An open letter to the professional reviewing community.

For the longest time I have relied on your insightful reporting when it came to making my game buying decisions. After all, you guys sacrifice the best part of your waking hours playing all those games that assault store shelves in order to sift the gems from the dross.

My deepest gratitude goes out to you for those countless months you spent playing ET, Shaq Fu, Superman 64 and Rock University:The Naked Brothers Band to point out that I better get Uncharted instead.

Lately however, I noticed you and your other colleagues have been displaying some erratic behaviour when it comes to reviewing games for a fledgling system I hold rather dear; the Vita. Please allow me to share some observations.

The Vita is a handheld

I’m sure the luscious OLED colours and engrossing depth of games like Uncharted and Little Big Planet can sometimes make you forget you are not tethered to a TV and are actually holding the system in your hands. However, for some mysterious reason you keep comparing Vita games to their console brethren and lambast them when they don’t feature the same particle effects and draw depth.

When you were reviewing Need for Speed: Most Wanted on the Vita and decided to deduct points for not having puddles on the road and equal amounts of traffic in the streets as the PS3 version, did you even for one second remember playing Need for Speed The Run on the 3DS – that other current-gen handheld – and think to yourself: “Gee wiz… Most Wanted is a truly stunning leap forward for racing games on a handheld”?

Sony markets the Vita as a console experience in your hands. Some may interpret that as “VITA HAZ TEH PS3 GRAFIX0rZ!” but I assume that you, being professionals in this industry, understand that “experience” refers to many things, such as the dual stick controls, game depth, comprehensive online infrastructure, trophies and DLC/digital content distribution channels. You know, all those things that define console gaming and which are not found on any other handheld system with the same level of polish.

The myth of biased journalism

Throughout the ages professional reviewers have been accused of bias. Worse yet, often the conspiracy theorists claim you get paid by manufacturers and advertisers to write favourable reviews for their products. While I’m sure things like that have happened I have always defended your motives against the accusers. However, while we were all waiting for theΒ Call of Duty:Declassified reviews something strange happened…

IGN tweeted: “For those interested: No sign of COD: Black Ops Declassified in the @IGN office. Review will be late; proceed with caution.”

Pocketgamer opened their review with “We didn’t get a review copy of the game in before launch, or even on launch day. We had to go out and buy our own copy”

Apparently Activision didn’t bother to send out review copies of the game to your popular media outlets. You retaliated by roasting the game, giving it one of the lowest Metacritic scores in the history of video gaming.

While CoD:BOD is by no means a stellar title and is in fact a rather mediocre game, it didn’t deserve the 20%-30% ratings that it received by the big review sites. Benchmarked against the scores of truly awful Vita games, Declassified should have easily made it into the 50%-60% range. This makes one wonder what else happened behind the scenes that we as readers did not get a glimpse of…

Anyway, can we now assume that when publishers don’t give you guys free perks you punish them? I was going to compare this to diva behaviour, but there’s an even better analogy: protection rackets; a tried and tested mafia tactic. Manufacturers and publishers have to ‘please you’ so nothing ‘bad’ will happen to them. Classy.

“with great power comes great responsibility”

As much as you’d love your readers to be intelligent enough to ingest the meat of your articles and make up their own minds, most will simply skip to the end and glance at the scores. In other words: your verdict matters more than it should do in an ideal world.

Was this really three times better than Call of Duty? Really?

It would be great if you’d keep that in mind when handing out your rates and scores. For example, make sure the same criteria apply when reviewing 3DS games as when reviewing Vita games. Even if you excuse last-gen mediocrity and visual lacklustery for one system because you have such fond memories of playing virtually the same games a decade ago, surely you can still appreciate the advanced and forward looking approach in the other system?

Yes, you may think drama is fun. Back when the 3DS was hurting badly you had a field-day predicting its demise and anticipating Nintendo to finally go software only. Now that the 3DS is selling nicely it seems to have become the darling of your reviewing community. Instead the Vita now has the pleasure of incessantly being on the receiving end of your silly predictions and unfair treatment.

Advertisers are probably happy with the result: countless gloating fanboys from ‘the other camp’ flooding every Vita article; turning the comment sections into steaming piles of eyesore. However, please realise that your professional opinions do have an influence on the success of the system. I’m sure you know how it all works. Do you really want to live in a world where handheld gamers can only choose between rehashes of Mario games and Angry Birds? Be careful what you wish for, for we may all end up playing Cut the RopeΒ while waiting for the bus.

It is for all the above reasons that these days I’d much rather visit blogs and sites run by passionate amateur gamers – such as the one you’re reading now – than your professional websites. I haven’t given up on you, though. I still remember the good times we had. Please make me feel at home in your corner of the internet again.

Yours truly,

BuramuΒ 

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Buramu is a 37 year old gaming enthusiast with experience that goes back a quarter of a century, back when all onscreen enemies looked like green squares - as did heroes, spaceships and snakes. Beside being an occasional guest writer for the Vita Lounge he is also moderator for PSVitaforum and a known quantity on various other gaming forums.
  • Tom Walters (sootom)

    agreed. amen. full stop. period. the end. good night. that is the first step in anything good. i hope the big journalists will read it

    • Well, I tweeted it to IGN and Pocket Gamer.

      Awesome article Buramu, you beat me to it and probably wrote a better piece that I could have written. I was going to go with “something fishy with this Cod”. πŸ˜‰

  • Lethal

    Fantastic article!

  • Luuk van Riel

    Damn buramu your words are so true. The press should look at the games as standalone handheld titles not as spin offs of a big game that just got 1/1 ported to vita. I like how you take 3ds as exanple. Im not a fanboy in case of any brand or console but why does that console with 6year old hardware, shitty joystick, low quality touchscreen and build quality get better reviews than a full blown new spin off of a console series that showcases for a handheld impressive visuals whilst containing the beloved console feel but with additions to make it feel unique. Stop rant here but i could keep going for hours.

  • Galvatron

    Dear Game ‘Journalists’

    Having just read a very interesting open letter from Buramu on The Vita Lounge website, I would like to add some weight to his eloquent appeal regarding the Playstation Vita, from a gamers perspective.

    A gamer who is growing increasingly weary that a disproportionate number of ‘critics’ are becoming the fat, gluttonous poison which understands it’s power, then abuses it anyway. Just because it can.

    Allow me to elaborate; I’ve owned a C64 initially, then PC, PPC, SNES, Game Boy, Atari Lynx, Game Gear, N64, Gamecube, PS1, 2, 3, PSP, Vita and Xbox / 360.

    Having spent good money on the Vita system and enjoyed numerous titles to date, I expect a certain integrity to go with the reviews of this system like any other.

    The fact Buramu has had to pen an open letter to appeal to the increasingly biased reviewing fraternity is nor just a shame. It’s a warning to pull your socks up and provide some fair and impartial judgement on titles which a number of your readers (lest you forget) have paid good money for.

    Gravity Rush, Most Wanted, AC: Liberation, Uncharted, Sound Shapes, LBP and Wipeout 2048 are absolutely groundbreaking titles – on a handheld.

    Sine Mora will be a phenomenal addition as one of the best shoot’em ups ever made. It’s out in a few days. Persona 4 Golden is the best version of one of PS2’s greatest RPG’s, and Killzone is an example of future titles which bode well.

    It’s actually bad news for us gamers that due to the phenomenal growth of the industry and proliferation of gaming ‘critics’, your reviewing standards and criteria yo-yo more than the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Whilst established and actual respected outlets like Edge – and increasingly independents such as The Vita Lounge – carry structured, neutral and informed reviews, the likes of IGN, Game Informer, Pocket Gamer & co are becoming a laughing stock in terms of reviews.

    You react like juvenile, inarticulate brats when Declassified wasn’t free and claim Gravity Rush is too flawed to be recommended. No doubt Persona 4 Golden will also be dismissed as just a ‘port’ of a PS2 title at IGN.

    Instead of providing reams of promo story details in a game review, or criticising a title just because you’ve had to buy one (like your audience….) it’s time you focused on describing pure play mechanics and each titles nuances which suggest you are actually neutral, positive to new formats, or god forbid, actually gamers at the very least.

    Patricia Hernandez’ laughably pretentious, literary ‘review’ of Black Ops II on Kotaku and the toilet-tweeting ‘finished Declassified in 45 mins’ Game Informer critic who is the epitome of self-promotion, suggests you are not.

    Should that be the case, move over and let the rest of us inform in a manner befitting this industry and the Vita.

    Kind Regards

    Galvatron

    • Buramu

      Thanks for the addendum, Galvatron. Fully agreed.. It seems that we’re thinking along the same lines.

  • red

    It is long standing tradition among media outlets to not release review copies of a product they’re not confident in. The movie industry was doing it long before home gaming was on the scene, and continues to happen to this day quite heavily. It happens in gaming all the time, and has been for as long as games journalism has existed.

    The Vita is a damn fine machine, but statistically speaking, it will go down as having the worst first year of any major gaming console release since the Virtual Boy, at a time where Sony can’t afford it. There just isn’t any room to make excuses, as lovers of gaming, we should be making a stink over the way Sony has handled it, not making excuses for them.

    I expect this comment will find its way to comment purgatory, but seriously man, we could actually be doing something about this as a community.

    • Buramu

      When you said “worst first year” were you referring to sales or quality of the games? Because while the former may be true I can’t remember any other handheld with a first year game lineup stronger than the Vita’s.

      Games like Uncharted, Gravity Rush, Most Wanted and LBP show the potential of the system. If this is what we get right after launch, I can’t even begin to imagine how great the games will be once devs get more familiar with the system.

      • red

        In terms of sales. It’s at 3 million and some change right now, with a third of those sales coming from the the two weeks after its Japanese launch, and the two weeks after its full global launch. That’s four launch weeks accounting for a full third of 11 months of sales. All said, the Vita and the PSP combined in 2012 has sold worse than the PSP alone in 2011.

        Quality isn’t the issue, it’s quantity. Looking at the release calendar for 2012, there is an incredible number of weeks devoid of a Vita release. In the months of April, May, June, and July, there were 13 weeks without a retail release in the west. That’s 13/18 weeks in the space after its initial launch window, and sales never picked up since then. Japanese sales have been even worse.

        At this point, it’d be fair to worry if publishers are even going to bother spending the money supporting a platform with such a historically tiny market footprint. Money is the issue.

        Hopefully Sony makes some huge moves in 2013, because the late-year consuming season is half way done without any bump in sales outside of a very small bump in the 2 release weeks in November, which is the heaviest month for gaming spending.

  • Galvatron

    Whilst I agree Sony have made highly frustrating mistakes in the marketing, software push and general strategy for Vita’s first year of release, what we are specifically referring to at this moment is essentially unethical anti-Vita bias, stemming from an incorrect direct comparison (graphically, predominantly) to the PS3.

    Moreover, the examples of Declassified, Gravity Rush and other initially released Vita titles clearly demonstrate a growing divide between the feedback of actual Vita owners and the gaming ‘critics’ who are consistently down-grading this format’s key titles to undermine it’s success.

    I fully accept Sony are to blame for initially giving the format a hamstring, but this article is no doubt a partial consequence of what many contributors on the Vita Lounge have been stating for a while.

    Gaming journalism, in my opinion, is in a flux as the industry has grown into the biggest entertainment sector of all, and it’s requisite commentators and reviewers are being recruited at the drop of a hat.

    One could argue it’s one of the reasons that The Vita Lounge exists, and it is unarguably the reason why I pay greater heed to reviews here and similarly high-calibre sites / publications.

    Sony are offsetting the cost issue with the amazing offer of PS Plus, a possible price drop in 6 months, and the support of it’s first-party dev teams, if not necessarily third-party houses who are viewing it as a smaller user base, which is undoubtedly is in comparison to it’s main rival, the 3DS.

    With that in mind, having purchased 90% of all the decent titles on the machine and genuinely enjoyed them, it begs the question why a high number of reviewers are reaching very different conclusions with their own final scores. Whether this is consequence of bias, negligence or just bad gaming experiences is open for debate, but it’s anomaly to only the Vita is clearly a trend which encourages lazy writing, and for that I hold these idiots to task. They do influence the games buying public who go purely by scores and it’s clear from the subtext of paragraphs in reviews that negativity for this fantastic handheld isn’t just rife, it’s unacceptable.

    Some of the vacuous reviews I’ve ready for AC: Liberation, or Most Wanted, or many others, are not just slightly different to my own judgement, they are becoming increasingly different to many a Vita owners own thoughts post-game completion.

    That’s not the same as Sony making mistakes as alluded to earlier, it’s the likes of London’s Metro reviewer penning an epitapth for the Vita after reviewing Declassified because Activision didn’t send him one. Check it out if you wish to see one of MANY examples of this rationale.

    Until then I’m seriously looking forward to Sine Mora come Wednesday and hopefully it’s review here πŸ™‚

    Let’s start holding them to task and draw a level playing field.

  • Fully agreed, nice rant πŸ™‚

  • Oliath

    Great article.
    Just look at all the reviews on metacritic.

    These so called ‘journalists’ have given it horrible scores while users are loving it.

    Conversely look at the reviews for Black Ops II. Reviewers are praising it… users… not even close.

    It’s time for a change. Big review sites have big bills to pay and most of the reviewers have an attitude of entitlement – and like spoiled children get stroppy when they don’t get special treatment.

    The sooner everyone realises that they have no more integrity the better.

    • That’s hardly true. The critic score is sitting at 33, whereas the user score is at 54. I’d be hesitant to call that ‘loving it’.
      The user score is more in line with Paul’s review than the professional critic reviews, though.

  • Jason Berman

    A simple Thank you is in order.
    THANK YOU.
    There is no point pontificating further as its all been said in the article and following comments.
    Well written and well said.

  • Reviews from large corporations will always be affected by money (advertising), it’s naive to think otherwise no matter how much they deny this. Also the Vita will never be the media’s or developers “darling” because phones and tablets are the in thing and that’s where the money is. What you rather make on a new game that you’ve worked hard on Β£500.000 or Β£6.000.000 (example)? Nobody in their right mind would want to make less money and until the Vita gets a very large install base people will just ignore it and stick to mobile. The majority of people, reviewers and all don’t want the Vita, they prefer the in thing and that’s mobile ATM due to cost, choice, support and value. Console experiences, graphics and control seam to be well down on peoples list.

    Shame really but the days of paying Β£30 for games has come to a end for the mass market, this is the Vita’s main problem that it wont or cant overcome. Hardcore gamers and people that love playing console quality games will enjoy the Vita to no end but average Joe will not invest, and ever IMO. Money talks and bull&%*t walks as they say!

    • I beg to differ. The tablet and phone market may have separated a large part of the casual gaming crowd that made the Gameboy, PSOne, PS2, Wii and DS such a success, but the sales of the 3DS show that there is still life left in handhelds and the Vita selling less than wanted can only be partially attributed to the rise of smartphones, but more to the lack of ‘handheld’ identity and flagship handheld first party titles (such as Nintendo’s Pokemon) Sony did not establish during the PSP era.
      This also accompanies the argument that handheld gaming and phone gaming are an entirely different market; with the DS, consumers bought into the hype of touchscreen, which has now been taken over by the phone industry. A new console needs good marketing and ‘hype’ to get bought. Professional gaming websites are hardly paying attention to tablet and phone gaming, though.

      I’d say the Vita has trouble attracting these hardcore gamers; in Japan, handhelds are king but Sony has no first party offerings that make the Japanese wet their pants. In the West, handhelds are mainly for the casual crowd and most ‘hardcore’ gamers have their consoles and PCs; they are not attracted to the Vita very much since they can get better console experiences on their PS3s and want to game on a large screen (obviously there are exceptions). Europe is kind of Sony’s stronghold, where many people commute by public transport and the Vita is marketed much more. I hope we here can ‘save’ the Vita πŸ˜›

  • Vitalogy

    The article is pretty good and well written full of good points hitting some nervs.

    One thing that always got me a itch is people in the “game industry” calling themselfs “journalist” when probably a majority of them are nothing but gamers/fans, but that does not grant a title to anyone beside “gamer” and/or “fan”.

    Last time I knew to be a journalist you had to go to college and have your degree, playing games for 20 years and then write a few things does not grant a degree of journalist. So, most people in the scene are not professionals neither journalists, just gamers and fans. I’m sure there a few legit journalists in the circle but lets face it, most of them aren’t.

    I thought I could take this out of my chest as my two cents in the matter.

    Again, great article.

    • That’s not something we do here. πŸ˜‰

      I’ve not made any secret of the fact that I do not actually own any “qualifications” to do this. I’m not even any good at games!

      • I do have some writing qualifications but I am by no means a journalist, nor a professional (as I am doing this for fun, not for a salary).

        • Vitalogy

          You guys know well I wasn’t aiming for you πŸ˜‰

          I like to come here because I love to read but most importantly I like to read something with substance, something that is written not to pleasure A, B or C but as opinions of what you’ve experimented and your thoughts of it.

          Sincere, its how I define your work here. Keep up the good work.

          • Well actually I do have a B at GCSE English. πŸ˜‰

            I know that’s not aimed at us, but banter is all good. At the end of the day all I want to do here is bring as much news to the fore as I can, and bring you honest opinions that you feel that you can relate to, and build a community around that. Us Vita owners need to stick together. πŸ˜‰

            If anyone wants to write at all, feel free to get in touch. πŸ˜›

  • Sand rai

    Totally agree with this article. There seems to be clear bias against vita games where they get 20% less then other games. It really annoyed me when pocketgamer gave NFSMW on iPhone a 9 and vita an 8! I left a comment on the site and they replied that the iPhone version is cheaper. Therefore that makes it better?!
    One thing that doesn’t help the vita is the price of the games. It may be unfair to compare vita games to ps3 games but if Sony are charging close to the same price then there are a lot of people that will buy the ps3 version. If games were to drop in price, reviewers may stop rating them against ps3 games.

    • Hi Sand rai, thanks for commenting! I couldn’t agree more about pricing, especially on the store. Β£45 for CODBOD is crazy. To be totally honest the games shouldn’t be above Β£30 in the UK or their local equivalent. Regardless of experiences within.

  • Sand rai

    Retweeted by the way. I hope some of those reviewers see it

    • Thanks Sand rai! It’s been read by Yoshida-san and Nick Accordino from Sony USA, which is always good. πŸ™‚ Thanks for reading it!

  • miaku

    10 minute applause to this article, together with some of the comments in this thread. I’m particularly tired of those reviews saying “We know the vita can do better”. How the hell do you know that? Reviewers are some kind of software engineers so that they know COD should be 8×8 and have huge maps on the Vita? With all it’s negative points, COD is groundbreaking in having a really close COD multiplayer experience on the go for the first time, still reviewers compare the vita with a 7 year old HOME console which have already had several versions of that same game already out. Really, reviewers should be ashamed of themselves.

    Like you said, if Vita fails, hardcore portable gaming fails, and from now on we’ll condemned to lackustre nintendo Mario whoring and mediocre casual mobile games. It’s incredible that professional gaming reviewers are bashing a device that they should hold dearly.

    Thanks for this article, and don’t worry, Vita will do fine, the device is great and great games are both already out and many more coming, Sony has a ton of great franchises that will move Vita forward, and all those gaming sites will eat their words.

  • ico

    This page has got loads more comments than any recent articles / reviews and with good reason: people feel strongly about the vita and games’ industry’s treatment of it.

    Think the key gist of the article for reviewers to stop comparing handheld titles to their big boy console cousins is very sound wisdom and care should be taken with some of the cod reviews out there. However from what I can see of the reviews (and I’ve not played it myself) I do suspect the devs have somewhat done a half baked job on cod declassified. While I appreciate it has multiplayer and this is what a large portion of cods value is placed upon the single player does sound unacceptable. Let’s assume the single player is about 2 hours long this just isn’t on when you’ve got the likes of uncharted out there. I expect a lengthy campaign in this type of game regardless of the multiplayer element. There’s still a (likely)minority out there who enjoy the cod campaigns and don’t venture into the MP arena and to have an rrp of Β£40+ isn’t on in my book. No, I’m not comparing this to iPod games which are 69p. If I paid that much for a allegedly triple A title then I would expect more value. Gravity rush, uncharted, assassins creed, unit 13 can offer good value for money prospects but in this regard I suspect cod is lacking.

    In terms of critics throwing toys out of pram and / or cod being a sub par game I suspect it’s 6 of one and half a dozen of another (as my dear old gran used to say) but do sincerely agree with the nucleus of the article that reviewing handheld titles against console games is not on.

    Possibly a bit of a jumbled rant from me there but it’s late and I’m tired.

  • Marco Maas

    I do reckon that gaming journalist pull the trigger too fast. But with Declassified I am on their side. I consider CODD a milestone in Vita’s trackreccord: a very bad one.

    • Buramu

      Nobody will argue that COD is not a mediocre game. But is it really one of the worst games in videogaming history? Does it really have no redeeming qualities at all? And – most importantly – is this the game that should convince people that indeed there is no more future for the system? Because that’s the gist of most reviews…

      The reviews for CoD were way out of line and I am convinced that more is going on than just A bunch of reviewers being collectively disappointed in a short single player FPS campaign on their daily commute.

  • Marco Maas

    If I would have paid 20 Euro for it on PSN, I would not complain. I am now in the process of getting back my money (7 days onsight returnguarntee in the Netherlands, Dutch law). I know that is another discussion but it is triggered by CODD being bought via PSN.

    I think the Vita is a wonderfull product. I play it for at least one hour per day. Most Wanted, Gravity Rush, Uncharted, Wipeout2048, WRC3, MUD, I play them all often.

    The Vita deserves better than CODD, and Sony / Activision / Nihilistic (who wants the hot potatoe) should know.

    And I agree, the grand public should know too. So I welcome your open letter, but it deserves a critical note.

    • Buramu

      Indeed, I fully agree it deserves a critical note. Just like Resistance Burning Skies, which was a worse game than CoD and got a Metacritic rating of 60.

      Good luck with your efforts getting your money back. Indeed, it’s another topic, but I would welcome a more flexible digital distribution system (e.g. being able to resell digital via license transfer, or more elaborate demos for all games).

      • I agree every game needs demos, but I don’t see publishers allowing that anytime soon. The risk is just too great, as many games (in particular bigger titles such as CoD or FIFA) depend on uninformed buys, since the CoD and FIFA names are such big brands.

      • Well, that is a subject for a different day given that in Europe that very thing – the ability to resell digital content has been mandated. πŸ™‚

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  • Hi guys

    I agree with much of the sentiment in both Buramu’s piece and the comments that follow – at least regarding the lazy habit of marking down a Vita title in relation to its PS3 equivalent. But, at the risk of being shouted down, I would like to offer a different perspective.

    I think much of the problem comes with the industry’s, and the consumer’s, mania for easily quantifying a product – ie, scoring. A game’s metacritic professional review score has almost become the only criteria by which a game’s potential value as purchase is judged – to the point where some developers are incentivised by their publishers by granting certain financial bonuses/penalties depending on the score.

    I feel this is a tad unfair, the fact that a review will contain 500+ words before the score demonstrates there should be more nuance to the situation – and CODBLOPS:D sums that up perfectly. The merits/faults of the Single Player/multiplayer experience have been thorougly gone over elsewhere (including my own review). But a lot of the forum-anger about the gaming press’s response to CODBLOPS has been around the low scores – but given the words that preceded those scores isn’t that fair enough?

    I’ve seen people argue that a fairer score for CODBLOPS would be a six out of ten (indeed, I answered the same when asked about it on another forum), but on reflection, that would make Uncharted: Golden Abyss (an 80 per center on Metacritic) only a quarter better than CODBLOPS. Personally, I feel that Uncharted is ten times the game, and technical achievement, that CODBLOPS is – so should I have said the latter is worth only 0.8 out of ten?

    I know that this argument is somewhat ridiculous – the convention of a sliding scale of quality which sees even games that reviewers have admitted are average in the text of their review get a seven out of ten has been accepted by pretty much everyone. But I still feel that a lot of the online excitement about mainstream games journalism – and this forum here is a model of good humour and decency when compared to the fan-boy rants you might find when a PS3 title is harshly reviewed – is needlessly skewed by a focus on numbers and not words (which is what a review should, ultimately, be about).

    OK, moderate rant over. (Sorry if I went on)

    • No problem with giving your opinion, that’s exactly what this comment section is meant for (apart from showering praise all over us writers that is πŸ˜‰ ).

      Honestly, in today’s gaming review culture, anything under a 75 is almost automatically regarded as ‘bad’. When reviewers DO use the full spectrum of scale, they get nothing but showers of complaints. On the one hand, ‘because the game is at least a 6’ which is a pretty irrelevant complaint, and on the other hand complaints regarding the consistency of reviews, which is a fairer point. However, reviewers cannot change their habits if they get called out on such inconsistency- as such, it is both a fault of the reviewers themselves, the scoring system and the publich reading those reviews.

  • Galvatron

    I’ve read all the comments on this article again and take some of the differing perspectives on board; the last thing we all want as Vita supporters is to skew our own arguments with excessive bias.

    With that in mind, I’m disappointed that today sees confirmation that a new Vita Uncharted title is indeed in the works….and that it’s a card-based game.

    In my eyes, this is an example of Sony shooting itself in the foot. Surely with a public acceptance from the top board members – including UK/US CFO’s – that AAA titles are what the Vita needs (and has been receiving recently), this is a classic case of arming the anti-Vita brigade.

    I’ve mentioned on here – like a lot of you – that some of the hitherto released games on this handheld are absolutely phenomenal – but I take this news with a heavy heart.

    I’m not a betting man, but I suspect Sony have just undermined the undoubted excellence of a further title being released on Wed – Sine Mora – with this news. I absolutely loved Golden Abyss and another title would be similarly acclaimed, but a card-based title will simply not sell anywhere near as well.

    I predict that the ‘critics’ will (out of obligation) give high scores to Sine Mora, but tellingly jump all over the card-based Fight For Fortune and negate the positivity from Digital Reality’s seminal shooter – which I cannot wait to own on Vita – with more negative coverage of this as a further blow to the handheld.

    Nevertheless, the night is dark before the dawn, and as long as Sony continue to support the machine with quality titles the critics can expect the Resistance (pun intended) a la Vita Lounge and it’s community – to
    challenge the reviewers for fair coverage.