If you read our review of the PS Vita hardware, you’ll know what to expect if or when you buy the system. But as we all know, a gaming system is only as good as the games available for it. So read on for mini-reviews of a number of the Vita’s launch titles.
Uncharted: Golden Abyss
Easily the Vita’s launch killer app, the mobile version of Sony’s hit Uncharted goes a long way to showing off the power of the system. With visuals that are nearly on par with the PS3 iterations (including character models and animations ripped right from them), this is an excellent action adventure game with some fun uses of the touchscreen, such as the ability to trace a path for adventurer Nathan Drake to climb when on precarious ledges. There are a lot of touchscreen and even camera-based mini-games as well. While the game as a whole isn’t quite up to the level of the PS3 versions, it’s still excellent.
A Sony system without some version of the venerable and always gorgeous hovercraft racer wouldn’t be right, and 2048 lives up to the levels of quality the series is known for. For fans, it’s another brilliantly fun, fast, and stunning game, and the multiplayer connectivity to Wipeout HD on the PS3 enables players to instantly have a core group to race against. There aren’t any other real surprises or particular innovations, but the game looks great and plays superbly on the Vita.
Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack!!!
This might not look particularly next-gen with it’s simple palette and art style, but is a clever and surprisingly entertaining little game. Downloadable only, the side-scrolling adventures of an insatiable little blob trying to escape a crazy world while rescuing his little blob friends is funny and charming. The gameplay is kept pretty simple as well, though certainly challenging, and the level design is creative. Definitely one worth downloading.
UbiSoft hit a homerun with the return of Rayman on the big consoles, and the same is true of the Vita version. Essentially the same game, this brilliant, gorgeous 2D side-scroller was one of the best games of the past year and a perfect choice for the handheld screen. Huge and at times devilishly hard, the only disappointment is the lack of the console versions’ multiplayer options.
More of a technology test than a full game, Little Deviants uses the back touch panel to make the morphable landscape pop up in an effort to roll a cute little critter around. When it works it, it’s fun, but the touch controls just felt too unreliable for our liking.
Super Stardust Delta
One of the best asteroids clones in gaming gets its third Sony-based version on the Vita. It’s fun and intense, and looks great, although this version feels a bit light on content compared to the PS3 version. Still, it controls and looks much better than it did on the PSP and is definitely worth the $10.
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
Capcom aimed their shrink ray at the recently-released console fighter and the result is a picture perfect, massive fighting game in the palm of your hands. Fighting fans everywhere should pick this one up. The controls are solid, the visuals are just as colorful and detailed as they were on the big screen, and the roster of characters is huge. Mainly, the game is just crazy amounts of fun to play.
BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend
The other fighter on the roster is equally as great, though much more obscure and weird. BlazBlue is full of crazy and diverse characters, memorable backdrops, an incomprehensible story, and great fighting action. While the roster isn’t nearly as beefy as MvC3, this is a one of the most original fighting games on the market and definitely worth adding to any fighter fans’ collection.