Six Vita games, Six capsule reviews

By Mike on 4:02 pm

Filed Under:

Yes, I have a Playstation Vita in my hands. I will be doing a full review of it soon. I just haven't decided how I want to go about it. Of course the hardware means little without the games. Here's six capsule reviews of the ones I've tried out so far.

Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack

Canadian indie developer DrinkBox released an adorable PS3 game about a little blob from space with a huge apatite. Its sequel is by far the best launch title on the Vita. You play as a mutated blob who escapes from a university science lab. You roll around, sucking up objects to grow bigger and eventually conquer the galaxy.

It's a quirky tribute to 1950s B-Movies and modern online-culture. Beyond that, it's a solid physics based puzzle-platformer. The difficulty ramps up nicely as you go from the lab, to the moon, to rampaging through Canada's largest city. There's plenty of traps along the way from lasers, spikes, and angry army men that will blast you to oblivion. My favourite parts are the rocket blob segments, which really show off the game's fantastic physics engine. Bonus levels do an excellent job showing off the Vita's motion controls as you tilt the system to move Mutant Blob around the playing field.

Mutant Blobs Attack oozes charm and is definitely the best game to appear on the Vita so far. My only problem is the game was too short. Sure, there's 30 some odd levels, but even that didn't feel like enough. When you finish a game wanting more, that's definitely not a bad thing. I hope DrinkBox will keep expanding this quirky franchise. DLC ahoy.

Score: 9.5 out of 10

Wipeout 2048

Wiprout is the definitive anti-gravity racer, and with good reason. There have been plenty of imitators but nobody has reached the nirvana between fast racing and solid combat.

Wipeouts Pulse and Pure defined the racing genre on the PSP. Wipeout 2048 on the PSVita is just like those games, and every other recent Wipeout game. The combat is the same, the racing types & classes are the same, the racing teams are the same, the vehicles aren't that much different. That's not to say it's a bad game. It just feels like SEC Liverpool has turned the series into an incremental release with a fresh coat of paint every couple of years.

That said, Wipeout 2048 is the best racer the Vita has right now. It's also the best anti-gravity racer since WipEout HD launched on the PS3 four years ago. Wipeout's relentless difficulty returns with a mix of racing styles. It also does a good job as a tech demo for the system. Even during the fastest Zone races, the Vita doesn't even hiccough. The colours and eye-popping visuals the series is know for look their best on the Vita's gorgeous OLED screen.

My biggest beef about this game is the price. At $40, it's double the price of other Wipeout games. Yet the content is virtually the same. The game also loses points for the inclusion of the much maligned online pass.

Score: 7 out of 10

Lumines: Electronic Symphony (Demo tested)

Lumines is a Tetris clone. That's really all you need to know about this game. Your goal is to create 4x4 blocks of the same colour. It's a lot like Tetris, Mean Bean Machine, Columns, and every other block puzzler. Simple games can make or break a system, and Lumines is one of Sony's few portable exclusive series.

Lumines is more known for its robust art style than gameplay. It's a gorgeous game with a fantastic soundtrack. There are supposedly some RPG mechanics involved but they're not included in the short demo version. It's definitely a treat for puzzle game fans.

Like Wipeout, I think the game is a bit overpriced. $40 is a bit much to ask for a Tetris clone. Especially when there are far cheaper alternative on competing platforms.

Score: 8 out of 10

Rayman: Origins (Demo Tested)

Rayman is one of Ubisoft's oldest franchises. As you know, Ubi is probably MMNTech's most hated developer. Even I must admit that Rayman Origins is a solid gem.

As the name suggests, Origins takes us back to the original 2D format of the PS1 original. Rayman's friends have been captured by the undead for disturbing the peace. It's up to our arm and legless hero to save them. What follows is some of the best platforming I've seen in a long time. Fantastic physics, good special moves. This game is just pure fun, and a rare right move for Ubisoft.

Rayman looks as good on the Vita as it does on other platforms. Eyepopping colour and fantastic hand drawn graphics. This is the best platfomer I've seen in a long time. As good, if not better, than the 3DS's Super Mario 3D Land. It recreates the fun and creativity of the classic games it's trying to revive. Rayman Origins is definitely worth its $40 entry fee.

Score: 9 out of 10

Uncharted: Golden Abyss (Demo Tested)

Golden Abyss has served as the introduction to the Vita for many, if not most. One of the PS3's most successful franchises scales down quite well.

The demo features a platforming and shooting level. First of all, the game looks fantastic. It really shows off what the Vita is capable of, and that's console level gameplay. Visuals are as close as you can get to firing up Uncharted on your PS3. That said, I found the demo a little underwhelming. Platforming is solid but shooting leaves a lot to be desired. Distant targets appear very small on the screen. It's harder to line up a good shot than it is on the PS3 versions. I also found the touch screen mechanics to be more a gimmick than anything else.

If you're a fan of Nathan Drake's adventures, this one is definitely worth picking up. However, new inductees into the Uncharted series would be best playing the console versions before jumping into this one.

Score: 7.5 out of 10

Super Stardust Delta

Super Stardust Delta shows why dual analogues on a portable are so important. This arcade classic has been perfectly ported to the Vita.

For those unfamiliar with the game, it's like Asteroids on 'roids. You navigate your little ship around a spherical playing surface, blowing up asteroids and alien ships bombarding the planet below. There's a mix of different weapons, including fire beam, ice guns, and devastating bombs.

Out of all the Vita games that attempt to emulate what the PS3 can do, this one comes the closest. Indeed, it exceeds Super Stardust HD. Difficulty is better balanced for beginner players. Aside from the usual arcade and planet modes, there are also some new game modes that take advantage of the touchscreen and motion controls. I find the motion controls a little sloppy compared to the sharp stick controls. To extend the game, a content pack adds four new endurance modes.

Super Stardust Delta is the best time waster on the Vita so far. The only reason it didn't get a higher score is because of the day one DLC. It's a crass move by game publishers. The base game is $9.99 and the four new modes are an additional $5 on top. I went all out and payed for the full game plus additional content. However, I don't think it adds that much. It's $5 well saved if you skip it.

Score: 8 out of 10

0 comments for this post