The handheld market has rapidly changed since the original PSP launched back in 2004, mobile phones have become more advanced and more people are playing these ‘bitesized’ gaming apps. They’re cheap to buy and perfect for wasting a few minutes on here and there. However the biggest hurdle smartphone gaming has is control. Sure touch screen is cool and all that, but it will never replace the tactile input of the humble button. Plus having to use the same display that the game being played on can lead to you losing out on what’s happening on the screen. But smartphone gaming shouldn’t be completely written off just yet, there are a number of titles available on the App Store that would be perfect for PlayStation Vita.
We thought we’d take a look at a few titles currently available for iOS devices that should be bought to Vita and there’s not a celebrity soundboard or zombie in sight.
Day 3. Star Wars Arcade: Falcon Gunner THQ Wireless/LucasArts
Ever wanted to pilot the iconic Millennium Falcon? Well Star Wars Arcade: Falcon Gunner is the closest you may ever get. You take up arms behind the Falcon’s laser cannons, and join the Rebellion in their quest to save the universe from the evil Empire. The game is played out via a view of the Falcon’s gun turret, with iconic scenes from the original Star Wars film interweaving between levels. It’s any fan of Star Wars dream and if the fan pleasing film clips weren’t enough, whilst playing you are bombarded with almost every Star Wars quote under the suns. Some are lifted directly from the movies, with others being provided by convincing sound-a-likes. It’s one of the most involving Star Wars games we’ve ever played.
Star Wars licence aside, Falcon Gunner’s biggest draw is how it’s played. As with all iOS titles, you use the touch screen for control. Two sticks appears on-screen, the left stick controls the turrets movement, with the right stick providing laser fire. Moving the Falcon is achieved via the power of the iPhones built-in accelerometers, tilting the device banks the ship left or right. Tilting back allows you to move up and down, but the fun doesn’t end there.
Falcon Gunner can also be played in AR Mode, enable the option from the main screen and the vast expanse of the Outer Rim System is replaced with your living room. Using the built-in camera, the turrets and incoming TIE Fighters, overlay where every you happen to be standing. Blast Vader’s Advanced X1, in the cake aisle of you’re local Sainsbury’s, outrun the dreaded Imperial Fleet whilst on the loo or take on Fett’s Slave 1 as Eastenders plays out in the distant – that’s no moon, it’s Phil Mitchell!
When in AR Mode controls change ever so slightly. Touching the on screen control sticks provide fire, but now you have to physically move within 360° space, to outmanoeuvre those pesky TIEs. You’ll be spinning round like a mad man as Han barks orders and Imperial Forces appears from all sides – you may want to rethink playing it in Sainsbury’s after all.
Why would it work on Vita?
Falcon Gunner could simply be directly ported to Vita with very little effort. Vita already boasts touch screen control, although we feel it’s dual control stick set up would provide an even greater level of involvement. Vita also features accelerometers in the guise of SIXAXIS, couple that with Vita’s built-in camera and AR Mode would be a breeze. But whatever iPhone can do, PlayStation Vita could do better – imagine taking part in intergalactic dogfights against other PlayStation Network users via ‘Party’. The front facing camera could provide visual feedback to your opponents, much like WipEout 2048 plans to do. How about activating your R2 unit and recording high score Hologram messages for fellow pilots to intercept via ‘near’? Even without those dream additions, Falcon Gunner would make an excellent PlayStation Vita title, and would show off it’s features in scruffy-looking, nerf-herding style.
Head over to the official Star Wars website for more information about Star Wars Arcade: Falcon Gunner, please note the possibility of coming across an asteroid field on your way over there are approximately 3,720 to 1.