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Home » Featured, Headline, Views, Vita

Discovering the PlayStation Vita

Submitted by on Sunday, 19 August 2012One Comment

A couple of months ago, I wrote about how I was perfectly happy with my trusty PSP, while I waited until I could afford a Vita. Well, a few weeks ago that day finally came, so I’ve spent the last month getting to grips (as well as swipes, tilts and taps) with Sony’s latest handheld console.

When randomly browsing the internet last month, I noticed that Amazon had dropped the Vita’s price to a ridiculously low £169.99. I’ve been waiting for a significant price drop since the Vita’s release, so I added it to my basket without a second’s thought, along with a memory card, Lumines: Electronic Symphony, Uncharted: Golden Abyss and WipEout 2048.

Forty-eight hours later, I was switching on my new Vita for the very first time and struggling to contain my excitement. My initial revelation came when I completed one of the minigames in the Welcome Park tutorial and discovered that, not only is it surprisingly fun, but it also includes its own PSN trophy set. Seriously, the tutorial has trophies? Awesome!

In the mood for more trophies (as always), I decided to download MotorStorm RC. I was already a big fan of the game on PS3 and had previously earned all of the trophies, so all I had to do to obtain my first Vita platinum was sit back and watch them unlock, one after the other, when I loaded the game on my new handheld console; cloud syncing is officially the best thing ever.

Now it was time to try out my new games. Lumines and WipEout are both great, but if I had any lingering concerns about the Vita, they were completely blown away the moment I started playing Uncharted: Golden Abyss. With beautiful visuals and brilliant gameplay, it’s a real advertisement for what the Vita is capable of; even the touchscreen and motion sensor sections are fun!

Ever since they were announced for the Vita, I’ve been intrigued by Rayman Origins and Mortal Kombat. I loved both of them on PS3, so I was interested to see how they shape up on Vita. Truth be told, Mortal Kombat takes a bit of a hit in the visuals department, but both of these games show that PS3-to-Vita ports can (and do) work extremely well, and even include Vita-exclusive features.

My PS Store wallet has also had a bit of a beating recently, as the Vita’s PSN line-up is already looking pretty strong. Super Stardust HD really established the PSN on PS3, so it’s fitting that Super Stardust Delta does the same for the Vita. Then there are PSN classics such as Hustle Kings and Plants vs. Zombies, and new IPs such as Escape Plan and PulzAR.

I’m normally very sceptical about augmented reality in videogames, but after reading some encouraging reviews, I decided to give PulzAR a go, and was forced to eat my words. Who knew connecting imaginary lasers with AR cards could be so much fun? Plus, at £1.59, this is exactly what Sony need to do in order to compete with the rest of the market.

In just under five weeks, my collection of Vita games (including both retail and PSN titles) has already reached well into double figures, and given me some truly memorable moments, whether I’m poking an otter with a stick in Frobisher Says!, smashing dinner plates in Virtua Tennis 4: World Tour Edition, or making Lil fart in Escape Plan.

I’m also convinced that the Vita’s future is bright. Yes, we’re going through a bit of a drought at the moment in terms of new releases, but the big games are coming, with LittleBigPlanet, Street Fighter X Tekken and Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation (to name a few) just on the horizon, and the likes of Killzone: Mercenary, Soul Sacrifice and Tearaway beyond that.

Realistically though, I have more than enough games to play as it is (I’ve still barely touched Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus and Gravity Rush), so the lack of recent releases doesn’t really bother me at the moment. Put it this way; there are far more quality titles currently available for the Vita than there were six months after the PS3’s launch!

But anyway, the question is; after the first month with my shiny new Vita, could I go back to my old PSP? Don’t be silly!