Game: Gravity Rush
Platform: PS Vita, PS4 (version played)
As I mentioned in my very first post, not every game in this 52 for 52 will be one that I haven’t played before. However, while there are games that we all enjoy coming back to now and then (my picks include Journey, Wind Waker and Silent Hill 2), the ones I revisit here will be titles that I either didn’t get very far into first time round for whatever reason, or I haven’t played since S Club 7 were culturally relevant – this is their second chance.
That’s not to say, however, that Gravity Rush particularly needed a second chance; I have fond memories of playing first time round on the Vita. Sure, angling the damn handheld every time I wanted to change direction wasn’t exactly easy or convenient on my morning commute to work but gravity mechanic itself was strong and combined with a charming world I was hooked, at least until my neck decided it didn’t like looking down at things for protracted periods. For this reason, it’s always been the Vita title I wanted to make the jump to console most and thankfully someone at Sony must have agreed given its release on PS4 this month.
Impressively, Gravity Rush still looks incredible. Sure, there are a few texture issues thanks to the way the game was designed for handheld but thanks to the art-style (a delightful mix of comic book and anime) it holds up a lot better than even some titles remastered from its bigger console siblings. The main fun of the game is of course in the switching of gravity – it’d be a bit worrying if it wasn’t given the title – and the jump to PS4 means that gyro-controls are no longer so actively encouraged and the dual sticks can instead perform the task more than adequately, and the larger screen size helps keep you orientated and aids you in keeping track when battling in mid-air. Falling has never felt so enjoyable, and the experience is only aided by items and even people (along with their screams) in your immediate vicinity also having their gravity change.
Where the game falters is in its mission structure; the vast majority are fetch quests and/or battles with monsters (Nevi) and unfortunately there’s not a lot outside of that in the main story, and unfortunately while at first the battles seem exciting they can become monotonous after a while. There are some fun score and time attack side missions but nothing that really challenges the player – for example, I’d have loved to see the gravity mechanic used to solve puzzles but instead it’s mainly used for battling and to make travel faster. I’d also have liked a little more thought put into the story; Kat is a well developed and likable character but that luxury hasn’t been afforded to the rest of the cast.
Enough of the negatives though, because I really like Gravity Rush. Even four years on it’s still a unique concept and combined with fantastic visuals and a delightfully charming world and main character. In fact, I haven’t even mentioned Kohei Tanaka’s soundtrack yet which remains as one of the strongest of the decade; a sweeping score which fits the fantastical, 1920-30s inspired world, all while managing to avoid the trappings of most modern orchestral soundtracks.
Gravity Rush has its quirks but these can easily be overlooked thanks to the game’s overall style as well as its highly enjoyable gravity mechanics. Whooooosh.