I grew up on the NES to Wii with every system in between. Around the N64 delay I got the Playstation but still bought the N64 when it came out. I have played every Mario from the first one to Galaxy and liked them all including all of the Karts, Smash Bros and most of the Zelda titles. On the alternative side I never owned a PS2 or PS3 and have never played through a whole Ratchet or Jak or Sly or Nathan Drake game (besides Golden Abyss).
Many will say, Why write this? What does this accomplish? this just feeds into fan boy wars. I have heard way too many people on podcasts and message boards fail to defend the Vita and adopt a self-deprecating stance when speaking of the Vita vs 3DS. As if Vita owner are a little wrong in the head for liking the Vita. This is in defense of the Vita, to try and help people see why people love the Vita. Also to show off what makes it such a great device and why people who can and want to only buy one can feel good in buying a Vita over the 3DS.
I will not speak to the technical prowess of either system and you can just say they are both equal for discussion sake. The Vita has next to no AAA games starring globally know characters that could be considered a brand outside of video games. This is where the Vita excels not where it is held back.
Handheld systems are for playing games on the go, without online or multiplayer or long play sessions. When I play my PS4 or Xbox One I am looking for long story driven epic or multiplayer centric games. Games that are unique experiences, with short play sessions that are easy to jump in and jump out, are perfect for the Vita and there are tons of them. I would tend to not play these same games on my home console, especially after owning the same game on the Vita. The Vita excels when you spring for a 32 GB memory card and download every game you want and stop worry about losing your tiny little game cards. This way you do not need to think about the one game you want to play when you have time to play on the run.
This is a portable system and I play a lot of games; score chase arcade, metroidvanias, puzzlers, rogue-like games, beat’em ups, fighting and smups can entice you to play them years after you first played them and now you have them all on one portable system.
I already played all of the classic or best Nintendo games over and over and I cannot get excited for them anymore (please don’t hate me). My kids love them as I did when I played them for the first few times. When I have my choice, I want new experiences, new characters, new stories and most importantly new types of games that are inventive and unique. Most of the biggest 3DS games are new version of old games and characters; Mario Kart, Smash Brothers, Majora’s Mask, Mario 3d Land, Animal Crossing and Zelda: Link Between Worlds. I cannot get excited for these titles anymore which I have tried on my kids 3DS’s. It is a mix of Nintendo fatigue and the plain fact that it is skewed to a younger audience.
There are a few head turners like Bravely Default and Fire Emblem, but that is too little to combat the list you see at the bottom of this article. Next, Nintendo is a Japanese company and targets some its games like Monster Hunter to Japanese audiences making them best with multiplayer, which does not work in the US where people are not as close together with great internet speeds. Look at how the 3G Vita did at launch, Sony started to sell them at the same price because no one was buying them and that was in comparison to the Vita Wifi. I could not get the most out of Freedom Wars because I would rather play my consoles when I have internet access.
Lastly, look at Playstation Plus, every month Sony gives out two free games for the Vita to add to your digital collection for a small yearly subscription. One month I told my kids what free games were coming out for PS4, Xbox One and Vita and they asked what Nintendo was giving out. When I said Nintendo does not do that, even my smaller kids who love their 3DS’s said that Nintendo is cheap (don’t quote my little one, they’re not of age yet).
Frankly when I search the eShop I think they would run out of games to give if they did the same for the 3DS.
Nintendo makes a lot of money and will keep on making money off of being the console for kids. They also cater to people that rarely play games and get nostalgia trips off of Nintendo games the few times they play games yearly. I am trying to shake the mature 3DS gamers awake! They should expect more and have bigger appetites then they are allowing themselves. These gamers are a small contingent of the Nintendo player base and keep pointing at these “amazing” games they have played year in and year out for the last 10-20 years. There is a new world of awesome handheld games for you to enjoy, branch out and see that the Vita is for the gamer that is always playing games and loves games of all types.
For those of you that are already Vita owners I have heard from multiple media outlets that there are more games announced for the Vita than any other gaming system, (excluding PC and Mobile).
Here is a list of amazing games that are not on the 3DS, these are games that do not need to be multiplayer to take a lot of your time. A couple are not perfect but still fun enough that I spent a ton of time on them. This is my list, I played all of these games on my Vita for a long time. I did not include remakes of PSP or PS1 games and there are a lot of those as well.
Have fun and long live the VITA!
Hotline Miami 2
Doki Doki Universe
Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3
Persona 4 Golden
Child of Light
Stick It to the Man
Uncharted Golden Abyss
Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
Playstation Allstars Battle Royale
Age of Zombies
Pix the Cat
Resistance Burning Skies
*Bold denotes the standout Vita games on this list favored from our editorial team