Your Vita Software Shopping List

Regarding the hardware, all you need to know is that it’s great. But that honestly doesn’t matter in the end, because even the sexiest hardware will tank if the games aren’t there. Thankfully, the starting line-up for Vita looks mighty impressive. Consider picking up these titles for your initial Vita experience…

Touch My Katamari
[BoxTitle]Touch My Katamari[/BoxTitle] [Trailer][/Trailer] [BuyNow][/BuyNow]

Believe it or not, this is currently the best game for the platform. At the very least, it’s the portable version that diehard fans of the series have long waited for. Unlike the gimped PSP version and flat out wretched iOS iterations, it actually plays just like the console originals, thanks much in part to the system’s dual analogue sticks. Otherwise, it’s basically more of the same, but with one key difference: the ability to stretch and squash your Katamari via the Vita’s rear touch panel. Another excellent showcase of the hardware. Plus the music is as catchy as ever, and the story might be the very best for the entire franchise.

Wipeout 2048
[BoxTitle]Wipeout 2048[/BoxTitle] [Trailer][/Trailer] [BuyNow][/BuyNow]

One of the PlayStation’s flagship franchises is back, and aiming to do what it’s always done: provide white knuckle, high speed thrills, while also providing a demonstration of the hardware. Approached from that point of view, the game is an unqualified success. Aside from looking just as good as the PS3 version, one can actually race on some of the same tracks against players on that end. Though long-time fans of the series should also dig the underlying premise of the “origin point” in this latest installment. Admittedly, when it comes to options, it isn’t as feature rich as many other racers on the market today, but it’s what Wipeout fans are used to. Though the real selling point here is the brand new control scheme offered, it’s a lifesaver for those of us who constantly bounce around like a pinball.

Rayman Origins
[BoxTitle]Rayman Origins[/BoxTitle] [Trailer][/Trailer] [BuyNow][/BuyNow]

One of the best games of 2011 that many may have completely ignored or simply missed is back and just as good as before, albeit with one major difference. The core of the game remains untouched; Rayman Origins is quite simply one of the most beautiful platformers ever conceived and executed, with brilliant mechanics and wonderful level designs. It’s the whole package. To a certain degree it’s even better with the ability to pinch and zoom in on the action, allowing one to truly admire the visuals. Unfortunately, the New Super Mario Bros Wii-esque multiplayer modes have been completely axed for some reason. But given how it wasn’t as enjoyable as Nintendo’s take, this isn’t the biggest loss in the world.

Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational
[BoxTitle]Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational[/BoxTitle] [Trailer][/Trailer] [BuyNow][/BuyNow]

Here’s the deal: for those of you who love mini golf, and especially the Hot Shots Golf series, you’re going to absolutely love this most recent edition. It’s by far the most polished of the series, and with the prettiest visuals. It’s also yet another title that proves to achieve truly accurate shot planning and execution, golfing on the go is best suited for a platform with buttons. Though a few iPhone-esque features do manage to sneak into the mix (mostly in the form of using the gyroscope and touch panels to adjust the camera). Now, as for those who aren’t fans of the series, this might be the first jumping on point thus far; golf is simply the perfect sport for such a medium. Easy to pick up but challenging to master, it’s well suited for short bursts of play – as any good portable game should be.

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