Housemarque’s cylindrical shooter Resogun is still one of the major highlights in the PlayStation 4’s library. Its simplistic mechanics epitomise the very idea of pick-up-and-play, while its flashy visuals and smooth performance make it something of a showcase for Sony’s next-gen hardware. The title’s oft-requested PlayStation Vita port – produced by Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition developer Climax Studios – was always going to struggle to replicate the appeal of the original, then – but how close does it come?
Well, perhaps the best thing that can be said about this cross-buy conversion is that it’s still amazing fun. We’ve joked about the release’s addictive qualities in the past, but this scribe finds himself penning this review with bleary eyes after a twilight session before bed turned into something of an all-nighter last evening. Once again, you’ll find yourself saving the last humans for points, purging all manner of geometric enemies with an increasingly potent laser gun and an entertainingly overpowered ultra move.
The vast array of scattered voxels that underlined the marketing method for the original outing are still very much present here, though they’re nowhere near as plentiful as on the Japanese giant’s newer device. This is particularly noticeable during those end of stage Armageddon moments, which seem significantly less impressive on the portable platform. The sheer number of flashy effects running at any one moment have also been scaled back; screen rippling pulses are abundant, but there are few fewer bells and whistles to admire.
It’s the framerate that’s suffered the most, though, with the rock solid 60 frames-per-second of the original replaced by a much more manageable 30 frames-per-second refresh rate. While the controls still feel responsive in spite of this concession, the title lacks that slick sense of speed that made us fall in love with the original. You will get used to it after an hour or so of play, and we haven’t encountered any drops so far, but it’s obviously not the way that the title was initially intended.
That said, it’s still an outrageously entertaining game. Learning to keep your combo alive while simultaneously dealing with enemies and liberating humans isn’t easy at first, but you’ll gradually master these elements as you return to the title’s addictive well time and time again. In that sense, having it on a handheld is appreciated, as it’s the type of experience that’s perfect for padding out boring bus journeys or train rides. You can even cross-save your progress with the PlayStation 3 should you desire.
It’s just a shame that the package has been watered down in other areas. The free ship editor, for example, has been ripped out, so you’re back to just three choices of craft. Meanwhile, it doesn’t look like the Heroes expansion will be making the jump, which means that you’ll be missing out on two of the title’s better modes – Survival and Demolition – should you opt to play this edition exclusively. Fortunately, co-op – which can be enjoyed both online and in ad-hoc – is present and correct, as are the title’s all-important scoreboards.
This diluted edition of Resogun isn’t exactly a spectacle on the Vita, but it’s still a thoroughly entertaining game. The cut-down framerate means that the arcade action isn’t quite as tight as on the PS4, but it’s still exceedingly enjoyable in short bursts. With cross-buy support and a fresh set of Trophies to obtain, this portable port is more than deserving of a place on your handheld’s memory card – just don’t expect to be blown away all over again.