Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I've played the PS Vita, and its freaking awesome.

So, over the extended class break that I almost had time to relax and enjoy on, I decided that it'd be in my best interest to take a small road trip to Gurnee Mills. Only 5 places in the United States had access to the most amazing handheld that I've witnessed, and Gurnee Mills happened to be one of them. The PS Vita was a mere hour and a half away from me, I had to play it, and now, I know that February 15th cannot come soon enough.

The Playstation Vita has been on my radar even since it was announced back at TGS early last year. Now that it's only about 1 month from release, I'm getting more and more excited for the marvelous piece of technology to grace my hands. When I heard from a a friend that the Vitas were on display only about an hour and a half from where I live, I had to make the journey - I'm glad I did.

Everything you've read about the Vita seems to be totally true. The reviewers and everyone writing editorials on the handheld describe it with pretty great accuracy. The first thing I noticed was the size of the screen. Its a 5" OLED screen, and it looks gorgeous. The screen itself is about the same size as a standard smartphone (Pictured Below), and the system is about the size of the PSP. It doesn't feel too big in any manner, whether that be holding it, or worrying about carrying it around. I have no doubt that it would easily fit into a jacket pocket or even pants pocket, provided that they're not tiny jeans pockets. The second noticeable thing is the size of the buttons. They're much smaller than the psp or ps3 controller, but this is completely irrelevant. They have the same responsiveness of the ps3 controller, and feel just fine.

Size comparisons.
The Vita has so many different components that I was somewhat worried it might be a bit gimicky, and to a point, that's true. For the most part though, the touch screen, rear touch pad, tilt sensitivity, and cameras come together to provide an experience never before seen. Many of these components have been featured on a wide variety of products, but never before have they been combined. I have to say, the most exciting new feature is the touch screen. It feels just as good if not better than any other smartphone or tablet. The responsiveness is very accurate, and proves far superior to the Nintendo Ds. The rear touch pad is interesting, and I did bump it a few times while holding it, but nothing that can't be avoided.

The list of games they had on display was quite impressive. I played a wide variety of games, most of them releasing day one. Here's a bit on each game:

Uncharted: Golden Abyss - This game was everything you expect from an Uncharted title. The touchscreen capabilities for climbing really work well, and the graphics look great. Shooting was a bit difficult to get used to, and with more time I'm sure it would come naturally. The only complaint from the game was the fire looked subpar. Other than that, this game will definitely be a game one purchase.

Sound Shapes - This was an interesting side-scrolling game that I hadn't heard too much on before. The downfall for this game is that you'd really NEED sound to be able to play it. Without being in a place where this is possible, the game loses its impact. Otherwise, its a fun platforming puzzle game.

Modnation Racers: Road Trip - This game really shows off the graphical capabilities of the system. It looks just as good as its bigger brother on the ps3, and plays just as well. The mechanics have been tweaked a bit to allow for touchscreen abilities and camera functions. With two racing games coming out at launch, however, it'll be a tough choice.

Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational - Hot Shots Golf has always been one of my favorite titles. This one doesn't disappoint as it looks beautiful on the OLED screen. The rear touchpad helps line up shots, and there are plenty of courses and unlocks that will keep this game fun for a while.

Little Big Planet - This series continues to impress. After 3 titles so far, its surprising to see continued success in developing new and exciting ways to play the game. This title, beyond any that I played, showed the components of the Vita. It used the touch screen, cameras, and even tilt sensitivity. This isn't a launch title, but will definitely be one that I purchase as soon as it releases.

Wipeout 2048 - This was the title in which Sony displays their cross-platform play. They actually had a tv running Wipeout on the ps3, and a Vita with Wipeout 2048 side by side. Being able to see them played against each other seamlessly was impressive. The visuals are so crisp that they rival even the Ps3 version of the game. It was a bit harder to race on the Vita, but again, time would lend to better racing. I'm leaning toward this for my racing game.

Little Deviants - This title was a collection of mini-games, mainly designed to display the technology of the Vita. There were a few AR games, that included shooting little alien guys around your own environment. There was another game on which a ball is rolling on an environment, and you use the rear touch pad to roll it. This game ships with the First Edition Bundle, and though I'm not thinking it'll be a groundbreaking title, it might be fun to show people what the Vita does.

Reality Fighters - This title was just pretty dumb. It takes the environment, places fighters on it, and it plays just like any other fighting game, except worse. The mechanics aren't the greatest, and sometimes your fighters are in mid-air. They can't all be winners.

Overall, the Vita is extremely impressive. I can't wait one more month until this system releases, really its only 5 weeks away. I'm very excited for the handheld to release. Don't let the sales numbers scare you away, its a great system! Pre-order them today!

1 comment:

  1. Pre ordered and paid for. Thanks for the hands on review


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