Top 10 Vita localizations that should have happened

An article after my own heart.


At times I find myself thinking Vita has been far better supported than it should’ve been based on sales – there are some localized games I still can’t believe we got in the west at all.  The latter part of Vita’s lifespan has been given a strong pulse thanks to incredible efforts by a number of different publishers to bring titles across, yet there are still a number of games which have slipped through the cracks for various reasons.  And in many cases it’s a real shame, because most of these games look absolutely stunning.

In this article, I’ll be looking at a number of these titles – examining what they are; why I think they should’ve come west and various suggestions for why they didn’t.  I’m going to cheat slightly and include multiple games under one heading when there’s a group of games with an obvious connection that we haven’t gotten in…

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Bravely Default: How to get good gear fast

I am finally playing Bravely Default. The looming release of Bravely Second kicked me into ‘Why haven’t I played this yet?’ mode and from the moment I started my journey in Luxendarc it just clicked with me.  I am now looking for any excuse to sneak back to playing this amazing RPG.

I finished the Prologue last night. Like any classic JRPG prologue worth its salt, it’s looong. Not quite as long as Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky FC prologue … but it’s up there with the best.

The prologue introduces you – via well-timed mini tutorials – to the various game features, and by the end you should be well-versed in the essential skills and options. One option that is IMO really crucial (but may possibly be missed or under-valued) is the re-building of the village Norende. It *may* look at first like a tedious sim module tacked on … but it is in fact nothing short of crucial to how you fare in levelling and gearing up.

You need ‘workers’ to re-build. And workers are hard to come by in the beginning. You start out with just one poor soul. For those of us living in regions where Streetpasses are a rarity, you may be discouraged and therefore not pursue this task. But fear not – the game fortunately recognises this problem and you need not miss out! I have only ever had 1 streetpass in 3 years (!). And now, after just a few days of playing, I have 15 workers. How is that possible? Read more ›

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Omega Quintet: Side Quests

I’m still in the early stages of the game (just cleared chapter 2) but have run into one snag: quests can and do expire very fast! So definitely only accept a quest when you’re ready to undertake it. I lost one Town-based request due to this.

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PS+ Games for October 2015

There’s been a lot of criticism and ill feeling about this month’s selection on Playstation’s Plus subscriber service.

PS Plus October 2015 Titles
I want to look at it from a different angle – i.e. not the hoary old “there’s no game there that I want!” personal affront response – but rather at how Playstation is balancing its offering in an attempt at providing something playable for as many subscribers as possible. Not an easy task!

Sony has to support 3 platforms – PS3, PS4 and the VITA – and presumably allocates games roughly in accordance with the subscriber numbers for each platform.

What’s noticeable about October is the number of games available for the ‘legacy’ platform: PS3.  A total of 4 games is playable on the older console (out of a total of 6 games for the month). That’s really quite remarkable. I think it testifies to the immense popularity and resilience of the PS3. Maybe Sony has had some feedback (or checked their stats) from subscribers who still want to have content for this console. The unkind commentator might of course mumble that ‘maybe Sony had a lot of old games lying around that they didn’t know what to do with’!

Whatever the reason, there is a reasonable range available – mechanical puzzler Unmechanical, couch co-op Chariot, light platformer Kung Fu Rabbit and rhythm game Kickbeat – for a variety of play styles.

Yes, there are no award winners or standout games here – but I don’t see any reason for getting hyper-grumpy about this either.

Overall, Playstation seems to go as far as possible for a wide cross-platform range, and that makes sense of course. 4 games are VITA-compatible. Sony may not be giving much first-party support to the VITA any longer … but its wonderful handheld is generally well-supported in the PS+ line-up.

We’ve seen this trend for a while now: Sony goes for balance and wide-spread range in its PS+ monthly games; the Big PS+Titles of the past are gone, and I think they’ll stick with this strategy for the foreseeable future.

Finally, from a personal viewpoint, my pick of the month has to be Broken Age. While Super Meat Boy will keep many hardcore gamers happy, I’m just not a hardcore platformer.

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If I weren’t so happy with the Uniform Server, I’d start using the Bitnami stacks. Hmmm … but they are hefty, my word! Not surprising, since the complete WAMP/MAMP/LAMP infrastructure is built in.
Alternatively, you can download your infrastructure stack, and then install individual app modules on top.

I know from past experience how much can go wrong with these all-in-one stacks … so I’ll stick to what works. I have the additional convenience of running TortoiseSVN via Windows Explorer; from inside my Uniform Server www folder I can simply via right-click invoke the Tortoise menu and browse Subversion repositories, and grab any software files available. Not surprisingly, I favour apps that keep a SVN repo. 🙂

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Posted in Servers, Web Apps, Web Development

WooThemes 4-for-1 Special

Here’s how I got my 4 themes: My lucky night.

After over 2 years away from WordPress workings, I quickly figured out that with my limited time there’s no way I would be able to catch up with all the new, and more complex, innards of WP, and manage to construct a decent website.

I had a quick look around the ‘premium’ professional WP theme services (and there’s some good stuff out there) as well as the few still-free themes or theme frameworks that look professional (Carrington and Thematic caught my eye).

In the end, I settled on WooThemes who impressed me (as far as one can tell without actual access to the themes!) with their combination of feature-rich as well as eye-catching, balanced design. The fact that I got more bonus themes than I had bargained on is … an extra bonus! 😀

Posted in Blog Tools, Web Development, WordPress

Uniform Server is still awesome

I stepped away from web design well over 2 years ago … and felt relief.
Now chance and circumstance has thrown me back into the fray and I find I still have that old excitement and enthusiasm. IOW: I’m having a ball. 🙂

UniServer is now up to version 4.2 (Mona) and as good as ever. I love having that option of doing dev work with WordPress or other software on my own box, esp. during times when broadband crawls to a halt here in the Kiwi provinces.

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