PS Vita AR Games
If you were wondering what that pack containing six cards was for when you unpacked your Vita, they are designed to be used with the Vita’s camera system to create game in your very own room. Place one of the six numbered cards on a table (or any other flat service) and point the Vita’s camera at it to play. The concept will be familiar to 3DS owners but Sony’s attempts have, in my opinion, proven to be a lot more successful. This most certainly does not mean they are perfect but I found the set up and controls here far more gratifying. You can download three free games for the cards from the Vita's online store.
Fireworks is by far the most successful of the games. You can use any of the first three cards in the pack to create little houses from which fireworks launch. To fully enjoy the game, I would suggest lining out all three cards on a table. As the fireworks soar up you must tap them at the right moment to make them explode. With better timing comes more points but also a more spectacular show which may impair your ability to see other fireworks in the sky. There is also a free camera mode on offer that does not require any of the AR cards although I should mention that as this requires you to turn 360 degrees so you must either be standing or in a revolving chair while playing. There is little depth here but it is a surprisingly addictive challenge in the short run. As it is free it is a must have.
Lay a card on the table and watch a cliff form with water beneath ready for your diver to take the plunge. Gameplay revolves around timing the run, aiming the trajectory and hitting key buttons as you dive to complete the tricks required to pass. Or conversely, you can just make your diver jump off a cliff and smack into the ground below. It depends how much he annoys you. Each card brings a different jump but while interesting for a very, very short period, it becomes repetitive incredibly fast.
In a way the most ambitious of the games, requiring all six card to create a miniature Subbuteo game on your table. Unlike the other two games, this really must be set up on a table as you do require the cards to be well aligned. The first three cards create the pitch, four and five the stands and six the score board. Graphically this is a simplistic approach with the majority of the pitch being created with black and white lines. I was initially very excited when I started this game up as I thought it would provide a far longer playing experience than the previous two games. Control issues, however, soon took my joy away. Had I not being assigned to review the game, I would not have even bothered to make it past the required training sessions. Controls often fail and it comes tiring holding the Vita and trying to manage a pitch of players. This is exacerbated by the fact that the players are so small it is often difficult to adequately account for them. A game which looked promising but really needs to go back to the drawing boards
Story by entertainment.ie | 16:23 | Sunday 25th March 2012 | Games
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