Graphics:
9.0
Gameplay:
9.5
Sound:
8.9
Control:
8.7
Replay Value:
9.7
Overall Rating:
9.0
Online Gameplay:
Not Rated
Publisher:
Merge Games, 505 Games
Developer:
Re-Logic
Number Of Players:
1-2
Genre:
Action/Adventure
Release Date:
December 17, 2013


Some games just don’t work in a portable format. Others, like Terraria , absolutely shine. The critically revered title released several years ago on PC, and I was a little concerned that it wouldn’t make a top-quality transition to the PlayStation Vita. However, after many hours sitting on my sofa, entranced by the new portable iteration of Re-Logic’s immensely imaginative, highly addicting adventure, my fears have been laid to rest. I love it when that happens. It’s vastly preferable to having lofty expectations and ending up with a disappointing product; that just drains the life out of you.

The graphics are funny. They just are. As you probably surmised by surveying the screenshots, Terraria isn’t about photorealistic visuals, authentically crafted environments, or intricate character creation and animation. The developers took a Minecraft approach to the game: The graphics are almost irrelevant. They might pluck the nostalgia strings but otherwise, this 8-bit-like presentation is simply a canvas on which you project your imagination and creativity. There’s something oddly alluring about such an old-fashioned palette; possibly, due to the lack of anything even remotely realistic, we rely upon our imagination to fill in the blanks.

The audio is in much the same boat, as we’re not treated to a series of popular licensed music or a string of Hollywood-level voice performers. Nope, we’re back in the good ol’ days when the effects were comical; when the sound emanating from your bedroom late at night could best be characterized as a series of electronic blips and bleeps. Still, there’s an extra layer of polish here. There’s a refinement we never had a quarter-century ago, and the soundtrack is really quite accomplished. It’s like a really cool old-school mold fitted with some modern spices. It’s purposely outdated but we sense a great deal of technical effort lurking just beneath the surface. That much is clear.

The game challenges you from start to finish, but it challenges you in a way that compels you to move forward. It’s not a forbidding, annoying challenge that makes you lose interest; it’s a form of difficulty that’s surprisingly complex. It fills you with the desire to check things out; you say to yourself, “gee, I wonder what’s over there,” all the while knowing that “what’s over there” could be imminent death. It’s the classic risk vs. reward scenario. It keeps you enthralled with only one word: Possibilities. The more you explore, the more you find and the more you learn. Secrets abound and from the instant your adventure starts, you want to discover all of ‘em.