As Black Friday rolled around, I realized that I purchased my Vita during the around the same time last year. Honestly, it was on a complete whim. I was browsing the Forums here on GameSpot and ran into a topic mentioning a great deal for the Vita on Amazon. And sure enough, it truly was a great deal. And a very limited time offer, unsurprisingly. It was just $170 for the Limited Edition Assassins Creed III Liberation bundle. To sweeten the deal, Amazon was offering a digital version of PS All-Stars and some other bonuses like a month or 3 of PS+ and $10 off Assassins Creed 3. Having a good chunk of Amazon credit, I went ahead and made the purchase basically right on the spot. It was too hard to pass up for the price, especially with it being a limited edition white PS Vita.
So oddly enough, my random browsing of the Forums probably due to boredom that day led me to this unexpected purchase. No less, it was most likely on the Playstation Vita Forum, which means I probably saw the topic on the main Forum page from the old GameSpot. I honestly had pretty much no desire or intention to buy a PS Vita anytime soon, if at all. But seeing this deal combined with a decent number of games I would be interested in playing, few of which I could play right away with PS+, sealed the deal. But now on to what I actually think about the system after owning for about a year now.
While the PS3 has remained my primary gaming system, my newly purchased Vita did see a fair amount of playing time. After about a year, I've played 9 full games, which I guess doesn't seem like a lot. But I have spent a fair amount of time with most of these games, and here's just a quick list of what I've played:
- PS All-Stars: Battle Royale
- Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified
- Resistance: Burning Skies
- Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational
- Uncharted: Golden Abyss
- Gravity Rush
- AC3: Liberation
- LittleBigPlanet Vita
- Persona 4 Golden
However, I actually only own 4 of these games: All-Stars, Hot Shots Golf, LBP, and Persona 4. I rented Black Ops and Resistance, Uncharted and Gravity Rush are PS+ games, and I sold Liberation. These games have been somewhat hit-and-miss. Liberation and Resistance were a little underwhelming and not up to par with their console counterparts. PS All-Stars was just decent. Black Ops was a joke, at least for its single player. I actually thought the multiplayer was fun and rather functional at the time I played around with it. But the rest of the games- Hot Shots Golf, Uncharted, Gravity Rush, LBP, and Persona 4 have truly been enjoyable games. These 5 games alone have made my overall gaming experiencing thus far with the Vita satisfying.
Sadly, I've already run low on games to play, which is the main problem with the Vita. I won't say there's a lack of games as there seems to be a good chunk of games out there, but it lacks big games. Games that people will rush out to purchase the system to play. It's done well releasing some good games from popular Playstation franchises like Uncharted and LittleBigPlanet, but aside from Gravity Rush, I can't think of any decent new IPs released on the Vita. I'm tired of seeing games release for the Vita that can just be played on the PS3 (PS All-Stars and the announced Borderlands 2 for example). That's not going to help the system. I'm torn on whether or not it would be good to see more spin-offs from popular franchises such as Bioshock emerge on the PS Vita, because that's been a bit hit-or-miss what with titles like Resistance, Call of Duty, and Assassin's Creed not turning out that great on the Vita, but with others like Uncharted and LittleBigPlanet turning out just fine.
Maybe I'm wrong about the games. Maybe 9 games isn't bad for my first year of owning the system. Maybe I just have to dig deeper to find more good games, but there is a lot out there that I just don't see interested in. However, I did step out of my comfort zone with Gravity Rush and Persona 4 Golden, and I've loved both of those games. Still, the Vita has been out for almost 2 years now, and it just doesn't seem to have many "big" titles thus far.
Aside from the library, I don't have any real issues with the systems. Games look great on it and they're highly playable with the 2 thumbsticks. I never had a PSP, so I can't imagine playing games with just one thumbstick. The touchscreen and reartouchscreen are usually implemented well enough in games and are not too overdone, but the rear touchscreen can be a bit finicky and annoying to use, but other than that I don't have any issues with the controls. I don't do much other than game on the Vita, so I can't really comment on any other features that might be worth mentioning.
So that's about it. Overall, I'd definitely say I've had a good first year with my Playstation Vita. I still can't help but feel I've already played most of what the current library has to offer, at least with games that interest me. I've played all the games I own, so I don't have a real backlog for the Vita currently. However, I am interested in Killzone: Mercenary, virtually the only Vita game I was interested in for this year. Also, I have to add Tearaway to the list since it looks fun and received great reviews. And after not playing for a few months, I did finally start a second playthrough of Persona 4 Golden, so I am actually playing it now. Looking back on it, making the purchase was definitely a good call. I feel it will be worth it in the long run, but the lack of upcoming games I'm interested in truly concerns me. I guess I'll have to see what I can pick up and try from PS+ once I renew that.
How about you, do you own a Vita? If so, how do you like it so far and what games might you recommend that I didn't list earlier. If you don't own a Vita, do you have any intention or desire to purchase one anytime soon?