PlayStation Vita: hands-on with 10 top launch titles
Contributed by Steven Williamson and Thez Zwetsloot.
With the festive season rapidly approaching and the barrage of AAA titles finally fading out, we’re heading out the back door of 2011 with fond memories of a great year for PlayStation. With little cash left in our pockets and our social lives having become a distant memory - thanks to long evening sessions on Uncharted 3 - our thoughts are now shifting to the New Year and, in particular, to PlayStation Vita.
Sony’s new handheld is all set and ready to launch in February, and it certainly looks the part with its sleek design and impressive 5" OLED screen. Under its glossy exterior too, the powerful ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor tells us that it has the ability to create a serious impact over the coming years. Our only concern is the games; will they deliver the experience that Vita deserves and can they take advantage of its unquestionable potential?
At a PlayStation Vita event held in London recently, we went hands-on with host of games that will be available on launch day, and we think the answer to that question is a resounding “Yes!” If these launch games are a signal of what’s to come, then we’re chomping at the bit to see how things progress throughout 2012 and beyond, not just from Sony either, but also from third-party developers who have stepped forward to embrace Vita.
To give you a little taster of some of PS Vita’s launch games, we’ve written 10 short previews of titles that we played at the event to help you come to a decision about what title you might buy when Vita launches. Because, come February 2012, it looks like we’re going to be spoilt for choice…
With miniature versions of the class-based vehicles from previous MotorStorm games whizzing at break-neck speed around its tiny tracks, MotorStorm RC exudes pick-up-and-play appeal. Throw into the mix a competitive arena bursting with social connectivity options, and you’ve got the makings of one of Vita’s most addictive launch titles.
While some tracks are inspired by other games in the MotorStorm series, including Pacific Rift and Apocalypse, we’re promised 16 new ones and more content via DLC. Miniature buggies, monster trucks and super cars glide around the track as if on ice skates, and driving around these tight tracks doesn’t at all feel like the rough and tumble racing experienced in the main MotorStorm titles. In fact, MotorStorm RC resembles, both in look and sensation, the classic Micro Machine games of the ‘90s, which were known for their accessibility, fun and mainstream appeal.
On the track, there are a variety of control schemes to test out. We tested out the dual analog stick controls, moving the RC car with the left stick and the camera with the right. Within a couple of laps we’d established our race-lines effectively, drifting around corners and hurtling around the tracks intuitively. It all feels very retro and arcadey, but pleasingly familiar and very addictive.
MotorStorm RC looks set to offer instant pick-up-and-play appeal and trigger fierce competition among its fans, so it should be ideal for short bursts of gameplay and perfectly suited to gaming on the go, but also deep enough for gamers who are serious about nudging up the leaderboards. With the chance to use the Pitwall feature to share stats, compete and make new friends too, the social aspect of MotorStorm RC should lead to some exciting and competitive races. Did we mention that you get both PS3 and PS Vita versions for one price?
The FIFA series has come on leaps and bounds over the years on PlayStation 3, and we have every faith that Electronic Arts will continue the good work with its new handheld iteration, which looks fantastic and implements Vita's touchscreen controls impressively.
FIFA Football showcases Vita’s graphical power and processing capability superbly, with finely rendered player models, great looking stadiums, ... (continued on next page) ----