In my personal capacity I’ve been a rather late adopter of the PlayStation Vita. In my mind there has, up until now, been no point in owning the machine. Sure, it has some outstanding visuals and has some innovative hardware perks but what’s the point in having this at your disposal without having the supporting software? This is where Tearaway comes into the equation.
Media Molecule, a subsidiary of Sony, has brought Tearaway exclusively to the PS Vita. After playing this game for any length of time it becomes evident why this exclusivity is in place; the game provides the perfect marriage between hardware and software. It’s the kind of marriage we’ll look back on in fifty years from now and say, “Look, that Vita sure did have its faults but daaaaaang, remember how perfectly Tearaway complimented it?”. The Vita’s rear touchpad, all its cameras, touchscreen and traditional inputs are all used to some extent. Media Molecule have shown us what they are capable of in the past with the Little Big Planet titles and haven’t disappointed with their latest offering and this is why…
You can give credit to Tearaway’s features, the textures, the characters and the quirky storyline but in the end you can’t feel the game revolves around another very important feature… YOU. The developers have cleverly integrated You into the story breaking the forth wall and giving You a physical presence through the Vita’s hardware. This provides you with that warm, fuzzy feeling you haven’t felt in ages due to a game. This is because Tearaway is ridiculously unique. From the start you look back at yourself and if you have a face like mine it’s no wonder you’ll be in love with the game from the start. You interact with fingerprint ribbons that you pinch by using two fingers (as you would on your mobile phone) and you break through the ground using the rear touchpad. It really feels as though there is a world inside your handheld.
Once again I’m going to say it (and this won’t be the last time either) – It’s all about YOU. You can add your own imagery to the paper field textures via the on-board cameras, You can draw your own beautiful pictures and actually use them in the game. Essentially what you need to know is that if the Vita has specific functionality it is used and used in one of the most charming ways possible; through YOU.
Alright I feel I’ve made you feel good enough about yourself for the time being. Yes, yes, Tearaway is all about YOU, I hope you feel very special. While what I’ve said is all true Tearaway, at its core, is a 3D platformer in which you explore gorgeously crafted, paper-themed worlds with plenty of hidden goodies and side missions. The world you find yourself in is not only beautiful but well thought out and highly original. Tearaway is also as charismatic as it is sexy. The entire game is filled with “No way!” moments and you often find yourself thinking, “Wouldn’t it be cool if…” and then WHAM there it is. Media Molecule have captured the everything that made us fall in love with games and exploited these feelings into this delightful game. I will go as far as to say that if you aren’t smiling from ear to ear for most of the game then you’ve either been dead for the past few hours or you need to re-evaluated the good that life has to offer.
I really, really REALLY want to fault Tearaway. You have no idea. I am after all ‘the guy’ who has nothing good to say about the Vita. I would love to say that the main story mode is simply too short but Tearaway, to me, was more an experience than an actual game. So if you want to fault it for being a bit short then do so, but know that it is one of the best short experiences in recent gaming history. The camera does at times seem to have difficulties keeping up with the action, but I honestly don’t think that this is an issue and feel that I’m currently fishing to find fault with the game.
If anyone is in two minds about owning a Vita give them Tearaway to play. It is fresh, unique and harnesses the hardware capabilities of the machine perfectly. Call it a glorified tech demo, call it far too short or call it too easy. In the end Tearaway provides an experience like none other. It reminds us why we love games and what games can make us feel. Tearaway is something that not only every Vita owner but every gamer needs to experience.