I’ve got nothing new to complain about this morning. It’s an odd feeling. Is this how the Undertaker felt when Brock Lesnar conquered his Wrestlemania streak?
So let’s blow some positive smoke up a good thing’s ass. I finally found a video game that’s taking serious time away from my beloved Destiny. Don’t worry, boo. I’ll be back. She and I are just going on a little business trip. Platonically. I swear. Same room, separate beds. No! Babe! Don’t walk out!
As you probably don’t know because nobody outside of my immediate family actually owns a Vita, Gravity Rush stars a spunky heroine named Kat and her magic feline pal that helps her manipulate gravity, primarily so she can fling herself across the sky or walk along walls and ceilings. It was a fun but occasionally gimmicky thing designed to take advantage of the Vita’s motion sensors and rear touchpad (HA HA “rear touchpad”). When it worked, it was great; when the wonky camera or imprecise combat got in the way, it couldn’t have been more frustrating.
The sequel (available now on Playstation 4!) has fixed all of the original’s problems. The camera’s smooth and smart and a forgiving targeting system makes combat a breeze. Using Kat’s powers to hurl random objects at enemies or missile dropkick them in the face is bad ass. Few things in gaming are more fun than recklessly dropping her off a building, catching her, and then launching her off toward the next waypoint or pack of power ups. Big, beautifully designed worlds provide plenty of space to watch her fly.
At its heart, Gravity Rush is a super hero comic book rendered in video game form. The story is told primarily via static screens styled like comic book panels. Spoken dialogue is rare and reserved for character names or emotional outbursts. It feels like a series of smaller stories rather than a single big epic. Kat uses her powers to help everyone she meets, although that sometimes gets her into trouble. Her legitimate goodness is a breath of fresh air in a medium that often seems stuck on 90s-style brooding antiheroes with just so much pain, man. The plot’s nothing special, but it works well enough and it doesn’t get in the way of the gameplay.
Insert a generic comment about how we need positive, uplifting forms of entertainment in our current climate of negativity. Dumb jokes aside, Gravity Rush 2 more than does the job.
(I am a little concerned about Kat’s cat, though. His spectral, space-y look makes me suspect he’s Taken, which makes Kat an unwitting servant of Oryx and…oh god, I play waaaaaaay too much Destiny.)