Sony’s Playstation Vita hits the market on February 22, replacing the veteran PSP and offering a host of new games ranging from treasure hunts in the jungle to futuristic car races and crazy golf.
Twenty new games will be available for the Vita, including such well-known titles as a new episode of the “Uncharted” series and an offshoot of the futuristic racing series “Wipeout.”
The fourth episode in the “Uncharted” series is called “Golden Abyss” and follows Nathan Drake, a descendant of English adventurer Sir Francis Drake, as he goes to the jungles of Central America on the trail of the Spanish conquistadors of four hundred years ago. There he finds the remains of lost civilisations and tangles with lots of pirates, mercenaries and assorted other villains. The action takes place before the other episodes in the series and so can be followed even by beginners.
Compared with other episodes in the series the gameplay has hardly changed: Drake climbs, fights and shoots his way through a range of elaborate sequences. But the new features of the Vita are utilised so Drake’s actions can be performed using the touchscreen. During balancing acts at dizzying heights the motion sensors come into play. “Uncharted: Golden Abyss” will cost around 50 euros (69 dollars).
Fast-paced racing action awaits players of “Wipeout 2048.” For its Vita premiere the game comes with a new control: the hover cars can be completely controlled by the motion sensors. Speed is controlled using the Vita’s touchpad and weapons are fired using voice commands. If players don’t want to use the new controls they can revert to a joystick and buttons. Online multi-player races are also possible. The game costs around 40 euros.
Also available for the Vita will be “ModNation Racers: Road Trip.” This game concentrates on fun, colourful graphics and a feature already available on the Playstation 3 version of the game: a track editor. This allows players to design their own racing tracks and cars which can be uploaded and exchanged in the online players’ community. Playstation 3 routes also will work on the Vita so there is plenty of material already available.
Thanks to integrated Facebook and Twitter functions, best times, screenshots and other content can be exchanged with friends. However, multiplayers games are not possible with “ModNation Racers: Road Trip.” The game retails for around 40 euros.
If after the stress of the race-track a player seeks a relaxing time on the greens, “Everybody’s Golf” is the best bet. However, one shouldn’t expect a sober and realistic golf simulation game – after various power-ups players can hit shots that have the impact of a meteorite.
That said, the game does offer everything a golfer would know and expect: various courses, a range of golf clubs, changing weather conditions and challenging opponents. With a movement of the handheld console players can see around the course and the touchpad helps with navigation around the greens. In addition to single player mode, multiplayer mode is available online. “Everybody’s Golf” costs 40 euros and comes like “Uncharted,” “Wipeout” and “ModNation Racers” from Sony Computer Entertainment.
In addition to Sony, other companies are bringing out games in time for the launch of the Vita. One such game is “Shinobido 2 – Revenge of Zen” from Namco Bandai. Set in feudal Japan, the protagonist is a ninja caught in the middle of a bloody civil war. The game will cost about 50 euros.