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Gravity Rush Vita Review

 
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At a Glance...
 

Formats: PS Vita
 
Genre: ,
 
Year:
 
Publisher:
 
Developer:
 
Final Score
7.5
7.5/ 10


User Rating
no ratings yet

 

We liked?


Super visuals
Unique mechanic
Great story

Not so much?


Terrible, terrible combat
Repetitive at later stages


Final Fiendish Findings?

Gravity Rush is a great game that could have been a superb one if not for the frustrating combat mechanics and combat controls.

Controlling Kat as she hurtles around the sky is exhilarating and shouldn’t be possible on a handheld system. The graphics are gorgeous, smooth and benchmark defining.

0
Posted September 25, 2012 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings...
 
 

Gravity Rush finally hit these shores (known in Japan under the guise of Gravity Daze) and Vita owners throughout the land issue forth a resounding “Hazzah!” for they finally have something to play since launch.

Snide swipe as the recent Vita software wasteland aside Vita owners should be excited for this new title. It offers up some truly unique elements and a large dollop of uniquely Japanese game play.

You pick up the role of Kat, a feisty blonde with a bad case of amnesia. Discovering your gravity defying skills (which also seems to extend to Kat’s breasts in her initial outfit!) you take to the massive sprawling city that’s the games world.

Recent gravitational anomalies have started to spring up around the city Auldnoir and these have allowed through horrible creatures know as the Navvi . Kat sets about reclaiming her memory, pursuing the mysterious Raven and trying to help the local population rid the town of these anomalies.

In many ways an action adventure title you control Kat as she traverses the world. Usual movement is all there, left stick to run about, face buttons to jump and kick (Kat’s attack method) and slight curve ball of swiping the screen to roll to dodge attacks. So what’s all this gravity malarkey? Well, strike the bumper and Kat levitates a few feet from the ground. You now have 360 degree movement and will adhere to any surface regardless of its rotation position in the world. Want to walk upside down the pipes weaving through the under-side of the city? No problem. Want to reach the highest building in the game? Simply hit the number, point the reticule and hit the bumper again and whoosh!

Gravity Rush Vita Review

There really is nothing as satisfying as hurting through the skies or city streets. The movement is fluid, highly controllable and intuitive. You do have a “flight” meter that limits you using this skill constantly but this is upgraded throughout the game and towards the end you’ll just be darting around the city.

Graphically you can obviously see that Gravity Rush has a unique take. In motion on the Vita screen it looks absolutely stunning. The animation is fluid and so many small touches bring the world to life. It effortlessly manages to keep the visuals flowing fast and silky smooth and is an unlikely source for a PS Vita showcase title.

Sound design similarly has been well implemented. Spot effects fit the environment well and the voice acting, although a little cheesy at times, is fitting and well produced. The real show piece alongside the graphics though has to be the score. Wonderful soaring orchestra pieces just fit the game so well and show the games original destination platform – the PS3.

Gravity Rush Vita Review

Longevity is good with the open world nature of the game riddled with side-quests as well as the main story quests. If you stuck to the main quest only I’d estimate maybe a 12 – 14 hour play through. Most will get in excess of 15 hours easily and the diehard completionists should expect to play well in to the 20’s. Replay value will depend on whether you want to collect every purple gem (something akin to Crackdown’s power orbs) secreted around the world.

The game is great on almost every aspect. The failing? The combat system and control scheme there-in. Combat in the game is infrequent at first but gets progressively more prevalent as time goes on. You have Kat’s default kick attack which is fine to start with but soon becomes under powered even with levelling up (via those pesky purple gems). Kay also has a powerful flying kick action too. This is very useful and is used in combination with your gravity mechanic. Trouble is the whole thing becomes a 4-way battle between you, the monster, the camera and the controls. Other niggles with the combat are exacerbated when you have to hit precise spots on foes to take them down – this dissolve in to frustration quickly and frequently. Such disappointment to have all the elements of a generational classic lay out in front of you for it only to stumble on such a fundamental thing.

Soon you’ll be dreading the time attach side missions because you can’t get the control you need to take enemies out fast enough. You’ll also be dreading the parts of story missions that require any large scale confrontation. This is such a shame because some of the missions are great fun and they offer up some truly unique uses of the gravity mechanic like flying under sections of outcrop land to avoid guards during stealth missions etc.

Gravity Rush Vita Review

Final Thoughts

Gravity Rush is a great game that could have been a superb one if not for the frustrating combat mechanics and combat controls.

Controlling Kat as she hurtles around the sky is exhilarating and shouldn’t be possible on a handheld system. The graphics are gorgeous, smooth and benchmark defining.

The story is compelling enough in a crazy Japanese adventure style and your time with Kat will feel well spent as she is an interesting and well rounded character (with sometime questionable dress ethics – hello… schoolgirl outfit! Come on Sony!)

If only that combat had not dragged the Gravity Rush down from its deserved elite status.


Zeth

 
Zeth is our EU ninja and Editor in Chief. He's been writing about video games since 2008 when he started on BrutalGamer. He's pretty old and has been a gamer since he played Space Invaders as a young boy in the 80's. His genre tastes lean towards platformers, point-and-click adventure, action-adventure and shooters but he'll turn his hand to anything.