The PlayStation Vita has been with us for six weeks now. Those of us here at GAME HQ who picked one up at launch having been playing them non-stop, but we've been convinced to put our PS Vitas down for just long enough to give you our thoughts on the console that has taken over our lives.
You'd be forgiven if you thought the PS Vita was bulky and heavy based on some of the pictures, but it's actually one of the most comfortable handhelds that we have ever used. The curved sides make the PS Vita comfortable to hold, and the rounded edges on the base ensure no discomfort after an hour's gaming with the PS Vita.
If you've used a PSP then you'll already have a feel for the button layout, although the buttons have been moved up a little to allow for the dual analogue sticks. These sticks are surprisingly comfortable to use, and although were a bit more sensitive than expected at first, after a couple of games they became second nature.
Overall, we've been very pleased with the look and feel of the PS Vita, but for us, the most important factor is the games, to the point that we've not even checked out all the Applications that came pre-installed! We've already shared our reviews of Uncharted: Golden Abyss and Unit 13, but here are some of the other games that we've enjoyed so far.
Football on handhelds has always been a mixed bag; we've always wanted the full FIFA experience on the go, but enjoyed the 'arcade' feel of previous handheld outings. Well, FIFA Football on the PS Vita delivers the experience that we've craved, and with the new analogue sticks instead of the PSP nub, FIFA plays superbly.
The controls are standard for PS3 FIFA, but EA has added Touchscreen and Rear Touch Pad controls too. Using the Touchscreen you'll be able to pass by tapping where you want the ball to go which allows you to set up perfect through balls. The Rear touch pad is used for scoring - tap or hold on the touch pad for where you want to shoot. Both of these methods are surprisingly accurate and fun to use, but if you are more old skool, then you can turn this method off.
FIFA Football for PS Vita gives you the FIFA experience and looks great on the OLED screen. If you're a football aficionado and want to score on the go, FIFA Football is a must have!
This cute and cuddly looking racer hides the heart of a lion as you create, customise and share your creations with the ModNation Community. Using the Touchscreen allows you to move character parts into the exact position that you want, plus you can doodle the track on the screen and let the auto populate run. You'll even be able to download community created content from PS3 users!
Driving in ModNation is fun and chaotic as you'd expect from a karting game with crazy characters and weapons littering the track, using the left stick to steer and the right stick to swipe at other racers if they're too close for comfort!
The only thing missing from ModNation Racers: RT is online racing, but with the possibility for infinite number of karts, tracks and racers, ModNation Racers has the possibility for infinite fun.
Ridge Racer drifts beautifully onto the PS Vita with gorgeous graphics and the standard tight controls that are needed when drifting a car round a corner at 140 mph! If you've ever played Ridge Racer then you'll know what to expect - fast cars, fast corners and great music that gets you in the driving mood.
The big difference between this and previous Ridge Racer titles is that this version only comes with 5 cars and 3 tracks on the cartridge. Fortunately the Gold Pass that comes packaged with a new copy of the game will grant you access to most of the downloadable content, including cars and tracks, when they become available.
Existing Ridge Racers might feel a little let down by having to wait for the new tracks and cars, but if you've never played Ridge Racer, then this is a great way to start.
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 brings big name beat 'em ups to the PS Vita (we're yet to try Reality Fighters), pitting some of Capcom and Marvel's biggest characters against each other in three-a-side tag-team battles. There's an impressive selection of characters which allows for some cool combinations (our pick - Dante, Ghost Rider and Deadpool), and when your special bar has enough juice you can unleash team attacks.
The controls for UMVC3 are easy to pick up so novices will be able to jump straight into the fun, while anyone whose played previous Marvel vs. Capcom titles won't be disappointed either. It looks great, the range of characters is great, and with some great modes to play through this one's a keeper.
LEGO games have always been a favourite for us, so LEGO Harry Potter Years 5-7 was a must-have. The last four films (or last three books, for non-muggles out there) are brought to life, with each film broken down into chapters, and sub chapters for you to play through. With LEGO putting its usual humorous spin on even the saddest moments, you'll want to go through all of these both in story mode, and then again in free mode!
Visually, LEGO HP 5-7 is almost on par with the PS3 version which is impressive. The controls are mirrored to the PS3 as well so they'll be no difficulty in getting your teeth into this. Anyone familiar with LEGO games will definitely enjoy visiting Hogwarts on your PS Vita; LEGO Harry Potter Years 5-7 is a great title for younger PS Vita players, or older gamers who are looking to satisfy their inner child.
So those are our thoughts on the PS Vita as we've played it so far - but how are you getting on with yours? We've not quite had the chance to do everything, so if there are any games you've tried and we haven't, or if you have any of the other features to rave about, why not leave a comment below?