Sony recently stated that the Vita will transition focus and become more indie based to suit player needs. According to them, research has shown that portable games are meant to be easy access. That means you jump in, play for a few minutes, leave, then come back later and continue. The Vita has a handy suspend feature to make this work well. What players don’t want are long cutscenes, loading screens, and a game that can’t be randomly paused and left alone.
This means less games like Uncharted: Golden Abyss and more games like Hot Line Miami. Supposedly the idea of “console like gameplay” that the Vita introduced is all wrong. With new generation of consoles, people want more, and handhelds can’t keep up. Yet, I have to disagree with that statement. There are plenty console games that can offer this same come-and-go experience without being toned down to arcadish cell phone style games. Here let’s list a few.
Need For Speed (Arcade Racing Titles)
EA actually released a Need For Speed title on Vita (Most Wanted) and I still play the game to this day on my Vita. It has the open world, racing, and is simply pure fun. You can also suspend the game at any moment and be perfectly fine. The races were not super long, maybe a few laps at a time, and it is constantly fun.
You can imagine my disappointment when not only did Vita owners not get the expansion DLC, they also didn’t receive a major patch and the next Need For Speed title at all. I believe it is lack of support like this that turns people away from these games. It isn’t the lack of graphics as I didn’t mind that one bit. It’s the fact nothing is given a chance. Here I am ready to pre-order and buy the next Need For Speed only on the Vita. Instead I ended up not buying it at all and just left Most Wanted in my Vita.....
If another Need For Speed released on Vita, I’d buy it in a heartbeat. Heck I’d take any arcade racing title at this point! I’m not asking for photo realistic Gran Turismo, just give me NFS or GRID with the same console level of gameplay.
NHL 2015 (Sports Games)
To me sports games are what the gold mine could be for Vita. Nothing allows more constant drop-in drop-out gameplay than sports titles. You can suspend a game, they can be either time consuming or quick, and they have more replayability than anything.
Yet here I am wishing for EA’s NHL series to hit Vita and it has passed up Vita for several years now! We got football and baseball, but yet have not seen hockey or basketball anywhere! Why can we not get a simple version or just a simple port from consoles with stripped down graphics? These games sell enough to support themselves, what is the problem in adding a simple Vita version to the mix for an added bang? Even cell phones get sports titles, but Vita? Nah!
Grand Theft Auto (Open World Titles)
This would be an example of simply holding back a bit for Vita. GTA sold really well on PSP, it even brought in a lot of buyers. It would do the same for Vita. Either a spin off series, or simply restricting the content a bit and porting “older” titles to Vita would be awesome. I have GTA 3 and others are coming to my cell phone..... why is the Vita not seeing anything better than that?
Open world games are the best because you can sit there and listen to a story if you insist, or you can go around and cause havok for an hour. Either way, they games are glorious and the Vita hardly has any.
Something New and Original
One example that is normally brought about with Vita is that the 3DS is doing fine. Oh the 3DS is the problem right? No. It’s the fact the 3DS has several titles that you can only get on that device. Pokemon being the biggest example, but other titles are currently exclusive too including games like Monster Hunter. Even cell phone companies battle it out to offer apps exclusively for a time period.
What does the Vita offer to rival games like this? The answer is basically a few titles that are “similar” to those games and well…. nothing. Vita got going in the right direction with games like Killzone: Mercenary and Uncharted, but never really developed a MUST HAVE title. Games like Soul Sacrifice are good, and Vita owners will buy it, but they are nothing that will make a non-Vita owner want to go out and spend $200 bucks to play. Vita needs a title like that, or a series of titles like that. Games that make you think “wow I could get all these great titles?” Yes, yes you can.
RPG Titles Do Great Things
My absolute favorite title on the Vita is actually a PS3 titles, Disgaea 3. We are getting more Disgaea titles soon, and I honestly can’t wait. RPG titles are perfect on Vita, especially in regions like NA because it isn’t consuming the TV. When you “get bored” of it you can glance off and do something else quickly, maybe play the PS4, and then come right back to the game to grind out another few hours.
I’m not entirely sure why this genre of games hasn’t been exploited to it’s fullest yet. We could use more turn based titles, and RPG titles, because the drop-in and drop-out nature is perfectly fine. They don’t require high end visuals to sell, and they offer a ton of play times which makes them perfect long term purchases. Disgaea isn’t the only RPG title I love to see on Vita. I’d love Jean D’ Arc to make a return, Final Fantasy, and many others. Heck why do we not see games like Metal Gear Acid anywhere?
Call of Duty (Proper Games In General)
Yeah we got a Call of Duty title on Vita, well at least that’s what it said on the box…. Yet we pop it in and turn it on to find out it’s a re-skinned version of the worst Resistance title ever released. It had a small player count, lackluster single player, and offered nothing what Call of Duty ever offers. This is where people are getting turned off from Vita.
You are talking about this amazing device that can play “console quality games” yet can’t port simplistic titles to it properly? Instead the device gets knock off versions that make cell phone knock offs look good? I don’t understand the concept really. You can strip down the graphic output easily and we will be fine, why rebuild an entire game and make it suck though? Why not intertwine it with console players? PC users can all play together with varied graphic output, why can’t Vita users just play a “ugly looking” game while on the go? Why can’t we play the SAME game on the Vita instead of some half baked spin off title that has nothing to do with it?
Granted Vita owners were getting mad at ports hitting the console, so why not bundle it up and just offer the experience? Let Vita users take a simplistic version of the game on the go, then come home and play the full version. Personally I don’t think the entire problem was the games being ported, it was how it was handled. For starters they were older games being ported to Vita. Then to top it off the ports sucked! They were either games like Call of Duty where it was a spin off title, or they were games full of glitches and hardly playable, looking at you Jak. If you ask me either market the game as a stand alone title with no relation to the console counterpart, and make it a full fleshed out title (Assassins Creed did this well), or give us the same exact game.
Overall it’s no wonder people look down upon the Vita because companies are not taking it seriously at all. If it fails, it hurts nobody. Nobody buys a Vita due to lack of games, and nobody makes games due to lack of sales. It’s a never ending cycle. When Sony does try to get games on Vita we get half baked attempts just to quickly shove something in their direction by third parties, or Sony is stranded and left to do it themselves. Then users see this terribly made game, decide not to buy it, and the publishers blame low Vita numbers instead of admitting the game sucked.
I was hoping Borderlands would change that as they were doing everything correctly with it. They intertwined the save with the PS3 version, they stripped the graphic output down a bit to support Vita, and they took the time to put the entire game on Vita. Then just before release they start doing a 360 by stripping features and delaying patches. There goes that hope.
Could Vita just be one of those things made by Sony that was left on the back burner? It sure feels like it, and at thise point it's starting to feel more and more like a PS4 periphal than anything. I love my Vita and I'm excited about games coming to it, but to say "console" titles are not coming and a bigger focus on indie support.... well that isn't too thrilling to me. Indie games are great, but as the main focus I'm not too sure about that. I hope I'm wrong though.