The Vita Lounge
Salt and SanctuaryPS Vita
Salt and Sanctuary is a hard as nails action platformer that wears its Dark Souls inspiration with pride and comes with a lot of the same caveats. Whether it's something for you depends on your taste, but those Salt and Sanctuary suits will find a very solid game to spend their time on.
Hakuoki: Kyoto WindsPS Vita
Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds is a fantastic otome title with an interesting story and solid, attractive characters. That said, as this is only the first half of the story they're retelling, Kyoto Winds doesn't have a solid conclusion in any of its routes. What it does have going for it however, is double the pathways - and the privilege of being arguably the most content-filled, definitive version of the game.
If you're looking for a chance to flex your mental muscles and spell words then Spellspire will likely be a good choice. That said, its mobile roots are often too apparent in the progression system and presentation, which drag the overall package down. While not a wholehearted recommendation, it's definitely got a niche it'll fit into quite nicely - and if that's your bag, then great.
The Legend of Dark WitchPS Vita
The Legend of Dark Witch is an indie action platformer with fun characters and beautiful pixel art. While it is short in length, it rewards multiple playthroughs - but still won't be likely to last anybody playing it seriously more than a weekend. The most glaring flaws here are the high initial entry point and unfortunately blurry graphics, but if you can grab the game on sale then it comes recommended.
Period Cube ~Shackles of Amadeus~PS Vita
Period: Cube has an interesting setting and gorgeous design, but is weighed down by some odd choices in content. Refreshing mechanical additions to the visual novel genre are much appreciated, but after fully completing the game you probably won't be itching to come back for more.
Toukiden 2PS Vita
Toukiden 2 - like most games in the hunting genre - is filled to the brim with content. Featuring tons of equipment to craft, Mitama to collect, and quests to complete, it easily ranks among the top of the genre. Plus, it certainly doesn't hurt that while it's easy enough that newcomers can pick it up, it can also provide enough challenge to entertain genre veterans.
Dino Dini's Kick Off RevivalPS Vita
Dino Dini's Kick Off Revival fails to recapture the magic of old, and the outdated gameplay combined with a lack of features means this is simply a forgettable arcade football game. Those with nostalgia for the original Dino Dini games might get a few kicks out of this for old time's sake, but most people are probably happier avoiding this one.
Lichtspeer takes a simple idea and makes it colourful, challenging, and fun. Its quirky humor will win you over, and there's some addictive high-score chasing to be done, but some frustrating encounters may detract from an otherwise impressive package.
Fairune is a charming puzzle game. While it can sometimes be a bit frustrating trying to work out what you need to do in order to advance, once you figure out how the game works you'll be eagerly racing from puzzle to puzzle - trying to see what exciting area you'll uncover next.
A Rose in the TwilightPS Vita
A Rose in the Twilight has plenty of good ideas - but they're buried under slow gameplay, a scattered plot, and some frustrating design. Despite all this, there's a solid puzzle-platformer with some touching moments to be found here; and although it's not one I can recommend wholeheartedly, it's fun enough for the price that it's worth checking out.
Berserk and the Band of the HawkPS Vita
Those familiar with other Warriors titles will likely know what to expect; the combat is repetitive and makes the game feel like a chore to be completed rather than being fun and empowering. Those who haven't ventured into the world of Berserk however, will likely enjoy the fascinating story - though it's hard to recommend this game on that premise alone.
Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious JourneyPS Vita
Atelier Firis brings an open world environment to the table, but also brings back time limits. They don't quite work together, but thankfully the second half of the game does away with these limits - allowing you to fully explore this beautiful new world. A step up in some ways, and maybe a step back in others, Atelier Firis isn't quite the sequel fans hoped it would be - but it's not a bad game at all.
DYNASTY WARRIORS: GodseekersPS Vita
Dynasty Warriors: Godseekers is a brave attempt to take the over the top action of Dynasty Warriors and combine it with more strategic type gameplay. The result is a good - if unrefined - strategy game that is more than enough to scratch that tactical itch.
Air Race SpeedPS Vita
Air Race Speed has some good ideas but unfortunately the full package falls short of some of the promise displayed. There are some high speed thrills to be found for those with a speed craving but the game feels like it needs more to feel like the complete package.
Atelier Shallie Plus: Alchemists of the Dusk SeaPS Vita
Atelier Shallie Plus is a great ending to the Dusk trilogy, it has some charming new characters as well as allowing you to see some familiar friends. The combat and alchemy systems are as fun as ever and there's a new Life Task system which allows you to play through at your own pace.
Despite Dex having some slightly repetitive gameplay and awful shadow effects it kept me gripped throughout because of it's dark gritty setting and many interesting characters. If the game ever gets a sequel then I'd definitely want to return to Harbour Prime.
Shantae: Half-Genie HeroPS Vita
A charming action, puzzle, platformer that's competent in almost everything it sets out to accomplish. Shantae: Half-Genie Hero is a hilarious and tight experience with a very likable cast and excellent visuals, writing, dialogue, and voice-over. If there's one complaint to be had, it's that it's a little too easy.
Lara Croft GOPS Vita
Lara Croft Go is a gorgeous cel-shaded puzzle game featuring everyone's favourite Tomb Raider. Although the game is fairly short it is entertaining and worth trying even if you've never played a Tomb Raider game before. I am really looking forward to seeing what the franchise does next.
Demetrios - The BIG Cynical AdventurePS Vita
Good old-school adventure gameplay with very little else to be admired in its other aspects. For those who love unabashed, lowbrow humor, Demetrios might be the game for you. But if compelling narratives and likeable characters are more your thing, perhaps you should look somewhere else.