No, I’m not talking about WordPress… even though that would also qualify. I’m talking about the PS Vita.
The console got my attention when I saw its launch titles – Lumines greatly interested me, of course, since Lumines is one of the best puzzle games I’ve ever played. Also on that list was Wipeout 2048 and Super Stardust Delta (I loved both their PS3 versions, but since I don’t have a PS3, I never got to play them much). There was also Dynasty Warriors Next, and Touch My Katamari, too. So, that’s 5 games before the console was even released – a record for me.
Wasn’t just the games, either – I quite liked the PSP, and so I rejoiced when I saw the Vita had TWO analog sticks that didn’t look like thumbtacks. Plus, there’s the touchscreen, the microphone, dual cameras, rear touch pad, accelerometer and AR capability, which interested me a fair bit. So, when I figured out I could afford one, I was basically sold.
When I first got the system, I really couldn’t fault it. The display was excellent, build quality was good, analog sticks felt good, touch screen was really nice, and I was impressed with the graphical capability, too. But that was when I first got it. Now, I’m starting to find a lot of irritations.
Firstly, I’m sick of it asking me to “please wait”. At first, I never really paid much attention to it, but now… Jesus Christ! I’m not kidding – “please wait” flashes up at LEAST four times as the idiot device is trying to connect to PSN or do other random unnecessary turd before a game ACTUALLY starts.
Then there are the features that looked good and/or innovative, but aren’t. The rear touch pad is irritating as hell, and I don’t like it at all – I don’t think any game I’ve played so far has used it to do anything good or interesting. The AR is better than that other fad, “3D”, but that’s not saying much, since the three games that demonstrate it are so bad they made me want to slam my head off a wall. Fireworks is insanely boring and feels as if it has no real purpose, Cliff Diver is just a shitty game where you tap at certain times and its use of AR is completely inconsequential to gameplay, and Table Football has the worst controls in the world.
The cameras are dreadful, too, and anything they see is fuzzy and dark. Here, let me show you:
Since there is basically no colour in the image, this massively affects games that use the camera, such as Frobisher Says, which I’ll get onto later. And to be honest, I don’t think ANY game should use the camera at ALL. I mean, in multiplayer, Wipeout 2048 tries to take your picture and send it to the other players before a race, and you’ve only got 5 seconds to react and stop it. When I first realised what it was trying to do, I literally yelled “WHOA, are you fucking kidding me?! STOP!” I mean, think about it – I could send ANYTHING, and so could the other players! What the hell were they even thinking?!
Then there are the personal experiences. At one time, the Vita unexplainably FORGOT how to connect to PSN. It would just get stuck on the “Connecting to PlayStation Network” screen. Literally, STUCK. It doesn’t time out, ever, even if you leave the thing running for an hour, which really shows the magnificent quality of the firmware. >.> I thought it was my wireless, but nope, it was the Vita, cuz I restarted the thing and it was okay again. But why was it suddenly UNABLE to connect? PSN wasn’t down or anything…
Another time, the Vita locked up. Fine, these things happen. But resetting the thing is ridiculous. None of the buttons seem to respond, and there’s no reset button, and the battery is concealed. I assumed you needed to hold down the power button for some time. But it turned out it’s not a sensible five seconds. Not a cautious 10 seconds, either! More of a RETARDED TWENTY seconds. TWENTY?! Why does it need to take SO LONG?
Game loading times are sometimes utterly terrible, as well. Say you have a 10 minute break – if you boot the Vita up and stick in a game card, by the time you get past the firmware, the 2000 loading and “please wait” screens, and the game’s menus, you’ll be lucky to have 5 minutes of gameplay.
Also, when the Vita’s on standby, its light keeps turning on and off for no apparent reason, as if it’s doing something. Seriously, it DOESN’T NEED TO DO ANYTHING WHEN IT’S ON STANDBY! It’s like it WANTS to drain its battery!
Also, this “near” thing is pathetic, and it has nothing on the DS’ rather good StreetPass and SpotPass firmware features. StreetPass lets you collect background pieces from other people, and it even has a mini-RPG in the form of StreetPass Quest. Near gives you pointless “I-don’t-give-a-shit” game charts, and you get “Game Goods”, which are messages, sometimes in different languages, containing mostly pointless unlockable thingies for games – even ones you don’t actually own.
Then there are the games. Yes, the launch titles were nice and all (apart from Dynasty Warriors Next being crap), but after a while, we kind of want NEW games to play. There hasn’t been a major Vita release in forever, apart from Rayman Origins, but you can only play single player on the Vita version, and Rayman Origins is boring single player. Lol.
We’ve had a free match-3 released in the form of Montezuma Blitz, but the devs don’t actually want you to play it, since it has a dumb lives system (max five lives, one game costs one life, lives regenerate over time, no lives = no game (but you can refill them for 79p LMFAO get the fuck out)) and as you gain ranks, the game becomes increasingly impossible to play without bonuses, and they cost gems which you can either grind for or pay for (LMFAO get the fuck out).
Also in downloadable games, there’s a terrible game called StarDrone Extreme (which is not very extreme but does drone on) and another game which doesn’t have a trial version and therefore I don’t care about it. And recently, Frobisher Says, which is the worst WarioWare clone I’ve ever seen. It feels half-made, has almost no content whatsoever, the games are shit, and its only purpose seems to be to show off the Vita’s features WHICH WE ALREADY KNOW ABOUT! In fact, the way this game makes shit use of the Vita’s hardware actually makes me LESS impressed with the device! One game requires you to find an object of a certain colour and point your camera at it. So yeah, what if I don’t have a green object? What if the stupid camera can’t pick it up cuz it thinks we’re in a black hole? I’m stuck and have to quit. Another game requires you to smile, but again, the camera couldn’t even pick me up in this well-lit room, and I had to skip the dumb game, which affects my score! YOU affect MY final score, because YOU didn’t work?! What?!
And my most recent negative experience – trying to delete something. After doing my best to shit on Frobisher Says’ ridiculous four star rating, I asked the Vita to uninstall it. It said “please wait” as goddamn usual, but never actually removed the game. It was stuck there for 5 minutes before I decided to do the dumbass 20-second power button press, constantly thinking “this is gonna mess up my data, this is gonna mess up my data…” It didn’t, thankfully, but then took a further three minutes to remove the game it’d already taken 5 minutes to attempt to remove before! EIGHT MINUTES TO DELETE A 400MB GAME?! WHAT!
Oh, and the PlayStation Suite SDK, the thing you can use to program games/apps for the Vita? Hilariously bad. The simulator can’t play audio properly, some of the sample apps don’t actually work properly on the Vita (or are broken in various other ways), the help, tutorials and API pages are obviously translated from Japanese by someone not fluent with English, and some of the method/parameter descriptions are STILL in Japanese, so I don’t know what they do. And this is OPEN beta, not closed beta. It’s nothing like XNA, and isn’t even close to competing. Hasn’t even been updated in ages.
So yeah, I’m becoming seriously unimpressed. It’s like Sony have gotten bored of the Vita already. Fix your SDK (ask Microsoft how), and can we please get some proper GAMES on the Vita now instead of these “games” which only exist to show off the device’s features?