Holy Invasion of Privacy, Badman! studio Acquire has been working extensively with the PlayStation Vita hardware. The Akihabara based video game developer is finishing Shinobido 2: Revenge of Zen for the system’s launch.
"We’ve been working on Vita stuff for awhile. We have a couple other Vita titles that are unannounced, that we’re working on as well. Those will be announced in upcoming months," Richie Casper said in an interview with Siliconera.
Acquire was also a strong supporter of the PSP with games like Patchwork Heroes, Gladiator Begins, and most recently Akiba’s Trip. Since Acquire has experience working with both of Sony’s handhelds, I asked Casper what his thoughts were about developing games for Vita.
"As far as Vita hardware goes, its definitely more powerful than the PSP. Just with any hardware, especially any Sony hardware, it’s learning all of the tricks. We are excited about it because we think it opens up possibilities," Casper replied. "We think Sony solved kind of what iPhone and iPad was doing. How people love just pulling [a device] out and doing touch for everything. The Vita is kind of the logical step in that direction."
"It’s a fun device. It’s always fun to get new hardware and just play on it. That’s one of the great things about being able to do early titles on the Vita, you get to take a lot of chances. You get to take some risks, try new things. That’s kind of the time to take risks and try out IPs."
Sumioni is, perhaps, one of Acquire’s risky projects. Compared to Shinobido 2, which is a sequel from a tried and true genre – stealth action, Sumioni is a sumi-e style platformer. The PlayStation Vita title puts players in control of an ogre with a magical paintbrush he can use to create platforms and summon elements by writing kanji (Japanese characters). Sumioni will be available in Japan a few months after the system launches with a February 9 release date. As of now, the game has not been announced for North America, but Casper said it has a "better than average" chance for an overseas release.
"From a gamer’s perspective, it’s a nice piece of hardware. It’s fun to play on and it’s not that much bigger than the PSP-3000. The back touch screen is kind of a new thing, it takes a little while to figure out what to do with that. It’s always cool to have new things you can do with a piece of hardware and games just look great on it," said Luke Rideout, Producer of the Class of Heroes series.
"Let’s be honest, it’s awesome to have two analog sticks. When we first got the finalized hardware for the dev kits, we pulled it out and were holding it thinking this is pretty awesome. Wow, this is cool! You can play any kind of console game on a portable system if you want or you can do touch games," Casper added. "There is a lot of freedom in how you develop games for it, which is both exciting and scary at the same time. Because then, it’s how much do you utilize which because if you go too crazy things get overly complicated."
Sumioni tries to blend both gameplay styles by using the analog stick for walking and the touch screen for summoning creatures. Check out our hands-on impressions of Sumioni here.