Top positive review
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Soulful, Charming, and Utterly Delightful
on November 22, 2013
As a Vita owner, it's been sometimes painful to stick up for the system. Honestly, considering how dire the system seems at certain points, there are times where I hardly ever touch my Vita, perhaps even for months at a time. Thankfully, the release of Tearaway is making sure my Vita will be used in the coming weeks. We are miles away from a library of classics for the Vita, but Tearaway is certainly a bright spot in the Vita library so far. Media Molecule once again has struck something special, and this time it's for Vita owners. If you had any passing interest in this game beforehand, Tearaway is absolutely worth playing.
So what is Tearaway? Built from the ground up, Tearaway takes advantage of the Vita's many unique capabilities (Rear Touch Pad, Camera, Touchscreen, Microphone, Gyroscope), warping them seamlessly into a truly unique platformer. Throughout the game's single player mode, you'll use everything at your disposal to navigate through various worlds, alternatively platforming through a brilliantly realized world. You play as one of two playable characters, off to deliver a message to the player outside of the game, YOU. Yes, you are one of the stars of the game. As you (literately) stare down on your messenger, you'll be defeating monsters, helping merge your world with Tearaway's own, creation and your imagination will constantly be on fire. Rest assured, everything about this game makes it easily one of the best games for the Vita yet.
This being a Media Molecule game, I'm pretty sure there is some about how the game succeeds on a visual and audio level, and it's amazingly successful. True to its theme, Tearaway's paper theme comes into full fruition, as the game uses its theme to construct a brilliantly imaginative world that resembles a children's book come to life. From the environments, the to the beings that you come across; it's all heartfelt, and its all Really, you really need to look no further than what has been shown in the media; it's like what happens if the world's most creative elementary school art class was given the tools to create a world that spoke to them. it's a delight to behold, and it would take a hardened soul not to be charmed by it (even my mother loved it, and she hates most video games).
Also being of excellent note is the entire universe Media Molecule has crafted with Tearaway. There isn't much of a story like Littlebigplanet, but much like the aforementioned game there is a certain charm to the characters, locations, and overall mood and aesthetic of Tearaway. With so many games trying to be "gritty", "realistic", "mature", or otherwise "darker and edgy", it's nice to see something as charming as this come along. By the first ten minutes of the game, I was already in love with it. Of course, rounding out the package is the great soundtrack, which helps bring the universe to life. Sound effects follows suit, and the sound design is very effective and fits the game like a glove.
Of course, the gameplay here is as much of a draw to the game as much as the imaginative aspects dreamed up by Media Molecule, and once again it's refreshing, imaginative, and quite ingenious. True to its theme, Tearaway is a platformer that bases its mechanics around Paper itself, with another main gameplay motif being the way your universe is in touch with the universe of Tearaway. With the use of regular controls and a myriad of special Vita features, you'll be guiding your character throughout the world, defeating monsters, helping friendly figures, and much more; all with some interesting and well implemented controls that take advantage of everything the Vita could offer control wise, even spilling over to the creative aspect of the game as well. it doesn't run out of surprises or it never fails to keep you wondering what next will be revealed, and it never feel like a chore because everything around you is extremely engaging.
Truth to be told, the game is pretty easy from start to finish, as it really isn't a game that provides a traditional gaming challenge. Instead, I would say Tearaway's spirit lies in games like Journey, The Unfinished Swan, and others in the same vein; the experience of the game and the player interaction is what truly makes it special. Tearaway's main draw is not much challenge and gameplay depth, but how it uses the Vita to essentially link the two universes together to make the already interesting single player even better. Whenever one is engaging throughout the game with enemies, friends, kings, the environment, and anything else in between, the true appeal comes from extrapolating the experience yourself and essentially making everything feel as real as possible. Few games I think of that have made me feel quite a bond between the game, and Tearaway is one of them.
Tearaway truly does let you express yourself creatively, which alongside the sheer joy of playing the game is its true strength. Depending on how artistic you are, you can collect confetti to unlock millions of unique little accessories, camera filters, and other such things to further provide a creative and unique way of manipulating the world so that you desire. Even better, you can even bring your own works from the game into your own; print out models to construct your own craft-able items. If you're so inclined and creative enough, you can probably even construct your own Tearaway world. Rounding it out, the online component let's you share your own creations, as well as view what the community has chose to share as well.face
All in all though, there is just too many little things that I noticed that made the game for me, not to mention that this is definitely one of those games where you need to I really do think this is one of the most refreshing and joyous games I've played since Journey. Ultimately, I think that this game is so unique that you simply just need to try it yourself. Rest assured, the experience is absolutely worth taking, and its refreshing from beginning to end.
As a Vita owner, I can safely say that this game has made me all the more interested in my Vita. For me personally, Tearaway easily is the best handheld game I've played all this year, and overall a big bolster for the Vita's overall library regardless of personal preference. The Vita still needs a ton of work until it can be called a viable platform (sadly), but Tearaway assuredly is sending the Vita's library in the right direction; more developers need to follow suit and see what a talented developer can do with a system like the Vita. Rest assured, if you were interested in this game and you own a Vita (both of those), pick it up. You won't regret purchasing it.