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Digital Blend: PS Vita prices fall and DLC pops up for Call of Duty, Dishonored, and Borderlands 2

ps vita price drop

Welcome back to Digital Blend, our weekly look at the world of downloadable video gaming that exists at the fringes of the mainstream. That means we look at the hottest new mobile game releases, downloadable content drops on consoles and PCs, indie darlings that deserve your love and attention, and the best gaming values under $20.

Keep your comments and feedback coming. We want to hear from you! Did you try something you read about here and enjoy it? Is there a particular game you think we’ve overlooked or news you want to share? Any questions you are dying to ask? Let us know! Your thoughts, feedback, suggestions and (constructive!) criticism are welcome, either in the comments section below or directed at yours truly on Twitter, @geminibros.

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Making headlines…

* Sony has cut the price of it’s 3G-equipped PlayStation Vita down to $199.99 from $249.99, in a “majority” of its U.S. stores, according to a report that surfaced earlier this week. Conflicting reasons for the price cut are swirling, ranging from this being a momentary sale offering to word that the 3G model of the PS Vita is being discontinued. Over on the other side of the world in Japan, where the Vita price already has been slashed, sales have picked up for the troubled (yet fantastic) portable. It was the country’s best-selling console from February 25 through March 10, with more than 126,000 sold in the two weeks following the price drop there.

Black Ops 2 Grind* Taking a page from the Electronic Arts playbook, Activision has introduced microtransactions for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. It all amounts to cosmetic enhancements only, with players able to purchase Personalization Packs and Calling Card Packs for $2 and $1, respectively. There’s also the option of spending $2 on the Extra Slots Pack, which adds 10 extra Create-A-Class slots to your user profile; this is the only non-cosmetic enhancement available. There’s no telling what we’ll see next now that the door is open though.

* The recently concluded SXSW festival in Austin, Texas brought some cool news for Borderlands 2 fans. Gearbox Software is planning to release a second DLC character class, following the Mechromancer that was released shortly after the game’s 2012 launch. Little was revealed about the upcoming sixth Vault Hunter, but the teaser suggested that this one is more melee-focused than the others, a nod to the first game’s character Brick.

Dishonored DLC* Arkane Studios and Bethesda Softworks are finally ready to start talking about the planned campaign DLC for Dishonored. First up is The Knife of Dunwall, which drops players into the role of one of the principal antagonists from the vanilla game, the assassin known as Daud. The parallel story follows Daud in the aftermath of his spoiler-y actions that set the main game’s driving chain of events in motion. The DLC pack launches on April 16 for all platforms, for a price of $10.

* Fans heard about Star Wars: First Assault late last year when the accidental discovery of an Xbox Live Arcade page revealed the title and what appeared to be cover art for a planned downloadable Star Wars game. More information emerged earlier this week from an anonymous source speaking to Kotaku, who described the game as a team-based, 8v8 multiplayer shooter that would stand as a precursor to Star Wars: Battlefront 3. Unfortunately, it seems that the Disney acquisition of Lucasfilm has led to a freeze at LucasArts, and the planned spring 2013 release of First Assault is now in serious doubt.

Tyranny of King Washington* The second episode of Ubisoft’s three-part The Tyranny of King Washington campaign DLC for Assassin’s Creed 3 arrives next week on March 19. We’ll have a review for you next week, but why don’t you take a peek right now at what’s coming in this newly released trailer?

* While you’re in the trailer-watching mood, take a peek at this one for the just-released Sound Shapes DLC. Six new albums, all sorts of joy.

* American McGee’s Alice: Madness Returns wasn’t quite a runaway success, but the deranged vision of Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland delivered for fans of the source material. The game’s shortcomings means there’s not a whole lot of traction at publisher Electronic Arts for Alice 3, but McGee is now interested in snatching up the rights to the series from EA and bringing a third game to Kickstarter. He’s called on fans to “make some noise” and will be discussing the possibilities with EA at Game Developer’s Conference in two weeks.

Top buys of the week…

Darkstalkers: Resurrection :: PlayStation 3 / Xbox 360 :: $14.99 / 1,200 MS Points

darkstalkers resurrectionTwo games in one! Capcom’s clasic Darkstalkers fighting game series is reborn in Darkstalkers Resurrection, which gathers together HD remakes of Night Warriors: Darkstalkers’ Revenge and Darkstalkers 3 into a single package. In addition to the visual upgrade, you also get online multiplayer (with support for eight-player lobbies), replay sharing, a spectator mode, and an assortment of unlockables. This one’s for the fighting game fans, but it’s a pleasing refresh of two beloved entries in the series.

Dead Space 3: Awakened :: PlayStation 3 / Xbox 360 / PC :: $9.99 / 800 MS Points

AwakenedRyan had some issues with the vanilla Dead Space 3, but the newly released epilogue in the Awakened DLC impressed the hell out of him. So much so that he wonders why it wasn’t included in the game to begin with. That’s besides the point though. Awakened adds some great content to Visceral’s fun, co-op action-horror game, and whether it belonged there to begin with or not, it’s there now and it puts a nice cap on the events of the main game.

Ridiculous Fishing :: iOS :: $2.99

Ridiculous FishingRidiculous Fishing earns pick of the week honors both because developer Vlambeer deserves it after dealing with that nasty cloning business with Gamenauts in 2012 and because, no matter how you slice it, it really is that good. The game is pretty simple: you drop a line in the water, guide it to the sandy floor, hook as much as you can on the way back up, and shoot everything with your gun as it breaks the surface. The more you collect, the more you can shoot. The more you can shoot, the more money you earn. Money leads to better gear, which in turn makes your fishing more effective. Simple, fun, and horribly, horribly, horribly addictive. Way to go, Vlambeer. Nicely done.

Sound Shapes :: PlayStation 3 / PS Vita :: $1.99

Sound Shapes Review 3The Sound Shapes DLC this week is a bit complicated. There’s a $2 ‘Car Mini-Album and Creator Pack’ which adds two new song levels and the creator tools necessary to take advantage of some newly added mechanics in what is already one of 2012’s best games. On the free side, you can download the latest update which adds The Community Milkcrate, amounting to six new “albums” worth of levels. Anthony loved it. The game is kickass. Go get it.

Editors' Recommendations

Escape Academy’s competitive escape room mode is the Mario Kart of puzzle games
A plaza in Escape Academy.

Last year, I fell in love with Escape Academy the moment I first played it. I was instantly smitten by its well-constructed digital escape rooms, which were accessible and intuitive without being too easy. Though I adored the core gameplay loop, the package around it was a little lacking. It was over in a few hours and there wasn’t much reason to go back – there’s no fun in replaying a puzzle box you’ve already solved. Developer Coin Crew Games have worked to remedy those issues in the past year with additional DLC, but its upcoming Tournament of Puzzles DLC feels like the last missing piece.

Escape Academy: Tournament of Puzzles is a free update coming to the game sometime this year, after its second paid DLC launches. It adds a new multiplayer mode to the game, which has two players competing to solve escape rooms. That makes for a tense puzzle race that its developers hope will inspire Mario Kart-style trash-talking. Though the most exciting feature is that rooms will have a procedural element to them, potentially solving the base game’s biggest weakness.

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How to get the TMP in Resident Evil 4
Leon Kennedy walking in the Resident Evil 4 remake.

Resident Evil 4 has a handful of really great guns to pick from as you slay hundreds of baddies throughout its spooky Spanish village, and in most cases, you'll need to push through a lot of chapters to get to some of the best ones the game has to offer. But in the case of the TMP – Resident Evil 4's small and deadly SMG – you'll actually be able to get it relatively early in the adventure. While it may not be the best weapon in the game, it's a nice option to have on you for filling larger enemies with bullets. We'll tell you where you can get your hands on it below.
Where to buy the TMP and why you should
The TMP is available beginning in Chapter 3 of the campaign. Simply speak to the merchant once you come across him, and he'll have the TMP for sale. If you need some extra money to pick it up, sell a few treasures or slay some enemies.

The real question is whether or not the TMP is worth the investment, and the answer is a resounding "yes" for most players. Given Resident Evil 4's penchant for throwing large groups of foes at you at once, it can be very useful to have a weapon that can handle such onslaughts. The TMP is great for spraying these mobs of enemies with bullets to keep them at bay, especially given that the gun has a very large magazine, meaning that you can keep firing for quite a while without worrying about reloading.

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All Resident Evil games, ranked from best to worst
A zombie crawls after someone in Resident Evil 2.

Many people credit the Resident Evil games with the birth of the survival-horror genre in video games. From spinoffs to sequels to remakes, sifting through all the Resident Evil games can be a challenge. If you’ve never played one before, you want to make sure you start with the right game. 

Everyone might have their own ideas about the “best” or “worst” Resident Evil games, but we’ve done our best to rank the games in the series for you. Keep in mind that we’ll only consider games with "Resident Evil" in the title, so we won’t include spinoff titles like Operation Raccoon City or Umbrella Chronicles.

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