Sometimes, you play a game and just don’t have much to say about it other than “Graphics: good, battles: bad” or some other type of brief impression. I’ve found that to be my experience with these eight PlayStation Vita games I played at the Tokyo Game Show. Some take up multiple slides, but here they are, some Vita impressions that just weren’t long enough to justify their own updates:
Check out the other
TGS updates right here, including a podcast we did after the show.
TGS Vita Games
I played a lot of Vita games at TGS; but some of them, I just don't have much to say. Here are short and sweet comments on each.
Chaos Rings: Prequel Trilogy
This was crap.
Chaos Rings started out on iPod, and its DNA shows in The Prequel Trilogy.
This game felt really thoughtless, like it could be played on autopilot. In exploring Yule Mountain, a Christmas-themed dungeon, there were sections where you could lay down bombs, but the only thing the bombs really did was trigger switches that removed blocks. That's neither a puzzle nor fun, but you can see how it's designed to
appear like those things.
There were pink crystals laid in the middle of paths that could be picked up. That's neither exploration nor fun, but you can see how it's designed to
appear like those things. Battles never seemed to provide any danger.
Tip of the hat to the creative monster design in the Christmas dungeon, though!
Phantasy Star Nova
Phantasy Star Nova proved that I need to play more Phantasy Star Online. I haven't played one of these since the GameCube days, after getting my start on Dreamcast. (Continued in next slide.)
Phantasy Star Nova (Preview Second Part)
Phantasy Star Nova, I discovered mid-demo that I could create platforms in the air, then use them to jump up and attack higher parts of the tall monster. That was pretty cool. The boss was a giant horse-like monster, and fighting it required cleaver use of my new powers.
I wish I could believe that this would come outside of Japan, but then, we're talking about Vita and Sega here.
Zodiac by Kojobo is also available on tablets, and I played both the tablet version and Vita version; I highly prefer Vita, because the tablet versions controls were terrible and the characters moved way too slowly. Even the producer couldn't make one of the characters attack on the tablet version. That should tell you something.
But on Vita, it wasn't bad. Visuals were nice and animations were smooth. The producers were quick to brag about Kazushige Nojima's involvement in the project; he wrote scenarios for some game called
Final Fantasy VII which is apparently a big deal in this genre.
It's got the name power and the visuals to make it worth keeping an eye on.
Legend of Heroes: Sen No Kiseki 2
This was a really nice visual update. I've dabbled in other
LoH xxx no Kiseki games, and this style made the menu-heavy battle system seem much more palatable. The demo was quick to point out how now you can ride a motorcycle, and riding it around was fun, but the maps seemed unnecessarily wide and a chore to cross without it.
This demo time was restricted to five minutes, when ten or fifteen is the norm, so I sadly didn't have a chance to dig down into the meat of the more challenging boss fight.
La-Mulana 2 is a Metroidvania-style game (for the younger readers out there: that means it's a 2D sidescrolling platformer). It played well enough, though something felt off about the jumping. Not enough mid-air control? Something. Game seemed decent, but I can't make a call too far either direction on this one.
La-Mulana 2 (Second Part)
La-Mulana 2 play area from a little further back.
Airship Q was described as a "sandbox action RPG." I had fun exploring the levels and manufacturing my own items out of materials and such. It might have just been the area I was in, but it did feel like -- in spite of the term "sandbox" -- there was a certain prescribed "right" way of doing things, however. Then again, I was only there for 15 minutes and there's always the chance that I missed something. (Continued in next slide.)
Airship Q (Second Part)
Airship Q was kinda fun, but doesn't quite look like what I expected, for a game that was funded with a$750,000 Kickstarter campaign.
God Eater: Rage Burst
A lot of people compared
Freedom Wars to the God Eater series, and the similarities are obvious when I played God Eater 2: Rage Burst. I found myself wishing for FW-style boss battles, though, because the large boss had no weakpoints and it felt like all I really was doing was hitting him over and over and over. , but destroying pieces of enemies in that game felt a lot more engaging. FW had problems
Shinobi Ashi, you're a Japanese salary man coming home late after your mandatory post-work drinking party.
(Continued in next slide.)
Shinobi Ashi (Second Part)
In the first minigame, you tap the buttons to the beat to quietly step through the halls without waking up your wife. In the second one I played, I had to catch falling items with good timing.