Monday, February 27, 2012

One man and his Vita, after that first weekend love-in!

The cold grey dawn of a Monday means the first fling is over, so what to make of the PS Vita? Well, I like the interface a lot more than I thought I would - it doesn't grate or seem overly kiddified. Sure, I'd prefer if it could be customized to hell and back, with folders (I like those free AR games but don't want them hogging a chunk of a games page, the same could be said for demos) but its bright and vibrant, and if I was a younger gamer I'd be licking the screen.

Some parts of the UI really show Sony should never be allowed near multimedia, ever! Transferring music from the PC is a joke and Content Manager is pretty much a joke. My biggest disappointment is that if I'd known how finicky the Near app was without 3G, I'd have gone for that version over WiFi. If you walked into a store you wouldn't have a damn clue what its main advantage was.

Love the social apps too, bar the vanished Facebook, but if I had a dock I'd leave LiveTweet running 24/7 next to my monitors as a great little feed monitor. Across the whole Vita menu, I could do without pressing Start all the time but otherwise everything feels well integrated and smart.

Overall though, I got a Vita, Uncharted and memory plus a bunch of free mini-games (in Welcome Park and the AR titles which I'm annoyed Sony hasn't flagged up on the box) at what I think is a great price. Throw in the huge launch line-up and I can't see Sony having done much more to get the Vita off the ground.


Onto the games

Just some observations from the games/demos I'm loving.

I fell in love with the Vita in Uncharted when I had to hold the whole unit up to a light to read some parchment... that's the first time I've ever seen that interaction and, in its own little way, made all the money worth it.

With BlazBlue, i tried the PSP version for comparison and realized just how much louder the Vita's speakers are, and this game proved to me that the Vita's buttons aren't too small. Also, the taunts got lost in the PSP soundtrack whereas everything is more distinct on the Vita. A big plus point, even with a less high-profile game like this, there is lots of online activity for multiplayer! On the down side, in observer mode, I now realise how poor I am!

I'm still spending time just watching the WipEout demo city pass by before starting a race and drinking in the detail. See the little taxi on the normal road wayyy down below, I keep thinking that's a GTA reference. Then, after the race, watching the heat haze distort the ships in the replay. In between I'm too busy to really notice!

Every console should have a beautiful Pool game and Hustle Kings is the Vita's so gorgeous while MotorStorm RC is so tight, I can probably stop playing Super Sprint on MAME now.




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