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Themes are coming to PlayStation 4 and PS Vita

Sony will bring themes to the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita in future firmware updates, the company announced at its Sony Computer Entertainment Japan Asia press conference today. The ability to customize your PS4 and Vita will introduce game-themed wallpapers and icons for each platform. In the example shown for PS4, PlayStation mascots Toro and Kuro (above) were shown in animated form playing in a house — with nods to LocoRoco — alongside a user interface that featured theme-specific icons. On Vita, a theme for Danganropa series spin-off Zettai Zetsubo Shojo: Danganronpa Another Episode was displayed with custom wallpaper and icons.
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3 Comments

Tearaway started life as a fleshy finger game

Tearaway is best known as a game of delightful paper craft with fragile and playful characters. But in its first iteration, the game's main character wasn't made of paper at all — it was the player's fleshy finger. Speaking at the Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle, Media Molecule's community manager James Spafford detailed the three main iterations the game went through to arrive at the final version, which launched on the PlayStation Vita in 2013. According to Spafford, the first version of the game was inspired by the role fingers play in gaming. Players already use their fingers to push buttons and swipe screens to make things happen in games, so what if they could actually push their fingers into the games themselves? Must Read Making Tearaway "Instead of...
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Alone With You coming to PS4 and Vita, reveals its Hitchcockian twist

Among the games announced yesterday for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita is an interesting little title called Alone With You. Releasing in 2015 on both platforms, the game is developed by Benjamin Rivers, whose horror game Home received critical praise. Alone With You is a love story about an interstellar explorer trapped on a doomed colony. At this year's GDC Rivers talked with Polygon about the game, which was at that time very early in development. "I really wanted to make a romance-focused game — like a dating sim idea," Rivers said. "But dating sims are all kind of the same deal. They're all genre-specific, they're often culturally specific, and they don't vary a whole lot." Rivers had said he would play with existing romance game mechanics and tropes, but held back...
Video
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How Salt and Sanctuary reimagines Dark Souls as a 2D action-platformer

To say Salt and Sanctuary, Ska Studios' upcoming 2D action-platformer, is inspired by the Souls series is a pretty big understatement.The game, which will launch next year on PS4 and PlayStation Vita, borrows, mutates and 2D-ifies countless mechanics from the ultra-punishing RPG series, from its equipment customization to its risk-reward structure. There's a lot of familiar (but transformed) ideas, but there's plenty of new designs as well, like a grid-based leveling system, a checkpoint customization mechanic and a unique art style, reminiscent of Ska Studios' prior work on the XBLA title Charlie Murder. There's a ton of concepts to explore in the game's PAX demo build, which we got our hands on earlier today. Check out the video preview above to see Chris Grant and I explain some of S...
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Salt and Sanctuary brings a love of 2D Castlevania and Dark Souls to PS4, Vita

The next game from Ska Studios, developer of The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile and Charlie Murder, is coming to PlayStation 4 and Vita in 2015. It's called Salt and Sanctuary and, according to its creator, is inspired by Nintendo DS-era Castlevania games and From Software's Souls series. James and Michelle Silva, the two-person team at Ska Studios, describe Salt and Sanctuary as a "stylistic, brutal action RPG platformer that's teeming with visceral, satisfying combat, deep, diverse character builds and some of the most incredible bosses we've ever made." In an email to Polygon, James Silva said, "Michelle and I wanted to marry our visual and gameplay style and aesthetic from The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile with RPG mechanics and themes inspired by DS-era Castlevanias and Souls games." Ska...
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Nidhogg coming to PS4 and joining iOS hit Ascension on Vita

Sony today announced two new titles for the PlayStation Vita; Nidhogg and Ascension: Chronicles of the Godslayer. Nidhogg will release simultaneously on the PlayStation 4 and feature competitive multiplayer between both Sony platforms. Nidhogg is a two-player dueling game that reached cult status even before its release in early 2014. It focuses on fencing to the death in a tug-of-war where the winner receives a glorious death at the hands of a giant pink dragon. Russ Frushtick reviewed the game for Polygon and commented that "Nidhogg never feels simple, and it never feels cheap. Kills must be earned through thoughtful strategy rather than button mashing, and it's immensely satisfying when a plan comes together." The title spawned several retro-flavored dueling games, including T...
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45 Comments

Here are the free games for PlayStation Plus in September

Sportsfriends and the PlayStation Vita debut of Joe Danger lead the lineup of free games for PlayStation Plus subscribers in September, Sony announced today. As usual, all six titles will be available free as of the first Tuesday of the month, Sept. 2. PlayStation 4 owners will be able to get FuturLab's Velocity 2X and Die Gute Fabrik's Sportsfriends for free. Velocity 2X includes cross-buy support with its PS Vita version, and customers who download Sportsfriends on PlayStation 3 will also receive the PS4 version at no additional cost. The two free titles for PS3 owners are PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale from SuperBot Entertainment and Hoard from Big Sandwich Games. PlayStation All-Stars is a cross-buy title, so PSN users can also pick up the PS Vita version. And on PS Vita,...
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Mega Man X4, X5 coming to PlayStation Store as PSOne Classics

Mega Man X4 and Mega Man X5, two PlayStation games that debuted in 1997 and 2000, respectively, will come back in September as PSOne Classics on the PlayStation Store, Capcom said today. Mega Man X4 arrives Sept. 2 and Mega Man X5 hits Sept. 9. Both will be available on the PlayStation 3 and PS Vita Stores, where other Mega Man titles, like Mega Man 9 and 10, the original Mega Man through Mega Man 4 and Maverick Hunter X also are available. Capcom's put six games from the Mega Man back catalog on the Nintendo 3DS eShop back in May.
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OlliOlli now available on PS3 and PS4

Roll7's skateboarding title OlliOlli is now available on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 in North America and Europe, the developer has announced. The PS3 and PS4 versions are a straight port of the PlayStation Vita original — which launched this past January — includes an upgraded menu system and leaderboards that can be viewed among friends. These leaderboards have also been added to the PS Vita version and will allow players to compare scores. OlliOlli is also cross-buy and cross-save compatible, which will allow those who already own the PS Vita version to pick up and play their game on consoles. "[SCEE strategic content specialists] Shahid [Kamal Ahmad] and Spencer [Low] at PlayStation in London pretty much insisted we did the port after the first day's success, it was totally...
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If you thought Dark Souls was hard, try Titan Souls

Death is inevitable in Titan Souls. Playing as a tiny pixel human, players get one arrow and one hit point. If they fire their arrow, they have to retrieve it in order to fire it again. If they get hit even once, they die and have to return to the last check point and do it all over again. Every battle is against a boss — a kind of super enemy that is much bigger than the player. But every boss also has a weak spot. Find the weak spot and the boss can be taken out in one hit. "The process of playing involves dying a lot," says David Fenn, who made Titan Souls with two other developers at studio Acid Nerve. "You need to learn from your mistakes every time you die. You need to really prioritize staying alive as much as you can so you can observe enemy behavior and work out when you're...
Review
55 Comments
7.0

The Walking Dead Season 2 Finale review: can't go home again

The Walking Dead Season 2 Finale has all of the ingredients necessary to pull together an explosive ending. After a second season of dramatic highs and crushing lows, I still felt a strong connection to protagonist Clementine. I've been with her through so much, and I was invested in seeing where she ends her journey (for now, at least). Yet at the end, I was left feeling more empty than anything else. The Walking Dead's Season 2 finale is about as inconsistent as the season as a whole has been. It never stops striving for the depth and emotional impact of the first season, but it also never quite lives up to its own legacy. (Editor's Note: If you haven't played any of The Walking Dead Season 2 and are concerned about spoilers about the direction of this season, it may be best to...
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1 Comment

Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham hits on Nov. 11

Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham will launch on Nov. 11 in North America and Nov. 14 in Europe, publisher Warner Bros. announced today. The third installment in Lego's video games featuring DC Comics' iconic heroes will see Batman and friends teaming up to stop the villain Brainiac from destroying the planet. Players will follow the band of heroes across many worlds, working together to thwart Brainiac's plans. Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham will launch for Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Wii U, Windows PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One.
Review
40 Comments
5.0

Akiba's Trip: Undead and Undressed review: clothing optional

Akiba's Trip: Undead and Undressed would work better as an anime. Japanese developer Acquire provides an intimate look at otaku culture, the fandom and fervor surrounding Japanese anime, manga, video games and fashion in Akiba's Trip. The graphics may not be the prettiest, but the semi-accurate scenery of real-world landmarks was a powerful nostalgia trigger for my memories of living in Japan. This wrapper is conceptually cool. Akiba's Trip is unapologetic of its weirdness, but the detail put into the game's aesthetic doesn't extend to its tedious combat and mission structure, detracting from some entertaining dialogue and stories about the characters' relationships. Loading screens and lengthy fights make side quests not worth it In Akiba's Trip, players enter the...
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Don't Starve: Giant Edition hits PS Vita on Sept. 2

Don't Starve: Giant Edition — Klei Entertainment's macabre humor-laden survival sim bundled with its Reign of Giants expansion — will launch for PlayStation Vita on Sept. 2, the developer announced today in a post on the PlayStation Blog. Giant Edition will cost $14.99 and is cross-buy-compatible with the PlayStation 4 version. Players who already own the title on PS4 will be able to snag the PS Vita version at no extra cost. However, due to Klei having to rewrite Don't Starve's code to optimize it for PS Vita, save files are not compatible across both versions and cross-play is not available. The PS Vita version — first announced back in June — includes two new playable characters, the stage actress Wigfrid and Webber, a young boy who "lives inside the spider who tried to eat him...
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This new Titan Souls gameplay trailer is all about staying alive (and failing to do so)

Titan Souls developer Acid Nerve released a gameplay trailer for the action game today, offering a glimpse at its pixelated world and the fearsome titans within. Our hero has to fend for himself with a bow and a quiver with a single arrow, along with a dodge move for defense. Death is a certainty in Titan Souls; what's important is to glean some lessons from it. Titan Souls is set for release in Q1 2015 on Linux, Mac, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and Windows PC. For more, check out our E3 2014 interview with Acid Nerve below.
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39 Comments

PSN returns after daylong outage caused by DDoS attack

PlayStation Network is back online in North America following a daylong siege by hackers who even communicated a bomb threat to an airline in order to divert a flight carrying a top Sony executive. PSN and Sony Entertainment Network returned to service about 3 a.m. ET. A statement on the PlayStation Blog said the system was taken offline because of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. "We have seen no evidence of any intrusion to the network and no evidence of any unauthorized access to users' personal information," the statement said. Because of the outage, the regular maintenance scheduled for PSN in North America has been postponed. It was to have lasted from about 12 to 7:30 p.m. ET. The outage began sometime in the early morning Sunday; a hacker group claimed...
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