So we've discussed why you should totally keep your PS Vita. Now let's talk about something different entirely. Sony's support of the handheld has been lackluster of late, and the platform would really benefit from a few key titles arriving. To go along with Farrel's list, here are my picks for games that realistically could work on the PS Vita. From shooters to strategy games, these series totally should make the jump to Sony's handheld.
Star Wars: Battlefront
Star Wars: Battlefront is making its triumphant return on consoles and PC later this year, and I see no reason for the series to pass on another mobile spin-off. It's been years since Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron graced the PSP, and with the power of the PS Vita, we could have a truly impressive Star Wars handheld game.
While the graphics might have to suffered a bit, Elite Squadron got sixteen player battles working on the PSP. Imagine that kind of optimization on the Vita. Battlefront might be able to offer us our first twenty-four player battles on the Vita, potentially with Elite Squadron's air-to-ground battle system and customizable classes.
Now, it would be separate from the console version of Battlefront, but that doesn't mean there couldn't be some cross-platform integration. Perhaps character progression could carry over between versions. Alternatively, playing each version could unlock extra missions and visual customization, similar to Assassin's Creed 3 and Assassin's Creed: Liberation. Either way, it would incentivize gamers and give them the option to play both at home and on the go, without either version hampering the other in scope or focus.
Dead Space is a series known for being deep and visceral, but there's one fact most people don't know -- it's built on the Godfather engine from the original Xbox. This is why the first two games run especially well on fairly old PCs.
If Dead Space 2 can run on an integrated graphics card with my laptop, I see no reason a slight visual downgrade couldn't bring at least the first four games (counting the light-gun Extraction spin-off and the mobile game) to PS Vita, either as a collection or separately. Even better, Dead Space: Extraction and Dead Space Mobile could actually be given a visual upgrade.
This also would be great for the Vita because Dead Space 2's multiplayer is so perfect for a handheld. A game of 4 vs 4 is not too extraneous for the Vita, and the multiplayer maps were also nicely compact with numerous paths, much like Killzone Mercenary. Toss in a few new maps and maybe a co-op version of Dead Space Mobile's survival mode, and we're good to go.
Realistically, if you broke them up into two packages, one holding Extraction and Dead Space, and the other holding Dead Space 2 and Mobile, you'd have two decent budget bundles.
While Ken Levine's Bioshock strategy RPG may never come to be, it's already been proven that the original game can work well even on a tablet. So why haven't we brought the first two games in the award winning franchise to PS Vita?
Much like Dead Space, the Bioshock series is built on older tech, so optimization is less of an issue. On top of that, there's already the Ultimate Rapture Edition bundle combining the entire experience, so the only work that needs to be done is porting the two games over.
The biggest change would actually be to the multiplayer. Once again, it'd be good to have a game with solid and unique competitive PvP action on a handheld that's practically begging for it. Bioshock 2's multiplayer stood the test of time and still is active on current platforms, so the key thing would just be to scale things down. We might need to bring it down to twelve players total, but that's still another online option for Vita gamers.
Seriously, there's not that much else that would need changing. The games might need to be released on separate carts due to the size of each, but beyond that, it's just getting the games to run on it. And if 2K is willing to get the original running on an iPhone, they shouldn't have much trouble with a powerhouse like the VIta.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Much like Bioshock, XCOM: Enemy Unknown (and its expansion Enemy Within) has done well on the iOS market. It seems only natural to consider bringing it to the PS Vita. Combining the touch screen controls with secondary the buttons should be easy, and remove any control issues you might have. The graphics scale down easily, and game is ideal for both quick play and long-term gaming on your handheld.
Also befitting the strategy genre, why isn't there an RTS or turn-based Killzone game on the Vita? Killzone: Mercenary is fine for shooting things up, but the universe is primed and ready for a strategy game. With the touchscreen capability and eye-in-the-sky view, it could even potentially be a cross-platform PS4/PS Vita game.
It would be in the vein of Advanced Wars and Command & Conquer, focusing on key battles instead of any kind of 4X strategy. The game could either span the original Killzone trilogy or it could offer Wing Commander-style missions where the story will branch based on your victory or defeat in certain scenarios.
On top of this, depending on how the levels work, we could see the first game besides Littlebig Planet Vita that would offer user-generated content. Imagine players sharing battlefields and scenarios between friend and foe alike, testing their mettle as the ISA and Helghast fight on and on. That certainly sounds like a good time to me.
If CounterSpy taught me anything, it's that the PS Vita is a great platform for slick stealth games, and there should really be more of them. As such, let's bring over Splinter Cell. Whether it be remakes of the originals, a new spin-off, or a downgraded version of the more controversial past two entries, there should be a Splinter Cell game on Vita.
The touch screens and gyroscope make tons of sense for the gadgets that protagonist Sam Fischer is constantly using. The snap to cover, Mark and Execute, and free range of world navigation fit a handheld very well. The compact yet maze-like levels are just right for the Vita's processing power.
Classic Spies Vs. Mercs should work, but going beyond two versus two might stress the hardware, especially if Ubisoft were to push for high fidelity. Still, the title could make for a great co-op/single-player stealth game for handheld gamers who want meatier titles.
Given Sony and Valve's chummy relationship, I'm a bit surprised we haven't seen some version of Portal on the PS Vita. Fans have already gotten remakes of the game to work on PSP, Nintendo DS, and 3DS, so what's holding Valve back from making it official on a platform that could easily run the game?
Honestly, other than possible business reasons or lack of interest, I can't think of any. Plus imagine Portal 2 co-op, where one of you is playing on Vita while the other is on PS3. That would be pretty damn sweet, if I say so myself.
Orcs Must Die!
It may have started out as a small-scale indie, but Robot Entertainment seems to be making their best effort to turn Orcs Must Die! into a AAA franchise. As such, let's bring the original two titles to the Vita. The cartoony visuals fit a handheld well, the AI for enemies is incredibly simple, so that takes a load off the CPU, allowing for greater amounts of hit processing and physics-based traps.
The game might need to shrink back the amount of traps and enemies that spawn, but the it would still be a rollicking good time on the handheld. It also works great for the Vita as the touch screens could be used to play traps and swap inventory selection instantly.
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls
Here's an oddity for you. Silent Hill: Book of Memories and Dungeon Hunter Alliance are available on the PS Vita, yet somehow Diablo III: Reaper of Souls is not? Why are we left only with a weird spin-off of a different franchise and a hack job rip-off instead of a port from the series that started it all?
There's not even much that needs to be said, it's just that sensible and reasonable. We know it can work, because two games just proved that the handheld can do the job. So let's bring Diablo III: Reaper of Souls to Vita, Blizzard.
Resident Evil 4
Lastly, the game that's been ported to everything under the sun besides dedicated gaming handhelds (it's even available on iPhone and iPad): Resident Evil 4. I'm tempted to suggest bringing Resident Evil 5 over, but some of its set pieces and over-the-top moments might stress out the hardware too much. On the flipside, Resident Evil 4 is perfect for the PS Vita.
It's familiar, but still new to a number of players. It's compact, but has plenty of content. It's incredibly replayable and never leans on excessive grinding or any other cheap tactics used to keeping you from progressing. It looks great, but doesn't demand a lot from hardware.
While it's been re-released so many times that it's starting to get silly, I can't deny that Resident Evil 4 would be a welcome game on PS Vita. Just, maybe add in co-op for Mercenaries mode?