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Gravity Rush (Video Game Review)

Gravity Rush's core mechanic is in the name itself - the manipulation of gravity. Set in a fictitious town of Hekesville, we play Kat, a spry young girl who has lost her memory. In the beginning of the game she learns that she can manipulate gravity when she meets a black cat she affectionately names "Dusty." A superhero in her own right, the entire game appears to be a coming-of-age story that presents questions and mysteries at every turn. The plot, while engaging, builds slowly and requires patience, which could potentially turn off some fans of faster-paced narratives. While the game could be accused of asking more questions than it answers, fans who are willing to take the slow development in stride will find the story to be rich and full of intrigue.

Exploring Hekesville, especially with her abilities, is exhilarating with its similarity to both comic book art and watercolor paintings. The plot-filled interludes between chapters is reminiscent of comic panels and the architecture of the town itself is incredibly detailed, especially for a handheld console. We can see dogs prowling the streets, and children congregating in the square by the flowing fountains. Even when activating the gravity mechanic controls, there is impeccable detail in flailing dogs, people, and objects that float and fall with Kat. As for utilization of the actual Vita features, tilting the console can shift your perspective, making you believe you're viewing the game through a window into this fantastical world.

Arguably, however, the most surprisingly impressive aspect of the game is the soundtrack. Fitting to every atmosphere and setting, with a mixture of industrial rock and classically serene melodies, it was near impossible for a casual listener to tell when one track ended and another began. Even the Japanese voice acting seemed to musically fit with the soundtrack; combined with its involved plot, the two created an enjoyably immersive experience. A downside to the game is its unfortunate need to grind. Almost every mission and task involves fighting hordes of monsters and collecting crystals with a combination of your gravity manipulation abilities and aerial martial arts. While always aesthetically pleasing, it becomes less engaging and serves to occasionally pull us out of the story of Kat and Hekesville.

The game is a great choice for Vita owners who are looking for a console-like experience. With its highly innovative gravity mechanic, and use of the dual analog sticks, Gravity Rush is a new and inventive gaming experience, what people were looking for in the Vita's poor launch lineup. While combat fatigue subtracts points for the game's enjoyment, the game moves in the right direction - away from poor quality ports of mainstream video games (Lego Harry Potter, looking at you), towards avant-garde and creative development. If future games make use of the new features on the Vita like Gravity Rush does, then Vita has a promising (albeit slow) future.

Game Features:
  • Single Player
  • DLC support in the Playstation Network
  • Playstation Trophy support

Game Information:

Published by Sony Computer Entertainment
Developed by SCE Japan Studio (Project Siren)
Rated T for Teen
Available exclusively for PS Vita (reviewed)

Score: 8 out of 10
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