In May, I started a three part series where I give one sentence reviews of every PS Vita game I’ve ever played, with the first entry covering A to J and the second entry covering K to R. As such, I conclude the trilogy today with games S to Z. Note that it’s in alphabetical order and if it’s not on this list, I simply haven’t played it or haven’t played it enough to have an opinion on it (e.g. despite it being a popular Vita game, I’ve never played Tales of Hearts R, hence it not being here). With that said, here’s the (slightly late) final part of the series…
Sly Cooper & the Thievius Raccoonus – The catalyst of one of my favourite series ever, and a fantastic start at that thanks to its brilliant level design, fantastic writing and superb controls; fuck the chicken level though.
Sly 2: Band of Thieves – Flips the original game on its head to create one of the PS2, PS3 and Vita’s best games, due to its epic story, amazing cast, innovative level design and lush soundtrack.
Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves – My favorite Sly Cooper game because it takes what made Sly 2 an all time great, cut the few things that didn’t work, put more emphasis on the unique and addicting platforming, told a more personal yet equally epic tale, cranked the awesome cel shading up, somehow produced an even better soundtrack and generally provided a gaming experience I can easily call one of the best I’ve ever played.
Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time – Despite the well talked about story and writing flaws, I still loved this game because they nailed the core gameplay; seeing the unique Sly open world formula bigger than ever was a dream come true and the execution of the ancestors was very well done.
Smart As – A solid puzzle game but one I honestly find quite forgettable, I’d have to play it again to give a definitive verdict.
Sonic All-Stars Racing Transformed – Its brilliant “three racing styles” idea produces some of the most consistently fresh racing gameplay I’ve seen this decade and that, combined with its great roster and level lineup, leads to this being a frontrunner for the Vita’s best racing title.
Soul Sacrifice – Not my kind of game, but I still enjoyed it a fair amount and it’s undoubtedly a standout of the system if you’re into Monster Hunter esque experiences.
Sound Shapes – A unique 2D platformer that has great level design, perfect controls and many clever ideas.
Stardew Valley – A majestic experience that always brings me joy, regardless of if I’m focusing on farming, mining or any other of the hundreds of things to do.
Stealth Inc. – A creative puzzle game with an awesome graphical style; its sequel is high on my “to play” list.
Super Meat Boy – One of the best “difficult for the sake of it” games out there, because Super Meat Boy’s tight controls and brilliant level design ensure it’s always a satisfying climb rather than a frustrating, repetitive mess.
Super Star Wars – Low-key as difficult as Super Meat Boy, but still a fun adaptation of A New Hope and something I wish led to the other Super Star Wars’ being ported too.
The Swapper – One of the most atmospheric games on the platform, as well as one of the coolest in regards to its concept and visuals.
Table Top Racing – An underrated blast that, while no Sonic or Need For Speed rival, provides hours of fun thanks to its tight controls, inventive track ideas and overall focus on creating an entertaining experience.
Tearaway – An enchanting masterpiece that proves both that 3D platformers still have a place in the gaming landscape, and that the Vita’s additional functions are much more than cheap gimmicks; this is easily in my top 20 games ever.
Terraria – The epitome of a game that offers great player choice, as you can play however you want, at whatever pace you want, and in such a way that offers infinite replay value.
Thomas Was Alone – A one of a kind puzzle platformer that features great level design and an awesome style (in regards to its storytelling, soundtrack AND atmosphere).
Uncharted: Golden Abyss – A cinematic epic that features smooth gunplay, a fun story and many memorable sequences, that come together to create an experience I actually prefer to the first Uncharted outing.
Unit 13 – One of the Vita’s best third person shooters thanks to its perfected gunplay, tight game mechanics and superb level design; I really wish this game did better commercially as I would have loved a sequel.
Urban Trial Freestyle – Although this doesn’t rival the Trials games it’s inspired by, it’s a really enjoyable game that has fantastic controls and a fair amount of memorable sequences.
Velocity Ultra – An insanely addictive shooter that, thanks to its fast paced gameplay and succinct levels, fits the Vita perfectly.
Velocity 2X – Somehow improves on the flawless Velocity Ultra to create one of the best top down shooters of the decade.
Virtua Tennis 4 – One of my favourite sport games; it controls beautifully, it’s packed with a million things to do, it has an excellent campaign mode that actually gets quite challenging, you can put your face in the game which is, uh, something and, most notably, the Vita version is the definitive way to play it due to the wealth of extra content this port received.
The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season – I don’t typically enjoy games that have minimalist gameplay, but the writing of this is so incredible that it makes up for it and then some; the narrative and characters keep you hooked until the end and it’s one of the few games that made me question my actions (when I wasn’t intentionally being a sadist, at least).
Welcome Park – I’m not sure why past me put this in the list but, uh, it’s an enjoyable tech demo I guess.
WipEout 2048 – An exhilarating racer that embodies everything that made WipEout the iconic series it is (close, fast paced dashes to the finish, fun to use powerups, gorgeous visuals, etc.); I’m not even mad about the random capitalisation of the “E” in its name, it’s earned the right to capitalise whatever it pleases.
World of Final Fantasy – A fantastic take on the Final Fantasy formula that features fun (if slightly easy) combat, charming dialogue, entertaining characters, incredible graphics, memorable locations, awesome creature designs and, most importantly, the ability to give your creatures immature names.
Worms Revolution Extreme – I don’t know who keeps asking for new Worms games and I don’t know why every entry is nearly identical to the last, but I’ve always found the core formula enjoyable and the presentation consistently charming which, combined with being able to play it on the Vita, makes me glad Worms’ five hardcore fans remain vocal (maybe yell a little louder about the concept of evolution, though).
YouTube – Not a game but I wanted to use this opportunity to mourn this beautiful app; it escaped Vita Island, but it will never escape our hearts.
ZEN Pinball 2 – I haven’t played many pinball games so I don’t know how this compares to its peers, but it’s a fun game to mess around with from time to time and it indeed makes you FEEL like a pinball; I also found the minigames an interesting and enjoyable inclusion (for example, the Family Guy set has a 2D plane fighting minigame and the American Dad! one has a shooting practice one, which is exactly what I buy a pinball game for).
All in all, the Vita has a brilliant library that has kept fans passionate about the console for over seven years. I’m probably the only Vita owner in the history of time that isn’t an anime fan, meaning you guys either appreciated the unique perspective of these articles or, more likely, will crucify me for never playing Schoolgirl Dancing Maximus 7. Regardless, give me your thoughts on my thoughts as well as your own opinions on the Vita’s library in the comments or via my Twitter profile @JoshsJots. If you’re interested in more PS Vita content, check out my other articles via the “PS Vita” tab at the top. Thanks for reading!