Soul Sacrifice NA April 30th launch date set

There haven’t been a lot of blockbuster titles in store for the PS Vita, but the one game that’s got my gaming juices flowing is Soul Sacrifice. Fortunately for everyone, the launch date has been set to be April 30th. Hopefully, like what Monster Hunter did for the PSP, Soul Sacrifice will do for the PS Vita. There’s certainly a lot of similarities between the two games. Both have awesome monster battles and great multiplayer. It also doesn’t hurt that it has the inputs of designer Keiji Inafune and the musical compositions of Yasunori Mitsuda and Wataru Hokoyama.

Like a lot of previous PS Vita games (this is becoming a trend, if you haven’t noticed), if you pre-order the game, you get the following:

  • Japanese audio tracks – available for purchase later
  • 2 unique customers for character customization – NOT available for purchase later
  • 3 magical items  – NOT available for purchase later:
  1. Spirits’ Flamepike – Shards of the spear provided by Fire spirits, unleashing a five hit combo attack with heat effects
  2. Spirits’ Blightstone – Explosive stones with poison effects provided by the spirits
  3. Spirits’ Fulgurwood – Root provided by the Thunder spirits. Tracks enemies on the ground and attacks with thunder spell

Hit the jump to see the full box art.

 

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New gameplay footage of Black Ops Declassified

I’ll be honest, I didn’t have high-expectations of Black Ops Declassified after how they butchered Resistance: Burning Skies, but after watching the footage here, I have to say that I’m now praying that they’ll get it right this time around. The gameplay looks really smooth without any lag and the graphics are clean. Here’s to hoping!

If you’re interested, you can compare the above video to the trailer posted on Aug 14, 2012. Hit the jump for a video comparison.

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Happy LittleBigPlanet PS Vita Day!

OK, you got me. It’s really not officially LittleBigPlanet PS Vita Launch Day. That day is actually September 25 for North America. Fortunately, there was a little botch-up with the release date at retailers such that Sony was inclined to give the go-ahead on letting all retailers sell ahead of time. For me specifically, that means that I’ll be receiving my copy in the mail courtesy of Amazon today on September 20!

As a little present, here’s a tip. If you missed out on the World Peace Day costume last week, you’ll be happy to know that there will be 2 more special costumes released next week only. The Rare LittleBigPlanet PS Vita T-Shirt, which changes color according to your Popit color, will be priced at $4.99 *ouch*. The Launch Space Suit, on the other hand, will be free.

So don’t forget to snatch up your copy of LBP PS Vita now and to get your special costumes next week!

Madden NFL 13 demo available today

For all you Madden fans, Madden NFL 13 is dropping onto PSN as a demo. And if you like it, you’ll be even happier to know that it’ll be made available on August 28th.

What I’ve always found appealing about Madden games on handhelds is the ability to have your own private screen. One of the things I hated with consoles when playing with a friend at home is how he or she could guess what type of play you were choosing. With a handheld, you can sit next to your buddy and still know that your plays are a complete secret.

In an effort to differentiate the game from it’s bigger console brother, the PS Vita version will have (for better or for worse) controls unique to the PS Vita. You will be able to draw your hot routes on the front touchscreen, double tap the rear touch pad to juke when running, etc. As many of you know, I’m not a fan of gimmicky controls (I think Gravity Rush did an amazing job of incorporating the PS Vita’s unique controls), but I’m open to seeing how well Madden NFL 13 brings them into the overall gameplay.

Pure Chess available tomorrow for geeks everywhere

OK, I’ll be the first to admit the fact that I’m a big fan of chess. Maybe it’s because its an intellectual game, maybe it’s because I played in high school, or maybe it’s because I like thinking that I’m smarter than I actually am, but there’s something about chess that just makes it so damn fun. For those of you that are like me, you’ll be happy to know that Pure Chess is going to be made available on May 29th, for both local and turn-based play. Chess games have exploded on mobile devices like the iPhone, where there are many popular social, turn-based chess games like Chess with Friends and Social Chess. But unlike many of its mobile competitors, Pure Chess has the advantage in that it will have its own built-in AI to compete against as well as training ranging from basic to advanced techniques. Even better, the PS Vita makes it capable to have fantastic graphics that are visually more stimulating than its mobile counterparts.

That said, there’s still some things to be determined. Will it have the ability to play random players? How will the Play By Mail work – will it require accessing your email via a different application in order to make the next move?

In any case, here is quick rundown of the features of Pure Chess:

  • Staunton, Checker, and Williams chess sets created with stunning detail and precision
  • Museum, Penthouse, and Library locations beautifully portrayed
  • Comprehensive tutorial that teaches you basic, intermediate, and advanced chess techniques
  • Wide variety of difficulty levels
  • 3 Tournaments to test your tactics
  • 100 Bonus chess puzzles to ponder over
  • Play By Mail with up to 8 of your friends
  • Track your ELO and Tournament ratings in the ranking boards
Hit the jump for more screenshots.

Pre-orders of Gravity Rush come bundled with extras

If you’re like me and you’re patiently awaiting the NA release of Gravity Rush, then you’ll be happy to know that it will come bundled with additional downloadable content (DLC) provided that you pre-order the game. By pre-ordering, you will receive two extra side missions, two new challenge missions and a military-themed costume for Kat (the main character).

Extra Missions:

Once you complete Episode 17 of the main story, you’ll unlock the new “Game Rules” side mission. In this mission, Kat has been asked by Commander Yuri to train as a military officer. As she trains with her rival, Seawasp, a message comes in saying that the Nevi have appeared and it is up to you to defeat them. After you clear this mission, you’ll receive Kat’s unique military costume!

Complete the “Game Rules” side mission and you’ll be able to access a second side mission: “Visionary courage.” In this mission, D’nerica has ordered for the capture of a massive amount of Nevies. En route, a disaster strikes and Hekseville is swarmed. Amidst the chaos that ensues, Kat must decide which is more important – her mission, or her friends.

Challenge Missions:

Once you’ve completed Episode 8 and Episode 11 of the main game, you’ll also be able to access the “Factory Energy Gate Race 2” and “Slide Race in Another Dimension” challenge missions respectively.
Gravity Rush’s launch is right around the corner, so be sure to take advantage of the exclusive Military DLC Pack by pre-ordering at any of our participating retailers.

Personally, this game can’t come any sooner. Lumines can capture my attention for only so long – I’m in need of a game with a deeper storyline. I’m not one to make predictions, but I have a strong feeling that this game will be one of the best of the year for the PS Vita.

Sumioni: Demon Arts releases today

If you’ve been waiting for this Samurai platformer, then today is your day!  For $19.99, Sumioni will be available on PSN sometime today according to the Playstation blog.  The game makes use of the front and rear touch panels to “paint” physical paths onto the screen and perform attack moves.  I’ve you’ve never seen it in action, check out the video below!

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