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Borderlands 2

Borderlands 2 | PS Vita
Released: May 14th, 2014 (reviewed July 2014)
Developer/Publisher: Gearbox Software / 2k Games
Grade: 5 out of 5 meatballs
Reviewed by: Pawl Schwartz

You like video games; you already played and beat Borderlands 2. Cool, so did I and I still bought this game, and it has still afforded me more hours of gaming than any other out on Vita thus far. Some of it is just because of the sheer power of wonder involved in seeing such a large game released only a year ago, shrunk down so quickly. It’s fucking mad! I’m sure the cell shading made it easier, but the game looks exactly the same.

But does it play the same? Quite simply, no, but that is both a good and bad thing. I have a lot more fun running around and slaying for XP on the Vita simply because of the tilt aiming (for those of you unfamiliar, when you aim down the iron sights, you tilt the system to aim) which, to me, is infinitely more fun and easy than struggling with a controller joystick, or, dare I say it, mouse and keyboard. Now, I am on the mouse and keyboard side of the aisle when it comes to FPS games, but this tilt aiming makes the Vita into your gun — just aim the system. How easy and awesome is that? I had only seen this previously in Killzone: Mercenary, and ever since, I do not understand any Vita FPS that does not include this feature, because why the hell not? I’ve even been disappointed lately by the fact that it would be so easy to apply tilt aiming to PS4 FPS games by using the six- axis controller, but I haven’t seen it done yet. It makes participating in an FPS feel more like a light gun House of the Dead-style shooting game. Thanks to this being added in BL2 for Vita, I leveled up a lot more and beat every single side mission.

The bad? This game is at the very top edge of what the PS Vita can handle, and because of that there are long load times and a lot of glitches. You can see some of the more ridiculous ones in my screenshots, but those are mostly misplaced objects and characters, and those aren’t the glitches that kill the gameplay. The glitches I’m talking about are when you are moving, looking around, or aiming. The absolute worst is when you are aiming down the sights about to shoot some Skag through his ear-hole, and then the game lags for a second, and all of a sudden you are staring at the fucking sky or ground. I cannot express in real numbers the amount of times this has happened to me, and it is one of the most frustrating glitches I have ever experienced in a released game. It’s like some asshole is standing next to you ready to push the barrel of your gun in a random direction every time you take aim. There have been at least three rather large updates for Borderlands 2 Vita already, and I expected each one to fix this issue, but none of them did.

So, that’s the bad. The good? It’s fucking Borderlands 2 with tilt aiming and several of its expansions (for those of you who didn’t buy the season pass) in portable form. Talk about games you can keep on your Vita for months — I’ve already gotten more hours out of the Vita version of Borderlands 2 than the 360 version, simply because I can take it with me.

I don’t care if you already beat Borderlands 2 on another system — get it again on Vita where it is easier and more fun to play; I mean, why wouldn’t you? It’s not like Borderlands 2 is lacking in replay value.

Borderlands 2 is easily the most convincing reason to own a Vita thus far, even if its size and graphics are just a wee bit beyond what the Vita can handle. I would rather see a game reach this hard on a handheld than play it safe by doing a dumbed down, cartoon side-scroller version of the game instead.

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