Owning a PS Vita has been bitter sweet. On one hand it’s a powerful, sleek handheld console and in the other hand it gets as much action as a paperweight. You can count all the great Vita games on one hand. The launch titles were a mess and can all be found rotting away in a marked down bin at Gamestop. The droves of titles that are available are mainly ports from PS2. Then came a system-saving title from the geniuses at Media Molecule, Tearaway.
What could have been a handful of cliches jammed onto a mini SD card turns out to be a system-saving, must-have game. I’m not sure if it was a mandate from Sony or not, but Tearaway takes full advantage of the bells and whistles available on the Vita system. Both front and rear touch screens, rear and forward facing camera’s are all used in Tearaway. Interacting via touch is mandatory to complete the game and is done in unique and fluid ways. Unlike, some of the launch titles where the integration of the touch screens seemed forced and the camera functions were a joke at best. Tearaway is THE game for the Vita system.
As expected from Media Molecule, the team that came up with Little Big Planet, Tearaway is completely original game featuring adorable characters and clever platforming mechanics. The art style is based on “papercraft” (origami for you older folks). Everything in the world of Tearaway is made of paper, your character the other characters the sky, water and the ground. Much like LBP, character customization is strongly encouraged. You can add stickers and additional paper shapes to your character. Even customize different add-ons on the cutting board with different colored construction paper pieces to choose from.
Play as the adorable little envelope character, Lota, on his journey through several worlds, each more challenging than the last. The platforming experience is multiplied when you use the back touch screen to thump a drum or push through some thin paper to move an obstacle. Catalog all the different paper creatures you encounter using the in-game camera which you control using the Vita like it is a camera. There is even a set of unlockable Instagram-like filters to make your photos more dramatic. Take photos from in reality and add them to the game as a new pattern. Also, be sure to look your best as you’ll be adding pictures of yourself into the game as well! Below is a few of the photos I grabbed while playing through the game.
If anyone could figure out how to fold a piece a paper in half more than six times it would be Media Molecule!