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How creative games like Sound Shapes can save the Vita in the long run

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Posted by: Alex Rhoades

Sound Shapes, the new game from Queasy Games, is a rare title in today’s video game industry. It relies on a sophisticated simplicity not otherwise seen in today’s games. In essence, you’re a circle looking for a record player while collecting musical notes on the way. In reality, it’s an engrossing musical platformer that hasn’t been attempted before.

How could this game be the Vita’s early savior especially when it comes bundled with a PS3 version of the game? Creativity.  Music games have been popular in the past, just look at Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Just being touted as a music platformer doesn’t make a game unique, although it certainly helps. Sound Shapes enforces its creativity by making players collect items throughout the game that adds to the music, Sound Shape’s backbone. It is entirely possible to not collect any of the notes if you so desire, but that will make your experience in the game much worse, and way less exciting.

Collecting items has been a platforming tradition since Mario started collecting gold coins. But while you’ve been compelled to skip coins just to make it to the end of the stage faster before, Sound Shapes smartly incentivizes you to collect everything. It’s a smart way to get players to see (or hear) everything the game has to offer.

Deathmouse LevelThe Vita version of the game is definitely the one to play. While the PS3 version offers the same gameplay, nothing beats the Vita version with a good pair of headphones on. It definitely should have stayed a Vita exclusive, and was probably delayed to port the game over to PS3 users. Using the touch-based controls of the Vita version makes level editing much easier and less cumbersome than its PS3 counterpart.

Sony’s Playstation Vita needs more games like Sound Shapes. Creative, fun, and unique games that cost approximately 15 dollars. It is especially important to nail the price of these games, considering competing devices (iOS/Android) offer games for cheap, like the now very standard 99 cents. The problem the Vita still faces today is the expensive price of the proprietary memory cards and the games. Not every game sold at retail should cost 40 dollars especially when a game like Sound Shapes can be had for less than half the price. It seems like a simple solution to a perplexing problem as to why the Playstation Vita, a magnificent handheld device, struggles this badly on the market.

Random LevelSound Shapes is the last must play game until September 25th when LittleBigPlanet Vita makes its much-anticipated release, which highlights another problem, the games. The big releases are few and far between on the Vita, a problem that can be negated if companies start releasing more PSN Vita games.

When you think system seller, you probably wouldn't initially turn to a downloadable game. However creative games like Sound Shapes can definitely push more Vitas, which would certainly help Sony out. Porting your favorite games to a handheld is a good idea in theory, but why wouldn’t you just by the PS3 copy of the console game? Sound Shapes on the other hand seemed destined to be a Vita exclusive, only to get pushed back to add support for a PS3 version. I’ve played a lot of Sound Shapes since its release and have nothing but positives to say about the game, which is backed up in our official review. In fact, it’s the only Vita game I’ve played in the last month or two. The Vita can be a great system, but Sony and game developers need to help it reach its full potential, not help bury it in the ground.

Did you buy a Playstation Vita? What games do you currently own? Did you buy Sound Shapes? Let me know in the comments below

You can follow me on Twitter at @AlexEqualsWin and Gamezone at @Gamezoneonline

Tags: Sound Shapes, Vita, Playstation, Playstation 3, PS3

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