Ah, the only one of the current-gen consoles I bought this year. Of course I bought a second 3DS too but if we’re talking new then the Vita is it. I held off buying a Vita for several valid reasons even fans of the system are vocal about:
- When it was released two years ago, the console sold for $250 (Wi-Fi version) and $300 (3G version). Nintendo cut the price of the 3DS from $250 to $170 ahead of the Vita’s release and gave those who bought a 3DS prior to August 15, 2011 10 free NES games and 10 free GBA games (the latter of which are not available on the eShop). The only difference between the Wi-Fi and 3G versions is the 3G version boasts an “always online everywhere” function while the Wi-Fi version does not. In case you’re wondering I have the Wi-Fi version of the Vita.
- The Memory Cards, not the libary itself is the main reason Vita sales have been so discouraging: Unlike with the PSP, there are no 3rd party Vita Memory Cards. until a few weeks ago, 32GB Memory Cards sold for $100 while the 4GB memory card sold for $35 (!). Even those with the money to spend are hard pressed justifying spending that much money for a console-exclusive memory card. More so given the small libary of games available.
- On that note: The Vita has a very small libary even though it’s been two years since the console was released. The 3DS was also released two years ago yet has three times as many games as the Vita in both retail and digital form. I have at least half of the 3DS games released since March 27, 2011 (the 3DS’s launch date and the same day I bought my Blue 3DS. I still have the receipt to prove it) so I can say that.
As much as Sony/Microsoft fans like to trash talk Nintendo, there’s no denying right now, Nintendo is the undisputed king of the handheld market. This despite the fact even I will admit the Vita is technically superior to the 3DS. For all the gimmicks the Wii and Wii U sells, the DS and 3DS are all about the games. As I’ve been saying since I created this blog, I buy consoles for consoles for specific games: I bought the PS3 for Tales of Graces f and Tales of Xillia. I bought my Xbox 360 for Tales of Vesperia, Fable 3 and Warriors Orochi 3. I bought my 3DS for Fire Emblem Awakening, Tales of the Abyss and Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies.
What did I buy the Vita for? Read on and find out:
Persona 4 Golden
This should come as no surprise. It’s arguably the best game on the Vita even though it’s a port. Persona 4 was previously released on the PS2 in 2008. Even though the Vita version was released in Novcmber last year it didn’t take off until this year. You’ve seen me talk highly this game and the Anime it spawned since I got it over the summer so you know where I stand when it comes to this game.
The Vita version adds an extra character (Marie, pictured above), an extra dungeon related to her and an extension of the True Ending if you max your social link with her before a certain point in the game. If you plan on getting a Vita in the near future, this is a must-have game.
Valhalla Knights 3
Ah, Valhalla Knights. The most absolutely most grindy franchise in the history of gaming. Having played ALL of them I can say that. The RNG (Random Number Generator) Gods forsook this series the moment it was put together. The third (or rather fourth) installment is no exception.
This just leads you to ask this question I bet: “If the game is so unforgivingly grindy, why is it one of your top choices?”
Call me crazy but this game has a certain nostalgia factor folks usually see in the newest Legend of Zelda title that comes out. It appeals to those welling to pull all-nighters to grind an area in the hopes that one item they’re looking for will drop. In an age where online play and DLC are becoming commonplace in RPGs, The VK series lacks both. The EXP and Gold output is low, item drops are scarce and enemies hit hard and fast from the beginning. I’ve had VK3 since it was released and I’m not even a third of the way through the game.
If you’re not into RPGs, this game is not for you. If you’re not until spending alot of time in the same area of a game, this game isn’t for you. If the idea of hacing to grind levels for hours at a time just to advance the bare-bones story, this game is not for you. To top it off the game has loading screens every time you leave a room though after the first two hours you barely notice them.
One thing this game DOES do an excellent job of doing is eating up your time. Once you get into it you’ll find a hard time putting it down. There’s also the reason VK3 has the Mature rating: The Foreplay Mechanics. You didn’t misread that. In order to get discounts on goods and services as well as gain new party members, you’ll need to woo some of the townsfolk by putting the moves on them. To top it off you’ll need to pay them for their time so…yeah. This mechanic is the reason the game has the Mature Rating even though it’s not necessary to enjoy the game.
Overall I give the game an 8/10. Nothing I consider a must-have can have a score below an 8 so…yeah. It also helps this is a handheld game: If it was released on the PS3 (because let’s face it Nintendo would NEVER allow this to be on the Wii or Wii U) I’d have scored it a 5/10.
2D Gaming ain’t dead. It’s just been redefining itself.
Released simultaneously on both the PS3 and the Vita, I first got wind of the game from a spot that aired on Toonami over the summer. Before you even think about laughing this game IS good. The story’s not important. All you need to know is there’s stuff to beat up. You can level multiple classes (6 to choose from) and have up to 3 party members AI or human join you on your treasure hunting.
In October, cross-platform play was enabled, allowing Vita and PS3 owners of the game to play with each other. Even though I have a PS3 I already have a copy of the game so…yeah.
And we’re done.
As I mentioned above, the Vita is lacking in terms of quality games two years in. The first quarter of 2014 isn’t looking very promising either: The only projected release that interests me is Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD, which is being released on both the PS3 and the Vita. I’ll stop short of saying I’ve got buyer’s remorse but I will say I’m glad I decided to not get the PS4, Xbox One and Wii U. Even so, the games I do have plus work will keep me occupied into the summer so…yeah.