Sunday, February 22, 2015

PS Vita's third birthday, best of the rest

Having covered the big hitters of WipEout 2048, Uncharted Golden Abyss and, um, Ridge Racer, the Vita still managed to have one of the biggest launch line-ups for a console. True, it was kind of leaning out into the indie and small budget games (Escape Plan, Reality Fighters, Hustle Kings) that have become its unfortunate millstone, but it still manages to deliver today.

First up is Motorstorm RC, shrinking down the series to a palatable and fun format across PS3 and Vita that ramped up the social aspect with lap time and other challenges. Pick it up today and it is still eminently playable, the perfect mix of burst play and twitch controls. Boot it up and all those challenging times for your PSN buddies are still there, demanding you have one more go, to try and pip their lap times with constituency, fine control and a little bit of luck.

Everybody's (Hot Shots) Golf is another game that never gets tired, pick it up any day for a round and it is bound to put a smile on your face, with all the cute characters, costumes, trick shots and way out courses. The series hasn't moved on (I know Clap Hanz is still going with MinGol Project), but what harm is there in a quick update with native-res graphics and some new features?

One of the most predictable, yet rewarding, launch games I played was Sega's finest entry on the Vita. Virtua Tennis pulled off the native res trick like few others with a stellar representation of the arcade classic with all the bells and whistles. As with the others on this page, it remains eminently playable with all the fun of the World Tour training modes and other challenges.

Finally, Unit 13 proved that the Vita could do first person shooters, but despite Zipper ripping out a tight, neat, focused run and gun with multiplayer and some clever daily missions, Sony's total failure to stick any brand identity behind it, be it SOCOM, Spec Ops or anything let it wither as a curio. Play it today and its still lots of fun, if now feeling very formulaic.

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