The launch of any new system brings with it some weird game releases that make you wonder what the heck they were thinking. This has been compounded with the Vita, which at this point in its life-cycle really can only be described as a niche device. Most of the world doesn’t want to spend $300+ (after memory cards) on a handheld device – as evidenced by the Vita’s, um, meager numbers. But those of us that did want the Vita, and dropped the coin, did so because we wanted something out of a handheld experience that neither an iPhone nor a 3DS can deliver. With this in mind, Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7 and Supremacy MMA: Unrestricted are perfect examples of the unnecessary launch title. Both left me wondering: “What kind of Vita owner is looking for this game?”
Lego Harry Potter, at the very least, fills a niche (a niche within a niche device–intense!!!) with younger gamers. But how many younger gamers even own a Vita? I have no data on the subject – I’m not even sure such data exists… but I’m going to guesstimate “not very many.” Kids have iPod touches. Kids still love Nintendo and their 3DS. Kids generally aren’t looking to play Uncharted on the go.
But, as a kids game, Lego Harry Potter isn’t terrible. It plays well enough, though it has framerate issues. It’s nice that it has buttons, but the same game is available on the iPhone for $5. LHP has the dubious distinction of being the only Vita game I’ve seen retail at $50 besides Uncharted (though, to be fair, most retailers still sold it at $40). And I’m going to go out on a limb and guess it bombed, because it’s now the cheapest new Vita game on Amazon ($22 at last check).
Supremacy MMA, on the other hand, has issues beyond just audience. In fact, I think there probably is an audience for MMA on the Vita – to a certain extent. But Supremacy MMA is just a bad game. Really bad. The graphics are mediocre at best, and once again there is slowdown. So while some Vita owners may want a MMA game, they have no use for a bad one – especially on a handheld that in its short lifespan is already one of the best handhelds ever in terms of quality fighters, with Mortal Kombat, BlazBlue, and Marvel vs Capcom 3 at the top of the heap. If you have access to those three brilliant fighters, why would you ever even think about buying Supremacy? Conjecture again… but I’m guessing not many people did.
The bummer out of all of this is 505 Games and Warner Brothers are probably blaming the platform and not themselves for not understanding their intended audience. But that’s not really of our concern, I guess. All I will say is that if you absolutely love Lego Harry Potter games and want one on the go, do it – especially at $20. It’s an ok port, you will likely enjoy it. But even the hardest of hardcore MMA fans will find very little to cheer about with Supremacy MMA.
Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7——————————————————————-Supremacy MMA: Unrestricted