September 10, 2018
The PS Vita has had a sad life, quickly abandoned by Sony despite being a sweet handheld. A few great AAA games came out on the system early, now it is mostly anime-style japanese RPGs. Thankfully, one great 3D platformer came out-Tearaway. This is my review.
I got my Vita on a big sale, not really knowing anything about the system. I looked online to find some games, and Tearaway had great reviews and was rated a "must-play". I was skeptical, as it was made by Media Molecule, the creators of Little Big Planet. I have tried and tried, and just don't like Little Big Planet, I don't understand the hype. Thankfully Tearaway is totally different, in a good way.
I don't normally have a controls section when I review a game, but oddly enough, the controls of Tearaway make the game great. You wouldn't know it by looking at it, but the rear of the PS Vita is a giant "touchpad". Most games don't use it, I didn't even know it until Tearaway. But the world of Tearaway is made out of paper, and you can stick your fingers "through" the paper world using the touchpad, putting your fingers into the world! It works really well and is fun. It sounds gimmicky, but it is high quality and fun. You can also tap the touchpad lightly to vibrate the paper game world. You can tilt the Vita to make stuff roll, and the game uses the Vita's cameras quite a bit too. The regular controls are standard 3D platformer controls, and putting it all together is really fun.
Tearaway has an extremely detailed world made entirely out of paper (and maybe some cardboard). It is really impressive. Each scene is like a carefully crafted art project. I have no idea how they made this work, it is really cool. It sounds gimmicky, but is really cool. The levels are not traditional for a 3D platformer, they are more linear than you'd expect, but still have a lot of exploration and secrets involved. There are a lot of fun secrets hidden in the game. The settings range from flowery forest, snowy mountain peaks, giant yeti chasing you through the woods, salty seaside, and more.
Your paper character in Tearaway is a standard run and jump 3D platformer character. He does some good platforming. He has a few fighting moves too, but mostly relies on you sticking your fingers into the paper world to help him fight bad guys or navigate complicated terrain. Ocassionally you will ride on a pig. It is not a traditional collectathon game, but there is a lot of cool stuff to collect. You collect rainbow paper fragments. You also search for colorless pieces of paper to take pictures of with your camera. If you find more stuff, you can customize your character's look with new scraps of paper. It doesn't really affect the game, but can be fun if you are into that kind of thing. The platforming and exploring to find secrets is the best part of Tearaway.
Overall Tearaway is the best 3D platformer on the Vita. (It might be the only one). It is a great game, and deserves a spot with the best and most unique 3D platformers on any system. And the game is tailored specifically to the Vita's unique rear-touchpad. It is a must play on the Vita, and I highly recommend it.