Friday, May 27, 2016

#TeamHandheld Report - 05/27/2016

I've got a couple of quick looks for this week's #TeamHandheld Report. Been having to juggle some fun personal stuff lately, but I don't want to bore you with that. Let's just get to what I've been playing.

Oh, and there's a fun giveaway coming soon. Please be excited.

Now Playing

Odin Sphere Leifthrasir (Vita)

Anyone worried about the issues that plagued the PS2 version of Odin Sphere being present here should be happy to know that this game runs as smooth as silk on Vita. The beautiful environments of Odin Sphere Leifthrasir are the best looking of the three Vanillaware games released on Sony's handheld. The action portions of the game are fast-paced and everything runs at a solid frame rate. Looks aside, the combat system is easy to get into, and it's just fun to rack up combos against waves of foes.

Odin Sphere's story, voice acting, and dialogue are all really solid, and while I won't go into them right now, I do want to say that it would be nice to be able to speed up dialogue at all times. This is especially true since there are lots of tutorials early on that would be nice to be able to get through quicker. That said, the reasons for the tutorials is that Leifthrasir offers lots of options for crafting and for customization of character abilities. These are pretty straightforward, but there are quite a few systems in the game that help to expand its customization depth. The original version of Odin Sphere had a lot to offer, and this version is just as robust, just much prettier. I'm still working through the starting character, but happily so. More than anything, it's just amazing how beautiful the character animations, backgrounds, and such are in this game. Screenshots might look great, but seeing it in motion is so much better.

-Silky smooth, so lovely-

Downwell (Vita)

Downwell is a really simple concept, but it's still a challenging game. You drop down a well and shoot things with your gun boots as you fall, so that's pretty easy, right? Not quite. It's a quick game, but it's tough to really make it through each of the areas without dying. There are shops and secret areas you can find to get new weapon types, which really helps, but it's never a breeze. Enemies are all over the place and your trips downward are often blocked by swarms from every direction trying to halt your advance.

Vita version offers a regular view and also tate mode, where you can hold the system sideways like on a phone for a full screen experience. It will have you using the left analog stick up at the top and the X button at the bottom. While this seems awkward at first, it becomes more natural as you keep playing. I really like Downwell's straightforward take on things, because it's still a fun challenge. You only get four hits before you die and have to start over, though you can get health restoration items along the way. It just means you'll have to decide if it's worth swapping out weapons that are attached to those healing items. There's a lot of depth here, though it's hidden under a simple premise. It's fun to keep jumping back into Downwell much like games such as OlliOlli, so I recommend it easily to fans of titles like that.

-Drop like it's hot-

Upcoming Games

SteamWorld Heist (Vita)

I heard great stuff about this on 3DS, but am excited to finally check it out when it hits Vita. It's been delayed slightly, but that's OK. I hear it's worth the wait.

Paranautical Activity (Vita)

A roguelike FPS on Vita? I figure it should at least be interesting to check out.

#TeamHandheld Updates

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