So, friends — you just got a PlayStation Vita because that shit was on sale for $179 bucks and you just couldn’t say no? Good on you! The PlayStation Vita is a terrific handheld device, despite what naysayers and angry fanboys have to say about it. One thing you’re probably going to hear is “OMG VITA SUX NO GOOD GAMES”, which is pretty much the same tired ass argument Xbox fanboys used against PlayStation 3 owners during its first year or two as well. Rest assured, the Vita not only has games, but it’s got a whole lot of really good games. While certain games like Sound Shapes are unique and awesome, the PS Vita’s got a whole lot of stuff that’s almost identical if not better than its console counterpart.
I laughed so hard at that, even though it’s a bullshit statement. Anyway, here’s the list:
Lumines is ridiculously addictive and has a killer soundtrack. If you’re into EDM/House/Trance type of music fused together with fast paced puzzle action, Lumines shines a strobe light directly into your core. From the moment you play the first song — Deep Dish’s “The Future of the Future”, you’ll know you’ve stumbled onto one of the most scintillating experiences currently available on any handheld system.
By this point, you’ve probably already played Rayman Origins on one of the other systems, or possibly even picked up Rayman Legends on Nintendo’s new Wii U. If you haven’t yet played this amazing platformer, know that you’re in for a real treat. Rayman Origins is bright, cartoony, and looks like a very “for kids” type of game, but shines with superior art design, an obscenely catchy soundtrack, and platforming that starts off slow but eventually becomes extremely difficult even for veteran platform gamers. There’s a little bit of slow down when you get a lot of stuff on the screen, but it looks so damn great you won’t even care.
I just reviewed this game yesterday, but it makes the list because of how well it fits the Vita as a handheld game. Breaking tasks up into 30 minute max sessions, Ragnarok Odyssey offers monster slaying while on the go making it the perfect game to play while you’ve only got a few minutes to spare.
The only reason Persona 4 Golden isn’t higher on this list is because I personally haven’t played it. Everyone has been giving it extremely high praise, and seeing as how the Vita is pretty thin in the RPG department, Persona 4 Golden seems to be the game that all of the die hard RPG fans are playing — and that’s a good thing. From what I’m hearing, this could possibly be the best game currently available for the Vita. I can’t wait to pick it up myself.
Yes, I know Mutant Blobs Attack is currently free for PlayStation Plus members, but even at full price Mutant Blobs Attack is probably the best example of how to do a game for Vita currently available on the Vita. The touch screen controls work extremely well, and they’re not forced — which means you can opt to use the regular buttons instead. It’s cute, the levels are fairly short, and it’s easy to bang out a few levels and then move on to something else.
If you already own Zen Pinball 2 (or any of the terrific Zen Pinball tables) then you already own this for your Vita. Just go download the Vita versions from the PSN store and be completely amazed at what a killer job Zen Studios has done bringing an almost identical port of the PS3 version over to the Vita. On top of that, not only are all of the tables fully functional (complete with voice/music/graphics) but you can also turn your Vita portrait style and play using your Vita’s touch screen to control the flippers. How bad ass is this? Zen Pinball on the go? It’s a no brainer if you’re a pinball fan.
One of the best fighting franchises makes its debut on the PS Vita, complete with all of the downloadable characters and skins found on the PS3 version. The only real difference between the two is that the graphics are obviously dialed back for the Vita version. Sure, it doesn’t look as good, but it still looks damn impressive and moves at lightning fast speeds. Absolutely no slow down here, and as a bonus, you can execute fatalities by swiping the directions on the touch screen. What a killer idea.
While I wasn’t so kind to it in my review, a lot of my frustration with AC3: Lib came because I’m a huge Assassin’s Creed fan and I wanted it to be flawless. While it’s not flawless, it’s extremely impressive and it’s the closest thing we’ve ever had to a real Assassin’s Creed experience on the go. Aside from the stupid interactive functions, I think the majority of Assassin’s Creed fans are going to enjoy it at least in some form.
BlazBlue Continuum Shift EXTEND is by far the best fighting game currently available on the PlayStation Vita. Everything about it is incredible. The network play is terrific, the story modes are engaging and hilarious, and the action is fast and doesn’t slow down at all. In fact, I’d argue that BlazBlue CS-E is actually nicer looking on the Vita than it is on the bigger systems. When someone asks how the graphics look for Vita games, BlazBlue has been my go to show-off game since the day I got it. Trust me when I tell you, if you’re a fan of fighters BlazBlue Continuum Shift EXTEND is worth every single penny you can throw at it.
And, my pick for the game you absolutely MUST get on your PS Vita:
Without question, PlayStation AllStars Battle Royale was made for the PlayStation Vita. Sure, it’s available on the PS3 but there’s no doubt in my mind that this game was meant for people to beat each others asses over Wifi. I was extremely skeptical because I really disliked the beta that was out earlier this year but once I played the full game, I was absolutely hooked. It’s just so damn good. You need it in your life.
Writer’s Note: Titles such as Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Hot Shots Golf, LittleBigPlanet, Gravity Rush, Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, and several others are all quite good but by this point if you’re interested in those titles you’re already looking to pick them up and you don’t need my recommendation. Also, Uncharted, Wipeout, Gravity Rush, and Mutant Blobs Attack are all currently free for PS+ subscribers.