I am the proud owner of a new Playstation Vita Slim!
It was a couple of months ago when I was planning on a full replay of Jak & Daxter, when I learned that there was the whole trilogy available on this mysterious system called the Vita. I Googled around looking for information about it, thinking that maybe the Vita would be a welcome addition to my mobile gaming repetoire. It hadn’t sold well in the west, and as I already had plenty on my plate with the 3DS, it just wasn’t on my radar. Fast forward a few months, and I can say it absolutely was a great addition to the collection.
Courtesy of the amazing fiancée, the collection began with a new 2001 system, Waterfield Case which looks incredible, and Child of Light, an RPG I’ve never had the pleasure of playing on PC but one that plays great. From the family, Dragon’s Crown and Little Big Planet. I had also picked up Ys: Memories of Celceta, and as of yesterday, God of War: Collection. But more on those later!
I don’t normally do review articles but there are a few things I’d like touch upon, a lot of which might turn into comparisons with the 3dS. It’s no secret if you’ve read my blog before that I harbor an unhealthy obsession with my 3DS. However, lately the offerings have been a little lacking, and considering the fact that I need options for the various times that I play games, the Vita library is vast and unique enough to scratch certain itches that the 3DS simply can’t touch.
Right out of the box, this thing feels incredible. I’ve never held or seen a first-generation Vita, so I have nothing to compare it to, but this piece of hardware just feels like quality. The joysticks snappy, the shoulder buttons with just the right amount of feedback, and the touch screen very responsive. I didn’t expect to be let down by this of course, but having larger adult man hands can make a portable console slightly uncomfortable. See the original 3DS. I upgraded to the XL because of this very reason. With the Vita, it’s perfect right off the bat. It may very well be the slim version, but if anything, it could have been thicker and I wouldn’t have minded. It’s way skinnier than I thought it would be!
Now let’s talk software. Being sucked into the world of the 3DS for the past year has jaded me with how software on a device should work. This thing is fast. Not just fast, but Kenyen fast, especially if we’re pitting it against the 3DS. While I don’t intend on comparing these two very different systems, the fact that the store loads so fast and you can run different built-in apps simultaneously with almost no slowdown just feels great to me.
The Game Offerings
All I’ve ever heard in the oftentimes circle-jerky comments of /r/3ds is how the Vita “has no games.” I’ve dug into this for a while and while they do have a point in the sense that Japan has far more offerings than the west, there are still plenty of great games out on this system. Japanese games are just the vast majority. Atlus is a major player in the Vita world. There are tons of JRPGs and dungeon crawlers and anime toon characters with either overly vascular arms or huge racks.
But what the Vita seems to have is some major titles in realms that the 3DS has seemed to repel. Specifically, games that take place in 3D worlds, including 3D platformers. The dual-joysticks are so important here, that it really makes you furious that the New 3DS only came with a little nub instead of a proper right C-stick. While it works in most use cases, it’s still not quite there. With the Vita, you have the graphical capability and the controls to handle those large scale 3D worlds. Speaking of the graphical capability…
The Graphical Capability
Yeah, graphics don’t a good game make. But these graphics are razor-sharp and super impressive. The general opinion that I’ve gathered is that the original version of the Vita had much better picture, as it had a more expensive OLED screen. Sony went a cheaper and less energy-sucking route on the slim, and today we have a slightly darker version, or something of that nature. All that being said, however, and these graphics are crisp. It feels like I’m playing a AAA title on a PC, while sitting in bed or on the bus, which is just incredible.
Prior to the Vita, playing portable games always meant taking the graphical quality hit, but with the Vita I feel like I’m playing console quality games in portable form. Not to mention the battery life has surpassed anything I could have imagined.
I’ve got a handful of titles that I’ve been loving so far, and I’ll talk about them more in depth at a later time. In the meantime, I’ve just secured a 16GB memory card (not even going to consider ending this on a negative point…) and I’ve got some sweet demos downloading at the moment. I’ve found a good deal of 10-15 games that I’m looking to play on this system, purely physical, but for the games that do not have physical releases, I have the option now to play them.
Pretty exciting to expand my gaming horizons going forward! I’ll be doing write-ups shortly as I get into more games. I’m always interested in discovering new games to look into, so leave a comment below if you have any recommendations. Thanks for reading!