Vita Game Review – Spelunky

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ELECTRONIC ARTS, INC. (Origin Store)

by Ryan Hand

Today in games, everyone looks for the newest games, the highest graphics and the deepest and most complex story. But you know what? Sometimes a gamer just wants a simple and fun game to pass the time and relax. With that said, relaxation is the last thing you’ll get when playing Spelunky. You will however, get the rest with this hard-as-nails platformer that brings back the memories of games you played as a kid. Today folks, I will be presenting you a review of Spelunky on the PSVITA.

Let’s start things off with the story. We play as our protagonist who has no real name as he hunts the desert for treasure. One day he wanders into an old cavern and finds a book that speaks of treasure and great spoils. So what does he do? He goes for the treasure of course. That’s all there is to it. No really, I mean it! I like it this way for the reason that you can just make up your own story. With the random generation and 5 different types of terrain, Spelunky offers tons of fun and enables each play-through to be unique and fun, not to mention that there is no “one-way” to go and do things, which can lead to a ton of funny and epic stories.

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Next I’d like to tackle music and visuals. This is something that personally irks me. As a reviewer, I praise the graphical and sound overhaul for what it is. It looks good, clean, and distinguishes itself from other games on the market. It’s a perfect blend that gives it it’s own charm. The colors work well together and you never lose track of where you are on the screen or what you’re doing. In the end, this is what we should want instead of sparkling graphics HD explosions. That being said, I played the game back when it was originally released for free. It lost it’s retro charm that it had before that I had fallen in love with a few years back when I first played it. The soundtrack has quite a few good and memorable tracks, that really add to the atmosphere of the dark underground tunnels that the player traverses. I was never once bored of what I was hearing, nor did I notice any looping. Sound effects were sub-par, though never detracted from the experience.

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I should start wrapping this up, but before that, I should bring up the most important aspects of the game. The controls and the gameplay. I want to start off by saying the controls are absolutely great. The character responds to your button presses, and the scheme is laid out quite nicely as well. It felt totally natural fitting into the controls and a tutorial, though given, should not be needed for them.

Now for the gameplay… what can I say? It’s fantastic. I mentioned before about random generation in terms of environment, but we also get the random generation of NPC’s, shops, treasure and other items. There are arrow traps, boulder traps, tons of enemies and much more in tow awaiting your arrival. It isn’t even easy either. The game will be brutal. No easy mode, just death. However, it does it in a way that doesn’t upset the player. No, instead it makes you want to come back for more. It makes you want to clear that area and get to the end.

Hell, I died over 600 times before I beat the game for the first time. It just has that perfect blend of everything that you can’t stay mad at. Oh, and don’t forget it goes up to four players in co-op or battle mode. This is the second coming of “Friend-ship destroying Fun” that has been seen in other games like New Super Mario Bros, and opens up a whole new world of possibilities.

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So the final question is, will you enjoy Spelunky, and do I recommend it?

If you love 2D platformers and want a real challenge, then you will love Spelunky. I recommend this game to anyone and everyone because it’s just that good of a game. It’s charming, fun and provides an experience that can only be called Spelunky. If you want a long game with a deep story and advanced game-mechanics, then this is not the game for you. Spelunky is available on the PSN Store for PSVITA and PS3, as well as the Xbox Like Arcade and PC via Steam.

 

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Ryan Hand is a game and anime writer at B-TEN.com

When he’s not doing anything productive, which is always, he’s watching anime or playing some new game or JRPG

You can follow him on Twitter @Drayndarkness

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