A while ago we looked at the diverse range of games available for the PS Vita featuring Batman. It was clear that DC’s Caped Crusader was well represented, but what about Marvel Comics? Well we thought it was time to take a look and see just how well Spider-Man fares on the Vita…
Spider-Man and Sony have a long history together. Not only does the motion picture side of the company still hold the rights to the character and has produced the last 8 live action films, but the original logo for the PlayStation 3 featured the same typeface as the first Tobey Maguire Spider-Man film. When the PSP launched, the welcome UMD disc featured footage from the same movie, and hardware bundles were also released including the film. And that’s before we look at the countless games released for every system. So it was only natural that the Vita got in on the act as well.
The Amazing Spider-Man
Based on the Andrew Garfield film, this story driven open world action game really is one of the early highlights for the PS Vita. It captures the feel of the web-slinger superbly both as an action character and his secret identity as a Daily Bugle photographer. It certainly doesn’t push the hardware, and in fact doesn’t use the full native resolution of the console, but it’s still a great addictive game.
But it’s not easy to find any more. This has quickly become one of the rarer PS Vita games to track down and it’s worth the effort. And if you ever see a physical copy up for sale for less than £40 then grab it straight away!
Disney Infinity 2.0
The PS Vita port of Disney’s sandbox game isn’t without its flaws. When action on screen gets intense it is prone to slowdown and the frame rate is quite low, something it’s detractors made a big point of. But if you look past that there’s a great game underneath. Whether you spend hours in the creative side of it designing your own worlds and games to explore, or just enjoy playing the existing packs and storylines you’ll find plenty of offer.
With plenty of character on hand, the gimmick works remarkably well and despite the concept it is something that genuinely appeals to all ages. Don’t believe me? I recently turned 50 and have a huge crate full of figures from all three games in the series!
LEGO Marvel Superheroes
Normally I’m a huge fan of LEGO games, but this one turned out to be something of a disappointment. Instead of being a full 3D game, LEGO Marvel Superheroes is presented in an isometric view and feels restricted as a result. While it’s still a fun game, you never quite feel as if you have freedom to eplore the enviroment as you do in all the other LEGO titles. It’s a port from the 3DS game and it clearly shows.
Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3
This is an absolutely stunning 2D beat-em-up and is one of the finest to grace the PS Vita. While it’s not as technically impressive as it’s Tekken/Street Fighter stablemate or the Vita’s entry in the Mortal Kombat franchise, what it lacks in that area it more than makes up for in playability. Blending pure arcade action, super smooth visuals and a great line-up of characters, it delivers everything you could want from a 2D fighter.
From a Marvel fan’s perspective it delivers all round though. Having your favourite characters in any non-standard game is a novelty, but to be able to use all their signature moves makes their appearance feel as if they’re more than just a cosmetic addition. Seeing Spider-Man here using his webbing to attack his opponents or swinging across the screen is great fun and it’s something you never grow tired of!
Little Big Planet: Marvel Superhero Edition
Two releases in one here. The classic PS Vita game, Little Big Planet, received a DLC pack featuring new content including a wide range of costumes for various Marvel characters as well as three new mini games set in the Marvel universe. Naturally, Spider-Man was amongst the costumes included, along with fan favourites Iron Man, Thor and the rest of the Avengers.
But in addition to releasing this as DLC, Sony re-released the game with this DLC included on the cartridge as a special Little Big Planet: Marvel Superhero Edition. Obviously, a lot of collectors ended up with both, but with the very real risk that DLC will only be available for a limited time, and Little Big Planet servers being taken offline, this is the best version of the game to pick up.
Zen Pinball 2 / Marvel Pinball
I can’t finish without talking about one of my favourite genres on the Vita – pinball. Two tables appeared as part of separate packs for Marvel Pinball, both of which were also available for it’s sister title Zen Pinball 2. The first release, bundled with Marvel Pinball, was The Amazing Spider-Man – a fantastic table, helped no end with a stunning sound track, reminiscent of the 90s animated series.
The second, in a later pack, was Venom. A darker table both in its visuals and the story that plays throughout pits the symbiote against his nemesis Carnage. Another great looking and sounding table but sadly both are no longer available.
I already mentioned LEGO Marvel Superheroes, but there was another LEGO Marvel game released for the PS Vita – LEGO Marvel Avengers. Spider-Man didn’t make an appearance in this but he was available in the console version as part of a DLC pack. Frustratingly while several of the later LEGO games had DLC made available for them, none of this made it to the Vita.