Jonah’s Gaming Blurb – There’s Still Life in Sony’s Playstation Vita

It seems ironic that vita is the Latin word for life. Less than four years after its expiration date, Sony announced that the console would no longer be supported by the games of the first volume. This announcement probably heralded the death knell for consoles in terms of market share. Production of the console officially ends in 2019, but the lack of first-party support has made the Vita an unprofitable system for many developers. Sony’s main focus is the PS4, and the Vita is now just an expensive peripheral for the PS4.

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How did my story with Vita begin?

In 2016, while on holiday in sunny South Wales, I saw a second-hand PS Vita for sale for £60. The system (which is still the only PS Vita system I own) was the PS1000 3G, with the original OLED screen. I broke the system knowing almost nothing about it, hoping to access a library of additional console software. When I got home, I was surprised to find that the system had come with no internal memory. The next day I managed to order a used 16GB Vita memory card. The cost of the card was almost half of what I paid for the system itself.

Soon I started downloading and playing recommendations from my online friends. Yvonne recommended Tearaway to me, so far my favorite Vita title. I also bought other games, like Little Big Planet and Capcom Classics Reloaded. In 2016, the Vita was still the closest thing to enjoying a game on a big budget home console.

Of course, nothing could replace my love for Nintendo systems, and my enthusiasm for it eventually waned. The lack of new content, the high price of memory cards, and the fact that my memory card was starting to have errors all played a part in my frustration with the system.

Enthusiasm Excitement

It’s 2021 and Sony is about to announce the closure of digital stores for PS3, PSP and PS Vita. I had no idea of the implications, so I started the Vita project. My goal was to download and save all the items I had purchased from the digital store using Sony’s content manager.  This process took a long time due to the number of items I had purchased in previous sales. My reboots include collections like the Sly, Jak and Daxter remasters, and the Ratchet and Clank trilogies. Other games include Final Fantasy X2 and World of Final Fantasy.

In total, I downloaded over 64 GB of software. Since then I’ve been playing classic 3D platformers like Sly Cooper and Thievius Raccoonus, as well as Tetris Ultimate. I was also surprised to see the PS Store include classics like Buster Bros.

Buster Brothers (Pang)

I have fond memories of Buster Bros, I played it with my dad when I was younger. I originally played the game, published by Ocean Software for the Commodore Amiga.

Buster Bros is available on Vita via Capcom Puzzle World.  The aim of the game is to rid famous places around the world of deadly inflatable balloons. Think War of the Worlds, but the Martians have been replaced by jumping assassins.

There are many weapons and collectibles to help you destroy your inflatable enemies. Every time you throw a ball, it splits and gets smaller. The orbs will eventually disappear, but be careful because the smaller they are, the more dangerous they are. Also watch out for little critters crawling around on the screen. It’s important to focus on every part of the screen if you want to survive the horrors of this attack. Trust me, play it and the dangers of the balls take it to a whole new level. If you like the original Buster Bros, you’ll find more Buster Bros titles to enjoy in Capcom’s puzzle collection.

Tetris Ultimate

You can’t go wrong with Tetris!  Well, you can, but the game itself is perfect. Line up the falling tetromino pieces and rotate them to form lines and score points! The more rows you complete, the higher your score, and the game takes you to the next stage. Each level gets harder, faster and, depending on your skill level, potentially overwhelming. But the more you play, the more you adapt and get used to playing a little faster each time. Your score will multiply quickly, your ability to make combos will increase, and you’ll start thinking 1 or 2 moves ahead.

Tetris Ultimate is just another version of Tetris. This version was developed by Ubisoft, and while it lacks the charm of earlier versions, it’s still Tetris. The game has several modes; it keeps track of players’ statistics and encourages them to play in the form of challenges and trophies.

Unfortunately, the game doesn’t have the best Tetris soundtrack and lacks the four free-to-play modes exclusive to the 3DS version. If you want to play Tetris on the PS Vita, it’s worth buying.

Sly Cooper and Tivius Rakunus

Sly Cooper and Thievious Raccoonus is a remastered version of the PS2 original. In the game, you play as Sly Cooper, whose mission is to avenge the murder of his father and steal Tievius Raccoon from the Fiendius Five. The game is a classic 3D platformer, and while it doesn’t run as smoothly on the Vita as it does on the PS3 version, it’s great for Sony’s handhelds.

As the game progresses, Sly’s range of moves expands and he gets to page the thieving raccoon. If you’re a hardcore gamer, you can search each level for a specific set of clues that your Bentley partner can decipher to unlock specific chests.

The game has a good story, very entertaining scenes, but unfortunately the sound was too compressed. Of course I understand that compromises had to be made to get Sly 1 and 2 on the same cartridge, but it’s a shame that the sound had to suffer so much. Sly Cooper and Thievius Raccoonus are available for purchase as part of the Crafty trilogy.

for the time being.

I hope to write more about the PS Vita in the coming weeks. I still have quite a few Vita games lying around, and I’m always looking for recommendations for good games. If you have any questions or comments about Sony handhelds or specific PS Vita games, please use the comments section below.

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