Feature: PS Vita: The Year Just Gone & The Year Ahead
The PS Vita has been available for around a year now, and what a years it’s been. With more ups and downs than a Call of Duty title’s Metacritic rating, it has at least been an interesting year for the handheld, with a brighter future laid out ahead.
The PS Vita, as most will tell you, is struggling. They’ll tell you it has no games and is too expensive. Maybe, just maybe that was the case a few months ago, during the summer when releases start to dry up and gamers get fed up with the lack of titles on offer.
Not today though, no way, and not tomorrow either, because the PS Vita has been given one big kick of adrenaline and Sony is finally ready to start throwing their weight around to get the handheld slice of gold into the hands of gamers, hungry for some top-notch gaming on the go, even more so, in the living room.
First, let’s just take a minute and look back at the games that have adorned the PS Vita over the last 12 months, for better and for worse.
The Light Side of the Force
Uncharted: Golden Abyss
Nathan Drake’s adventures continue to impress, even on a smaller screen without any multiplayer. The controls were tight and the game looked gorgeous, with lush environments and a cast of characters to pull you through the story, it’s not one to miss.
Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation
Portable versions of the critically acclaimed Assassin’s Creed series hadn’t seen much luck until Ubisoft Sofia took their chances and brought us Aveline, the first playable female Assassin in the series. It suffered from its problems, granted, but for some it was an experience like no other portable game could offer, even surpassing the main Assassin’s Creed III in some people’s eyes.
LittleBigPlanet PS Vita
LittleBigPlanet has firmly established itself among the best of the PlayStation exclusives, and this time around Sackboy’s portable adventure is not only the best portable LittleBigPlanet, it’s the best LittleBigPlanet yet. Don’t be put off by the cutesy graphics and seemingly simple gameplay, it’s tricky fun with a strong online community that is constantly pumping out new levels to play.
The last title to be shipped by SCE Studio Liverpool is no doubt their finest. Wipeout 2048 managed to capture the pure essence of Wipeout, staying true to the gameplay and it’s break-neck vomit inducing thrill rides across the most magnificent of tracks.
No PS Vita games list would be complete without Gravity Rush. The artistic style, the gravity manipulating gameplay, the story, it was all there in buckets and more. Truly a unique experience that is only to be played on the PS Vita.
The Dark Side
All the LEGO games
The LEGO games are generally good fun, you play through your favorite franchises, taking control of your favourite characters and away you go, smashing and bashing everything and everyone in sight. unfortunately, Travellers Tales cut corners and presented their fans with a wet fish. Instead of creating games that made the most of the PS Vita’s power, they slightly upgraded the Nintendo 3DS versions and even had the cheek to charge a bit extra.
FIFA Football was fantastic when it was released on the PS Vita, it felt true to the home console like experience and although it was more like FIFA 10 in terms of gameplay, it was great fun and even managed to pull a few tricks of its own. Then came FIFA 13, where the majority of us expected an upgraded game with features akin to those found in the FIFA 13 on the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, instead, we got the exact same game, albeit with a couple of transfer changes. A lazy money grabbing attempt from EA, though we already knew they were like that.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified
If the LEGO games were wet fish, then this one sits at the bottom of the barrel, rotting slowly in its own little mess. Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified was supposed to be the game that put PS Vita consoles into people’s hands, instead it left many buyers feel let down and insulted that such a shabby cash-in was even released. First-person shooters are a staple amongst many gamers, yet the PS Vita is yet to provide any of the thrills we’re so hungry for.
So the PS Vita has games, both good and bad, but there’s more to come, much more.
A Look Into The Future
Brought to you by Guerilla Games themselves, well, their Cambridge division anyway, Killzone: Mercenary is set to be the first complete first-person shooter to really, and I mean really show what the PS Vita can do in the hands of capable developers. Expected to release this September 17th, be sure to keep an eye out.
Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
Strictly speaking, this isn’t really a future title, it’s already out in North America. Still, the UK and Europe are waiting for Sly’s latest adventure and we’ve no doubt that you’ll be pleased. You can read our review here.
Coming from the marvelously strange minds of the crazy folk at Media Molecule, Tearaway is a papery adventure that you’ll be getting to grips with later this year (pun, totally intended.) They’re known for their creative masterpieces, so Tearaway is almost certain to please.
Dead or Alive 5 Plus
The muscle-bound macho men and skimpy bikini-clad ladies take their kung-fu (or karate, whatever…) to the small screen and battle it out to determine who’s the sexiest. Or something like that. All I know is they fight each other and wear very few clothes. I hope their mothers are proud…
That is but a snippet of whats to come in 2013. There’s also games in development that we don’t even know about, but we can all make a guess right?
Clouded, The Future Is…
Grand Theft Auto PS Vita
We’ve no idea if there is a GTA game in developement, but seeing as Rockstar released not just one, but three GTA games for the PSP, I think we can assume they’re hard at work creating something wonderful for the PS Vita. Also worth a mention, Rockstar Leeds, the developers of the PSP titles are hard at work on an unannounced project. Could this be GTA PS Vita? Maybe, we might even get some news at E3…
Another Assassin’s Creed
Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation was fantastic, it had its flaws (quite a few actually…) but it was a solid experience. Well, Ubisoft Sofia are up to something right now, developing a new AAA title, could it be another Assassin’s Creed for the PS Vita? Time will tell…unless someone lets slip some information early.
Gran Turismo is undoubtably the most successful racing simulation series ever. It’s got the gameplay, the graphics and the longevity, so why isn’t it on the PS Vita yet? Well, it may be on the way. A Sony executive recently let slip that Gran Turismo 6 is coming to the PlayStation 3, so maybe a nice shiny port for the PS Vita isn’t that far off.
Another Call of Duty
After the last outing on the PS Vita, Activision has some making up to do. We know that there’s another one coming, it’s inevitable, but there’s some interesting tid bits that could point towards another PS Vita title. Traditionally, the Call of Duty titles are split between Treyarch and Infinity Ward, and seeing as the last title was Treyarch, you’d expect Infinity Ward to be getting ready for Modern Warfare 4. Well, Neversoft are actually involved with Call of Duty 10, whether that means that are developing for the PS Vita whilst Infinity Ward handles the home consoles, or vice versa, remains to be seen. Let’s just hope that if there is another Call of Duty for the PS Vita, they get it right and make their fans happy.
Believe it or not, there’s always some unannounced IP being floated around behind the scenes, we by no means get told everything that’s coming. That’s all a part of the marketing plan, to release the information as and when they are ready. So be sure to keep an eye out for updates here on new announcements!
So, there we have it. The good, the bad and the ugly. It’s been a tough year for the PS Vita, but it’s getting better and with the recently announced price-drop in Japan, more of the little consoles will be in the hands of people who will appreciate the device, hopefully, bringing more developers on board to create more fantastic games.
If that isn’t enough, think of your PS Vita, or your future PS Vita if you have yet to own one, as your little slice of PlayStation 4. The PS Vita is aiming to be the ultimate companion for the PlayStation 4, allowing you to play your shiny next-gen games on your PS Vita. Sound good? Damn right, go and get one and see what you’ve been missing!
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How is the PS Vita treating you? Good? Bad? Bored? Looking forward to the future? Let us know down in the comments.