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PlayStation Vita Hands On and a Couple New Trailers

Sony held a great press conference tonight, and afterwards, lifted the walls, brought out Jane’s Addiction live on stage, supplied us with all the food and drink we could handle, and better yet, had multiple stations set up to let us try out the games they had just talked about. There was even an entire area set up for the newly named and priced PS Vita (formaly the NGP).
Eddie and I headed straight for the PS Vita, but still had to wait a bit in a line. There were 5 stations set up, each with a different game. We were limited to 5 mins at each station, but it was definitely enough time to get a decent feel for the Vita and the games.

The first game we got to try was LittleBigPlanet. I played a standard game level, and it was very similar to what we have all seen before, with some very cool exceptions. There were many object that could be manipulated with the touch screen. Something in a past LBP game that would require 2 Sackboys, could be done with one Sackboy and your finger. For example, to pass a certain door, you had to have the Sackboy stand on a button to raise the door, while moving a block under the door with your finger, to keep it up. At other points, the Sackboy would hold onto a block while u rotated it around an axis, or used it as a slingshot, to shoot the Sackboy to higher areas. The Six-Axis tilt was also used to swing a basket toward the Sackboy, and then tilted back the other way to carry him across a drop. Another puzzle had you make a path, by pushing “tetris” type blocks into the level, by tapping the back touchpad. Overall, the LittleBigPlanet for the PSVita was fun and although it took a little practice, seemed to use all the features of the PS Vita very well.

The second game we saw was Virtual Tennis 4. The game could be played with the analog stick and buttons, or with the touch screen. To play with the touch screen, you tapped it once to start the serve, and once to hit the ball. Then all you did was swipe up or down on the screen at the right time to hit the ball. After about 2 mins, I had seen enough of the game, and just spent time looking closer at the actual PS Vita Device. I wont go into detail here, because the videos released thus far show it off pretty well.

The next game was called Little Deviants. Little Deviants was basically a bunch of different mini-games that seemed to be targeted towards kids. The first game I saw was very similar to a game I played on a 3DS. It was an augmented reality shooter, that uses the rear camera. You hold the PS Vita at eye level, and move it around the real world looking for bad guys to shoot. I got the idea quickly and moved to the next game. It was basically whack-a-mole, however you used the front touch screen and rear touch pad to smash the monsters depending on which way they faced. The third, and final mini-game I played, involved the rear touch screen as well. You basically lifted the earth to move a ball around an area and into a portal. Other than being able to “try out” the features of the PS Vita, the game didn’t seem to warrant another go at it. Although, as I mentioned, younger kids might really enjoy it.

Sound Shapes, was the next game we were able to try. I chose to play a pre-made level vs. try the create mode that is featured first in the above trailer. In the game, you control a sphere with sticky legs, that reminded me of one of those “Wacky Wall Walkers” that you throw on the wall and watch it climb down the wall. Anyway, you roll around and collect different musical balls that add to the music, until you have unlocked the whole soundtrack as it was meant to be heard. There are obstacles to jump over, and avoid making it somewhat of a challenge at times. The main theme of the game seems to be user created music/levels, that can then be shared with others online.

The last game we played was Uncharted: Golden Abyss. Basically the video above from the Press conference could have been a recording of me playing the game, as that is exactly what I did for 5 mins. The game looks very good, and plays very well. Sliding my finger across the beams, commanding Drake to jump, seemed more like directing a movie, or like playing Heavy Rain, then it did playing Uncharted, so I’m glad they have the option of standard game play with it. Uncharted: Golden Abyss was definitely the game for the Vita that left me longing for more time with it.

Overall, I was very impressed with the over all feel, and the mechanics of the PS Vita. LBP and Uncharted were by far my favorite games, and probably the only two I’d personally buy. I will be playing the PS Vita again during the show, so stay tuned for a follow up, as well as any impressions of other games I’ll get to demo.