PS Vita: The best launch games
4th Jan 2012 | 15:27
Sony's PlayStation Vita is set to make its European debut in February, but we know quite a few of you eager beavers either have imported the powerful PS Vita handheld or are thinking about doing so.
In both cases it's important to spend as much time reading up on the quality of the launch games as it is tracking down reasonable import prices.
To help proceedings along we've done some of the legwork and rounded-up the four best launch games currently available for the PlayStation Vita in Japan. We've scoured the internet to gather every review and article and plucked out some choice quotes for you to consider when making your purchasing decisions.
We've also thrown in the odd screen and video for you to take a look at along with a import prices for the games. It's worth doing the rounds on the import sites yourself since prices regularly fluctuate.
Thinking of importing a Vita? Read our PlayStation Vita import guide.
Everybody's Golf, also known as Hot Shots Golf, is one of gaming's best kept secrets. While EA's Tiger Woods series might hog all the mainstream attention, the lesser known Everybody's Golf series has quietly become the Golf game of choice for those with the taste of fun over the trappings of licenses.
Shuhei Yoshida, Vice President of Sony Computer Entertainment and President of Worldwide Studios has said retailers taking pre-orders have indicated Everybody's Golf is currently the most popular PlayStation Vita launch title, and with good reason.
The Verge says: "Everybody's Golf 6 is the latest entry in Sony's evergreen golf series, and is largely indistinguishable from its predecessor on PS3. The biggest issue with this game are the visuals. The assets are fine, with attractive character models and courses, but the image quality has taken a big hit - the game is clearly running at sub-native resolution on Vita.
"The most important thing is that the game remains a lot of fun, and is just as likely to hook you as the previous portable entries."
UNCHARTED: GOLDEN ABYSS
Picking up Uncharted: Golden Abyss is pretty much a no-brainer. Although the game isn't developed by Naughty Dog, PSP veterans SCE Bend Studio has put together a number of solid Syphon Filter games and Resistance: Retribution, so the beloved series looks to be in safe hands.
Here's what everyone thinks of it:
Metro: 8/10 - One of the best starts the PlayStation Vita could've hoped for and a game that more than lives up to the legacy of its home console forebears.
Eurogamer: 8/10 - New control options have allowed the developers to line the seams of Drake's adventure with flashy tassels and detailing that make for a varied and entertaining outing - perhaps even more so than its big brothers. At the very least, that should solidify Sony Bend's reputation as a trustworthy custodian for PlayStation's growing pile of first-party treasures.
ShopTo: Outstanding - Given that Golden Abyss joins us at the start of the Vita's life, it's hard to hold the small flaws mentioned above against it. This is a game which puts some console titles to shame thanks to its stunning looks, innovative gameplay features and non-stop action. Uncharted: Golden Abyss maybe one of the most expensive titles to arrive at Vita's launch, however it's worth every penny. It'd be a crime to not to own this game if you are planning to pick up Sony's new handheld, so do yourself a favour and put some cash aside for Nathan Drake.
Destructoid: 9.5 - With Uncharted: Golden Abyss we have the first must-buy for Sony's PlayStation Vita. It takes the series' much-loved gameplay, storytelling and presentation, and adds on innovative touch and tilt features to make a game that fits perfectly alongside its predecessors. Prepare to be amazed by a portable videogame.
Prices: Only available through the Japanese PSN store
Little Deviants garnered pre-release buzz for its interesting use of the PlayStation Vita's rear touch panel, as well as the numerous quirky arcadey mini-games and augmented reality features.
ShopTo says: "We can't find any reason for this game not to be part of your very own launch package. Not only does Little Deviants provide the sort of bit sized experience that it perfect for gaming on the go, but it also looks great and makes use of Vita's features more than any other title we have tried so far."
ULTIMATE MARVEL VS CAPCOM 3
Capcom's latest entry in the star-studded fighting franchise is currently tearing up both the professional fighting game world, thanks to interesting mechanics and incredible depth, and the living room of casual fighting fans. It's arguably the most accessible fighting game out on the market and the Vita version is particularly import friendly.
GamesRadar says: "We were a little shocked at just how good UMVC3 looks. Aided in large part by the Vita's crisp display, the game's animation is ultra smooth and the only graphical hit it's taken is in some slightly reduced particle effects on some of the more extravagant moves. There was no slowdown of any kind, and all of the moves and attacks appeared to have the exact same hitboxes, damage and timing as the console version.
"The complete set of additional content is also nice, Mission mode, Heroes and Heralds mode, online, and Gallery are all here.
"As is the issue with most portable fighting games, the control options are liable to irritate serious players. The touch screen controls are also pretty befuddling, and the fact the game recognizes inputs on both the front and rear makes it far too easy to waste meter or whiff moves randomly."