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The games of February 2012

Michael Jackson: The Experience

Platform: PlayStation Vita
EU: February 22

 

The Vita’s take on the late pop superstar's image and catalog seems modeled after last fall's Nintendo 3DS version, letting you draw shapes on the touchscreen and back panel to match moves with the beat of each song. The Experience includes familiar backdrops from Jackson's music videos, as well as multiple difficulty settings, but including just 15 tracks in a $40 release strikes us as remarkably lightweight – even for a game based on the King of Pop.

Dungeon Hunter Alliance

Platform: PlayStation Vita
EU: February 22

System launches make people do crazy things; like potentially consider spending $40 on the Vita port of an above-average $13 PS3 downloadable game, itself an underwhelming upgrade to a few-dollar iPhone knock-off of Diablo. True, the thought of traipsing around dungeons with a trio of online pals in tow – hacking and slashing at everything in sight – has an intriguing pull to it. But with the only noted upgrades being lightly enhanced visuals and the return of iOS touch controls, this seems like an extremely tough value proposition for folks already dropping $250-plus on a new system.

February 15

Uncharted: Golden Abyss

Platform: PlayStation Vita
EU: February 22

 

The PlayStation Vita launch lineup is one of the strongest we've ever seen, either on a handheld or console, and Uncharted: Golden Abyss is one of the biggest reasons why. While not developed by Naughty Dog, this prequel to the fantastic PS3 action trilogy delivers a console-sized adventure on the go, with stellar visuals, an intriguing storyline and even more hilarious antics from Drake and Sully (with their original voice actors, of course). Being a Vita launch game, it implements a couple of touch control options, such as drawing a path for automated climbing or rubbing the back panel to climb ropes, but otherwise it can mostly be played like the console iterations. Check out our impressions of the full Japanese import release for more.

Wipeout 2048

Platform: PlayStation Vita
EU: February 22

 

Wipeout Pure served as a fantastic showcase for the PSP, while Wipeout HD ushered the slick, futuristic racing series into the high-def era. Wipeout 2048, for its part, looks like the best of both worlds, delivering a wickedly attractive new version that keeps the in-your-face immediacy of the PSP versions on an even larger screen. We called Wipeout 2048 the "best-controlling Wipeout yet" during a hands-on last year, and just recently, we posted a video preview alongside which editor Matt Cundy called a four-event demo his "most-played game of the year so far." Imagine what'll happen with the full-fledged game! Based on what we've seen and played, we have no doubt that Wipeout 2048 will be one of the absolute top Vita launch options.

Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational (Everybody's Golf in UK)

Platform: PlayStation Vita
EU: February 22

 

As with Wipeout Pure, Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee was an early-days obsession of ours on PSP, and since the franchise hasn't been seen in a few years, we're pretty primed to dive into another meaty, arcade-style golf tour. World Invitational, on the surface, looks like the Hot Shots Golf we know and love, albeit with visuals more akin to Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds on PlayStation 3. Naturally, it includes some new Vita-enabled features, like the 360-degree camera control via physical movement and the ability to place your golfer (and ball) at the tee just by dragging and dropping on the touch screen. Add in real-time and turn-based online modes, and we're already anxious to tee up.

Little Deviants

Platform: PlayStation Vita
EU: February 22

 

Ostensibly Sony's de facto minigame collection, Little Deviants attempts to show off the myriad functions of the PlayStation Vita, notably the built-in Sixaxis tilt controls, the large touch display, and the back touch panel. The 30 games include one in which you'll rub along the back panel to manipulate the ground of a stage and push around a rolling creature, as well as an Augmented Reality game where the Vita's back camera is used to create stages for a first-person shooting event. We're guessing many of you will encounter Little Deviants as part of the Vita First Edition Bundle on February 15, but either way, read more in our hands-on impressions.

Warp

Platform: Xbox Live Arcade
EU: February 15

 

Slated to kick-start Microsoft's latest Xbox Live Arcade House Party promotion on February 15 (the PSN and PC versions arrive March 13), Warp sort of looks like a pairing of Metal Gear Solid-esque stealth and 'Splosion Man style and shenanigans, as noted in our recent video preview of the game. Watching that clip shows quite a bit about the game, in which you'll command a fragile alien test subject who can teleport only a short distance, and must use his skills and careful movements to evade human guards – or teleport into them and detonate their bloody innards onto everything in sight. It's amazingly gory in a very unexpected way!

ModNation Racers: Road Trip

Platform: PlayStation Vita
EU: February 22

 

ModNation Racers started out very promisingly on PlayStation 3 in 2010, letting players build their own tracks, karts, and racers with minimal effort, and share them with the world. The accompanying PSP version didn't quite nail the same formula, but Sony has another handheld shot at pulling it off with ModNation Racers: Road Trip on Vita. Though Road Trip looks very much like the PS3 original, the touch interfaces should make it easier than ever to design and decorate original courses, plus the millions of created tracks on PS3 are still playable on Vita. Sadly, though, Road Trip lacks online play, though it has local wireless multiplayer and the same online sharing features as the other releases.

Reality Fighters

Platform: PlayStation Vita
EU: February 22

The Nintendo 3DS AR Cards are such a cool demonstration of tech, but they're not exactly designed to serve as a long lasting or particularly fulfilling play experience. So we're curious to see how Sony's Reality Fighters for Vita extrapolates on that concept, as this portable fighter sets up one-on-one battles that take place on your coffee table or a crosswalk. Reality Fighters can use AR cards for a base or do without, and it also puts you in the game as a fighter by snapping your mug and letting you customize the created character that emerges. Will this be a satisfying new fighter or a short-lived curiosity? We're anxious to find out.

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3

Platform: PlayStation Vita
EU: February 22

 

We can't blame anyone who struggled with the decision to buy the lightly upgraded Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 on a console last fall, just months after the original version's release. But with a PlayStation Vita version emerging later this month, the incentive might be there to dive in on a portable iteration that seems nearly identical to the home versions. We've spent considerable time with the Japanese import version, and aside from some lighter particle effects, it's pretty much a perfect port – and looks damn fine on the large Vita screen. Plus, it adds optional touch controls, which are sure to enrage genre die-hards. Get hype!

Ben 10: Galactic Racing

Platform: PlayStation Vita
EU: N/A

 

For parents picking up a Vita who want something specifically for the kid(s), Ben 10: Galactic Racing will be ready and waiting come launch time. Seemingly a mostly straight port of the multiplatform kart racer that dropped last fall, Galactic Racer serves up 15 different drivers from the hit Cartoon Network animated series, along with 30 karts and 25 tracks based on five distinct environments. Where the Vita version differs from the earlier versions is in the addition of back panel-activated stunts during races, along with tilt-based steering and touch screen menu navigation throughout.

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32 comments

  • birdman1041 - February 4, 2012 11:26 a.m.

    I'm still working on The Games of November 2011!
  • Errrrbo - February 2, 2012 5:38 p.m.

    I'm looking forward to Binary Domain, Kingdoms of Amalur, and SSX.
  • PolarBearsInHeat - February 2, 2012 4:06 p.m.

    SYNDICATE!!! FINALLY!!!!
  • winner2 - February 2, 2012 4:03 p.m.

    KoA's the only one i'm interested in atm sadly
  • ChiChiRocket - February 2, 2012 2:32 p.m.

    Definitely getting Tales of the Abyss 3D. I'll probably get Rhythm Heaven too. I've been playing the DS version lately, and that luchador game is enough to make me want it.
  • larkan - February 2, 2012 12:54 p.m.

    If you play The Darkness II demo, you can hear the death wail of a voice actor who was also in Borderlands. I've played that game so much it was IMMEDIATELY recognizable!
  • Corsair89 - February 2, 2012 12:33 p.m.

    I don't know if my wallet can make it through this month.
  • Darkhawk - February 2, 2012 11:13 a.m.

    I thought the latest Vanillaware was a console game! This is great; now I have a reason to pull out my PSP!
  • Asloveszuko - February 2, 2012 6:10 a.m.

    I just did a search on Hakouki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom to see if it was anything I was interested in and I noticed that the spelling of it in your article is off just a tad. it's actually spelt: Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom Just a flip of the o and u in Hakuoki! No biggie ^_^
  • RyoonZ - February 2, 2012 5:52 a.m.

    Those game looks tempting but I won't buy anything on day one. I'll buy KoA, Asura Wrath later when their price dropped. Revelaitons might be on day one for me. And WTF is that Hakuoki ? How come that game get localized first than Suikoden Woven Web ?
  • KnowYourPokemon - February 2, 2012 5:28 a.m.

    Let's see, Kingdom's of Amalur, along with the games I have yet to finish from the end of last year plus FF XIII-2... Yeah I'm in no rush to bother getting a Vita any time soon. Maybe when they get something that isn't a complete spinoff of games I already have.
  • FlagrantPilgrim - February 2, 2012 4:59 a.m.

    What happened to Combat Wings?
  • taokaka - February 2, 2012 1:24 a.m.

    SOMEBODY CALL AN AMBULANCE!!!!!! my wallet just had a heart attack. Also wasn't gravity rush confirmed for a February release????
  • soggysage - February 1, 2012 11:29 p.m.

    I'll only be getting The Darkness 2 this month. Maybe Twisted Metal as well if I can scrape together enough cash.
  • aion money - February 1, 2012 10:58 p.m.

    Although I am not very understand but I like you to give me a lot of information
  • Ultimadrago - February 1, 2012 10:31 p.m.

    Neputnia looks and sounds so terrible, but...nerd...in...me...is...still...INTRIGUED!
  • BALLSTOTHEWALLET - February 2, 2012 7:13 a.m.

    I know the feeling
  • NightCrawler_358 - February 1, 2012 9:11 p.m.

    Aah, Twisted Metal for sure! I've been so excited for it, loved the old ones. Also, I may pick up Fallout New Vegas UE if it doesn't have too many problems on ps3, considering my PC version of the vanilla is awful.
  • laurenhiya21 - February 1, 2012 9:06 p.m.

    Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2 looks pretty interesting... I just hope it actually is good... (and that there is an option for Japanese audio... the English voices sound AWFUL ><) And I would get Jak & Daxter right away if I had a ps3... Other than Rhythm Heaven Fever... nothing seems to be interesting to me :/ Too much Vita stuff IMO
  • Travia220 - February 1, 2012 8:36 p.m.

    Way to much Vita shovelware this month.

Showing 1-20 of 32 comments

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