Friday, August 5, 2016

Alone With You Comes Home Soon

After playing Home, the first Vita release from Benjamin Rivers, I'm really excited to check out Alone With You when it hits on Aug. 23. This Vita (and PS4) release is described as a romance adventure that takes place in doomed space colony of which you are the only survivor. Like Home, the game's story will branch differently depending on the choices you make while interacting with the environment as well as holographic companions. Alone With You will be $9.99 with a launch discount to be announced, and it game is cross-buy.

Friday, July 22, 2016

#TeamHandheld's Limited Run Games Vita Hype Giveaway

Contest is over, congrats to our three winners.

This giveaway is going to be an easy one, as all you need to do for it is follow some simple instructions for a chance to be entered into a random draw to win a Vita copy of Saturday Morning RPG, Oddworld: New N' Tasty, or Futuridium EP Deluxe (there will be three winners, each getting a separate game). You also need to be within the US (or willing to pay international shipping via PayPal), be following @FinalMacstorm on Twitter, and have more than 100 quality tweets (not just contest entries) to your account before the contest ends.

To enter, all you need to do is make a single tweet (multiple entries will not count) listing the Vita games you'd mosts like to see Limited Run Games be able to release in physical form and include the following two hashtags within the tweet: #TeamHandheld & #LRGVitaHype.

You have until 11:59 PM EDT on Monday, July 25, 2016 to get your tweet in. Winners will be selected at random after the drawing ends. The first draw will be for Futuridium EP Deluxe, the second for Oddworld: New N' Tasty, and the final draw will be Saturday Morning RPG. Pocket-Console reserves the right to disqualify any winner within their discretion. Winners must be willing to share their name, email address, and mailing address to receive their prize. International winners must be willing to pay part of the shipping costs, though an estimate will be given before confirming willingness to pay. In the event of a forfeit, a new winner will be drawn at random.

Friday, June 10, 2016

#TeamHandheld Report - 06/10/2016

Last week's #TeamHandheld Report went over very well, so I plan to mix in some Now Playing with some new features like that top 10 list more often. This week, I have a few different games I've been working through to talk about, so no need to delay this any longer. There's some really good stuff and one really bad one.

Now Playing

SteamWorld Heist (Vita)

I've been excited to check out SteamWorld Heist since it was confirmed for Vita. I know I could have picked it up on the 3DS before now, but hey, I have Dig on Vita so I figured I could be patient to keep these together on the same system. Man, I cannot stop playing Heist. It's in the same world as Dig, but is a totally different experience and is fantastic.

SteamWorld Heist is a turn-based strategy game where you take your crew through multi-tiered stages and shoot hats off of enemies. OK, so it's not just about shooting hats off enemies, but I really enjoy that part, because then I get to wear their hat! No, you're actually supposed to shoot and destroy these foes, but often your line of sight isn't clear, so it's important to find the right position or to bounce bullets off walls to get a good shot in. Between recruiting and trying out new party members and finding new ways to take out foes, I've been having a blast with this. It's just so addictive and creative that I can't put it down. If you've not checked this out yet, you need to. The "one more stage" mentality is totally at work here.

-A highly recommended steamy experience-

Paranautical Activity (Vita)

Wow, Paranautical Activity is a mess. This first-person shooter mixes roguelike elements such as randomly generated dungeons and permadeath together and ends up with a game that's awkward to control and frustrating to play. Aiming is not very precise, your weapon choices are not always great, enemies are often damage sponges who can hit you easier than you can them, and the worlds are just not that exciting to explore. It was hard to really play much of this at all, because it was just so messy. I don't think it had anything to do with the Vita port, as the game runs well enough, it's just not fun as I never felt like I was getting better at it. Dying over and over with no progress being made meant a quick shutdown on this one.

-So, so painful-

Steins;Gate (Vita)

I've happily gotten back into Steins;Gate on Vita, specifically because of Steins;Gate 0 coming later this year. Like I stated before, I've watched the anime so I know what's going on, but it's fun to revisit the story even if it lacks the amazing English voice work of J. Michael Tatum. Since it's been a while since I've watched this, playing it again is really hammering home how great the plot is. I can't wait to get into the real mind twisty stuff that I know is coming. That's my favorite part. El Psy Kongroo!

-Slow going, but working up to the good stuff-

Bravely Second (3DS)

Having finally finished Bravely Second, I wanted to take a second to give a few final thoughts on it. First, I would gladly play another one of these games. Regardless of their problems, they are like RPG comfort food to me which is nice. That said, there are definitely issues there that I would love to have addressed.

My biggest problem was that the job system was just overwhelming. There are way more jobs and skills than you can ever make use of, so I just finally said screw it and focused mostly on Bishop and Fencer, both of which you get early on. Not to say that the other jobs weren't good, but they just came at such as pace that I never felt like dragging things out just to try them all. What I had worked, so there was never a good reason to dig into the others except to look cool in the new job outfit.

Other than that, the only big issue I had is that I felt like I had done all of this before. Lots of the same characters, even enemies, were reused and many dungeons were recycled from the first game. It was a lot of "been there, done that," which after the second half of Default, that's not really what you want to have. All of the reuse does seem to work better here than it did in the prior entry, as the characters are already developed if you played the first game, so things unfold better. I just couldn't imagine playing both games back to back out of fear of getting burnt out. Those issues aside, the game itself is just plain, simple fun. All of the problems I have are easily ignored if you turn off all encounters and blast through this game in just over 30 hours like I did. It's hard to ignore the cast's potential and would love to see the job system tightened up if we get Bravely Third.

-Finished, but might be ready for more eventually-



E3 is next week, so while I'm not planning on having a Now Playing section, I do hope to have something to talk about from the show. I know that Sony likely won't have much to say about the Vita, but there are plenty of other publishers and indie developers still cranking games out for it. And there's still a good chunk of 3DS stuff on the way, so I hope to have a rundown or at least some commentary about what's going on in the handheld arena.

#TeamHandheld Updates

Friday, June 3, 2016

#TeamHandheld Report - 06/03/2016

Since this week's #TeamHandheld Report was going to be light on Now Playing content, I've opted to highlight some of the upcoming handheld games I'm most excited to play instead. Please enjoy.

Future Playing Top 10

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II (Vita)

The more I think back on the first Cold Steel, the more excited I get about playing Trails of Cold Steel II. The characters were great, and after spending a whole game building things up, it is really exciting to see how a full game will be with everything already in place. It worked really well with Trails in the Sky SC, so I have high hopes for this.

Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past (3DS)

I played a little bit of Dragon Warrior VII on PS1 back in the day, but I wasn't too impressed. The fact that this version fixes a lot of the problems with the original release and my new love for the Dragon Quest series has me ready to check this one out. I hope we get a date soon, like maybe during its showing on Day 2 of Treehouse Live at E3.

Cosmic Star Heroine (Vita)

A classic style, turn-based RPG from a proven indie RPG developer? It's really hard not to get excited by a game that strikes those nostalgic cords, yet has all of the modern improvements you'd want. It doesn't hurt that I'm a sucker for a spy story and a cool female lead, of which Cosmic Star Heroine has both. Gameplay has been solid in Zeboyd's other titles, so I'm not worried about that. I'm curious how the story holds up.

Zero Time Dilemma (Vita)

I really dug the story of 999, but was bothered by a lot of the gameplay elements. When playing Virtue's Last Reward, I felt like the balance was much better as there were lots of improvements to the gameplay. That said, I only really wanted the mind screw story, so if Zero Time Dilemma heads more in that direction, I'll be totally fine with that.

Shakedown Hawaii (Vita)

Retro City Rampage DX was a pretty sweet little action game. All of the puns, parodies, and tropes were well-placed and made the game entertaining. Shakedown Hawaii looks to be like a more polished, deeper version of that. Just give me some free roaming goodness, and I'll be happy. Classic arcade action is always fun when done well.

YIIK (Vita)

I've been interested in YIIK's fun quirky style for quite some time now. I know it's not going to hit Vita at launch, but I hope it doesn't take too long to do so. Fun, unique RPGs like this are just perfect for handhelds. It should be fun to see how this one plays out, as it's tough to get a good idea of everything the game has to offer just from screenshots and trailers.

Mystery Chronicle: One Way Heroics (Vita)

While I try to enjoy roguelikes, as they seem fun in concept, it takes something special to really get me into them. Something like Etrian Mystery Dungeon was a blast, it just went on a little too long. Mystery Chronicle looks fun because it takes the roguelike style and puts it into a game where the screen scrolls to the side, so you have to keep from being pushed to your death. There are also Danganronpa characters in this version, so that's a plus for me.

Grand Kingdom (Vita)

Grand Kingdom wasn't even on my radar, but when the beta hit on PS4 I decided to give it a shot. It turned out to be a very addictive game that I could see myself playing a lot of on Vita. It combines party-based battles with positioning strategy in a way that's not really been done before. Since full rounds seem to take a while to finish, I think this would work much better for me on a handheld. I'm looking forward to checking out the LiteDemo soon.

Dragon Quest Builders (Vita)

Yeah, I'm a Dragon Quest fan and make no excuses for it. That said, Dragon Quest Builders isn't your typical DQ game like the others I've listed here. Combining story, action gameplay, and world building gives this game a creative twist that I've not really seen of the series since Rocket Slime. I'm not really a Minecraft guy, but it seems as if Builders offers more than just open world crafting and building, so that makes all the difference to me.

The Banner Saga (Vita)

I tried to avoid listing games that were already available on other consoles, but The Banner Saga is the one game that busted through that restriction into my top 10. That's because this game has been hyped up so much by people I trust, but I've just not had a chance to get around to it yet. Now that Sony's Third Party Production team has stepped in to help create the Vita version, I figured why not wait for that? Hopefully we're know more soon about a release date.

Honorable Mentions

World of Final Fantasy (Vita)

One of the only reasons this game isn't higher on the list is that fact that it still seems to far away. Famitsu screens just aren't enough, so I hope to see more on this soon. It looks super cute, so I'm down with that. Give me some solid details, please.

Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King (3DS)

While I'm super excited for this one, I have played it before. I didn't really get Dragon Quest back then, so this replay will be with a different appreciation. I love the characters and can't wait to have Jessica and Yangus back in my hands.

Shiren The Wanderer: The Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate (Vita)

I've always had a love-hate relationship with roguelikes. I really love to play them, but I never really do well enough to get very far. That said, I'm always willing to try a new one and this looks fun. Shiren is the master after all.

Moon Hunters (Vita)

Moon Hunters has been looking sweet for a while now, but we don't have a date on the Vita version yet despite it hitting PS4 soon. Let's hope it holds up doing well on Vita, especially with its multiplayer focus.

Romancing SaGa 2 (Vita)

Even though the only confirmation of this coming out in English is a single tweet asking for patience, just the fact that Square Enix might be considering bringing some of the Vita/mobile games like this to Vita here makes me happy. Fingers crossed we get this and other stuff like Adventures of Mana.

Upcoming Games

One Piece: Burning Blood (Vita)

I'm not familiar with One Piece at all, but I'll gladly give you a breakdown of how the game plays.

SteamWorld Heist (Vita)

This should be on my Vita soon, so I can't wait.

Paranautical Activity (Vita)

I've played a bit of this, but want to give it more time before talking about it. Not super exciting so far.

#TeamHandheld Updates