Age of Zombies PS Vita Review: The return of Barry Steakfries
Barry Steakfries is a funny dude. When he's not busy avoiding obstacles in the endless runner Jetpack Joyride, he's travelling through time, getting rid of zombies one bullet at a time. Originally released on iOS and PlayStation Minis in 2009, Halfbrick Studios' Age of Zombies is better known as a mobile game for your phone. Now it has a home on the PS Vita, with a bigger screen and two analog sticks to help improve the experience.
In Age of Zombies, you play as Barry Steakfries as he travels through time trying to eliminate hordes of undead. It's a top-down twin-stick shooter. The conversion from touchscreen controls to the Vita's makes the game more appealing. I'd choose analog sticks over touchscreen controls any day, and the Vita lets you maneuver Barry and aim his shots with ease. Some weapons/powerups are a little finicky with aiming, but, like I said, the Vita controls perform admirably. Likewise, Age of Zombies converts well to the Vita's screen. If you've played it on a screen like the Galaxy Note, there's not too much of a difference. It looks better than the phone versions, and it runs at 60 FPS.
The conversion to the PlayStation Vita also brings global leaderboards and trophies, which are really the only form of replay value Age of Zombies has. It's a short game and gets very repetitive; unless you're trying ot best others' scores or get all the trophies, once you beat the game, that's all there is to it. Barry SteakFries and the cast of characters you'll come across are full of humor and make for an enjoyable experience, but every level plays the same. You'll encounter some different zombies, and bosses make the final area of each stage tough, but you're always doing the same thing. It's very monotonous, and different weapon powerups with limited ammo aren't enough to shake things up.
Age of Zombies takes you across prehistoric times with dinosaurs, the 1930s with gangsters, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Japan, the Future, and as a bonus, the Wild West. Consider these skins. Yes, you'll encounter some different zombies, but you play each level the same way. It's a twin-stick shooter, so there's not much to vary anyways. Level layouts change how you approach a level to a certain degree, but in the end, you'll wind up resorting to the same strategy.
Age of Zombies on the PS Vita functions well as a pick up for a couple of minutes and play type of game. The game's humor, which is as crude as it can get, still had me chuckling as I played through a second time. And the action is fun. Still, if you're looking for a ton of replay value, you're going to be disappointed. It's a solid twin-stick shooter on the Vita, and if you're aching for more Barry Steakfries after your time with him on your phone, this is one way to do it.