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  1. Good news for the Vita again. But of course this is a year later. I wish these were all initially released on the Vita too. http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/03/23/esrb-rates-jak-daxter-collection-for-playstation-vita?utm_campaign=twposts&utm_source=twitter
  2. Hopefully this will help the Vita sales since most everyone have liked this game. http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/03/22/telltales-the-walking-dead-coming-to-playstation-vita?utm_campaign=twposts&utm_source=twitter
  3. Jason Clement

    Epic Mickey 2 Coming to Vita in Europe

    In one of the stranger pieces of news today, the UK Playstation Blog announced that Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two would be heading to Vita in Europe later this year. The game will take advantage of the Vita's front touch screen for greater painting accuracy and will have tilt controls for racing mode. There will also be an exclusive two-player wifi co-op mode so you can play with friends on the go. The news comes unexpected, as Epic Mickey 2 was critically panned and fell far short of Disney's sales targets for the game, even leading to the shuttering of developer Junction Point and the departure of Warren Spector. SCEE Junior Product Manager Alex Moyet confirmed in the comments section of the announcement that this port is indeed being handled by Sony (based on the PS3 version of the game), and it looks to be published by them as well. No word on whether the game will release in North America just yet, so stay tuned. In the meantime, check out our review of the game for more info. Source: Playstation Blog EU
  4. It's been a rough first year for Sony's PS Vita, having sold fairly poorly for much of the last half year or so especially in the handheld's native country, but if this week is any indication, things may be looking up yet for the device. With the one-two punch effect of Sony lowering the Vita's price and Soul Sacrifice releasing there, sales for the handheld jumped past the usual chart topping 3DS to sales of 63,581 units compared to the latter's 39,801 (via the LL version). Both 3DS SKUs come in at a combined 61,008, just slightly behind the Vita. Soul Sacrifice has largely been compared to the popular Monster Hunter series, and rumor has it that Sony pressed ahead with its development in light of the fact that Monster Hunter 3G jumped over to 3DS, as well as this summer's Japanese release of Monster Hunter 4. So far, Sony's gambit appears to have worked, as Soul Sacrifice has pulled in 92,396 units sold in its debut week and has taken the #2 spot behind the chart topping behemoth that is Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F (which came in at 110,229 units sold). It's also notable that Tales of Hearts R, another new Vita release, landed in at #5 on the list, pulling in some 55,258 sales and contributing to the spike in Vita sales for the week. While it's good to see the Vita rebounding a bit in its home country, time will tell if it has the power to stay on top of the chart in the coming weeks. You can see the full list of Japanese hardware sales for each console/handheld last week below (with current week sales followed by last week's sales). PlayStation Vita – 63,581 (62,543) 3DS LL – 39,801 (50,265) 3DS – 21,207 (27,174) PlayStation 3 – 19,567 (25,725) PSP – 18,023 (11,171) Wii U – 9,454 (10,021) Wii – 1,363 (1,383) Xbox 360 – 738 (486) Via: NintendoLife Source: Gematsu Do you think the Vita is on the rebound sales-wise now?
  5. Whoa, this might be the cheapest I've seen a used PS Vita go for yet. Note: the deal is for new customers only. It appears that Cowboom is selling a used PS Vita (WiFi version) for $119, but if you use coupon code "Cowboom5" it drops to $115. Free shipping as well! Only bad thing is that there may be minor signs of use, some missing parts, or it might even have small scratches, but they say it's fully functional, so hey, at least there's that. Deal url-> http://www.cowboom.com/product/1150385/ Anyone thinking of taking the plunge?
  6. Today's Playstation event in New York brought with it a bevy announcements regarding the future of Playstation, not the least of which was the announcement of the upcoming successor to the PS3 called, unsurprisingly, the Playstation 4. Here's a recap of some of the other announcements that were made at the event, including a few game reveals and more. Playstation Vita Will Be Able To Play Certain PS4 Games Via Streaming Vita was discussed for a bit before Sony confirmed that you will be able to stream and play PS4 games on the Vita. Sony hopes that in the future, every PS4 game will be able to be playable on Vita via streaming. PS4 Officially Announced Sony confirmed that the PS4 is actually a thing coming out like we all expected, and that there will be a new Dualshock controller as well as talking about the specs of the machine. For more info, see the full article here. New First-Party PS4 Exclusive "Knack" Announced Mark Cerny (whose credits include Crash Bandicoot) debuted the trailer for his all-new game in development for PS4, called Knack. Knack appears to be a creature/robot that can absorb objects to grow in size, almost looking like the Zelda series' Ganondorf when he's bigger. It's very Pixar-like and appears to be heavily story-driven. PS4's Social Interaction and Gaikai Streaming Discussed Sony discussed a bevy of information regarding the PS4's features, and they're heavily steeped in social integration as well as streaming. You can read more on this here. Guerilla Games Announces Killzone: Shadow Fall Killzone series developer Guerilla Games drew first blood by showing the first game coming to Playstation 4: Killzone: Shadow Fall. Its visuals and physics seemed to stun onlookers in the audience. More can be read about Shadow Fall here. Next Generation Racing Sim Drive Club Announced Evolution Studios, best known for the MotorStorm series on PS3, took to the stage at the press conference to announce the first PS4 racing game, entitled Drive Club. It was revealed that the project had existed as a concept for an entire decade. More on the game here. The inFamous Series Makes Its Grand Return With inFamous: Second Son Many gamers have been wondering what developer Sucker Punch has been up to since the release of inFamous: Festival of Blood, and we got our first look tonight at their latest project: inFamous: Second Son. More on it here. Jonathan Blow Announces The Witness For PS4 Famed Braid developer Jonathan Blow took to the stage in a surprise appearance to announce that his latest game, The Witness, will be for PS4 and subsequently showed a trailer for the title, which has long been in development. More details here. Quantic Dream's David Cage Makes An Appearance David Cage (of Heavy Rain and upcoming Beyond: Two Souls fame) spoke a bit about how games are increasingly able to express the nuances of emotion, and that with the PS4's capabilities, it will be more possible than ever to convey emotion with the game's characters. He also mentioned that Beyond: Two Souls' main character will have 30,000 polygons, making for extremely life-like facial expressions and such. Media Molecule Showcases Move Potential LittleBigPlanet 1 & 2 developer Media Molecule showcased the potential of the Move with a few demos and said that it was their intention to "marry the Move with the PS4. They went on to show how they could manipulate puppetlike characters to put on a rock concert. Capcom Showcases New Engine and IP, Deep Down Capcom's Yoshinori Ono announced a new engine that they've been working on code-named 'Pantha Rei.' He also showed off a brand new IP that looked somewhat reminiscent of Dragon's Dogma called Deep Down. Square-Enix Shows Off Real-Time Rendering in Luminous Engine In order to show off more of the PS4's power, Square-Enix showed off a demo showing off real-time rendering using their Luminous engine, which was impressive. Afterward, they announced that they would have an announcment about Final Fantasy on the PS4 at E3. Ubisoft Talks Watch_Dogs We first saw Watch_Dogs unveiled at last year's E3, but today Ubisoft showed off a different demo of the game and announced that the game would be coming to PS4 as well. Blizzard Announces Partnership With Sony In another surprise appearance, Blizzard announced that they would be partnering with Sony to release Diablo III on the PS3 and PS4. Activision Shows Off Bungie's Destiny Destiny was already blown out in a huge preview event, but they finally showed a bit of footage of the game and mentioned how it would change the way we play first-person shooters. The game would also be getting some exclusive content in the Playstation version. PS4 Bound For Release By the End of the Year Sony announced that the PS4 is on track for a release at the end of the 2013. No pricing has been announced yet, and we still have yet to see what the console looks like. Expect to hear more about the next-gen console at E3 in June.
  7. DarkCobra86

    Price drop for the Vita in Japan

    So it is going to be about $215 now but they haven't heard any news of a price drop in the west. But I'm pretty sure we will get a price drop to. This may help sales a little more but I don't see it doing much in the long run. http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/02/18/playstation-vita-gets-a-price-drop-in-japan
  8. If you haven't heard yet, Zen Studio's latest set of Pinball tables will be based on the Star Wars series. Star Wars Pinball's first pack of tables will consist of a set of three different tables; one based on the bounty hunter, Boba Fett; one based on The Empire Strikes Back; and one based on the Clone Wars series. Today, Zen Studios has highlighted some details behind the Empire Strikes Back table. The table will be set on the bridge of the Empire's flagship Star Destroyer, The Executor, with events from the movie being recreated in the dot matrix display when different missions are activated during gameplay. As for different 3D objects that appear around the table, you'll see the likes of an AT-AT walker (with a circling snow speeder), a Tie Fighter, an ion cannon, and the dueling lightsabers of Luke and Darth Vader. Similar to some of Zen's previous tables, you'll activate missions by hitting the center bank to spell out a word (this time it's "Star Wars"), and after you'll select one of 5 missions to complete. Upon completion of all 5 missions, you'll finally activate Wizard mode and experience the epic lightsaber battle between Luke and Darth Vader. Interestingly enough, this will be the first of Zen's pinball tables to include mission checkpoints, which should make it easier to finish missions instead of having to restart them every time you lose a ball. Star Wars Pinball is expected to release later this month on PSN (as cross-buy content on PS3 and Vita), XBLA, Windows 8, iOS, and Google Play.
  9. Jason Clement

    PS Vita to Get Hooked on Fishing on January 29th

    Next week, Vita owners be able to play the first full-fledged fishing game to grace the handheld with the quirky Let's Fish! Hooked On, a title that was developed by the team behind SEGA Bass Fishing and Ape Escape (PSP). The game features a full story mode where you'll select and play as one of four anime-styled characters each with their own unique storyline and abilities as you aim to improve their skills by competing in tournaments with the ultimate goal to win the World Tour. In addition to Story Mode, there will also be a Challenge mode, which will be good for short bursts of play; Training, to help improve your fishing skills; and Underwater Mode, which lets you view the fish that you have caught. There will also be online rankings as well as plenty of trophies to collect, including a Platinum. Let's Fish! Hooked On will be available on PSN for PS Vita on January 29th for $19.99. Source: Playstation Blog
  10. We've known that Kat and Emmett would be joining the Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale cast of characters as DLC for some time now (the middle of last November, to be exact), but developer Superbot had been coy on a proposed release window for either. But no more! That's right, Superbot has finally outlined when we can expect to play as everyone's favorite heroine from Gravity Rush as well as the main hero in Starhawk, so get ready and mark your calendars because both will be available in this DLC on February 12th. As you can imagine, Kat's moveset is based around her ability to alter and manipulate gravity as well as being nimble and quick whereas Emmett's is based around his signature "Build & Battle" style from Starhawk, which allows him to call down different structures to aid him in the battle; in addition, he has access to a variety of different weapons that will help him to adapt to any circumstance. But what's this? There's also a brand new level that will be available for purchase called "Fearless," and it's a mash-up between Heavenly Sword and WipEout. Superbot says that those who buy it will be able to play it offline and in non-ranked lobbies, but those who don't buy it will still be able to experience it in ranked lobbies online. And as previously announced, both Kat and Emmett will be available to download for free for two weeks after the DLC first arrives, so be sure to nab them quick. Superbot is also promising more All-Star DLC characters in the future as well, and it looks as if they're aiming to announce more in March. Stay tuned! Source: Playstation Blog Are you looking forward to playing as Kat and Emmett in Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale?
  11. James Marsden, not to be confused with the actor who played Cyclops, announced through via Playstation Blog that Futurelab“s next project is on track to be unleashed in May. Velocity Ultra is an HD remake of Velocity, one of the top-selling Playstation Mini releases, in native Vita resolution and new controls. Velocity Ultra features full trophy support, online leaderboards and a completely ”overhauled“ graphic design. Futurelab follows in the footsteps of few other companies as they are currently receiving direct, first-party funding to develop multiple titles for the Vita while retaining full intellectual property rights. Velocity Ultra is the result of a well-made budget title by a small developer leading to an amazing opportunity. Fans may be disappointed that Velocity Ultra is not a sequel, but should take solace in the fact that fan-feedback will be considered for Velocity 2. Will you be picking up Velocity Ultra?
  12. We're just three and a half weeks away from the release of Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time at this point and Sony's already dropped a bombshell for all of the Sly fans out there. Previously marked for MSRP at $59.99, Thieves in Time will now launch at a low, low price of $39.99 for the PS3 version (with a digital download of the Vita version for free), and $29.99 for the Vita version. Why the price drop? Is it a reflection of the quality or length of the game? Or was the move made because Sony has low confidence in the game's ability to sell? Playstation Lifestyle was able to get some answers from Associate Product Marketing Manager of Software Marketing at SCEA Cristian Cardona to clear the confusion on the matter. Cardona acknowledges that the video game market is extremely competitive, so according to her, the price change was made in order to make the purchase a "no-brainer" for people and so that they wouldn't have to think twice about it. When asked if there was any less content than normal or if the game was shorter than usual, Cardona dismissed those concerns by saying that it isn't any less of a Sly experience and that there's plenty of content, adding that "price doesn't always equal quality or content." In the meantime, a demo for the game will be available to Playstation Plus members on January 22nd, with a public version of the demo going live on the 29th. Be sure to check out the new gameplay video below which showcases Sly and his crew pulling off a heist on El Jeffe, the boss you'll encounter in Feudal Japan. Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time is set to release on February 5th for the PS3 and PS Vita, and will be available as a day 1 digital download. Source: Playstation Blog Via: Playstation Lifestyle
  13. Jordan Haygood

    Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward

    From the album: Kaptain's Gallery

    © Chunsoft

  14. Jason Clement

    Big Sky Infinity Makes its Way to PSN Today

    If you've been hankering for a new twin stick shooter, you may want to check out Big Sky Infinity for PS3 and Vita, which makes its debut on PSN today. Developed by Boss Baddie, Big Sky Infinity is a randomly-generated and intensely fast game that adapts to your play style. Similar to most space shmups (shoot 'em ups), you take on the part of a pilot who flies right into an alien armada, but your ship also has a drill on it that allows it to smash through planets and meteors. Game director James Whitehead also mentions on the Playstation Blog that the game will feature an increasingly tough difficulty, streams of enemies, giant bosses, the ability to upgrade your ship, random gameplay shifting-events, leaderboards, and multiple singleplayer and multiplayer modes. On top of everything else, the randomly-generated aspect of the game alone seems enough to really set game aside from the rest. Big Sky Infinity will be available for $9.99 on PSN (for PS3 and PS Vita) when the Playstation Store updates later today. Also, when you buy one version, you get unlock the other version at no extra cost. You can check out a trailer for the game below.
  15. Jason Clement

    PS Vita Identity

  16. Jason Clement

    Cross Buy

  17. Even though I'm still pretty deep in Persona 4 Golden, I recently picked up PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale on the Vita. I got a lot of raised eyebrows and could swear that at one point I heard someone say that my choice was "illogical." Calm down my Vulcan friends, there is a very good reason why I decided to buy the physical Vita version despite the fact that for $20 more I could have gotten both the physical PS3 and digital Vita version. A few reasons, actually. Ironically enough, the reasons I had for defying the Prime Directive (so it seems) tie in directly to why the Vita seems to be suffering. Take a gander while I explain myself below. Proprietary Memory Card Capacity Frankly speaking, my 8GB Vita memory card is full, so a digital download for Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale would force me to delete other games. However, I'm not a huge fan of deleting games. In Sony's case, peripheral and accessory sales are usually the main driving force for making money off PlayStation handhelds. The PSP had a proprietary memory format (Memory Stick Pro Duo), the PSPGo had a new proprietary memory format (Memory Stick Micro, or M2), and now the Vita has its own stand alone proprietary memory format (Playstation Vita memory card). Quite frankly, buying all these memory cards becomes expensive. So expensive, in fact, that upgrading to a larger memory card that can only ever be used with a Vita for nearly twice the price as the going rate for similar memory formats (with similar capacity) seems foolish. At least I feel like a fool for doing it. But I, like many others, spent nearly the same amount on memory for the PSP as I did on the handheld itself and I am wary of doing so again. Add that "cost of ownership" onto an already steep price tag and it's easy to see why many people are waiting for a price drop on the Vita. Since the size of many of these Vita games is well over 1GB (some games are closer to 4GBs!), it's pretty tough to get by on the relatively cheap 4GB card that comes with most of these Vita bundles, if even at all. Not a huge motivator to me considering their main rival, Nintendo's 3DS, uses the standard SD memory format that is both cheap and plentiful. Food for thought there, Sony. Cross-Buy Doesn't Help the Vita-Only Gamer Think about it. Cross-Buy is a great deal for console players that also happen to have a Vita. It may or may not even be a slight incentive for PS3 owners to buy a Vita. Personally, I don't think it is, because anyone who wants a Vita for Vita games specifically is probably already sold on one whether they have gotten around to buying it or not. Paying $250 just to play the exact same game you already own, just portable, is a lot of money for a mostly trivial convenience. Remember, these people are primarily console gamers. I am mostly a handheld gamer. So with Cross-Buy, essentially I would be paying $20 more just to have a digital version of the game, and a physical PS3 disc I'll never use. This is the opposite of convenience. I know I'm one of the only people who would rather play on a handheld than on a console, but the fact still stands; Cross-Buy doesn't give the person who only owns a Vita, and not a PS3, anything. And to this entire demographic of Vita owners who do not have a PS3 or don't play often on it, there is little being done to hold the interest of these people. Stuff like remote play and cross controller are essentially useless here as well. System Identity I love the tagline "Console quality on-the-go" from Sony's new Vita TV ad plugging the system and Call of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified. This in itself is hilarious because Declassified is the farthest thing imaginable from its console counterpart. What the tagline really represents, though, is the bulk of Sony's plan for the Vita. If you paid attention to E3, Gamescom, or any recent gaming conference, you'll know largely from here on out what the Vita will see is many console ports. This flies directly in the face of their previous statement earlier saying the saturation of ports hurt the PSP in the end. I guess it doesn't count when it's Cross-Buy right? So let's see... Sly Cooper Thieves in Time, Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault, Guacamelee, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, Sound Shapes, Zen Pinball 2, and Retro City Rampage are all so far the exact same game on both systems that you can buy for one price. Combined with existing franchises emphasizing the "same gameplay as console" experience hitting the Vita in droves, it becomes very hard to think of more than a handful of titles you can get on the Vita that you can't get someplace else. This is the kind of identity crisis that they acknowledged hurting the PSP, yet they seem happy to blindly repeat these mistakes despite the affirmation they know better. Instead of trying to sell Vitas to PS3 owners (sorry, it's not working as well as you thought) they need to focus on giving the Vita its own identity with games people can't find anywhere else. This will prove the Vita isn't just a fancy port machine, or an expensive PS3 peripheral and will motivate people who are your target market, the hardcore gamer, to actually buy one. This will raise your installed user base and in turn motivate more developers to support your handheld. Sony just needs to get over the hump and make more new exclusive games like Soul Sacrifice, Gravity Rush, and... see, I can't even think of another one. If that doesn't prove my point, I don't know what does. I realize this mostly comes off as me telling Sony I could do their job better than they can (or are, in this case), and as I have no MBA or accounting degree it is easy to dismiss these as the speculative rantings of just another know-it-all gamer. Many of you will probably call me out, whether in a comment or simply in your mind and move on. Let me warn you though - I'm not trying to tell Sony what to do; I'm only bringing to light that they don't realize they are repeating the mistakes of the past, though they claim they aren't. In the end, I'm really just the observer; the man in the crow's nest, trying desperately to warn the captain he is navigating through rocky seas in a route he is convinced he isn't on. The point is - I love my Vita and I want to see it stick around for a while. On its current track though... that seems unlikely unless Sony is willing to swallow their pride and do something drastic.
  18. The Playstation Blog has revealed a new trailer for Sly Cooper: Thieves In Time in which costumes are highlighted this time around. It seems that costumes will play a significant role in the game this time around if Sly and his crew hope to pull off the biggest heists in history. Each costume has its own set of special abilities in order to solve puzzles, reach new areas, and defeat enemies. Thieves In Time's story focuses on Sly's adventure through time in order to prevent the pages of the Thievius Raccoonus from disappearing, so it'll be interesting to see how well the costume mechanic works with the different time periods. Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time is coming to PS3 and PS Vita on February 5, 2013.
  19. Before I even start this article, let me get something straight here. I'm not saying Assassin's Creed 3 is a bad game. There's no way I could know that without actually playing it myself. At no point will I be criticizing the game itself. Instead, I'll be talking about Ubisoft; well, at least their pricing policies. You see, there have been plenty of Assassin's Creed games released over the years. Every single one has been hyped up and released to a lot of fanfare, and they've all sold relatively well. But there's a trend I've seen happening in each game released so far: their prices have tanked shortly after release. The History Of Price Drops I'm not entirely sure why it is, but the Assassin's Creed games have always shot down in price pretty much right after, or in some cases, before the game has released. We're not talking about the usual five dollars off you usually see on places like Amazon either. Assassin's Creed: Something witty about sales The best example for this article would be Assassin's Creed: Revelations. A $60 retail game just like all of the other releases in the series, Assassin's Creed: Revelations was sold for $40 on release date if you bought it in-store at some Walmarts. A whole $20 off the advertised price on day one. It actually happened for Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood as well, just not as quickly, I guess. The game was released in November of 2010 and sold for the advertised price of $60... for about a week. After the week was over, the game suddenly went on sale for $35. Nearly half off a week after release! Every Black Friday Ever Now, why might this be you ask? Quickly, tell me what happens in November! If you shouted Black Friday at your computer then I have some good news and some bad news. You're correct, but you're also a little bit crazy for shouting at a computer. People are staring! Despite being a brand spanking new release, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood still got drastic price cuts to keep in line with the Black Friday sales going on at the time. Of course the price only lasted about a week, but everyone who just decided to wait a few days got a huge discount on their game. Wouldn't you know it, those are average release prices! Now I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but Black Friday is fast approaching for those of us in North America. We only have about three weeks before old women are being trampled over for Tickle Me Elmo dolls and Walmart employees are getting elbowed hard in the face because what other chance will I have to elbow someone in the face and get away with it, right? The point is Assassin's Creed 3 will still be a brand new release at less than a month old, yet I know for a fact it will be going on sale during Black Friday or possibly even a few days before it. It has been the same way every single year. The Collector's Editions Seriously, just don't even bother with these. I've been tempted in the past to buy one or two of them (hey, that jack in the box one was pretty cool). But at over $100 each, there's one huge problem with them: they all tank in price too. I have so many of these statues around. Odds are one of them will kill me. Every year I see the same thing. Huge clearance shelves just filled with Assassin's Creed special editions. They might be cool, but they're overproduced and take up a lot of shelf space. So just hang back and wait for the prices to plummet as low as $15 for one. So if you really want to play it now, go ahead and buy it. Nobody is stopping you, and the good news is you'd be supporting the developer by buying it at full price. But if you want the absolute best deal, then you only have to hang back for a week or two. If you absolutely have to have the game now then I suggest getting it at Best Buy. They usually have some sort of 30 day policy to do price matches on games you've already bought. As always, thank you for reading.
  20. Jason Clement

    Jet Set Radio Vita Release Delayed

    Jet Set Radio is already out on the PS3 Playstation Store and has been for a while now, but if you were holding out for the PS Vita version of the game, you're going to have to wait just a bit longer. The game was initially scheduled to release on the Vita today, but Sega announced that it had been delayed due to "necessary development optimizations." Unfortunate, but then again, it's good to see Sega (or any publisher) take notice when a game isn't quite ready yet and should be given some more time to work out the kinks. Better to have a late working version then a broken version on time, right? No final release date has been set yet but Sega assures that it will be announced soon.
  21. Developer: Zen Studios Publisher: Zen Studios Platform: PSN (PS3, PlayStation Vita) Release Date: September 4, 2012 ESRB: E for Everyone Pinball - it's something seemingly so simple, yet so complex. It's a game people have been playing for decades now, and it's no less addictive today than it was in the days of yore. And though it's becoming rarer to see newer pinball machines outside of arcades today, fortunately there is the ever-increasing number of digital pinball games available in video game form. Zen Studios in particular have dedicated much of their past few years to creating the best pinball experience possible on consoles. Having already released two iterations of Pinball FX and one iteration of Zen Pinball on PSN, not to mention more unique tables than you can shake a flipper at, they aim to improve that experience even more with Zen Pinball 2. How does the experience stack up compared to other pinball games? First off, it must be noted that Zen Pinball 2 itself is technically not a game, per se. It's a platform of sorts that acts as the central hub for all of the tables Zen Studios has designed thus far (with Plants vs. Zombies making it an official 26 tables at this time). Thus, I won't be giving a score to the platform itself, but I will be discussing whether it's recommended or not. The original Zen Pinball debuted with 4 different uniquely themed tables, but any that were released afterward were available as paid DLC. Zen Pinball 2, however, is a free download for everyone that comes with a few tables included as timed demos. In fact, all of the other tables can be downloaded and tried out before buying them, and you can play them as many times as you want (though the gameplay only lasts a minute or so before the demo ends). Also, those who bought Zen Pinball and additional tables before can now import those tables into Zen Pinball 2 at no extra cost (and with upgraded visuals and physics to boot). As for how the actual tables play, Zen Studios didn't create their pinball to be ultra realistic (like The Williams Collection), but rather they're more fantasy-like, with characters that move around the board and perform different functions and interact with each other, among other visual effects and the like. But make no mistake, the classic pinball experience is still very much intact, and despite its more surreal setting, the virtual table mimics much of real-life tables, even down to the clicks, clacks, and groans that they make when playing. And those with PS Vitas will no doubt appreciate that once you buy a Zen Pinball 2 table, you'll automatically get both the PS3 and PS Vita version; no separate purchases necessary. Finally, Zen Pinball 2 makes huge strides in bringing the pinball community together with Facebook integration for sharing scores as well as a variety of leaderboards that track your own scores across all of the different tables, and a team score that calculates your scores along with your PSN friends in order to compete with the rest of the community. Simply put, if you like pinball, this is a great platform for it, and Zen Studios have done an amazing job integrating everything together into a nice and neat front end for all of the tables. I'll be playing a lot of the existing tables for some time to come as well as looking forward to seeing the new tables they come up with in the near future. And speaking of the pinball tables, read on to see my review of the Plants vs. Zombies table below. Plants vs. Zombies Table As Zen's newest pinball table, Plants vs. Zombies has a lot to live up to when compared to the original game of its namesake. Thankfully, Zen did a fantastic job designing it in conjunction with PopCap games, as it may well be the most faithful pinball table adaptation they've done thus far. What makes this table so impressive? For starters, they captured the very feel of the game, with the whole table designed as the yard, with bright green and brown colors prevalent and the welcome mat at the bottom near the flippers. And just about every element from the original Plants vs. Zombies game is represented in some form, including Dr. Zomboss hovering around at the top of the screen in his giant robot, the different types of plants (including the perky sunflower), different kinds of zombies (football zombies, digger zombies etc.), and even Crazy Dave. At its core, the table works on the same premise as the game it's based on: battling against an onslaught of zombies and preventing them from reaching the welcome mat (which, again, is placed right at the bottom of the table). And of course, the pinball is realized as a seed which you'll use to knock the zombies out of commission with as well as perform other tasks. Other interesting and clever additions are the use of a slot in which you accumulate sun for the plants as well as the two bumpers above the flippers representing water. You'll also make use of money collected from knocking out zombies with the ball/seed in order to purchase plants from Crazy Dave that will help defend the welcome mat from the zombies by either attacking them or stalling them for time, giving you a chance to aim at them without rushing. This comes as especially useful during the challenge sessions in which multiple zombies (five or six at a time) will be approaching the welcome mat, and your ball just isn't enough to take them all out at once. Speaking of challenges, there are also a series of side missions that can be triggered in which you'll choose between battling Football Zombies, Digger Zombies, and more. Perhaps the only downside to the table is the fact that it's a bit easier than others, meaning that it's extremely easy to keep the ball in play and away from the outlanes most of the time. This is primarily due to generous ball saves and kickbacks that can be activated easily, and while it does help when you're going for that high score, it can get a little monotonous from the lack of challenge in not losing the ball much. That said, the main missions are actually quite challenging and will put even the most hardcore pinball players' skills to the test. If you're looking for a great pinball table adaptation, look no further than this table. Fans of Plants vs. Zombies will especially eat it up, and for everyone else, it's tough not to recommend a table of this quality, especially only at $2.99. As the perky female sunflower would say in the game, it's "zombeh-tastic!" Pros + Visuals and audio are spot-on in representing Plants vs. Zombies + Intuitive interpretation of the original Plants vs. Zombies' gameplay + Great table design Cons - A bit easy compared to other tables due to a few aspects (generous kickbacks and such) Overall Score: 8.5 (out of 10) Great Plants vs. Zombies is one table that you absolutely need to own if you're into pinball at all. Despite an easier difficulty setting, the gameplay will keep you addicted for some time to come.
  22. Steve Bitto

    LittleBigPlanet Vita Getting Great Reviews

    Sackboy's latest venture is getting excellent reviews. LittleBigPlanet Vita currently has an 88 on Metacritic with 25 (positive) reviews in. IGN's Greg Miller has repeatedly called this the "definitive" entry in the series. I really don't have the time to play it right now but I'm still tempted to pick it up. Anyone else with Vitas thinking about getting LBPV? http://www.metacriti...gplanet-ps-vita