Nearly a decade after its launch, the PS Vita is still kicking. Against all odds, Sony’s last foray into the handheld gaming space has survived despite not seeing a first-party title since 2014. The following are a few notable PS Vita games that fans can look forward to playing as the handheld celebrates its tenth birthday in 2021.
1. Heart Forth, Alicia
Alonso Martin’s Heart Forth, Alicia is a Metroidvania RPG inspired by classics like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, The Legend of Zelda, and Xenogears. As players embark on a journey to return Alicia to her home in the sky, they’ll uncover the secrets of the Old World and unearth spells that allow them to become masters of magic. The game promises to combine 16 and 32-bit gameplay with modern RPG flair, meaning this could be a treat for PS Vita users pining for a nostalgic experience on their preferred handheld. Seeing as how the game managed to handily exceed its $60,000 crowdfunding goal, there’s a good chance many fans of the genre are eagerly awaiting its launch later this year.
Francisco Tellez de Meneses’ UnMetal proudly wears its inspiration from Konami’s Metal Gear franchise on its sleeves. Thankfully, the game’s developer alleges it won’t copy from the historic stealth-action series entirely, as this 2D title will be rife with corny voice acting and dialogue options. UnMetal may be the perfect balm to Metal Gear‘s glaring absence lately, though it remains to be seen if it will manage to have an identity of its own when it releases on PS Vita this March.
3. Sense: A Cyberpunk Ghost Story
It may be easy to overlook Suzaku Games’ Sense: A Cyberpunk Ghost Story as another waifu simulator. Upon closer inspection, however, the game’s promotional material thus far subverts expectations with its creepy neon-filled environments and chilling sci-fi musical score. Set in a dystopian future, players will take on the role of Mei Lin Mak as they attempt to solve a century-old mystery and separate reality from fiction. The game was released on PC to lukewarm critical reception last year. Here’s hoping its developer has ironed out some issues before the title’s launch on PS Vita in 2021.
Another cyberpunk-themed game, Garrick Campsey’s Lazr, is also set to arrive on PS Vita sometime this year. This physics-based platformer, reminiscent of modern classics like Super Meat Boy and Guacamelee!, will challenge players to traverse the hazardous Alpha City One and its many districts as fast as they can. Built with the speedrunning community in mind, it’ll be interesting to see whether this stylized pixel art game will manage to find a strong audience on Sony’s capable handheld.
5. Habroxia 2
Lillymo Games’ shoot ’em up sequel, Habroxia 2, promises to deliver plenty of worthwhile content for PS Vita fans when it launches on the system this February. To be more precise, the title’s features will include branching levels, 20 unique bosses, customizable weapon loadouts, Boss Rush Mode, Boost Rush Mode, dozens of ship upgrades, and a New Game+ component. Seeing as how the narrative of the studio’s last title, Twin Breaker: A Sacred Symbols Adventure, was generally well-received, there’s reason to believe that this upcoming release will be just as good, if not better.
While the PS Vita remains overshadowed by Nintendo’s handheld offerings, the device is home to a variety of noteworthy experiences worth sinking hundreds of hours into. Persona 4 Golden, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, and Soul Sacrifice are a few games that come to mind. Sony itself may no longer be substantially supporting the portable console, but independent developers have been breathing life into it for years now. Here’s hoping the console will continue its humble existence well past its tenth year.