PS Vita End of 2013 Preview
All right, so maybe you need some convincing when it comes to the Vita and its library of new releases. That is completely understandable, since Sony’s handheld has laid pretty much silent since its 2012 release. One could argue that there hasn’t been enough noteworthy games or publishers bringing content to the little guy, but that all seems to be changing before this holiday season. If this short list of upcoming releases is any indication, the Vita might be getting its much-needed second wind.
Batman Arkham Origins Black Gate (October 25 NA + EU)
I think we can finally say that Batman has been done justice in video game form through the Arkham series. While this handheld version of the series won’t be of the same open world scale that its console brethren are, it sounds like it will be pulling from the Metroidvania playbook by implementing a large environment that you’ll need to find items and skills to traverse. The combat looks just as stylized and satisfying as it was in past iterations of the series, and it looks fantastic to boot.
Tearaway (November 22 NA + EU)
The aesthetics in this game may look slightly familiar to you, and that’s because this charming little 3D adventure-platformer is coming from LittleBigPlanet developer Media Molecule. Utilizing all of the Vita’s functionality – dual touch pads, cameras, and built in microphone — you’ll be helping main character iota through the beautifully designed papercraft inspired world. The gameplay in the trailer is reminiscent of other 3D adventure games such as Banjo Kazooie and Mario 64, with a heavy emphasis on exploration and using all of your available skills to solve puzzles.
Killzone: Mercenary (September 10 NA, September 4 EU)
If you’re adamant about having a good looking game as a benchmark for any platform you play, then Killzone: Mercenary will scratch that itch for you on the Vita. Easily one of the best looking games coming to Vita, this FPS will be using the same engine that powered its big brother Killzone 3 on the PS3. With a reported 8-10 hour long campaign mode, and a slew of multiplayer options, it sounds like there will be plenty of bang for your buck in this release.
Lego Marvel Superheroes (October 18)
Yes, the Lego series of games is a bit of a guilty pleasure, but you can’t help but love seeing your favorite fandom get the brick treatment. Traditionally, these games haven’t been the most challenging affair, but they are a ton of fun, especially when playing with friends. Lego Marvel Superheroes seems to be continuing that trend of gameplay, alternating between action and puzzle elements. The cast of playable characters at this point tops out at a whopping 57, including favorites from the X-men, Fantastic Four, and Spider Man universes among others. I don’t know if I have to go any further, but just look at the mini-fig version of Wolverine. LOOK AT HIM!
Final Fantasy X and X-2 HD (Late 2013)
Okay…maybe it’s not new, but Final Fantasy X is often rated as one of the best in the series, and X-2 doesn’t get the attention that it should. Square Enix will be releasing HD versions of both games to celebrate their 10-year anniversary, and if the side-by-side footage is any indication, they will look fantastic on the Vita screen. Unfortunately due to file size they will be released separately, but I think that might be advantageous for those that may only want one or the other. No official release date has been set, but Square Enix keep insisting these remakes will be out by year’s end.
Ys: Memories of Celceta (November 5 NA)
This action-RPG was released in Japan over a year ago to much acclaim. Publisher XSEED (The Last Story, Pandora’s Tower) is guessing that it might garner just as much success elsewhere and will be localizing it for release later this year. If you’re unfamiliar with the Ys series (pronounced ‘eees’ it rhymes with ‘fleece’), it has quite a long history, dating back to 1987 and is second only to Final Fantasy as the largest Japanese roleplaying series with 14 game releases. With bright fantasy aesthetics and a deep combat and party system, Ys Memories of Celceta will work great on the Vita.
So there you have it. With such a wide variety of releases coming very soon there is a little something for everybody. If there isn’t something on this short-list that didn’t catch your attention? Perhaps the huge array of indie offerings will catch your fancy. Check back in a couple of days for a look at the upcoming indie titles!