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Gravity Rush

May 30, 2013

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Gravity Rush is as best I can describe it an open world RPG. I don’t play many RPG’s but if any others have protagonists as effortlessly charming as the lead character ‘Kat’ from Gravity Rush then I may start playing a lot more of them.
I started playing through Gravity Rush on holiday having downloaded it for free with my PS+ membership along with many others. I was using my holiday time to test out the Vita and Gravity Rush caught me be surprise. I started the game up while on the flight out to Madeira after putting Jet Set Radio down for being frustratingly worse than I was hoping. I’d seen a review of the game months beforehand when the game was released but I hadn’t paid much attention. I’m glad I hadn’t in retrospect as the experience I had was completely my own and without any bias to lead me one way or another.

Gravity Rush opens with a Kat waking up with a case of amnesia and an even stranger case of gravity manipulation (Might not be a medical condition). She is able to shift the point at which gravity pulls you towards. Yes it’s difficult to explain in type. Imagine the force you experience when you fall out of a plane (Because you all do that all the time) Kat is able to “fall” in any direction she chooses. Later on you are able to upgrade this ability to fall faster, add attacks to it, stay in the air longer etc. It’s a very interesting and intuitive system but it WILL make you feel ill occasionally and forcing yourself to not assume that down is down can be incredibly disorientating.
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The presentation is nothing short of charming. The sound track is so jolly at times that I found myself just hanging around in an area to listen to it over and over. Dramatic moments are suitably supported with larger numbers with thunderous drums as the music swells. It really adds to the character of the game given that there is no voice acting during the rest of the game apart from the occasional scream/moan/wordless vocal command. I didn’t find this a problem at all but if you dislike reading through cut scenes this may put you off.
This brings me to Kat. There aren’t a huge amount of female leads in games but to me they absolutely NAILED IT. Kat is innocent without being annoying. Friendly without being over bearing and Funny without being caustic. Many a time she would talk with someone and then say the exact sarcastic line I said in my head when reacting to them. The writing for Kat is very clever and makes her approachable as a lead. I hope they stick with her and keep the series coming. If there’s anyone that should be added to Playstation All stars, it’s her. Sony don’t have many female icons in their brand and she would fit that role perfectly.
Obviously she’s gorgeous too and there are a enough scenes that show this off without it being gratuitous. It sticks just this side of suggestive which will probably spawn many a fan fiction while younger players won’t notice a thing.
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The controls feel tight. They stick to the Vita’s strengths while not forcing the player to use touch screen controls too much which for me, just pulls the player out of the experience. Every so often you’ll feel as if your attack is going in the opposite direction to the one you directed and this will be incredibly frustrating. This is not the norm however and for the most part the combat works a charm. You are able to lock onto an enemy with a gravity powered kick, use your gravity field to pick up objects and launch them at enemies while also using basic ground based attacks. Again the combat feels satisfying. The only problems I found with combat comes with the special attacks which have a cool down period in between each use. They didn’t feel as powerful as they should be at times and I mostly relied on the thrust kick.

The reason why I’m such a fan of this game, apart from the pluses I’ve already mentioned, is it’s pacing. Missions last about ten minutes each if you get a straight shot through each one. There is some stretching of that towards the end of the game but 10 minutes feels like the average. The story moves on at a pace and I never felt bored. You are also able to take on challenges through the game at any point which again last five minutes or so each. Both of these game types play to the Vita’s advantages. If you’re playing your Vita on the way to work or during a lunch break you’ll be able to start a mission and finish it within these tight time frames. I highly recommend trying to get gold medals in some of the challenges while still finishing the story as the xp you gain will help you massively and really make Kat feel stronger towards the end. Also head back to the challenges once you’ve leveled up as you’ll be able to beat them much easier once you can move faster/ hit harder.
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So should you buy this if you have a Playstation Vita? No you really shouldn’t. I hear you ask why when I’ve just written a full page of praise towards this game. The answer is that if you own a Vita but don’t have a Playstation + membership you should take this opportunity to correct that. For the price that you would pay to buy this game new at any shop, you could buy one years worth of PS+. With your membership you’ll then be able to download Gravity Rush for no extra cost and not only enjoy this brilliant game but also four other games that change depending on the month. If you’re into wasting money, then yes you should still buy this game on it’s own and play the hell out of it as it’s excellent. But if you have ANY sense then you should already have PS+, if not just get it now as it’s the best deal around and I would be absolutely gutted if Sony changed it.

I’m slowly posting all of my blogs on to my IGN under the name Urbandave which, while technically the correct way of spelling my nickname, the incongruity of it all really upsets the more ordered part of my brain.
However please come and say hello on any format you wish.

XBL, PSN and Twitter @Urbundave

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