Over the past week or so there’s been a lot of hype round a new game console that’s shown its face on Kick Starter, OUYA , The console creators where trying to raise a figure of $950,000 in order to fund the project, little over a week later they’ve raised over $5,135,733 which is absolutely astounding.
The console itself has reasonable specs is android based and its completely open for software engineers and developers to have there dirty way with it. Producing whatever hardware and software modifications to it without causing an uproar from the vendors like you might see if you went and started messing around with Microsoft or Sony’s consoles which is a strict no no. Its really going to make console development available to the masses and really help fuel the independent game developers. I can even see it helping in education, normally if you wanted to develop a game for a console and to have a good amount of control over the hardware you would have to buy a development kit from the vendor which usually cost thousands and just aren’t feasible for small time developers. The OUYA however every console will be a dev kit in itself having to pay no more than the price of the console to get hold of it, which is really good for people wanting to develop for consoles who otherwise would have been unable to do so.
Right so moving onto the price, It’s actually relatively cheap…And the specs aren’t necessarily bad for the price. At the moment if you want to be on the first on the list to get one of these consoles before it hits retail you need to pledge a mere $99 towards their cause and its yours, however if your in the UK like me they want you to donate an extra $20 dollars for shipping and what not which is fair enough. I’m yet to get myself one but I probably will be later this week if there not all gone. If your interested I suggest heading over to kick starter and checking it out. It will also give you some more information about the console and there’s a video on the page which I recommend watching as-well.
So basically I managed to get my hands on a copy of Lego Batman 2 for the PS Vita, Thank you lovefilm. Anyway I’ve always been a big fan of the Lego games and have found them to have really good replay-ability and especially fun to play with friends. I spent many hours furiously playing through the Xbox version of Lego Indiana Jones with one of my close friends till the early hours of the morning accumulating every achievement possible, although the achievements are a bit buggy It’s not quite as frustrating as you may think as it was incredibly fun to play. Anyway so there’s a bit of my background played Lego games in the past very much enjoyed them including of course the original batman Lego game on 360 although not quite as good as Indy in my opinion but nether the less a good edition.
Now moving onto Lego Batman 2, This is a game I had herd very little about and hadn’t really done much research into it. I saw it on Lovefilm and thought to myself YES something awesome to play on the vita because to be honest there aren’t that many good titles yet, or well many titles available at all. So yeah though awesome something interesting to play on the vita.
When I played it though it though it was actually a bit of a let down, As soon as the first cut scene I was horrified to see the quality of the video to be absolutely horrific, so I was like OK somethings gone wrong here obviously due to downscale and compression or something, first thoughts really were it should have been flagged during play testing but OK maybe I can live with it if the game play is OK. Now as far as the game play is concerned you play as both characters batman and robin with the ability to switch between characters to be able to preform character specific abilities needed in order to progress as seen in previous lego games, but as well as that they actually have various other costumes they can switch into that give them different abilities basically. As far as this concerned Its fairly fun although very straight forward it does increase the puzzle elements in the game.
As far as the story is concerned I found it very dull, not very compelling really. Its very much feels like the story is off the top of someones head not much thought has gone into it.
Right so anyway after having played it for a bit done a few missions, had a swim round the bat cave and everything. My brother said some things mentioning he was getting it for xbox because it had free roam and everything and I was a little bit confused because there’s no free roam on the vita. I thought hmm right lets have a look online to see what other people are thinking and why the cut scenes are so bad and why things are missing. And It actually turns out the PS Vita version of Lego Batman 2 is nothings more than a DS port of the game and absolute outrage if I may say so. So obviously the reason the cut-scenes were so bad is because they were up-scaled from the ds which is absoulutly ridiculous. I mean its not really to a professional standard, it probably means this video has been scaled and compressed multiple times which everybody knows is a bad idea. The thing that annoyed me the most is how little effort they have obviously gone to with this port. Its not just a port is a half arsed port they haven’t even attempted to bring some elements up to a satisfactory level of quality. They have quite obviously decided to port it to the PS Vita just to get some extra money on the side. I probably would’t have cared so much if they had done a proper job when they were porting the assets. Down scaling from the console versions.
So the obvious big annoyance is the lack of the free roam, According to what I herd its due to the consoles being unable to support these features. I’m not entirely certain of the PS Vitas capabilities to be honest but I believe it could be possible. And I’m sure the reason there is no free roam on the vita is because the ds couldn’t support it, so I suspect they didn’t even look into adding the feature on the vita and have no interest at all. Which is a shame because many people seem very disappointed by this including myself.
I’m sure the Xbox, PS3 and PC versions of the game are better so please don ‘t let me discourage you from buying the game. And although the PS Vita versions has some issues its still good fun to play.
So I literally only a few days ago got myself a PS Vita and one of the first games I got with it was of course Uncharted Golden Abyss. Personally before this game I haven’y played any of the Uncharted selection of games before and I’ve herd good things so that’s literally the reason I bought it, And the fact that at the moment there are very few games that are available for the vita but hopefully that’ll increase as time goes on.
Right from the first moment I started this game I have been impressed, a lot of time effort and hard work has gone into this game. The general game mechanics themselves are very good as-well as having a good story-line that is easy to follow. The graphics are generally quite impressive although not necessarily very refined the lack of AA on this title really stands out in places but nether the less the graphics are pretty much stunning considering its a handheld device. As far as AA goes I really think it was probably a trade off between detailed graphics and well defined graphics, So if AA was implemented I doubt we would have seen graphics as detailed as they are. Although I would very much like smooth graphics I think its a good trade off and the graphical detail is definitely to a very high level comparable potentially with current generation consoles such as the PS3 and 360 although falling short as may be expected considering its only a Handheld device and of course it hasn’t been out long so I highly doubt the developers have truly used the hardware to Its true potential and I’m sure this will increase in time as we see more developers releasing games for the device.
So yes my ps vita did arrive the other day but I’ve been soo “busy” just playing around with the vita and getting used to the SDK that I just couldn’t find time to add to my blog. So anyway I’ve been playing the vita the past few days and I’ve got to say from a technical stand point it functions pretty well. The screen is crisp very good quality and well lit, The touchscreen is very responsive feels very similar to what you may expect from the iphones/ ipods and whatnot, The layout of the controls is good so basically from a hardware perspective I would say its pretty sound. And of course not to mention what its got under its bonnet the quad core arm processor and what not but I don’t really want to get into the technical nitty gritty.
Okay so there’s a few good points about the system so I may as-well mention some bad points. One thing although minor that I noticed is on the home screen the circular icons appear to be slightly jagged obviously due to a lack of Anti-Aliasing which to me ruins the finish. I’m not exactly sure why the didn’t implement some form of Anti-Aliasing on the Home screen, but maybe they felt it took a big performance hit to the device and deemed it unnecessary considering the performance loss. Who knows?… Sony obviously. But I bet it merely is for performance reasons maybe we’ll see it implemented on future firmware. But anyway it’s not really that bad you can’t judge a device on silly things like that, but it certainly would be a nice finish.
Naturally Just Cool Features Section (part 1, Part2 Tomorrow)
- AR- Augmented Reality, Obviously not a new thing we’ve seen it before on the Nintendo 3ds and even on smart phones and tablets, and now here it is on the ps vita. With the console you get a set of AR cards for use with some games that have been provided free that can be downloaded from the PlayStation Store they are literally just a small selection of mini-games quite fun just a good little thing to see on the vita, I do still prefer the ones that come with the 3ds but nether the less its fun to mess around with.
- PlayStation Store – Its really good to see Sony is on the band wagon and has a ready installed app on the vita so people can access the store and digitally buy ps vita games, psp games etc… However annoying contrary to what “Sony Said” (Don’t take my word for it its just what I herd)… the vita games are cheaper to purchase on Amazon to be honest, and i would rather have a hard copy anyway soo I don’t think I’ll buy anything off the store anytime soon…. Anyway good point I’d like to make about the store is the ascendancy of psp games, which is great and quite a few seem to have what I would consider reasonable price tags on them. Its just a dam shame though that if we want to play any of the games we bought for the psp back in the day on umd.. we will have to purchase them again if we want to play them on the vita.
It looks like PlayStation Suite SDK is now in Open Beta, so if anyone was planning on checking it out now is the time. Just click here if your interested. So I’m literally downloading it as I type so I don’t have a clue what its like yet, I’ll probably write another post later after I’ve checked it out.
Just from my initial impression from reading through the page it looks really good quite impressive, I think I’m going to get quite a bit of fun out of this. An interesting thing to mention is it looks like you don’t need to sign in/ up or anything to download which is good and saves a bit of time –> especially considering it always takes me about 10 minutes to remember my password.
edit: The awkward moment when it opens the release notes using my default program for opening html files —> Notepad :/
So through what is money I’ve saved and what I have left over from my bursary I found myself with a nice bit of cash in hand. Although I was planning a slight pc upgrade but I thought you know what with a little donation from my parents from my upcoming birthday I should be able to afford to get myself a ps vita now and still be able to buy my upgrades, which is great because I’ve been looking for something to replace my busted psp for a while and hadn’t had the spare cash… So anyway earlier this evening I took the plunge and ordered a ps vita (wifi only) from amazon with of course a 4GB stick which was free and two games–> Rayman Origins and Uncharted Golden Abyss, which by far to me seem to be the best games available for the vita at this point in time… So hopefully they’ll be good. This all came to under £250 which is reasonable in comparison to how it is prices elsewhere, definitely the cheapest place I’ve seen it.
On another note related to the vita I noticed the Playstation Suite SDK is going into open beta soon if not already I haven’t seen anything from Sony to say it has but I’m not entirely sure whats happening with that I haven’t been able to access the pages from the UK, but hopefully there will be more news soon. I did however found this link, which might be worth a gander if your ever thinking of developing some multi-platform apps for some of Sony’s devices in the future. Its good to see Sony opening the doors for the independent market a little bit, however I have a feeling due partially to the cross platform nature of the SDK itself that were not going to be able to use the ps vita to its true potential and were going to be limited to what we can do. But we’ll have to wait and see, it’ll probably still be a good bit of fun to have a mess around with anyway. It also saves having to write large quantity’s of code from scratch when..lets say you take other development routes with things like this, it’ll definitely speed up development on many respects.
Please feel free to comment/ Criticize Speling,.! Punctuation?… I will probably write up a review/ first impression type thing when it gets here.