I love the flexibility of playing games on the PlayStation Vita, which is why I often end up sampling a heap of random games on that handheld wonder. However, it also sometimes means some games that should be instant must-plays can fly under my radar, and it can take me a while to get around to playing them. Gravity Rush is one of those games, and it was a stroke of good luck that I decided to go back and play it later.
- Name: Gravity Rush
- Genre: Action-adventure
- Released: 2012
- Developer: Project Siren
- Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
- Platforms: PlayStation Vita
The main reason it took me so long to play Gravity Rush is the fact that like a lot of Japanese games, it didn’t do a very good job in explaining what it was all about and selling me on it. It’s really a quite unusual game with a clever idea, but I never really knew that before I took a blind chance on it, since it didn’t explain itself. In a world with so many digital games available at any given time, a good sales pitch is more important than a lot of people realize.
When I got to playing it, however, it only took me about five minutes to find something I liked about it. The visual style is phenomenal – it’s gorgeous yet endearing, and accompanied by an enjoyable soundtrack, the game feels very welcoming on the surface. Everything from the color palette to the visual effects and animations feels like it fits in, and that already made me expect good things out of Gravity Rush.
Once the actual gameplay kicked in, I could feel a wide grin creeping on my face: the game is all about shifting gravity, which for the most part can be done at will (to the limit of the energy gauge), and it turned out to be a crazy deal of fun. The game allows you to explore large floating city segments any way you see fit, and the even though there’s a limited number of things to actually discover, flying (or rather falling) around is just so enjoyable that it doesn’t really even matter. Just traveling from point A to point B is so much fun that I didn’t really want to use fast travel unless it was absolutely necessary.
Being an action game, Gravity Rush features combat segments, which vary from fun to frustrating. Enemies have very specific weak spots, and hitting those spots is the only way of dealing damage to them. You have a few different kinds of attacks to use, and most of the time fighting monsters isn’t too challenging, but some enemies can really make you grind your teeth, whether it’s because of difficult positioning of their weak spots, or just movement patterns that drive you insane.
Aside from the main story which is completed one mission at a time, there are challenges that can be completed for crystals, which essentially act as experience. The challenges test pretty much every skill you will develop during the game, from general combat to specific attack types to speedy traversal. I’ve heard a lot of people were pulling their hair out with the challenges, but I actually enjoyed them a lot, and even though one or two of them were really hard, I didn’t feel they were unreasonable. Even segments with mandatory use of the motion controls were quite doable, as the controls were surprisingly responsive once you learn the kinks.
The game has a simple story set in a pretty strange world. Without spoiling too much, it involves a monster-spawning gravity storm that threatens to swallow the city, an amnesiac heroine, time distortion and a crazy old coot with weird things under his coat. The narrative itself isn’t anything unusual for the most part, but it does get surprisingly complex towards the end. Most of the time, I had no trouble waiting for the next story mission while taking care of other stuff, but later on in the game a few story twists did leave me wanting to find out what was going on.
I can definitely vouch for Gravity Rush to be a fun and different gaming experience. It was later also released as a remastered version on the PlayStation 4, so there’s no excuse to give it a spin, even without the Vita (although if there’s a chance to play something on the Vita, you should).
I finished my Trophy hunt for this game on May 16th, 2016, and it took me a week of playtime, or around 20 hours.
Gravity Rush is essentially an open world game, so the order in which to go after the Trophies doesn’t matter much. I mostly cleared the story missions in each district first, improved my abilities, and then went back to complete all of the challenges in that district. Near the end of the game, I went back to the Rift planes to hunt the rare Nevi, acquiring Ancient Game Hunter, Burning Game Hunter and Illusory Game Hunter. I also went back to look for the shifting couple, earning the Lost in Time and Space Trophy.
The Trophy list was quite easy, and there wasn’t much that I wouldn’t have completed anyway, even without the Trophies. As I stated above, a couple of the challenges were a bit difficult, but most of them were a breeze, and a good deal of fun to play. All in all, I enjoyed the Trophy hunt, and getting the Platinum did not burn me out on Gravity Rush.