Tearaway (PS Vita) Review
- Gorgeous and original look
- Uses every one of the unique Vita features to great effect
- Charming and fun to the last second
Not so much?
- Camera issues at times
- Very short - but reflected in RRP
- Maybe a little too simplistic
Tearaway, from Little Big Planet creators Media Molecule, is the game the Playstation Vita has been crying out for since release day. A game that matches quality with the many unique facets of the Playstation Vita hardware – in short, a game that could only be made on the hardware it is running on. Tearaway [...]
Tearaway, from Little Big Planet creators Media Molecule, is the game the Playstation Vita has been crying out for since release day. A game that matches quality with the many unique facets of the Playstation Vita hardware – in short, a game that could only be made on the hardware it is running on.
Tearaway is a charming take on the 3D platformer genre. You choose to control Iota or Atoi as your main characters. Both are charmingly modelled and made, as the rest of the game is, of simulated paper craft. You star in the game as the You. Mostly seen as the disembodied face in the sun that floats above the world below. It’s very reminiscent of the scary baby face that used to freak many a student out when Teletubbies was all the rage.
You interaction and involvement with the world of Tearaway doesn’t stop at just a live camera feed (taken from the front Vita camera) in the sun though. In fact your various methods of involvement of the game evolve greatly as the title progresses. You quickly do some standard motion things like tilt the Vita to move platforms, or use the camera to take a snap of things around your environment. The real genius comes with some of the ways things like your images are used.
For instance you come face to face with a creature who has lost all their colour. To help them you must take a picture from your surroundings. This picture is then mapped on to the paper craft creature and they look this way throughout the game. Similarly you are asked to provide a scary roar for a character. You do so and this is then featured throughout. And these touched continue in varying ways all the way through the game.
Other methods of interaction are also explored. Tapping the back panel will cause Iota or Atoi to bounce on certain surfaces. This is how you navigate through the first 30 or 40 minutes of the game having no ability to jump other than this mechanic until you learn it later on. Other elements like pressing your finger up in to the back of the rear touch panel and having them break through the thin designated paper area – each finger represented on screen – it’s super neat and so satisfying.
As well as taking pictures, recording sounds, manipulating various object and sliding open paper flaps to reveal things you will also be asked to create items for the game. Here you will be given a crafting area, several different coloured sheets of craft paper, some scissors and a pencil. Draw the object you want to cut out on the paper then select the scissors. Your object is automatically cut out for you and you can then discard the rubbish and be left with your creation. You can even shrink, rotate and layer the objects too. These object then appear in the game either as a decorative item like a crown for a squirrel king, a badge for your character or an in-game object like fire.
The look of Tearaway is like nothing else on the market. It has the charm of Little Big Planet but a look all of its own. The levels look sublime as does the animation and character work on all of the characters that populate the world. In game music is wonderfully realised and voice work is well managed with great performances throughout.
The varying levels offer a good variety and the introduction of different mechanics throughout the game help to keep it feeling lively and fresh throughout. Combat is a little tedious at times with you having no direct attack. Instead you wait for the “Scraps” that are trying to take over the world of Tearaway to make their move. Then when they’re dazed you grab them and throw them to destroy them and release the much needed confetti you use to unlock more cool objects in your craft box. A couple of other enemies arrive but these are all little more than a distraction at best and an annoyance at worst.
There are other little niggles that chip away at Tearaway such as a camera that can sometimes be badly located, some framerate issues and some perspective problems when trying to do some of the harder platforming sections. The game is also very short at a little over 4 or 5 hours at most. There is some cause for replaying if you want to get a 100% rating on each of the level areas but most will not see the need to do so.
Tearaway is a superb game. A charming mixture of innovation, design and joyous gaming fun.
It has a smattering of niggles but they only marginally draw from the games enjoyment and, were it not for the fact this is a review, I’d totally overlook them.
Tearaway is the game that the Vita has needed from the start to showcase what it can do differently from all other platforms. You couldn’t get this experience anywhere else and at the end of the day that’s what sells a game system.
It’s a game a smiled and chuckled through from start to finish. Not in an ironic way – more like a giggly childlike way as I did when I first picked up something like Locoroco or, in fact, Little Big Planet. Quite simply the most fun I’ve had with a console in ages.
Do yourself and your Vita a massive favour this holiday season and pick up Tearaway – it really won’t disappoint. For the budget price tag of sub £20 you really can’t go wrong.