Vita Hill Social Club, NYC
Located at 154 Stanton Street in NYC, a small corner space has been transformed into the Vita Hill Social Club from now until the end of February, when the Vita releases. Over a dozen PlayStation Vitas are set up to preview a handful of the hottest US launch titles.
Uncharted – I skipped playing Uncharted. The game doesn’t hold the same allure for me as it seems to for most others. Good graphics on a handheld? Cool. Twin-sticks make it play like the PS3 iterations? Fine. Fondling the back touchpad to climb a rope? I’ll pass. It does look good, and I’m sure it’s fun to play with a regular control scheme, but I wasn’t in the mood for a hybrid scheme.
Little Deviants – I’ve been meaning to try Little Deviants since I first saw it demoed at the Vita reveal, and I’m happy to report that my interest was well-founded. This is the title that will appeal to the widest audience, I think. Anyone who has been gaming casually on his iDevice for the last few years will feel right at home with Little Deviants. I can’t say for sure that it’ll be the Vita’s Angry Birds because, well, I don’t think anyone could have predicted that phenomenon. I can say, though, that it’s a lot of fun, works just the way it’s supposed to, and has the potential to be a game that everyone at least tries (I played the demo, with a title screen option to “Connect to PSN to buy the full version”). Highly recommended.
Reality Fighters – I had forgotten that this title even existed, to be honest. When I had initially heard of it, the idea (an augmented reality fighting game with face-mapping features) didn’t thrill me. However, Reality Fighters was one of the hits at Vita Hill. It was a breeze to create my character; all I had to do was take a picture of me! Immediately afterward, I picked from a list of about a dozen different fighting styles. There are a lot of other ways to edit/dress up your character, but I was eager to see what the Ballet fighting style looked like in the arena. First, to step in the arena! You see, in Reality Fighters, you can choose where in the world you’d like to watch your battle take place. Since there was a table in front of me, I opted to place my characters on top of it. Moving the Vita results in moving the in-game camera. Thus, if the fighters are beginning to move off of the screen to the left, you have to track them by moving your handheld system. It’s an intriguing effect, if nothing else. I played a few fights against the computer then challenged a PlayStation employee and we duked it out in Ad-Hoc multiplayer. The game also features Infrastructure multiplayer and a handful of single player modes. I don’t know how serious of a fighting game it will be, but it certainly is fun to play. Oh, and all of the animations look great; they really stood out to me.
WipEout 2048 – I poured a good amount of time into Wipeout HD, so I was looking forward to trying the game on a handheld device. It looks good, plays fast, and I even got to test out the cross-platform multiplayer feature. The only thing I wasn’t thrilled with was the loading times. When I booted up a single player event, it took a long while before I was actually racing. Still, 2048 will likely be the racing game to have for your PSVita. That is, unless you prefer to tinker with your tracks…
Mod Nation Racers: Road Trip – The track editor is incredibly intuitive. It doesn’t take long to construct a solid track, and all of the touch controls make modding an easy, enjoyable task. I’m not usually one to tinker, which is why I never delved into those facets of the PS3 MNR (or LBP, really), but I was delighted to discover what Road Trip had to offer. The loading times were drastically reduced compared to the PS3 version. There may not be Infrastructure multiplayer in Road Trip, but the rest of the package is probably well worth a buy regardless.
Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational – I hacked my way through a couple of holes, but Hot Shots didn’t keep my interest for too long. I wasn’t quite sure if I was supposed to use any touch controls or not, so I ended up tapping the screen and random buttons. This approach almost always led to that dreaded skull shot and a first class ticket to the nearest bunker. I used to love the series, and given more time and instruction I may very well enjoy this iteration. I’m not counting it out just yet.