Borderlands on Playstation Vita

I am a proud Playstation Vita owner, as much as many bag the handheld system because of its low sales and small game library, I feel as though my purchase has been justified. Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Lumines: Electronic Symphony, Super Stardust: Delta and Mutant Blobs Attack have literally all made my purchase feel granted, I love the handheld. Even though I see why people do feel like the Vita is not worth the purchase, maybe it isn’t for every gamer, the price and small selection of games can definitely lean many into the section of “Not on-board the Vita train”.

Recently I started playing Borderlands on Xbox 360, I am a little late to the game but I love what I have experienced. The gameplay hooks you quickly, the leveling up system and loot drops always make you crave the next enemy visit hoping that you may get some really cool weapons…But even if you don’t, you still love the thrill of the drop. It is almost like being a kid again, buying a pack of Pokemon cards and the anticipation of collecting a rare Charizard card never got old. Borderlands fulfills that child-like love of collecting once again, it allows you to just enjoy the game and keep on collecting. Sure the story, is very lacking, I do not know what I am doing in the main quest but every section of gameplay allows a variation on combat. Via your weapons or the enemies you face,this keeps the game fresh and fun throughout.

What is my point?

Borderlands fits on Vita. I have been thinking all day and I have come to the conclusion that I want Borderlands on the go, I think there are many ways this game could work on Vita and I will explain over the course of this blog.

Could it occur?

Controls

Now as you know there is no analog clicking functionality on the Vita, nor is there any sort of triggers. A re-work of the control scheme will be in order, firstly moving the action skill button from the left bumper to a simple touch on the left side of your back touch screen, switching these controls will allow for zooming with iron-sights easy and the touch capability will make the action skills easily accessible. More variations will need to be placed, stealing a feature directly out of Burning Skies we place a simple grenade icon on the front touch allowing you to throw grenades easily. From there adding the shooting button to the right bumper, then adding melee to the right half of the back touch. Now this may sound cumbersome to some and sure it is not the most perfect control scheme, but holding the Vita without touching the back touch is easily done once you are used to it. I think this control scheme could work and I think it could easily be something you get used too.

Original Control Scheme

Incorporating Touch/Gyroscope

I do not want to incorporate to many touch screen controls, the grenade is the main one that has the most focus on touch capabilities. This is easily accessed near the face buttons, so the reach over should not be too hard and it has been proven that it can be done through Burning Skies. I think the main touch focus apart from gameplay, should be on the menu section. Allow us to look at these unique guns in-depth, all through touch, allow us to have the option to pick up guns via touch from the battlefield and overall menu control through touch.

Grenade Icon Example

Lastly, while we are stealing shit why not take the gyroscope feature that was used in Uncharted: Golden Abyss. This feature allows you to tilt the Vita itself to try and line up those head-shots a little easier, I loved this feature and if it was incorporated into a Borderlands game, aiming for those critical shots would be easier allowing this feature to help the player.

Vita Exclusive Feature

Make this Little Big Planet in shooter form! You don’t need to give us an unlimited amount of options in term of creation, but picture this. You can put together guns (Drag drop style, or using buttons) change the colours, add your special features like sights and barrels and then have a certain amount of stats that can be added to each weapon.

This, but easier to follow

With Vita’s online functions, you could easily share these guns via NEAR or have an online download store kind of like LBP or Diablo style using in-game moneys. Now this feature is a stretch, but this would be something cool to the community and could add a reason for purchasing a Vita Borderlands spin-off. This has been done with LBP, so why couldn’t another section of community tools work but with Borderlands? They already do not take themselves seriously, so adding this feature makes sense and would be very cool in my opinion.

Drop-In/Drop-Out Co-Op Play/Mission Structure

Borderlands is not Borderlands without co-op, so drop in/drop out co-op HAS to work. You could be able to search for people via the internet to join your game as you would any game, but the drop-in/drop-out function makes sense. Since handheld games are not for the gamer who will sit there non-stop and finish the game with a friend for long periods of time, but their option HAS to be included and if it doesn’t come with the game, this will totally take away from the experience.

How Co-Op Would Look

Now onto why I think Borderlands fits the handheld mode. Sure the main quest should be the main attraction, but the vast amount of side missions and smaller main quest missions allow for small bursts of play on the go. I sat there the other night and plowed through tonnes of missions, none lasting longer then 10-15 minutes. This is a perfect amount of time for handheld gaming, if I am at work on my break I can knock out 2 or 3 missions in an hour, or knock 1 out on public transport. I think Borderlands could easily be translated to handhelds without taking much away from what Borderlands IS. It works.

What do you think?

Have I made a justification as to why I think Borderlands will work on Vita? I think it would totally be awesome and I think it would really be able to be put onto a handheld, without taking away the soul of what Borderlands is. This would give Vita owners a reason to buy and the loot mechanics as well as the fact you can share your weapons with fellow players, lets you have almost an unlimited game in terms of longevity. Not only that, but wouldn’t this make a lot of fence-sitters jump onto the Vita Train?

  • Can this work?
  • Would you want it?
  • Would this make you buy Vita?
  • How awesome is Borderlands?

Sony, give me Borderlands for Vita.

Jamie Briggs is Analog Addiction, you can follow all of his gaming related Tweets on Twitter, his videos on YouTube and all of his official published reviews on WeekendNotes.com.

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