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Master PS Vita’s Many Inputs with Sumioni: Demon Arts

Tom Lipschultz's Avatar + Posted by Tom Lipschultz on Feb 23, 2012

Sumioni

So PS Vita is officially out! Many of you are probably holding it in your hands right now, basking in that “new system smell” and lovingly polishing that beautiful screen to a glossy sheen. I know I am!

Still, PS Vita is dauntingly new and different from what I’m used to as a gamer. The touchscreen and the rear touch pad are like strange creatures to one such as I, having played mostly PSP titles since 2006. Even brief stints with other touchscreen devices couldn’t have hoped to prepare me for the subtle sensitivities and nuances of PS Vita – to say nothing of the way it harmoniously mixes its multi-touch functionality with traditional analog stick and button controls.
As more and more PS Vita games utilize these unique features (and game designs get more and more complex and challenging in the process), learning to switch between analog controls and touchscreen actions on the fly, or learning when and how to get the most out of the rear touch pad, will become absolutely essential to your gaming survival.

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Sumioni: Demon Arts for PS Vita: Classic Japanese Art, Modern Platforming Action

Tom Lipschultz's Avatar + Posted by Tom Lipschultz on Jan 12, 2012

Before you stands a tower, and upon that tower stands an angry bowman, shooting wave upon wave of arrows in your direction. He’s far out of reach, and the tower completely blocks your path, so you’re forced to deal with this situation in order to proceed – but how do you go about it?

You could always hack at the tower’s support structure with your sword, wearing it away bit by bit until the whole thing comes tumbling to the ground…but that might take a while, and the bowman would be shooting you in the head repeatedly the whole time. Maybe you’d be better off taking out your paintbrush and drawing a sloped platform up, over and around the tower, creating a bridge to guide you past it safely. Or perhaps you could set the tower (and its occupant) ablaze, or spawn a lightning-spewing thundercloud above it and let Mother Nature handle the rest.

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Let’s Get This Corpse Party Started!

Tom Lipschultz's Avatar + Posted by Tom Lipschultz on Nov 22, 2011

Halloween may be over, but if you’ve ever wondered what Thanksgiving might be like from the turkey’s point of view, Corpse Party’s totally got your back!

Releasing for the PSP later today as a PlayStation Store exclusive download (at a mere $19.99), Corpse Party immerses you within the creepy confines of a dangerously haunted, completely inescapable school building as you struggle in vain to rescue your friends from the clammy grasp of death and find a way back home before suffering a complete descent into insanity (or worse!).

So after you’ve feasted upon the supple flesh of the holiday bird this week, let the tryptophan lull you into a false sense of comfort, dim the lights and get ready to have some serious nightmares. This party’s just getting started – and it ain’t messin’ around!

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Corpse Party and the Psychology of Horror

Tom Lipschultz's Avatar + Posted by Tom Lipschultz on Oct 31, 2011

We love to be scared. There’s something so primal and universal about fear, and a good horror story can really bring out the best of it, making our hearts race and our minds veer toward the darkest recesses of the human psyche. And we just keep going back for more!

Yet by the same token, horror has become so passe that we barely even react when we encounter imagery of skeletons, zombies, witches, bats, vampires and ghouls. True primal fear is hard to come by in the modern world, and this applies to video games as well. When you hear the term “horror game,” what’s the first thing that pops into your mind? Probably “zombies” since that seems to characterize much of the horror genre nowadays. Most modern horror games assault you with wave after wave of zombies, and you can typically one-shot them back to their graves. They may look scary, but when’s the last time you were actually frightened in a zombie shooter game? Maybe you had an exciting time playing one, and jumped at a handful of startling moments, but the mere fact that you’re able to defend yourself – that you have a means of fighting back – makes just about every entry in the genre less horror than action.

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Just What Kind of a Party is Corpse Party?

Tom Lipschultz's Avatar + Posted by Tom Lipschultz on Oct 07, 2011

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So you’ve taken an interest in Corpse Party, have you? Perhaps you were intrigued by the launch trailer, or laughed at the name when you saw it mentioned on your favorite gaming news site (or hilarious webcomic?). Perhaps you’re a fan of survival horror games, or visual novels, or point-and-click adventures… or perhaps you simply enjoy Japanese horror movies like The Ring and The Grudge, and are always looking for your next fix.

Regardless of why you’ve taken an interest or how you got to this blog, there’s one thing that most likely holds true: You have very little idea what Corpse Party actually is.

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Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls Now Live on PSN

Tom Lipschultz's Avatar + Posted by Tom Lipschultz on Jun 03, 2011

Wizardry

Man, what can you say about Wizardry? I’m not even sure where to start. Few game series have as long and storied a history as Wizardry, which is the same age as Mario and helped inspire entire gaming genres. Much has changed in this series over the years, but the base formula has remained the same: create your avatar, hire some help at the local guild, accept a quest or two, then crawl through a seemingly endless maze of corridors, traps, treasure chests and secret passageways… all in glorious first-person 3D!

But do mind the monsters. Everything from adorable Vorpal Bunnies to giant dragons, to a demonic face made out of corpses is traipsing through these same cavernous depths, always just around the next corner. Once you’re spotted, it’s time to fight – and if you’re not strong, clever or fast enough to take them down, you’re going to wind up as a spot on the wall – like all the others.

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Take that, Society! The Softer, Seedier Side of Ys I & II Chronicles

Tom Lipschultz's Avatar + Posted by Tom Lipschultz on Jan 21, 2011

Ys 1 & II Chronicles

Greetings once again, dear readers! This is Tom from XSEED comin’ at ya’ with some Ys I & II Chronicles info. Have you all preordered your copies? There’s only one short month left until release, so you’d best get those preorders in quick – supplies will surely be limited! You can tell when developers had […]

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Ys: The Oath in Felghana Hits PSP in November, See it in Action

Tom Lipschultz's Avatar + Posted by Tom Lipschultz on Oct 12, 2010

PlayStation-Default

Hello again, discerning PlayStation Blog readers! Localization specialist Tom here from XSEED Games, to talk to you a bit about Ys: The Oath in Felghana – sure to be the greatest portable gaming experience of 2010! Ys: The Oath in Felghana will arrive on UMD and PSN for the PSP this November. Some of you […]

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