The PlayStation Vita has made some great strides recently, and it doesn't look like Sony is slowing down anytime soon. The company just announced a handful of new titles that will be coming to the mobile console, and they all seem very promising.
Four, to be exact. Let me present each of them in turn.
UPDATE: And now there are even more! Sony just announced another two games for the Vita, which I'll add to the original list published this morning.
Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer
Ascension is a deck-building card game in the Magic: The Gathering tradition. It's been out for a while on iOS, and we've enjoyed it there — Kotaku's Mike Fahey described it as "a godsend to fans of card-based gaming" back in 2011. I think the idea here is also the coolest in a lot of ways. Because: just think about how all of the Vita's whacky touch and motion-based controls could be used to emulate, or even improve upon, the table-top experience.
Salt and Sanctuary
The PlayStation blog post describes this cross-platform title (it will also come out for the PS4 as well) as "a stylistic, brutal action RPG platformer that's teeming with visceral, satisfying combat, deep, diverse character builds, and some of the most incredible bosses we've ever made." So...like Diablo III but for the Vita as well as the PlayStation 4? Well, let's not get ahead of ourselves. Side-scrolling and action-RPGs don't always fit together all that well. But Salt and Sanctuary is being made by Ska Studios, the team behind the excellent and supremely gory sidescroller The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile, so I think they know what they're doing better than some other developers might. And it does indeed look stylish and brutal, judging by its trailer:
Announced yesterday, this is "a free-to-play, turn-based strategy with local and online multiplayer for PlayStation TV and PS Vita." The "free-to-play" part makes me a little suspicious, but hopefully this will be more like Final Fantasy Tactics than Clash of Clans.
Joe Danger is a whacky Sonic-style sidescroller where you play as a daredevil as he drives through colourful obstacle courses on a dirt-bike. It's been around in various forms for a while now. But getting a new version of a good game never hurt anybody, right? At the very least, hopefully Joe Danger will give Sony the inspiration to finally get around to making another Trials game for the Vita.
Oh man, now I'm starting to get really jazzed. Early Thursday afternoon Sony revealed that it's bringing the excellent pixel-fencing game Nidhogg to the PS Vita. It even has the same crazy local multiplayer mode that PC gamers have been able to enjoy for a while now — the bottom of Sony's blog post noted: "If you just have one Vita and two people, you can still play! The left stick controls one player and the right stick controls the other!" Things might get a little cramped, I'm guessing.
Alone With You
Another promising cross-buy: Sony announced that it's bringing a new sci-fi adventure game Alone With You to the Vita and PS4 next year. Benjamin Rivers, the game's sole creator, describes it as "a sci-fi game for people who love adventure, exploring and maybe even a little romance." I like all of those things! It centres around the story of a lone surviving astronaut who must rebuild an escape pod before his entire planet caves in on itself.
Now: six new games isn't a huge amount. But what gets me really excited here is the diversity that Sony is bringing to the console. There's a card game, an action-RPG dungeon crawler, a side-scrolling platformer, an adventure game, a whacky competitive fencing simulator, and a strategy game. A strategy game! There are never enough of those for mobile consoles, if you ask me. Excuse me while I go pour one out for the 3DS Pikmin game that never was...