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Saving the PlayStation Vita

Sony PlayStation Vita Image

Despite a strong, well received launch lineup and positive reviews regarding the hardware, the domestic Vita launch disappointed with a first-week estimate of only 300,000 units. Sony is definitely facing an uphill battle stateside, but all is not lost. The hardware is good, the games are there, and major marketing dollars are being put behind the Vita. So how can Sony capitalize upon the Vita's strengths while dragging itself out of its presumed grave? Here are a few ideas.

Atlus's Vita game round-up

Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 2 Innocent Sin Screenshot

Given the present dearth of strategy and role-playing games on the young Vita, exposure to some classic Atlus games couldn't come at a better time. I recently had a chance to play nine of these games for the first time on Vita and I came away from the experience realizing that, even if most of these games are ports of earlier releases, no one picks up on and supports unique properties the way Atlus does. This is the company that published oddball titles like Hammerin' Hero and Eggs of Steel, after all.

Sony PlayStation Vita hardware impressions

PlayStation Vita Image

GameCritics is proud to offer one of two impression pieces covering the PS Vita. The first is the one you are reading and it's by Matt Kaplan (commonly known as one of the biggest PlayStation Portable fans on the planet). Matt has been putting his Vita through its paces and evaluating every element and gives his thoughts on the shiny new black hardware.

God of War III: A disappointing finale

God of War  III Screenshot

In between dissertation writing sessions, I recently managed to eek out enough time to play through God of War III. I purchased my Ultimate Edition copy the day it came out, and I just couldn't hold off any longer. I consider the first two God of War games to be the best action games of their kind and I was dying to see how the series wrapped up.

Be warned, spoilers abound.

Mini Metamorphasis

Age of  Zombies Screenshot

By and large, the consensus regarding Sony's slowly expanding line of "Minis" software for the PlayStation Portable is that the games—mostly ports from the iPhone and other platforms—are sorely lacking in quality. Given the initial launch titles, it's not hard to see why: An overpriced Tetris port, mediocre fair like Brainpipe and Vempire, and downright terrible shovelware like Gameloft's Hero of Sparta were among the heavy hitters back in early October.

Lost in translation?

Lost in Translation? Cho Aniki Zero-screenshot

Before today, everything I knew about the infamous Cho Aniki series was gleaned either from a cursory glance at Wikipedia or this Escapist article. It's part of the kuso-ge (literally, "sh*t game") class of hyper-stylized Japanese gaming, notable only for the use of kitschy humor. These obscure 2D shooters feature every not-so-subtle homoerotic undercurrent imaginable, from characters who shoot semen-like beams from their heads to greased men wrestling and evil phallic monsters.

What the hell is game studies good for?

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Screenshot

I know that this post's title may make it seem like I'm taking a page from Espen Aarseth's 2005 article of a similar name and Roger Travis' 2008 response to it. Trust me when I say that I'm casting my net a little wider than the design vs. scholarship vs. play disciplinary debate... not that that debate is irrelevant, but I'm simply responding to a different exigency.

The sincerest form of flattery

Dante's Inferno  Art

I'm currently making my way through the end of Dante's Inferno on the PlayStation Portable (PSP) and I find myself enjoying the port much more than I thought I would. As a portable conversion of the PlayStation 3 (PS3) and 360 title, the PSP game impresses: There are audio problems in the CG sequences and some formerly playable sequences (none of them too important or sizable) have been changed to pre-rendered film, but on the whole it's about as detailed and playable a port of a full-sized, current-generation game as one could hope for.

A Sony PlayStation Portable Wish List

PSP Go Screenshot

We criticize the ones we love.

I consider myself an avid defender of all things Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP), not because mega-corporation Sony somehow needs a small-time American blogging plebe like myself to come to their aid, but because the system sometimes get an unfair shake compared to Nintendo's ubiquitous DS and the only-marginally-a-game-system Apple iPhone.

How video games helped me to talk to my father

TV Sports: Football Screenshot

My dad isn't a particularly complex guy.  He believes in hard work and close family ties.  He believes in healthy marriages, tradition, and solid spirituality.  He enjoys retribution and cusses at frustrating phone calls.  He hates any movie that isn't a comedy; the Naked Gun films are probably the only ones he's seen multiple times.  He sings along to '60s tunes in the car.  He doesn't appreciate "art."  He hates crying. He loves sports.

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