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Security

Sony permanently shuts down PS3 and Vita LittleBigPlanet servers due to security issues

Sony has permanently shut down the servers for the original three LittleBigPlanet games on Playstation 3 and the handheld LittleBigPlanet on the Playstation Vita, according to a tweet posted by the official LittleBigPlanet account on Monday (via IGN).

The new status quo leaves the originally PS3 trilogy of LittleBigPlanet games and the Vita version playable as offline single-player or co-op experiences only, with purchased and already downloaded DLC also usable. Any user-created content — the most intriguing aspect of Sony and original developer Media Molecule’s famous action-platforming series — will only be accessible on the newly updated Playstation 4 version of LittleBigPlanet 3. The server shutdown also means that anyone stuck with older PS3 versions of the games is also unable to upload or download new user-created levels from now on,

“We have no doubt the news will come as a big disappointment to a lot of you,” Sony wrote in the statement. “Ultimately this is the best way to protect the LittleBigPlanet community and to help ensure that our online community environment remains safe.”

Suddenly closing up shop on LittleBigPlanet’s servers appears to be motivated by Sony’s ongoing difficulties with the games’ online component. In March 2020, the games’ servers were temporarily taken down due to DDoS attacks, Eurogamer reported. Players have also reported offensive messages appearing in-game, seemingly placed there by hackers. LittleBigPlanet’s developers attempted to address some of the server issues with security updates in April of this year, IGN writes. Still, the problem appears to be larger than something a small update can fix.



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Game

PSP gamers can get games via the PlayStation Store for PS3 and PS Vita after all

Gamers around the world weren’t happy when Sony announced that it would be closing down the PlayStation Store on the PS3 and PS Vita. The move would have essentially made the retro consoles worthless as no games would’ve been available to purchase in the future. Sony is now backing away from closing up shop, which was originally intended to close today, July 2, 2021. The announcement that the stores would remain open on both consoles was made back in April.

Sony has now offered additional clarity for PlayStation Portable gamers, noting that some changes will be coming on July 6, 2021, for PSP owners. On that date, Sony will remove the ability to perform searches and make in-game purchases. Previously the store closed in 2016 for the PSP, but players could still perform searches and make in-game purchases.

While users will no longer be able to perform searches or make in-game purchases starting next week, Sony says that gamers will still be able to download all previously purchased PSP content. Downloads can be performed by accessing the Download List on the device itself. Another bit of clarity is good news for those who still enjoy playing games on their PlayStation Portable.

Some PSP content is available for purchase on the PS3 and PS Vita stores. Sony says that gamers will still be able to purchase and play PSP content available on both of those stores, but you will still no longer be able to make purchases via the in-game store for PSP content. Essentially, the base game is all you can get.

Retro gamers should be thrilled to hear that you’ll be able to get the content moving forward, as it essentially means many games will never die. Unfortunately, for those who like to add to their games via in-store purchases, that will no longer be possible.

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Game

The Best PS Vita Games of All Time

Sony’s PlayStation Vita may have met an untimely end, but the company’s second attempt at a handheld game system was fantastic. Equipped with two full analog sticks, a touchpad for controlling games, a touchscreen, and a ton of horsepower, the Vita was the closest we had ever gotten to console-quality gaming in a portable system until the Nintendo Switch arrived. Though Sony has stopped supporting it and game releases are now limited to a small number of independent developers, the PlayStation Vita built up an extensive game library since its 2012 launch.

With the imminent closures of the PS3, PSP, and PS Vita digital storefronts later this year, you’ll absolutely want to jump in to buy some games as soon as you can. Since the digital stores will be closing soon, you’ll find that many of the physical versions of games have skyrocketed in price, as well. With all of that said, we’ve decided to take a look at the PS Vita’s best offerings. These are the 20 best PS Vita games of all time.

Further reading

Persona 4 Golden

One of the most acclaimed role-playing games of all time, Persona 4 originally launched on PlayStation 2, but it found new life on the Vita as Persona 4 Golden. The game includes more content than the original version, with a sprawling story that can take hundreds of hours to get through if players are being methodical. Its unique flair and style are pure Atlus, and its darker and mature plotline will feel more appropriate for players who think they’ve grown out of most JRPGs. Persona 4 Golden is also the perfect game to play before jumping into Persona 5, which is available on PS4 and has received similar acclaim.

Read our full Persona 4 Golden review

Tearaway

Tearaway

One of Media Molecule’s best and most creative games to date, Tearaway is a 3D platformer set in a papercraft world. As players progress through the environments, they’ll need to peel, cut, and rearrange paper objects to solve puzzles, and occasionally they’ll even make use of the rear touchpad to give themselves a boost onto a higher platform. White space in the game world is a sign of a collectible item, and once collected these can be printed out and turned into real-life papercraft. Tearaway isn’t action-packed and features little in the way of story, but it’s a whimsical and extremely unique game. The best part is that it utilizes all of the PS Vita’s features without feeling overly gimmicky.

Spelunky

Spelunky

Available on practically every platform, Spelunky got immensely popular for a reason. The randomized exploration-based platforming makes every run feel different, with players looking for treasure and avoiding danger as they venture deeper into dark mines. It’s a simple concept that succeeds because of its brilliant spin on the roguelike genre, and players can choose from several different explorers for their run and play the game together in cooperative mode. For players looking for something they can enjoy as part of their daily routine without getting bored, Spelunky is absolutely perfect.

Hotline Miami

the-best-ps-vita-games

An influential game for both the indie development scene and the industry at large, Hotline Miami helped prove that retro-inspired visuals and deep, meaningful storytelling were not mutually exclusive. Set in a neon-drenched 1980s with noir influences, the game’s intensely violent combat goes hand-in-hand with its mysterious narrative, which is a commentary on video game violence and the player’s role in it. Aside from its message, however, it’s a blast to play, with pinpoint accuracy as players make their way through buildings and blast and beat enemies they find. One shot is enough to die, making careful planning and reflexes required. Even multiple mission failures aren’t enough to deter players from trying again because it just feels so perfect.

Read our full Hotline Miami review

Rayman Legends

Rayman Legends

The sequel to the excellent 2D platformer Rayman Origins, Ubisoft’s Rayman Legends is an even better take on the no-frills series. As the titular character, either solo or with friends, players make their way through each level collecting the game’s Lums, defeating enemies with powerful punches, and discovering secret areas. The floaty jumping and running feel remarkably different from Mario or Sonic, but where Rayman Legends really separates itself are its musical stages. They’re set to rudimentary covers of classic tunes like “Black Betty” and “Eye of the Tiger,” and passing obstacles to the beat puts a massive smile on anyone’s face.

Read our full Rayman Legends review

Guacamelee!

Guacamelee!

Most “Metroidvania” games put their emphasis on platforming and open-ended exploration rather than combat. Guacamelee! doesn’t compromise this way, with a rich and combo-based brawling system for its luchador protagonist. The game’s gorgeous colors feel like they were lifted from a Mexican folktale, and its mariachi-influenced soundtrack serves as the perfect companion. Special new attacks and abilities also keep things feeling fresh, and the progress players can make in a single sitting makes it ideal for the PlayStation Vita. A sequel was also released a few years later — it’s not available on Vita, but it is on the Switch for players who want a similar experience.

Read our full Guacamelee! review

Resogun

Resogun

It’s a shame developer Housemarque is no longer making arcade-style shooters, because it certainly has a knack for them. Coming to the PlayStation Vita after initially launching on PlayStation 4, Resogun puts a spin on the standard horizontal shooter by moving in a carousel shape, forcing players to take out enemies in two directions as they save the little green humans scattered across the ground. It’s simple and addictive, like any arcade shooter worth playing for more than a few minutes, and it translates well to the Vita’s small screen despite a lower frame rate and resolution.

OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood

OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood

For those who loved and beat the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater games, OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood is a great follow-up. As a 2D skateboarding game with an emphasis on traversing obstacles and pulling off difficult strings of moves, OlliOlli 2 is all about proper timing and practice. It’s entirely different from simulation-style skateboarding games, but its colorful and creative environments and surprising depth make it a great time-killer. Getting the highest possible ranking on a stage is much easier said than done.

Gravity Rush

Gravity Rush for the Vita

Gravity’s Rush was a game built from the ground up for the Vita, which made its subsequent port and sequel on the PS4 peculiar. The action-adventure game stars Kat, a girl who is given gravity-switching powers that let her soar through the air and battle mysterious enemies by “falling” in a particular direction. This made exploring the gorgeous flying world a joy, and the game is filled with collectibles and secrets. It also has a bumping, jazzy soundtrack and anime-style visuals that give it a level of charm missing from more realistic-looking games.

Read our full Gravity Rush review

Dragon’s Crown

Dragon's Crown

An underrated gem and one of Vanillaware’s best games, Dragon Crown takes the aesthetic and storytelling of a western role-playing game and mixes it with classic beat-’em-up action. The result is an endlessly replayable and very difficult game with multiple classes, each of which uses their own unique attacks, and several powerful bosses to defeat. Getting through the game the first time is just the start, as mastering each stage with the various heroes is the true test of skill. With satisfying combat and charming narration, it’s one of the best PlayStation Vita games and also has a PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 version.

Read our full Dragon’s Crown review

Sine Mora

Sine Mora

A scrolling shooter unlike anything else on PlayStation Vita, Sine Mora is a post-apocalyptic and grim affair that sees a world overrun with pain, suffering, and decay. A seemingly never-ending war rages on, and players take the role of several different pilots against overwhelming odds. What makes the game so different from other contemporary shooters is its health system, which is tied to the total remaining game time rather than the ship itself. Time can be slowed, and when the player gets hit, it shaves seconds off the remaining total. Racing through areas and trying to get to the boss with enough time to spare makes every level exhilarating.

Uncharted: Golden Abyss

Uncharted: Golden Abyss

What better game could there possibly be to launch a new PlayStation system than Uncharted? The prequel Uncharted: Golden Abyss doesn’t feel like a dumbed-down take on the series, with a full-length story and several huge set-pieces that would feel at home in the console versions. Nathan Drake is as chatty and charming as ever, and the game’s motion-assisted weapon aiming makes it incredibly easy to line up a headshot. Perhaps its only sin is relying too heavily on the Vita’s motion features for platforming sections, as moving the console from side to side to balance on a log gets older rather quickly.

Read our full Uncharted: Golden Abyss review

Killzone: Mercenary

Killzone: Mercenary

Resistance: Burning Skies failed to translate its series’ epic action to the Vita, but Killzone: Mercenary definitely did. Split into bite-sized missions perfect for on-the-go play, Mercenary puts players in control of a hired gun willing to work with both the Helghast and the ISA in their ongoing war. Its story is secondary to its action, which is better than any other handheld first-person shooter, and things get even better online. Killzone: Mercenary’s competitive mode features several game modes and even perk-style power-ups to take out several enemies, and it’s one of the only options for hardcore shooter fans.

Read our full Killzone: Mercenary review

Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward

Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward

The PlayStation Vita is home to a surprising number of visual novels, and few are better than Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward. A successor to 999, the game’s blend of puzzle and mysterious intrigue is perfect for when players are ready to get under the covers in bed and game for hours. Choosing dialogue options and items to use as the kidnapping story becomes clearer, players can see just how dark and twisted it can get — there are even Battle Royale style on the main characters, ready to detonate if they fail.

Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time

Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time

Sucker Punch left the Sly Cooper series after three games, but Sanzaru Games was there to take over with Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time. It’s more Sly Cooper and doesn’t stray from the formula too drastically, but that’s not a problem when the template is such a classic. Mixing platforming with stealth, the games make players feel like master thieves, and in between missions there are plenty of jokes and goofy moments from the supporting cast. It’s a great fit for the Vita, and it’s a shame the franchise has been dormant since the game’s release.

Read our full Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time review

LittleBigPlanet PS Vita

LittleBigPlanet PSVita

Media Molecule’s LittleBigPlanet series revolutionized how user-generated content would work for console games, and that player power is just as impressive on the Vita. Complete with its own puzzle-platforming campaign that is clever and charming, the real fun in LittleBigPlanet PS Vita comes when players started trying out each other’s creations. Rudimentary takes on other game series like Splinter Cell and Castlevania are available, complete with amateur voice acting, and seeing how far others’ imagination can take them is always a joy.

Read our full LittleBigPlanet PS Vita review

XCOM: Enemy Unknown Plus

XCOM: Enemy Unknown Plus

It doesn’t run as well as it does on larger systems, but XCOM: Enemy Unknown is available on PlayStation Vita — and that’s pretty impressive. The turn-based strategy game is a reboot on the classic ’90s series, and its blend of tactics and overarching strategy is tense and satisfying. Choosing how to organize a small squad of troops to take on a much larger alien force is never easy, but figuring out a strategy and steamrolling the enemy makes it all worthwhile. This is especially true if players name their allies after personal friends, and it makes the permanent death mechanic sting more.

Read our full XCOM: Enemy Unknown review

Soul Sacrifice

Soul Sacrifice

Soul Sacrifice is an exciting role-playing game that lets players trade physical aspects of their characters for strength and power. This concept might sound a little odd, but it offers brand-new possibilities for character study and forces players to think hard about their choices and sacrifices. Some players might find Soul Sacrifice too ethereal, but we believe it’s worth exploring, especially for those players who love action RPGs. 

Read our full Soul Sacrifice review

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed

Sonic loves to run, but his kart-racing game is superior to most of his other offerings. Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed is Sega’s answer to Mario Kart; but its gameplay emphasizes deep vehicle mechanics and skill over sheer luck. Casual players will still love the game, though, especially when they see all of Sega’s most famous characters racing each other.

PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale

PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale

PlayStation Vita’s game Play Station All-Stars Battle Royale clearly took inspiration from Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros., but it has its own unique feel. For instance, players take out their enemies by executing super-powered actions instead of knocking them off a platform. You’ll see first-party heroes like Kratos and Nathan Drake, but you’ll also see characters from other companies, such as Dante from DmC: Devil May Cry and Raiden from Metal Gear Rising. It’s not quite as high up there as Smash Bros., but Royale is a fantastic addition to parties.

Read our full PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale review

Metal Gear Solid HD Collection

the-best-ps-vita-games

Metal Gear Solid is one of the most prolific video game franchises ever. That’s why it’s so significant to be able to play the second and third entries — Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater — on the PS Vita as part of the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection. These two games are iconic, giving us outstanding stealth gameplay, wild stories, and some meme-worthy sequences that are still mentioned to this day. Whether you want to infiltrate an enemy base as Raiden or explore a deadly jungle as Snake, this collection has you covered.

Editors’ Choice




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Game

PlayStation Store closes on PS3 and PS Vita later this year: What to expect

Slowly but surely, Sony has been shutting down functionality related to PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, and PlayStation Portable, and later on this year, the company is going to be taking a very big step toward sunsetting those platforms for good. Sony has announced the dates it will close the PlayStation Store on the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita, along with revealing with it will end remaining purchase functionality for PSP.

Over on its support website today, Sony revealed that the PlayStation Store will be closing on PlayStation 3 on July 2nd, 2021 and on PlayStation Vita on August 27th, 2021. Sony also says it will end “the remaining purchase functionality of PSP” on July 2nd, 2021.

So, what does this mean? It basically means that your ability to purchase online content on all three platforms will be going away – you won’t be able to buy new games, DLC, or media on any of the three of them. You also won’t be able to make in-game purchases in any PS3, Vita, or PSP game that offers them, and you won’t be able to redeem PSN gift cards on any of those three platforms as well.

You will still be able to re-download games and video/media content you’ve previously purchased for any of those platforms. You’ll also be able to redeem PlayStation Plus vouchers and continue to re-download any previously-claimed PlayStation Plus game as long as you remain subscribed to the service (Sony, of course, stopped including PlayStation 3 and PS Vita games in PlayStation Plus back in March 2019).

One thing to keep in mind is that if you have funds in your wallet when the store is taken offline, those funds will remain available for use on PS4 or PS5, so they won’t be disappearing. If you have no plans to upgrade to a PS4 or PS5, Sony says that you can get in touch for a refund on those wallet funds, but that’s probably going to be a rare scenario.

So, it’s definitely the end of an era regarding the PlayStation 3, PS Vita, and PSP, but owners of those three devices can at least breathe a sigh of relief that their purchased games and media will still be accessible. Still, if you’ve got any purchases you’d like to make on PS3, Vita, or PSP, you should probably do that soon, because after those dates we’ve listed above, you won’t have the chance to.

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