Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Handheld Wars: 3DS vs. Vita: Or Quiet Down and Enjoy Both

It seems after every "gamers should stop embarrassing themselves and their hobby by acting like total jackasses" opinion piece gets some traction in the gamer collective and then proceeds to fall on deaf ears (or blind eyes in this case), you would think that we here at SuperPhillip Central just can't take the hint. Console wars-- or the subject of this piece, handheld wars-- are here to stay in the industry, no matter how pitiful, sad and immature it makes us look to outsiders.

First of all, we here at SuperPhillip Central have seen the worst in gamers. We've seen pathetic "I want X to go out of business because I hate them so much" posts, and "I hope Y game bombs horribly" quips in YouTube comment sections. I, personally, have accepted that a lot of gamers that unwittingly represent the industry (not trying to cast a wide net and throw everyone under the bus here) are never going to grow up*.

*That is a huge insult coming from a guy who quit a job at a certain well-known Nintendo-centric site after telling the staff that their organization was absolute garbage and telling the owner to piss off. In some way, a good portion of gamers are worse than that!

This piece is not about the hundreds of legitimate articles that pit the two platforms against one another to help consumers pick the one that is right for them. This piece is about the discussions (see: wars) between gamers over which is superior, be it because of brand loyalty, hatred of a company, or what have you.

The fact of the matter is that in all of the arguments about which of the current generation of handhelds is superior-- the Nintendo 3DS or Sony's PlayStation Vita-- seldom do we get some level-headed discussion. It seems to usually get interrupted by a vocal minority who only wish to tear the opposition a new one. The truth is that both handhelds have finally come into their own and they possess a fantastic catalog of games for everyone.

Platformer fans (which we begin with because we love platformers at SuperPhillip Central) can hop through colorful worlds as Mario in two unique titles: New Super Mario Bros. 2 and Super Mario 3D Land. Vita owners can play the greatest new franchise to come up from this past generation, LittleBigPlanet, with a new Vita-exclusive entry of the game. Or they can hop in for some Rayman Origins enjoyment in anticipation for the Wii U's Rayman Legends. In addition to those games, take Sly Cooper with you wherever you go with the recently released Thieves in Time (they don't have to be exclusive to the Vita to count).

Super Mario 3D Land (3DS)
LittleBigPlanet PS Vita (Vita)
Action lovers on the Nintendo 3DS can kill bioweapons of all shapes and sizes in Resident Evil: Revelations, soar through the skies as Pit in Kid Icarus: Uprising (SuperPhillip Central's Game of the Year 2012 runner-up), and enter intense dogfights with Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy. Meanwhile, those with a Vita can take Nathan Drake and Uncharted on the go with Golden Abyss. You also cannot go wrong with Assassin's Creed III: Liberation, bringing another console-centric series to the Vita. Don't forget the gravity-defying Gravity Rush. Finally, the upcoming Soul Sacrifice is set to overwhelm the senses and accelerate the pulses of its players with its awesome boss-battling action.

Kid Icarus: Uprising (3DS)
Uncharted: Golden Abyss (3DS)
Don't forget racing games either. The 3DS and Vita are bringing the goods here as well. For the 3DS, you have the seventh mainline installment of the Mario Kart franchise, whereas with the Vita you get the latest in the Wipeout series, Wipeout 2048. Both platforms give you a taste of meme favorite Ridge Racer as well.

Mario Kart 7 (3DS)
Wipeout 2048 (Vita)
Roll with the punches with fighting games, which both platforms having a minor stake in the genre. The 3DS gives you Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition and Dead or Alive Dimensions. Meanwhile, the Vita gives you Street Fighter X Tekken.

Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition (3DS)
Street Fighter X Tekken (Vita)
Then there are role-playing games to be had like those found on the 3DS when you utilize Flowmotion to defeat foes in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, or use strategy to outwit your opponents in Fire Emblem: Awakening. Even Mario gets in on the RPG goodness with Paper Mario: Sticker Star. On the Vita side, the RPGs are coming with titles like Final Fantasy X HD and Phantasy Star Online 2. (I saved a certain Persona game for a later section, gang!)

Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance (3DS)
Phantasy Star Online 2 (Vita)
Or how about some gonzo gaming (i.e. stuff that is off the wall and/or unusual)? The 3DS and Vita have got you covered there, too. The 3DS has you covered with titles like Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask, Freakyforms, Pushmo and its sequel Crashmo, and Theatrhythm Final Fantasy. The Vita has stuff like Touch My Katamari, Little Deviants, New Little King's Story, Super Monkey Ball: Banana Splitz, and the phenomenal Sound Shapes.

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy (3DS)
Sound Shapes (Vita)
With all that newness on both platforms, why not take a look back at the past? Remakes and ports are on both platforms. The 3DS has one of the best games of all time made better in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, a Nintendo 64 classic in Star Fox 64 3D, and Tales of the Abyss. Vita owners can enjoy the absolutely enthralling Persona 4: Golden, Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, and the upcoming Muramasa port, which will look gorgeous on the Vita screen.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (3DS)
Persona 4: Golden (Vita)
But I know what some of you might be thinking. You might be thinking in that "knowledgeable" head of yours that you can't afford both handhelds, so that means you somehow have an excuse for your potentially embarrassing behavior (i.e. trolling message boards and comment sections against the handheld you hate). To borrow a saying from our U.K. readers, that is absolute rubbish. You might even have the world's most specific taste imaginable that somehow you only gravitate to the games of one system and the other has zero that you have any interest in. How convenient, no? If you have read all of the games for each platform this piece has listed and still cannot admit that the other handheld might have a game that interests you, then you are beyond saving.

The reality here is that both platforms are here to stay, they have a terrific lineup of games, and their libraries are only going to get better. If only the debates (don't make us post examples) between gamers would get better as well.

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