So some people hate the idea of porting games from the PlayStation Network to the Vita. There’s even been some fantastic debates over the idea of sharing or porting games to handhelds being the detriment of handheld growth, and a significant roadblock to establishing its identity as a viable platform. But with Sony’s insistence that the PlayStation brand will be something that can be played anywhere you go, there’s some games I think not only deserve to be ported over to the Vita, but perhaps could even excel better on the handheld than on home consoles.
Of course, Sony’s PlayStation Now will presumably be adding Sony’s complete library to the list of games available to players on-the-go using the Now streaming service or the Remote Play feature, but not all of us have Wi-fi and certain games would benefit from having their own unique versions on Sony’s handheld.
It should also be noted that port support comes not just from Sony, but from the resources and time the developer needs to devote to a project as such. But here’s hoping that a little Wishlist can add the incentive to take these great PSN games and add them to the growing number of PS Vita titles that have been released on both home and handheld platforms, like Limbo, Guacamelee, Proteus, Knytt Underground, Lone Survivor and Stealth Inc.
What can be said about Number None and Jonathan Blow’s masterpiece that hasn’t been said before?
Taking familiar trappings from the Mario Bros. series but adding a dash of Prince of Persia mechanics to the mix, Braid is a game that not only offers fresh and polished puzzle-platformer gameplay, but also throws a twist on the damsel-in-distress trope uncovered in the game’s conclusion.
Segmented by various worlds and levels, and a story stitched together bit by bit by small narrative pieces, Braid is truly a treasure: not only as a testament to the power of indie developers, but a testament to the fact that the video game industry can still grow and expand in ways that graphics and supercomputing consoles can’t provide. It proves that creativity and heart can lead game design and gameplay, and platformers can be allowed to have a little emotion, and maybe even a message to deliver.
I can’t imagine how anyone could have missed this title already, but making it available on the PS Vita would be a great place for gamers new to the game to be introduced. Not only is the gameplay perfect for bite-sized on-the-go players, but the vivid, lush watercolor-like visual aesthetic would look as fantastic on the small screen as it does on the big screen.
For a game all about time manipulation, Jonathan Blow and Sony should waste no more time in porting this to the PS Vita and making it available for handheld gamers. If there’s anything Braid taught us, you can’t change the past, but you can certainly change the future.
Creepy. Dark. Mildly disturbing. These are words that come to mind when played the mind-bending light-and-shadow puzzle platformer Closure, creator by Eyebrow Interactive’s Tyler Glaiel, Chris Rhyne and Jon Schubbe.
With a psychological horror-inspired soundtrack that combines ambient sounds with a primal, native beat, Closure warps a players mind with its atmosphere even before players get to the truly challenging but addictive puzzles.
With an array of levels and stages available to play, Closure has just the right balance of portability, with puzzles that may take two minutes — or ten — to solve, depending on a player’s deductive and problem-solving abilities.
Originally Closure was created for Newgrounds.com as a Flash game, and then later ported over to the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live, PC, Mac and Linux. So it’d be awesome to see Closure (maybe even with more levels), make its way onto Sony’s handheld sometime soon.
Ubisoft Montpellier’s god-game From Dust is just a little different from other titles of its type. Much like it’s spiritual predecessor Populous, in Eric Chahi, Laurent Genefort and Tom Salta’s From Dust you’re not exactly God so much as a disembodied spirit that can control the elements, summoned by a nomadic tribe through song to help deliver them into a land that will support them. And through this journey, you’ll be gathering power and abilities to shape the land, sea and more in order to keep the tribe alive.
Godlike or not, this isn’t an easy process; shaping the elements of life is one thing, stopping the destructive forces of nature is another. The game throws a lot at its players: everything from erupting volcanoes to mile-high tsunamis to wildfires that will stop at nothing to wipe out the citizens of your traveling band. But the game is rewarding in its beautiful visuals, its tribal beat, its varied music, and the sheer magic of molding the Earth, which hasn’t been done as majestically as From Dust.
With the Vita’s touch screen interface, interaction can be much, much more precise and direct than in previous iterations, and playing on the Vita in short doses can be just what gamers need to appreciate the power, beauty and horror of Mother Earth.
Critically-acclaimed for both its expertly crafted platforming and its unique, visual style, developer Housemarque’s Outland was a fantastic game to play and a gorgeous one to watch.
Inspired by the open world structure of Super Metroid, the game gives the player the power to switch between Light and Dark energies, or Blue and Red, respectively. This power is not just for using platforms of either color, but destroying monsters of the opposite color and avoiding projectiles and other hazards.
With custom challenges, an entire story that can be played alone or cooperatively and time trials in the Arcade Mode, Outland is too much of a treat not to be enjoyed. And yet, the game has only been released to the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live, so while a little late, it’d be great to see this title make it to the PS Vita.
PAC-MAN CHAMPIONSHIP EDITION DX+
Everyone knows Pac-Man. And pretty much everyone loves Pac-Man.
It’s one of the oldest games in the industry, one of the most-beloved franchises, and Namco Bandai Games’ most recent Pac-Man Championship Edition DX+ is one of the most fun additions to the series.
Combining classic gameplay with new elements like bombs, new visuals, eating ghosts in chains with “ghost combos” and slow motion to help players evade close calls with enemies, Championship Edition is as much a celebration of the franchise as it is its successor.
The game has been on consoles, computer platforms and mobile devices; so why not handhelds? With unlockable maze skins based on years of Pac-history, perhaps new unlockables and winning gameplay can succeed just as much on the PS Vita as it has pretty much everywhere else.
POKER NIGHT 2
There’s something about playing high stakes card games that is as addictive and electrifying as…well, other things people like to do. Just ask James Bond. It’s dangerous, it’s risky, it’s part luck and part skill, and knowing who’s B.S.ing you while you’re B.S.ing them.
Telltale Game’s Poker Night 2 includes all of this while also gathering together an all-star cast, including Claptrap from Gearbox’s Borderlands series, Brock Samson from Adult Swim’s Venture Bros. television series, the Army of Darkness movie series’ Ash Williams, Valve’s Portal antagonist GLaDOS, and Sam (with Max in the background) from the Sam & Max video game series by Telltale (based on the comic book series by Steve Purcell). You the player, are in the fifth seat (GLaDOS is the dealer), rubbing elbows and trading stories and quips with these various stars, trying to discern their banter from truth when taking chances with your money.
While winning or losing up to $20,000 at a time, players can also earn rewards through special goals achieved, including “Bounty Unlocks” for Poker Night 2 and a variety of special unlocks in other games depending on the player’s gaming platform. On the Vita, new rewards could be created, like perhaps unlockables based on Telltale’s other titles or related Vita games.
Playing Poker Night 2 on-the-go would be easy, with individual hands played during short trips or entire tournaments played on longer commutes. With Poker having took the world by storm within the last ten years, it’s about time we get more quality and fun Poker games on consoles. Sony’s handheld would be a great place to continue the trend and feed our burgeoning gambling addictions in a safe, comical way.
America loves blue collared badasses. The gaming industry loves gravity games. Together, you have Recoil Games’ Rochard, a fun action puzzle-platformer that follows the eponymous protagonist John Rochard as he tries to stop an evil space corporation and uncover an ancient mystery.
Along with his teammates Skyler and Zander, players guide Rochard through a wide variety of puzzles that make use of his G-Lifter, a mining tool that nullifies gravity to lift heavy items, stage-wide gravity manipulation, matter-blocking laser force fields and more, while evading enemies and defective robots.
Rochard is a narrative-driven story, but one that doesn’t require a textbook-size guide to follow along or one that is full of confusing plot twists. With that in mind, it can easily be enjoyed in little doses as players explore various stages and have fun experimenting with their tools. The game has been out on the PS3 and all computer platforms, so it’s about time the game made its way to Sony’s handheld, too.
The game industry is full of games about invaders from space trying to take over the world, experiment on us, and eradicate humanity. But what if we were the bad guys?
Trapdoor’s Warp is a humorous blend of the action, puzzle and stealth genres, putting players into the shoes of a little alien named Zero who’s been captured by a sinister group of scientists and soldiers. After his escape early in the game, he regains or acquires special abilities that all tie into his ability to teleport. Players use sound and sight to trick or lure enemies to or away from them, and use stealth and “warping” to either evade enemies or…get rid of them.
With tons of secret unlockables and logic puzzles to solve, Warp is a fantastic title to play on long trips, inviting players to explore its world as they wish while experimenting with their powers on the people that experimented on them.
Before Monster Hunter, Soul Sacrifice and the upcoming Toukiden and Freedom Wars sought to bring players together as a team against relentless enemies and unstoppable bosses, good ol’ classic arcades were doing it by the dozen. And many of those classics have graced the PlayStation Network (for better or worse) and could bring the same mindless brawling beat-em-up action we all love to Sony’s handheld.
With re-releases or updates from franchises like Double Dragon, Dungeons & Dragons, Final Fight and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and X-Men, there are a variety of games that could bring that special nostalgic feeling to the handheld.
PSP titles, and PS ONE and PS2 CLASSICS
The first two may confuse you, but the latter definitely won’t, so I’ll start with that: how many of us have been waiting to see the very same PS2 classics that have been released so far on the PSN — including Capcom vs. SNK 2, Dark Cloud, Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly and Manhunt — on the PS Vita. There’s been reports that emulating PS2 games is incredibly difficult, so trying to do so on the PS Vita may be a Herculean task. Still, if anyone can make it happen, we believe you can Sony.
Now, many of you may be saying “There are already a wide variety of PS One Classics on the Vita!” Yes, but for some reason when PS One support was given, it wasn’t given to all titles under the PS One banner. Which was odd, considering that the Sony faithful waited months just to get these games (while we waited for more Vita-exclusive titles to come our way), and then we get it, but not all of it.
Case in point: Bloody Roar 2. Say what you will about the series as a whole, but the second installment in the franchise was a damn good fighting game, and one of the few from that era I was waiting to play while on-the-go. And yet, PS One support came…and it wasn’t supported. Patches and updates were later added…and still no support.
Here’s a better one: The Legend of Dragoon. Last I checked, this classic and much beloved RPG still can’t be played on the Vita, although it can be played on the PSP and PS3. When will this support come?
And then there’s the PSP titles, pretty much all of which can be played on the Vita. But what about all those games that haven’t been released digitally?
Take the Star Ocean series for example. While the first Star Ocean wasn’t originally released to North American shores, the sequel Star Ocean: The Second Story was (and was one of my first RPGs on the PlayStation, or ever). Later, the two were both remade, enhanced and re-released in the United States as Star Ocean: First Departure and Star Ocean: Second Evolution, respectively. And yet, neither of these games have been given digital releases.
This is the age of the download. The future of the gaming industry has been debated thousands of times due to the rise of digital sales. However it happens, between the publishers and Sony, we need these other classic gems released and made available for the PS Vita. There’s such a fantastic backlog of games that many may have missed, so it’s time to expose those titles to gamers.