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Mar 15

Mar 15

PlayStation Blogcast 016: From the Forests of Datura to the Streets of Retro City

Sid Shuman's Avatar Posted by Director, SIEA Social Media

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With GDC 2012 is officially in the books, it’s time we turn our attention to the next generation of PSN superstars — beginning with VBlank’s 8-bit love letter Retro City Rampage. On today’s show, we speak with developer Brian Provinciano to learn more about Retro City Rampage’s lengthy journey from fan project to a full-blown PS3 and PS Vita release. Retro City Rampage is a quirky, charming game that mashes up modern gameplay conventions (open-world missions, cover-based shooting) with a retro presentation and a slew of nostalgic references, and our interview

We also peer deeper into the secret world of Datura, the intriguing upcoming PSN game that casts you into a mysterious forest and leaves you to fend for yourself. Our chat with Producer Matt Morton sheds light into the game’s focus on choice and consequence, its tight integration with the PlayStation Move motion controller, and a hint at the game’s upcoming release window.

That’s in addition to exclusive first details on next week’s PSN game lineup, a jam-packed slate of new user questions and user tips, and Nick’s audacious pick for the PSN Gem of the Week. Not a bad show for a rainy, dreary week in March! Let us know how we did?

Official PlayStation.Blogcast - Sid ShumanOfficial PlayStation.Blogcast: Jeff Rubenstein

Official PlayStation.Blogcast: Nick Suttner

The Cast

  • Sid Shuman – PlayStation Sr. Social Media Specialist
  • Jeff Rubenstein – PlayStation Sr. Social Media Manager
  • Nick Suttner – PlayStation Sr. Product Evaluator
  • [Editor’s note: PSN game release dates are subject to change without notice. Game details are gathered from press releases from their individual publishers and/or ESRB rating descriptions.]

  • Thanks to Cory Schmitz for our beautiful logo and Dormilón for our rad theme song and show music. Special thanks to Astro Gaming headsets for providing audio gear.
  • Add Your Own

    Reluctant-Hero said:

    March 15th, 3:40 pm

    Sounds like another great episode, looking forward to listening. Also looking forward to playing Retro City Rampage on my Vita.

    lisatsunami said:

    March 15th, 3:52 pm

    Thanks, guys. Downloading to my preciousss now.

    And, what are you talking about? It’s sunny & blue skies all week, a lovely spring so far.

      Sid Shuman's Avatar

      Sid Shuman said:

      March 16th, 9:37 am

      San Francisco/Northern California has been a grey, rainy mess all week! :(

    Onvertic said:

    March 15th, 3:58 pm

    Square Enix should catch up to its european counterpart snd release Final Fantasy 1&2 for the PSP and add it to the sale.

    Sevyne said:

    March 15th, 4:23 pm

    This Final Fantasy sale would have been really awesome if Crisis Core was available on the store.

    D-Squad3 said:

    March 15th, 4:39 pm

    We want a new Patapon game for the Vita!

    jose213jose said:

    March 15th, 5:07 pm

    awesome, wish i can do podcast with you guys.

    Welfare_Child said:

    March 15th, 6:22 pm

    since i can’t go on the uncharted forums to due some maintenance i’m going to rage here. why in the hell can’t i play multiplayer it always i mean always say error can’t sync level or something ticket. since day one i have been getting these messages but recently it never stops. i’m mad as hell even though i hate uncharted 3’s multiplayer due to how easy it is and it doesn’t have a real hardcore mode. its frustrating i literally want to break the freakin game and send tons of hate mail to naughty dog for not addressing this problem. so please sony tell them to fix this i really want to play online cause its been a long while since i had. truly sorry for this madness but geezus since day one are you kidding me.

    krae_man said:

    March 15th, 7:15 pm

    I haven’t got around to playing playing Motorstorm RC yet but don’t compare it to Super Off Road, unless there’s some awesome wheel attachment for the Vita I’m not aware of yet.

    Super Off Road is an amazing game that needs that wheel you can spin like crazy or it’s completely unplayable. I remember being super excited when Midway Arcade Treasures 3 on the PS2 came out because it had Super Off Road on it, and even had an updated version with new tracks on the disk. Then two minutes in I was devastated that the game was a completely unplayable mess without the wheel.

    So unless you’re trying to say Motorstorm RC is unplayable with a controller, don’t make that comparrison:p

    The lack of an arcade wheel is also why Championship Sprint is one of, if not the worst game on PS3.

      Sid Shuman's Avatar

      Sid Shuman said:

      March 16th, 9:38 am

      :-) Good point, frantically spinning that wheel was a huge part of the game’s charm. BUT I think it would appeal to folks who liked that game, too, because it’s got tiny, tiny cars zooming around and making adorable little jumps.

    WilHiteWarrior said:

    March 15th, 8:48 pm

    You know guys… when you brag on every single game coming out you lose credibility. We’re not going to take your word at this stuff when you dont tell us the truth about the games coming out. If you say “Oh all these games are fantastic!” Im not telling you that you need to say “This game is garbage”, you can be nicer than that about it but when you pull a nintendo power and never say anything bad about games, were not gonna believe you

      Sid Shuman's Avatar

      Sid Shuman said:

      March 16th, 9:39 am

      What’s this in regards to?

    sbattu said:

    March 16th, 2:29 am


    GutsBerserker said:

    March 16th, 2:44 am

    The Final Fantasy sale should give us some good rebates on PSP and PSX games.

    Other publishers should seriously consider doing the same, now is the right time to discount your old PSP catalog. When the Vita gets a steady stream of new games, not many people will care about old/overpriced PSP stuff.

    For example I’d like to buy Jeanne D’arc, but it’s still at the same price like ages ago.

    SpiderFighter said:

    March 16th, 3:50 am

    Can’t wait for Baldur’s Gate 1 & 2 Advance Edition for PSN this Summer.

    eaglefan129 said:

    March 16th, 6:14 am

    I know this has nothing to due with the blogcast but why are the forums down for maitence for two days?

    krae_man said:

    March 16th, 6:50 am

    +1 for wanting to double dip on Jeanne Darc and play it again for like the 8th time(OMG that game is awesome) but not wanting to pay the crazy amount it is on PSN.

    You guys seriously need to do something to stop devs/pubs from just putting their stuff up on the store for full price when it comes out then forgetting about it.

    Something is stopping them from proactivly managing their digital portfolio and lowering prices over time to increase sales and I highly doubt that something is tons of people are paying the current price so they don’t need to lower it.

    You guys need to find a way to encourage the lowering of prices of the back catelog of games. Even if it’s the threat of delisting the game if it doesn’t meet certain sales quotas.

    Regardless, you need to do something, that status quo isn’t acceptable.

      Sid Shuman's Avatar

      Sid Shuman said:

      March 16th, 1:42 pm

      Something I’ll pass along to the digital folks, thanks.

    GEEWUN-96 said:

    March 16th, 7:19 am

    I just want to say that I am really enjoying the blogcast. I look forward to each episode every week. Keep up the good work.

      Sid Shuman's Avatar

      Sid Shuman said:

      March 16th, 1:42 pm

      Thanks for the kind words, what’s your favorite part?

    DeathGazer said:

    March 16th, 10:32 am

    Great show as usual. Datura and RCR are two PSN games that are high on my want list. Also can’t wait for Closure and Papo & Yo.

    krae_man said:

    March 16th, 11:04 am

    @WilHiteWarrior, if a game is crap they just don’t talk about it.

      Sid Shuman's Avatar

      Sid Shuman said:

      March 16th, 1:42 pm

      ….that’s a pretty good way of describing how we roll, all in all :)

    Arjmand said:

    March 16th, 11:22 am

    Good Afternoon Gentlemen!

    First off, I’d like to thank you guys again for picking my question. Journey is absolutely phenomenal and I’m enjoying it much more than I anticipated. Thanks for the shout out!

    Just a few comments/questions for ya

    1) Retro City Rampage is officially on my radar. Feels good seeing a game pay homage to the classic 8-bit games we all hold dear

    2) Glad to finally hear Sid’s origins story. It is relieving to see myself doing similar things with hopes of making it into the industry. Hopefully I’ll be fortunate enough to intern at SCEA this summer…or maybe even get that social media specialist position! Passion, enthusiasm, good energy, determination, hard work and a touch of luck is all I need

    3) To Jeff, “…enjoy the beer, and the soccer” bahahaha

    Keep up the fantastic work guys

    X1_SPEED_DEMON said:

    March 16th, 12:56 pm

    What in the hell sony! Never post my comments!

    Heavenly_king said:

    March 16th, 8:45 pm

    IS IT POSSIBLE FOR SONY TO PUBLISH A PS3 VERSION OF THE WITCHER 2: Assassins of Kings EE ??? Just like they did with Grandia 1. At first it was a Sega genesis game, but Sony decided to support and publish the PS1 version of the game.


    SeraphisCain said:

    March 17th, 9:59 am

    I noticed you guys didn’t mention Warriors Orochi 3 in this upcoming week’s releases. It had been reported as delayed to the 27th, but Tecmo-Koei’s community manager later said that the delay was only for the 360 version, and the PS3 (PSN) release was still going to be the 20th. You guys know anything about it?

    GEEWUN-96 said:

    March 17th, 2:32 pm

    My favorite part is probably the origins stories, but I also really like hearing all your guys thoughts on the games coming out…..

    Angry-Puppy said:

    March 17th, 9:56 pm

    Great gem. I loved Auditorium so much that I bought both the PSP and PS3 versions.

    KosmoCrisis said:

    March 18th, 4:03 pm

    This was a very entertaining podcast for me particularly. You really hit home when you guys talked about the feedback you receive from people outside the industry in summary of the working roll you play. I worked at Sony for 7 years and was constantly subjected to the same comments, “So you get paid to play games all day. That must be nice.” Totally not true for me, though I held a position that held the line for the guys and gals that more closely “played/tested” for a pay check.

    Kudos for mentioning that. While early on, it did feel somewhat like a rock star career, it was the constant misunderstandings of my role at Sony that shortened my explanation of what my job description was into something Twitter would accept at 140 characters or less.

    KosmoCrisis said:

    March 18th, 4:03 pm

    I’m interested to hear the PS Blog’s take on the new Ridge Racer that came out this past week, as its been receiving some fairly negative reviewers from people high and low. I’m mostly concerned with the fact that given the PS Vita’s memory card limitations (can’t wait for something larger than 32GB as the games start to flow) Namco seemed to not give a damn about the included content and go for an external-memory-filling DLC and nickel’n diming approach.


    Vita game tip: In Lumines: Electronic Syphony, you can completely spam the rear touch panel with multiple finger input to rebuild your avatar ability and ultimately achieve the Avatar Addicts trophy.

    mjc-24 said:

    March 18th, 6:54 pm

    Excited to play Journey, just downloaded it.

    Any news on the 7.1 Wireless Headset Issue? It’s been a long time.

    mjc-24 said:

    March 18th, 6:55 pm

    Excited to play journey, just downloaded it.

    Any new updates on the headset issue? It’s been a really long time with no official statement

    fultz7 said:

    March 20th, 10:25 am

    New listener here. I just got caught up on the backlog of podcasts today so this is my first comment. A tip I wanted to throw out there for Vita owners is that if you’re on the home screen and press the PS button, it brings up a truncated view of all the windows you have open so you can quickly get to an app without having to swipe through several screens to get to it. It’s convenient if you have a lot of different stuff open at once.

    In regards to the Kara video, there is true irony in that the video won’t be a game, much like she will never be human. Food for thought.

    Anyway, I’m loving the cast. I just got a ps3 in October (the first Sony console I’ve owned during its current generation) so the tips are definitely helpful to a relative noob.

    shrimpdude said:

    March 20th, 12:50 pm

    Not sure if this is already well known, and it’s probably a bug, but…

    Vita Tip: If you want to use the web browser while in a game, just click a hyperlink from within the Twitter app. It will automatically open the browser and go to the link, and from here you can use the browser to go anywhere you need to go. However, if you have too many tabs open, your Vita may freeze. This is probably why you can’t normally open the browser with a game in memory.

    drhummingbird said:

    March 20th, 1:19 pm

    User Tip/Question

    Will Retro City Rampage be a cross play or cross platform game like Motorstorm RC, Hustle Kings, MLB: The Show, or Top Darts?

    yoeun88 said:

    March 20th, 1:26 pm

    Retro City Rampage sounds awesome, cant wait to play it.

    Vita Tip: You can mute the vita if you hold down both volume buttons simultaneously.

    sethryan999 said:

    March 20th, 1:29 pm

    how many hours of gameplay can one expect to get out of sumioni on the first play through?

    alien_jew_420 said:

    March 20th, 1:34 pm

    I would like to win a free code for sumioni :D
    First post ever; I’ve been bottling up some frustrations (great way to win a free code right…?) so I’ll fire away with my user questions.
    -Why does ps store update so late in the day? Why not midnight before or at least earlier in the day? I feel like a puppy waiting for it’s owner to get home.
    -I wish you guys were more on the ball with updates about sales, ps+ offers, etc. I check back literally fifty times a day… only to see it on other blogs first. IMO it’s a failed opportunity to market these sales. I find it aggravating as a consumer. Especially when I pay for PS+ I’d like to feel special.
    -There’s way too many pages on the blog homies, like for every facet of PS/PSN possible. For example: the ps vita section has a top article from like November last year – as if it’s too much for admins to track.
    -Any comment on the April vita firmware update? Remote play is an awesome concept but the execution needs bolstering; hope that’s what April is all about!! How about let us navigate menus w/ hardware buttons? Touchscreens cool but c’mon.
    Hopefully you can field some of these questions or take them as suggestions. Still love you guys! Just had to let it out.

    JKwon34 said:

    March 20th, 1:46 pm

    Nice one guys

    wcoastsands said:

    March 20th, 1:48 pm

    Thanks for the Auditorium shout-out! Our Kickstarter for the sequel is currently 52% funded, but we’ve only have 10 days left to raise the rest. If anyone wants to check it out Auditorium 2: Duet, go to

    I really enjoy listening to these blogcasts. My favorite parts are the developer and guest interviews. And I really like hearing the origin stories. It was also cool to hear you guys talk about how to actually apply for jobs in the industry. Very cool show guys. Keep ’em coming!

    GangstaTroy said:

    March 20th, 2:20 pm

    I am honestly wondering exactly how Retro city will use the touch screen on the Vita. Truthfully the biggest release of the decade in my eyes.

    lifeat30fps said:

    March 20th, 3:44 pm

    I think the Vita launch went really well. I’m pretty pleased with the hardware, too.

    Are there any new apps coming that use all the system’s abilities? Maybe something like Evernote/Skitch where you could use the touch screen?

    Snipers-Origon said:

    March 20th, 7:44 pm

    Will Resistance Burning Skies have some sort of multiplayer?

    Snipers-Origon said:

    March 20th, 7:50 pm

    Also: Why is the Tester episodes 6 & 7, 2.5gb each on vita?? Is this a mistake?

    Onvertic said:

    March 21st, 4:27 am

    Here’s another tip I found messing around today with my Vita: Press the PS button for a couple of seconds and a menu with the following:

    – brightness
    – music volume
    – disable microphone
    – prioritized party chat

    Works on the home screen, games, music and video apps.

    – You can put your fingers a couple of inches from the screen and it works!

    – There are a lot of PSP games that doesn’t appear on the Vita ps store but you can download and transfer them from your (or a friends) PS3.

    -If you touch the screen for a couple of seconds on a PSP game a menu pop outs that enables bilinear filtering, right stick use, camera and color space. For Half- Minute Hero ignore all those (except the right stick set it to the [] X 0 /\ buttons for princess 30) and enjoy one of the best looking retro 2d game.

    Shinobido 2 game tip: In the mission to kill 12 bears(or any other mission on Anki Forest) you can finish it easily by luring the bears to the ledge that is close when you start the mission, jump and use the Grapple Hook and enjoy watching bears falling to the abyss.

    shrimpdude said:

    March 21st, 10:03 pm

    When are we getting a podcast and/or RSS app for the Vita? I wanna listen to the best podcast while I play the best handheld!

    Onvertic said:

    March 22nd, 6:40 am

    A RSS would be great right now. Also, how about making some sort of archives to put the games? I have been hearing the Vita only supports 10 pages, is that true?

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