It’s Vita week here at PlayStationPalo blog. Fortunately, contrary to popular belief, there are games on the handheld so it’s not a problem that I currently don’t have access to my PS3. The trophies keep flowing and the games are being played. Obviously, some might say that the titles on today’s list are not Vita exclusives nor even mainly Vita games but let’s not be too picky about it. Last week, in preparation for PS4’s Resogun, I decided to give Super Startdust Delta a shot. I also played some Stealth, Inc. but I spent most of my playing time on Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time. Read on to see how I did in those games and what fun trophies I managed to unlock. How have your Vitas been lately? Any interesting titles that I should look into or did you just kept trying to connect to random PS4s with the new PS4 Link app? Let me know in the comments!
Super Stardust Delta
| Hero of Alena
|| Hero of Sekora
|Arcade, Planets – Complete planet Alena||Arcade, Planets – Complete planet Sekora|
| Hero of Mahler
|| Hero of Werth
|Arcade, Planets – Complete planet Mahler||Arcade, Planets – Complete planet Werth|
| Hero of Yuriko
|| Shield Blaster
|Arcade, Planets – Complete planet Yuriko||Collect 5 shield tokens while already having a shield|
|Crush! – Complete mode||Disc Slide – Get 10x multiplier|
| Hot Roller
|| Core Destroyer
|Rock & Roll – Get 50x multiplier||Trucker – Destroy 30 green cores|
I’m a little bit to young to have played Asteroids as a little kid. My earliest gaming memories center around my Atari 800XL and Commodore 64 and titles that were more, if only slightly, advanced mechanically. Still, flying around a spherical plane, shooting asteroids, alien ships and monsters can be fun and more challenging than it might sound. Obviously, simply beating the game, that is completing all five Planets, is not very difficult, but trying to maximize the multiplier, to get the highest score, to avoid getting hit can be demanding.
Super Stardust Delta is a Vita version of Super Stardust HD, released 5 years prior on PS3, which conquered the hearts of gamers, longing for old-school shooters. Housemarque, who developed SSD, is also responsible for one of my favorite PSN games ever released, and the only positive thing that came out of the PSN outage a few years back, Dead Nation. If you didn’t get the chance to play this amazing co-op zombie shooter, wait no more! You don’t even need to finish reading this post, just go! Or maybe wait for the Vita version, which is, hopefully, coming this year.
Playing SSD should be a nice warmup before the PS4 hits the shelves in less than 3 weeks with Resogun being available for free on PlayStation Plus. This new Housemarque game keeps true to the visual and gameplay style of SSD but it supposedly looks and plays even better.
The trophies I got so far in SSD didn’t require anything special on my part. There are bronze trophies for completing each of the planets and challenges. The latter make use of Vita’s touchscreen and accelerometer controls, which I don’t think is such a great idea. Obscuring half of the screen with the hand while trying to touch-control an object on the screen doesn’t really help when you’re trying to avoid enemies on it. Also, the calibration of the accelerometer zero-position didn’t work that well. All in all, I don’t think I’ll be coming back to those modes. The raw arcade shooter is much more fun and I still haven’t tried the Endless mode.
Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
| Wardrobe Malfunction
|| Family Matters
|Unlock your first change of clothing||Rescue Sly’s long lost Cooper relative in Episode 1|
| What’s Behind Door Number One?
|| Low Calorie Sushi
|Unlock a costume gate in any episode||Complete all the jobs and beat the boss in Episode 1|
|| Radical Ninja
|Reunite with Sly’s long lost Cooper relative in Episode 2||Stealth kill 15 enemies without alerting anyone|
| Ancient Warfare 3
|Crackshot 10 enemies within 65 seconds||Complete any Alter Ego without leveling up once|
| Dust Bunnies
|| Bigfoot For Real
|Complete all the jobs and beat the boss in Episode 2||Track down Sly’s long lost Cooper relative in Episode 3|
| Oh Look It’s Shiny
|Pickpocket 10 unique items||Complete all the jobs and beat the boss in Episode 3|
I’m about 55% done with Sly and already the amount of different gameplay elements it offers is amazing, which keeps the title fresh and makes me coming back for more. Each of the characters in the game, and there are many, has his or her own special abilities which can be upgraded using coins collected during jobs. There are multiple minigames, mostly starring Bentley and his hacking equipment, but one of the early missions features a dancing Geisha-Murray in a Rockband-like rhythm minigame. The only real repetitive part of the game are the enemies. I’ve visited three time periods so far and they are always the same, re-skinned versions of each other. Fortunately, fighting is usually not the main focus of gameplay, so interaction with them can be limited.
The trophies in the game are relatively easy, although I somehow found a way to screw up most of the mission-specific ones. They usually require the player to complete a task without taking damage or making any mistakes and I haven’t been able to do it so far. However, my main goal is to beat the story mode first and then focus on finding all the collectibles and going back to other trophies. The story itself awards two bronze trophies per chapter – one for finding one of Sly’s relatives, and one for completing the chapter. The gameplay is rather easy, as it’s a game aimed also at a younger audience, so going through the jobs in the game is a fun, relaxing experience.
Using some of the characters’ special abilities is also worth trophies. I managed to unlock one for using the Dead Eye ability of Tennessee Cooper and one for ninja stealth kills. By the way, I find it somehow strange that a game like this uses the word ‘kill’ in the trophy descriptions. I would have tried to go for something less violent in a kids game.
Stealth, Inc.: A Clone in the Dark
| Technical Skills
|| Job Security
|Complete Sector 002 – Technical Damage||Complete Sector 003 – Security Crackdown|
Talking about old-school games. This one certainly has a retro feel to it, especially taking into account the difficulty level. As is usually the case with games like this one, simply finishing it is not a challenge. There is no time limit, there are infinite retries so the only problem is figuring out how to complete the puzzles, which can be tricky but are rarely frustrating. What is frustrating, is suddenly realizing that a level, which can be beat in one minute, is taking me over 45 minutes to beat because I HAVE TO get the highest rank. This means avoid getting noticed, not losing any lives and finishing it in a specific amount of time, where every slip-up, every mistake costs valuable seconds and ultimately results in me pressing the select button and doing it all over again.
In my opinion, games like this one really help distinguish between real and casual gamers, i.e. crazy and normal people. No sane person would spend hours on end trying to make a small digital fellow jump, duck, press buttons and run in order to be rewarded by a letter ‘S’ and a digital trophy. Still, I do that and it is fun. I don’t believe I ever said I was a sane person, did I? Even though the game has been released over two years ago on PC, it’s byte-sized levels make it a great fit for the Vita, especially if you just want to spent 10-15 minutes figuring out a few moderately-difficult platforming/stealth puzzles and not trying to be a master at the game.
Unfortunately for trophy hunters, the trophies-per-hour ration in this game is extremely low since there aren’t many to unlock in the first place. So far, I only got three bronze ones for completing the first three sectors of the game, and I’m sure I spent, on average, more than 90 minutes per sector, each one consisting of 10 levels. There are more trophies for finding all the DNA samples and S-ranking all the levels but this will take significantly more time.