Archive for PSVita

Guacamelee! Platinum!!!

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Borderlands, Games, High Scores/Accomplishments, Personal, Uncharted with tags on April 17, 2013 by slateman

I grabbed Guacamelee! last week and thoroughly enjoyed playing through it on both my PS3 and PSVita. The game is classic in so many senses. The tight controls, fun combat and spectacular visuals all made this a joy to work through. The fact that it was a Metroidvania game only helped.

Being on vacation, I was able to grab the game and play whenever I had a free moment and the Vita’s suspend option made it perfect. After beating it and 100%ing it, I went on to hard mode. Some of the arenas and bosses were tough (and cheap) but it all felt like small victories. It reminded me of getting my first platinum on Uncharted. While some areas were really tough, all you had to do was beat that one section. Games save after everything nowadays. Though I don’t want to remember that blue water room in UC. Nightmare.


Anyways, Guacamelee! was a game I had on the horizon for a bit, and after getting another $10 free from PSN (that’s the third time they’ve given me free cash!!!) and a $3 PS+ discount (the best deal in gaming evah!) it was a no-brainer. Cross play only helped. I was uploading my save, playing on the PS3, uploading then playing back on the Vita. Brilliant. Well worth the cash and my seventh platinum!!!!

Speaking of: My other platinums: Uncharted 1-3, Borderlands, The Walking Dead and Resident Evil 5. All were worthy of my time.

And reflection time: We’re at the end of this cycle aren’t we? PS4/720 coming out in a few months. Looking back with a friend recently, this generation has had some *Great* games. I started writing an article on the best games of this generation. Never quite finished though. :)





Playstation 4: Four Reasons To Be Excited

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Games, Lists, Uncharted with tags , on February 24, 2013 by slateman

sony-ps4-logoOh, new console, how I loathe thee. I’m sorry, I am actually quite fond of you. Your first year usually sucks but then again it’s so cool having the newest, latest & greatest tech! But nowadays, things aren’t quite like they were years ago. New consoles mean so much more than just better visuals. So, with a non-backwards compatible (with hardware & software), expensive machine on the horizon, why should anyone be excited? My PS3 does just about everything I want (cross-game chat notwithstanding). Let’s see.

#1 – Remote Play & Streaming

Sure, we’re disappointed by the lack of backwards-compatibility but if remote play is anything near what Sony was touting during their press event this month, I’ll be rather impressed. So, I’ll be able to play PS4 games on my Vita? Without lag? Wait…I’m going to press the X button on my Vita, it’ll send that signal via WiFi to my PS4 which will process the button press and then send that entire video signal back – with zero lag? Then to say we could do that with anything from a phone to an iPad…I’m not entirely sold. However, if they can get this working; it’ll be pretty sweet.

Streaming is a different beast entirely and I’ll believe this when I see it. Beyond streaming to devices to play PS4 games, being able to play PS1, PS2 and PS3 games via streaming could be outrageous! Of course, I don’t want to pay for any game I already own…and pay for the streaming service as well because we know that won’t be free! However, this could be a great thing if implemented nicely. I’m hoping they do this right. I’m not sure how this will work but the more I think about it, the more I fear it’ll be a greedy method of extracting cash. Hmmm….

#2 – Dual Shock 4

I may be in the minority but I love the Dual Shock. I’ve loved it since before it had dual analogs and…well…shock. Tweaking it doesn’t look too sexy but from what it seems, this should be one hell of a controller. It’ll also come at a cost; I can’t see that monster going for any less than $60.

Now, I don’t know how much I’ll use the Share button, nor do I have any clue why I’d need a touch pad. The rest looks solid though and I’m excited about it. Oh, and the ability to charge while the system is off: A+!

#3 – Horsepower

Of course we’re looking at a faster, more-powerful processor and more RAM. But it’s what that means that makes me happy. Irksome things from the PS3 will be eliminated. Cross-game chat is, of course, welcome (though will it cost us via a new subscription service?) but there’s more than that. The reported ability to install in the background is a wonderful change from the current method. I’m excited about what else this processing power will entail beyond just graphics.

#3 – Screenshots/Movies

10 years ago I used to capture video and post stuff to PTH but I have neither the time nor the resources to go about it any more. I’m thoroughly enjoying the ability to capture images on the PS Vita, even if I don’t do much with them. Being able to edit video could be a very cool thing indeed as there have been numerous times I’ve wished to do the same. Sports fans could go back and edit replays like they have done for years but now they could save them.

How about a few things I’m not excited about.

#1 – The Price

This thing has to cost a ton. Even at a reasonable $400, which I find a doubtful price point, you need a game and so that’s a $500 purchase in the end. Will PS+ carry over? What will the new subscription cost? Streaming? Additional hardware? That controller at $60 would be manageable – but still costly. I love hardware, but don’t like paying for it! :D

#2 – Not BC with PSN Games

I totally get the backwards-compatibility issue with PS3 games just like how Sony took out PS2 BC on the PS3. I accept that and look forward to how streaming will be implemented for older titles. However, PSN games would be nice to carry over. I have a large number of PSN games. I suppose this is the same as every console generation but I have a LOT of reasons to keep my PS3 hooked up. Speaking of…

#3 – HDMI Space

I now have 3 HDMI devices connected to my TV. My PS3, my Wii U and a blu-ray player. My TV only supports 3 HDMI inputs. Another device = what to unplug? I hate that decision. It may be minor, but in a small house with kids everywhere…it’s an important decision.

#4 – Gimmicks

Sony isn’t focusing on 3D but we cannot forget how important the push was just a little while back. It’s typical, especially for Sony. So, now, we’re going to get the share button forced down our throats, the new camera system will make the Dual Shock 4 act like a Move controller, the touch screen will be used for balancing, etc. Expect the first wave of games to have trophies related to them both. Silver trophy for sharing this game/something with 10 friends! Meh. It’s just like the first Uncharted games – both on the PS3 and the Vita. Remember balancing in the first UC? Tilt the controller? No thanks. It was removed from games #2 and 3. How about the Vita? Hold the Vita up to the light! Swipe, swipe, swipe! No thanks. I hate gimmicks. Expect the PS3 to come at you full force with them.

So…that’s that. I’m certainly excited about the PS4 and will almost definitely be getting one. I have enjoyed the systems for over 15 years now. This holiday’s launch should be cool and I look forward to what they’ll have to offer. Next up…see what Microsoft has to say! I can’t wait to see what innovations they’ll conjure up! While I don’t play my 360 nearly as much as my PS3, I own both of Microsoft’s consoles.

Ys: Memories of Celceta Coming To The U.S.!

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Games, Ys with tags on February 1, 2013 by slateman

YsCelceta01I’ve been an Ys fan since Ys I & II dropped on the TG-16/PCE back in 1990. In fact, I even made a shitty site on it. Today’s news is exciting though, even 22 years after I started playing the series. Ys: Foliage Ocean In Celceta (Memories of Celceta for the U.S. version) will be coming out this autumn via the spectacular XSeed Games. I’m so psyched. Finally a reason to own my Vita!!!

Summer Vacation Updates: Gout! Games! Foliage Ocean!?

Posted in Blog, Cubing, Games, Personal, Reviews, Ys with tags , , , , , on June 23, 2012 by slateman

Update #1: The Gout Sucks! I really needn’t say more.


OK, I played Ultimate Ghosts & Goblins several years back when it first appeared on the PSP but this week’s $5 sale well…sold me. I’ll be heading out to camp next month and figured I’d stock up on some portable gaming. Of course, this is a poor decision because UG&G is one of the most brutal gaming experiences ever. I knew this having stopped playing all those years ago due to sheer frustration and outright disgust ad the developers. It’s cheap, difficult and evil. However, it’s also classic. It’s a good mix of old and new, but I think it needed to draw from some other sources as well. Its save system is archaic, and while this may appeal to the hardcore gamer, I am disappointed in the layout. Much like Maximo missed out on opportunities, this game could’ve benefited from some tweaks here and there.

The Glory Of Ys

Now, this is what I’ve been waiting for. Back when the Vita launched, we all sensed the drought of killer games. It happens after each hardware launch. However, as I went through the PSN store to see what they had, Ys Seven and Ys: Oath In Felghana were the only two there. No Chronicles??? Supposedly there was a problem and so this game just snuck in there recently. Oh, I’m psyched. Now, I admit that I liked playing the game on the NDS several years back but something happened to my cart, and I never finished it. I’ve run through Book I on the PSP as well IIRC, but something happened once I got to Book II. (Are you seeing a trend here?) This all means I’m friggin’ thrilled to finally get to this. This too will be summer gaming at camp. Headphones, those classic tunes, oh man, this is going to be sweet!


I purchased this game several months ago and really never got a chance to dive into it. It seemed a cool concept but only recently have I dug it out to try it. It isn’t perfect and the story is entirely skippable. However, the gravity gun and control over gravity itself are both just awesome ideas. Now, the rest of the game is the generic Metroidvania that we all know and love. And even this generation, this game was done, and done better, with Shadow Complex. Now that game friggin’ rocked. However, while this is just a generally-good game, the inclusion of gravity control and the gun make it different enough to be enjoyed in its own right. I recommend this…I Like would be the review caption.


Finally…Ys Celceta is now suffixed Foliage Ocean In Celceta. Of course, it’ll be renamed when localized. And it will be localized, likely by XSeed. I’m looking forward to it, the game drops in September, let’s hope for a translation in early/mid ’13? Now, I haven’t bought any of the PSP games retail (got Oath and Chronicles digitally) but I do hope for a nice packaging. I’d love to shell out some cash for something like that. Music CD, map, some nonsense that fools like me pick up. We’ll see. In any event, the screenshots show a nice world map in the upper-right-hand portion of the screen, a sleek HUD and I’m psyched.

OK, this was a long update but had a lot to cover. My cubes finally hit the U.S. so I hope to have them by the middle of next week. That’ll be cool as I gave my student my Windmill Cube. :) I’m curious how similar the Fisher Cube is to that one. Let’s get this gout totally cleared up (OMFG So Bad!) and life will be pretty good!

Uncharted: Why Golden Abyss Is Better Than UC3

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Games, Lists, Reviews, Uncharted with tags on May 27, 2012 by slateman

I love me some Uncharted. I’ll go as far as to say it’s the best game this generation. It helps that I prefer 3rd person games. But there’s no disputing the level of care the four UC games have been given. The settings, voice acting, stories and gameplay are all polished and pristine.

When Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception came out in November, I was disappointed. It did a lot right, let’s clear the air there. However, when looking at its single-player experience, it was inferior to UC2. That’s not a surprise, really, as UC2 is the aforementioned best game of this generation. There was something more though…something more disappointing than the fact the game was disappointing. It failed to move forward in a lot of ways. It failed to make me care.

So, as I started to play Golden Abyss, I knew we were looking at a side entry into the series. They’re never as good. And, once again, to be clear, it is less grand in several ways.

The visuals are clearly not as fantastic as the third game. The controls are lacking both a second pair of shoulders and the clicking of L3/R3, that’s 4 buttons lost. This makes reloading more cumbersome and you cannot zoom in through most gun scopes. The touch-screen controls are totally unnecessary and add zero to the game’s value. And there are never as many enemies on screen as on the consoles, though the endless hordes towards the end of UC3 was apparently one of the only picking points to its stellar scores.

Spoilers To Come BTW!
With those basics out in the open, it appears (about 3/4 of the way through the game) Golden Abyss is better in almost every other way. The story in 3 may have been large, but like I mentioned, I didn’t care about Marlowe and Talbot. Cutter was a grunt and Chloe and Elena were barely in the game. I was really disappointed in the cast and settings of UC3. Right from the get-go, I felt passionate about Dante. He was slimy and deceitful from the outset and I disliked him greatly. However, you are tied with him, which makes you hate him more. Chase started out just so-so, but as I progressed, I actually cared about her search for her grandfather. The Chase/Nate chemistry is there too, replete with his trademark charm and tongue-in-cheek comments. Then…Sully!!! I really didn’t know he’d be in the game. His appearance is perfect. There is a ton of dialogue between him and Drake, the camaraderie and history is blatant. There are jokes about ‘that time when…’ and Nate picks on Sully’s age. It’s all just like it should be. It has virtually everything UC3 has.

We’re talking about a handheld game that is, through its story and gameplay just as good if not better than the huge-budget console brother! I am totally digging Golden Abyss. It is flawed but IMO not as flawed as UC3 was. It’s exciting and delivers a great story and explosive moments. Where UC3 gave me the ‘been-there, done-that’ feeling, this feels fresh and exciting. You may disagree with one being better than the other, but it’s hard to deny this is one of the biggest handheld adventures ever. I’d, once again, go as far as to say it’s the best portable game I’ve ever played. And I’m not even done yet! And, I’ve already thought about subsequent playthroughs.

I figured I’d share some more pics. I love the screenshot option and these sure are beauts.

Uncharted: Golden Abyss = Friggin’ Sweet!

Posted in Blog, Games, Reviews, Uncharted with tags on May 22, 2012 by slateman

Golden Abyss!

OK, Golden Abyss is flawed. The controls can be a little shaky. The motion/touch-screen controls are gimmicky and at the outset, it feels like a side story.

With that out of the way, however, we can get into the rest. Now, I’m about 8 chapters in, so I think that’s about 1/3rd. It’s a reasonable time to make some sort of basic ‘conclusions’. Beyond those issues listed above, Golden Abyss is the best handheld title ever. It’s gorgeous. Its voice acting is top-notch. Beyond the voice-overs, the audio is spectacular. It’s fun. It’s Uncharted!!!

The story, which loses its ‘side-story’ feel as time goes on, is pretty cool and very quickly I identified with Nathan again. It helps that they didn’t outsource his voice, as it returns me back to the series I adore so much. The tale of Dante and Chase (pretty generic adventure names at this point) is not bad. I kinda like this Chase chick and Dante is as sleazy as he should be. I don’t trust him and I’m curious about her. Perfect…they’ve pulled me into this tale 100%. I’m overlooking the downsides, because at this point, I haven’t a clue why I’m collecting all this shit. There are treasures and there are pictures (lame) and then these archaeological things and for some reason you have to clean them. Why am I cleaning a pick-axe? Umm, ok, and then there are other puzzles like torn-up sheets of paper and then the rubbings…whatever. They’re gimmicky no doubt, but they’re not painful. The motion controls are horrible. Umm…there’s a reason they were removed after the first Uncharted game.

However, I’m having a blast with this game. Playing with headphones allows me to hear everything in its perfect, high-budget glory. This is not the ‘ting ting’ sound of yesteryear’s handhelds. It’s amazing. The gameplay, while definitely dumbed down from the PS3 outings (no analog click zoom, no swapping shoulders, grenade tossing sucks) is still Uncharted at heart and it’s fun. I’m finding the dialogue with Chase interesting and Drake just mentioned how he needed to show something to Sully. I may have dissed UC3 a bit a few months back, but I love the world and the series. I’ve already thought about subsequent playthroughs to pick up all the stupid crap I missed.

Ultimately, there’s still plenty left. I plan on enjoying it as I go through the game. I’m pretty psyched that it has turned out so well and may report back with final thoughts in a little bit. For now, some cool artwork from the game. I captured these with the Vita itself. I love this system!!! Enjoy!

What The PSVita Needs

Posted in Blog, Lists, Ys with tags on March 25, 2012 by slateman

I’ve got my sexy PSVita and have been enjoying it for quick, short games. My busy schedule lately hasn’t allowed for much dedicated time, but it is serving its purpose. That’s what I love about handhelds and the Vita has a lot of positives. The web browser, its multitasking capabilities allows me to pause and run other programs and I love that I can read messages from friends on either my PS3 or my Vita. However, it’s clear Sony launched this thing without it running at its full ability. There are some very basic things that will be added; I’m just not too patient about it. The fact is, these things should be there already. The hardware is fantastic. Like it’s PS3 brother, who launched without a very good store integration, no in-game XMB, etc. I’m excited about what is certainly to come. Let’s see…

1) PS1 Classics Compatibility
I don’t really know what happened here. I’m guessing it’s the software emulation. I figured that wouldn’t be a real big deal seeing as how it’s such old hardware and this *is* Sony. However, I have a few games on my PS3 hard drive that I’d love to play on-the-go. Symphony Of The Night is one of my favorite games ever. I’m hoping for full support before long.

Want More

2) PSP Compatibility
I know backwards compatibility is never an easy thing and I’m happy the Vita plays a ton of PSP games. There are a bunch not on the list though, and I’m really looking forward to playing Ys Chronicles on my Vita. How they’re going to roll out these updates, I’m unsure. Hopefully with each firmware update we’ll get more games added to the list and to the store.


3) Better Compatibility
Yeah, I realize…Three of the same category. However, this is what I’m looking for my Vita to do. When connecting to my PS3 to download videos I downloaded from the PSN, most don’t work. Wait…why? They are brand-new videos from the PSN! Nope. My videos? Nope. No WMV? I hate the codec, but playing videos on my gorgeous PSVita screen should be a breeze. Why it’s not is beyond me. Well, I can play videos I’ve downloaded. I just have to go through remote play. No…that’s not how it should be.

3) Better PSVita / PS3 Integration
Fighting piracy is no doubt one of Sony’s biggest goals and so I imagine the reason for this interface is just that. However, the Content Manager is a weak interface that is not smooth whatsoever. Copying files is not easy, the manager opens up the video and music programs individually (so why have the content manager?) and it’s all so very cumbersome. While waiting for wireless Vita/PS3 compatibility probably won’t happen (but should), I can’t stand the interface. Having to catalog everything on my PC so to use the same mediocre program is really annoying.

4) The Interface
Now, I quite like that we’ve moved away from the XMB. I loved that interface. I have a Sony Bravia, a PS3 and a PSP. It served its purpose but now with all touch-screen interfaces, I’m glad to be beyond that. While the new PSVita interface functions well, it’s awfully ugly. Will Sony ever change this a la the 360’s dashboard updates? I certainly hope so. There’s plenty that can be done to improve this. I can’t group games together, icons like the party icon look bad even for Nintendo Wii visuals and it’s not customizable at all. We know that Sony is fighting the smart phone market as well as the handheld. Getting the best of both worlds is not going to be easy but I’d love to have more abilities when it comes to tweaking the visuals.


5) More Apps
Again, this is a handheld gaming device, but it’s got Facebook and it should add more like YouTube support, etc. Walking that line between a smart phone and a handheld means it cannot be inundated with crap. However, I hope they support this like they do with the PS3 and add something. Specifically, I’d love to be able to detect media servers and to stream audio/video to the Vita. In fact, this is one of my biggest gripes/desires for the system.

Ys Celceta: Sea Of Trees

Posted in Blog, DoDon Pachi, Games, Skyrim, Street Fighter, Ys with tags on March 11, 2012 by slateman

Ys Celceta: Sea Of Trees!!!

Yup…more to play!!! Dunno when this will be coming out, it may not make a 2012 release here in the US, but I’m psyched regardless!!! Ys Celceta: Sea Of Trees is a reworking of Ys IV, something I never really devoted much time to (either version of Ys IV, I think this is a remake of Dawn Of Ys). It’ll be coming to the PSVita and will be a most-certain purchase for me. It also gave me a reason to update the already-dead Ys: The Ultimate Utopia. Now I’m in Ys mode (not good, also being in DDP, Skyrim and SF mode!!!) so I want to go back and get Ys Chronicles for the PSP/Vita. Oh, and Ys Seven, and what the hell, Ys: Oath In Felghana. I’m so pathetic..

Games: Too Much Shit To Play!!!

Posted in Blog, DoDon Pachi, Games, Skyrim, Street Fighter with tags on March 11, 2012 by slateman

There are worse problems to have, I realize. Here’s what I’m looking at though…

First off, I’ve got DDP:DFK going on…LOVE DDP but that’ll be around for a long time. Then I have Skyrim and I’ll echo my DDP comments for this one. My Vita has started getting some love, but more at home than on the go. Then, I have SFxT from GF, which is something I’d really like to own. This is coupled with a bunch of PSN games I want to finish (Rochard, Bloodrayne: Betrayal, Trine and the first Sly Cooper which was free) and Journey on the PSN too! Oh, and I never finished off Outland on the 360. There are plenty of other PSN ones too, actually. RE4 and Hard Corps: Uprising need my love. And we should not forget the impending release of Borderlands 2 (might be a purchase), Darksiders II, RE6, and the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD reboot. Oh, and for co-op games, I’m looking forward to trying out Binary Domain, Raccoon City and I’m psyched about Aliens: Colonial Marines, but I can wait till Mat gets his stuff sorted out first. It’s going to be a good year, I think…if I can manage to get all these games in!

Darksiders II & Borderlands II

I Was Wrong: PSVita For Me After All!!! \m/

Posted in Blog, Games, Hardware with tags on February 24, 2012 by slateman

Since I expected not to have a Vita, it was a surprise to me when my destiny brought me to the local Wal-Mart to purchase one. En route home, I mentioned to my middle daughter how I can recall the details of every major videogame hardware purchase. I can recall the first and second PS1, my PS2, PS3, Xbox, 360, DC, N64, Wii, GBA, GBA SP, NDS, PSP, and whatever else there might be in there. I shan’t forget this one!

I grabbed a PSN card and got Super Stardust on the PSN and later the Blob game, whatever it’s called. I bought an 8Gb card (man, 32Gb should’ve cost that much…particularly seeing as how the soccer game alone is 3Gb) and downloaded some demos.

Verdict? It’s a strange time for the handheld market. I can’t say it does much my phone or my (school’s) iPad does. However, it’s a gaming device and nowadays we look for our systems to do so much more. It’s one reason I am not excited at all about the next Xbox/Playstation. Everything is integrated so well into this current generation. While I love love love graphic improvements, I feel as if that’s the only major draw to the next gen. That and touchscreen gamepads. I have a phone already, thanks.

So, the system…sweet. It’s smooth, responsive, looks fucking sexy, and is the most powerful handheld on the market. Look at those specs! Look at that OLED screen! Now…it’s all about keeping the gaming market up. Having solid A titles with smaller, more digestible arcadey games like the phone/Apple market so adores. I must admit I felt really guilty…but I also know that I will remember the glory of this day, the unpacking, the first glimpses of what new hardware is all about. So awesome.