Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Review: PS Vita

Review: Playstation Vita
Livin' La Vita Loca
Written by a portable version of Philip

Three years since the announcement of the mysteriously awesome "Next Gen Portable" I finally have the Vita in my hands. Is it everything I ever wanted? Is it worth the price tag? Did my cini-mini-bagel that I had for breakfast sit well with me? Find the answers to all of these questions and more inside.

Now some may view my anticipation of this new gaming gadget as a hinderance to my ability to give it an honest review. But I assure you that if anything, my zeal will only make me be even more of a critic because I expect so much. That said, is the Vita great? Yes. Does it have some work to do? Of course.

Right out of the box I couldn't believe how big and heavy the Vita was. In a good way. I want a big screen and the weight just means this portable means business. Plus it also makes it easier to hold which was a major downside of the original PSP. The screen is gorgeous and the OLED makes it visable in any type of daylight. I used to play my PSP on the bus each morning but if the sun hit my screen I couldn't see anything. That is no longer a problem.

I'm glad I was slightly delayed to get my system because it has given time for updates to be made and all the proper apps to be available. The Skype, Netflix, and YouTube apps are all there and it makes the handheld borderline tablet and like I'm more connected to the world. Being slow to the party has also allowed me to get a ton of games on the cheap. This last week at GameStop I picked up MLB the Show 12, Mortal Kombat, and Modnation Racers Roadtrip all new for $10 a piece.

Speaking of games, how are they? Well so far I haven't gotten a hold of the major titles, but so far I've only gotten to play what are by definition (and by quality) launch titles. Modnation is less of the same, Mortal Kombat is a port, and MLB is a baseball game ('nuff said). But despite playing games I'm barely interested in, I am still amazed at how good they look and feel. We're talking near PS3 graphics here. And the dual stick makes it feel like PS3 gameplay. The addition of being able to get trophies on the go is just freaking awesome.

So far the Vita rocks, but it needs more. It's like having a brand new Corvette and only being allowed to use it to go pick up your little brother from school, driving through cop infested residential areas the whole way. So much potential that just hasn't been tapped yet.

Don't forget to accessorize. I normally hate all the stupid add ons, but the truth is you gotta protect this machine. I would pass out if I got so much as a scuff on the screen. The good news is this stuff is already being ripped off by third parties and can be found on ebay for super cheap. They have cases and screen protectors for $0.98 (free shipping), and controller grips (soooo worth it) for just a little more than that.

The price new isn't bad at first glance, but $250 is only the start. You'll needs games and a memory card to even use the thing. Pick all that up in one place and you're well over $300 +tax. If you insist on buying new, then check out Best Buy and GameStop 'cause they are offering a $50 gift card with the purchase of a new Vita. That can be helpful in getting some extras. I however, am poorer than you. And even if I had the dough, why pay more? Bundles are selling on ebay that include a Wifi unit, a game or two, and even some accessories in the $200 range, sometimes a little less. I nabbed mine with a game, memory card, and case for $185 and free shipping.

So if you can be patient and keep an eye on the deals throughout the day, it can save you some serious cash. And since there aren't any games coming out for a while, take your time, it might be cheaper by the time Call of Duty Vita rolls around.

You can follow Philip on the Twitter machine as he tweets from his Vita @LinksALefty.

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