Top 12 Most Anticipated PS Vita Games,
6. Ragnarok Odyssey–
While Ragnarok Odyssey is technically a spin-off of another series, let’s not kid ourselves here: this is Monster Hunter. You take control of a custom character, fiddle with some RPG elements, and go out and slay giant creatures. Sure, there are other things going on in the game, but the fact that it tore up the Japanese sales charts seems to indicate that it’s similar enough to Capcom’s cash cow to capitalize on its niche appeal.
“Niche” may be the operative word here though. I have heard next to no hype about the game’s North American release, which is set for August 21st. I would hate to see XSEED lose money on importing a title the Vita so desperately needs, but such is the nature of cultural differences. I’m hoping for a big PR push in the coming months to bring this game to the attention of more neglected Vita owners.
Patapon was one of the console-defining experiences on the PSP, and I think Orgarhythm just might do the same for the Vita. The name might make you think of Square Enix’s Theatrhythm Final Fantasy, but it appears that the game plays out more like a rhythm-based real-time strategy affair. I’ll give you a moment to soak that in and process it.
I would also be remiss in my duties if I didn’t acknowledge the clear Pikmin influence, but let’s try not to muddy the waters with any more comparisons. Gameplay involves using the touch screens to keep time with the music, which commands your little minions to attack your enemies. Bolstered by an impressive Ayako Minami soundtrack (of Enchanted Arms fame), this looks to be yet another worthwhile title that XSEED has deigned to bring to North America.
4. Retro City Rampage–
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Retro City Rampage will probably be the indie game of 2012. Brian Provinciano’s 16-bit Grand Theft Auto homage will be coming to every system known to man (probably even the 3DO), but the PS Vita version is home to a unique set of features that may put it ahead of all the others. As you can see from the video above, the handheld’s unique touch functionality has been utilized in the game, but it’s also completely optional. Compare this to experiments like Lair and Escape Plan and you can definitely see how this option could make all the difference.
If you’re looking for a little bit of retro flavor on your futuristic portable game system, then you need to pick this game up.
3. Persona 4: The Golden–
I still have no idea what “The Golden” means, but the game sure seems to be helping the Vita in Japan. Make no mistake though, this is far from pure economics. My love for Megami Tensei borders on sociopathic, evidenced by the several thousand words I’ve written about the series since joining BT. Ok… maybe tens of thousands.
The Vita release will be no mere port though, as Atlus is bringing a host of changes and additions to the PS2 game along the lines of the Persona 3 Portable update, which I so breathlessly praised. New characters, personae, character outfits, dialogue, and anime cutscenes are plenty of value for your dollar, assuming you’ve already played the game at least once. For those who haven’t yet experienced the brilliance of P4, I envy you getting to have that experience.
2. Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward–
I can’t turn around without someone telling me how much they love 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors. Chunsoft and Aksys’ DS adventure game/visual novel may not have been an amazing commercial success, but it was enough of a critical and cult smash to warrant a spiritual successor. You won’t need to play the “first” Zero Escape game though, since both handheld mysteries are stand-alone tales of suspense and murder with clever puzzles, engaging characters, and lots of replay value. Virtue’s Last Reward will also be coming to 3DS, but I think Sony’s OLED screen will be the difference maker if you have to choose between the two.
For the record, the game’s Japanese name is Good People Die, which is infinitely more badass.
1. Soul Sacrifice–
DID YOU SEE THAT? DUDE RIPPED OUT HIS SPINE AND KILLED A MOFO WITH IT! I’M BUYING A VITA!
Seriously though, with Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune and Gravity Rush studio SCE Japan behind Soul Sacrifice, this is shaping up to be an indisputable must-own. The core concept of the game revolves around permanently sacrificing parts of the player character’s body in order to summon powerful spells and weapons. If the Vita is to have any unique identity, I would be perfectly happy with it being home to ambitious, high-concept games like this, Escape Plan, and, of course, Gravity Rush.
Those are the PS Vita games I have the most faith in right now, but those are far from the only ones. The handheld will also be seeing unique entries in the Call of Duty, Bioshock, and Killzone franchises, as well as a port of PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. The handheld has yet to prove its viability as a first-person shooter platform, hence the omissions, but I have faith that those games will be worthwhile experiences when they eventually hit shelves.
What do you think? Is the Vita a lost cause, or have a couple games made you reconsider? Are you looking forward to any titles I may have missed? Let me know in the comments below.
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