Okay so some time ago i came home all piss drunk and high and went online to order some new earphones for my PSP cuz the old ones wire finally started breaking. While i was at it, i saw the black ops vita bundle and i thought gonna get that too just for shits and giggles. Few days later it arrived and it was time to unbox and check it out, i was gonna write this review on that day but i was a bit busy with other things.
Anyway so here’s my review of the PS Vita + the game it came with and right of the bat, im gonna say that the device is a piece of shit, and here’s why:
(Scroll down for a TL;DR summary of this review)
I didn’t do any research and didn’t really give a crap about the vita in general prior to ordering it. I Didn’t really know what to expect but i sorta had hopes that this might be as awsome as the psp was only with touch screen and ps3 like graphics. The design of the box looked rather meh when pulled out of the nice looking black ops edition box (lol a box within a box) and its contents where rather disappointing too. My old psp, in adittion to the charger and the 32mb memory card, also came with all kinds of bonus goodie, like earphones and wrist strap and a special soft case and a disckwith music videos, movie trailers and game demos on it. While the vita didn’t include any of those things, it was just the console and its charger and a 4gb memory card, it didn’t even include the actual game it was supposed to be bundled with, instead it had a digital download version redeem code, not an actual physical copy of the game(and oh boy turns out it wasn’t even supposed to have the 4gb memory card, imma get to that later). The design of the device itself looks kinda meh too, compared the psp, its also really thick and bulky. To my surprise it didn’t have an UMD drive but later i found out it uses game cartridges instead, like nintendo, witch is a pretty smart decision. Another disappointment is that it doesn’t have any kind of other card slots, it doesn’t take no micro SD cards or anything like that like the PSP had, there’s no way to watch your photos or videos from your phone on it, only the proprietary sony vita cards work with it. And speaking about the vita memory cards, as i learned from my frustrated friend who also got the vita a week later, the ps vita doesn’t come with one. Now that wouldn’t be a that big of a problem since we are already used to sony being a bunch of cheep fucks and not including memory cards with the ps1 or the ps2, but unlike vita, on those systems you could still play games perfectly fine without a memory card, you just couldn’t save your progress. The vita however is as useful to you as a brick without one, not only can’t you play games without a card, it wont even do any basic functionality of a tablet device, you cannot test the camera or launch any other applications. And again, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal if sony didn’t price their shitty proprietary cards so ridiculously. The smallest 4gb cart costs 20$, 20$ isn’t that much but you can’t really do shit with a 4gb card, you can only fit 1 full game and 1 demo on it and theres not mutch room left for other apps or music. So if you’re planing on buying games digitally (witch you’re forced to do if you wanna play psp/ps1 games since the thing doesn’t have an UMD) you need to spend a bit more than 20$, its kinda obnoxious when living in times where any other 4gb memory card costs like 5 bucks. The 32gb memory card cost 100$ while the console itself is just 250$, what kind of super advanced alien technology did they put in that card to make it more worthy than the fucking system itself? Sony did some misleading advertisement when they presented the relatively low price of the system as its selling point, sure its 250$ but you gotta pay at least an extra 50$ if you wanna make the full use of the system or at least 20$ extra to do the very basic thing it was made to do, play some fucking video games on it!. In a time where the market is dominated by way more cheaper and more flexible hand held tablet an smartphone devices that already come with internal memory and most of the times a basic external memory cards and can offer way better and more affordable services and forms of entertainment, its not a very wise decision to make your device not have the basic functionally it was supposed to have out of the box. Sony just downright fucked their costumers over like that.
So anyway, I turned the system on, i was greeted by this long dumb unskipable demo, the configuration screen was nice, it had nice music too, but once i got past it, the whole interface looked so terrible as if it was designed by some amateur, it also had unnecessary cheesy menu music playing on a loop, thank god there’s an option to turn it off because it gets on your nerves after a bit. Now here’s where all the horrors begin, i started trying out the thing, the interface touch screen navigation is pretty smooth and well done but touch is the only way you can use it, none of the buttons on the console do anything. I launched the web browser wanted to try watching youtube, but i couldn’t, it kept giving me some missing application error. I went to google and found out that the vita doesn’t support flash, okay but you don’t need flash to see youtube now days cuz it also runs on HTML5 that any modern web browser supports just fine without the need of any complicated plugin installation. In addition, i was seeing a crappy mobile version of the youtube page, this was a huge disappointment since the PSP could play youtube just fine and was capable of displaying the proper version of the page. Luckily there’s a crappy youtube app with bare minimum basic functionality, there’s also apps for facebook and twitter and skype, but they all fail hard because just like the youtube app, they lack some of the basic functionality, like a fucking text chat in skype, you can only do calls and video calls, but you cant send text messages or receive them. Speaking of basic functionality, the system also has a screenshot feature, but you can’t take screenshots with it, every time i tried to take a screenshot of the scoreboard or some random funny glitch in cod, it always says it cant take a screenshot of this screen, not even the menu screens, why does it even have a screenshot option than? to troll you? Than i went to check the camera and it was rather disappointing too, the picture quality was really surprisingly terrible even with the best lighting conditions, at this modern day and age oh 8 megapixel phone cameras. The camera’s resolution is what you see in the picture above, the camera software doesn’t have any kind of options, just a big snapshot button, the video quality is even worse, and it can’t even record a video of the same aspect ratio as the fucking screen its being displayed on, its like a really bad webcam with tiny resolution, lots of digital noise and washed out colors. My old Sony Ericson phone that i had 5 years ago, could take way better pictures than this piece of crap, why does the vita even need to have a camera at this point? I tried listening to some music but i couldn’t control my volume, it was set to 60% or 70% and some icon flashing. The manual revealed that its some “feature”, fortunately you can sorta disable it, unfortunately you cant disable it for good and you need to do that every time you turn the device on and its a really unnecessary and frustrating routine. Oh and the official vita earphones (that i had to buy separately) don’t have the remote controller thing like psp did, making you pull your console out of your pocket every time you wanna change a song. And BTW, getting media on or off the device is kind of a pain in the ass too, in addition for it not having a card reader, you cant just connect it to your computer through the USB port and access the device like you could with the PSP, sony has some weird “keep your hands off! we will do it for you” thing going on with vita, you gotta install some additional program that just like everything else by sony, has no fucking options and you gotta manually remove it from the system startup list. Its called content manager assistant something, you specify the locations on your computer your music, pictures, videos and app backups, than you can access those locations through your vita and copy music and other crap to your vita’s memory card. The cool thing is that you can just specify your whole hard drive as a location and browse through folders using vita, but its still a really ass backwards way of doing things, it would be so much more easy if you could just drag and drop files from your computer like you could with the psp. There are countless other tiny problems i ran into that i wont mention here because this review already got way too long.
Oh the remote play function that is supposed to let you play your ps3 games remotely, is rather useless just like the screen shot option, cuz you can’t actually play anything through it (just a handful of ps3 titles support it)
So anyway, it was time to try the game it came with! Entering the code to redeem my game aaaaaand……….. bullshit. I cant redeem my game :C it keeps giving me an error that i either entered the code wrong or it has expired D:. So i ran to google to see what could be wrong, turns out, digital downloads are region locked, i have to create an account with the same region that my game is from. But the problem doesn’t end there, unlike the PS3, once you have created or logged in to your PSN account with the vita, your vita gets account locked, you cannot create a new or log in with any other PSN account, you’re pretty much fucked if you have more than one account. However, google reveals that there IS a way to log in with another account, but that requires a factory restore. You have to reset your system to the factory defaults, you loose all your changes and everything and you have to sit through that annoying demo again after you turn it on, luckily the date and time doesn’t reset so you don’t have to set them up again. So i was finally able to create and log in with a new account and download my game and its time to try it out!
Call Of Duty – Black Ops: Declassified
If your not into call of duty multiplayer and your all about the epic call of duty single player experience, you might wanna rent or try this game out somewhere before you buy it, since this game is all about the multiplayer and the single player part doesn’t offer a whole lot. The campaign itself is really short and it feels more like you’re playing spec ops in mw2/mw3, the cutscenes between the missions are kinda booring and done in the same style as BF3 single player, theres not that many epic ingame cutscenes either as expected for a COD game, there’s also the mw3 survival mode and a time trial mode, there’s also leveling and time ranking in the campaign so it adds a little bit of replay value. Also the campaign is really fucking hard too D: i hate the time missions where you need to do shit in a short time. The controls are pretty good, the game makes a smart use of the touch screen by adding the missing controller buttons on the screen next to the physical buttons. In addition it it also offers more than one way to do something, for example, to throw a grenade you can just tap the grenade button on screen, of you can tap and hold the grenade button, an orange circle appears, you drag it out and aim your throw with it, you can also knife people by slashing the screen with your finger, its actually a lot easier to quickly slash the screen instead of looking for the virtual knife button (since you cant feel it with your finger). The killstreeks and alt weapon fire can be activated the traditional way with your D pad but you also have the on screen buttons for them on the left side of the screen too, they are kinda hard to hit since they are so small so i just use the D pad. Now the only down side to the controls is that the vita analog sticks are really loose and gives no resistance to your finger, even simple basic tasks such as walking can be really difficult, i always start strafing to the sides when trying to walk forward and get stuck trying to go through a door, thank god you can lower the sensitivity so aiming is decent, but than you have a really slow turn problem and cant react to stuff behind your back fast enough, this can get you killed in multiplayer. One thing that really rustles my jimmies is that activision went all trololo and wont let you use touch screen in the game menus. Every other thing in the game and any other game and app uses the touch screen, but no not this game menu, if lets say you wanna change your class, you can’t just tap your screen and change class, you gotta navigate the slow and awkward oldschool way, with the d pad, and i keep forgetting that every time and try to tap the screen and nothing happens D:
Anyway, the multiplayer is really where its all at, and i gotta say i was surprised by how well balanced and fun it is :O This game offers a simple clean COD experience, It feels as if the game was done by the COD community itself, it takes everything that awesome about cod and leaves out all the bullshit. Theres no cheap noob shit, no aim asist, no bullshit deaths, no death streeks, no last stand/second chance, no OP perks like assassin or ghost pro, no revenge spawns. The game doesn’t cheat you out of your kills, knife is not faster than bullets and even if you do get knifed, if you where shooting the guy coming at you, he dies too and you get an afterlife+ revenge bonus too :D, the killstreeks are balanced out pretty well, there’s no retarded press button-recieve kills flying exploding easy to get bullshit like like in BO2, most streaks are non lethal type, like UAV and stuff. All weapon classes are balanced, there’s no SMG noob bullshit like in BO2, you can pick up any weapon you want and still be competitive, SMGs are only good in close range like they should(cant hipfire sniper across the map) and LMGs are deadly as fuck while the ARs are the all purpose weapons again. It has some really great maps, like shipment from COD4 and nuketown from BO1. It mostly features weapons, attachments and equipment from BO1 but it also has some stuff from MW3 like the PP90M1 FUCK YEAH! and bouncing betties :D. Secondary weapons aren’t all that useless either, you have your proper machine pistols and stuff. Theres no retarded weapon attachments or changeless like lets say an acog on the shotgun, do 200 scoped shotgun acog kills!, appropriate weapon classes have appropriate attachments. The chalanges are organized in IW style, everything is in one place and easy to follow, unlike BO1 and BO2 where fuck knows where what is.
However this game does have some shortcomings, like really shitty graphics, and some are really serious too, like the connectivity problems or random crashes with an error reporting dialog. Now the connectivity issue is strange, you sometimes start randomly loosing connection to the host in 2 out of every 3 matches and in some cases you loose connection so hard that the vita itself needs to reconnect itself to the psn, and all the reviews and message boards of the game report the same problem. Strangely enough, sometimes you can play a whole day without getting disconnected a single time. Other shortcomings aren’t game breaking but would be things nice to have, like a way to communicate with other players, the game doesn’t have text or voice chat. The loadings times are ass, you would think that not having an UMD anymore and loading maps directly from the card would be faster. The loading times are random too, some times the same map can load for like few seconds and sometimes a whole minute, There’s also a severe lack of game modes, there’s only TDM KC FFA and for some weird reason they chose to add drop zone out of all the modes, why not fucking SnD? I also wish it had more maps and it doesnt look like they are planing on making a DLC. Oh and theres no killcams :C
So to sum this up (the tl;dr summary)
Amateurish packing, unit and UI design, Doesn’t come with any of the bonus goodies that the psp came with, UI cannot be controlled with buttons, touch screen only.
The pack doesn’t even come with a memory card, rendering the device a useless brick that costs 250$, since it doesnt let you launch games or do anything else without a memoru card cuz the system doesnt have any internal memory. You need to spend more money on sony’s overpriced proprietary memory card just to have the basic functionality of your system that should have been there out of the box, and no other card formats work, witch in this day and age is just FAIL.
Game bundles come with region locked redeem codes instead of physical copies of games, not letting you download your game if your PSN account region doesnt match the redeem code region. An account lock not letting you log in with any other PSN account once you loged in, having to do a factory reset every time you wanna create or log in with different account.
Really poor selection of apps and Apps lacking basic funtionality and features that don’t actualy do what they are supposed to do, like not being able to take a screenshot of a game using the screenshot function or play a game remotely using the remote play funtion or not having text chat in skype or not being able to displaying web pages propertly in the web browser, no flash support, broken HTML5 support. And “features” that hinder your ability use the system, like the volume automatic control and lock.
No card readers and no other way to get files on and of the system, can’t just connect ti to the pc through usb, gotta install adittional software to be able to transfer files, due to sony’s “hands off! we will do this for you” policy and than doing this ass backwards file copying through your vita.
Surprisingly terrible camera resolution and image quality even under the best lighting conditions, even worse video resolution and quality like some old cheep webcam with digital noise and washed out colors, no camera options, cant even film in the same aspect ratio as the screen the video is displayed on.
Unimpressive and sometimes even just down right terrible graphics, loose and sensitive analog sticks, obligatory touch in some games, severe lack of big game titles or more like lack of games in general, high game prices going from 20$ to 50$ compaired to lets say 2$-5$ games for the IOS and Android with far better graphics.
If you do not need this for a particular game and nothing else like i do and got no money to spare, youre better off buying a 3DS or even a fucking ipad.