Snackbar Games Holiday Gift Guide 2012: Vita

November 21, 2012

Looking for a good game for yourself or someone else this holiday season? We’ve got you covered. The Vita has quietly built up a decent pool of games this year, and it’s been bolstered by some solid PSP digital titles, too.

LittleBigPlanet VitaThe original LittleBigPlanet was a marvel and a breakthrough. Hitting just as the world was ready for it, it provided the PS3 with three elements it desperately needed: a family-friendly flagship series, an excited, engaged creative community and a fun multiplayer game both online and locally. The second game was a logical next step, rounding off a few rough edges and really opening up the level creation possibilities. The Vita’s new LittleBigPlanet follows LBP2‘s formula most closely, letting the new creative possibilities drive the experience and hoping the rest falls into place. (Full review)

WipEout 2048: WipEout 2048 is a shining example of a polished launch title. Solid controls, steady framerate, and a nice amount of content are enough to make the game worth picking up, even to people who wouldn’t normally consider this a genre of choice. 2048 is fantastic for both bite-sized and long play sessions, and I can’t recommend it enough for any Vita owner’s library. (Full review)

Lumines: Electric Symphony: Lumines: Electronic Symphony is more Lumines with a few neat additions. The game looks gorgeous on the Vita’s large screen and the gameplay is as addictive as it has ever been. For some, these small changes might not be enough to warrant a purchase, but I can say with absolute certainty that this is the best Lumines yet. New Vita owners looking for a fun puzzle experience won’t want to miss this. (Full review)

Uncharted: Golden Abyss: When I first heard that Uncharted was coming to the Vita, I felt trepidation over how it would turn out. When I heard it was going to have touch and tilt controls, I decided that there was no way it would be able to compare to the console titles. I’ve never been so happy to be proven wrong. If you’ve got a Vita already, there is no reason not to pick this up, and if you need a good reason to pick one up, then consider this your reason. (Full review)

Rayman Origins: It’s not so often when we get a new 2D platformer these days; each new release in the genre should be treasured, especially if they are worth playing. Thankfully, Rayman Origins is one of the most delightful games you’ll play all year and deserves a place in the collection of any platformer fan. (Full review)

Sound ShapesSound Shapes is a game to be experienced, by everyone. It’s best in short bursts and not particularly challenging outside of the Death Mode, but that’s just fine, because it embraces the idea of being a purely creative, fun experience, and it delivers. (Full review)

Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward: The second title in what has been retroactively re-branded as the Zero Escape series is Virtue’s Last Reward, and like any true sequel, it features a lot of the best aspects of 999 and even a returning character or two. In fact, playing VLR without first experiencing 999 will spoil elements of the previous game’s surprise-packed narrative, so be warned. (Full review)

Growlanser: Wayfarer of Time (PSP): As a system reaches the end of its life, it tends to have one final flurry of quality titles as it goes. This is that time for the PSP, as the Japan-centric system gets what will likely be its last wave of translated RPGs. Most titles like these are destined to be ignored in their time and rediscovered later, but Growlanser: Wayfarer of Time has two things going for it that others don’t: Vita compatibility and a design that’s already detached from the current norm. (Full review)

Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom (PSP): This is definitely not a game for everyone. It’s really first game of it’s kind to ever be localized in the US, more so for it’s target audience than anything else. Still, there are enjoyable things to be read here, and it’s definitely a game worth picking up based on the premise alone. (Full review)