Developer / Publisher : Just Add Water
Platform: PlayStation Vita
Gravity Crash Ultra is the updated, glossy next generation’s version of the PS3 and PSP smash Gravity Crash.
Gravity Crash Ultra sets you in a classic game scenario where you must defeat the enemy that seem to be everywhere, collect the craved items, in this case different coloured gems and artifacts as well as the odd rescue mission for some poor helpless downed pilots that need a lift home. After that it’s just a simple case of defeating the big, bad bosses and its home in time to tea and biscuits. Ok, so that may sound like a generic game that pop up every now and again but this isn’t one of them. This is something that stands way above the rest. Gravity Crash Ultra is a twin stick shooter that developers Just Add Water have worked hard on, tweaking each and every part to make what was originally a good game into something even better.
Controls and response are exactly how you would want them to be. You get a real feel for the momentum as you travel across the map and have to re adjust angle and thrust to accurately manoeuver. It’s not to do but it can take a while to master it to a level where you are dancing across the screen. There are a couple of different control options to choose from in the beginning. You can choose between a classic style of gameplay familiar to those that love twin stick shooters. or an anti gravity style for those that wish to change things up a little. With the PlayStation Vita’s excellent analogue sticks put to great use it makes handling your craft feel super smooth.
Controlling your craft in open areas is only the beginnings. The maps are expertly designed to provide you with challenges at all times with rocky outcrops, narrow tunnels and closed spaces. Add to this the varied enemies you encounter as well as the constant need to keep an eye on your fuel consumption can make for some fun times. Keeping an eye on that fuel consumption can be the key to getting a good time and score as if you have to stop what you are doing half way through the map to find refuelling crystals that you could have picked up precious seconds earlier then your time is going to be severely compromised. A well thought out route and accurate control of your craft will certainly prove who out there are the Gravity Crash Masters.
Graphically Gravity Crash Ultra is beautiful. It’s bright vector graphic style looks amazing. Don’t be put off by the term vector graphics just because its 2014 and this is a game on a powerful handheld. Firstly graphics don’t make a game, they enhance it but don’t make it. Secondly these vector graphics have a more full and beefier feel to them that suits the game perfectly and also suits the vita as well. The vita’s screen somehow makes everything stand out so much more than you would expect. Just Add Water made the call to get Gravity Crash Ultra running at 60fps and this was the right call, it just helps this game stand out from the host of titles on the vita. It’s a clever mix of old style graphics with new technology and lightning to bring you the best possible outcome for the user.
The level editor will have all of the obsessives out there itching to make bigger and better levels and to see who can create the ultimate challenge. It’s a great addition that gives Gravity Crash Ultra a huge boost to not just replayability but new content for replayability. Giving players the option to come up with new and crazy levels is a genius move in this regard and takes the pressure of the potential need to come up with DLC.
One of the last things to mention is the soundtrack. So many games especially on the mobile titles slip up here and fail to give what could be a great game a matching soundtrack. Im happy to say that Just Add Water have expertly matched a killer soundtrack that slips seamlessly into the game. It matches mood and style of the game so well that you almost couldn’t imagine one without the other. CoLD SToRAGE otherwise known as Tim Wright has created some of the best game soundtracks that I have heard including a few that I had completely forgotten but came back to me as soon as I heard his work again. You could almost start the game and then put it down just to listen to the music on its own if it wasn’t for the fact that its one addictive game.
This is one of those highly addicting games that you may only play for 10 to 30 minutes at a time but you will keep coming back to for months and months. The simple addition of scoreboards makes a game like this utterly addictive when competing against friends and gives you that urge to give the game ‘just a quick go’ or that other infamous gamers excuse, ‘just one more level’.
There are a few games that I would call showcase games for the vita and I would class this as one of them. Gravity Crash Ultra will sit next to the likes of Super Stardust Delta and Mutant Blobs Attack and PixelJunk Shooter on my vita for years to come as a game I can pick up and play over and over again and get the same level of enjoyment out of it a week from now and a year from now.
A True Hit.
Game code provided by developer
Images captured by reviewer