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Gravity Rush Review: Pissing Off Newton Never Felt So Good

By
Posted on June 23, 2012 AT 07:00am

Playing video games nowadays, one thing that’s really easy to take for granted is how you travel around the game world.  Be it gliding, running, climbing, driving, spinning, falling, grappling, swimming or simply walking around, it’s a pretty major part of the equation.  Every once in a while, a game comes around that takes this concept and comes up with something so innovative and fun that you can entertain yourself just traveling around doing nothing.  Couple this with impressive art design, a charming story, fun combat and time-based challenges and you’ve got Gravity Rush, currently the best offering on the PS Vita.

Several games in the past have taken a crack at emulating the joy of flight, but it’s difficult to really nail.  Imagine, if you will, having an objective all the way across a city full of tall skyscrapers.  Instead of climbing and jumping to your destination, all you need to do is reverse gravity, shoot to the top of the buildings and then aim towards the waypoint.

Kat, the heroine of the story, has a magical kitty that gives her the ability to shift gravity in any direction she chooses.  One nice touch, in case you forget which way is up, is that her scarf and hair will follow the normal rules of gravity regardless of how it’s been shifted.  You do have a limited amount of time to defy Newton, indicated by a gage in the top-left section of the screen.  If you use your powers for too long, gravity will revert back to normal and Kat will plummet back to the ground.  Once you get the hang of the controls, there’s really nothing quite like soaring through the world.  While this certainly can give the exhilaration of flying, I think Woody in Toy Story said it best: “That’s not flying, it’s falling with style.”  Either way, it’s the most fun I’ve had traversing a game world in quite a while.

Soaring through the air isn’t the only ability granted by Kat’s magical feline.  She can slide along the ground at high speed, even going upside down as the terrain changes.  Lifting and hurling objects, sometimes even people, is as simple as creating a gravitational field.  Stopping in mid-air and spinning into your enemies makes combat all the more fun.  Each of these special abilities make up the various challenge missions that can be found throughout the world.  In each area, there are various parts of the city that have fallen into disrepair. You can spend crystals, which can also be used to upgrade your health and powers, to fix the city up and unlock more challenge missions.

The story and the characters you meet along the way are incredibly charming.  Each character has their own quirks and some of them really grew on me.  There was a nice progression of the story that really felt like it was leading up to something pretty huge.  While the final battle was certainly exciting, it really felt like there was going to be something a bit bigger.  There were also a few loose ends that seemed like they should’ve been tied up, but ended up not being touched upon.  Overall, the story kept me captivated from beginning to end and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The art style of the city and its inhabitants paint a beautiful and unique picture.  Lying somewhere between steampunk and fantasy, this is easily one of the best-looking games currently available for the Vita.  As you start to get into some of the larger areas, there can be a bit of stutter if you fly quickly from one place to another during major events, but it’s certainly not enough to interfere.  Overall, this game is beautiful and really shows off the power potential of Sony’s handheld.

This game excels at providing a fun, beautiful and unique environment to explore using one of the most fun abilities I’ve played in a while.

This game doesn’t quite wrap up the story in the best way possible and leaves a few loose ends that should’ve been tied up.

While certainly not a perfect game, Gravity Rush is the best thing that the PS Vita has to offer right now.  If you own Sony’s handheld, there is no reason why you shouldn’t go pick it right now.  Seriously, don’t just sit there in a daze, rush out and pick it up now.



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