Monday, January 7, 2013

Vita Week: Gravity Rush

Gravity Rush is the only game currently on my Vita that isn't a previously existing franchise, or port, besides Chronovolt which I've yet to play. It comes free if you're a Playstation Plus member, a service that I've grown to love after a slightly iffy start, or is (I think) $40 otherwise.

So what is Gravity Rush? It's a game about a young girl who wakes up in a city floating above a giant...Rift...Thing...Who comes across a cat which gives her powers which allow you to alter gravity. The story seemed a bit generic to start off with, and I'm not too far into it (Sixth out of what I can only assume based off what the DLC implies is about 17+ episodes/chapters), so it's hard to see if it'll get better or not. Even with the slightly generic amnesia/superpowers opening act, I must say that I do enjoy the characters, and the dialogue is actually pretty good at times. The main character Kat, while at times a bit too ready to do whatever someone asks of her, generally has a witty remark on things, a few of which have produced a chuckle from me.

The gameplay itself revolves around you using your new found powers to navigate the city, and defeat supernatural enemies that threaten the town. Tapping the R button will lift you off the ground, you adjust the camera with the right stick, and with another tap of the R button you'll shift gravity in that direction, sending you and hilariously whoever happens to be near you screaming in that direction. This is honestly really fun, and probably ranks in one of my favorite ways to traverse an open world game.

The downsides of this is that it can be easy at times to lose track of which way is up, but the main character's outfit helps out here by always following actual gravity, pointing you to which way is the ground. After you've gotten used to it you should be shifting gravity with the best of them.

While the gravity shifting powers are fun for getting around, the same can't be said for the game's combat which is at best easy and not around long enough to get annoying, and at worst will have you awkwardly flying around trying to kick a certain spot on an enemy. The system seems simple enough. Hitting Square will have you kick at an enemy, and if you decide to shift gravity and then hit Square you'll launch yourself at an enemy to hit them harder. The problem is that all the enemies have huge red points, and hitting these is the only way to damage them. Some of them you won't be able to hit on the ground, so you'll have to rely on your aim, and I personally have missed quite a few times with quite a few of these guys and got ticked. Happily this doesn't take away from the game too much.

Graphically the game looks great, the city has a nice design to it, as do the characters, but to be frank, I've never been a fan of this art style, which I would compare to anime, which I'm not a fan of either. I've actually grown accustemed to it, and actually enjoy some of it, so perhaps it's an acquired taste.

Storywise the game draws heavily from comic books, and is comparable to inFamous on how it tells its story. I've seen a few cutscenes with voice acting(no English translation though, so you'll be relying on subtitles if you don't speak what I'm assuming is Japanese), but most of the story is told through panels ala comic books. These look awesome, and with a simple drag on the screen you move from one panel to the next, though sadly I've not found a way to go back, leading to a few times I dragged a time too many and missed something. You can also tilt the device and watch the panels do the same which is a great touch.


The game has three DLC packs, each containing two additional missions, a few challenge missions, and a costume for Kat, and cost $3.99 a piece. I've only completed the first mission of the first DLC pack, but it's fair share of clever dialogue, and the mission changed up the pace compared to other things I'd done thus far, quizzing me on my knowledge of the city and memory at times.

The DLC unlocks as the story progresses, with the packs being opened up after episodes 4, 11, and 17. I actually think this is a clever move, as this will provide distractions over time, and not simply all at once.


While the art style took a bit to get used to for me personally, I've seriously enjoyed this game. If it keeps its charm throughout I've yet to see, but for now it's been great for more serious(compared to say, an iPod game like Angry Birds) gaming on the go. If unique titles continue to show up on the Vita, it could very well have a lovely library in its future.

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