I love platformers, and few systems lend themselves to the simplistic genre like a handheld. I recently got my hands on Sound Shapes for the PlayStation Vita for the very first time, and it's ranking among my top reasons to pick up the portable when it launches.
Guiding the tiny, sticky ball across chasms and up along ceilings forces seasoned platforming experts to think differently. The Vita's slick analog sticks and vivid display make for pixel perfect jumps. I love how not every entity in the game is an enemy which damages you on contact, and that instead you must cling to them to access new areas on their patrol routes.One of my favorite moments involves climbing up rotating gears while avoiding being crushed by them.
The level I played progressed gradually from rolling green hill-like formations into an industrial nightmare. Pistons and missiles fired from all angles in time with a catchy tune. Being a fan of both platforming and video game music, I relished in having to memorize sections of music in order to dodge the obstacles moving in time with the soundtrack. Even though I was playing Sound Shapes in a crowded Tokyo Game Show setting and couldn't hear perfectly, the reliable controls and bits of music that made it to my ears caused me to be fully immersed in the game.
As Sony slowly reveals more and more about the Vita, the reasons to save up for the device are mounting. This unassuming little platformer by the creators of Everyday Shooter definitely ranks among them. With it's simplistic, artful design and spot-on gameplay, Sound Shapes is shaping up to be a must have.