PS Vita the Impulse Buy of the Year

I don’t buy new electronic things often. When I do it usually takes me a month or so to research, weigh the options, look for deals, read the tea leaves, do a rain dance, that sort of thing. It’s a process, usually.

Two weeks ago I started looking into the PS Vita. Why, you may ask. Why would you want to buy a 5 year old handheld gaming device that was abandoned by Sony and has more games cancelled than a baseball team during hurricane season? The short answer is JRPGs. The long answer is, SO many JRPGs. It’s the first time that I’ve wanted a console not for upcoming games but for it’s backlog. While the Vita itself has a lot of games and more still coming out, it also boasts a huge collection of PSone games and PSP game. Not to mention it has all of the final fantasy’s from 1-10 in some form or another and I’ve never played any of them. But after playing Omega Quintet (it was $3 ok?) with Jay over the PS4’s share play, I’ve been reminded of how much I love JRPGs.

Vitas are surprisingly hard to find in good condition in my area and apparently in most of North America. Gamestop doesn’t sell them, the local game store down the street sells some that look like they’ve been chewed on by a family pet, come to think of it I don’t know when the last time was I even saw a Vita game for sale anywhere. I had to go to the mystical department store in the cloud known as Amazon to find the thing. Unless I wanted to import it from Japan with 3 week shipping that probably costs more than the device itself, I had two options. The first, a Certified Refurbished model (whatever that means) for $130 or for an extra $30 I could get a brand new  in the box one. New things are shinier and who doesn’t like shiny things right? Still they seem kind of expensive for a  5 year old piece of tech.

Now here’s the real kicker with the Vita, the memory card. Ah yes, I haven’t had to buy a memory card since I owned a Gamecube and honestly I forgot they existed. The new model comes with 1 gig of memory,  I haven’t seen a physical Vita game for sale in years so all of my games would be digital purchases. Here’s the kicker though, the Vita’s SD cards are proprietary so you have to buy Sony’s special snowflake of a memory card and these things aren’t cheap. A 16 gig card costs about $50 which is insane considering you can get a regular 32 gig SD card for around $15. No wonder no one wanted to buy this thing.

But I did. After only a week of researching and reading about it a few simple clicks and it was on it’s way from some warehouse in the middle of Pennsylvania. It was probably on a high shelf in the way back for a few years. I swear I saw dust fly when I opened the box.

I’ve always been a fan of handheld gaming. The first video game system I ever owned was a game boy advance and I took that thing every where. Consoles are great, and PCs are great but sometimes you just want to not stare at a giant screen in your living room and stare at a tiny screen in your hands. I have a 3ds,mostly bought for Monster Hunter and Pokemon. Other than that I haven’t had a lot of interest in its other titles, though thanks to the local library I’ve been exploring some. I had a PSP for a few years, and it was probably my favorite system of all time. Sadly I traded it in for the 3DS,  seemed like a good decision at the time.

I’ve had it for about a week now and I’m really glad I bought it. I picked up Final Fantasy Origins which includes Final Fantasy 1 & 2. I’m having a blast playing through the first one, there’s just something oddly addicting about it’s old school game play. The screen is nice and big and nothing looks too stretched out so far, which is one problem I have with the 3DSXL. Also it remote plays with the PS4 which I’m excited about. I’ve been testing a few different games and while the L2 and R2 triggers are usually mapped to the rear touch pad, most of my PS4 games play great on it. The other perk is I get even more out of my PS Plus subscription though this month and last month netted me 2 visual novels/ male dating sims…but what the hell it could be fun.

You know what plays surprisingly well via remote play? Final Fantasy 14. You would think the lag would be horrible considering its streaming video and inputs to and from an online game but it’s not that bad.When there is some input lag it’s not horrible and it rarely happens as long as I’m playing in my house. But for running some quests or completing the hunting log, it’s great and I can already tell it’s going to be awesome for crafting and gathering when I get back into that.  Of course, I won’t be running dungeons with the Vita, that seems inconsiderate to other people.

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