PS Vita: What’s Coming in 2014? – Part One


The Year Ahead

The PlayStation Vita might not be setting sales records or garnering a wealth of attention for itself, but there’s one thing that nobody can deny: in terms of games, the Vita had a blinding year in 2013. We had big budget exclusives in the form of Soul Sacrifice, Tearaway and Killzone: Mercenary; multi-platform releases such as Rayman Legends, Dragon’s Crown, Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time and WRC 4, all of which were comparable in quality to their home console counterparts; plus we had more top drawer downloadable indie titles than you can shake a stick at. Yep, whether you picked up a Vita last year or have had one since launch, there was plenty to keep you busy in 2013. But what about 2014? Well, I’m glad you asked! Let’s take a gander at some of the biggest or most interesting games due to hit the Vita over the next twelve months.

Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc


A remake of a PSP game that never actually made it out of Japan, Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc marries together elements of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney and Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward into an action adventure visual novel set within Hope’s Peak Academy, an elite high school that has been sealed shut by Monokuma, a remote controlled bear (of all things). As newly enrolled student, Makoto Naegi, you – along with fourteen other unlucky pupils – are offered only one route out of the besieged school: murder another student and don’t be identified as the culprit. Gameplay is split between Daily Life and Deadly Life  – exploring the school and advancing the story – and Class Trial segments, in which you’ll conduct investigations and attempt to uncover the culprits of a string of murders.

Release date: 11th February (US); 14th February (EU)

Toukiden: The Age of Demons


Monster Hunter might be conspicuous by its absence on Vita, but there are alternative ways for Vita-owning slayers of gargantuan and fantastical beasts to get their fix; Soul Sacrifice put some grotesque spins on creatures ripped from fairy tales and legends last year, but 2014 belongs to Toukiden: The Age of Demons.Toukiden takes the Monster Hunter template and infuses it with medieval Japanese themes, letting multiple players tackle quests cooperatively either locally or online, battling the demonic oni amidst the aftermath of a catastrophic event brought about by a great demon eight years previous. Expect a myriad of quests to partake in, a ton of weapon, armour and skill customisation and combat that’s fast and frenetic; Toukiden comes from the creators of Dynasty Warriors, after all.  

Release date: 11th February (US); 14th February (EU)

Ys: Memories of Celceta


A Japanese action RPG, Ys: Memories of Celceta is the third game to be considered Ys IV, apparently replacing Ys IV: Mask of the Sun and Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys in the Ys series canon. Confused? Yeah, me too; don’t let that put you off though, because Memories of Celceta looks absolutely stunning and has already amassed much critical acclaim since its release in the US. European Vita owners can look forward to real time combat rich in tactical depth as they guide amnesiac Adol Christin through the forests of Celceta on a quest to rediscover his past.

Release date: out now (US); 21st February (EU)

Final Fantasy X / X-2 HD Remaster


Putting aside for a moment the fact that gamers have literally been crying out for a Final Fantasy VII remake since before HD remakes even became a thing, Final Fantasy X HD Remaster and Final Fantasy X-2 HD Remaster both look set to satiate fans of the long running JRPG franchise until Final Fantasy XV arrives on current-gen consoles or Square Enix decides to craft a brand new entry specifically for the Vita. You’re basically getting exactly what it says on the tin here; two remade PS2 games with remastered visuals for the price of one, now playable on the toilet.

Release date: 18th March (US); 21st March (EU)

Sorcery Saga: Curse of the Great Curry God


Contender for the “most bewildering game title ever” award, Sorcery Saga: Curse of the Great Curry God is a roguelike dungeon crawler featuring randomised dungeons, which you’ll explore as protagonist Pupuru. Suspended from the Magic Academy, Pupuru finds an old curry recipe book and decides to gather the ingredients for a variety of magical curries in order to save the local neighbourhood curry shop. It’s the sort of preposterous premise that only the Japanese could muster, but Sorcery Saga: Curse of the Great Curry God should give RPG and roguelike afficionados something quirky and unique to sink their teeth into.

Release date: out now (US); Q1 2014 (EU)

Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Æ’


A port of the PS3 rhythm game of the same name, Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Æ’ has been strutting its stuff on Japanese Vitas for nearly a year and a half now and thanks to a vocal and persistent fanbase relentlessly pestering Sega for months on end, it’s finally making its way West in 2014. Project DIVA Æ’ is essentially your standard rhythm action game; press the face buttons as their corresponding symbols appear on screen and rack up points according to accuracy and note combos. Still, if you’re into J-pop and tapping buttons in time to music, Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Æ’ has what you need.

Release date: Q1 2014

Shantae: Half-Genie Hero


WayForward has to be one of the most inconsistent developers in the industry; one minute they’re releasing gems such as Mighty Switch Force and A Boy and His Blob, then the next they’re churning out utter bilge like Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON’T KNOW! (which I refuse to even entertain the notion of going near, lest I become disillusioned and throw out my Adventure Time bed sheets). Still, on a more positive note, WayForward is also responsible for Shantae, a series of inventive and just downright fun 2D platformers with a strong cult following. And on an even more positive note, after smashing its initial Kickstarter goal, Shantae: Half-Genie Hero is coming to Vita and will see the titular heroine journeying to the fabled Genie Realm.

Release date: October 2014

Minecraft: PS Vita Edition


Everybody knows what Minecraft is, and chances are you’ve already played it in one form or another. Having already amassed sales well in excess of 33 million units across PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, the indie hit and cultural phenomenon that taps into our basic human desire to explore the world around us and create new wonders is – alongside the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 iterations – headed to the Vita. It’s doubtful there’ll be any drastic changes made to the base game, but should Mojang decide to implement some smart touch screen functionality, the added convenience of having Minecraft everywhere you go could make Minecraft: PS Vita Edition the definitive version of the construction/survival sim.

Release date: 2014

God of War HD Collection


I’m not entirely sure why Sony even bothered to announce this port of the PS3 re-release comprised of God of War and God of War II at E3 last year. The reception it received was lukewarm to say the least, which is understandable; a new entry would have been infinitely preferable, especially if Sony drafted in Ready At Dawn to continue the stellar work they did on the PSP titles. Still, if you’re yet to experience God of War’s visceral and bloody action infused with Greek mythology, then God of War HD Collection for Vita should be as good a place to start as any.

Release date: 2014

Borderlands 2


The worrying trend of PS3 games being ported to Vita continues with Borderlands 2, Gearbox Software’s immense, stylised, open world FPS/RPG hybrid. However, my wish for a new Borderlands game notwithstanding, if the team at Iron Galaxy Studios – who most recently brought us the simplistic brawler Divekick – can manage to squeeze the entire game onto the Vita and maintain a decent framerate throughout, Borderlands 2 will be damn impressive if nothing else. And if Cross-Save functionality is patched into the PS3 version, this could be a good enough reason for current players to double dip. We can only hope.

Release date: 2014

The Walking Dead: Season 2


Set within the same universe as the graphic novels with which it shares its name, the original season of The Walking Dead excelled in making its characters resonate with players and providing them with extremely difficult and meaningful choices that had a tangible impact on how the narrative played out. With Lee now dead, it falls to fan favourite Clementine to take the torch and continue the episodic story of a zombie ravaged United States, and The Walking Dead: Season 2 looks set to be every bit the masterclass in interactive storytelling as its predecessor. Hopefully Telltale Games can better optimise the game to run on the Vita this time around though; as great as Season 1 was, it was stuttery as Hell on the Vita.

Release date: 2014

Murasaki Baby


Directed by Massimo Guarini – who has previously worked on Killer7, No More Heroes and Shadows of the Damned with the notoriously mentally unhinged Suda 51 – Murasaki Baby is an upcoming 2D side-scroller in which you must guide Baby through a mysterious world populated by the fears and fantasies of children. The game appears to be controlled exclusively via the Vita’s touch screens, will feature four separate worlds to traverse and is definitely one of the more unique titles coming to the Vita in 2014. Then again, if you’d spent that long hanging around with Suda 51, you’d be more than a little bit weird as well.

Release date: 2014

That’s all for now. Join us again in a few days for more of what’s in store for the Vita in 2014.