So what’s next? A pre-E3 look at what Vita games are in the pipeline.

As we look forward to E3 where I think even those of us who are the most ardent supporters of the Vita recognize that Sony needs to hit it out of the park during that presentation.  Talk of upcoming Vita games has been spotty at best thus far, so we figured it would be best to compile them in one place to hold us over until E3.  I, personally, am not a believer in the ‘Vita has no games’ meme, as it currently has 19 games with a metacritic of 70 or higher.  I’m not sure how many systems would have been able to boast such a stat two months after release, but I digress.

So what do we have to look forward to?  Let’s start with May-August.

Resistance: Burning Skies

When is it coming?  May 29th

What is it?  R:BS will be the first twin stick FPS on a handheld, which takes place in the Resistance universe but is neither part of the main story nor is it developed by Insomniac (Nihilistic has taken the reigns on this one).  Videos look promising, and multiplayer will at the very least be novel.  Questions marks surround the framerate which looks low in videos – but take that with a grain of salt as that could be the fault of the video, not the game.

FYVH Hype Meter:  8/10  I love the Resistance series so my expectations are high.  I hope Nihilistic can deliver.

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Gravity Rush

When is it coming?  June 12

What is it?  Gravity Rush, called Gravity Daze in Japan, is an open world action game with the ability to manipulate gravity to help you traverse the city.  The developers are on record saying they were influenced by Crackdown, one of my personal favorite 360 exclusives.  Expectations for this game are very, very high.  The Vita desperately needs a top rate game that isn’t a port and Gravity Rush seems to be it.

FYVH Hype Meter:  10/10  This can’t come soon enough.

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Sound Shapes

When is it coming?  Signs point to June

What is it? Sound Shapes is the newest game by Jonathon Mak, creator of the absolutely sublime Everyday Shooter.  Sound Shapes seems to be part music creation, part platformer, with level/music sharing.  The debut trailer for it got me crazy hyped.

FYVH Hype Meter: 10/10  I foresee myself spending many, many, many, many hours with this.

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Retro City Ransom

When is it coming?  “May” (which is obviously looking less and less likely)

What is it? Retro City Ransom is a top down, old school (think NES) style action game with a modern twist.  Part 8-bit GTA, part videogame satire, it looks like a lot of fun.  Is also coming out on other platforms, including Steam.

FYVH Hype Meter:  8/10 I’m not sure if this will be fun for 5 minutes or 50 hours, but I’m curious to find out.

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Pure Chess

When is it coming?  Soon™  (It’s been out in Europe and other territories for several weeks now)

What is it?  It’s a chess game made by the developers of Hustle Kings.  It has an asynchronous multiplayer mode which will keep us playing this for a long time to come.

FYVH Hype Meter: 7/10  asynchronous chess is hard to get excited about, but I absolutely love Hero Academy on iOS and this is like that, but real.

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Zen Pinball 2

When is it coming?  “Spring” (Which is now looking like June)

What is it? The follow-up to the PSN title Zen Pinball, Zen Pinball 2 is a free game with one table and the rest of the tables will be micro transactions.  Zen Studios has announced that it’s a “buy one get both” release, like Hustle Kings and Pinball Arcade.  The difference between this and Pinball Arcade, however, is that Zen tends to make a slightly more “gameplay first” type of pinball game where Pinball Arcade goes for realism.  Both have their merits, of course, so it’s up to each of us to decide.  Or you can be like me and play the crap out of both.

FYVH Hype Meter: 7/10  I used to be a Zen guy, but right now I’m honestly more excited for more Pinball Arcade tables.

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Table Top Tanks

When is it coming?  May 22

What is it?  Table Top Tanks is another augmented reality game, though this one is going to cost a couple bucks.  The videos of it, however, make it look quite intriguing.  I’ve yet to get sucked into an AR game on the Vita or 3DS, but of all the ones I’ve seen this one looks to have the best chance.

FYVH Hype Meter: 6/10  You can actually make this 10/10 just because we haven’t had a May release since May 1 with Mortal Kombat.

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Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath HD

When is it coming?  Summer

What is it? It’s the Oddworld game that no one played, evidently.  It’s a first person shooter, and a unique one at that.  You can get it now on the PSN and I’m not really sure what being on the Vita will add to it… but if you haven’t played it – please do, it’s really great.

FYVH Hype Meter:  5/10  It’s a double dip for me, so it’s hard to get too hyped, but it really is awesome… and weird.

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MGS Collection HD

When is it coming?  June 12

What is it?  It’s the Metal Gear Solid Collection, in HD, minus one game.  Why is it minus one game?  I have no effin’ clue.

FYVH Hype Meter:  3/10  I haven’t played through a Metal Gear game since MGS1.  I do expect to at least give these a whirl.

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Madden

When is it coming?  August 28 (possibly – this is when console madden is coming out at least)

What is it?  A Vita version of the popular Madden football series.  Unfortunately, instead of being a handheld version of this year’s game with cross-play, it’s much like FIFA and will be using last year’s engine. With FIFA this wasn’t a huge deal because last year’s engine was arguably better than the new one, but with Madden last year’s offering was pretty poor.  Here’s to hoping that they tweak it for the better.  And even though I shouldn’t be, I’m quite excited to get my hands on this game.

FYVH Hype Meter:  8/10  Madden has been a disappointment to me for the last several years, but there’s nothing better than a good game of american football.  Lets hope they can work some magic.

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Ragnarok Odyssey

When is it coming?  Aug 21

What is it? A J-ARPG in the style of Monster Hunter.  It’s been out in Japan for a while and has gotten decent reviews.  It shipped without online play, which is absurd for a game of this style, but they patched it in later.  Getting to run around and kill things and loot them is usually enough to satiate my meager standards.

FYVH Hype Meter:  8/10 When I first saw this I had my doubts we would ever see it stateside so I am quite excited that it was announced recently.

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Dr. Who: The Eternity Clock

When is it coming?   Summer

What is it?  A PSN downloadable only game based in the Dr. Who universe.  I’ve yet to be able to dig up much of any info on this one.  Mostly because I don’t care about the property.  Sorry, fans!

FYVH Hype Meter:  3/10  If you’re a Dr. Who Fan feel free to add 7 points to this score.

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Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes

When is it coming?  June 19

What is it? Another Lego game.

FYVH Hype Meter: 1/10  I, uh, yeah.

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And this pretty much wraps up summer.  I’m sure there will be a number of PSN games released, and this summer should also mark the release of the PSone emulator (finally).  Overall it’s not a terrible lineup for one of the slowest release seasons for games on any consoles, but it’s also not jaw dropping by any stretch of the imagination.

Lets take a look at what we know about fall and beyond…

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LittleBigPlanet Vita

When is it coming?  Fall  (some sites still list this as June… but it’s been pushed to fall)

What is it? The fourth Little Big Planet game which should benefit greatly from the myriad of functions the vita provides.

FYVH Hype Meter: 10/10  Some people hate the floaty physics.  I’m not those people.  LBP is one of my favorite franchises this gen and i think level creation with touch controls will be a revelation.

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Persona 4

When is it coming?  October 23

What is it? The newest Persona game, faithfully translated to the Vita.  If you want to know if you’ll like the series or not I recommend taking a look at Persona 3 Portable for the PSP (and is compatible with the Vita) which is on the PSN for $20.  I don’t even know how to describe this game… dating sim/demonic RPG?  Something like that.

FYVH Hype Meter: 8/10  The more unique RPGs from Japan the better as far as I’m concerned.

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Silent Hill: Book of Memories

When is it coming?  Fall

What is it?  Originally slated to be a launch window title let’s hope the extra time allows them to polish this survival horror game to a shine

FYVH Hype Meter: 5/10  I was never a big Silent Hill fan or survival horror in general so take this hype meter with a grain of salt.

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Soul Sacrifice

When is it coming?  Who knows (i’m gonna guess late winter/early spring)

What is it?  An action RPG by Kenji Inafune’s new studio.  Looks extremely gross and awesome with the ability to sacrifice parts of your body to make your character more powerful.

FYVH Hype Meter:  10/10  All over my face, please.

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Street Fighter X Tekken

When is it coming?  Fall

What is it?  The Vita release of Street Fighter X Tekken is supposedly the definitive version with all of the DLC included and cross platform play.  Poor sales of the console version do point to a bit of fatigue in the genre though.

FYVH Hype Meter: 6/10  I would much prefer SSFIV AE, but beggars can’t be choosers.

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Warrior’s Lair (formerly named Ruin, what a terrible name change)

When is it coming?  Who effin knows

What is it? An American Action RPG (think Diablo) with cross-platform play and a bit of base building/defense as people can infiltrate your base even when you aren’t playing.  This game has gone through many changes, starting development with the studio who brought us the absolutely wretched Pain on the PSN, but has since been passed to San Diego Studios who have a track record of much better games (including the 5/5 rated MLB: The Show).

FYVH Hype Meter: 10/10  –  I should know better but the first time I laid eyes on this game I wanted it and as time goes by that feeling only increases.

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Call of Duty

When is it coming?  September

What is it?  I don’t know what it is, yet, but I do know what it isn’t: Blops2.  Let’s hope it’s good.  I mean not for me, but for people who like such things.

FYVH Hype Meter: 5/10  I have a morbid curiosity to see what exactly this is and how it turns out…  but I certainly can’t claim to be a huge CoD fan.

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Smart As

When is it coming? Fall

What is it? Similar to many of the brain training games out there, with leaderboards.  Sold!

FYVH Hype Meter:  9/10  I know this isn’t the flashiest game on the planet but it’s this type of game that can suck up large amounts of time without you even noticing.

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Assassin’s Creed

When is it coming?  September

What is it?  Like CoD, I don’t know what it is, but I know it’s not Assassin’s Creed 3.  The PSP Assassin’s Creed spinoff was solid so hopes are high for this one.

FYVH Hype Meter: 7/10  I’m not a huge Assassin’s Creed fan but I did enjoy the PSP one.

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So that’s part of what we know so far.  Below is a list of games, both big and small, confirmed and rumored, that will come out any time between this Tuesday and never and may be in certain regions only.  And some of these do have dates, but didn’t push my hype meter enough to get listed above.

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  • A-men
  • Bioshock project from Ken Levine (it’s not Bioshock Infinity)
  • Broken
  • Chronovolt
  • Cobalt Runner HD
  • DJ Max Technika TUNE
  • Dokuro
  • Dragon’s Crown
  • Dragon’s Racing
  • Dungeon Defenders
  • Dust 547 Companion App
  • Emergency Escape Adventure: Trust or Betrayal
  • Final Fantasy X HD
  • Frobisher Says
  • Great Little War Game
  • Gundam Seed Battle Destiny
  • Kojima is working on something…
  • Legend of Heroes: Zero no Kiseki
  • Level 5 is working on an RPG
  • Mad Blocker HD
  • Marvelous’s Romance Of The Three Kingdoms
  • Marvelous is working on a Fantasy RPG
  • Monsters Rising
  • Mr. Ink Jet
  • New King’s Story
  • Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee HD
  • Orgarhythm
  • Orc Attack
  • Phantasy Star Online 2
  • Project N.O.E.L.S.
  • Pub Games
  • Puddle
  • Putty Squad
  • Shin Megami Tensei Series
  • Shoot Many Robots
  • Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
  • Square Enix’s Action/RPG
  • Sudoku
  • Sun Flowers
  • Super Monkey Ball: Banana Splitz
  • Super Robot Taisen
  • Top Darts
  • Urban Trials
  • Ys: Celceta, Sea Of Trees
  • Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward
  • Zone Of The Enders Collection HD

So that’s what I know of as of 5/17/2012.  It’s not nearly as dire as people make it out to be – but it’s not nearly as impressive as I think we would like it to be.  Hopefully E3 fleshes out this list with some big, high quality games, they drop price on this bugger, and away we go.

I also would like to say that beyond usual sources like PR folks, news sites, Amazon and other sites… this article owes a debt of gratitude to THIS THREAD at neogaf which had several games on it that I hadn’t heard of otherwise.

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6 thoughts on “So what’s next? A pre-E3 look at what Vita games are in the pipeline.

  1. I am really excited for Gravity Rush and LBP. I am hoping Resistance and Assassin’s Creed turn out good too. Sound Shapes looks great too. And I’m curious to see more on Killzone. Will you being doing an E3 Vita Predictions blog? I am really curious what kind of new games they might announce.

  2. We will cover predictions for E3 in next week’s For your Inbox (there will be a for your inbox this week as well… but it’s not e3 related).

    There has been a lot of E3 rumors floating around here from people in the know. My main prediction for E3 is to expect to hear the word “crossplay” a lot. Also, the biggest game announcement in June may not even be at E3, it may be at the 2nd Japanese Game Heaven event.

  3. MGS HD a hype rating of just 3? WTF?! Peace Walker didn’t make it largely due to memory card constraints, I would expect, surprised they managed to fit in two games as it is. MGS games are all about those crazy boss battles, convoluted barely comprehensible storylines and Snake’s bad ass attitude.

    I have Peacewalker and its one of those games that’s fully compatible with the VIta and makes use of the right stick mapping feature, but for some inexplicable reason isn’t on the psvita store.

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