Console Quality On The Go? What About Handheld Quality At Home? - Will Sora Layton Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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Console Quality On The Go? What About Handheld Quality At Home?

Both handhelds and at-home consoles provide quality experiences for us gamers. Each have their respective pick-up-and-play titles that last for an hour, and games that can be played for 10 hours straight. Even though I've most likely spent a mostly balanced amount of time with both(for the purposes of this blog, I am disregarding PC entirely, as it would severely shift the balance towards to the console side).

If you take a look at my top then list, you'll see there's one Xbox 360 game, one Wii game, two PC games, 5 DS games, and one 3DS game). The other day, I remembered Vita's slogan-"Console quality on the go". But the fact that is that this statement is one that should't need to be stated-handhelds have their own quality that is on par(or in some cases, is superior) to what we see on the home consoles. Now, of course, my arguments are my opinion-some people may hate handheld gaming, but I'm just going to argue today why I enjoy handhelds more, and why I wish I had the experiences they give me at home.

One of the first advantages handhelds hold over home consoles is that you can play them anywhere. I spend a good time of my gaming sitting on my bed plying DS or 3DS games, and play them even more at home than on the go. However, I can't play Xenoblade or Alan Wake on the go, in the car, or before an appointment. However, I can do this with Fire Emblem: Awakening or Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep. While this doesn't really deal with quality, I want to bring up that this means that handheld developers sometimes may need to think about making their titles able to be played in short bursts.

Radiant Historia, one of my favorite DS JRPGs.

Console titles are supposed to be more engaging, and draw the player into long, extended play sessions, while handhelds are suppose to give you these small engrossing times. Even though console titles have given me these long play times, I have found myself doing similar play sessions with DS and 3DS titles. For example, when I got the excellent title Radiant Historia in 2011, after getting into it, I had a couple days when I played it for about 7-8 hours in one day, and continued to play it for 4-5 hours in the following days. I can't really remember doing this even with any console game. I may have had days where I played Left 4 Dead a lot, but that's a multiplayer experience that has hour long games at some points, which I was addicted to also.

Spending tons of time with DS games, I've come to think that they are able to provide sometimes more quality experiences. For example, there's Radiant Historia, and a couple other of my favorite DS RPGs: Kingdom Hearts 358/2, and The World Ends with You. I've played each of these games for over 40 hours, which is more or less about the same time I spent with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. And you know what? That time with Skyrim didn't have nearly as much quality in my opinion as those titles. I came in really wanting to explore Skyrim, but in the end, I beat the main quest and basically stopped playing. There was no reason to continue, except to finish a couple guilds. The combat was boring after time, the story was awful compared to Fallout 3, and there was no reason to go see the the rest of the content-people may say "oh there's all this stuff you can do!"...but to me, I need a reason to go do all of that. Skyrim gave me none. However, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days did-I have 100%'d that game. Twice.

So, why did some small JRPG captivate me more than Skyrim? I'm not entirely sure. Maybe it's just a matter of me liking the combat and story more than I liked Skyrim's, which is of course, my opinion. However, this is also true with Radiant Historia. And several other games. In any case, to me, this fact tells me I find more quality in handheld titles than console titles. In this day and age, there are more than twice the amount of AAA titles on consoles compared to handhelds, with one releasing every week or so, while 3DS and Vita get a couple titles that are super sellers every month or so. Yet, I am anticipating more 3DS releases than Wii U or PC at this point in time(okay, well, yeah, Wii U doesn't have tons in the next 3 months...). Why am I so enamored with handheld titles, and find them having so much more quality than some of the other games I buy for consoles?

Ace Attorney 5 can't come soon enough...

Another game I've found engrossing has been Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. In my top ten, I have it listed above such amazing games as Alan Wake and Left 4 Dead 2. Each have a great replay value, but not as much as Phoenix Wright to me. I've most likely beaten the game over ten times, more than any other game I've ever owned. And the thing is, it's not like the game is short-to plow through it, someone would need to spend about 6-10 hours, which is about the same as Alan Wake, if you're doing a speed run. Again, the fact is that it's probably just me being in love with this game more than others. But this, and everything I've said above...it just is saying to me, in this day and age...are we living in an industry where handheld games have more quality than console titles? To me, I think that may be a yes. At least, they are on par(they always have been, I think, in their own unique way, but some don't agree). 

So, there are a couple main things I hope people have pulled from this-that handhelds can have as much quality as console titles, and that they can sometimes do things even better than consoles sometimes for some people. The experiences are unique, and Sony shouldn't pretend that console games are superior. Even if a person can get the same sort of feelings from both handhelds and consoles...there are advantages to both. 

Eh, I'm not really as happy with how this turned out, but I have other stuff to do, so I'm going to end it off here. 

Plus, you can play 3DS and Vita in nature!...it's Earth Day, idk.

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