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Game of the Year: Best PlayStation Vita Game of 2012

Posted by Push Square Staff

Pocket rockets

Sony clearly intended for the PlayStation Vita to sprint out of the starting blocks quicker than Usain Bolt when it deployed the system in February. It didn’t. But by launching the platform alongside a star-studded software line-up, at least it ensured that we had plenty to play on the train this year.

Best PlayStation Vita Game of 2012: Gravity Rush

An early standout in the PlayStation Vita’s very first software showreel, Gravity Rush delivered on its promise better than a fridge full of ingredients and a celebrity chef. Offering an eye-popping art style and an adventurous physics-based gameplay mechanic, the exciting exclusive successfully turned our worlds upside down when it was released in mid-June.

While the title could have benefited from a little more mission variety, soaring through the fictitious, floating city of Hekseville to the sound of twinkling harps and upbeat piano melodies delivered a unique experience, enhanced by its impressive use of the Vita’s remarkably accurate accelerometers.

The introduction of Kat really pushed Gravity Rush above its peers

And yet, for all of the release’s achievements in the gameplay department, it was the introduction of pert protagonist Kat that really pushed the portable adventure to the top of our game of the year poll. Witty, independent and armed with more one-liners than a joke book, the acrobatic heroine shot straight to the summit of PlayStation stardom.

“Gravity Rush is a rare gem,” we gushed in our review. “It's a game that defies expectations almost as frequently as the physical properties it’s built upon. A surreal narrative is complemented by genuinely ground-breaking gameplay mechanics, and while it’s not always flawless, it culminates in one of the most outstandingly original experiences of the year.”

Runner Up: LittleBigPlanet PS Vita

Not all of Sony’s brands made the perfect transition from home console to handheld in 2012 – just ask Resistance: Burning Skies. But newcomers Tarsier and Double Eleven proved that ‘Play Create Share’ makes more sense on the move when it released LittleBigPlanet PS Vita in September.

Equipped with an arsenal of touch controls and some genuinely ingenious ideas – allowing budding creator curators to construct stages with save states is up there with Turkey Twizzlers as far as we’re concerned – Sackboy’s latest outing was one of the real standouts in the Vita’s exceptional opening year, and a shoe-in for a spot in our game of the year countdown.

Honourable Mentions: Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational, Need for Speed: Most Wanted, Sine Mora, Sound Shapes, Super Stardust Delta, WipEout 2048.

What was your favourite PlayStation Vita game of 2012? Do you agree with our winners? Let us know in the comments section below.

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User Comments (16)

get2sammybAdmin

#2

get2sammyb said:

@tulaib_100 Unfortunately, Persona 4 missed the deadline for our vote. Furthermore, it is only available in North America at the moment. As a result, we decided to leave it off our poll. However — we fully recommend the game! :)

ZeD

#3

ZeD said:

@get2sammyb we will have that game in EU soon! Out of all games mentioned I believe Need for Speed is a very important title for the vita! It shows developers that a home console game can be ported onto the Vita! It plays like a dream. I hope other devs think like this in the future! I am looking at you LEGO games! Shakes Fist!

hydeks

#4

hydeks said:

nope, Uncharted should have been at least runner up :P Not even a honorable mention? Ouch...wtf?

JayArr

#5

JayArr said:

I loved the original concept but to me Gravity Rush wasn't that impressive. The combat and missions became extremely repetitive. The characters, story, and world were all rather bland and forgetable.

That said you still made the right choice. Uncharted, WipeOut, and LBP were all just more of the same with control gimmicks added.

The Vita is such an impressive piece of hardware, I am really excited to see what this year brings. I expect some truly amazing games to start coming out soon.

Knux

#6

Knux said:

Glad to see that Gravity Rush won this year. Not only it's an amazing and original game, but it actually shows off the Vita without resorting to be gimmicky like Golden Abyss did.

get2sammybAdmin

#8

get2sammyb said:

@JayArr The characters were bland?! Kat is one of my favourite new PlayStation protagonists in years! She's amazing.

Knux

#9

Knux said:

Kat is amazing, but the story doesn't make much sense to me so far. But perhaps it will make sense after I finish the game and play the DLC missions. Not that the story matters as much to me considering the gameplay is utterly amazing.

Gemuarto

#10

Gemuarto said:

Do you know the story about Newton and apple? Now remember what you need to do in the begining of Gravity Rush before you actually start playing. =))).. It's absolutely amazing idea.... don't you think? And ask yourself does it really need to make sense? This is a story about what's going on in the girl's head(look at japanese sub title.....) and believe me,not everything in girl's heads makes sense. =))))))....... Story of GR is pure imagination and it's much more enjoyable to give you own answers to that imagination.... Yes, people used to stories that are strict and dictate what to feel and what to think....But it's always possible to make something a little bit diffirent but not necessarily less enjoyable...

hamispink

#11

hamispink said:

My top five would probably be Persona 4, LittleBigPlanet, Uncharted: GA, Mutant Blobs Attack, and Gravity rush respectively. (Need for Speed is an honorable mention)
The bottom three could probably be interchangeable, though choosing between Persona 4 and LittleBigPlanet is a tough call. I've had so much fun with so many vita games this year, and I've still yet to finish Persona 4, Need for Speed, or Uncharted fight for fortune, and I've yet to even tough MGS:HD. My vita should still get plenty of play time through next year, even with the sparse release schedule.

Kimiko

#13

Kimiko said:

My favorite Vita game would definitely be Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward.

Gravity Rush looks cool, but is too hard. This game was such a disappointment for me. I could barely get through the first three missions and on the fourth I just gave up after failing for the umpteenth time. There are just too many controls to keep track of and the game is too hectic.

Gamer83

#14

Gamer83 said:

Absolutely agree with the choice. Gravity Rush is a game I'd consider making an argument for overall GOTY to be honest. I love it. Great new character, crazy but fun story and awesome gameplay that felt very much like inFamous (another one of my favorite series). LBP is also fantastic, I got some enjoyment out of the PS3 LBPs but it wasn't until the Vita game that I felt the series had truly perfected its formula. Best platformer of the year imo just ahead of Mark of the Ninja.

My top 5 for Vita for the year:
1. Gravity Rush
2. LBP Vita
3. Mortal Kombat
4. Uncharted: Golden Abyss
5. MLB 12 The Show

Honorable mentions: Sine Mora, Need for Speed: Most Wanted, Assassin's Creed 3: Liberation, Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed, Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale

Colors

#15

Colors said:

@Kimiko Really? I find Gravity Rush extremely forgiving. No penalties for falling off a map and enemies that deal very little damage. Although I completely agree on it being too hectic at times, but I wouldn't say it was very hectic in the first four missions

@Gamer83 Those are some good games, but only Gravity Rush, LBP Vita, Uncharted and AC3: Liberation are Vita exclusive. The others are ports and available on other platforms.

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