Ubisoft get their Vita on!
With the PlayStation Vita’s launch just over two weeks away, we were invited by the good folks at Ubisoft to get an early look at their day one line-up for Sony’s latest handheld. We accepted without hesitation, eager to get hands-on time with titles such as Rayman Origins, Lumines: Electric Symphony and Asphalt Injection. Interested? Of course you are. Read on to find out what we thought.
Rayman Origins on the PlayStation Vita is amazing. It’s a simple statement, but it’s also the truth. The visuals are flawless, colours literally pop off the Vita’s beautiful OLED screen. It looks just as stunning as its home console counterparts, the transition is incredibly seamless.
Whilst there isn’t much to report regarding Vita exclusive features from demo on show, Rayman Origins is a title you will get hours of fun out of. It can get a little challenging, but it never ever gets boring, which is sure to do wonders for its longevity. Levels are exactly the same as the console versions, so if you’ve played this on the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, there’s nothing really new here.
Sadly, co-op play isn’t present, which takes away an incredibly fun and social part of the game. That slight disappointment aside, just like the console versions, Rayman Origins on the Vita is a magnificent bundle of platforming goodness.
Racing games come in all different shapes and sizes, often making it hard for them to stand out from the pack. However, Asphalt Injection might manage to accomplish exactly that, thanks to its range of tracks, cars and modes.
Modes are varied, with focus placed on taking out other drivers, your ability to drift and much more. It’s a breath of fresh air, as many racing games often have the same ideas, not focusing enough original content. Visually, the game isn’t up to PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 standards, but still happens to be one of the best looking Vita launch titles.
The demo on show only included two playable courses, but expect the full game to contain many more. Tracks promise to be a lot of fun, with each one having several secret routes you’re sure to discover on repeat visits. Asphalt Injection also has a selection of music that goes very well with each race track. The soundtrack is gritty, raw and loud, complimenting the game’s style perfectly, as it steers away from traditional route and encourages causing general havoc whilst you race. You’re rewarded with points for performing actions such as near misses with oncoming traffic, jumps and destroying public property.
A big part of Asphalt Injection is the bar at the top of the screen that when full to the brim with points allows you to enter Adrenaline Mode. When in this mode, anything you touch is destroyed and you’ll receive a considerable speed boost too. Even when the bar isn’t completely full you can use what you have to give yourself a smaller speed boost which can be very useful. If the demo is representative of the full game, then Asphalt Injection has the potential to be the racing game of choice when the Vita launches on February 22nd.
Dungeon Hunter Alliance
By far the least impressive game on show, Dungeon Hunter Alliance failed to make use of the PlayStation Vita’s power by displaying poor visuals and taking forever to load. Granted the demo was based on pre-release code, but it felt more like a Nintendo DS title more than anything else.
Choosing to show you the action via an overhead camera, backdrops and characters lacked any sort of detail. Cutscenes, or the lack of them, were a major disappointment too. However, story was an area that wasn’t shown off too much, so here’s hoping that particular aspect of the game can be redeemed in the full release.
Dungeon Hunter’s attacking set up was a bright spark in an otherwise unspectacular showing on the gameplay front. Each face button is assigned with a specific attack, which means you don’t need to manually switch between weapons when taking on enemies. That positive aside, Dungeon Hunter Alliance has much to do before now and release to be worthy of you hard earned cash.
Lumines: Electric Symphony
What do you get when you mix Tetris with electro music? Lumines: Electric Symphony, that’s what. Create squares out of red dots that fall from the top of the screen to score points, and break down the build up of blocks. Its a simple concept that, with the addition of the electro music, has the ability that creep into your brain and keep you addicted.
It’s overall depth remains to be seen, but 34 tracks means you’ll have plenty of musical variety to aid your Lumines addiction. There are some big names on the track list too, such as The Chemical Brothers, Mark Ronson & The Business and Goldfrapp. It’s a title that has the ability to keep you hooked and bemused at the same time, which makes Lumines: Electric Symphony an interesting proposition to say the least. If you’re a fan of the original, you might want to add it to your Vita launch wish list.
Michael Jackson: The Experience
Michael Jackson: The Experience is a game with enormous appeal. No one is bigger than Michael Jackson, and for that reason alone this game will get sell a few copies. You match up on-screen touch gestures to make the virtual representation of Michael Jackson dance, but that’s about it. No, really.
Before getting into the actual gameplay, beautiful menu screens pop up, guiding you through King of Pop’s illustrious career. However, once the gameplay begins, disappointment strikes. On hard mode the gestures take up most of the screen, distracting you from actually playing the game and earning points. The track list is packed with hits though, and the game is somewhat fun to play on a lower difficulty setting. Hardcore fans will get some fun out it and the touch screen is utilised well, but it’s hard to imagine many people picking Michael Jackson: The Experience on launch with their shiny new Vita.
All the titles mentioned in this preview are due to be released alongside the PlayStation Vita on February 22nd.