EGX is the UK’s largest gaming show and we sent Paul and Charlie to play some upcoming Vita games. You can find out more about them here!
You’ve probably heard of Eurogamer, or possibly their more American-centric sister website, US Gamer. Since their formation around the turn of the century they’ve grown quite considerably into a gaming media power-house and since 2008 have actually hosted their own UK gaming events. This year it was held in Birmingham, rather than London, for the first time and we were there! It was a great show with over 75,000 attendees over the four days, but was it a great showcase for the Vita?
If you went – or were expecting – something showing off the Vita, you’ll have been disappointed. With a solitary two Vita units – featuring Tearaway and Velocity2X – this was an extremely pitiful showing from SCEE. To make matters worse, on the day we attended the units weren’t even working. There were as many Vita’s in the PlayStation section as there were PSOne, Two and Threes. To make matters worse, on the Saturday Shuhei Yoshida took to the stage and confirmed that a future Sony handheld was unlikely, but we’ll cover that in a future issue.
Despite the lack of support from Sony at EGX, which is now no longer a surprise, there was actually more than a modicum of interest in the system and although not all were playable on our handheld of choice there were actually twelve games at the show that will be coming to the system. Read on as we tell you all about them!
Developed by Rage Squid and coming to PlayStation by those talented people at Curve, Action Henk has more than 70 levels for you to Run, jump and butt-slide around the glorious toy-filled world around you! You’ll need to become a master of momentum and defy physics as you race against a band of ragged 90s action figures to once and for all prove that Action Henk is the fastest of them all! With the ability to race your friend’s ghosts, unlock other characters whilst listening to a “pumping” soundtrack by demo scene musician Wiklund, there is sure to be something for everyone here.
Mighty No 9
We have since learned that while the console version is coming in February, we’ve still got a bit of a delay with the handheld version. The game has had a bit of a troubled journey so far, but that hasn’t deterred the many gamers that are looking forward to what is ultimately a reimagining of Mega Man for the 21st Century. You star as Beck, the titular “Mighty No. 9” unit and your quest is to defeat the other 8 “Mighty” units across a variety of different levels. The game gained more than $4 million on Kickstarter, so there’s clearly some interest in this.
A game about space adventures and strategic shoot-outs, you’ll be playing as Captain Piper in this turn-based platformer and you are tasked with recruiting a team of rag-tag robots to explore and scavenge the remains of a destroyed world. Set in the same universe as Steamworld Dig, but it’s not a sequel as such, especially since there is no digging in the game! Gameplay includes boarding enemy spaceships and commanding your crew with turn-based combat, and your own skill will ultimately determine the outcome. If you love strategy games and adored the previous games in the Steamworld series then you’ll be wanting to keep an eye of for this one.
We didn’t get long with this little party title from The Dangerous Kitchen, but what we did play convinced us that we need it. Described as a mix of Smash Bros. and Breakout, you only need one actual button to attack, and charging it will execute different moves. As you smash into your opponents, the environment around you will start breaking away. It’s a little crazy and incredibly addictive, just like all party games should be. With plans for online multiplayer and a crazy single player mode, we can’t wait to see more of De Mambo!
Tyler played a little of this “Waifu Bar-tending game” at PAX Prime, and Ysbyrd Games had a build for us to experience too. It’s a little strange in many ways, but you’ll need to pay attention when the order comes in for the drink, which you’ll need to concoct and mix yourself and before long you’ll find yourself immersed in the story. With more things to do than bar tend, this is more of a Visual Novel style life simulator than it might look and could well keep you entertained for quite sometime. I’m certainly more interested in it than I was.
Described as a spiritual successor to DJ MAX, this upcoming rhythm game had me an Charlie playing for some time, and if you are a fan of the musical genre it could well keep you hooked too! With more than 45 different tracks and over 200 different beat combinations it’ll certainly be different each time you play! Developed by the team behind the popular PSP title DJ Max Fever, those of you that love games with a little music in them will want to keep an eye out for this later this year.
Four Sided Fantasy
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to experience this clever platformer as the demo wasn’t running which is a shame because it looks very interesting. With the use of screen wrap you can use elements in the screen to your advantage and is very much about playing to your limitations. With the ability to enhance your abilities and featuring a “crisp art style” and “mesmerising music” we certainly can’t wait to find out more.
Shu is a 2.5D side-scrolling platformer that is coming to the Vita from the creative minds at Secret Lunch – with a little help from Coatsink Software. The hands on that I had with the game introduced me to three of the characters that you will meet in Shu and I soon learnt that each character has their own special ability that you will need to make use of in order to progress. I played in a forest-like level and met characters that added the ability to double-jump, glide and run on water to my party. When you meet a character Shu will grab a hold of their hand (or beard) and will drag them through the level with him trying to keep them away from the storm that chases you through each stage. If the storm does catch you then it will eat one of the characters that form a part of your party – meaning that you lose them and their ability for good! Shu is a beautiful looking title that has a stunning, hand-drawn artstyle. If you are a fan of the platform genre, then keep your eyes out for this beauty!
Strength of the Sword
Strength of the Sword from Ivent Games was another game that was a pleasant surprise when I played it at EGX. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, this title is heading to the PlayStation Vita and the best way I can think to describe it is like a cross between Infinity Blade and Dark Souls. Although SotS is not as dark as the Souls series, it is definitely a challenging title – don’t let the cartoon-esque visuals fool you! This game is both beautiful and brutal, and if it looks as good when it releases on the handheld then you will be in for a treat!
One of the games that I enjoyed the most at EGX was Ackk Studios’ YIIK. Best described as a modern-world RPG that feels a lot like Zelda or Persona, the game features platforming elements, puzzles and, of course, dungeons. The battle system is turn-based but each character has a unique play style, with one character using records to attack that sees a turntable appear on the screen and you will have to hit sweetspots on the LP to increase the power and combo of this attack. The build of YIIK that I played looked gorgeous, and after speaking with the dev I was told that the game looks even better on the latest build that they have. Having not really taken much notice of YIIK previous to playing it at EGX, I can now say that this title is very much on my radar!
Oddworld New n’ Tasty
I have been looking forward to seeing Oddworld Inhabitant’s Oddworld: New n’ Tasty on the PlayStation Vita for some time – and at EGX I got my hands on a build of the title running on the system. The game looks and plays great on the PlayStation Vita, and although it was a little buggy (which the developer did advise me it would be) I found the port to be extremely playable with not many notable compromises from the console versions. If you are a fan of Abe, or are wondering what the Oddworld series is all about, then be sure to pick this up the minute it launches on the PlayStation Vita!
Set in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by nature, Poncho is about a robot on a quest to find his maker and to find answers about the devastation around him. Adorned with a Poncho, you must help this mechanical hero overcome impossible odds and discover the secret inside him that could help save humanity! The game itself is extremely clever and intuitive. A 2D platformer with 3D parallax layers, I found myself quickly switching from the forefront of the screen into the background to collect treasure or to get around obstacles. Poncho looks to be great fun, and with no levels as such (the game lets you choose your own path from the start of the game) it looks like you will need to playthrough Poncho a number of times in order to fully experience the game!
If that’s not enough, here are three more that might come to the Vita…
Originally planned for a PSM release, developer Bryan Gale would love to bring his temporal puzzle game to the Vita in the future. He should, it’s ace.
Eitr is awesome, and one of the questions that Eneme Entertainment get asked the most is will they do a Vita version. They want to, they love the handheld. It’s all about timing and money. So someone pick it up!
Dead of Day
Currently on Kickstarter and featuring a PSVita stretch goal of £100,000, Dead of Day is a game where you try to survive a zombie apocalypse. Build a base, get a team and search for supplies.
That was everything that we saw at EGX. Are there any games here that you are looking forward to? Let us know which of these games – if any – you’ll be buying!
This feature first appeared in Issue 6 of The Vita Lounge Magazine. Look out for more exclusive and new content in the magazine soon!