Best PS Vita Games -2015-

Don’t listen to the naysayers who pop up periodically to declare the Vita has no games. While they make their false proclamations, brilliant games just keep on coming, and the console’s dazzling and diverse lineup is only getting better…

Do you like boss battles? Then you should probably pay attention to Titan Souls, a top-down RPG that’s built around defeating ‘Titans’. That Shadow Of The Colossus-like structure of finding and defeating huge bosses is intriguing enough, but the game also has a couple of other cool ideas. For one, you’ve only got one arrow, which means you have to carefully place your shots and retrieve it each time you fire. One hit will kill you, so you have to make sure you’re careful about avoiding attacks as you do so. It’s going to be difficult, then, but that should only make taking down bosses all the more satisfying.

Following on from the success of SteamWorld Dig, the Vita is going to be getting a game that’s set in the same universe, but is quite different in how it plays. SteamWorld Heist is a game about scavenging a destroyed planet with a crew of robots that you recruit as you go. To compete for precious resources, you will have to board enemy ships and engage in turn-based combat against other scavengers. It’s got the pedigree ( SteamWorld Dig is pretty damn good) and it’s got the style, so there’s a good argument to believe that this is going to be a game worthy of the SteamWorld’ moniker when it comes to Vita.

Call us manic kleptomaniacs if you will, but we love games that are about stealing stuff, hence, we are excited to play The Swindle. The set-up is simple: break into a procedurally generated building, hack as many computers as you can, steal as much cash as you can, and then escape to your airship. You can then spend the cash you’ve ‘earned’ to upgrade your steam punk gadgets and cyberpunk bio-mods in order to give you the ability to undertake heists on a grander scale. We love the visual style of this game, but more than that, we love the concept which it is built around. We just can’t wait to gear up and pull off some heists when it lands on Vita this year.

The next game from Vlambeer, the team behind the excellent Luftrausers, is a top-down action game in which you roam post-apocalyptic wastelands as a mutant. The team describes Nuclear Throne as a cross between Hotline Miami and The Binding Of Isaac, the reasoning being that it is fast-paced, procedurally generated and difficult. With the ability to choose a range of mutations for your character, find a vast array of weaponry, and take all that into a world that’s different every time you play, Nuclear Throne looks to be more than capable of presenting us with a wealth of variety and replayability, as well as a chaotic and intense action experience.

Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc and Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Dispairearned themselves 85% and 89% respectively when we reviewed, which tells you that a new Danganronpa game is worth your attention. Ultra Despair Girls is a spin-off of the series, taking place between the two main games. It’s not a visual novel like the mainline titles, but rather a third-person action game. The game seems to have been well received on its Japanese release, but we’ll have to wait until we can get our hands on it to make our own judgement.

The next game from the man behind Thomas Was Alone is a stealth game that retells the story of Robin Hood in a sci-fi setting. The Metal Gear Solid series has been cited as an inspiration , you’ll know that we love MGS. Still, it will have its own identity, with developer Mike Bithell saying that he’s introducing mechanics that will encourage players to move at a swifter pace than is traditional in the stealth genre. You can’t kill your enemies, either, so you sure as hell better master those stealth mechanics.

Scratching that rhythm-action itch on Vita is Persona 4: Dancing All Night. How an entry in a series that’s a spin-off of JRPG Shin Megami Tensei ended up getting its own spin-off in the form of a rhythm-action game in which you return to Inaba to battle Shadows via the medium of dance, we’re not quite sure. Still, we love the Persona series and we love rhythm-action, so we’re not complaining. We will be wearing headphones, however, as we don’t want anyone to know about the terribly cheesy J-pop we are going to be dancing along to in the game.

We still don’t have a definitive release date for Broken Age after its 2014 delay, but we feel that it will be coming in 2015. The first act of Broken Age has already been released on PC, but we’ll be getting the complete package acts one and two when the game hits Vita. With its beautiful art style, well-told story of two protagonists leading parallel lives, and its modern take on classic adventure game mechanics, this is a game that we would thoroughly recommend fans of the genre taking a look at.

The next game from the man behind horror title Home (also penciled in to hit Vita at some point, incidentally) is something completely different. Alone With You is set in a doomed colony on a dying planet. You are the sole survivor of said colony and you only have a month to escape. To do that, you and the colony’s AI will need to recreate dead colony members to leverage their expertise and repair the one escape pod left. Oh, and there’s also going to be some romance along the way, apparently, though we’re not sure who is falling in love with who. Regardless, this story-focused game’s got an intriguing set-up that’s got us very much looking forward to playing it.

Wearing its 16-bit retro inspirations on its sleeve, Axiom Verge is a 2D Metroidvania game that developer, Tom Happ, says is inspired by the likes of Rygar, Contra, Bionic Commando and Metroid (obviously). With platforming, the ability to drill down into the depths and teleport through walls, it is clear that exploration is as much a part of the game as the combat, though gargantuan bosses indicate that aspect will not be neglected either. If you, like us, are familiar with the 16-bit era of videogaming, the game instantly appeals to your nostalgic side. Even leaving that aside, though, we think Axiom Verge looks interesting and intricate enough to warrant your attention.

A chaotic twin-stick shooter firmly within the arcade tradition, Assault Android Cactus gives you a roster of eight cartoonish characters to choose from, each of which has a primary weapon with unlimited ammo, and a secondary special weapon that has a cooldown. Weapons can be upgraded as you progress in fact, they need to be upgraded, because Assault Android Cactus fills the entire screen with enemies for you to deal with. We reckon that the majority of our time with this colourful game is going to be spent chasing that legendary number one position on the game’s  leaderboards.

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