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Sony Goes Hands-On with Assassin's Creed III: Liberation PS Vita

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108w ago - Sony Social Media Manager Sid Shuman has gone hands-on today with Assassin's Creed III: Liberation on the PS Vita console!

Below are the details, to quote: Last week, [Register or Login to view links] graciously offered members of the gaming media the first opportunity to go hands-on with Assassin's Creed III for PS3 and Assassin's Creed III: Liberation, the upcoming PS Vita-bound chapter set against the backdrop of Spanish occupation in 18th century Louisiana.

Both games, of course, demonstrated plenty of promise: ACIII for its Revolutionary War-era pomp and Skyrim-rivalling scale, ACIII: Liberation for its sultry new setting and uncanny attention to detail.

But in the five days since the hands-on session, I've unexpectedly found myself reflecting more on my experiences with Liberation. Seeing the series' sprawling, hyper-detailed environments and fluid gameplay so faithfully recreated on PS Vita's luminous 5'' screen bordered on startling.

Protagonist Aveline also struck me as an interesting character with unique motivations, and the game's untapped 18th-century Louisiana setting seems like it could pay off in a big way.

Refined by leaps and bounds compared to its early E3 showing, the updated build of Liberation I played...
 

Video: KickBeat Hands-On for PlayStation Vita: It's All in the Mind

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113w ago - Social Media Manager Sid Shuman is here with a fresh hands-on video showcasing KickBeat for PlayStation Vita below today.

To quote: At first blush, you could be forgiven for thinking that KickBeat is a new riff on Beats, that seminal PSP downloadable gem that transformed your MP3 collection into an engaging button-tapping rhythm challenge.

Much like Beats, KickBeat awards you points for accurately tapping combinations of the four face buttons (or four quadrants on the front touchscreen) in time to the music and subtle visual cues.

But KickBeat is a far more ambitious game, both mechanically and aesthetically. Abandoning the abstract icons that clutter the interfaces of many music games, KickBeat reimagines the rhythm game as a chop-socky fighting scene with an agile protagonist battling hordes of incoming goons in a circular arena.

Each successive hit you land yields a bigger bonus multiplayer and more points, while missing an incoming attack diminishes your life meter. The game ramps up slowly but surely.

Smacking down the most basic yellow enemy type is easy enough, but the action quickly accelerates as new enemies types are introduced - red enemies attack from two places at once, while blue aggressors come in with a tricky one-two combo.

Before...
 

Video: Gamescom Hands-on: Assassin's Creed III Liberation PS Vita

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114w ago - Sony Senior Social Media Manager Jeff Rubenstein has shared a hands-on look at Assassin's Creed III Liberation for PS Vita from Gamescom 2012 today.

To quote: Here at gamescom 2012, [Register or Login to view links] finally granted hands-on access to its newest assassin, Aveline, star of Assassin's Creed III Liberation.

In this video, story writer Richard Farrese walks us through some of the new features found in PS Vita's first entry in the series.

Liberation takes full advantage of the new Assassin's Creed III game engine and its simplified control scheme. Gone are the days of leaning on the shoulder button and playing defense during encounters.

Press Square for melee attacks, hold and release Triangle to aim and fire ranged weapons, Circle counters, X is used for block-breakers and other moves. It's a bit of an adjustment to begin thinking offense first in an Assassin's Creed game, but ultimately it's likely to be seen as an improvement.

Ubisoft is taking advantage of PS Vita's touchscreen in logical ways: tapping the screen brings up a split weapon wheel where you can select melee weapons (machete, hidden blades) on the left and ranged weapons (blowgun, whip) on the right.



 

Video: Gamescom Hands-on: Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

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114w ago - Sony Senior Social Media Manager Jeff Rubenstein has posted up a new video today from Gamescom 2012 spotlighting a hands-on look at Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch for PS3 below.

To quote: While waiting to get hands-on with Dishonored here at gamescom (impressions shared in this week's PlayStation Blogcast), I ran into an acquaintance from [Register or Login to view links].

He invited me to their booth to experience the two new demos for Ni no kuni: Wrath of the White Witch being shown.

I didn't pass on the opportunity, if nothing else, as an excuse to share beautiful new screens and video with you.

When launching the first demo, the demonstrator made a point of showing that the game features a Japanese language voiceover selection option. This is a frequent request from JRPG fans, so rest assured that matter is settled.

Parts of what I saw are showcased in this new gamescom trailer, so do your eyes a favor and roll the video:





The first demo, "An Errand for Father Oak," takes place very early in the game as diminutive hero-in-training Oliver is trying to get to the Ding Dong Dell, the Cat King's Castle. When the downtrodden gate guard won't let you in,...
 

Video: Hands On at Gamescom 2012: Zen Pinball 2 on PS Vita

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114w ago - Sony Senior Social Media Manager Jeff Rubenstein has shared a video today going hands on with Zen Pinball 2 for PS Vita at Gamescom 2012.

To quote: If you're a regular PlayStation Blogcast listener, you're probably sick to death of hearing about how much we've been playing and enjoying The Pinball Arcade on PS3 and PS Vita.

Farsight's pinball simulator faithfully recreates the experience of playing some of pinball's greatest tables, many of which are quite difficult to find in the real world.

Zen Studios has taken a different tack since debuting on PS3 (via PSN) in 2009 - the tables featured in Zen Pinball don't exist in some decrepit arcade or collector's garage. These fanciful pinball experiences don't - and simply couldn't - exist in real life.

Now Zen is upgrading the "platform" for these tables - meaning the physics engine, visuals, and social media experience - with Zen Pinball 2, coming to both PS3 and PS Vita for free next month.





I was lucky enough to be sharing a flight out to Cologne for gamescom with someone from the Zen PR team, who handed me a PS Vita loaded with a nearly complete version of the game.

With The Pinball Arcade fresh in my mind, I slipped back into...
 
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