There’s been plenty of Metroidvania games to have hit our favorite little handheld, some great, some not so great (Exile’s End I’m looking at you). Today, I want to talk about some of my favorite games in the genre that are available on the PlayStation Vita.
Batman Arkham Origins Blackgate
Arkham Origins is a unique take on Batman Arkham universe, and it splendidly translates the Arkham world into a great mobile title. The presentation and overall graphics are solid, the characters and acting are awesome, and the plot kept interested throughout the entire game. The game features hand-drawn cutscenes that look beautiful on Vita’s OLED/LCD screen — they add a lot of personality to the game.
The combat is a ton of fun, and actually has some depth to it. You learn new moves and techniques that help you fight and get through to new areas (as expected in a Metroidvania title). Except you feel extra cool because you’re Batman, duh!
At the end of the day, while Batman Arkham Origins Blackgate wasn’t received greatly by critics, I found it to be a fun and worth-having experience on the PlayStation Vita.
After debuting on PlayStation 4 as part of Sony’s Pub Fund program, Axiom Verge finally made it to PlayStation Vita last year. Axiom Verge is a retro-styled action-platformer with 16-bit graphics, and It’s heavily influenced by Metroid, Contra, and other classic titles. The game was created entirely by one indie developer, Tom Happ, with high hopes of creating a nostalgia-filled ‘Metroidvania’ game, and to say the least, he succeeded.
Axiom Verge looks fantastic and screams “Metroid” thanks to very similar environments. In no way is that a negative thing; if there’s one thing the industry has been missing it’s a Metroidvania game that offers the same sense of isolation and mystique as the original Metroid did. Coming from someone who doesn’t have a lot of old-school sensibilities, I found that Axiom Verge was surprisingly easy to grasp. Save spots are spaced apart incredibly well, creating the perfect amount of challenge; in other words, dying doesn’t make you want to throw your Vita.
While traversing through areas, certain enemies are easier to kill with different weapons, creating a puzzle-like quality to Axiom Verge’s gunplay. Also, you’re constantly put into intense situations where you must choose your gun wisely – the gun that’s best suited to defeat a certain type of monster. Axiom Verge offers nostalgic-filled gameplay, with unique enemies and boss fights, a variety of fun guns and tools, and bold gameplay mechanics. It’s outstanding, and feels right at home on the PS Vita!
Guacamelee! had me hooked from the second I started playing. The comedy in the game is so well done and the platforming is damn near perfect. This game is the definition of what a great platformer is. If you haven’t played this game yet for some insane reason, don’t “jus’ walk away”, play it now! It’s available on almost every platform out there.
During my time with the game, one thing I loved is I never felt clueless on what to do next, which happens to me all the time with Metroidvania titles. The genre specifically isn’t my cup of tea. In other words, I’ve never really been drawn to a game in the genre in the past. However, after I played Guacamelee!, that quickly changed. For the first time ever I understood exactly what a Metroidvania was capable of. Aside from the typical ‘get a new item, then go here’ gameplay, the combat is extremely fun, and traversing areas using a time-shifter is a blast. Also, the special moves are kickass wrestling attacks — doesn’t get much better than that!
Muramasa: Rebirth (Metroidvania-like)
Muramasa: Rebirth is arguably the most visually impressive game on the PS Vita. It doesn’t push the hardware like Killzone: Mercenary, but rather showcases a gorgeous 2D art-style that will have you in awe from start to finish. Graphics aside, Muramasa: Rebirth is equipped with an action-packed adventure, tons of areas to explore, and thousands of baddies to kill. The breathtaking art-style, extra content and top-notch gameplay not only make Muramasa: Rebirth one of the best Metroidvania-like PS Vita games to date, but one of the games game available on the platform.
Related Article: Shadow of the Colossus PS Vita Remote-Play Review
What are some of your favorite Metroidvania games that are on PS Vita? Let me know in the comments or on our social media page!