The Vita is a fantastic console in its own right, with a powerful graphics card, a nice touch screen / button input interface, and an oh, so addictive and satisfying "swipe to quit the program" mechanic (which I believe I spent more time on than many of the games on it, simply because it's that addictive). But when it comes to games itself, the most notable among them are improved or shoddy ports of excellent games. Persona 4: Golden comes to mind, as well as DoA5+. And this isn't a bad thing at all. There are plenty fantastic ports out there for the Vita. In fact, there are a few games out there that could really be outstanding with the system instead of kept on a large home console. Today, I'm going to talk about these games, how they could work, and why they should be on the Vita.

#6: Sanctum 2

Sanctum 2 is Coffee Stain Studio's follow up to their hit FPS/TD hybrid, Sanctum. Sanctum 2 boasts a stronger FPS element than the original, featuring things such as actual enemy AI among the fact that enemies can actually kill the player character as well as attack the core you're supposed to defend. More importantly, it brings the FPS aspect to light rather than leaving you to act as a mere mobile tower. In short, it succeeds in finally fusing the genres, rather than just slapping on random FPS elements and calling itself a hybrid.

How it could work:

Firstly, Sanctum 2 already has built in controller support, being released cross-platform across both the 360 and PS3 as well as on the computer. Despite things being a little shoddy in the FPS department on the Vita, Sanctum 2 isn't such a speed-demanding game that it requires you to pull a certain trigger fast enough before your opponent in order to succeed. In comparison to the twitch shooters the likes of Call of Duty, Sanctum 2 is a bit easy-going, albeit a very difficult game, overall. The two trigger buttons which the Vita lacks could more than easily be recreated on the touch screen, and frankly add control to the game rather than take it away.

The aerial view from the first game could provide a great touch-screen option in creating towers in the sequel.

More importantly, the added front and back touch screen support could provide smooth transition across the screen in Tower Defense mode via puling the back touch screen, and sharing resources among other players as well as building and upgrading towers could be easily handled via merely tapping on them. It could even provide a welcome return to the overhead view of the first game, though with the added features of organizing towers instead of merely being used to help you teleport (which was actually removed in the sequel in favor of smaller and more varied maps).

Why it would work:

There are very few tower defense OR shooter titles on the Vita with any significant quality, let alone an FPS/TD hybrid. Sanctum 2 can fill both voids in one fell swoop. The controls are fully capable of replicating its home console siblings, although a bit of assistance with the smaller sticks may help. Sanctum 2 would especially be a wonderful title to have on the go if you can save your progress between waves of enemies. It's also a ton of fun, regardless. The tower defense aspect is cool, the gunplay is solid, and I thoroughly enjoyed having Microsoft Sam read out loud the things I write to other players in the game, and would especially love the voice feature to be carried over into a possible portable version. With the touchscreen keyboard built into the device, why not?

We're outnumbered! Run!

#5: The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim

If there was ever a place for single player RPGs, it would have to be portable gaming. Think about it: most of you have an internet connection in your own home, as I do. And many of us love playing with other people whenever we have the opportunity to do so. Frankly, the only time I ever resort to playing a video game single player is if there is no online option. I despise it. Even if you don't think the same as I do in that regard, which is an incredibly large amount of people I'm sure, I'm sure all of you would agree that The Elder Scrolls would be so much better as a portable game.

How it could work:

Actually, many of you may not realize it, but there was a point where The Elder Scrolls on a Sony portable console was almost made a reality. For the most part, it was actually a pretty feasible idea, but it got cancelled. Why? I have no idea. Maybe the project came crashing down at the last minute, but while it was being leaked, it certainly looked incredible.


With Skyrim being a largely similar game to Oblivion in a number of ways, and only being a shockingly small 6 GB file large for the whole package, compressing that with a smaller resolution and some modifications to accompany a portable console would be pretty simple, especially with the case of the Vita. Most of the game would control the same as ever, with the exception being, again, the back triggers. This isn't a total loss here, either, as Skyrim is an RPG with light action elements, making it rely more on planning and character builds than button execution, so the implementation of the touch screen would come almost naturally. In fact, the addition of the touch screen could add a much better user interface than the ones seen on the consoles for menus.

Why it would work:

Let's be realistic, people in today's age generally just don't have time for such massive RPGs as the Elder Scrolls saga to play it to completion. In many cases some people manage their time better than others, but for the most part, it's rather difficult to sit down and play a game which requires such dedication to really enjoy. Making the title portable, however, would allow us to play it whenever we have free time. On the bus, when we're waiting for someone, on our coffee break, and heck, it would especially do well with a cross-save feature to continue our progress on an HD console back home if we're sick of the tiny screen we're forced to play on.

Burn it! No, freeze it! I can't decide!

#4: Payday: The Heist

Surprisingly, not a lot of people actually know about Payday, the incredibly polarizing heist shoot-em-up by Overkill Software. Payday is a game that has you robbing banks, among other things, either alone or with up to three of your fiends. It's one of the most thrilling FPS games on the Playstation and PC that I have ever played, and somehow I actually enjoyed losing as much as I loved winning because of the adrenaline rushes it provided.

How it could work:

Payday is an FPS, which would really complement the dual stick layout of the Vita above any touchscreen functionality. In fact, touch screen control would be rather minimal, overall. The two trigger buttons at the back are not different types of grenades, but rather the ability to place an item from your tool kit, or the "action key" which basically does... everything. Specifically, and most importantly, pointing out major baddies so that your allies can see them through the crowds, and telling the hostages to stay down. Come to think of it, the idea of actually pointing to the hostages to shout at them wouldn't be so bad, either. It can also be a tad more specific when there are more than one type of entity on the screen, such as a "Bulldozer" cop and a hostage standing in your line of fire.

It's a %@#$ing Bulldozer!

Why it would work:

Actually, Payday wouldn't work. It's visually outdated, yet graphically demanding. It is incredibly fast-paced, yet tactical. It's lengthy, and has no actual saving between missions. The gunplay is finicky and has no aim assist. The Vita just isn't a piece of hardware that can keep up with the game, both tech-wise and conceptually. But with GTAV's release around the corner, with its next gen open world heists and freedom, it'd be nice to have some of that crazy looting action on the go in any way, shape, or form. GTAV isn't realistically coming to a portable device in the next three generations. Payday, on the other hand, may have a chance.

#3: DmC: Devil May Cry

Say what you will about the new Dante and the franchise's latest outing, but even if it doesn't live up to the incomparable DMC3, DmC: Devil May Cry is an excellent, thoroughly enjoyable hack and slash with slick visuals, smooth combat, and plenty of room to get creative with its combos.

How it could work:

DmC: DMC is actually a much better contender for a portable title in a number of ways as opposed to its predecessors. First, the only obstacle in the switch to the Vita in terms controls are actually the front two trigger buttons. These are both the dodge keys, due to there being three types of dodges: normal, Demon dodge, and Angel dodge. It's designed so you only ever need one finger up top the controller at a time: as long as you're holding one of the trigger buttons, you remain in the corresponding mode, and with this method it's much easier to dodge attacks in either mode with both buttons being available at opposite ends.


How this would work on the Vita, though, would be simple. Simply tap both buttons for a normal dodge, hold the Demon mode trigger and press the Angel mode trigger for the Demon dodge, or hold the Angel mode trigger and press the Demon mode trigger for the Angel dodge.

This actually matters because, apart from normal, the dodges have additional effects. Demon mode dodges require timing that would double your character's power. Angel mode dodges allow you to dodge a second time in succession to cover more ground.

As for DT mode, it can easily be mapped to the empty bottom button on the D-Pad.

The coolest part about this shift would be allowing you to tap the enemy you'd want to lock on to for gunslinging. Despite there not being an actual lock-on option, you can still switch your ranged target at the push of a button as in previous entries. But the usage of a touch screen would definitely make it a lot more specific.


Why it would work:

DmC: DMC has one major advantage over the rest of the franchise as a portable title: It's the first entry in the series, ever, to allow you to actually continue the game from a checkpoint if you have to quit early. In each other entry, Dante can only respawn at checkpoints as long as the user is playing the level. DmC: DMC can do the same, but this time you can actually quit the game and continue right where you left off when you next launch the game. It's possibly the game's single greatest feature, especially to me, who repeatedly had to attend to real life duties at the gates of the bosses in DMC 3 and 4, and it is a great boon to the game as a portable title.

#2: Call of Juarez: Gunslinger

I don't think I ever enjoyed a single player first person shooter more than I did Call of Juarez: Gunslinger. From top to bottom, the game has been designed to do one thing and one thing only: provide a good time. This is somewhat of a rarity in the industry, as fun usually goes hand in hand with production value to many customers out there (again, GTAV being a good example, though RDR is a more accurate one as well). Never before has a first person shooter's campaign given me the same rush and joy I had when I bought video games as a kid like Gunslinger did with it's stylish art style, exceptional and utterly hilarious storytelling mechanic, simple but likeable characters, and nothing standing between you and having a good time except a flurry of bullets. It's a game I can recommend to just about any fan of action games out there, particularly those with a sense of humor.

How it could work:

Call of Juarez is a standard fare first person shooter, so there's really not all that much I can tell you in detail about how well that would translate to the Vita in terms of control. You could have a little issue sprinting, though that can be put onto the down button on the D-Pad as in Black Ops: Declassified, with akimbo mode working by double tapping the right button, where you originally equipped a single pistol. Grenades (dynamite sticks), like in Declassified, can also be activated via swiping your finger across the screen, and melee and slow motion could have their own touch prompts on the very same screen as well.


Why it would work:

Call of Juarez: Gunslinger's biggest draw is, surprisingly, that it's short. Yes, the very fact that the game is short, overall, is one of the best aspects about it. You can complete just about any level in the game in a single lengthy bus ride or coffee break. But more importantly is shines is the even shorter replayable Arcade mode levels, with each level beatable in just under three minutes for the most part. It's great for taking with you on the go, especially if you have a 3G enabled Vita to post your scores on the online leaderboard.

Gunslinger boasts realism by placing red, explosive barrels everywhere.

It also generally takes place in slow motion, despite being a fast-paced game (so fast it almost feels like it was designed strictly for the PC), meaning that there's plenty of opportunities to aim a direct headshot with the tiny analog sticks on the device.

#1: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

There is almost absolutely no reason why this title wouldn't work on the Vita. Really. The Vita is more than capable of running this downloadable gem on the device, especially due to the title, appropriately, boasting 16 bit sprite graphics and old-school beat-em-up gameplay.

How it could work:

Again, the back buttons are the only issue, which can likely easily be put into the screens instead. That is all.

Why it would work:

Scott Pilgrim is a critically acclaimed beat-em-up PS3 and 360 title. It was well received by critics and gamers alike, and to this day I have never met a person who didn't like the game after playing or seeing it. Clearly a great title. What would make it even better would be to have it on the go, beating up foes and collecting pocket change to pay for your Starbucks while you're on break. Okay, so you won't earn real money from playing a video game. but cross-saves, cross-platform co-op, and cross-controller all in a single, fantastic title? Sign me up!


And there we have it. A list of all the games that I believe should be ported to the Vita. What's your list? Which games do you think should be ported? How and why?