Down Becomes Up In Sony Japan's Solid Vita Debut - Gravity Rush - PlayStation Vita -
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Gravity Rush

Down Becomes Up In Sony Japan's Solid Vita Debut

Months into the Vita’s lifespan, the portable features little in the way of original action-adventure offerings. Outside of Uncharted: Golden Abyss, gamers have few options if they’re looking for a console-caliber adventure that makes use of the Vita’s dual analog sticks. Originally planned as a PS3 title, Gravity Rush finally found its way to Sony’s new portable (despite missing the system’s launch window). With an intriguing gravity mechanic and relative lack of gimmicky motion controls, Sony Japan Studio has created one of the more enjoyable early titles on the Vita.

You play as a young girl named Kat, and the game doesn’t waste much time in introducing you to the unique gift she possesses. Thanks to the aid of a mystical cat named Dusty, she can bend gravity to her will, allowing her to travel the airborne city of Hekseville with ease. Using the R button to shift gravity (changing which direction is “down”), Kat is free to collect hidden gems and take out hostile monsters. Most of these baddies feature specific weak spots, and you shift gravity until you have just the right angle for a flying kick. This mechanic helps make combat scenarios interesting, and it’s also enjoyable to use when navigating the city.

As you progress, the 21 episodes do a good job of mixing up the action. You may find yourself fighting a constant stream of monsters in one episode, followed by a platforming-heavy section that limits the use of your gravity mechanic in the next. The hidden gems you collect along the way are used to upgrade Kat’s health, increase the length of time she can manipulate gravity, or make her attacks more deadly. You begin with a weak kick and a very limited amount of time on your gravity gauge, but by the end of the game you’ll be soaring around Hekseville and taking monsters out with special attacks.

While it’s not exactly a sprawling open world, there are a few activities to partake in when you’re not in the middle of a mission. You can increase your reputation in the town by repairing parts of it with gems, which in turn allows you to level up your skills more. Challenge stages feature Kat racing, flying, and sliding throughout the city in checkpoint races, and a lengthy sidequest involves discovering the tale of two ghostly lovers. I enjoyed having options between missions, but most of these distractions are fairly basic. Struggling to beat times in challenge stages isn’t as enjoyable as leisurely collecting hidden gems by flying around the city.

Kat’s gravity-shifting powers are the star of the show in Gravity Rush, as the story struggles to maintain focus. Characters are constantly introduced and dismissed throughout the narrative, leaving you wondering who’s important and who’s disposable. Despite this, the upgrade system and gravity mechanic kept me engaged throughout the adventure.

User Reviews:

  • 8.50
    One of the PlayStation Vita's earliest titles, Gravity Rush still stands apart as a unique entry in a still-developing catalogue of games. With its integration of the system's gyroscope and touchscreen, it sometimes feels more like a tech demo than a full-fledged game. Because of this, it helps...
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  • 8.50
    Gravity Rush is a unique and satisfying action/adventure game but with a little bit better execution of it's ideas it could have been a truly unforgettable title. What makes Gravity Rush unique is quite a few of it's mechanics.The most obvious one is you can control gravity in a way you can fly...
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  • Gravity Rush (sometimes Daze, sometimes Shift) is a perplexing title. It's supposed to take elements from JRPGs, sandboxes, and platformers, yet basically seemed at first like inFamous but with gravity bending. The demos and trailers looked promising. Sure, the game sounded a bit quirky and weird...
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  • Back at Wal-Mart, I saw a playable Gravity Rush demo. At first, I thought it was going to be boring. But now, I really wanted that game for the Vita. Gravity Rushs' journey begins when you play as a young girl named Kat who's forgotten who she was (Kind of like Shadow don't ya think?), and...
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  • Gravity Shift is just one of those games that you cannot wait for. The game has a great soundtrack to go with what happens. It's like, when you hear a song, you know you're getting attacked by something. The game has a beautiful story, and the hidden side story (about the Lovers Trapped in Time...
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  • 10.00
    Gravity Rush has so many strengths, few weaknesses, and is such a unique title, that it deserves some form of attention from every gamer. The premise and gameplay are so unique that we, as gamers, should reward and encourage this kind of creativity in our industry. It's not a perfect game, but no...
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