There's always that one game, the one that finally helps someone decide if they're really going to invest hundreds of dollars into a brand new gaming system. I've been hesitant about getting the PlayStation Vita, as nothing has really impressed me yet. That is, until I saw Gravity Rush for the first time this past week.
I never even heard of this game before. In fact, Destructoid seemed to miss this completely, aside from user Stop Spoilers who blogged about it on his Community Blog during Tokyo Game Show. So what exactly is Gravity Rush? It's a game where you manipulate gravity in order to kick the sh*t out of everything.
Gravity Rush (PlayStation Vita)
Developer: SCE Japan Studio
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Okay, Gravity Rush (or Gravity Daze as it's called in Japan) isn't really as simple to describe as a gravity-kicking game thing. I wasn't able to get a sense of what the story is, but the basic gist of it is that you're this girl who gains the power to manipulate gravity from a cat.
Before I continue, I have to mention how lovely the art is. I just adore the character design, the overall art style, and the aesthetics of the environment. What was really cool is that the cat (and later a crow) looks like a mini universe. You can see stars laid out on the cat's black body, and the eyes look like a pair of swirling galaxies.
Once the main character approaches the cat, our hero is suddenly floating in the air and ends up landing on the side of a building. From here, you're shown that pressing the R button at any time will make you float. Using either the left stick or gyro controls, you can target any structure you see and press the R button again to send out your character to make her land on whatever you're pointing at. Pressing the L button will make you drop from whatever surface you're on to send you back to the ground. As you're free-falling, you can press the R button again to stop yourself mid-drop.
After experimenting with the gravity powers, we see a mysterious girl who also has gravity manipulating powers. I give chase, but once I catch up to her, she just gives me this dirty look and takes off again. What a bitch!
Before we go after her again, we see a guy on the streets below about to get attack. The next cutscene begins, and we find our hero beating up the trio of thugs and saving the guy's life. A comic book style cutscene then kicks in, where you're able to swipe at the screen in all directions in order to scan through the comic panels. Personally, I found it odd that the game switches from animated to comic book cutscenes.
Once you're done talking to the guy you just saved, another fight breaks out. This time, gooey monsters appear out of nowhere, and it's up to you to take them out. Fighting is largely associated with the square button, and our heroine seems to only use her legs to fight. Why just kick away like a normal person when you can do a gravity kick instead? Simply press the R button to float, target your enemy's weak point, and then press square to do a flying kick. The whole process is a lot fun! Seeing the girl just race across the air and perform a drop kick feels so brutal.
After taking out some grunts, a boss appears, and you have to kick away at its special core that re-appears on different areas of its body over the course of the fight. Once at the end of the boss fight, you perform a super move that sees you and your cat doing a super flying attack and ripping the special core off the boss in order to finish it off for good.
Everything that I saw in Gravity Rush just screamed awesome. The wonderful art style, brutal combat system, and really unique gameplay mechanic have me wanting a PlayStation Vita. It should also be mentioned that Keiichiro Toyama, the creator of the Silent Hill series, is directing Gravity Rush, so you know this game is in good hands!