Review of Gravity Rush for PS Vita

Do pointless anime shower cutscenes and the ability to control gravity to your heart’s content make for a fun JapanStudio developed game? Read on to find out!

Story: Kat meets a magical gravity shifting… cat. After gravitational shennanigans and whatnot, she meets another gravity shifter named Raven who’s pet is a… raven! She then proceeds to meet the creator of the world and she sets off on a quest to restore it from the corruption of the Nevi. Just a side note, scattered throughout the story are fairly random shower cutscenes (three or four of them). Is this an unspoken requirement for any game using the anime style visuals or something?

Sound: The music is funky, to say the least. It’s steampunk some moments then classical and uplifting the next. Regardless, the music sways perfectly to your gravitational orientation and is fitting, if little more than background music. The voice acting is fantastic and filled with energy and stereotypical Japanese anime yells. Being that the game only has Japanese voice acting, the subtitles are nice and aren’t too small or fast. Sound: 8/10

Presentation: The cell-shaded graphical style never goes out of fashion, proof of this being the PS2 title “Sly Cooper” which still looks pretty today. The cutscenes are nice too, bringing a digital comic book to the screen that is controlled by swiping like it was a page. But aside from the game’s gorgeous, console-like graphics and style, Gravity Rush also provides console-like size. The town of Heksville is huge, with multiple districts that make AC Revelation’s world look like piddle. But with impressive graphics and a colossul map also comes colossul loading times. In between every mission is a solid thirty or so seconds of loading, and considering you can’t quit a mission and start over without two loading screens, things can get a little frustrating. My other gripe with this category would have to be the camera angles, which can become fidgety and obstructive at times given enough flying around. Otherwise, Gravity Rush is amazing in this department. Presentation: 9/10

Gameplay: Being able to soar through the huge, open-world skies has never felt better than here. The best moments I’ve had in the game have been me just flying aimlessly throughout the city, gravity-lifting random citizens and throwing them off of the city borders with no consequence. It’s fun, it’s fast and it’s furious, providing a new sense of freedom not previously achieved by a game. When in non-combat situations, the controls work well and gravity slide in particular makes creative use of the rear touchpads and touchscreen. When in combat, things get a little more finnicky and hit-or-miss. The lock-on gravity kick outright sucks at first, and only through heavily upgrading it does it become effective, something that makes the beginning stages of the game harder than they should be. Worse, because the gravity kick is the primary attack move, I found myself having to use my special attack that auto-locks an enemy, hide in a corner and wait for it to recharge, then come back out and use it again. Needless to say, I’m not a happy camper when I have to rely on special moves to survive. On the bright side, everything from your health to special attacks can be upgraded so combat becomes less of an issue as the game progresses. Even better, the game encourages exploration in the hub worlds of each city to find upgrade crystals, which are abundant in quantity and are a blast to get with the intuitive and already mentioned extremely fun gravity controls. Gameplay: 8.5/10

Multiplayer: N/A

Length: The story alone lasted me about eight and a half hours, and the handful of challenge missions (Which were a pain in the ass, seriously. Japanese developers make their games HARD!) I did added a good hour on to that. There were a ton of challenges I didn’t do, but the lack of proper side quests and story related side missions really disuaded me from playing past the story for long. Length: 8.5/10

Overall: Gravity Rush gets 8.5 energy crystals out of 10! It’s a unique experience that makes you feel like a boss as you zip from an upside down waterfountain to the top of a horizontal mountain peak, and is just all around fun. Maybe not the definitive Vita experience, but as close as we’ve come to it so far.

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