Despite playing games for well over 40 years, the one type of game I’ve struggled to have enough time for are MMORPGs and other online multiplayer titles. I’ve played more than a few over the years on the PC as well as on a range of consoles, but time after time I drift away from them just as quickly as I start them. In one sense I think the Vita’s limited support for online play when it’s come to these has been a blessing in this respect as I haven’t been tempted by them too greatly…
In the early days for myself it wasn’t really too much of a concern. I can remember when I first made the leap from a dial-up connection (anyone remember those?) to broadband it was an incredible difference but we never had a particularly fast connection. Certainly when I started dabbling in MMORPGs the download speeds for games was devastatingly slow. We were running on what was claimed to be a 25mbps connection but it never felt like that, and running DC Universe Online on my PS3 was hell at times.
The game itself ran fine and, to be honest, I did spend a fair amount of time playing it. But when it came to the semi regular patches and updates it was a nightmare. There were more than a few occasions where I had to leave the console running overnight to download the 6gb+ updates. After a couple of these it soon marked the end of my gaming time alongside Batman and Superman!
Pay To Win
One of the things that probably put me off the most with online gaming, and MMORPGs in particular, was the feeling that I’d need to spend to be able to make any sort of progress in the game. Most of the ones I’d played on the PC and Nintendo Switch had operated under the Free To Play model and for the most part success was ultimately dependent on how much you were willing to spend on your character or equipment. As for the likes of Final Fantasy XIV, I just didn’t find myself playing it enough to warrant the monthly subscription price.
I’ve definitely noticed that money talks in the games I’ve been playing on the Switch. I’ve only dabbled with the F2P titles so far – not just MMORPGs but games like Fortnite, Rocket League and the Switch port of DC Universe Online as well. But it’s clear that players who have spent money seem to be at a clear advantage. I’m sure that if I decided to play any of these in greater depth I’d have to do the same myself, and the same with the Elder Scrolls Online – another I’ve been considering trying out. I’ll just have to budget in to buy PlayStation ESO gold to get ahead of the competition with that one!
But despite the Vita not being the best choice when it comes to online multiplayer gaming, it’s still had a few gems that have been worth checking out. Fan favourite, Killzone Mercenary, is not only regarded as being the best first-person shooter on the console but has an incredible multiplayer mode with plenty of solo and team game modes. While I was never a fan of FPS games, let alone the idea of playing them online, Killzone Mercenary is the one that managed to grab my attention and is quite rightly one of the greatest Vita games ever released.
The Sword Art Online series tend to offer a more limited approach to its online gaming, but they’re still fun nevertheless. Offering a mission-based approach, they centre more around boss battles but it’s a great way to extend the life of the game once you’ve finished the main storylines. But if you’re after something a little more down to earth, one of the Vita’s greatest racing games, Need For Speed: Most Wanted allows you to explore its open world gameplay and race against Vita owners around the world competing for glory.
But those are just a few of my personal favourites. If you’re still using your Vita for online or multiplayer gaming, what are your favourites? Let us know in the comments below.