With apologies to those who genuinely cherish their Vita, it seems like Sony will stop supporting the Vita sooner rather than later. So what would we like to see released on it before that happens? That's a good question.
There are plenty of games that we'd like to have on the Vita, but we've limited ourselves to eight. Our choices run the gamut from imports to ports to re-releases, all of them sharing one similar characteristic — they'd be fun to play on the road on the Vita's lovely screen. This is what we came up with.
I own Jamestown+ on PlayStation 4, and playing it made me realize that this is exactly the game I've wanted on my Vita for years now. It's attractive to the eye, it has a fun theme (17th century colonoliasm... on Mars!), and it has a fanastic soundtrack. Not only that, but the levels take less than five minutes to beat, making it easy to pick up and put down at your leisure.
In one way or another, I've been looking for a game like Jamestown+ since the days of the PlayStation Portable. I've owned everything from the Gradius Collection to Lufrausers to Sine Mora, and nothing has quite stuck. For the reasons listed above, though, I think Jamestown+ would be difference.
Mostly, I want a palate cleanser of sorts ready on my Vita — a game that doesn't require too much investment that I can tackle in between bouts of Persona or something similar. There are plenty such games on the Vita, but none that are quite like Jamestown+. I'd like for that to change sooner rather than later. - Kat Bailey
More Classic Arcade Compilations
Being a huge arcade game fan, I'd love a coin-op compilation or two for PlayStation Vita. The PS2 was the last system to have a really good range of them – I still think that machine is king of the arcade game compilations – and it'd be great if we saw maybe one or two of those ported Vita's way.
Top of my list would be Midway Arcade Treasures. That really is packed with historic games, including a full range of Atari System 2 coin-ops (Marble Madness and Paperboy are both excellent) plus a range of some of Williams' finest arcade machines ever (including Robotron 2084 and Joust). Add in the likes of Gauntlet, Klax, Spy Hunter, Toobin' and Vindicators – and a whole lot more – and you have a super compilation that would be a real treat to play on PS Vita.
While I'm at it, I'll also request a version of Capcom Classics, Atari Anthology and Taito Legends. All great compilations that would turn the PS Vita into the ultimate portable arcade machine.
Unfortunately, it seems like arcade compilations have fallen out of favor, so there's little chance of this happening. Shame. - Jaz Rignall
With Suikoden II finally making its way to PSN earlier this year, Valkyrie Profile is one of the last major PlayStation RPGs to be without any kind of release on digital distribution. Even Threads of Fate has made it at this point.
I don't know what's holding back Valkyrie Profile — voice-acting royalties maybe — but the fact that it's practically impossible to find is a crime. As I've written time and again, Valkyrie Profile is one of the PlayStation's most beautiful and innovative RPGs, and it definitely deserves better than it's gotten in the U.S. And despite its rather lengthy story sequences, I think it would work on handheld. After all, its first hour is no worse than that of Persona 4 Golden, which remains the Vita's most popular game.
With Valkyrie Profile being so hard to find — the PlayStation version averages around $100 on Amazon — it would be nice to have it on PSN just so that people can play it. Even the somewhat mediocre PSP port would be better than nothing. As it is, though, Valkyrie Profile is becoming increasingly lost to history. It would be a real shame if such a great RPG were to fade into total obscurity, accessible only by the most hardcore collectors. If it hasn't happened yet, then it's very, very close. - Kat Bailey
Final Fantasy Type-0 HD
When Final Fantasy Type-0 HD was initially confirmed for the Vita when it was first announced last year, but that turned out to be a cruel mistake for Vita owners. At the moment, it's only available on Xbox One and PlayStation 4; and while it's great that Americans are finally able to play an official release in English, it's obviously more at home on dedicated handhelds than it is on console.
Its PSP roots are obvious enough just in playing it. While its assets have been updated for current-generation consoles, its arena-like levels feel out of place on console, giving it a kind of staccato pacing. It's not exactly bad, but it's definitely noticeable, and it's led some to accuse it of being a lazy port.
I suppose I shouldn't complain too much, since up until last year it seemed improbable that Final Fantasy Type-0 would be released in the U.S. at all. But with it being so well-suited for the Vita, it seems like a kind of a missed opportunity to make it a console-exclusive, leaving it to be mostly buried by games that look and play better on those systems. On a system like the Vita, whose owners are starved for any kind of good content, Final Fantasy Type-0 HD would stand out immediately.
Alas, with the Vita near the tail end of its viability as a platform — at least in the U.S. — it seems that Square Enix has determined that the return on investment isn't high enough for a port. A pity, but I suppose a console only release is better than nothing. - Kat Bailey
Driving games are like sports sims in that they are better-suited for dedicated handhelds than most people realize, but tend to get overlooked by developers because they are resource intensive and have a low return on investment. Sim nuts want the best possible experience, and that typically doesn't involve a small screen.
Still, if any driving sim were to make its way to the Vita, you would think it would be Sony's own Gran Turismo. Structurally, it's a great fit. When you're on the road and want something to keep you occupied, there's nothing like a quick race. And while the Vita can't exactly output PlayStation 4-level graphics — MLB: The Show is proof enough of that — Gran Turismo would still look great provided that it didn't compromise on the framerate.
That the Vita hasn't even gotten a sniff of one of Sony's top exclusives has to be counted as a major disappointment for a platform that was initially marketed for its graphical prowess. True, Sony's priorities have shifted since then to loading up with indies, but that shouldn't necessarily preclude the release of more ambitious games like Gran Turismo. Barring a surprise announcement at E3 or TGS, though, Gran Turismo seems destined to be a console exclusive going forward.
At least we'll always have the PSP version. - Kat Bailey
Valkyria Chronicles 3
Okay, so I'm cheating just a bit with this one. Technically, if you have a Japanese PSN account, you can play the original PSP version of Valkyria Chronicles 3 on the Vita. But for the majority of Vita owners, Valkyria Chronicles 3 remains well out of reach. And anyway, it would be nice to be able to play it in English without having to mod a PSP and download a translation patch.
Sadly, a Valkyria Chronicles 3 port for Vita seems even more unlikely than a Final Fantasy Type-0 port at this point. While the original's surprise success on Steam offers some hope that the series might get a fresh lease on life, Sega's recent restructuring makes that hope tenuous at best. It's just tough to imagine a four-year-old PSP port getting that kind of attention, particularly when Valkyria Chronicles has never been all that popular in the U.S. to begin with.
But as this is mostly a wishlist of games we'd like to see on the Vita, it bears inclusion. Of course, given the option, I'd totally take a brand new Valkyria Chronicles on the Vita, particularly since it wouldn't be as constrained by hardware limitations as Valkyria Chronicles 3 was. But since Valkyria Chronicles 3 actually exists, and a sequel seems unlikely at best, we'll take what we can get. - Kat Bailey
Final Fantasy XII International Zodiac Job Version HD
Poor Final Fantasy XII. While it's something of a cult favorite, it tends to be regarded as something of a black sheep in the series, even compared to the likes of Final Fantasy VIII and Final Fantasy XIII. Tonally it's just so different that no one really seems to know what to do with it. And there's also the Gambit System, which makes it more akin to a party-based MMO than a more traditional turn-based RPG. It was doubted almost from the beginning, with Penny Arcade being particularly harsh.
Still, it deserves better than to fade into obscurity. At the moment, Final Fantasy XII is probably the hardest of the numbered games to find, being one of the very few to not be available on PSN or mobile. Final Fantasy X, of course, recently received a lavish HD update for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita, with another version due out for PlayStation 4 later this month. With that in mind, the time seems ripe for some sort of updated re-release.
Ideally, Final Fantasy XII would get the same treatment as Final Fantasy X, with an HD remaster including the International Zodiac Job System version, which was never released in the U.S. More realistically, the best Final Fantasy XII fans can hope for is a PSN release that is also compatible with the Vita. Sadly, it seems that Final Fantasy XII will continue to get short shrift from Square Enix, which is too bad because the original was so forward-thinking, if somewhat compromised by the premature departure of its designer Yasumi Matsuno.
My experience is that Final Fantasy XII is somewhat misunderstood among lay fans, many of whom only know about it secondhand, so it would be nice if everyone got another chance to play it for themselves. Barring that, about the only way to play Final Fantasy XII these days is to dig up a PlayStation 2 or a first-generation PlayStation 3. Hopefully that will chance soon, even if it's on a platform other than the Vita. - Kat Bailey
Mega Man Legends
Now that Capcom has done the impossible and given us the rare and precious Misadventures of Tron Bonne on Vita, they might as well go the distance and give us the rest of the Mega Man Legends games. Surely in the process of resolving whatever issues had been holding up MOTB, they sorted out the problems with MML and MML2, yeah? About the only major difference that comes to mind would be the voices of Mega Man and his "family," who don't appear in MOTB....
But let's take the optimistic view. Mega Man Legends remains a PlayStation classic — one of the rare games of that era that actually comes off better now than it did in the '90s. Yeah, it's a little clunky in places (no analog controls, no right stick for camera controls), but it did so much right! It offered lock-on targeting before Zelda, complex in-engine cut scenes before Metal Gear Solid, convincing 3D cartoon visuals before cel-shading.
Legends is one of those games that grows on you. It seems almost offensively juvenile at the beginning, but as the flimsy story unspools it grows ever more interesting... just as the action and exploration initially appear to be quite shallow but steadily reveal themselves to possess an impressive degree of depth as well. Yeah, most of the main battles against the mysterious Reaverbots amount to running in circles while nudging your aim around the bad guy at the fulcrum of your orbit, but then you have all those outlandish fights with the Bonne family. And while the island setting may make for a small world, it all connects underground, which makes it seem far more sprawling — and the central city slowly changes as the adventure advances, too. It's a tiny world, but a lively, dynamic one.
Nothing would make me happier than a chance to revisit the original Legends... well, except for Capcom finishing up Legends 3. But I suspect that would be beyond impossible. - Jeremy Parish