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The last platformer I took to seriously was the Rayman Origin. Gravity Rush seems to be on identical path. It has that rare characteristic to bind you with an interesting development of visual characters with some very inspiring game mechanics. I would go as far to say that it is a novel exploration as far as a handheld game is concerned.
The central character is a heroine forced into saving the universe of the brink of disaster. The portrayal of the heroine is of a forgetful, angry teenager with superhero powers. She has as her constant companion a catlike surreptitious figure who seeks to invoke the divine in helping the heroine Kat to unlock the ability to control gravity. Consequently, Kat acquires gravity defying combat and navigational powers. Kat is a very enjoyable character that you would take a liking to after being with it for a few levels.
I must admit that it is rather weak in this department. The plot is very sketchy and difficult to understand. There are many open ended questions that are unrequited. However, the comical and measured nature of the story is redeeming.
Gameplay Mechanics and Level Design
Despite the comical elements, the gameplay itself is not an outright thoughtless adventure. It has intriguing emotions within it to be explored but it deeply respects the casual gamer in that it allows you to explore them if you want. There is considerable innovation in the gameplay mechanics with its subtle controls. It is the controls that provide the superhero feel to Kat. When you tap the right trigger, Kat free floats and defies the gravity. A second tap however allows Kat to redirect gravity and explore building faces floating freely in the air. The controls are so simple and uncomplicated to give unmatched fluidity to Kat's mechanics. It is mainly due to the extreme precision of PS Vita's on-board motion sensor that works flawlessly with Kat's ability to redirect gravity.
It has got very good level design. Though essentially an open universe, the levels are well balanced so that you shall not get bogged down. There is ample scope to develop your ability. As an example, there are accurate waypoints to ensure that you do not get lost in the multiple districts or for that matter, while upside down Kat's hair follows the real word rules of gravity and not as in the game.
However on the downside, there are not many things to do. The challenges are very basic during the non-story. Collectibles are aplenty but it limits you to explore the architecture. Collectibles help upgrade Kat's ability to influence gravity or enhance its combats strengths.
In addition to airborne attacks, Kat also possesses some other combat modes. On ground she can use button combinations to fight and improvise special combat depending on the upgrades.
Most of the combats are very clean and precise except for one bit of flaw in its mechanics. The gyro control for slide moves on the ground is highly unstable and defeats many a challenge rounds for garnering collectibles. Also the gyro instability is accentuated by the expectations of finishing the challenge within impossible time allowance. This is highly frustrating since it prevents you from trying out the challenge rounds and earn additional collectibles.
Excellent is all one can say about the visuals. They are stunning. The art design deserves appreciation and special kudos. The colour contrasts are fabulous. Overall, it adds to the mood of the game make it truly breath-taking despite running at sub-optimal resolution on the Vita's OLED screen.
The aural experience is enthralling. Moving sublimely between orchestral themes and electronic sounds it helps create the perfect mood for different game situations. The diversity in musical motifs provides the player with profound experience.
It's original. It's unique. The game creates unexpected moods helped by its path breaking gameplay mechanics. It has its flaws but it goes unnoticed as the overall experience is great.
Appears in Ciao Uk under same name