Checkpoint: Portable Gaming 2012 Edition

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Now that I have the PlayStation Vita and Nintendo 3DS XL, I though it was about time I shared some impressions on the hardware.

Build Quality

The white PlayStation Vita is a real looker. Every inch of the handheld feels sturdy and high quality despite being very light.

Nintendo’s handhelds are well built but they don’t normally have that high quality feel that Sony infuses into their handhelds. The 3DS XL bucks that trend and is easily the nicest of the Nintendo dual screen handhelds that I own. (I have a DS Lite & DSi as well)

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Checkpoint: Games Across All Platforms Edition

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Did you know I owned a PlayStation Vita? I haven’t spoken much about it but I promise to write some impressions later. All I’ve been playing on the Sony handheld is Wipeout 2048. And technically I’m not even playing my own save because the damn device cannot juggle multiple profiles. Game developers could allow multiple saves but I doubt that will be common practice.

I grabbed a copy of Rayman: Jungle Run for $0.99 and promptly finished it. It’s easily my favorite of those platformers for iOS. Shamefully, I have yet to even start Rayman: Origins.

Continuing on the portable gaming front, I started Professor Layton & the Last Specter. I’m confused by the game’s placement in the Professor Layton timeline. I learned that it’s technically the beginning of a brand new “season”. Does that mean reboot? I wouldn’t mind if each new season was treated as an opportunity to start somewhat fresh.

On the console side of things, I still have my copy of Call of Duty: Black Ops II in my PlayStation 3 and continue to play the multiplayer on a regular basis. As for Halo 4? My time with Xbox Live! Gold is drawing to a close and I don’t plan on renewing it free months or the like. I’m going to wait for this season’s worth of Spartan Ops to wrap up and then dive back in to check that all out.

Lastly, there’s Sleeping Dogs which I’m enjoying more and more. Not only is it fun but the themes and messages that are being shared resonates with me like no other game. I’ve heard many of these things from family members but it’s weird to hear it coming through a game. I hope it continues to be great.

Studio Liverpool Closes

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Today is a sad day for futuristic hover racing fans. Studio Liverpool — creator of the WipEout franchise — was shuttered by Sony today.

My history with WipEout started rather late. I was first introduced to the hover racer back in 2005 with WipEout Pure on the PlayStation Portable. I was instantly hooked by the franchise’s signature electronic beats and colorful styling.

I then picked up WipEout Pulse in 2007 and enjoyed my time with that. However, I didn’t truly appreciate the WipEout experience until 2008’s release of WipEout HD. Smooth hover racing in glorious high definition? I played that game for hours and continued to enjoy it.

I didn’t pick up the PlayStation Vita release of WipEout 2048 because I don’t own a Vita. It’s very sad knowing that Studio Liverpool won’t be there to release a PlayStation 4 version of their signature franchise.

Here’s an awesome clip reel of all the WipEout games starting way back in 1995 and the release of the original WipEout and ending with the Vita release of WipEout 2048.

You will be missed, Studio Liverpool. Thanks for all the great games!

Should I Get A PS Vita?

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I have the opportunity to pick up a PS Vita for $149.99 ($100 off) but I’m still hesitant. I don’t know what the PlayStation Vita line up looks like and I have to buy a memory card.

Let’s take a what PS Vita games I’m interested in first:

  • Wipeout 2048
  • Persona 4 Golden
  • Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational
  • Gravity Rush

Four games but I actually just want the the first two. Also three out of the four titles have origins from the home consoles. It’s not the most compelling line up which is why I’m finding it difficult to pull the trigger. It’s not like the Nintendo 3DS which has the Marios and the Professor Layton games which I so adore.

Then there’s the issue of storage. I’m looking at a 16GB memory card which I can get for $60. I can also get an 8GB memory card for $30 but it may be a bit too small. So what’s the real cost of the PS Vita? About $200 without a single game.

And with that, I say: no thanks.

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