By Robert Kellett
2016 was another year in the long life cycle of the Vita platform. It continues to offer tons of high quality games and 2016 was no execption. Many releases that are the platforms best came out this year and today, I will be talking about my thoughts on the Vita in 2016.
When the year begain, we got a few surprsie releases like XCOM Enemy Unknown, Civilization Revolution 2 Plus and Assassins Creed Chronicles. All three titles were strong western-developed games and brought console-quality gaming to the Vita. It was nice to play long games of Civilization on my Vita or help lead my team against the invading ailens in XCOM. Other quality western releases joining these three games included Sony’s Third Part Relations Team working with SNK to get quality games from their library playable on Vita. Metal Slug 3 was the first in a series of great SNK games coming to the Vita and I really enjoyed my time with Metal Slug 3. This continued with The Last Balde 2 and most recently Genju Mark of the Wolves.
These games were a welcomed surprise and made many Vita owners happy. But this year marked something huge for the Vita; the rise of physical games releasing from indie studios. The origins of Limited Run Games; developer turned game manufacture, they work with other indie studios to get their games in retail format and many have bought retail editions of games like Oddworld Strangers Wrath. It is a groundbreaking move in game perseveration and helping the issue of limited storage compacity for Vita memory cards (which are still quite pricey).
2016 also saw the some very strong indie games releasing on the Vita. I personally really enjoyed games like Image & Form Games SteamWorld Heist, DrinkBox’s Severed, Tom Happ’s Axiom Verge and Curve Digital’s Hue. They were some of this years finest indie titles and fit the system perfectly.
But it wasn’t just indie studios supporting the Vita, so did many Japanese studios. This years newest publisher for the Vita was P Qube Games, releasing projects on the Vita like Root Letter, Stiens;Gate 0, and the plot heavy Valkyrie Drive. They will be releasing more quality titles in 2017, ensuring they continue supporting the Vita. Other noteworthy Japanese Studios of the year include Bandai-Namco Games with games like Digimon Cyber Sleuth, God Eater 2: Rage Burst and Sword Art Online Hollow Realization. All of those games are enjoyable experiences and I hope they continue supporting the Vita in 2016.
Square Enix is the biggest shocker of 2016 for the Vita, as they had a lot of content for the platform in both Japanese and Western Markets. Starting the year off the release of Hitman GO, they continued bringing games to the Vita like the highly requested Adventures of Mania and in the fall three high quality titles Dragon Quest Builders, World of Final Fantasy and Lara Croft GO. I did not expect them to support the Vita as much as they did in 2016, so it was nice seeing Square Enix frequently release quality content on the PS Vita.
2016 is a year where the Vita continued to persist and release quality software, with the final month of the year still offering new releases for us to play. What the next year holds for the Vita is unknown but the system still a lot of life left in it. The system of life will continue offering great content for us to play in 2017.