What can you write about Angry Birds that hasn’t been written already? You must have heard of it, it’s been on almost everything that has a touch screen and plenty more that doesn’t, but we have had to wait until the Vita was nearly two years old before it came to us. Even then, in their infinite wisdom, Rovio have chosen to release two versions – the Star Wars version has also been released on the platform – at almost the same time. And to make it worse, it’s been given an absolutely extortionate price.
PR experts can spin this how they want, and yes, there are three Angry Birds games included in this package, with Classic, Rio and Seasons all here in their pig bashing, cage crushing glory. But the game has a simply unreasonable price, costing ten times as much (and that’s being generous) as the three combined cost on iOS. Even the most ardent of fans should get angry about that.
If you are blissfully unaware of the Angry Birds phenomenon then I’ll do my best to enlighten you. The story goes that some evil piggies have pinched the birds’ eggs (or something comparable to that), and so with great vengeance and furious anger the birds take flight, ludicrously using themselves to defeat the pigs. This isn’t so easy though, as the pigs obviously read fairy tales when they were little and have constructed themselves some cunning defences out of stone, wood and even glass.
Across all three games, the purpose is to ultimately score three stars on each level by attaining the highest score possible. A bird will load itself into a catapult, and you pull back, set your angle and let go. The less birds you use to defeat the pigs, the more likely it is that you will succeed. You will gain 5,000 points per popped pig, and 10,000 for every unused bird and accumulate various points for anything else you can break. You will need to think tactically and use the debris around you to your advantage. A well placed shot can create a destructive domino effect which can cause certain doom for the sandwich dodging porkies.
There are a multitude of different birds at your disposal, each sort with different uses. Beyond the standard red, you have a yellow bird who once launched can accelerate rapidly on its trajectory and is best used against wooden structures. The blue bird will split into three smaller versions, which are effective against glass and the black variety is in fact a detonating bomb. It makes very short work of stone. The white bird will drop an explosive egg downwards and the green variety acts as a boomerang. There are a few others available as you delve deeper into the game.
As you’d expect in a trilogy, there are three games here but, make no mistake, they are all effectively the same game. Seasons in particular offers nothing new and is effectively just a re-skin of the original Angry Birds, using themed yearly occasions as the setting and scenery, such as Halloween. Rio is slighly different in that there are no pigs, just cages representing birds from the hit kids movie but the game mechanics are essentially the same.
This Vita version uses the touch screen as you would expect, but it also features the use of the physical controls for those who prefer to use sticks and buttons. It also makes use of Near, by allowing you to compose a unique tune for the birds and once done send them “migrating”. When they return, they could be laden with gifts. Assuming other people bought the game, of course.
The gameplay is as addictive as ever, and you will be inclined to give it one more go each time as you aim to get all three stars each time and you will spend many hours with this if you choose to get it. But if you are an Angry Birds fan, there is nothing new here for you. You have probably played these games many times over. However, if you are interested in the game, I suggest you buy it on another platform at a far more respectable price, as this price for the Vita version cannot be justified. To put it into perspective, the game is among the higher end of all Vita games, and more expensive than Killzone Mercenary and Tearaway. Save your money.