I'm often seen as the outcast in my group. Not because I share overwhelmingly different viewpoints from my friends, not because I don't like any of their shows, not even because I don't see the entertainment value Lord of the Rings. I just don't get it, sorry. No, the reason I'm outcast is because my predominant handheld is the Playstation Vita.
Now, full disclosure, I did have a brief, passionate relationship with Nintendo's 3DS but that was a love that burned bright and flamed out fast. I enjoyed Super Mario 3D Land, Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance and Fire Emblem: Awakening. But alas I felt disasified with the relationship and decided to walk out. This is when the Vita caught my eye. In my high school years I was an avid lover of my Darth Vader PSP. Killzone: Liberation, Pursuit Force, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep and MGS: Portable Ops were how I spent my lunches. I've always been a Sony fan and owned every system since the PS1, or PSX, whatever you want to call it.
So last year, during Black Friday I decided to pick up my PS Vita with a copy of Persona 4: Golden. Additionally, Playstation Plus had Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Gravity Rush and Wipeout 2048 up for free so, obviously, I decided to download them. I booted up Uncharted and I was stunned. Here, in my hand, was game that fully and faithfully recreated the experience of the console series I knew and loved. Not just graphically but gameplay wise this was through and through an Uncharted game.
Seriously, look how good this looks.
I then booted up Gravity Rush and then I was even more stunned. This was a game that boasted intersting art direction, compelling world building and an innovative gameplay hook. It was at the moment the Vita got it's hooks into me and they haven't been out since.
So let's talk about games. Anyone who says the Vita doesn't have games, clearly doesn't have a Vita. My first day having I already had four games worth playing. Persona 4: Golden alone will take up hours and hours of your time. Aside from what I've already mentioned there's Freedom Wars, an addicting hunter style game with a sci-fi anime aesthetic and an actual sense of motivation. Killzone: Mercenary, a full fledged FPS with a solid single and multiplayer suite. Muramasa Rebirth, a sidescroller with addicting gameplay and a beautiful art style. Daganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc and Goodbye Despair, a series of visual novels with a killer hook and style to spare. If that's not enough there's the huge library of PSP and PS1 games at your disposal.
Freedom Wars, a game released this fall that actually worked.
In addition to those, there's also the Vita's burgeoning status as a portable PC. All the great indie's that initially are released to Steam and PC are now coming to Vita. With titles such as The Binding of Isaac, Rogue Legacy, Hotline Miami and Terraria all having made their way to the Vita. Simply put, Vita got game.
Rogue Legacy, Rogue-lite on the go.
Additional, it's the exact same price as a 3DS XL. The thing is value priced! The tech in this thing? Two touchscreens, excellent graphical capabilities, a web browser, solid multiplayer infrastructure, netflix capability and remote play with PS4. It does so much for so little.
Looking at the Vita, it draws a lot of parallels with the Xbox One and even it's direct competition the 3DS. Both were overpriced at launch, had a weak lineup of games and the public was generally disinterested. After a price drop and a surge of games, the 3DS and Xbox One rebounded. The 3DS becoming the handheld of choice for many gamers and the Xbox One finally beating PS4 in sales last month. The narrative hasn't been the same for the Vita. Gamers still seem indifferent and that's unfortunate because it's truly a system worth having.
So this winter, I implore you. If you have get some gift cards this holiday or a little ChristmaHanukawanzaa cash then think about picking one up. It's about time this system gets some love.