On Uncharted and the Vita!

I have a thing for portable gaming systems and knew I wanted a Vita. Having Uncharted: Golden Abyss at launch and eventually more Sony-friendly franchises and PS1 downloads was plenty for me, but not at full price. I was going to get that Assassin's Creed bundle on Black Friday at Gamestop but then heard about Amazon's crazy Vita bundle, which I got in on. The price alone at $180 was less than I was planning to pay, but then they threw in Playstation All-Stars for free and 3 months of Playstation Plus, which I used to get a free copy of Uncharted immediately.

The Vita as a system is pretty cool. I don't need the various touch controls, just like I don't need the 3D in the 3DS, but they can be fun to mess around with. Love having 2 analog sticks on a portable system, the screen looks great, and once you turn it on it's all rather friendly, like a Nintendo system. PS3 and PSP had this very simple cross media bar thing going on, but the 3DS and Wii (from what I've seen from friends) just seem more alive and welcoming between the music and what you can actually play around with. You can even earn trophies on the Vita's system tutorial, though I'll never get them all: this includes a few timed slide puzzles, and I've always been horrible at those.

It's possible that Near is the biggest feature of the Vita, but I haven't quite figured the whole thing out. I guess it can show me what games are getting played the most near me based on my wifi connection, and there are game goods to be acquired but I haven't gotten anything of note. Uncharted has this Black Market feature that is supposed to let you trade some of the rare collectibles enemies drop with other players through Near, but I haven't received anything yet, nor do I really know how to offer anything up.

I determined recently that Uncharted is my new favorite game series, with a deciding factor being how soon I play new entries. I have games on my shelves from Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and Metal Gear that I really want to play but haven't been driven to yet. But then within days of acquiring a Vita I was playing Golden Abyss, as excitedly as I dug into Uncharted 2 and 3 within days of their release. Not that Golden Abyss is as good. I would rank the games in a rather obvious and typical order, saying 2 is the best, then 3, then the original and then Golden Abyss, but it was still a solid 8.5/10 rating for me.

Clearly at system launch they wanted this to be a game you could interact with in as many ways as the Vita would allow. There is a lot of touching and tilting. Some of it is optional, most of it isn't. Swiping a finger across the screen was easy so I never minded that. Balancing on logs was hard for me. The worst example was a document you had to hold your Vita up to light to read. A status bar slowly fills up to 100% but it took me several minutes. You need a really strong light, and it took me a while to realize the ones above my bathroom mirror would work best. I will never be able to play that game (or at least get through that part) on a train or a plane, which is annoying.

It still has everything I love about these games. Combat is great, with grenade usage being different but cool. There are fewer characters but I liked them. Voicework and motion capture was up to par with the other games. The legend being explored wasn't anything to write home about and was confusing at times, but it worked. There's no online multiplayer but that wasn't a big deal for me. Beautiful environments too. And, if you were really into treasure hunting on the other games, there are as many treasures in Golden Abyss as the first three games combined.

I beat the game for the first time last night, and will start it up again soon. Played on Easy since I was expecting it to be hard, which it was in places. But also because with the additional treasures randomly dropped by enemies, and the weapon trophies, additional playthroughs would be needed. Got every environmental treasure at least, and have a trophy percentage of 51%.

Oh hey, I should mention another game. I'm a huge fan of The Walking Dead on AMC and wasn't dealing well with knowing it wouldn't be on Sunday nights anymore for a couple months. After hearing so many great things about the Telltale game, I went ahead and bought it, thinking I could play an episode each Sunday night to help ease my wait. Solid start with Episode 1, looking forward to playing more this weekend.

Happy gaming, JP

14 Comments
15 Comments
Posted by takeshikitano3

I have a thing for portable gaming systems and knew I wanted a Vita. Having Uncharted: Golden Abyss at launch and eventually more Sony-friendly franchises and PS1 downloads was plenty for me, but not at full price. I was going to get that Assassin's Creed bundle on Black Friday at Gamestop but then heard about Amazon's crazy Vita bundle, which I got in on. The price alone at $180 was less than I was planning to pay, but then they threw in Playstation All-Stars for free and 3 months of Playstation Plus, which I used to get a free copy of Uncharted immediately.

The Vita as a system is pretty cool. I don't need the various touch controls, just like I don't need the 3D in the 3DS, but they can be fun to mess around with. Love having 2 analog sticks on a portable system, the screen looks great, and once you turn it on it's all rather friendly, like a Nintendo system. PS3 and PSP had this very simple cross media bar thing going on, but the 3DS and Wii (from what I've seen from friends) just seem more alive and welcoming between the music and what you can actually play around with. You can even earn trophies on the Vita's system tutorial, though I'll never get them all: this includes a few timed slide puzzles, and I've always been horrible at those.

It's possible that Near is the biggest feature of the Vita, but I haven't quite figured the whole thing out. I guess it can show me what games are getting played the most near me based on my wifi connection, and there are game goods to be acquired but I haven't gotten anything of note. Uncharted has this Black Market feature that is supposed to let you trade some of the rare collectibles enemies drop with other players through Near, but I haven't received anything yet, nor do I really know how to offer anything up.

I determined recently that Uncharted is my new favorite game series, with a deciding factor being how soon I play new entries. I have games on my shelves from Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and Metal Gear that I really want to play but haven't been driven to yet. But then within days of acquiring a Vita I was playing Golden Abyss, as excitedly as I dug into Uncharted 2 and 3 within days of their release. Not that Golden Abyss is as good. I would rank the games in a rather obvious and typical order, saying 2 is the best, then 3, then the original and then Golden Abyss, but it was still a solid 8.5/10 rating for me.

Clearly at system launch they wanted this to be a game you could interact with in as many ways as the Vita would allow. There is a lot of touching and tilting. Some of it is optional, most of it isn't. Swiping a finger across the screen was easy so I never minded that. Balancing on logs was hard for me. The worst example was a document you had to hold your Vita up to light to read. A status bar slowly fills up to 100% but it took me several minutes. You need a really strong light, and it took me a while to realize the ones above my bathroom mirror would work best. I will never be able to play that game (or at least get through that part) on a train or a plane, which is annoying.

It still has everything I love about these games. Combat is great, with grenade usage being different but cool. There are fewer characters but I liked them. Voicework and motion capture was up to par with the other games. The legend being explored wasn't anything to write home about and was confusing at times, but it worked. There's no online multiplayer but that wasn't a big deal for me. Beautiful environments too. And, if you were really into treasure hunting on the other games, there are as many treasures in Golden Abyss as the first three games combined.

I beat the game for the first time last night, and will start it up again soon. Played on Easy since I was expecting it to be hard, which it was in places. But also because with the additional treasures randomly dropped by enemies, and the weapon trophies, additional playthroughs would be needed. Got every environmental treasure at least, and have a trophy percentage of 51%.

Oh hey, I should mention another game. I'm a huge fan of The Walking Dead on AMC and wasn't dealing well with knowing it wouldn't be on Sunday nights anymore for a couple months. After hearing so many great things about the Telltale game, I went ahead and bought it, thinking I could play an episode each Sunday night to help ease my wait. Solid start with Episode 1, looking forward to playing more this weekend.

Happy gaming, JP

Posted by takeshikitano3

I would totally have added a pic or two to break up that post but this site or this computer just would not let that work for me. Super happy that I was pasting this from another blog of mine and not typing it up here first!

Posted by Kidavenger

I'm in the same situation, I've only just started the game but I really like the touch screen controls for the climbing.

I would recommend getting Uncharted: Fight for Fortune if you have any interest in card combat games, it seems like it adds quite a bit of collectables/content to Uncharted: Golden Abyss (I'm not positive, I started playing GA after FfF but they definitely tie into each other a lot)

Posted by Bourbon_Warrior

Tempted to get one with the glowing reviews for Persona 4 Golden, Polygon just gave it a 10\10. Found out it's not out in my country to march next year, congratulations Sony you just made my impulse to buy your system go away.

Edited by AgentDanger

Experiences like yours are really egging me on to get a Vita - I think I'll bite next near.

Would Sully get a Vita? Yes!

Posted by devilzrule27

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

Tempted to get one with the glowing reviews for Persona 4 Golden, Polygon just gave it a 10\10. Found out it's not out in my country to march next year, congratulations Sony you just made my impulse to buy your system go away.

I failed to realize that Sony owns Atlus, when did this happen?

Posted by devilzrule27

@Kidavenger said:

I'm in the same situation, I've only just started the game but I really like the touch screen controls for the climbing.

I would recommend getting Uncharted: Fight for Fortune if you have any interest in card combat games, it seems like it adds quite a bit of collectables/content to Uncharted: Golden Abyss (I'm not positive, I started playing GA after FfF but they definitely tie into each other a lot)

I found myself using the swipe climbing controls a lot. Never thought I would. Don't use the rear touch rope climbing or the gyroscopic aiming but I had a little fun messing around with them for a bit. As the OP stated some of the other Vita gimmick controls were a bit silly. Cleaning artifacts by rubbing the screen and what not were all kind of tedious. Its to be expected from a launch game but that doesn't wholly excuse it.

Edited by Bourbon_Warrior

@devilzrule27 said:

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

Tempted to get one with the glowing reviews for Persona 4 Golden, Polygon just gave it a 10\10. Found out it's not out in my country to march next year, congratulations Sony you just made my impulse to buy your system go away.

I failed to realize that Sony owns Atlus, when did this happen?

Nope but everything is released on their online store and for some reason I have to wait 4 months for the same version of the game, because Sony are once again muppets with their online infrastructure. Steam, Xbox Live you can buy stuff with in days of each other. Helped me realize buying a Vita would be a mistake, the only decent game out for the thing and they don't release it before christmas.

Posted by takeshikitano3

Defnitely getting Persona 4 soon. Not sure about the card game, but I got that patch for Golden Abyss when I started playing that starts adding in upgrades to cards based on every single treasure I found. And there's a lot of them.

Posted by Cold_Wolven

If only retailers in Australia would offer up some great deals too but they're stubborn to keep the handheld at the launch price so I still refuse to purchase it. However it is good to know that if eventually I do pick up the handheld that my PS3 PS+ account will be compatible on the Vita so I can start playing a few new games straight away.

Online
Posted by Colourful_Hippie

Even for free I don't feel like playing that game.

Posted by awesomeusername

@AgentDanger said:

I think I'll bite next near.

I see what you did there.

@takeshikitano3 said:

You can even earn trophies on the Vita's system tutorial, though I'll never get them all: this includes a few timed slide puzzles, and I've always been horrible at those.

Yupp, those are the only ones I'm missing. The 16 and 20 though. Or is it 14 and 18? Or 12 and 16? I don't know. If you want, you can add me on le PSN.

Posted by ESREVER

@takeshikitano3: Golden Abyss was a way better Uncharted game than 3 was. Something about 3's experience just felt empty in the end. Whereas with GA, I was completely satisfied. For me at least. I haven't been able to do the online component of GA though. Can never find anyone with the rare drops I need, not that I have been able to trade anything via the Black Market to begin with. It seems kind of finicky.

I was so stoked about the Vita's tutorial game having sliding puzzles. I love those things and can solve a completely scrambled one in less than 30 seconds. The ability to pretty much create your own by taking a picture of something was really neat to me. Needless to say, I S-Ranked that bitch.

Posted by devilzrule27

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

@devilzrule27 said:

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

Tempted to get one with the glowing reviews for Persona 4 Golden, Polygon just gave it a 10\10. Found out it's not out in my country to march next year, congratulations Sony you just made my impulse to buy your system go away.

I failed to realize that Sony owns Atlus, when did this happen?

Nope but everything is released on their online store and for some reason I have to wait 4 months for the same version of the game, because Sony are once again muppets with their online infrastructure. Steam, Xbox Live you can buy stuff with in days of each other. Helped me realize buying a Vita would be a mistake, the only decent game out for the thing and they don't release it before christmas.

Thats still controlled by the publisher, not Sony. Sony just can't throw any game they want up on their store, it doesn't work that way.

My understanding is Atlus has a lot of issues with releasing games in the EU withing a reasonable time frame. Vita games are region free, importing is an option.

Posted by Bourbon_Warrior

@devilzrule27 said:

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

@devilzrule27 said:

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

Tempted to get one with the glowing reviews for Persona 4 Golden, Polygon just gave it a 10\10. Found out it's not out in my country to march next year, congratulations Sony you just made my impulse to buy your system go away.

I failed to realize that Sony owns Atlus, when did this happen?

Nope but everything is released on their online store and for some reason I have to wait 4 months for the same version of the game, because Sony are once again muppets with their online infrastructure. Steam, Xbox Live you can buy stuff with in days of each other. Helped me realize buying a Vita would be a mistake, the only decent game out for the thing and they don't release it before christmas.

Thats still controlled by the publisher, not Sony. Sony just can't throw any game they want up on their store, it doesn't work that way.

My understanding is Atlus has a lot of issues with releasing games in the EU withing a reasonable time frame. Vita games are region free, importing is an option.

Hmmm, did not know that. Checks ebay...