Published on January 15th, 2012 | by G. Bargas, Managing Editor
CES 2012: The PS Vita Joins the Party
I don’t see how the PS Vita can fail. After the hands-on I’ve had with it, I’m already pretty impressed. Now, I wouldn’t go as far to say that I am a diehard Nintendo fan, but they are one of the companies that I have embraced over my gaming career. As a Nintendo 3DS owner/fan, the games that I’ve seen on the PS Vita, even without 3D, might put the Nintendo 3DS to shame.
If you have checked out any of our previous Consumer Electronic Show (CES) coverage, you would have noticed my surprise at the amount of gaming attire that dressed the show. Sony and their PlayStation camp definitely had one of the best showings on the floor and most of all they had –the Vita.
While there were a few PlayStation 3 games that caught my eye, it was the PS Vita that had me truly intrigued.
One of the best aspects of the game was the full use of the console. The game plays just like the console version, but it mixes in a more personable feel. The back and front touch pads come into play. These might not seem like huge highlights in a game, but puzzles in the opening level utilized the touch pad to push out Tetris-like blocks in order to gain access to the latter part of the level. Also, swiping and sliding interactive items left only hinted at what we can expect in puzzles down the road.
Gravity Rush was probably one of the best titles out of the group of games that my thumb-tips mashed. The game hosted a stylized cel-shaded look and wrapped itself in fluid combat. The controls were very centered and made good use of the dual sticks. The midair stops and the use of gravity in the gameplay gave it a unique look and feel. There were a few moments where resetting the camera became a chore, but it was a standout among the titles shown.
The story had a comic book style to it. During cutscenes, the comic panels could be observed by sliding your finger over the page. Tilting the console allows you to view different aspects of the ongoing story.
One thing that I immediately noticed was the fluid combat. Even though you were targeting enemies across the town square area in the demo, it was very easy to pull it off. Most times completing the gravity kick meant leaping from the side of a building you were stuck to. Even the ground combat was fluid and stylized. Swift roundhouse kicks and launching gravity jumps only hinted at the combat and storyline we can expect to see from the rest of the game.
Yet another title that showcases the abilities of the console. The game features various types of mini games. The name might not be familiar, but just glancing at the images you might notice it as being one of the most common in trailers pumping up for the February release.
In the mini-game where you must control a rolling ball, the back touch pad is used to push up the ground and roll. Hitting certain obstacles will deliver a point pay out and others, like the robots, will electrocute you. The other game played was similar to Face Raiders on the 3DS. The rear camera is moved around the room to shoot flying enemies out of the air with an anti-air cannon.
Resistance: Burning Skies
Those who have yet to lay hands on the portable console might be wondering how the dual analog sticks perform. While they are smaller in size than I expected, they were comfortable and responsive. Playing Resistance: Burning Skies was thoroughly a complete FPS experience.
The story of the game takes place between the events of Resistance and Resistance 2. It is during this time that the Chimera invaded the Eastern Seaboard and it is up to a standard citizen to become a full blown hero. Tom Riley, who is a New Jersey fire fighter and National Guardsman, picks up a gun and an axe in order to defend his country.
The game utilized a standard FPS control scheme, but mixed it up with PS Vita specific controls. Throwing grenades were done by touching the right upper hand corner and dragging your finger over to where you wanted the explosive to land. Below that button was the melee. It took a little while to get used to reaching up to do these, but I don’t see others having a problem in learning to do so. The game also implemented a new cover system in which you can tilt out of cover to fire by tilting the console. You can look for the title sometime around late spring, early summer as confirmed by the folks at the Sony booth.
Other notable games from the booth included PS Vita titleUnit 13, PlayStation 3 titles Warhawk, and my personal favorite, Twisted Metal. I spent more time playing this title that any others at the booth. It was already more polished than the version we saw from E3 2011 and felt like a true next-gen version of the game. Sweet Tooth was looking pretty BA dragging his chainsaw while he was cuttin’ up opponents and his sharp turns. It was fun to pit him in all of the vehicles.
One leg up that the PlayStation Vita will have over the Nintendo 3DS is the amount of launch titles. It proves that even if you have a console that has naked eye 3D, it might take a huge price cut and the release of your 1st party big names to save sales. The PS Vita looks like it has the titles and powerful console to host them on. Now the price range, which is a little steep in this current economic system, might cause a few people to camp out and wait for a price cut. But hey, what do I know, I’m just a gaming enthusiast and consumer.