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Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 1 out August;26 ⊟

Idea Factory International will release the Vita remake of Hyperdimension Neptunia on August 26, with the European release following the next day.

I must admit, I’m pretty curious about it! I know it doesn’t have the best reputation, but if I liked the idol game, I could probably deal with the actual RPG.

BUY PS Vita (PS Vita Slim / Borderlands 2 bundle), upcoming games
1001 Spikes: Of Death and Love ⊟
[Guest writer/TinyCaster Francesco Dagostino shares why he loves a game that hates its players so much, judging by the lengths it goes to kill them.]
This might sound like a very bizarre statement, but 1001 Spikes has some of the best sliding ice block puzzles I’ve ever had the honor of attempting to solve. They don’t appear until the second half of the game, but when they do you just get this sudden feeling that the people who made it (these people being 8bit Fanatics with the help of Nicalis) have a grasp on the puzzle-platformer genre that is waaaaaaaaay above average.
Every action that the main character Aban Hawkins can perform, from shooting knives to pushing boulders (or, in this case, ice blocks) has a lot of depth, and variables to take into account. Basically, to solve these stages, you don’t have to just push or break ice blocks, but also run behind them, jump ahead of them, use them to reach higher ground or run back and forth on top of them to avoid some of the game’s titular, deadly, and omnipresent spikes.
Of course, it’s not just the ice block puzzles that drove me to sit in this chair and start writing an article about this fantastic game instead of playing it some more: pretty much every single level is built to amaze and surprise the player. The focus being on the word “surprise” here. “Surprise” meaning “kill.”
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At first glance 1001 Spikes is just another retro-style platformer (a very pretty one!), but try jumping around, shooting, falling and dying, and you will realize this is actually a very modern game! The controls are ultra-responsive, and the action flows just beautifully. The collision detection in particular is pixel-perfect, which helps a lot with an action title like this, in which a single pixel can make the difference between life and death. Nicalis and 8bit Fanatics know exactly what players want from video games like this, and it shows clearly in 1001 Spikes' execution.
The main mode of the game, simply called “1001 Spikes”, offers a collection of elegantly designed death traps. Spikes, darts, pits, explosions, scorpions, lava balls, deadly penguins — there’s a huge amount of things that can kill you, and they are all well-hidden in seemingly safe corridors and on apparently stable bridges. You won’t know they’re even there until it’s too late.

If I gave you the impression that Aban’s adventure is a hard one… well, it means I’m doing my job right. One quick Google search will show you how many people use the title of this game together with Dark Souls’. And that’s saying something — about both its difficulty and its quality.
Playing 1001 Spikes really feels like exploring some incredibly dangerous ruin, especially when you’re doing so with friends, (1001 Spikes supports 4 players locally, but only on the home console and PC versions!) when you can feel the tension in the air. If someone makes a mistake and dies, the shock immediately hits other players, snapping them out of their concentration and leading to another premature Game Over.It’s hard not to laugh all together when something like that happens.
Despite the difficulty, 1001 Spikes is not annoying or frustrating at all. In fact it’s so well balanced and paced, it’s greedily consuming of your attention. Assimilating and conquering the masterful design of every locale is, in my opinion, the real purpose of this game — the right way to play it, if you will. Every time you die, the screen turns black, and in chunky white type tells you that “YOU ARE DEAD!”, but it’s so easy to read it as “ONE MORE DANCE?”
Completing the levels will, of course, give your self esteem a huge boost, but what makes 1001 Spikes something you absolutely MUST play is the feeling you get by dying right next to the exit of a stage, of seeing yourself robbed of another victory just one second away from the goal by a perversely placed trap. The best part? You were expecting something like this to happen, but you were too scared to acknowledge it. And then you feel motivated to try again, to go back to that specific point that took your life to claim it back and move on. Or, more realistically, die again just one step further.
Sometimes you’ll die because the levels are tough and the people who made this game sadistic, evil creatures, but most of the time, you’ll die because you’re hasty, because you don’t have patience, or because you’re not fully focused. When you make those kind of human mistakes, it’s easy to just press a button and continue, sacrificing one of the 1001 lives you start with. … I wonder what happens if you lose them all!
1001 Spikes is a pudgy lil’ game. It offers a crazy amount of content for the price it asks. Over 100 levels, four different and equally amazing and addictive modes (including a Smash Bros.-style battle arena) and over a dozen unlockable characters! Most of these are cameos from other titles, such as Curly Brace from Cave Story, Nyx from NyxQuest, Commander Video from the Bit.Trip series or Jonathan Blow from… the real world?!?

Anyway, all these gals and boys come with different abilities and their own music theme, obviously inspired by the game they come from! Neat, huh? There’s a lot of of respect for great games of the past and present in this project, and a lot of effort to create an experience that feels new, fresh, innovative, despite all the nods from the past.
I don’t joke when I say 1001 Spikes is a game that deserves to be treated as a masterpiece alongside gems like Spelunky or Cave Story. It will awaken you, it will make you love video games like you forgot you could.
A few lines above I said that the people who made this game are sadistic and evil, but you know what 1001 Spikes has a lot of? Spikes! … Just kidding. I meant to say heart. A game like this can only come to be when people really love what they’re doing and want to share their ideas with the rest of the world, so that as many people as possible can see their love, and love what they did with it.
It’s easy to forget, with console wars, AAA stuff and cinematic experiences in the way, but that’s pretty much the best thing you can hope to get.
1001 Spikes is out on pretty much every existing system. PS Vita, PS4 (they’re cross buy!), Steam, Wii U, and 3DS. On some systems, you can also get it at a discounted price (10.01$, ahah) if you have previously bought other Nicalis titles! The home console versions are the best ones in my opinion. I’m playing it on WiiU — mostly because I love posting silly screenshots and doodles and I can share the experience with my husbando and friends!
[You can follow Francesco Dagostino on Twitter at @franpaccio. The GIFs featured in this article were pulled from videos uploaded by Playstate and EliteAssass1n.]
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1001 Spikes: Of Death and Love ⊟

[Guest writer/TinyCaster Francesco Dagostino shares why he loves a game that hates its players so much, judging by the lengths it goes to kill them.]

This might sound like a very bizarre statement, but 1001 Spikes has some of the best sliding ice block puzzles I’ve ever had the honor of attempting to solve. They don’t appear until the second half of the game, but when they do you just get this sudden feeling that the people who made it (these people being 8bit Fanatics with the help of Nicalis) have a grasp on the puzzle-platformer genre that is waaaaaaaaay above average.

Every action that the main character Aban Hawkins can perform, from shooting knives to pushing boulders (or, in this case, ice blocks) has a lot of depth, and variables to take into account. Basically, to solve these stages, you don’t have to just push or break ice blocks, but also run behind them, jump ahead of them, use them to reach higher ground or run back and forth on top of them to avoid some of the game’s titular, deadly, and omnipresent spikes.

Of course, it’s not just the ice block puzzles that drove me to sit in this chair and start writing an article about this fantastic game instead of playing it some more: pretty much every single level is built to amaze and surprise the player. The focus being on the word “surprise” here. “Surprise” meaning “kill.”

Read more

Retro Waterproof Case for PS Vita ⊟

Hey, this makes your Vita look like a Game Boy! It also makes it… waterproof…

It’s $13.99 from Play-Asia, if you want to play some Spelunky in a nice bath and oh man I was joking but actually that sounds really great.

BUY PS Vita (PS Vita Slim bundle), PS TV, upcoming games
  • Source play-asia.com
Dragon’s Crown for $20 ⊟
The Vita version of Dragon’s Crown is on sale at Amazon for $19.99. I loved Dragon’s Crown when it came out, and frequent tweaks, patches and updates have only made it better since then! There’s an endless tower thing now! Via @wario64.
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Dragon’s Crown for $20 ⊟

The Vita version of Dragon’s Crown is on sale at Amazon for $19.99. I loved Dragon’s Crown when it came out, and frequent tweaks, patches and updates have only made it better since then! There’s an endless tower thing now! Via @wario64.

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  • Source amazon.com

Magical Beat on North American Vita this week ⊟

Arc System Works’ Magical Beat is a color-matching falling-block puzzle game – that asks you to drop blocks to the beat of the background music. 

I played a demo of this on Japanese PSN, hoping I’d be able to get it on my US account  – and it’ll be here Tuesday! And so will the demo, which is good because I don’t know if I explained it very well.

BUY PS Vita (PS Vita Slim bundle), PS TV, upcoming games
  • Source blog.us.playstation.com
Four more Spelunky Minis ⊟
The adorable Spelunky Minis toy series will be back in stock at Fangamer this Tuesday, in case you’ve failed to decorate your house with them. Even better, they’ll be joined ey four more deadly yet lovable enemies.
It’s like having a really great limited edition of Spelunky.
BUY PS Vita (PS Vita Slim bundle), PS TV, upcoming games

Four more Spelunky Minis ⊟

The adorable Spelunky Minis toy series will be back in stock at Fangamer this Tuesday, in case you’ve failed to decorate your house with them. Even better, they’ll be joined ey four more deadly yet lovable enemies.

It’s like having a really great limited edition of Spelunky.

BUY PS Vita (PS Vita Slim bundle), PS TV, upcoming games
  • Source fangamer.net

La-Mulana Vita trailer ⊟

Oh man, I forgot this was happening! I still haven’t played La-Mulana, and I still really want to. According to this PS Blog post, it’s coming out in December!

BUY PS Vita (PS Vita Slim bundle), PS TV, upcoming games
  • Source blog.us.playstation.com
E3 first look: Akiba’s Trip’s male “strip portraits” ⊟
Thank you, Hatsuu, for the first image of the new “strip portraits” created by developer Acquire for the western release of Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed.
Preorder Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed, upcoming games

E3 first look: Akiba’s Trip’s male “strip portraits” ⊟

Thank you, Hatsuu, for the first image of the new “strip portraits” created by developer Acquire for the western release of Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed.

Preorder Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed, upcoming games
Pre-order a PlayStation TV ⊟
It’s like a Vita that you plug into your TV, to play (some) Vita games, PlayStation Now streaming, and PS4 Remote Play (from another TV)! Weird! The base model is $100, and there’s also a Dualshock 3/Lego Movie game/HDMI cable bundle for $140 that I don’t see on Amazon yet.
The US model is black, unlike the white JP version.
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Pre-order a PlayStation TV ⊟

It’s like a Vita that you plug into your TV, to play (some) Vita games, PlayStation Now streaming, and PS4 Remote Play (from another TV)! Weird! The base model is $100, and there’s also a Dualshock 3/Lego Movie game/HDMI cable bundle for $140 that I don’t see on Amazon yet.

The US model is black, unlike the white JP version.

SUPPORT TINY CARTRIDGE Join Club Tiny!
  • Source amazon.com
PS Vita TV launching in North America this fall ⊟
Called “PS TV” here, will work with the streaming service PlayStation Now. $99. $139 for a bundle with an 8gb card, a DualShock 3, an HDMI cable, and a copy of The Lego Movie Game.
BUY PS Vita (PS Vita Slim / Borderlands 2 bundle), upcoming games

PS Vita TV launching in North America this fall ⊟

Called “PS TV” here, will work with the streaming service PlayStation Now. $99. $139 for a bundle with an 8gb card, a DualShock 3, an HDMI cable, and a copy of The Lego Movie Game.

BUY PS Vita (PS Vita Slim / Borderlands 2 bundle), upcoming games
Grim Fandango to be remastered for PS4, Vita ⊟
Yay! A Tim Schafer/LucasArts jam I’ve never played, on Vita!
BUY PS Vita (PS Vita Slim / Borderlands 2 bundle), upcoming games

Grim Fandango to be remastered for PS4, Vita ⊟

Yay! A Tim Schafer/LucasArts jam I’ve never played, on Vita!

BUY PS Vita (PS Vita Slim / Borderlands 2 bundle), upcoming games
Entwined for PS Vita ⊟
It’s on PS4 tonight (!) but it’ll be on PS3 and Vita a bit later, and it looks really nice. Sony spent some of its press conference time showing off Entwined, a new game by a team of recent graduates in which you play two bird-like characters (one on each analog stick) who are in love but cannot be together… flying through techno-psychedelic tubes and dodging things.
It’s really pretty in a Rez/Dyad way, but more chill than either. Nice!
BUY PS Vita (PS Vita Slim / Borderlands 2 bundle), upcoming games

Entwined for PS Vita ⊟

It’s on PS4 tonight (!) but it’ll be on PS3 and Vita a bit later, and it looks really nice. Sony spent some of its press conference time showing off Entwined, a new game by a team of recent graduates in which you play two bird-like characters (one on each analog stick) who are in love but cannot be together… flying through techno-psychedelic tubes and dodging things.

It’s really pretty in a Rez/Dyad way, but more chill than either. Nice!

BUY PS Vita (PS Vita Slim / Borderlands 2 bundle), upcoming games