20 games to sign off PS Vita’s first year
PS Vita was tragically undersold by Sony during their E3 keynote speech. An early leak spoiled the Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation announcement, so our only “surprise” came when we got a title for an already announced Call of Duty game. Oh, we got a logo too.
The keynote left Vita looking like a lame duck. Where were all its games?
Thankfully, there were plenty on the show floor, and lots are on the way, beginning this month with the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes and Gravity Rush.
Jack Tretton, Sony president and CEO, has confirmed that there will be 60 new games due for release before the end of February 2013, in addition to the 40 plus that are currently available. That’s a lot of games for Vita’s debut year, and that number doesn’t even include PS Minis or PSone classics.
We’ve scanned the list of confirmed upcoming games. Here are some of the most noteworthy:
Zen Pinball 2 – ETA: Coming Soon
Our resident Zen super fan, Majiesto, went hands-on with Zen Pinball 2 on Vita at E3 and gave it his seal of approval. It’s a perfect fit for the system, and it’s also great value. Zen is offering Cross-Purchase, so if you buy one version you’ll get the other free.
New Little King’s Story - ETA: Summer 2012
The original Little King’s Story is adored by the few Wii owners who actually played it. It deserved more attention. This new version retains the same popular Pikmin-style gameplay, but it will also introduce a brand new storyline and some online functionality.
Oddworld Stranger’s Wrath HD – Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee HD – ETA: Summer/Autumn 2012
JAW is bringing not one but two Oddworld games to Vita later this year. These classics take advantage of the touchscreen and Cross-Save between the PS3 and Vita versions. Stranger’s Wrath is expected this summer and Munch’s Oddysee is likely to arrive in autumn.
Sound Shapes – ETA: August 2012
Sound Shapes is co-designed by Jonathan Mak, creator of the popular PSN title Everyday Shooter. It’s part music creation, part platformer. You can play it as a traditional platformer with your actions creating exciting music, or you can design levels and compose your own tracks and share them online.
Madden NFL 13 - ETA: August 2012
Like the little version of FIFA and unlike the little version of MLB 12: The Show, this year’s Madden won’t work in tandem with the big console version. It does however make good use of the front and rear touchscreens and motion control. You can even take a snap of your mug and send it to your mate after you score, you know, if you want to rub it in…
LittleBigPlanet Vita - ETA: September 2012
LBP has the most creative PlayStation community, and that community is about to get a full LBP experience on the go complete with Vita’s varied controls. Creators can design levels on the move and publish from wherever using 3G. Watch them go wild, in a cute Sackboy way.
Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation - ETA: October 2012
This was Sony’s big Vita announcement at E3. It’s a full Assassin’s Creed game built exclusively for Vita. Ubisoft says Liberation features an open world and will make good use of Vita’s varied controls. The game takes place in New Orleans and stars a female protagonist for the first time, named Aveline.
Persona 4: The Golden – ETA: October 2012
You might have missed this first time round. It arrived late in the PS2 years, well into the PS3′s lifecycle. Persona 4 was a great JRPG with an entertaining social simulation world and a top-notch combat system. The Vita version is set to be truly Golden thanks to the inclusion of new events and stories, as well as an online mode.
Street Fighter X Tekken – ETA: Autumn 2012
Fighting games always translated well on to the PSP, and the early signs are good for Vita, thanks to the good showings of Mortal Kombat and Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Street Fighter has been the series to beat this generation, and this tag-based X-over with Tekken will arrive on Vita with new fighters and exclusive Vita features. Capcom is certainly celebrating the series’ 25th anniversary in knock-out style.
Smart As – Autumn 2012
Sony has taken a back seat in recent years as Nintendo and Dr. Kawashima has sold the concept of brain training to the world and earned a pretty penny in the process. Smart As tests your logic, language, arithmetic and observation skills. You can compare your brain power with your friends over global leaderboards, so you can see once and for all just who is the Smart As…
Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time – ETA: Late 2012
One of PlayStation’s most iconic mascots is back. Sly’s new adventure, Thieves in Time, will appear on PS3 and Vita with Cross-Save functionality. This will allow you to share your save file between both versions. We’re hoping this will be Vita’s Daxter, which was a joy to play on PSP.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II Declassified – ETA: late 2012
Little is known about this, which could be a bad sign. It was announced at E3 2011 and a name was finally assigned to it at this year’s show. It’s called Call of Duty: Black Ops II Declassified and it should arrive around the same time as Black Ops II for the big consoles. Call of Duty has the biggest community on PS3 so the arrival of a fully fledged game on Vita will be massive. Let’s hope we see it in action soon.
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed – ETA: Late 2012
The first Sonic & All-Stars racing was actually very good, despite having all the hallmarks of a generic karting cash-in title. The sequel takes the Diddy Kong Racing approach by letting you race across land, air and water. The Vita version uses the touchscreen to fire weapons and activate power-ups and the motion sensors for tilt-control steering.
When Vikings Attack! - ETA: Late 2012
We have another Cross-Purchase game here: buy the PS3 version, get the Vita version free. This four-player action brawler offers accessible online multiplayer across both platforms, ideal for shorts bursts. You’d be Viking mad not to give this one a try.
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale – ETA: Late 2012
This has been written off by many as a Smash Bros. clone, but we’re open minded. We went hands-on at E3 and were pleasantly surprised by how competent a fighter it is. We also think Vita may be the perfect home for this type of game. It’s another one of the many Cross-Play titles coming to Vita. Fat Princess will be taking on Kratos later this year.
Phantasy Star Online 2 - ETA: Early 2013
PSO2 is a massively multiplayer online game which will allow you to play with up to 12 players at a time. The lobbies will include PC players so you will never find yourself without company. What’s more? It’s free-to-play. This is an ambitious effort from SEGA, which should hopefully see a return to form for an old favourite. This may arrive after February.
Soul Sacrifice - ETA: Early 2013
This is the next big project from the former R&D boss at Capcom and creator of Mega Man, Keiji Inafune. It’s a bold and ambitious fantasy adventure built around the idea of sacrifice. Inafune is asking, “ How much are you willing to pay to obtain a certain power?” Online multiplayer plays an important part. Like PSO2, this will probably arrive after February 2013, but we wanted to include it. It’s very promising.
Orgarhythm - ETA: TBA
This was possibly the most creative game on show at E3, and it’s a difficult one to explain. It is a rhythm/RTS game; Patapon meets Pikmin is the closest comparison we can think of. It’s directed by Tak Hirai, who’s had his hand in Space Channel 5, Shenmue and Rez. It should arrive in North America sometime this summer.