The Vita Experience Part Two: The Best of the Rest
Still think you’ve seen all there is to see from the Vita? Think again, as I had some playtime with even more titles at the recent “Vita Experience” day, all of them fighting for your hard-earned cash when the system launches in February.
You may think you were spoilt for choice with the six games I mentioned in Part 1, but there are plenty more titles for me to tell you about, with something for everybody. So without further ado, let’s get down to business.
Simply put, this port of Rayman’s brilliant comeback is incredibly faithful to its bigger console brothers. The game’s stunning visuals translate to the Vita’s amazing OLED screen perfectly and the game appears to be unchanged.
A particular impressive addition to this Vita version, is the ability to zoom in on the action, by pinching in and out on the touchscreen. Upon doing so, you can really see how detailed the artwork for the game is – it really is one of the best looking titles of this generation.
I was told that the multiplayer aspect of the game has now been removed, however in its place is a Ghost Mode, where you can save a ghost of your runthrough of a level – this can then be sent to other players who can then try and beat your time.
Other then that, it is exactly the same as the PlayStation 3/Xbox 360 versions – only you can play it on the go!
I had a short time with Escape Plan and it felt like the logical result of moving a point-and-click adventure to a portable console. Protagonists Lil and Laarg are not directly controllable by the character – controlling the characters involves swiping them into the preferred direction.
The game takes place in individual rooms, where the player must guide our heroes to the exit while avoiding all manner of hazards and obstacles. These barriers are expelled with some thinking and touch screen/rear touchpad action. For example, an object might be in Lil’s path, which is easily removed by pushing it towards the background, via the touch screen. Sometimes you are even required to “squeeze” your hero in order to perform particular actions.
The noir-style gloomy visuals create an interesting opposite to the rest of the Vita’s lineup and while the controls can feel a bit cumbersome at times there is a really good concept here, that I think will prove popular upon release.
Now we come to what amounts to a PlayStation Vita built-in tutorial. Welcome Park consists of five little mini-games that serve as an introduction to the PS Vita’s hardware functions.
The games include:
- Digit Chase: An introduction to the touch screen, where numbered circles have to be touched in order (in some cases, with multiple fingers, like some sort of digit twister).
- Sound Loop: Allows you do record things via the PS Vita’s microphone and play around with the results.
- Swap & Slide: Using the PS Vita’s front or rear cameras, you can take snaps of anything and turn it into a sliding block puzzle.
- Hello Face: The creepiest app within Welcome Park, allowing you to take a picture and map it to a cube – where the Vita will then give it a face and animate its eyes and mouth. This didn’t work very well at the event, but I got the idea of it.
- Skate Axis: A simple game using the PS Vita’s tilt functionality to control a skateboard, avoiding bubbles and collecting stars for points.
As you can tell, Welcome Park is a collection of simple concepts to get you used to the PS Vita’s new abilities – something you’ll play with when you first get the console, or to show others what it can do.
You have probably heard about this game a few times already at this point. Reality Fighters is a very simplistic beat-em-up wherein you can take a picture of your face, map it to a character, dress him or her up, give them a fighting style and send them out to battle other fighters.
An interesting application of Augmented Reality technology, using a special AR marker (placed on a surface) you can use whatever environment the PS Vita camera is looking at as your battleground. If you aren’t somewhere where you can lay a card on the ground, you can also battle on pre-made arenas or even make your own low-tech arenas by taking three pictures to make a panoramic view.
It’s an impressive demonstration of where Sony are taking the Augmented Reality concept, but as a game it isn’t going to keep you enthralled. It certainly shows what can be done with the PS Vita, it’s just a shame the fighting gameplay isn’t deep enough to make Reality Fighters more fun instead of a little gimmick, that might be forgotten about quickly.
Super Monkey Ball Vita
Another new system, another port of Super Monkey Ball. If you have played any previous game in the series (especially the iOS versions), you’ve played this game.
From what I could see, there is nothing new to separate this from the same game we all played on the Gamecube a decade ago – depending on your feelings about Super Monkey Ball, this could be a good or bad thing. However, the game controlled well and the visuals are lovely and colourful.
It’s a game of Pool, on the PS Vita. There isn’t really much more I can say about that – I’ve got Pool games on my iPod touch and without sounding too harsh, they don’t play much more differently than this. To be fair, there are plenty of modes (including Tutorials, Trick Shots and Tournaments), so if you like Pool and you want to play it on your PS Vita, this would be the game for you.
See Hustle Kings but replace “Pool” with “Darts”. The developers have tried to mix things up by featuring some “Arcade” modes (the one available at the event had falling blocks with numbers on them, with the player hitting those numbers on the dartboard to make them disappear, before the screen fills up) but honestly – it’s darts. On the PS Vita.
Much like Hustle Kings, this one would be for only the most dedicated of the sport’s fans – I wonder if it would have been better to bundle the two games better as some sort of “Pub Games” premise. However, if these two titles were released at a reasonable budget price, I can see some people getting quite a fair bit of enjoyment out of them.
That wasn’t all the titles available at Sony’s event, but there was nowhere near enough time for me to play everything. Other games on the floor included: Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom, Michael Jackson: The Experience HD, Everybody’s Golf, Gravity Rush, Little Deviants, Super Stardust Delta, ModNation Racers: Road Trip, SoundScape, Ridge Racer and many more that I missed/didn’t see.
It’s shaping up to be one of the biggest software launch lineups ever – Stay with GodisaGeek.com for further coverage of the PlayStation Vita over the coming months!