5 – The Swapper
My initial interaction with The Swapper lead me to describe it as one of the “freshest, most atmospheric games in years”, and I stand by that. Its complex narrative has you deciphering the events that lead you to become stranded within a derelict space station. Using the Swapper Gun you’ll create multiple clones of yourself, which you can assume control of , and solve pattern-based puzzles. Impressively, The Swapper‘s gloomy and atmospheric space station was hand crafted by developer Facepalm Games, and is a joy to explore.
4 – Hotline Miami
Hyper-violent slash ’em up, Hotline Miami became an instant hit when released on PC in 2012, so, naturally, Vita owners became weak at the knees when it was announced for the system. Abstraction Games, video game porters extrardinaire, handled the conversion beautifully, delivering a title that is every bit as fun as its PC counterpart. There is no let up in difficulty either, meaning you will die, a lot. Luckily, the action is so quick fire that you will never have the time to rage quit.
3 – Steamworld Dig
Not being a 3DS owner, I found myself out of luck when Steamworld Dig first launched. This critically acclaimed game was lauded by critics as being a concentrated dose of pure gaming fun, and with good reason, too! There’s no let up in the action, as you dig deeper and deeper into a mysterious mine left to you by your robot relative. There’s upgrades aplenty, too, equipping you with powerful upgrades that allow you to progress through the mine, to find exactly what is living below you. I make no exaggerations when I say that Steamworld Dig is one of the greatest metroidvania games of all time. Expect the sequel to drop on Vita this year!
2 – Velocity Ultra / 2X
Futurlab found considerable success on Playstation Vita with both Velocity Ultra and Velocity 2X. Both games take the shoot ’em up genre and flip it on its head. Not only do you need to kill alien ships, but you’ll also have to figure the best path through the level using your teleporting spaceship, and all at warp speed! Success relies on your ability to keep your cool, and knowing when and where to teleport. 2X ramps up the speed even further, and adds high-octane platforming sections into the mix. Shoot ’em up fans should expect more from the genre and Futurlab delivered.
1 – Spelunky
Spelunky is another one of those games that got its start on Xbox 360, but later went on to find success on a variety of consoles. The Playstation Vita port is fully-featured, meaning you can expect the same experience as you would get on PC and consoles. The game’s main strength is its unpredictable procedural level generation, meaning you never know what is coming next. As you get further into the cave you’ll encounter traps, thieving monkeys, aliens, and a tetchy, shotgun-toting shopkeeper that, for your own health, you’d best not steal from.. The game’s procedural generation means that many gamers have spent literally hundreds of hours exploring and dying, making it one of the best “bang for buck” titles available on Vita, and my absolute favourite!
Despite fears that Playstation Vita is dying a slow death, there is much evidence to the contrary. The preceding list is evidence that the it is home to some brilliant entertainment, but if you’re still not convinced the people over at Neogaf just published a comprehensive list of Vita games to expect this year. Long may the Playstation Vita reign supreme as king of the handhelds!