Vita Launch Line-up • Page 3

The best - and more interesting - of Sony's day one releases.

Ridge Racer

What would a Sony hardware launch be without a Ridge Racer? Sadly, Namco's series doesn't quite hold the same clout as it did when Sony's last portable was released, and other, prettier games have stolen its thunder on this particular device.

That's not to say it isn't a looker, and there's something about Ridge Racer's world of concrete and neon that feels just right on Sony's hardware, especially when paired with a device that's as downright sexy as the Vita.

Mechanically it's the same, though as the 3DS' own Ridge Racer proved, sometimes there's nothing wrong with a bit of nostalgia when it's wrapped up in such a comprehensive package. How much history the Vita version decides to embrace remains to be seen, but series staples such as a butter-smooth frame rate and a thirst for nitrous look to be intact.

Lords of Apocalypse

A sequel to Lords of Arcana, itself based on the popular Lords of Vermillion trading card game, this action RPG sets an interesting precedent in being released alongside its PSP counterpart, whose assets it shares.

Lords of Apocalypse's taut combat and well produced universe are both handsome fits for the Vita, and the second analogue stick gives the kind of camera control that's impossible on the PSP, but its lineage is clear enough.

Ultimately it's a game that's unlikely to make it outside of Japan, and the language barrier makes it an unattractive option to import - but the concept of porting over some of the PSP's bigger franchises and custom-fitting them to the Vita is one that may well make it over here.

Lords of Apocalypse.

Dark Quest: Alliance

You've not experienced true disappointment until you've stood in line for over an hour in Tokyo Game Show's sweltering Makuhari Messe to play a mystery Ubisoft Vita RPG, only to get to the head of the queue and discover it's just the Japanese version of Gameloft-developed Diablo clone Dungeon Hunter.

No surprises here. Pick from one of three nearly indistinguishable character classes, await the goblin horde and then mash away at the face buttons until either you stumble on the level exit or your wrist goes into spasm.

Uncomfortable (albeit optional) rear touch pad controls that let you control an accompanying spirit character at least demonstrate some effort to lever the Vita's feature set, and there's four-player online co-op available, but it's all deeply unexciting stuff nonetheless. If you're curious, you can pick up an iOS version on the App Store for a couple of quid.

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