Sidescrollers: Is Sony’s PlayStation Vita back from the dead?

"Borderlands 2" allows you to Credit:
“Borderlands 2″ is like “Halo” meets “Diablo,” and looks great on the PS Vita.
Credit: PS Vita

Sony’s portable powerhouse, the Vita, never really caught on with the general public. The lack of triple-A titles and stiff competition from Nintendo (not to mention the mobile market) made the system something of a non-starter. Well, the digital winds are beginning to shift. The company just launched a slimmer, lighter version of the hardware with a lower price point. Oh yeah: There are also games now too. Better late than never!

‘Borderlands 2′
PS Vita
4 globes

A point-by-point remake of a recently released console gem that you can play on the toilet? That’s been the promise of Vita since day one, and only now is it being properly realized. “Borderlands 2″ is an utterly massive open-world FPS with a great story and it’s all there in the palm of your hand.

If you’ve played the series before, you know that loot is the name of the game here. “Borderlands,” essentially, is a mix of shooters like “Halo” with roguelike treasure grabbers like “Diablo.” The cel-shaded graphics look great on the Vita, although some of the menus are small and tough to read. Also, with less buttons compared to the 360 or PS3, some of the control mapping gets cramped. Still, it’s a marvelous effort.

‘Persona 4: Golden’
PS Vita
5 globes

“Persona 4: Golden” is another remake of a console classic, this one dating back to the ancient and mystical PS2. However, this isn’t a straight-up port. The game has been updated to the modern age with loving care, with full HD visuals, new characters and well implemented touchscreen support.

How to describe this bizarre and incredible game to newbies? Well, uh, it’s a turn-based RPG mixed with, here we go, a high school simulator. Sure, it’s ridiculous. It’s also extremely well written and well acted, with all of the drama and pathos one would expect from a good tv series, although, it’s more “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” than “Dawson’s Creek.” Incidentally, the game is stuffed to the brim with content. Seriously, you could play this for 100 hours and not see everything.

Follow Lawrence Bonk on Twitter @sidescrollers


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