Archive for the ‘News’ category

BUYERS BEWARE: PlayStation TV barely plays Vita games!

October 8, 2014

Back when it was released in Japan as the Vita TV, Sony’s PlayStation TV generated a lot of hype: It came out of nowhere and promised us the ability to play Vita games on our TV at a low low price! Why wasn’t this available in America over a year ago! Thankfully, the Vita is a region free system so there was nothing to stop me from importing this glorious budget priced beast!

…then I discovered something horrible: The Vita TV doesn’t play Vita games.

PSTVcompat

Well, that’s a slight exaggeration. Out of my 11 PS Vita games, it played 3 of them. To those of you wondering, here’s the list:

Works:
-Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus (JP)
-Valhalla Knight 3
-Dragon’s Crown

Doesn’t Work:
-Gravity Rush
-Army Corps. of Hell
-YS: Celceta
-Demon Gaze
-Hyperdimension Neptunia PP
-Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
-Soul Sacrifice
-Shinobido 2

So what was the problem? Was it the touch screen? No because the Vita TV has built-in touchscreen emulation (click in L3 and R3).

Perhaps the VitaTV is region locked? Not quite because my US Valhalla Knight 3 and Dragon’s Crown work on it. However, Demon Gaze is supposed to work on it but apparently the US version (which is ALL region) doesn’t. Something in the translation process broke compatibility.

However, this is the Japanese Vita TV and I’m trying to play US games! Surely the US compatibility list will be better, right? Well good news! It’s here! Check out the whopping list of “nearly 700 games” compatible with the PlayStation TV! The bad news? If you pay attention, the compatibility list is actually horrible.

https://support.us.playstation.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/5376/~/games-compatible-with-playstation-tv

Checking my list of games that worked and didn’t work on the Japanese Vita TV, there are very few differences. Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed works now and Demon Gaze is supposed to work again. However, YS: Celceta, any of the Neptunia games, Army Corps of Hell, Shinobido 2, Gravity Rush, and the rest of them all don’t work. Uncharted is also not on the list.

However, perhaps most distressingly: Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus has lost compatibility on the US system!

Why is this distressing? Well aside from it working on the Japanese system there’s the fact that it launches in the US on the same day as the Vita TV! Now, perhaps because it isn’t out yet however, as we have seen, sometimes the translation process breaks compatibility.

Indeed, glancing at the Japanese compatibility list, Soul Sacrifice and Neptunia are supposed to work on the Japanese Vita TV as long as you’re playing the Japanese versions. I have a feeling this means the US and Japanese Vita/PlayStation TVs have the same compatibility list.

What this results in is only 84 US Vita games work on the system. It also means 4 out of my 11 games now work (or 5 if the Japanese Senran Kagura still works).

According to Wikipedia, there are 774 games total on the Vita. Now mind you that is counting Japanese-only releases so saying only 84 out of 774 Vita games work on Vita TV is a bit untrue…but think about that: 84. That is less than 50% compatibility (US games were somewhere between 250-500 games).

So what are the rest of the “nearly 700 games”? PSP games you can download. If you look, the biggest chunk of the PlayStation TV compatibility list is PSP games. Basically this is a PSP Go you can hook up to your TV that plays select Vita games.

Speaking of which, I need to address the PS1 games on the list. These are the same PS1 game you can play on your PSP and PS3. Infact, you can play MORE PS1 games on your PSP! Why? Because the Vita doesn’t emulate the PS1. It emulates the PSP emulating the PS1. This results in longer load times and decreased compatibility. If you wanted to play Bloody Roar 1 & 2 on your Vita TV, you’re out of luck.

The weird thing is that I noticed no noticeable compatibility issues when slapping my Japanese PS1 games onto my Vita TV.

Oh, and they count Demos as separate games. Because they are desperate to boost that number in any way possible.

So, think this sounds like a complete mess yet? It gets worse.

Chances are, if you’re reading this blog you wanna play Tales of Hearts R on the Vita TV, don’t you? I know I do (though I would rather play the DS one *grumble grumble*). So, is it compatible? Well…you’re not gonna like the answer: it used to be.

Yeah, when Googling around for the answer I found a thread that said that Tales of Hearts R worked perfectly on Vita TV firmware version 2.60, but the 3.00 update broke compatibility with it (and White Album apparently). Ouch. Yeah, that sounds good: updates that break game compatibility. So you can buy a game to play on it, only for it to suddenly stop working one day.

But this is only a temporary problem, right? Sony will fix it super fast and everyone can get back to their game, right? Wrong.

http://www.jp.playstation.com/software/title/vljs00039.html

Tales of Hearts R is no longer listed as being Vita TV compatible. Sony isn’t even trying.

Look, let’s just be honest here: Having a Vita you can hook up to a TV and play games on is a great idea! However when that Vita has a less than 50% compatibility rate? That’s not good at all. What happens when a super awesome sounding Vita game comes out but isn’t PlayStation TV compatible? Then what? How frustrating will that be? How much more frustrating would it be when your favorite Vita game suddenly stops working on the PlayStation TV?

People, this is exactly why they changed the name to “PlayStation TV” instead of “Vita TV”. Even still, I find this pretty unacceptable. Perhaps if all you want is to be able to play Persona 4 Golden on your TV and you’re willing to pay $100 just to do that? Then enjoy your Vita TV. It’s Muramasa compatible too apparently and that makes me happy (because of that sweet DLC). But be forewarned: This thing is a mess.

However, there is one ray of hope: Apparently fans have a workaround to force Tales of Hearts R to work on their Vita TV. Perhaps once the system is thoroughly hacked it will be awesome. Either way, I would wait for the hack.

Until then, please, remember to check the compatibility of all of the games you want before buying a PlayStation TV. It DOES NOT work with ALL Vita games!

Oh, and my VitaTV has HDCP protection on the video stream and it’s HDMI only, so you can’t record game footage either unless you have a clever workaround.

GameBabble has a New YouTube Channel!

August 27, 2014

GameBabble now has a brand new YouTube channel! Check it out at:

https://www.youtube.com/user/gamebabbleshow

Why move the channel? Simple! My GELTONZ channel was started 7 years ago, when YouTube has a policy of one channel per user. As such it contained an awkward mix of personal videos and my episodes. It was screamingly unprofessional. It made me wary to upload the random videos I was making for fun. So the channel was moved! What few videos did not transfer remain on my GELTONZ YouTube channel but otherwise you’ll find all the GameBabble and Gaming with GEL goodness on the new channel! I even fixed the audio on the Way of the Samurai 4 playthrough and that silly online Sonic the Fighters video I did.

Of course I have not migrated all the links yet and the suggestion of adding title cards is a very good one. These will be added in due time. However the important stuff is all moved and the channel is now up and running! Please enjoy!

Sonic Boom MAY be awesome…on 3DS anyway…

June 13, 2014

With the first gameplay footage of Sonic Boom on WiiU getting leaked, views of my article “Sonic and the Worst Fandom Ever” spiked with 151 views in a single day!

However, I had to agree, Sonic Boom looked pretty awful. More accurately, it looked like Sonic Unleashed if it was all Werehog all the time. Thus I wrote a…rather emotional article shortly after I saw the footage. As bad as some Sonic fans are, no one should like a game just to not look like a whiny fan.

Besides, the point of that article wasn’t to make Sonic fans look bad, it was to explain why they got that bad in the first place! Trust me guys, I sympathize with you.

Well, with E3 having come and gone, footage of the 3DS Sonic Boom has surfaced and I have to say…this looks pretty good!

Admittedly it’s lacking in speed, but it does look like a Sonic-y enough platformer. Unsurprisingly it’s coming from Sanzaru. Seems Big Red Button is doing the WiiU one while Sanzaru handles the 3DS one.

As I said in my previous article, Sanzaru did the recent Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time on PS3 and while it wasn’t the greatest game in the series, it was a serviceable entry that certainly pleased fans. Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal for 3DS looks to be much the same. The chance of this being a favorite Sonic game are slim, but the chance of it being better than the WiiU game are astronomically high!

…unless you really liked the Werehog. I mean I know it had some fans so at least they’ll enjoy the new Sonic Boom.

Either way, my point is: Sonic fans, don’t give up hope!

It’s okay be wary of Sonic Boom.

June 9, 2014

As the guy who wrote “Sonic and the Worst Fandom Ever“, you would think I’d be angry at the fans that seem to hate the upcoming Sonic Boom game on the WiiU without having played it.

However, personally, I’m more annoyed at the people liking it just because they don’t want to sound like whiny Sonic fans.

I understand that you need to play a game first before you can tell if it’s crap. Afterall, I was very surprised by how solid Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures was. But sometimes you can see what’s wrong before putting your hands on the controller.

I feel the key is to figure out what it is you dislike and try your best to portray it in a non-whiny way. Same thing with if you like it. Opinions are going to vary.

As for me? Well my feelings are very mixed. On one hand I love Bob Rafei and his work on the Jak & Daxter series. I think he’s a genius designer. On the other hand, I played Big Red Button’s previous game: Daxter. It was…not good and honestly kind of an insult to the Jak & Daxter series. Sluggish unresponsive controls, annoying characters, and just plain annoying gameplay. I played it years ago so I barely remember it beyond dropping it quickly, grabbing a save file, and just watching all the cutscenes because I couldn’t stand it.

However, Sanzaru is another story. They recently put out the new Sly Cooper game which was darn good. I mean yeah it was basically just them recreating Sly 3, but being “about as good as the other games” is good enough for me considering it was from a completely different developer than the originals. It was a rock solid platformer that I did indeed have quite a bit of fun with.

This game though? It looks like the opposite of Sonic Color and Sonic Generations! While those two were “All Day Stage Sonic Unleashed”, this looks like “All Night Stage Sonic Unleashed”. All Werehog, all the time. Even the slow platforming bears such a striking resemblance to the night stages it’s surreal. Come to think of it, are the laser lassos basically just replacements for Sonic’s streachy arms?

You’ll have to excuse me while I laugh. The whole point of the Werehog was to freshen up Sonic’s gameplay and make it more varied and appealing. People didn’t like it. So Sonic Team gives the game to a Western developer and asks them to make the game more appealing to Western audiences and what do they do? Make the Werehog.

Of course, the night stages weren’t that bad so there’s a good chance this will be a thoroughly average platformer and that does raise the question: Would you rather have a solid but generic platformer, or a slightly wonky Sonic game? Speaking personally I’d pick Sonic Lost World over Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures in spite of it being a decent game.

So, to summarize, it looks slow and combat-centric.

Also, the fact that every boss is “throw enemies at it” does have me worried.

Other complaints I have is how Sonic doesn’t shut up, the overly dark nature of the stages which makes it hard to see (and really the visuals are pretty bad), but above all else: the music.

Can someone please explain to me why Western developers don’t get music? I don’t mean to bash them but I have played so many Western games where there is little to no music. I understand that a lack of music can have it’s place in setting tone and atmosphere. However, having a nearly silent environment in the middle of a fight is just weird. Especially in a Sonic game where even the worst game in the series has amazing music.

Then again, the Devil May Cry system of having one battle song that plays over and over again every time you get into a fight isn’t any better. Even when that song is freaking amazing, it will wear you down.

But, looking back on all my complaints, I realize I could still be pleasantly surprised. Crash: Mind Over Mutant was a seemingly darker combat-centric game yet it remains one of this generation’s highlights for it’s fun gameplay and great sense of humor. I still stand by my weird claim of it being a superior Golden Axe: Beast Rider because it really was.

The thing to keep in mind is that Sonic Boom is a separate thing from Sonic. It’s an alternate canon with no bearing on the main series (whose canon is already incredibly loose). Still, the concern that SEGA might want to continue in this direction is bothersome.

Really though, the reason I’m annoyed is because as bad as Sonic Fans can be, the inverse is no better. I’ve seen far too many reviewers give Sonic games a bad review just because they’re Sonic. Alternately though, I remember when IGN in their “How to Save Sonic” article claimed Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood was an example of a good Sonic game.

Yeah, no. The only person I have ever met who liked that game hates Sonic, hates Japanese developers, and has a massive affinity for Western developers and especially Bioware. I know folks who would rather play Sonic 06 than Sonic Chronicles. I understand it had a very troubled development history so I bear the dev team no ill will, but the final product was not good. A slow awkward mess of mismatched visual styles and sounds (enemies make a stock “boing” effect when they explode). It was trying to be 3 different games at once: A Bioware RPG, My First RPG, and a Sonic RPG. The three did not mix well.

In short, I feel IGN was giving that game a pass because it was made by Bioware instead of SEGA rather than anything having to do with the gameplay. This is what I worry about with Sonic Boom: How many reviewers will give it high scores for being Not SEGA rather than anything having to do with the gameplay?

This also brings up the other issue: No matter how good this game is, it’s “Not Sonic”. The lack of speed and focus on combat is so not Sonic it really is distracting. Even if this is the best platformer ever, the fact that it isn’t Sonic is going to forever be an issue.

Then again, maybe I’m still angry because of Castlevania: Lord of Shadows, a game which recieved a free pass for being “The best 3D Castlevania” by not being Castlevania at all.

 

Actually fuck. I don’t care if this destroys my credibility. I need to stop this article now. The seething hatred I have for what is otherwise a very well made and okay enough game is overwhelming me. I’m actually getting dizzy. The fact that people could consider that game “a good Castlevania game” bothers me on a cellular level.

Perhaps I’ll spend some time soul searching and thinking about why I hate when people like a game I loathe. There is a logic behind it, I just need to form it into words. I’m just gonna say that, Sonic Fans who hate Sonic Boom? I totally understand. Try not to be too childish about it and keep an open mind but…yeah there are good reasons to be wary. Also, don’t bash a person just because they are wary of the game.

 

…and wait a second, did this just break The Sonic Cycle? I mean Sonic Fans are supposed to drool over how amazing a game is from the first screens and videos and then be disappointed after it comes out, right? I don’t care how unprofessional it is, I have only one response: XD

Hello GLOBAL Dungeon Fighter: The Best MMO Ever is BACK!

May 19, 2014

If there is one thing that always makes me a little misty eyed, it’s watching an MMO close. MMOs are the most finite form of gaming. Once those servers are gone? The game can never be played again. This is especially sad when the game in question just happens to be three dreams come true at once and one of the best brawlers ever made. Such was the case with Dungeon Fighter Online, one of South Korea’s top MMOs which took 5 years to get a US release only to be shut down after 3 years of poor advertising and technical issues.

You can read how I felt in this article here. If you think I sound broken up, you should see some of my friends! You don’t really know what you have until it’s gone and without Dungeon Fighter, finding an MMO worth playing is very difficult.

Worse yet, due to corporate issues, it seemed Dungeon Fighter couldn’t make a comeback like Audition Online did. Audition was from a separate company so passing the rights along was quite doable. Dungeon Fighter, however, was basically the sole product of Neople, a company Nexon had recently merged with. Essentially Nexon owned Dungeon Fighter lock, stock, and barrel it seemed. No other company could bring it back…

 

…or so I thought.

 

Somehow, Neople themselves are now launching Global Dungeon Fighter Online! In fact, it is currently in Open Alpha so you can play it right now! Truly, there is a God!

Notice I keep using that word: Global. This is a BIG deal! Why? Well…Dungeon Fighter Online never made it out of Beta in Europe. I don’t even think it went to Open Beta! Now, Europeans can finally play the game and they can join the rest of us! This makes me ecstastic! Speaking personally, I have friends in the UK, Hong Kong, and Australia with one friend moving to Taiwan soon! The fact that we previously couldn’t play together sucked! Now though, it seems we should be able to!

Yes that means we’ll probably see a bit more lag in PvP. I think we can deal with it, or divide our PvP rooms by region if we must. However, PvE should work great. DFO’s netcode ain’t too bad for that!

Now lets get the details out of the way: Right now it LOOKS like we’ll have to start over. Mind you this is still Alpha so anything is possible later on.

That’s the other point: this is the ALPHA. Chances are, our characters will get wiped. The website is disappointingly devoid of details.

Yes, this IS a necessary Alpha it seems as the Fighter’s ponytail is currently flickering. I’m sure there’s plenty of other bugs to squash before they can safely open the cash shop.

Also accounts are tied to Facebook so make of that what you will.

So, how far back does this set us? Right back where we left off. In fact, my old install of DFO still worked! What? You thought I could bring myself to delete it?!

This does raise quite a few questions. How is Neople releasing this without Nexon? Aren’t they the same company? Did they split up? Was there a breach of contract with how badly Nexon handled the overseas release of the game? What miracle caused this to happen?!

You know what’s even funnier? I was literally just complaining about how Dungeon Fighter was shut down mere hours before hearing the news!

So sometimes…dreams DO come true! Welcome back everybody!

One More DOA5 DLC for the Road!

July 18, 2013

So with Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate announced, you would think that Team Ninja wouldn’t bother releasing anymore DLC. However,  they still had one more loose end to tie up: The Vita DLC.

Well now it’s available on both PS3 and XBox 360 to non-Vita owners!

If you’re unfamiliar, when DOA5 Plus was released on Vita they released a new swimsuit pack for it as well as a bunch of cheerleader costumes if you preordered the game. The idea was that owners of the game could share DLC between the Vita and PS3. However, I’m not sure if they ever got it working quite right and the Vita release seems to have pretty much flopped. As such they had a handful of DLC that worked perfectly well on consoles but was unavailable until now!

The swimsuits cost as much as they usually do: $5 for a set or $13 for all of them.

Meanwhile, the Cheerleader outfits are sold individually for $1 apiece or $9 for all of them. Since this effectively means you only get one Cheerleader outfit “free” if you buy the pack, I definitely opted to go individual on this one.

But wait! Why would I buy DLC when the Ultimate Edition is coming? Well because, again, it is backwards compatible with all the DLC and this seems to confirm that the Vita DLC will not be included in Ultimate.

So to those that still have their DOA5s, this might be a good chance to dust it off and prep yourself for Ultimate! Believe it or not, people do still play online! If you don’t have it…wait until Ultimate. Then buy Cheerleader outfits because reasons.

Where’d that GEL go? Twitch hi-jinks!

July 18, 2013

Sorry about the lack of posts but not a lot has been going on in terms of gaming news (summer drought and all).

I spent a week on a big project, then aborted it thanks to the sage advice of my friends. I’ve since been figuring out how best to retool the project. Believe it or not, I do have ideas. Still a bit of a blow to one’s determination when you spend a week churning out like 15-20 articles for a site only to cancel the whole thing.

I also managed to get an actual job so that’s obviously taking up time as well. Can’t be a lazy internet bum all my life and getting a job in Game Journalism is unlikely at best no matter how much I want it.

However! I do have some good news! To those that miss the whiny high-pitched shriek of my voice, I’ve started streaming on Twitch with my friends! Yes, it’s Gaming with GEL and Friends!

Now mind you, there is no schedule I just stream when I have time. I figure if anyone is gonna get entertainment out of this it will be through the archives of past streams. The stream is also standard definition in very low quality. This is because my HD capture device is a standalone and cannot be hooked up to a PC. Also the computers I am using for streaming are actually two very low powered laptops strung together. One streams the Skype call while the other handles streaming the actual game. Even with this minimized load, the framerate is sometimes choppy (in fact, Galaxy Force 2 was utterly unwatchable. Skip past it and it works again).

So why bother watching? Because this:
http://www.twitch.tv/geltonz/c/2555698
(Don’t worry, the audio is fixed in newer streams)

This is what happens when you give me an anime licensed racing game with Resident Evil-style tank controls.

You can watch the whole playthrough of Battle Athletes Victory GTO here:

http://www.twitch.tv/geltonz/c/2555637

(and yes I do like the anime)

Our next grand adventure of note? Surviving Monster High: Ghoul Spirit on the Wii!

http://www.twitch.tv/geltonz/b/431615096

Count Fabulous is the best.

 

EDIT: Note to self – get back to that Remember Me “Gaming with GEL” that you recorded half of.