Gravity Rush (PSVita) Review

Gravity Rush is a charming and unique PlayStation Vita game centred around the idea of shifting gravity and seeing things from another perspective, it is developed by Sony Computer Entertainment Japan, and the game art really does reflect the company’s taste.

Gravity Rush starts you off as a girl who wakes up in an unknown place to her, she doesn’t even remember her name, and finds a strange looking cat who helps her shift gravity, along with other powers. You then start exploring the city around you to find conversation spots, challenge points that you unlock by using gems you collect throughout exploring the world, and your main missions along. Your first mission is you trying to set up a home for yourself, you start to gather some furniture and you place them in a sewer where you’ll be calling home. Throughout the city you’ll find manholes which you can use to get back to your home to change your outfit or to save your progress. The girl decides later that her name is Kat and her cat’s name is Dusty, she meets a lot of interesting people along the way, including another shifter called Raven who appears to be hostile and consistently wants to bring Kat down. Kat, with the help of Dusty of course, does her best to protect the city of Hekseville from the impending threat of the Nevi, a weird otherworldly creatures that seem to be flocking through Gravity Storms non stop.

Story wise, Gravity Rush delivers nicely in the first 80% of the game, but then it goes downhill from there, leaving lots of unexplained things witnessed throughout the game which is one thing I really didn’t like myself, and it’s not that it leaves these things for a sequel, the ending pretty much shows that there will in fact be a sequel, these are events that happen throughout the game, like a dream Kat has about seeing someone’s true identity, the cinematic reveals the person from their back, and then Kat shocked, nothing later about who that person really was. It’s not full of plot holes as such though, the story for the most of the game really is addictive and has you wanting to know more about everything in this world, you even meet a girl that disappears after you hear her conversation piece, and each piece tells more of her story, so that was kind of interesting.

Gameplay wise, I can honestly say it was solid, the camera controls really well, everything is nicely responsive, you dodge by swiping the screen in the direction you want, you have some special attacks by pressing triangle, or a combination of something and triangle. Gravity Rush also has a nice skill system that makes you spend your gems on levelling Kat up, making her more powerful, you have a lot of things to choose from, and for myself, as of finishing the game I hadn’t maxed out everything as I thought I would, so there’s some nice replayability there. Another shortcoming of Gravity Rush’s though is the combat system, for ground targets, it’s solid enough, the pain comes when you have to attack a flying enemy, any slight shift in movement on the enemy’s part rends your attack useless, even if timed perfectly, enemies move unpredictably and annoyingly since you get to miss a lot of sure hits. The game itself isn’t exactly long, I think it would take around 5~7 hours to finish, it took a lot longer with me since I love to explore, but it is of decent length nevertheless.

Graphics are the game’s most astounding feat! The visuals are absolutely charming, drawn in an anime style, with comic book strip cinematics, and Kat is kind of hot too I might add! I would honestly say that this game really showcases the Vita’s graphical prowess, almost as much as Uncharted: Golden Abyss does. And a friend described the game as dizzying, and I have to agree, in a nice way though, the graphics are really addictive as to how dizzying and charming they are, you’ll find yourself smiling by simply looking at the game.

Audio wise, the game also scores a lot of nice points, the game’s soundtrack is absolutely wonderful, especially Pleajeune’s which is a bit jazzy, at the end, the game takes on a darker mood though, for reasons I will not say as to avoid spoiling any story plots.

All in all, this is a very solid PlayStation Vita release, and yes, it does justify the purchase of a Vita, even if only for this game, the experience is outstanding, it fully uses the capabilities of the Vita (bar the back panel and the cameras), it runs extremely smooth and it is priced alongside the normal Vita games at $40 instead of Uncharted’s $50. Let me know if you’ve played the game, what you thought of it, and whether the ending disappointed you as it did me or not.

What makes video games memorable?

A few days ago, I started wondering, what made all those games I remember from my childhood and teenage years so good and memorable! And taking into the consideration that I have the attention span of  a gold fish, something REALLY impressive must have made a big impression on me back then for me to still remember exactly where the NPC positions were in the first Diablo, how Griswold’s shop was next to Ogden the tavern owner’s, right in front of Cain which was in turn in front of Peppin the Healer’s hut, or how that one extremely frustrating Terran campaign mission made me quit playing Starcraft altogether (it was one with a 30 minute count down timer where you had to defend your base against hordes of Zerg), then I realized, it was all about the music, it’s always been all about the music! And when I gave it some more thought I came to the conclusion that video games have some of the best musical scores you’ll ever listen to, and I’m going to list some of my favourites, and some which some friends recommended.

To the Moon is a game that has not been released for so long, yet is probably one of the most incredible games in terms of story telling and soundtrack, one of the few games that actually made me tear up.

Diablo has always been known for it’s dark, grim music, and here are three fine examples from the three Diablo games spanning a development duration of 16 years! And it’s all still dark now, that’s why I love these games.

Torchlight II may be a Diablo clone, it may have taken an idea here, and idea there, maybe even waited long enough to be released just so Runic wouldn’t make the same mistakes Blizzard did, but that definitely does not make it a lesser game, or have a lesser soundtrack, by all means, this is a fine example of how Torchlight II is reminiscent of Diablo II while keeping it’s own identity.

Bayonetta was one of the fastest, most intense, weird hack n’ slash I’ve had the pleasure of playing, ever. EVER. Ever. Ever. Now that we have that out of the way, let me show you exactly why I loved this game so much.

Assassin’s Creed II was hands down the best of the Assassin’s Creed series so far, ask anyone and I doubt they’ll argue, the story was engaging throughout, the cliffhanger was as irritating as it could get, and it wouldn’t have been that good without the good guys at Ubisoft making an epic soundtrack for it.

Another Ubisoft marvel was Prince of Persia: The Warrior Within, it was my favourite of the trilogy (Yes, I don’t consider the last one part of the franchise, it was THAT awful), and for good reason, it had an amazing score behind it! Being a bassist myself, I especially loved that one track.

Now who in their right mind would make a blog article like this and not post The Elder Scrolls in it? At least Skyrim, I mean, it had one of the most epic soundtracks in a video game!

If you own a Playstation 3, you must have at least played one of the three Uncharted games, if not all of them, and you might have also noticed how the menu theme is persistent in all three games, and for good reason, it’s freaking awesome!

What sets a certain game apart from the pack though is how the development or distributors decide to go about the soundtrack, and thankfully, Valve are saints, proving time and again how Portal 2 might very well be the greatest puzzle based game to be ever made. (P.S.: Science IS fun.)

MAG has taken quite some time from my life, this game has 3 separate soundtracks for each faction, I personally have played both Valor and SVER, never Raven, so I don’t know much about their music, but here you go.

Now for a game that had me practically in awe for how amazing its music was, I would honestly just start Dark Souls, and leave it in the load screen, and listen to the music for hours on end, the load screen music, Gwyn’s music, and Dark Sun Gwyndolin’s music.

I haven’t yet played Killzone 3, for OCD-ish reasons (I absolutely need to play the first two before this one), and I’ve heard all sorts of rants on how bad the story is, but this, this here, more than makes up for it.

Without mentioning how purchasing Gravity Rush justified my Vita purchase (No sarcasm there, it actually did, game is fantastic), or how hot Kat is, the game has one of the jazziest tracks you can here in any video game out there!

Rayman Origins on the other hand, takes another route from anything you’ve ever heard before, the music is actually extremely funny that you find yourself hysterically laughing over it, or just have a wide smile on your face, which made this game an amazing platformer! (Also better played on the Vita than console or PC!)

Continuing on the Blizzard glory, we have Starcraft! That irritating son of a bitch game that kicked my ass so many times over the years, yet I always remembered that Terran theme and how it made me just want to go slaughter more Zerg.

Now for something truly old, the first Mortal Kombat’s soundtrack, who didn’t love that? Seriously?

Duke Nukem. Megadeth. I don’t think I need to say more.

Back in my Playstation 1 years, I loved Megaman X5, absolutely adored this game and it’s main menu music, I loved it so much I actually recorded it on my old (yet extremely cool at the time) Nokia 3650.

My cousin owned a Dreamcast, and Sonic Adventure on it, and before he forsake gaming, he actually had the potential to be a hardcore gamer, anyway, him and I would play Sonic Adventure all day long, and sing along to this track, it was awesome back then, it still is now!

Bastion is one game that took the Diablo formula, and twisted it in its own, marvellously addictive way, it does not have dark gritty music, instead it has some very memorable fight music that will make you really wanting to go back and play it some more.

Last in my recommendations is a game that I have mastered, and wasted SO many years of my life playing, Red Alert 2, I loved that game so much! And it was mostly because of the Hell March track!

Last but definitely not least, some recommendations by my Facebook pals.

ATV Offroad Fury:

Trine 2:

Zone of the Enders 2:

Shadow of the Colossus:

Metal Gear Solid:

Let me know what your favourites over the years were, or if I’ve missed an absolute essential 😉