Of course, OPM (opens in new tab) have been big fans of PS Vita since it was first revealed at E3 way back in 2011. But its also fair to observe that Sonys bite-sized baby had a bit of a quiet 2014, with few game releases of note and some especially bad news on the Bioshock front as Ken Levine revealed the portable spin-off had been spliced into atoms.
Time, then, to bury your pocket rocket beneath the ruins of Rapture with a sob? Not even close. Despite its relatively subdued recent past there are still many reasons to stay ardently in love with Sonys handheld hit-machine, from using it as a standalone handy TV box to ensuring your Destiny thirst never goes unquenched. Dont believe us? Read on
Destiny in bed
Destinys (opens in new tab) mix of loot-hoarding and alien-gunning is pretty damn great on PlayStation 4, so imagine getting the same experience under the covers or, indeed, on the khazi. Then stop imagining, because this fever dream is actually perfectly possible in real life, via PS Vita Remote Play. And its exactly as good as youd hope so long as you remap the controls first. Start by assigning run to the D-pad (so, to sprint forwards, you press up) then map grenade to the left side of the touchscreen and mele to the right. Keep all other controls set to their defaults fire on the right shoulder button, for instance and, after an hour or twos adjustment time, youll be enjoying Bungies blaster just as swearily on PS Vita as you do on PS4.
Brain-blowing exclusives by the lorry-load
Single-format exclusives have become rarer and rarer since the advent of Gen 4 a sign of the times given the colossal budget required to make any triple-A title but youll find no such scarcity of choice on PS Vita. The world and his Chloe Frazer-fixated-puppy is aware of Uncharted: Golden Abyss, but Drake card game Fight For Fortune is even more addictive. Murasaki Baby entices with its beautifully unique art style before shocking with moments of genuine horror, while at the other end of the spectrum Super Monkey Ball: Banana Splitz catapults ball-rolling simian AiAi back to top puzzling form. Then theres the sublime Gravity Rush and Persona 4: Golden the enhanced version of a PS2 role-playing classic, so deep that it even includes in-game weather forecasts. Absolutely essential, those.
Youre already swamped with quality games for it
Heres something youve probably never given thought to: even if you dont yet own a Vita, youve almost certainly built up a sizeable handheld software catalogue without even trying. Via Cross Buy, more than 80 PS3 and PS4 games come packaged with a downloadable version of the portable incarnation of the same game whether you like it or not; and in some instances, such as Hotline Miami and PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate, the compact version is even better than its full-fat equivalent. Already own Fl0w, or Flower, or God Of War Collection, or Minecraft on console? Then you already own them on PS Vita too, and the list goes on. Lucky you, eh? Now dont forget to purchase a lottery ticket this weekend
It can fully satisfy your every Fantasy
Why do you even need ten reasons? enquired an esteemed colleague while discussing this very feature. I only need one, she went on, its a portable Final Fantasy machine. And thats a convincing argument. While we wait for the FF7 remake, theres no better way to revisit it than on the small screen. Indeed, its visuals hold up better on handheld than on a proper-sized TV anyway. Also available: Final Fantasies 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 10-2 and Tactics. At a conservative estimate, thats over 1,000 hours of portable gaming on offer right there, guaranteeing youll never again complain about being stuck at a railway signal.
Its 2015s king of the indies
Sonys recent focus on backing brilliant independent developers isnt merely a PS4 commitment; it understands that the future of PS Vita depends on talented upstarts delivering games perfect for the format, rather than megabucks publishers dropping lazily forged spin-offs. As a result, the rest of 2015 looks positively gleaming with originality. Sure, Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number wasnt quite the Game of the Year contender wed expected, look ahead and youll see the likes of Metal Slug-aping run-n-gunner Mercenary Kings, Hyper Light Drifter, GALAK-Z: The Dimensional, Not A Hero, Towerfall: Ascension, Nuclear Throne, Drinkboxs Severed, Steamworld Heist, The Banner Saga, Keiji Mega Man Inafune platformer Mighty No. 9, and wait for it pigeon dating sim Hatoful Boyfriend. Phew!
You can nab one cheaply
With sub-1O games transforming the handheld market, gamers have never been so strict in seeking true value for money. Thats understandable, and no doubt the reason some baulked at PS Vitas original 279.99 asking price. But theres no longer a reason to leave your wallet in tears after exchanging cash for Sonys portable pearl. Shopping around online at the right time can net you the console for under 100 quid, while splashing some more cash will unlock bundle options featuring loads of games. Standalone games are far more wallet-friendly, too: both new and second hand game prices have rapidly dropped over the last year, so you can secure even the very best retail copies for minimal spend. The leap up in price from PSP was what put many off making the switch to PS Vita at launch time. Now that the price has dropped its well worth your hard-earned squids.
No more fighting over the gogglebox
Cohabiting is great, until you realise a month after moving in that your time hanging with Mr Terry Television has been axed in half. Thats just the beginning. Start a family and your Saturdays spent canoodling with FIFA will be gone forever. Unless, that is, you snap up PlayStation TV. This magic box can be used to Remote Play on a different telly in the same household, saving you from having to move your PS4 every time mini-you claims the sofa for another bloody Peppa Pig marathon. It also plays more than 100 PS Vita games, and can even be used as a standalone media player although the lack of support for services such as Netflix or Amazon Prime admittedly hurts it in that regard. Still, if youre interested in Remote Play to escape baby/furious other half/the in-laws on Boxing Day (always), its worth a look.
Even now, theres still nothing quite like Lumines
Once theyre done wincing, readers old sorry, learned enough to remember Right Said Fred, Marathon bars and Chris Waddles Jupiter-bound penalty will also recall the manner in which one game remained synonymous with handheld gaming throughout the early 90s: Tetris on Nintendos Game Boy. Fast forward two decades, and its another block puzzler which threatens to take over your life the instant you drop anchor amid its sun-dappled seas: Lumines Electronic Symphony. Three years after release, the block-matching, toe-tapping teaser remains unputdownable, its electronic tunes (In My Arms! Pacific 707! Kelly Watch The Stars!) fused into your senses, its controls ingrained deep within your muscle memory. This game alone will justify your Vita ownership, but we cant be held responsible when you start seeing squares in your sleep.
There really is such a thing as a free lunch
Cant stretch your meagre funds to cover games in addition to a PS Vita to play them on? In the words of another famous handheld device: DONT PANIC! Just as on mobiles, theres a strong free-to-play line-up to keep your new portable pal in use. For bonkers Wario Ware-style mini-games, Frobisher Says is an essential grab, while Best Of Arcade contains an endlessly playable Breakout rip-off called Brick Breaker. Be sure to give Fat Princess: Piece Of Cake, Table Football and Get Off My Lawn a blast too. And if you can scrape together enough coppers for a PS Plus subscription, youll receive even more freebies all year round for instance, March saw Counter Spy and the magnificent OlliOlli 2: Welcome To Olliwood gifted to subscribers for the super-agreeable sum of 0.00. Wed say Bargain is something of an understatement.
And dont forget the games so bad you HAVE to try them
As PS Vita has matured, developers have really found their stride in terms of creating games for the machine. That said, its impossible to pretend that they didnt initially festoon it with some steaming blobs of digested grub. And while wed never recommend you splash out big bucks to track any of these early stinkers down, some of these farts-on-a-cart merit plucking from the bargain bins of Game (precaution: wear marigolds) simply so you can experience their shameless ineptitude. Take Call Of Duty: Black Ops Declassified, which features enemy soldiers so dumb youll swear theyre suicidal. Or Supremacy MMA: Unrestricted a pulverised shell of a fighting game with at least two glaring inaccuracies in its laughably overconfident title. Also on the list: Z-Run (zombie nonsense), Lets Fish (lets burn it with fire) and even Ridge Racer (more car crash than test drive).