have been some exceptions to the rule, with big-budget titles like Dark Souls and even last year’s indie-darling Shovel Knight reaffirming what great gaming is at its core.

htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary most certainly falls into the bin of most challenging games that I have played in recent memory, though some of it is warranted and some of it isn’t. This is a side-scrolling puzzle-platformer that has us controlling a young girl named Mion, who happens to wake up in an underground labyrinth with no memories of what got her there. Thus, it is our job to guide her to safety, though we soon discover that that is much easier said than done.

The quirk to this game is that we don’t control Mion directly, but we guide her by instead controlling two different firefly guardians named Lumen and Umbra. Also, the game’s default control scheme is entirely touch-based, meaning that you will tap where you want Lumen to go and Mion will follow. With the aid of simple-yet-clever touch controls, we’re able to guide Mion up ladders, over crates and through dozens of treacherous locales that are all vying to spell her demise. 

It’s worth noting that the visuals and level design on display here is extremely impressive, as the game’s world radiates a foreboding aura. The filter that we view the game through gives it an almost story book-esque flare, which I think works very well with the game’s theme that I’ll get to shortly. There’s a solid amount of variety on hand, as well, as we are witness to factories, forests and truly twisted areas containing horrifying imagery like dead hanging girls resembling Mion.

While the harrowing levels of razor-sharp saws, viscous shadow monsters and stomping machinery don’t exude any kind of warmth, it’s the scattered memory fragments that are sprinkled throughout the game that provides a much welcome respite from the madness. These memories are displayed in a more pixelated art style and show us Mion’s life before all of this happened, and while there is no dialogue to give context to what is going on it is still easy to comprehend that these were much happier times for her.

While guiding Mion with Lumen through the regular world is challenging all on its own, where the game truly gets interesting is with the use of the shadow world and umbra. As you navigate the game’s various levels you will come across obstacles that simply cannot be surpassed by regular means, which leads you to use the shadows to alter the scenario. When you control Umbra with the Vita’s rear touch pad you are able to traverse through the shadows of any connected objects in the area, which often allows Umbra to reach switches to open new paths or alter an obstacle that would otherwise get in Mion’s way. It’s the combination of both the regular and shadow worlds where the game’s puzzles are the most clever and head-scratching, forcing you to constantly think outside the box to overcome the difficult challenges.

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…And difficult doesn’t even begin describe what this game brings to the table. During my playthough, the routine typically consisted of me reaching an area, dying in it dozens of times, then finally getting through only to reach the next area where the same routine repeated. This game is punishingly-difficult due to the fact that Mion can only be hit once, the touch-controls are pretty slow and sometimes unresponsive and each area is packed to the brim with things trying to kill you. As a result, my experience while playing a lot of this game was stressful, as you have to be so precise in a game where being precise isn’t the easiest thing to do.

There are even a few bosses at the end of some of these incredibly-difficult stages, and they are just as hard as the stages that preceded them. These battles typically consist of Mion dodging the bosses attacks and falling objects, while capitalizing on the very brief windows of opportunity to pull off a move that will hopefully damage it. Much like the regular stages, these battles contain a lot of trial and error as you have to figure out for yourself how to bring the baddies down and execute your plan as perfectly as you can.

There are a couple excursions throughout the course of the game where you are separated from Mion and have to control Lumen through a series of mazes, and they are some of the most aggravating sections I have ever played in a game. This is due to the fact that you can’t touch any walls or your die, and the paths that you traverse through are incredibly narrow. To add on top of that you often have to be moving quickly in order to avoid various harmful objects, making these segments far too excruciating than they need to be. This is made worse by the game’s aforementioned dicey touch controls, which will regularly have you performing actions you didn’t mean to that will inevitably lead to your death. 

htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary is easily one of the most fascinating games that the Vita has to offer, but it is unfortunately hampered by a punishing difficulty that can feel cheap due to the game’s lacking touch controls. The game’s visuals and level designs are top notch, and the interesting mechanic of switching between regular and shadow worlds leads to some great puzzles. Even though the game has no true dialogue, I nevertheless found myself immersed in Mion’s adventure and truly touched whenever I would stumble upon one of her memories of happier times. It’s often infuriatingly difficult, but I would still recommend those with high toleration and admiration for truly challenging puzzle platformers to give this one a shot.

RESPECTABLE

Sony’s PlayStation Now Service Will Cost $20 Per Month

For $20 a month you can have unlimited access to over 100 PS3 games.

When Sony originally began testing their PlayStation Now service it was met with much moaning as a lot of people felt that the price to stream many of the games was simply too much. People would much prefer to have one monthly price to pay that would allow them access to many games rather than be charged individually for each, and this sentiment is something that Sony took to heart when they went back to the drawing board.

Now, Sony has revealed that the service is set to launch in North America on January 13th and will cost subscribers $20 per month to stream the services 100+ PS3 games. These games can be streamed through PS3, PS4, PS Vita and Smart TVs, though at the current time the only system that can stream the games will be PS4. You also have the option to pay $45 per quarter, which would save you $15 over the regular $60 that it would cost otherwise.

The games that the PlayStation Now service offers is pretty solid, with critically-acclaimed games such as The Last of Us, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, BioShock Infinite, Batman: Arkham City and a whole lot more being a part of the service. A video was released that unveiled most of this information, with more info being contained on the company’s website right here. Check out the video below.