The PlayStation Vita nonetheless guidelines

All the time I used to be taking part in Ultimate Fantasy VII Rebirth — the second a part of a deliberate trilogy of FF7 remakes — I couldn’t cease fascinated about replaying the primary sport from 1997. When the credit rolled on Rebirth, I had a troublesome resolution to make: how to play the unique? There isn’t a scarcity of choices. The sport has been ported to most fashionable platforms, and I nonetheless have the unique PlayStation discs (all three of them). However finally I made a decision on a beloved however oft-forgotten piece of online game {hardware}, the PlayStation Vita. And you understand what? This little factor nonetheless completely guidelines.

My rekindled love affair with the Vita began due to FF7, and I’ve been been making my by way of the sport in matches and begins. However IT has additionally blossomed from there. I had forgotten not solely how good the hand-held is for enjoying basic video games, significantly timesinks like RPGs, but in addition what number of wonderful indies IT had. Sound Shapes stays the most effective music video games ever made, and the likes of Hotline Miami, Bastion, and Fez are ideally fitted to the Vita. I’ve reacquainted myself with video games just like the post-apocalyptic technique of Tokyo Jungle Cell and the streamlined skateboarding motion of the primary OlliOlli.

All of those video games really feel proper on the Vita as a result of Sony completely nailed the {hardware}. IT’s small and light-weight, as a handheld needs to be, however IT doesn’t commerce that off for performance. IT has the entire sticks and buttons you’d count on of a PlayStation system, and — apart from these sticks being a contact on the tiny aspect — IT handles like a PlayStation controller. IT even features a touchscreen for the few video games that basically benefit from IT, just like the soccer sport Passing Time. IT’s mainly the design of a Swap earlier than the Swap existed, however sturdier as a result of IT’s a strong system. IT’s the perfect compromise between consolation and efficiency.

Ultimate Fantasy VII’s Golden Saucer is simply extra enjoyable on a conveyable.
Picture: Sq. Enix

Even now, in what might maybe be described as a golden age for handhelds — see: the Playdate, Analogue Pocket, Steam Deck (and its clones), in addition to the Swap — the Vita nonetheless stands out on this regard. The one factor that basically comes shut is the Swap Lite due to how IT shrunk down and solidified the unique design. But when I need to play a bunch of various video games on the go, together with ones that require a standard management scheme, the Vita has as soon as once more develop into my go-to. Recently, I’ve been taking part in Lumines: Digital Symphony throughout bouts on an train bike, and IT’s arduous to think about doing that comfortably whereas lugging round a Steam Deck.

After all, there are drawbacks to utilizing a Vita within the yr 2024. Primarily, that has to do with getting new video games. Vita isn’t precisely a viable platform for contemporary builders, and even snatching up previous (bodily) releases will be powerful. I see loads of Nintendo DS video games every time I’m going thrifting, however a Vita cartridge is a uncommon sight, and whereas you should purchase digital video games on the Vita’s retailer, Sony has made the method extra tedious than IT needs to be. Nonetheless, IT was definitely worth the effort of fumbling round in numerous menus in order that I might buy Parasite Eve, which I’m planning to play proper after FF7. Sadly, the basic video games are largely straight ports with none of the quality-of-life tweaks present in fashionable rereleases.

Actually, the Vita is an efficient lesson that simply because an organization has moved on from a gaming platform, IT doesn’t imply it’s a must to. Nothing concerning the {hardware} or its video games feels significantly dated. And since there are many Vita video games I by no means bought round to, together with older PSone video games I’ve been that means to replay, I’m not hurting for selection. In only a few weeks, I’ve constructed up fairly the queue; after Parasite Eve, my record consists of the unique Suikoden and Persona video games. These aren’t video games which might be unique to the Vita — they only really feel higher there.

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