Game Review: Escape Vektor (PS Vita)

Escape Vektor PS Vita

Escape Vektor is a puzzle game available for download from the PlayStation Store for the PS Vita. Escape Vektor takes puzzle games back to yesteryear harking back to the days of retro gaming with a major nostalgic vibe to the game.

The story of the game sees you controlling Vektor who is stuck inside your Central Processing Unit (CPU) and has no recollection of how he made it there, but he requires your help to escape. You will guide Vektor through one-hundred-and-fifty nodes (also referred to as levels) spread across twenty-seven zones (also referred to as worlds) as you attempt to carefully navigate your way past various hunters and enemies sent to destroy Vektor by the evil CPU. Vektor begins by entering the node, followed by bordering a cell with the cell changing colour for each part of the cell that has been claimed by Vektor; when all of the cells in a node have been claimed by Vektor the exit will open and Vektor will be free to move onto the following node. There are bronze, silver, gold and platinum medals available for each node depending upon your base score, enemies destroyed, cells filled, time left, level score, personal best, world score and total score. Every time you set a personal best score on a node, you are rewarded with a wild card with a maximum of one-hundred-and-fifty available to store at any given time. The wild card allows you to select it before starting the level with the purpose of doubling your points total for the levels that you use them on. Vektor can be upgraded to version 25.0 with certain levels providing important upgrades, such as version 3.0 that provides a larger detonation radius. During the pause menu there are forty-one badges in the background that when tapped upon on the touch screen will display the requirements for how each of the badges can be unlocked.

The controls are simplistic with X to boost which increases Vektor’s speed, square to super boost which increases Vektor’s speed beyond that of the boost, O to detonate which destroys enemies, L to boostenate which makes you invincible, R to zoom the camera in and out, the left analogue stick or the directional pad to move Vektor around the node and the Vita’s motion sensing functionality used to interact with the backdrop by moving it in any direction.

The graphics have a simplistic, retro art styling to them with the layouts of the nodes consisting of white lines with the colour changing to orange to show that you have covered that particular stretch of ground, while hunters and enemies consist of thicker white lines and shapes with the colour changing to red when they are on alert that Vektor is nearby. The backdrop to each of the nodes consists of bright colour with flashing outlines of smaller and larger squares, which adds further to its retro vibe.

The presentation of the game is solid with a great touch screen based user interface that can also be navigated via the left analogue stick, directional pad and face buttons across various menus such as the main menu, pause menu and online leaderboards. The backdrop of the game can be controlled during menus and gameplay with the motion sensing functionality of the PS Vita. As Vektor does not have a voice over, Vektor’s communication is displayed via text, resulting in the audio being rather basic and consisting of retro oriented music and basic sound effects, such as the rushing sound that you hear whenever you have covered the ground of an entire line.

The trophy list includes nine trophies with five bronze trophies, two silver trophies and two gold trophies. The trophies are mostly earned naturally through completing all of the one-hundred-and-fifty nodes the game has to offer, such as the “Break Out” bronze trophy for completing chapter one, although this is difficult to judge as certain levels can be particularly frustrating resulting in four bronze trophies hanging in the balance. However, there are even more difficult trophies including the “Fully Upgraded” gold trophy for upgrading Vektor to the maximum level of 25.0 and the “What a star!” gold trophy for completing one-hundred-and-fifty nodes without detonating. I would estimate depending upon skill and whether you have a trophy guide to provide some tips for the best methods of how not to detonate during any of the one-hundred-and-fifty nodes for the “What a star!” gold trophy that it would take between ten to fifteen hours to 100% the trophy list.

The online leaderboards are rather simplistic with only the name (PSN ID) and personal best score listed for each of the nodes once you have completed that particular node and there is no external listing of leaderboards from a menu screen. The online leaderboards focus purely on the rankings of the competitors positioned just above your personal best score, a comparison of your personal best scores and your friends’ personal best scores and where you have made it in the nearby rankings.

The replayability of Escape Vektor is undeniable as the online leaderboards, badges and medals provide an additional layer to the pick up and play focus of the game that works in harmony with the fairly short period of time it takes to complete each node. The various layouts of each node make each of the nodes feel unique, which certainly helps the game to retain a certain freshness that plays a factor in bringing you back for more. There is certainly a lot of gameplay here with one-hundred-and-fifty nodes spread across twenty-seven zones.

Overall, Escape Vektor certainly packs a lot of content that will have you coming back time after time for just one more go whether it is to earn a faster time, another badge, a better medal or a higher leaderboard position; there is certainly motivation to return to the game. With one-hundred-and-fifty nodes spread twenty-seven zones; Escape Vektor is a puzzle game that I would highly recommend to anyone that is a fan of puzzle games and is reasonable value for £7.99.

Jason Bonnar

At A Glance

  • Title: Escape Vektor
  • Publisher: Nnooo
  • System: PS Vita
  • Format: PSN Download
  • Cross Buy: No
  • Cross Play: No
  • Online Multiplayer: No
  • Memory Card Space Needed: 52Mb

 

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About Simon Plumbe 842 Articles
Husband, father and lifelong geek. Originally from the West Midlands, now spending my days in South Wales with my family and a house full of animals. Passionate about video games, especially retro gaming, the Commodore 64 and PlayStation Vita. Love pro wrestling, sci-fi and I'm an animal lover and vegetarian.Enjoyed this and my other articles? Why not buy me a coffee: http://ko-fi.com/simonplumbe

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