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Conception 2 coming to Europe in May

European role-playing game fans will be able to enjoy Spike Chunsoft's Conception 2 in May, publisher Atlus has revealed. Though Atlus has yet to solidify dates, an email blast revealed both a demo for the game and the official release will come to the region next month.

"If you pick up the game, but haven't played through the demo, you may want to give it a shot! Your save data transfers over, and you'll get a set of free goodies," the promotional email noted. For the first month of release players can download the Disciple Weapon Pack DLC for free, which offers five weapons for players to distribute within their game's party. Additional quests will be released as free DLC in May, Atlus says, with more content rolling out each week.

Conception 2: Children of the Seven Stars launched in North America yesterday for the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita. The Joystiq review said of the game, "none of its elements manage to rise above a general feeling of mediocrity."
[Image: Atlus]

PSN Store Update: Final Fantasy 14, Trials Fusion, FIFA World Cup

It's football, fantasy, and FMX in this week's line-up of PlayStation Store additions for North America, starting with the full launch of Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn. PS4 players can hook up with the subscription MMO for $40, or $60 if they fancy some in-game items from the Collector's Edition. You can also transfer a PS3 copy across to PS4 - Amazon has the PS3 version going for $25.

Next it's FMX: RedLynx's next attempt to break your controllers is Trials Fusion, and it's the first in the series to arrive on PlayStation. The PS4 game - also available on Xbox One, 360, and PC - adds freestyle tricks to the trademark mix of motocross and puzzle-platforming. The regular game is $20 but if you're wheelie keen for the upcoming DLC, a Deluxe Edition is $40 and comes with the season pass.

Speaking of puzzles, the PS4 also gets a few brainteasers this week. Pure Chess and Backgammon Blitz are $8 each - you can get a game-pack stuffed Deluxe Edition of Pure Chess for $15 - and finally, That Trivia Game will set you back That Ten Dollars.

Onto to PS3, and football - the rounder, kickier kind. The catchily titled 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil is only on PS3 and Xbox 360, and you can score it as a $60 download on the former. Meanwhile, Beyond: Two Souls has been out for a while, but it's also now on PSN as a $60 download. Don't forget, this week's PS Plus freebie is the new Castle of Illusion, and that comes bundled with the Genesis original as a nostalgic bonus.

Finally, the Vita has plenty of new releases including Conception 2 ($40, also out on 3DS) and Cross-Buy portable versions of Dead Nation ($8) and Ethan: Meteor Hunter ($10). For the full list of new releases, sales, and Plus discounts, head over to the PlayStation Blog.
[Image: Ubisoft]

MechRunner coming to PS4, Vita, PC, Mac in July

MechRunner, an endless runner/action game featuring mechs and a wonderfully suitable name, is coming to the PS4, Vita, PC and Mac in July, developer Spark Plug Games has announced. To help add additional polish to the game, Spark Plug is turning to Kickstarter with a campaign targeting $25,000. A $10 pledge will net Kickstarter users a copy of the game for either PC/Mac via Steam or a cross-play version for the PS4 and Vita.

"The game is feature complete, fully playable, and in its final stages before we launch in July 2014," the Kickstarter campaign page says, indicating that regardless of the crowdfunding effort's outcome, MechRunner will be released.

MechRunner is a video game adaptation of Jane Austen's seminal work, Pride and Prejudice. Wait, no... the story follows a giant mech that can also turn into a tank with an affinity for destroying just about anything that stands in its way, which sounds more like the story in Charles Dickens' Great Expectations.

MechRunner is the North Carolina-based developer's second attempt at Kickstarter success. In 2012, the developer canceled a project called Steampunk Bullet Train, which sought the same funding total before the end of its campaign.
[Image: Spark Plug Games]

Killzone Mercenary DLC adds offline multiplayer

Today, developer Guerrilla Cambridge will unleash a new DLC pack for Killzone Mercenary, which adds offline multiplayer to the Vita shooter.

"With the purchase of the Botzone Soldier Training Pack, all of our multiplayer maps can be played offline in Mercenary or Guerrilla Warfare modes," a post on the PlayStation Blog from Guerrilla Cambridge' Tech Director, Matt Porter, revealed. With the new content, players can face off against up to seven AI soldiers.

Porter notes that, with the offline mode, players will have a chance to collect some of the portable game's "harder-to-obtain" multiplayer trophies.

Additionally, the content brings with it a mandatory update, which tackles some longer standing collision issues reported in the game's multiplayer maps. The free update will be available today. The BotZone DLC will be available to purchase on the PlayStation Store, but at the time of publishing, no price was made available for the content.
[Image: Guerrilla Cambridge]

MLB 14: The Show review: Changeup

The term "simulation" is appropriate for MLB 14: The Show, but not just because of its beautiful presentation, a defining trait of the series that's become a benchmark for other sports video games. Rather, MLB 14: The Show earns its simulation stripes by continuing the series' tradition of challenging players with mechanics and statistics that mirror the real sport. While MLB's gameplay has changed little this year, no matter what option players select for pitching, fielding and hitting (we'll get to that later), they will fail or succeed as regularly as athletes do in the big leagues.

Yet much like the faithfully-recreated and wildly differing batting stances of hitters in the game, MLB 14: The Show truly makes its mark in the baseball sim series by being one thing: dynamic.

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Terraria 1.2 update lands April 17; adds new bosses, sunnier sun

On April 17, Terraria will receive a "massive and free" update on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Vita. Update 1.2 makes numerous tweaks to the console version and adds plenty of fresh content, including four new bosses, additional NPCs, new pets, and "over 1,000 new items."

The console version change log, which the game's official forum notes is "a direct copy from the PC change log with console exclusive changes added to them," notes a few other additions, including new ores, wood types, brick types and the ability to now imbue melee weapons.

Update 1.2 makes a few improvements to Terraria's graphical fidelity as well, making the sun brighter and making midnight in the open world darker. "Hell houses have been remodeled," the change log adds, which is itself a feat considering just how lazy the contractors in hell are.

The complete list of changes detailed on the official Terraria forum, can be found after the break.
[Image: Re-Logic / 505 Games]

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Conception 2: Children of the Seven Stars review: If you love a baby, set it free

A game doesn't need to be perfect in order for you to keep playing it, so long as there's some kind of tradeoff that provides something good in exchange for the bad. Maybe the voice acting is iffy, but you can deal because the combat is fast-paced and exhilarating. Perhaps the level design is pedestrian, but the story is enchanting enough for you to overlook it. In the case of unusual 3DS and Vita turn-based RPG Conception 2: Children of the Seven Stars, that exchange never quite happens. Although it contains some genuinely interesting ideas and even some charming weirdness, overall Conception 2 is disappointing and disjointed.

The situation is a familiar one: A select few are given the power to fight an invading evil. In this case, the Star God blesses certain teenagers with his energy so that they might slay the monsters spewing out of dark portals across the land. It's pretty standard gather-your-party-and-sally-forth-into-the-dungeon stuff, reminiscent of series like Pokemon and Shin Megami Tensei, except some of your party is made up of Star Children, which you create by "Classmating" with the other students at the school where you've been sent to hone your combat abilities. As "God's gift," a nickname you're given because the Star God has given you an astonishing amount of power, it's your obligation to Classmate as much as possible to improve humanity's odds for ridding the world of darkness. You're the world's most important pick up artist.

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Dead Nation's zombie hordes take a bite out of the Vita on April 15

Following a 2010 PlayStation 3 debut and a recent PlayStation 4 release, Dead Nation will complete the Sony trifecta by reaching the Vita handheld on April 15.

Originally developed by Housemarque (the studio responsible for Joystiq-favorite shooter Resogun), Dead Nation drops players into an ongoing zombie apocalypse. From a top-down perspective, would-be survivors navigate a decrepit city, blasting hordes of ambulatory corpses while collecting health packs, explosives and cash useful for upgrading both guns and a player's armor. Despite the zombies, Dead Nation is best described as an arcade shooter, rather than a horror game, though players should expect to see lots of gore and ominous shadows.

On debut, the Vita version of Dead Nation will be available from the PlayStation Network Store at a price of $8, while the game's Road To Devastation DLC will feature a $4 price tag. If you already own the PlayStation 3 version of Dead Nation, you will be able to download the Vita game for free.
[Image: Housemarque]

Slugcat lives: Rain World coming to Vita courtesy Adult Swim

Crowdfunded stealth-platformer Rain World is headed to the PlayStation Vita as part of a newly established publishing agreement with Adult Swim Games, developer duo Joar Jakobsson and James Primate announced this week.

Initially announced for Windows, Mac, and Linux, Rain World is a side-scrolling, exploration-focused platformer starring an adorable slug-cat hybrid and its offspring. Rain World took in more than $63,000 when it wrapped up its Kickstarter project earlier this year, more than doubling its initial funding goal.

Rain World's developers teased in their latest update that the game is coming to "PSN, PS Vita and well beyond," though additional platforms have not yet been announced.

[Image: Project Rain World]

Vita online combat game Freedom Wars makes a break for the West

A year after being announced for Japan, multiplayer action game Freedom Wars gets a surprise confirmation that it's coming to North America and Europe later this year. Co-developed by Devil Dice and God Eater 2 studio Shift and Sonic veteran Dimps, Freedom Wars blends unusual sci-fi with fast-paced combat for up to four players ad-hoc and eight players online.

Players take on the role of people suffering a dystopian totalitarianism, where the world is depleted of resources and population growth. These people are born into a sorry life of imprisonment and a rather harsh, somewhat impossible 1 million year sentence. They are doomed to spend their lives in penal communities called Panopticons, which as they sound are filled to the brim with surveillance.

To become free of their lengthy incarceration, players complete rescue missions with their friends to reduce their sentences, bit by bit. Maybe not the most well-thought out regime, but it makes for an interesting-sounding game. Freedom Wars is due to hit Japan on June 26, while today's news didn't bring word of a concrete date for the West.

Today Sony also confirmed suspicions it's bringing Soul Sacrifice Delta to the West - May 13 in North America, May 14 in Europe - and that it's also ferrying RPG Ore no Shikabane wo Koete Yuke 2 to Western shores at some point as Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines. The Vita game is a follow-up to the 1999 PlayStation game, and it's based around yet another set of cursed individuals, this time a Japanese clan of people who only get to live for 2 years each.

So, if you're in a Japanese Vita game you either get 1 million years in prison or 2 years of living - good deal.
[Image: Sony]

Soul Sacrifice Delta confirmed for North American Vita release

SCE Japan Studio's PlayStation Vita action-RPG Soul Sacrifice Delta is headed stateside in May, Sony announced today.

Delta is an enhanced and expanded version of Sony's Monster Hunter-like Soul Sacrifice, adding a number of new quests, explorable areas, and magic spells to the game's core campaign. Delta also boasts overhauled enemy AI and a third faction, giving players options beyond saving or sacrificing defeated creatures for stat boosts and other bonuses.

Soul Sacrifice originally launched for the PlayStation Vita in North America last year, and later made its way to the PlayStation Plus Instant Game Collection. Soul Sacrifice Delta will launch in North America on May 13. A European release will follow on the 14th.

[Video: Sony]

Titanfall reclaims UK No. 1 after landing on Xbox 360

Titanfall became the second game to return to the top of the UK charts in 2014, after forcing FIFA 14, the first game, to eject and drop into third. Respawn's mech-crammed shooter saw a 220 percent boost in sales following its arrival on Xbox 360, and that was enough to see it keep Lego: The Hobbit just beneath the summit in second place.

It's a sign of a quieter April that retailer promotions helped South Park: The Stick of Truth rise up to fourth. That said, last week wasn't quiet enough to take Kinect: Sports Rivals into the top ten, and Rare's motion-controlled latest had to settle for 14th place. Football Manager 2014 placed 18th thanks to its spring transfer onto Vita, and the coaching sim is just ahead of The Elder Scrolls Online in 19th, which saw a sizable drop after debuting the week before in the No. 2 spot.

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BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma comes to Vita on June 24

BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma started a new bout of 2D, combo-driven fighting on the PS3 last month. If you're more the type to fight in public, good news - Chrono Phantasma's wheel of fate will turn on Vita on June 24, according to a press release from Aksys Games.

The Vita port hosts the full roster from the PS3 version of Chrono Phantasma, as well as a recap on what you might have forgotten from previous BlazBlue games Calamity Trigger and Continuum Shift. There's also extra story content involving a beach party and an "enhanced Abyss mode," though details regarding those changes have not been shared.
[Image: Aksys Games]

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Galak-Z blasts into PS4, Vita and PC this fall

Galak-Z will "have to be out by this fall," developer 17-BIT's CEO Jake Kazdal told us at PAX East. The new game from the Skulls of the Shogun developer, which also has a strong spiritual connection with Solar Jetman, will launch first on PS4, followed by Vita and Steam.

The top-down physics-based roguelike gameplay is highlighted by action reminiscent of Asteroids. "It's not about waves of enemies," said Kazdal. "It's about leading shots, the AI becomes apparent as you play. We put a lot of work into the AI dodging shots and being something we don't normally see in arcade shooters."

PAX East attendees can check out the game inside the Indie Megabooth.
[Image: 17-BIT]

Report: Mercenary Kings runs, guns toward Vita release

Mercenary Kings, the recently-released retro 2D shooter with surprisingly complex crafting mechanics, is currently available only on the PC and PlayStation 4, though according to Destructoid, we can soon add Sony's Vita handheld to that list.

The site spoke with developer Tribute Games at the ongoing PAX East conference, and the team said it was working on a Vita port of Mercenary Kings, as well as ports of Ninja Senki DX and Curses n' Chaos. There's no solid timeframe for any of these handheld releases, but Tribute plans to release the games once the studio has finished development on each.
[Image: Tribute Games]

Four new tables join Star Wars Pinball on April 29

Zen Studios continues to expand its nigh-ubiquitous virtual pinball offerings with the April 29 debut of four additional tables for Star Wars Pinball.

Included in the quartet of tables, collectively dubbed "Heroes Within," are Han Solo, Star Wars: Episode 4 - A New Hope, Star Wars Pinball: Masters of the Force, and, newly-revealed today, Star Wars Pinball: Droids. As its name suggests, that last one is a table focused on the adventures of R2D2 and C3PO. While you'd think an effete stereotype and a beeping trash can would live sedate lives, as the trailer above demonstrates, our plucky metallic duo must contend with Jawas and inexplicably dangerous machinery while attempting to escape the iconic Sandcrawler.

Though no price has been assigned to the Heroes Within DLC, Zen Studios notes that these four tables will be available to all Star Wars Pinball platforms on April 29.

The first dusty, scary gameplay of Renegade Kid's Cult County

This is the "pre-pre-pre-alpha" video of Cult County, the spooky survival game from Dementium series developer Renegade Kid. Developer Jools Watsham walks viewers through the first look at gameplay for Cult County, making sure to note how the dust, wind and creepy messages painted across signs contribute to the atmosphere.

In the game, you return to their childhood hometown in rural west Texas, only to find a new, cultish group has moved into town, Father Pearce has committed suicide, and a storm is rolling in. As the dust storm gathers, you begin to see shadowy figures on the edges of your vision. It's first-person with melee and firearm combat, though so far the main weapon we've seen is a big, red wrench.

Renegade Kid is the studio behind Mutant Mudds and Moon, along with DS horror games Dementium and Dementium 2. It's looking for $580,000 on Kickstarter, and with 21 days left, it's raised $32,000. Cult County is planned for PC, Mac, Linux, Wii U, Xbox One, PS4, PS3 and Vita.
[Image: Renegade Kid]

Ethan: Meteor Hunter chases space rocks to Vita on April 15

Following the announcement of a Vita version of Ethan: Meteor Hunter earlier this year, developer Seaven Studio has unveiled an official release date: April 15.

Ethan: Meteor Hunter centers on a rat who strayed too close to the sorts of falling heavenly bodies that can cause a mammal to develop special abilities, specifically the telekinetic power to stop time and move objects. Now, Ethan uses these powers to hunt down more meteorites, in his ultimate quest to take revenge on the fiend who destroyed his house. It's not Dostoevsky (or even Stan Lee), but the premise does offer ample reason for players to hop through Ethan's world.

New to the Vita game are optional touchscreen telekinesis controls, though otherwise it's identical to the game currently available on both PC and PlayStation 3. On debut, Ethan: Meteor Hunter will bear a $10 price tag.
[Image: Seaven Studio]

Atlus elects to publish non-Kickstarted Citizens of Earth

Atlus announced plans to publish Citizens of Earth, a quirky RPG that follows the Vice President of the World on his quest to investigate the bizarre happenings in the town. Developed by Eden Industries, Citizens of Earth fell short of its $100,000 CAD ($91,600 USD) goal on Kickstarter in October 2013, raising just $36,875 CAD ($33,778 USD).

The modern RPG takes after popular SNES classic Earthbound, with its humorous approach to world-saving adventures and includes recruiting mechanics in line with the Pokemon and Suikoden series. The Vice President brings "regular characters into the spotlight as heroes" for them to do his dirty work in battle, continuing their day jobs when not engaged in combat. The game includes 40 citizens, though ambitious fans are encouraged to enter a contest by Friday, April 18 on Atlus' site to create the 41st one for the game.

Citizens of Earth is in development for PS4, Vita, 3DS, Wii U and PC and is expected to arrive on each platform's digital channels in North America and Europe in September 2014.
[Image: Atlus]

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Road Not Taken's quirky cast of characters in gifs

Steam, PS4 and Vita game Road Not Taken features a lineup of lost, lonely and lovable characters. Some of them hang out in the town square, some are worried parents of children who've wandered into the forest, others are those scared children, and still more are beasties of various sizes and shapes.

The game allows you, the hooded and magical finder, to form relationships with these NPCs, 15 years at a time. Whenever you enter a forest to save lost children, one year of your life passes. After 15 years, you die and have a chance to start anew, making new friends and lovers, with some talents from your previous life carried to the new one.

Spry Fox has shared a few of these characters and settings with Joystiq in the best way possible – gifs. Check out the adorable art style and spooky things of Road Not Taken below.

There's also a contest happening right now that asks you to submit a sound effect for the in-game fox. Yes, the contest is called "What does the Spry Fox say?"
[Images: Spry Fox]

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