Wednesday, February 15, 2012

And it is in my hands.

Never mind what the PlayStation Blog said - the PSV does play Valkyria Chronicles II.

So I spent about five hundred and fifty dollars today.  I am now in possession of a PlayStation Vita, and it feels... pretty damn slick, to be honest.

After getting it set up, getting it online with my house's Wi-Fi and associating it with my PSN account, I immediately got down to the business of not playing any PlayStation Vita games.  I downloaded Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, God of War: Chains of Olympus, God of War: Ghost of Sparta, The Sega Genesis Collection, Patapon 2, Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable and Valkyria Chronicles II to my PS3 and copied them all over to the Vita.

This is rather good news to those of us with a few beloved PSP titles we are loath to give up on a new handheld - particularly after Sony released this list, which had folks freaking out over everything it didn't include, for example Valkyria Chronicles II and Peace Walker.  

Well... I think I figured out what they were trying to tell us.  The PSV has its own little PlayStation Store, and that lists represents the PSP games in that store.  It doesn't mean the PSV isn't actually capable of running all the other PSP titles available on the PSN store - it just means you have to download it yourself via a PS3 (or PC, if such an interface exists) and manually copy them over to the Vita with the content manager.

So yeah - all those are up and running.

I fired in Uncharted: Golden Abyss, and I gotta' tell you - thus far it does not impress.  The controls, the mechanics - they all feel a little off.  Perhaps it'll be better once I'm more accustomed to it - but little things like bugs in Drake's animations, and (what appears to be) the inability to manually reload your weapon point to a developer who simply doesn't have the same eye for detail as Naughty Dog.

That said, it's certainly far better-looking than anything I've seen on the PSP, 3DS or iOS.  The Vita can produce rather remarkable graphics - but for the moment, I must admit I'm rather happy it supports (and kinda' upscales) my PSP library.

Speaking of which, one more week 'till Grand Knights History - if Amazon can be believed.  I'm gonna' have to finish up Golden Abyss right quick, 'cause that little chestnut simply will not wait.

Oh, also - for those of you thinking of getting into the whole Vita thing...

$336.00 - PlayStation Vita First Edition Bundle

$112.00 - PlayStation Vita 32GB memory card

$22.40 - four screen protectors, just in case.

$56.00 - Uncharted: Golden Abyss

= $526.00.

Five hundred and twenty six dollars.  If I weren't already obviously crazy, I could only call that insane.

* * *

Oh, also - it's bullshit that I can't change the background on the thing.  I mean, maybe I can - maybe that option is in there, somewhere - but I sure as hell don't see it.

* * *

Oh also - the screen is amazing.


  1. To change the background, just press and hold an icon on the screen for a few moments until it goes into the arrangement mode. Then you can move your icons around and change the background via a button in the bottom right.

    I probably wouldn't have figured it out either, but I've seen it in a few videos by this point, so it's kind of ingrained in my head.

    Also, I am so jealous.

  2. Actually:

    That video is pretty informative about how you can play around with the icons, the background(s), pages and some other options and the like, without the guy being too annoying, so you might want to give it a watch.

  3. Tap the gun in the upper left hand corner. That's how you reload.

  4. have you figured out how to connect it to your PC yet? im having problems...

  5. @ Mogs: Thanks! Now I've got it set up so there's one page of apps I don't care about, one page of apps I do care about, one page of Vita games and one page of PSP games - all with my Alice wallpaper. Sweet.

    @ Deeds : Thanks! But ugh - why not just make it square? Golden Abyss already goes (far) out of its way to make me use the touch controls, why make things even more obtuse?

    @ Leeginn : Unless you haven't tried the media server thing... let me see if I can track it down... you have to download this to your PC and read this - it seems basically like transferring stuff from the PS3 to it.

    You may have to mess around with creating folders it can read in the same way you have to when transferring from a USB drive to a PS3 - but who knows? I haven't tried yet.

    @ chamberlain: ugh, it's gorgeous.

  6. Damn it. I already have Uncharted coming on Amazon. Oh well...

  7. Oh, it's not that bad - it's just not as elegant and refined as one expects from an Uncharted game.

  8. Oh, okay. Awesome. Would you say that it is held back because the console games are just so graphically powerful or was it just a lack of effort or technical prowess from the devs?

  9. Not technical. Golden Abyss is often a very, very good-looking game - far better than anything you saw on the PS2, or even oXbox - but there are little gubbins here and there that deflate the experience.

    Once, for example, I was climbing a ledge on a high-up ruin, and some guys saw me. It was one of those situations like where you're hanging off the street signs in Uncharted 2, and you're expected to aim over top of the vertical slice you're hanging from to shoot your foes. The problem was - y'know when Drake will lean out, or reach towards his next handhold? - Drake was reaching up into space, indicating he was ready to jump to a handhold that wasn't there, and because that animation was taking place, the game wouldn't let me aim at the bad guys. I repeatedly had to crawl back and forth on my vertical slice, trying to find a spot where he wouldn't reach for his imaginary next step, and I could kill the enemies.

    That shit wouldn't have happened on Naughty Dog's watch.

    1. Okay, maybe that example is technical - but I was thinking more from a design perspective. There's a few choices made, here and there, that seem a) ill-conceived or b) only in the game to say they made use of the Vita's motion controls. Bleugh.

  10. That's pretty bad for the standard of quality ND has set for the franchise. But I guess some of these things were to expected.

    1. Update: I beat Golden Abyss just now, and the bug mentioned above never reared its ugly head for the entire rest of my playthrough.

  11. @Chance

    Because square is melee, silly. Wasn't reload one of the non-existent shoulder buttons on PSV?

    1. Make it square with an R1 modifier - easy peasy. Then it's mentally bookmarked like gun + action = reload, instead of having to tap this tiny icon I seem to miss two out of every three times.

      Another example of motion controls just not feeling too hot in Golden Abyss.