Reborn: A Samurai Awakens Hits US & EU PlayStation VR Store

The last time VRFocus heard anything about PlayStation VR exclusive Reborn: A Samurai Awakens was over a year ago, just prior to the Taipei Game Show 2018. This week CIRCLE Entertainment and developer Geronimo Interactive (Pixel Gear) have released the futuristic sword-fighting experience for both North American and European gamers.

Reborn: A Samurai Awakens

Set in a far-flung future where mankind is being attacked by robotic invaders the natural course of action is to resurrect an ancient samurai to defeat them all. Looking like some sort of badass samurai robot yourself, you’re armed with a collection of melee and ranged weaponry to defeat these troublesome enemies.

Not only do you have dual laser katanas for when enemies get too close and pistols for when they’re out of reach, but you’ll also have psychic powers to manipulate objects and do further damage. Whilst sword-fighting you’ll be able to block attacks which will then unlock a timewarp ability to unleash special attacks.

As progression is made through the robot base, destroying guards and massive bosses like Sumo Rikishi Boss and Japanese Warlord, Date Masamune, you’ll have the option to customise weapons and equip different skills as the challenges change.

Reborn: A Samurai Awakens screenshot

Reborn: A Samurai Awakens will be going up against another ninja VR experience which has already done very well, Sairento VR. The latter title arrived in the summer for PlayStation VR offering ninja-like reflexes which VRFocus highly rated when reviewing the PC VR version, saying. “Sairento VR is one of the best free-flowing combat titles available for VR headsets, showcasing how far development of VR locomotion has come.”

Available to download now, Reborn: A Samurai Awakens retails on PlayStation Store for £11.99 GBP/$14.99 USD/€14.99 EUR. VRFocus will continue its coverage of Geronimo Interactive, reporting back with further VR updates.

Get Your Snack on With I’m Hungry now on Steam

Ever wanted to run your own burger van, dishing out greasy delights to eager customers wanting to fill their bellies? I’m Hungry allows you to do just that and more, and now it is available on Steam for Valve Index and HTC Vive.

Im Hungry

Created by Light Studio and published by Winking Entertainment (Paper Dolls, Unearthing Mars 2: The Ancient War), I’m Hungry originally came to PlayStation VR before today’s PC VR launch.

Gameplay is all about speed and getting those orders right, as you learn how to prep fries, burgers and milkshakes without burning anything or setting everything on fire. Get it right and customers will pay for their orders, with the cash used for upgrading the equipment.

Just as with any customer-facing roles the general public like to be awkward and change their mind mid-order. These can make the process more complicated, with the options completely randomised. All these features can be found in the two modes, Career and Infinity. While Career has a set number of levels with a performance ranking for each one, challenging players to come back and improve their score on the online leader boards, Infinity is for those hardcore players who want to keep going until their energy wains.

Im Hungry

Because of the frantic nature of the gameplay, I’m Hungry also features a calorie counter for a little more motivation. Also great for when you crave a real burger, you can burn the required amount to remove any feeling of guilt.

The launch also features a limited time Steam discount. Until 7th November I’m Hungry has a 10 percent discount, dropping the cost from £13.49 GBP to £12.14. VRFocus will continue its coverage of Winking Entertainment and its latest VR titles, reporting back with further updates.

Dev Behind Unearthing Mars and Paper Dolls Begins Kickstarter Campaign for PlayStation VR Title Mars Alive

Chinese developer and publisher Winking Entertainment has quite the catalogue on PlayStation VR. Since the launch of the headset the studio has released titles such as Unearthing Mars, Reborn: A Samurai Awakens, Unearthing Mars 2: The Ancient War, Paper Dolls, 18 Floors and The Walker. It now wants to add another to that list in the form of Mars Alive, launching a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign to help development.

Mars Alive - Space Hab

Developed by Future Tech over the last couple of years, Mars Alive is an open-world survival experience where players have to deal with the harsh reality of living on the red planet.

The story takes place in AD 2045. 18 volunteers were part of Project Monolith III a Mars Immigration plan. That was until a mysterious terrorist attack killed most of them, leaving only two survivors. With the colony destroyed players need to focus on uncovering the mystery behind the attack, whilst trying to stay alive. 

Even though the colony was destroyed there’s plenty to salvage with survival supplies such as oxygen tanks and food ingredients left scattered around the facilities. Players will have to monitor the status of their Oxygen, Food, Water and Temperature, if any of these drops to zero then their health will begin to decrease.

Mars Alive - Crops

Due to the amount of time the studio has already spent on Mars Alive the campaign isn’t looking to raise colossal amounts of cash – unlike the recent Firmament campaign. The goal is to raise HK$39,300 (around £3,800 GBP) to help with the last stages of development such as bug fixing and asset polishing, plus localisation efforts including English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean and Chinese (Both Simplified & Traditional Chinese).

Funding tiers start from HK$39/$5 USD/£4, but to gain access to the videogame you’ll need to pledge HK$78/$10/£8 for the limited Early Access run. After that PlayStation VR owners will need to spend HK$117/$15/£11. The campaign will last a month, and even if it’s not successful Mars Alive will still be released, just a little later than the intended July 2019 window.

Head on over to the Kickstarter page for more info. As further details are released, VRFocus will keep you updated.

VR Horror Paper Dolls to See EU Retail Release in December

Chinese publisher Winking Entertainment launched its most recent title, virtual reality (VR) horror Paper Dolls on PlayStation VR just in time for Halloween. Now, thanks to a collaboration with Perp Games, Paper Dolls will be coming to EU retail stores in December.

Paper Dolls packshot

Paper Dolls is a scary puzzle-based adventure inspired by Chinese mythology. You play a father of a young daughter who has been taken to an old and abandoned house. She goes missing and it’s up to you to find her. In the process you must cling to life, surviving all costs to learn more about the Qing Dynasty and the omnipresent enemy lingering throughout the dilapidated mansion.

With a new movement system developed specifically for Paper Dolls, Winking Entertainment states that the single-player campaign features around 15 hours of gameplay.

Perp Games is synonymous with bringing PlayStation VR titles to retail stores, with past videogames including TornDownward Spiral: Horus Station, Apex Construct, Blind, Moss and several more.

Speaking about the partnership with Perp Games, Ran Wang , VP of Winking Entertainment says: “Perp Games is doing an excellent job in releasing VR games physically. We are very excited to continue the partnership with Perp Games and bring our new games to more players.”

paper dolls img2

On publishing Paper Dolls, Rob Edwards, MD of Perp Games had this to say: “Winking Entertainment really are leading the way in the PSVR market and it is great to be continuing our relationship with them. Paper Dolls is, in my opinion, one of the most spine-chilling titles on PSVR.”

Paper Dolls will see a physical release on 7th December at EU retail locations, with further territories to be announced. When that happens, VRFocus will let you know.

VR Horror Paper Dolls Out Now On PlayStation VR

Winking Entertainment have become a fairly prolific as a publisher of virtual reality (VR) videogames and experiences, having released titles such as Don’t Knock Twice, Fated: The Silent Oath and Unearthing Mars among others. To celebrate Halloween, the company are releasing a VR horror thriller called Paper Dolls on the PlayStation VR.

Paper Dolls is a puzzle-based horror title that contains various nods towards Oriental mythology in its setting and story, along with new technology that Winking Entertainment says will minimise any simulation sickness symptoms.

The story of Paper Dolls begins with a father speaking to his daughter, after the conversation ends, the player is taken to an ancient and abandoned temple. From there, players need to find the daughter, who has gone missing.

In order to create the most immersive environment possible, a new movement system has been developed for Paper Dolls, which contains technology to minimise simulation sickness symptoms and lets players better engage with the story. The developers at LITCHIGAME say this new system may take some getting used to, but it will ultimately provide a better experience for players.

The developer for Paper Dolls, LITCHIGAME stated that they want the title to be a deeper experience than just reacting to jump-scares, “We want our players to be truly startled by the experience of the gameplay, not by unexpected jump-scares. For a horror game, this is our highest goal.”

The puzzle elements are said to tie-in to different aspects of Chinese culture. By interacting with each bit of the puzzle players can learn about the history and traditions that have inspired the title.

Paper Dolls is planned to be released on the US PlayStation Store on 30th October, with a European release to follow on 31st October. The teaser trailer is also available to view below.

For future coverage on new and upcoming VR titles, keep checking back with VRFocus.

Review: Unearthing Mars 2: The Ancient War

One of the things that tends to be bemoaned by virtual reality (VR) enthusiasts is that there are relatively few long VR titles that offer enough content for players to really get their teeth into. The majority of VR titles out there are what tends to be termed ‘experiences’ rather than full videogames. That certainly felt like the case with the first Unearthing Mars, which looked great, but lacked depth. Developer Winking Entertainment is hoping to improve on it with Unearthing Mars 2: The Ancient War.

Unearthing Mars 2: The Ancient War is going for the feel of a sci-fi epic, and manages to get the visual style dead on the money. It looks great, plays exceptionally smoothly in terms of framerate and fluidity of animation. There is a feeling of a vast world out there, waiting to be explored.

Unearthing Mars 2 - image3

Unfortunately, after the awe at the impressive visuals wears off, you start to realise how limited it actually is. The vast majority of the beautiful world is beyond your reach. Instead, Winking entertainment have drawn on one of the most positively received elements of the first Unearthing Mars and doubled down on the first-person shooter element.

Much of the gameplay in Unearthing Mars 2: The Ancient War becomes an on-rails shooter. This has been clearly designed for the PlayStation Aim controller, and playing it with the PlayStation Move controller feels a little clunky as a result.

Once a combat encounter starts you are often fixed in once place as enemies pop in in various places waiting to be shot. It feel very much like retro rails shooters like Time Crisis, complete with the big boss encounters where you need to hit a weak spot. It all works fine, but it becomes a bit tedious after a while, particularly since there doesn’t appear to be a cover mechanic.

Like the first title, movement uses teleportation exclusively, with no option for smooth locomotion. Even this is limited, for most combat encounters you are welded to the floor. Sometimes you can switch to different vantage points, but only sometimes.

Unearthing Mars 2

The story and writing are only a few shades off embarrassing. The dialogue feels very awkward and stilted, and the voice acting is often bargain-basement quality. Halfway through the gameplay grinds to a screeching halt so you can have excruciatingly awkward and often boring conversations in a bar where the plot is explained to you.

All this might have been fine if it had gone, say, full Grindhouse and embraced the awkwardness and camp and adopted an over-the-top sensibility like House of the Dead: Overkill. Instead it presents itself as a sprawling sci-fi epic, but lacks the chops to back it up. As a result, it feels a bit like a knock-off – looking fine on the surface, but doesn’t quite have what it takes to compete with the big boys.

Unearthing Mars 2: The Ancient War is an improvement on the first Unearthing Mars, but the impressive visuals writes a cheque that the lacklustre gameplay simply cannot cash.

  • Verdict

Continue the Story of Unearthing Mars 2: The Ancient War on PlayStation VR Today

Fans of Winking Entertainment’s sci-fi saga Unearthing Mars will be able to continue the story today as Unearthing Mars 2: The Ancient War has now arrived on European shores – the North American release was yesterday. 

Unearthing Mars 2

Aiming to provide an intense first-person shooter (FPS) experience, Unearthing Mars 2: The Ancient War is going to be bigger and better than the original, with impressive visuals, greater freedom when fighting enemies, and more variety with boss battle to content with.

Featuring full support for the PlayStation Aim controller, Winking Entertainment has ensured even new players to the series can become accustomed to the controls quickly via tutorials. Then as they progress they’ll be able to upgrade after each chapter to help improve the outcome.

Unearthing Mars 2 took the time to smooth out many visuals. One of the biggest challenge we face was to produce a great FPS level visual, and to deliver it onto the PSVR platform without settle for less than we wanted,” stated Hankson, director at Winking Entertainment in a statement. “The boss Black Sword was tricky to produce. We remodel him countlessly, trying to persuade a bossy aura about him, without making Black Sword too intimidating, superhuman.”

Unearthing Mars 2 - image3

Unearthing Mars 2: The Ancient War will include around four hours of gameplay, with weapon load outs featuring an assault rifle and shotgun to more advanced special weapons such as rocket launchers, plasma weapons, and chain guns. A special option the studio has included is Focus. This enables players to slow down time for 2 seconds whilst also exposing enemy weak spots, great for boss encounters.

You can download Unearthing Mars 2: The Ancient War from the PlayStation Store now for £15.99 GBP, or if you happen to be a PlayStation Plus member then there’s a 10 percent discount. The original Unearthing Mars also featured support for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, but it seems as though the sequel won’t be following suit, with Winking confirming as much on its Facebook page. For any further updates on the sci-fi series, keep reading VRFocus.

Two New Horror-Themed PlayStation VR titles On Sale Today

Though Halloween may be still some month away, Sony and publisher Winking Entertainment see no reason to stop the scares from coming, and how released two now PlayStation VR horror titles which both feature themes taken from Chinese folklore.

Though both titles are said to be very different, they share some similarities in where they take their themes and inspiration from, and both are out now for PlayStation VR users to download from the PlayStation Store.

The first title is called The Walker, and is a first-person shooter set in a version of old shanghai which has been infested by zombies. The players of course has a modern firearm at hand to dispose of the undead, but also has the option of a more visceral approach by using a sword for melee combat.

Players will be able to tap into the power of Chinese talismans to use elemental buffs that can be applied to both long-rang and short-range weaponry. Users will need to develop tactics for battling against monsters hiding behind shields, or those wielding swords of their own. Players can even uncover the secret of how to use the talismans to hurt elemental projectiles for an extra advantage.

The second title is called 18 Floors, which is an atmospheric escape room style puzzle-adventure which is set in a strange and surreal space where a series of interconnected puzzles must be completed in order to escape from a sealed room.

18 Floors is planned to become part of a larger series, though the current release features two levels and lots of rooms to explore, each with its own unique setting and style. The background for the title concerns the idea that hell has 18 levels, as portrayed in Chinese folklore depictions.

As a nod to the inspiration, 18 Floors contains quite a few references to Chinese history and culture, which the developers feel adds to the depth and atmosphere of the title.

For future coverage of new and upcoming VR titles, keep checking back with VRFocus.

New Screenshots of The Walker for PlayStation VR Wander into View

Forthcoming PlayStation VR exclusive The Walker has remained pretty elusive since its announcement earlier this year; however the reveal of a western release last month is likely to begin building the anticipation. With that, a new selection of screenshots taken from the videogame has been revealed.

The Walker key art

The Walker casts the player as the last known descendant of the ancient, mystical Fangxiang family, famed for their accomplished mix of swordsmanship and sorcery. A demonic army is sweeping through Shanghai and you stand alone to meet them, fighting off waves of the monstrous militia horde and battling between sweeping boss showdowns. In The Walker, players can infuse a variety of weapons with special powers stand as they attempt to stand their ground against the forces of evil.

A modern horror story in a major Asian city, modern Shanghai meets myth and magic in this epic horror combat game exclusive to PlayStation VR. The screenshots revealed from the videogame however, included below, demonstrate little of this action. Instead concentrating on a single shadowy figure for the most part, dressed head-to-toe in a black robe, and a just a single shot of one of the enemies players will face in The Walker.

The Walker promises to deliver a full 360-degree experience in a virtual rendition of Shanghai, split across six distinct districts. Players will use the PlayStation Move motion controllers to represent their hands in-game, though exactly how movement – suggested to be smooth locomotion – will be handled has not yet been revealed.

Set for release later this year, it’s not currently known whether or not the retail edition – published by Perp Games – will launch alongside the digital release via the PlayStation Store. Hopes remain high that more details will be revealed at this week’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Los Angeles, where VRFocus are on the show floor reporting back with all the latest VR news.

The Walker can be pre-ordered now via Amazon and Play Asia, despite not yet having a specified release date. VRFocus will keep you updated with any further information regarding the western release of The Walker and other VR titles from Winking Entertainment.

The Walker screenshot The Walker screenshot The Walker screenshot The Walker screenshot The Walker screenshot The Walker screenshot

PlayStation VR Exclusive The Walker Stumbling Towards North America & Europe

Winking Entertainment, developer of the hugely popular virtual reality (VR) title Unearthing Mars and the forthcoming Reborn: A Samurai Awakens, revealed The Walker, a new PlayStation VR exclusive videogame, for release in China early in 2018. Now however, the title has been confirmed for a western release, including a retail edition courtesy of Perp Games.

The Walker key art

The Walker is based in a time where traditional Chinese culture is on the crossroads of modernisation. The videogame combines the ancient Chinese art of exorcism with modern weapons and equipment, casting players in the role of exorcists with the ability to use Chinese paper Talismans as they battle their way through grotesque monsters and demons in order to protect the city. As the last known descendant of the ancient Fangxiang family, it rests upon your shoulders to live up to your famed lineage thanks to the ability to use mystical perks and charms to destroy all who stand before you.

A variety of customisation mechanics are included in The Walker in order to keep the gameplay fresh on repeated play. Players can combine the use of firearms and swordplay with spellcasting, giving their weaponry unique special powers. As they face-off against legions of demons, players will also find themselves going toe-to-toe with gigantic bosses with randomised attack patterns.

Winking Entertainment are promising total 360-degree movement with smooth locomotion in The Walker, as they recreate the streets of Shanghai through a core questline, mini-game challenges and boss fights. No hands-on time with The Walker has yet been made available; however it’s possible that the videogame will appear in some form at next month’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Los Angeles. VRFocus will be on the ground at E3 reporting back with all the latest VR news.

The Walker box art

No official release date has yet been announced for The Walker, either digitally via the PlayStation Store or the retail edition of the videogame. However, Perp Games has already made the latter physical release available to pre-order via both Amazon and Play Asia, with a suggested retail price (SRP) of £19.99 GBP. VRFocus will keep you updated with all the latest details on The Walker and other VR titles from Winking Entertainment and Perp Games.