Happy New Year!
The PSVita seems to be going through (another?) regeneration at the moment. A sharp drop in prices for the device at retailers and the PS4 (with it’s cross play streaming feature) has seen a huge amount of people invest in the console towards the end of 2013. A lot of people have asked me what are the best titles to play on the handheld right now, so here be a list of my recommendations!
Seeing as the sexy little handheld has been blessed with two analogue sticks. An FPS was pretty much demanded by us early adopters, the first attempts came in the form of Resistance and Call of Duty, the less said about those shocking titles the better. This lead to most (me included) thinking that the genre just isn’t meant for handheld. In came Killzone: Mercenary which blew that tired thought process out of the water. Stunning graphics, great controls and a fun multi-player component all added up to a truly great title which became one of the stand out handheld titles of 2013. This plays and feels like a console version of Killzone, which is certainly a pretty amazing feat by the developers.
Shocking, tense, provocative are just a few of the words which come to mind when I think of this title. Telltale games delivered to us one of the best games of 2013 and due to popular demand brought the game to PSVita. A lot of people not into the point and click genre of games ignored this title, which is a shame as it’s one of the games which has shown how far the games industry can go when it comes to great storytelling. Sure this might be a zombie game, but it’s no doubt the most unique and heart stopping game on the Vita. Make sure you choose your actions wisely in this title, as you may live to regret it or your favourite characters might not live at all….
Dragon’s Crown drew a lot of criticism due to it’s erm “Interesting” art style. The character models for some classes leave little to the imagination but don’t let this put you off. This is old school 2D side scrolling brawling at it’s finest. If playing as Mages, Wizards, Archers and Warriors etc tickle your interest then you’re in for a treat here. Build your character from lowly weakling to all-round badass by dungeon crawling and attempting to survive what can be pretty tough and epic boss fights. What’s really great about this title is the party system, which allows for 4 people to battle through dungeons both on-line and locally (you can even battle alongside PS3 players) , one of the few titles which has this feature on the handheld.
This was probably the first big release on the console and it started to convince doubters that the handheld could really deliver experiences close to that found on home consoles. LBP Vita has pretty much everything that can be found in the previous titles, with a few unobtrusive touch screen/back-pad features thrown in. It was also one of the first titles to implement Sony’s “cross-buy” program, this meant that if you purchased LBP DLC via PS3 you also became to entitled to it’s Vita counterpart.
It’s quite rare for a launch title to remain one of best games on a console. And it’s also rare to find a launch title with the originality found in Gravity Rush. You’re tasked with helping Kat regain her lost memory. She also discovers she can manipulate gravity, this allows her to float around the fictional town of Hekseville while solving mysteries and battling mysterious evils. It’s quite surprising that the concept of manipulating gravity hadn’t been done before as it’s quite a fun (and sometimes random) feature. If you’re looking for a simple yet fun title, then this should certainly be played.
2013 saw the continued rise of the indie developer, which meant smaller yet amazing titles coming to more than just the PC. Guacamelee! is a fun 2D side scroller with an imaginative art style and imaginative narrative. You play a lowly farmer who is bestowed with the powers of a legendary luchadore, when El Presidente’s Daughter is kidnapped buy the evil Carlos Calaca. This plays a lot like classic 2D metroid games, with you having access to parts of the map only when you have acquired the right item/skill. Awesome game play aside, what really grabbed me about this title are the constant (and actually funny) nods and gags to video game classics and the industry’s culture in general.
A PS2 port is quite surprisingly one of the best (and most positively reviewed) titles on the PSVita. Persona 4 was one of last great titles to release on the PlayStation 2 and has since become a cult classic. This JRPG has a great cast of characters, an interesting setting, cool anime cut scenes and some of the best voice acting to be found in a game. You play as a gang of teenagers in a rural Japanese town, who are attempting to stop a serial killer who is picking off selected residents in a somewhat supernatural manner. There is over 50+ hours of game-play in the main story alone and a host of side-quests and multiple endings easily push it to over 100+.
Tearaway feels like the love child of LittleBigPlanet and a Pixar movie. The intriguing paper art style and world is probably worth the asking price alone. You play as a messenger with the task of delivering a message to you, yes you the player. Your little messenger must face trials and tribulations in order to deliver to you this important message with you watching it all unfold literally via the consoles front facing camera. Created by the amazing folk who made LittleBigPlanet, similar to that title creativity is at the heart of the game and you can add your unique creations to the game world and it’s characters. The game also uses a lot of the Vitas features such as the touch screen, back pad, the aforementioned camera and more, all without being distracting and annoying. A truly unique title, certainly pick this up if you’re looking for something special.
I totally forgot to add this to the list, but once I put this post up, a few readers sure as hell reminded me! I’m not sure why I forgot this, my subconscious probably erased it from my memory due to the fits of rage and aggravation the game regularly put me in. Spelunky is a 2D dungeon crawler which throws a series of devious traps and enemies throughout to kill you pretty much ASAP. What is special about the title is the fact that each dungeon you face is randomly generated, meaning you never have the same experience twice. You are given and can purchase items to further prolong you characters life, but if you aren’t both razor sharp in your reactions/thinking through every step you take, these can be pretty useless. Even so don’t let the challenge put you off Spelunky, it’s a fun if demanding challenge, which will no doubt keep you coming for more! The addition of 4-player co-op and cross buy between the Vita and PS3 adds to what is already an amazing experience. Good Luck!
Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack