PS Vita: Great Games Flow - Games Weekly

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

PS Vita: Great Games Flow

Reports of your little pal’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. Sony’s  E3 and Gamescom conferences bizarrely brushed PS Vita’s bright future under the shag rug like the creepy, Scotch-swigging uncle who never gets invited to Christmas dinner. We’re here to put that right. Cast a cursory glance into the palm friendly system’s upcoming release schedule and you’ll see the floodgates are about to open on a wave of exciting,often brilliantly subversive new games that the dearly departed  PSP would have axe murdered for.
You think we’re hopping on the Exaggeration Express, don’t you? Fine, let us answer such doubt by spending the rest of this paragraph listing PS Vita games we’re genuinely and justifiably pumped for. Here goes… Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, Volume, Titan Souls, Papers, Please, Nidhogg, Pix The Cat, Flame Over, Hyper Light Drifter, Minecraft: PS Vita Edition, Forget Me Not, Risk Of Rain, and, of course, Super Exploding Zoo. No we didn't make that last one up (see We Blew Up A Zoo over the page).

PORTABLE OPS
“It’s really a pretty great device,” says Acid Nerve’s Mark Foster, one of the main creators of upcoming indie, Titan Souls. A granite-hard adventure equally inspired by Shadow Of The Colossus and Demon’s Souls, the game’s 16-bit influenced art assets look gorgeous on a certain OLED/LED screen.

“Titan Souls is going to be a perfect fit for PS Vita,” Foster tells us. “It’s possibly the best platform for it to be on. The game has bursts of really tense gameplay that you can pick up and play quickly. It will look awesome on PS Vita’s screen.” No doubt…  just steel yourself for all the death.

One of the game’s main draws is its one-hit kill system. Cast in the role of a teeny pixelated archer, Titan Souls conjures toasty memories of Towerfall Ascension, as you repeatedly retrieve your single arrow. Like Matt Thorson’s local multiplayer sensation, your pointy projectile packs a punch hit a boss’ weak spot and they’ll go down quicker than Arjen Robben after running into a light breeze.

Of course, like TeamIco’s monster garotting classic, finding these vulnerable areas is quite the challenge especially when your screen-filling foes can also off you with a single hit. Thankfully, Foster found porting the game to PS Vita a far less searingly tough prospect. “It’s relatively straightforward developing for the device, especially compared to previous hardware generations.” You can look forward to Titan Souls boarding the HMS Vita early in 2015.

Hungry for more tasty handheld dishes? Step right this way, you insatiable portable enthusiasts. We’ll start sir/madam off with a delicious nibble on Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number. The sequel to Dennaton Games’ Florida-based, 2D machete romp slips you back into the Piggsy mask of Jacket, fresh from the hitman wiping out the entire Russian mob. Now seen as an icy veined serial killer, the bat happy antihero has been labelled the ‘Pig Butcher’ attracting a cabal of copycats called the Fans who are eager to follow the trail of his homicidal boots.

Gameplay-wise, you’re still in fiendishly fast stealth territory, with every death acting as a trial and error primer to nailing sociopathic speed runs perfect for fast and furious sessions. Though publisher Devolver Digital confirmed to us no release date has been set for Wrong Number as of yet, at least there’s the enticing prospect of a new level editor to look forward to. Oh, plus the addition of duel wielding to tackle those ever aggressive attack mutts. Stay down, Rover!

RAIN OVER ME
There are promising PC indie ports headed to PS Vita as well. Risk Of Rain and Papers, Please haven’t had official release dates set, but they should both rock your size conscious world when they hit your handheld.

The former is a delightfully twisted, procedurally generated action-platformer, while you’ve surely heard of the red tape obsessed escapades of Papers, Please. If not, it’s a gloriously subversive puzzler, following the degradation of an immigration officer’s soul as he decides who gets over the border. Trust us: bureaucracy has never been so fun.

But wait: we’re not done. There’s the ‘almost too pretty’ Galak-Z: The Dimensional; a strikingly attractive twin-stick shooter that secured a PS Vita release after its studio 17- Bit saw the success of Spelunky’s handheld treatment. Expect to shoot its many attractive ships to smithereens before the year is out.

PUMP UP THE VOLUME
Volume, Mike Bithell’s ode to MGS, is also headed to a shiny 8-inch screen near you. The Thomas Was Alone creator told us he hasn't yet started porting it to PS Vita, so it will most likely release after the PS4 version in 2015. Still, those delicious Tron visuals have us very excited.

Don’t forget about the strength of the hardware, either. It may get forgotten about, but using Remote Play to experience PS4 games is a revelation Destiny on the go! PlayStation TV, which launches 14 November for £84.99, also proves your fave portable titles can be lookers even when blown to big screen proportions. With such a glut of top games headed PS Vita’s way, now really is the time to holler about your handheld.

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