I recently had the chance to go to a Vita event in London. This small popup store housed loads of Vitas, and loads of games. You can see my last article for my first impressions of the console, and here I’ll give my thoughts on the games, highlighting my favorites.
From the admittedly short time I spent with this game, I loved it. The sense of speed came across wonderfully, and the graphics were superb. The aesthetics really stood out, creating a vivid, futuristic world. In terms of controls, it was great, and the joysticks gave it something most handheld racing games can never have, in the form of really solid controls. All in all, a fun little game.
I spent very little time with this, due to getting bored immediately. For a start, the graphics aren’t particularly great, which really stood out when the game was positioned next to some of the other fantastic looking titles at the event. More importantly, what I’m sure would be beautiful, lush environments, serve no purpose, as you’re controlling a minuscule RC car. The landscape is barely visible, which is a real shame. The controls, unfortunately, only add to this sense of disappointment. They are the same controls you find on an RC car, which is, frankly, unnatural. When gaming, I have certain expectations for controls. With an FPS, I know what each joystick does. Same with a racer. I know that the left stick does all the steering. Not here. Both the left and right stick have to be moved in tandem, and that feels rather awkward. With the odd camera angles, it just doesn’t work. Were I to recommend this game, I would be a liar and a fraud, banished to the innermost circle of hell. Seriously, this game isn’t good.
This is essentially a tech demo, showcasing all the features Sony crammed into the device through a variety of mini games. I played a couple, and they were, surprisingly, pretty good. Both involved the rear touchpad: the first required me to pinch both touch pads at the same time, to grab the walls of a boxing ring. You let go, and the Deviant is shot out, bouncing against enemies. Pretty cool, and the controls worked. In the second, your finger on the rear touchpad creates a hill in the landscape, and you have to use the slopes to roll a Deviant around, collecting keys. Both were fun, but I can imagine that after a while they’d get repetitive. I’m not sure how many mini games there are though, and if enough had been included, I’m sure the game would be great.
This was pretty cool. An augmented reality fighter. The two characters are fighting in the real world, just behind the Vita. Moving the Vita gives you a better view of the stage. So, so awesome. One character burrowed into the ground, and it was pretty great to see. Very gimmicky, and the actual fighting mechanics weren’t great, but the concept is brilliant. Definitely worth a look, but probably not on the top of your wishlist.
Uncharted: Golden Abyss
Possibly the most anticipated Vita title, this didn’t disappoint. I played a 10 minute demo, and at the end I found myself desperate to play more. The graphics, for a start, are superb. Not as good as the PS3, but very close. Couple that with the voice acting, and you could be forgiven for thinking it was a console game. The controls also work as expected. It’s your standard shooter, perfectly natural. For the climbing sections, you can draw a path over the desired route, and let Nate do his work, which is much better than the standard climbing. There was one stupid mechanism where you had to use the accelerometer to balance on a ledge, which felt shoehorned in. Unfortunately, a couple other things do give the impression of being forced in to show off the Vita, such as swiping three times, for a short cut scene to play showing Nate cutting down a…curtain. That’s really annoying, as what would otherwise have been a great level is ruined by quick-time events. Having said this, however, the game is still great. A cool mechanic of swiping the rear touchpad to zoom in with a sniper actually added to the experience, so I just hope that the whole game is like this, with useful additions. From what I’ve seen, this game should be fantastic. Hopefully, it will live up to its lofty expectations.
Ultimate Marvel VS Capcom 3I’ve been excited for this for a while. Having not bought it on consoles, I figured I’d just wait for this. I’m very glad I did. The game is fantastic. I played two modes: arcade normal, and arcade touch. Normal was, as the title suggests, your standard fare. The face buttons act as expected, and the graphics are, yet again, stunning. However, this isn’t where the game really shines. No, that’s with Touch Mode. I had no idea what I was doing, so I just repeatedly tapped on my opponent. Good lord, it was beautiful. My character furiously attacked him, unleashing all sorts of combos, killing him in about 10 seconds. Glorious. The crazy, frantic gameplay of MvC is complimented perfectly by the simple, easy to use touch controls. Before this, I was only considering this game. As soon as I got home, I preordered it. It. Was. Amazing.
This game is very…Japanese. Not that that’s a bad thing of course! The premise is ridiculous. You meet a magic cat, then you can suddenly control gravity. And there are some weird red monsters. However, that doesn’t make the game any worse. The art style is amazing. It’s really stylistic, which is a nice change from the ultra-realism which currently penetrates every facet of existence. Coupled with the awesome game mechanic of being able to fly around the world, walk up buildings, and kick someone by altering gravity, and you’ve got yourself a winner. As a bonus, all this is controlled very simply. On the ground, the square button kicks whatever you’re attacking, and at any point you can choose to float, and either fly to a new location, or do a flying quick by pressing square again. Very easy to remember, which is great considering the mechanics are quite complex when you think about it. Choosing a target to fly to is easy enough, and incredibly flexible. And the game seemed to be relatively forgiving when you missed the marker slightly, which is very helpful. All in all, a very good game. It’s innovative, interesting and something different. It hasn’t got a release date yet, but I’m looking forward to it immensely.
So, there you have it. My thoughts on most of the launch lineup. I really enjoyed the event, and I must congratulate PS Access for setting it all up. I highly recommend buying a Vita, and I’m almost certain it’s going to be fantastic. Almost being the key word there.