After the bluster and hoopla of a launch of new gaming hardware, the dust settles and we can enjoy the various games available for the system. Uncharted Golden Abyss, Wipeout 2048 and Lumines Electronic Symphony have kept me more than entertained. But nearing completion on each of those my thoughts naturally turn to the coming months for fresh video-gaming meat.
Before we get to the big year-end videogame releases we have plenty to look forward to on the PlayStation eVita this summer. In particular is a game called Gravity Rush that combines not only an unusual gravity altering play mechanic but delightful visuals and an intriguing story. This is proceeded by another big release, Resistance Burning Skies, that offers a Vita exclusive first-person shooter to extend the PS3 franchise.
Here are the Vita highlights over the next few months:
Gravity Rush June 12th – Gravity Rush, Gravity Daze in Japan, comes from the talent behind the Silent Hill games. Its novelty rather than horror that take center stage here though as the game enables you to manipulate gravity to access new areas, solve puzzles and attack enemies.
But it’s not only the unusual play mechanic that Gravity Rush has going for it. There is a brushed art style that reminded me of Valkyria Chronicles, and characters that seem to be well fleshed individuals. By all accounts Gravity Rush is set to be the next killer Vita game.
Lego Batman 2 June 1st – Lego Batman 2 is the follow up to the original Lego Batman game. This time there is a focus on the DC Comics super heroes. The Lego videogame formula is pretty dyed-in-the-wool by now, but it will be interesting to see if the Vita gets a full console version or simply a port of the DS/3DS game.
The combination of platforming and puzzles should make this an ideal title to take advantage of the PlayStation Vita’s touch screen, gyroscope controls and camera. Hopefully we will also see a return to the portable multi-player modes that the Lego DS games used to support (dropped in more recent versions).
Silent Hill: Book of Memories May 31st – Silent Hill Book of Memories follows Origins success on PSP with a Vita specific outing. Similar to the PlayStation Portable game, this brings a few changes to the classic Silent Hill game-play. Firstly players create their own character who then becomes embroiled in a plot that includes familiar characters from the series. This combines with a new isometric top-down view to give Book of Memories a fresh feel.
The play mechanics also take a surprising turn for the series with a shifts towards co-operative action — the first multi-player mode in a Silent Hill game apparently. Like in the recent Silent Hill Downpour, your weapons quickly wear out which adds a strategy element. All in all it promises a unique Silent Hill experience on the Vita, providing all that change doesn’t swamp what made the original games such classics.
Resistance Burning Skies May 29th – Resistance: Burning Skies is a brand new Vita game utilizing the system’s dual sticks and extra horsepower. This looks to follow up on Uncharted Golden Abyss’s third person success with a first person console experience on a handheld.
While I relish the thought of a true dual stick first person shooter on a handheld (without the jimmying around of that second circle controller on the 3DS) Burning Skies also needs to create a convincing reason to play. Its new hero and narrative written by William C. Dietz, (of Resistance: The Gathering Storm and Resistance: A Hole in the Sky fame) should stand it in good stead.
Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention April 17th – Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice is a turn-based strategy RPG that is bring ported from the PS3 version. On the treatment. Although largely the same as its PS3 forebear the Vita version will includes all DLC from the original version. It also adds the close-up art from Disgaea 4, and new story content.
Although not an original Vita game Disgaea 3 will plug that tactical RPG gap. Its interactive maps and magical “geo blocks” system also add more of a puzzle feel to proceedings. Hopefully it will be joined by more original strategy games on the Vita soon.
Mortal Kombat May 2nd – Mortal Kombat brings the well known fighting game to the Vita. This is essentially a port of the console version, no bad thing for fans of the series. In addition there is a Challenge Tower mode that makes use of the new handheld’s interactive abilities.
Tilting, touching and swiping challenges are provided through 150 new ever more difficult trials only available on the Vita. This should keep fans of the series happy while the rest of us wait for a fighting game to really make use of the Vita controls in the main game.
PlayStation Vita games are available from $20 on Amazon.