I’ve been playing Tearaway over the last few days, another great little game from the studio which brought us LittleBigPlanet.
The style is definitely recognisably Media Molecule and the game takes full advantage of the PSVita’s various controls and input mechanisms, including the front and rear touchpads, the cameras, and the tilt sensors. At times this can be a little overwhelming, having to balance the PSVita on your fingers while trying to move the character using the thumbsticks – so certain levels are not really playable on a moving bus.
There are a few other niggles which detract from this otherwise fantastic title.
One of the worst is the fact that while there is a bookmarks and restore point system, there is no way to save custom bookmarks or to return to a given restore point in a level. Coupled with the fact that some restore points are “invisible”, and that sometimes there are points of no return which aren’t clearly marked it makes 100% collecting a bit of a chore as it’s not always possible to return to an earlier part of a level. So levels have to be replayed several times in order to explore the entire level.
Another issue is the camera – usually it is free allowing the gamer to rotate it about, but in certain areas or sequences it is locked down making exploring a bit annoying. It also has a nasty habit of moving during some sequences which results in badly angled jumps.
Luckily there’s a way to switch to a first-person view through the in-game camera (once collected), which allows free viewing of the world.
At various points in the game it’s necessary to create some simple custom content to progress. The idea is great and on the whole works well, but the lack of precision in the input mechanism left me disappointed with some of my creations. Not sure there’s any way to improve on this given the platform, possibly by adding more drawing tools, but that would be at the danger of taking away from the immediacy of the game.
I only came across a single issue where the dialogue did not continue in a cut-scene, and had to restart the level. Apart from that one time the game seemed pretty solid.
- Lovely innovative paper-based graphics
- Good use of the entire PSVita featureset
- Fun 3rd person platformer with unique content-creation elements
- At times the controls are fiddly
- Camera is locked at times or moves unexpectedly
- Points of no-return in levels are not obvious and make 100% collecting a chore
If you like platformers or titles which are a little bit different you’ll love Tearaway. It’s a great addition to the PSVita catalogue.