Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Gravity Rush and Gravity Rush 2 coming to PS4! - Is this a good or bad?

A few years ago I bought a game called "Gravity Rush," and as some of you may remember, I reviewed it for NGR. Back when it first came out I didn't own a Vita, but I knew that it was something I wanted to play, and the console itself wasn't completely out of my reach -- or rather, I knew I'd be getting it within a few weeks or so. Really this was the first time I had ever bought a game without owning the console to play it on, but looking back, I think I made the right choice.

As you may recall, I gave this game a pretty high score for my review, and it was also my first PlayStation game that I received a platinum trophy on. I had a lot of fun with the game's gravity mechanics, I was interested in the story, the cell shaded art style was a treat to look at, and the characters were all lovable. Sure, it wasn't the type of game everyone would like, but I personally had a lot of fun with it. It was an open world sandbox title that put a new twist on things, and when I finished it it only left me wanting more. So, the long wait for the sequel began.

Considering Gravity Rush was one of the Vita's main titles, most of us assumed that the sequel would also land on the Vita. I mean, the game was suited perfectly for the Vita and it's touch and motion controls (as you touched the screen with both thumbs to skate across the ground, or titled the system to better control your aim when flying through the air), and considering the first one was Vita exclusive there was really no reason to think otherwise. Well, it turns out we were wrong. Gravity Rush 2 has now been announced, and it is actually a PlayStation 4 exclusive.

Although Sony themselves mentioned that they wouldn't put anymore major first party titles on the Vita (which has mostly become a machine for JRPGs, niche titles, and visual novels now days), it's kind of shocking to see that Gravity Rush was included in this statement. Besides making the sequel for the PS4, the original game is also being brought to the home console so that newcomers can play it -- similar to what happened with the other Vita exclusive Tearaway. On one hand this is a good thing since it allows players to get into the series, but on the other, Vita fans are going to feel a bit ripped off.

Currently not much is really known about the sequel (besides the fact that old main characters return, the graphics have been updated, and there's new mechanics to the gravity system), but considering it's a game Vita fans have waited years for now, it is an understatement to say that many are currently disappointed. On one hand the stronger hardware will allow the developers to do more with this title, but on the other they are alienating their fans. Of course one could argue that all fans need to do is buy the PS4, but the reality is not everyone can currently do that. Really it's a strange move to make at this point as this is not the first time (nor the last) that something similar has happened. Just earlier this year Final Fantasy Type-0 HD (a remastered PSP game) came out on consoles rather than on the Vita, and that too upset many fans.

So anyway, putting all of that aside, is this a good thing or a bad thing? Well it really depends on who you are. If you're a Vita owner who loved the first and currently do not own a PS4 -- then it's bad news. You're beloved game was just taken from you, and now who knows when you'll be able to play it. On the other hand, if you never got to play the series because it was on Vita, or if you loved the original and and own a PS4 -- this is now your chance to either get into the series for the first time, or return to it. The harsh reality is that the Vita is limiting compared to the PS4, and thanks to this change the developers are no longer bound by them limits. Moving to the PS4 will allow them to make the biggest (and possibly best) Gravity Rush yet, and that by no means is a bad thing. It's bad for those who can't play it, but great for the game itself. Either way, it's something a lot of us have waited for, and it is now finally becoming a reality!

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