If you’re a PS VITA owner, I bet you’ve been waiting for that game experience that would set the VITA apart from every other handheld and console available. If you’re like me, you probably saw Japanese or Pre-Order box art for Gravity Rush and thought it was some type of futuristic racing game. You may have even looked past it based on the title, which is a damn shame. Gravity Rush is one of the most innovated 3D action RPG’s I’ve played in some time. It combines several game play and story telling elements to give you truly unique experience only available on the PS VITA.
You play the roll of a young girl, Kat, who has lost her memory and wakes up in an unfamiliar town. The town is falling apart because of the destruction from the Navi, evil black creatures with no straightforward intentions. Kat is followed by a black cat that gives her powers of gravitation control. She can defy gravity at will, but only in limited duration. She can fly, throw and carry objects and walk on any surface.
Gravity Rush was developed by Sony Japan Studios. They always put in quality work and I can honestly say that Gravity Rush is a great example of this. The game uses both cell shaded and traditional graphics to tell the story. It all takes place in 4 small open world towns. As you progress through the campaign, you open up access to each of these worlds. For most of the game your character is trying to find out who she is. In the process she helps the locals with small missions that eventually lead up to her fighting the Navi to mend the damage they’ve done to the towns. More and more is revealed about the character and the story throughout the campaign. Being an action RPG, you will have to talk to many people to get clues and missions. You’ll spend the first part of the game finding a home and furniture. This is important because you need a home for manual saving, changing into outfits and warping to other towns.
At first you’ll be intrigued by the gravity control system but you’ll soon learn that every time you use it is a blast. You click R1 to enable gravity mode and then use the analog stick or turn the VITA in the direction you want to fly then click R1 again. When you are flying you can stop by clicking R1 again or continue until you land on a surface which will become your new plane of gravity. It’s amazing being able to use any surface in the game. There’s nothing you can’t reach or get to. The gravity system can also be used for fighting as you can do a flying kick from any distance. While using these powers you always have to be mindful of how much you have left because if you run out, you will fall to the ground. Shortly after it runs out it will regenerate and you can use it again, even in mid-air while you are falling. Kat also has a bag of kung fu tricks. She can do several melee kicks while on the ground. She also has a super powered move that she can do from the air that will drill through anything in her path. You can also upgrade her abilities by using these purple crystals that she picks up throughout the game. These abilities make her more powerful, allow longer gravity jumps, etc.
Boss fights may be frustrating for some, but I had an absolute blast with them. There’s nothing like chasing a huge monster through a city using gravity as your tool. I think the only time I died was during a boss fight. You can fall from 200 feet and you’ll be just fine. Fall off the world and you’ll re-appear back where you started. The most difficult thing to master was the sensitivity on the analog controls needed to aim when throwing things at enemies.
If I have to leave one impression about Gravity Rush, it’s that this game is like no other game you’ve ever played. I make this generalization because in my 35+ years of gaming I’ve never played anything like it. It has both action and rpg elements and a story that slowly grows on you. When you are bored of doing campaign missions, there are plenty of challenge missions for you to check out. There are races, fights and gravity based challenges dispersed throughout the city. You can also take time to do side missions like repairing machinery with the use of your purple crystals. It never gets boring at all and the game play is solid. There is nothing more fun then leaping of the ground, pointing to a building across the way, flying to it and crash landing. The name of the game doesn’t do it justice. This game deserves a name as epic as ICO or Mass Effect. I passed even looking at this game on amazon.com several times because I thought it was a racer. I was so wrong. It’s due out on June 12 so save your pennies. This right here is the definitive PS VITA title and you won’t find it anywhere else.