It’s that time of year again! Time to dig out old consoles, classic previous games and hope to find those little gems that you just didn’t originally get around to. With the Vita still selling for around £80-90 second hand and the PlayStationTv for £50 (which can play most Vita titles) it’s still a great time to get into the system! I’m sure you’ll spot a few titles missing from this list but these are just ones I can personally wholeheartedly recommend from experience. Yes I also know the originally exclusive Gravity Rush is missing but I’d recommend you play the PS4 port as it’s vastly superior. Still I would say it’s always worth having a go at Tearaway just to remember the chance you could have had of a free Vita…
Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc & Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair
I’ve already covered at length how amazing the Danganronpa series is before, I still feel that the Vita is just a perfect system for the games. That’s not to say the PS4 port is anything to sniff at (easily worth a high score) just that the Vita is the perfect little system for all the mechanics especially given the 2nd game was built originally for it.
The Ports that put the P in Portable
Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention, Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited
Some games just fit nicer in portable versions than they ever did on consoles. Persona 4 Golden is a perfect example of this as is Persona 3 Portable and the only reason they’ve not made the list is because Persona 3 Portable was for the PSP and I found the Persona 4: The Animation series a better retelling of the main story so feel free to tweet me how wrong I am. Regardless Disgaea is just delicious on portable consoles. Its the ultimate pick up and play game for when you’re commuting or making a cup of coffee, or letting your rabbits run around in the garden or waiting for a PS4 game to load. You can level up your squad, save, turn off and then come back later to finish and tinker some more. Given how many hours I’ve played 1 & 2 I found it strange how little I’ve played of Disgaea 3 on the PS3 but then I check the Vita and how many hours I’ve sunk into the Vita version and it makes sense. I can see why people rate the switch port of Disgaea 5 so much and it’s definitely on a future list. The series was just born to be played on the move. Which is fairly odd when the games core is essentially chess with more options.
The Strangest of Creatures
Dragon’s Crown & Everybody’s Golf
Dragon’s Crown is such an unreal beast of a game. If it had been designed and published by anyone else it would have been long forgotten by now and simply have a cult following (I’m looking at you Guardian Heroes). Strange ridiculously extreme as the art style is to warrant extra attention the gameplay itself is fantastic, deep and complex for a brawler. It’s just the sort of game you’d never normally get into but the story telling, combat and almost Pokemon-like NPC system is strangely well made. It’s a similar case with Everybody’s Golf, a game I would never normally pay good money for. Yet I’ve putted hours and hours into. Golf is always the kind of game Nintendo makes fun and EA sucks the fun out of and spits away as DLC. Everybody’s Golf is to Mario Golf what Sonic All-Stars Racing is to Mario Kart. Similar, different and vivid enough to have you swearing at your Vita but still going back for more. It’s just so surreal to be suckered into such a generic looking golf game that it makes the PS4 new game that more appealing.
The Grind that’s real Good
Demon Gaze & Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 1
God I hate these games art designs. This is the kind of moe-style that makes me just cringe and want to pretend never existed in the world, One of the reasons Criminal Girls could be the Magnum Opus of Jrpgs and I’d never play it. Demon Gaze is pretty terrible with some of its artwork and NPCs but Hyperdimension really does take the cheesecake then mush it into the screen. All of that being said… I have every trophy for Neptunia Re;Birth 1 and I’m working on getting my team at a higher level in Demon Gaze. Not due to the story or terrible design choices in art style but the gameplay is perfect for on the go in just such a simple way. The same simple grind that you found with the original PS2 JRPGs of yonder where you’d spend a 20mins killing the same monster to get enough items to craft a decent weapon and level up that attack stat just a bit more and…wait is that my stop?!
The Games you Expect to not be fussed about but are better than expected and Header that’s too long
Final Fantasy X HD & The Last Blade 2
You’ll notice I did you a favour and omitted X-2. It’s ok so did Square-Enix as if you get FFXHD/FFX-2HD on Vita you don’t get X-2 on the cart, its DLC you download onto that tiny memory card and no SONY I WILL NEVER FORGIVE YOU FOR MAKING THEM PROPRIETARY DAMN YOU! That being said I booted up Final Fantasy X HD on the Vita expecting to play a few hours and be done, what I got was a game I couldn’t put down. I remember X originally on the PS2 being a great game but a far cry from the best. It seems my memories have been tainted by blitzball grinding. The combat, story and exploration are brilliant and fit nicely onto the Vita. The same with The Last Blade 2, it’s a port of an SNK classic that really doesn’t deserve to… who am I kidding? It’s just brilliant. The port functions well and it’s got that fluid combat that when it gets going is just great. I’d recommend Streetfighter X Tekken but sadly the gem system ruins it and The Last Blade 2 is simple fun that feels like the perfect throw back to a better time. I would obviously say King Of Fighters 98 but you deal with what you have.
The Unique Brilliance
Freedom Wars & Grand Kingdom
Not much to say about these other than stop reading and go check them out.
Freedom Wars would be amazing on the PS4 and the ports of God Burst Eater (with a similar engine style) to the PS4 put newfound confidence in me that one day we will see a port. Although part of me would kill for a grand remastering akin to Monster Hunter World, I’d just love to see more but given it’s a SCE game I shant be holding my breath. Still we got Knack 2!……… On a more positive note then, Grand Kingdom’s Vita outing is brilliant and matches the PS4 game already out (it was on PSN plus last month to!) If you missed it then you missed a fantastic game that slipped under a lot of radars on launch. Highly recommend you look out for these!
The little ports that are too good to put down and WHY AM I STILL PLAYING THEM!?
Luftrausers & Spelunky
Just one more game, just one more game, just one more game, just… oh it’s dark! Luftrausers was my first experience of a Vita title that played much better on the system than any other platform. I’d never gotten into it on the consoles and the PC version just didn’t feel right but on the Vita it was just perfect. It was the same experience with Spelunky. A video game I’d normally not have picked up was one I could never put down. It taught me how to play more rogue-likes and I still pop it on every now and I think we can all agree that Spelunky2 is going to win E3 this year.
Well assuming Untitled Goose Game doesn’t get a launch trailer… Come on HouseHouse make it happen!