GAME NAME: Resogun
DEVELOPER(S): Housemarque, Climax Studios
PUBLISHER(S): Sony Computer Entertainment
PLATFORM(S): Vita, PS3
GENRE(S): Shoot ’em Up
RELEASE DATE(S): December 23, 2014
When the PlayStation 4 launched back in November 2013, one of the first games made available for free to PlayStation Plus members was the bullet-hell space-shooter Resogun. It was well received by both gamers and press, and was one of the first hits for the new system. Fast-forward to just over a year later and Resogun is finally available to play on PlayStation Vita. Thankfully, the game is just as good and addicting on Sony’s portable system.
Resogun has you piloting one of three unique ships in an effort to save all the humans from mechanical flying monsters. The action takes place in the 2D space around a city core, meaning you can fly endlessly in one direction if you like doing laps. You’ll be facing waves and waves of enemies while occasionally diving down to the surface to rescue humans that are sprung from their alien cells by defeating a certain group of enemies, having a high enough score multiplier, or just because. You don’t have to rescue any of the humans, but it’s very advantageous to do so, as you are showered with rewards upon successful delivery to a safe haven. After three long waves of enemies, you get to fight the boss of the area to finally liberate that city once and for all.
The gameplay is tight and controls very well. Each of the three available ships offers pros and cons. You can choose to have a faster boost recovery with a faster ship, but slower bomb use recovery. Or you can switch those around for a slower ship. Or you can just take the middle of the road vessel that’s got medium ranks for everything. These options give you reasons to return to play again to try to find the style that suits you. You can definitely feel the differences in each ship and will quickly discover your favorite. Each ship turns and aims in an instant and you never feel you died because of slow, inaccurate controls.
Making it through all five stages only takes a couple hours (if that) on regular difficulty, but it’s a hard couple hours. There are four difficulty levels available, so you can pick where you feel comfortable. The lowest one is a breeze to cruise through, as expected. But if you hit up the regular “experienced” mode, you’re in for a very good challenge. The last two are officially crazytownbananapants. You start with three lives and can earn more as you go along, along with unlimited continues at the beginning of the worlds.
Bullets and enemies fly everywhere and get in your face quickly. As you destroy more and more baddies, you can pick up upgrades to your ship that make your gun and secondary weapons better. In addition to your regular guns, you have access to a boost that turns your ship into a hot butter knife as you slice through the creamy fat of the ships in your way, and a bomb that obliterates everything on screen. These extras are indispensible in surviving the onslaught until you get to the level’s end boss. These bosses are quite large in size and require you to figure out the weak spot to target while trying to avoid all the ship-killing things it spews towards you. These boss fights were fun, even if they got a little difficult.
Visually, the game is of course not going to look exactly like its PS4 counterpart. It does still look damn good however. Everything has a green, glowing sci-fi vibe to it your ships all look unique. You can tell the various enemies apart and know what they do. You can easily see where everything is to skillfully avoid utter destruction. It’s a game that pushes the Vita to its limits and it’s amazing how the developers could cram the utter beauty of the PS4 title into the handheld. The music is also great, as it drives you along on a nice thumping beat and sets the mood perfectly.
There are some things missing in the Vita version that were present on the PS4 though. Any and all DLC is not currently supported, and no plans to release it have been announced. That’s a bummer, as the ship editor would be fun with a touch interface. But speaking of touch-screen, you can map all the controls to be all touch (though I’m not sure why you’d want to). Vita also supports ad-hoc co-op play if you have a friend that likes to play, and supports cross-play with the PS3 version.
PS4 to Vita ports don’t always work well, especially when the home console version is as technically impressive as Resogun. Fortunately, the fine folks at Climax Studios have outdone themselves porting over Housemarque’s design and delivered a great, challenging experience on the handheld. If you missed out on the PS4 version of Resogun or only own a Vita, I highly recommend picking up Resogun for a blast of beautiful funtimes.