13 Points on Tearaway

User Rating: 7 | Tearaway VITA

1. Tearaway reaches for fun-for-all-ages charm but ultimately feels like a children's game--not that that is altogether a bad thing.

2. Its artstyle is eye catching and stylish. This is a really beautiful game no matter how you tear it. Yeah, I went there.

3. The soundtrack is amazing and I would buy it if I could get it anywhere other than on iTunes or the PlayStation national storefront or whatever they call it.

4. There is really no challenge to this. You can die a million times and you restart like two seconds earlier in the stage. This is kind of a good thing given:

5. Platforming in this is freaking terrible. There are no two ways about that. The camera angle is constantly awful and/or changing at inopportune times which makes any tricky bits frustrating for reasons other than that they are simply difficult on their own.

6. Additionally, while I admire Media Molecule's efforts to include touch controls in this, it can be a real pain in the butt to hold the Vita such that you can do the rear panel presses and move your character about. I feel like this dynamic could be a little more refined.

7. This is kind of a nitpick but for some reason the lack of a high, flipping jump when you jump as you changed directions drove me nuts. I'm not saying all 3D platformers must control like Mario 64 but, let's face it, just because I'm not saying it doesn't meat it's not true.

8. You can breeze through this a half dozen or so hours. Replayability is based on the fact that you can go back and search through the levels and find a bunch of extra crud if you feel like it. To me, this is equivalent to the game being repayable only if you are really, really bored.

9. This said, even w/o real challenge or good platforming, Tearaway's world is fun enough to rip through and explore for the first time. It's cute and you can take pictures.

10. The story is kinda corny and simple but it works. For some reason, halfway though the game, they are just like, "forget it" and just abruptly switch to another sort of plot which is only tangentially related to the first half of the game. This is fine.

11. The monsters in this are called scraps and are just about the least intimidating enemies I have seen in a game. I couldn't help but wonder why the main character didn't just get a leaf blower and blow them away... Then eventually the main character gets a leaf blower and can blow them away.

12. One thing I think this game needs is an interactive piano keyboard level that brings to mind Tom Hank's in Big.

13. I can't help but feel this awesome looking game was a bit of a missed opportunity. Whoever put together the art direction, created the makings of a timeless classic but the level design and gameplay just don't hold to that high standard. This is worth a gander but is really better to look at than it is to play.