Sir Eatsalot review for PS Vita

Platform: PS Vita
Publisher: Deisling & Rider
Developer: Behind the Stone
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

As much as it pains me to admit it, the PS Vita doesn?t exactly have the greatest library of exclusive games. I mean, it?s far and away my favourite console ever, but the games I?ve enjoyed on it the most — MLB The Show, Rogue Legacy, Hotline Miami, and so on — are all available elsewhere, too.

Consequently, any time I come across a Vita exclusive, it always warms my heart. A PS Vita exclusive in 2018? That?s even more amazing. And for that 2018 Vita exclusive to be a pretty good platformer that makes use of all the handheld?s bells and whistles, as is the case with Sir Eatsalot ? Well, if it weren?t on my Vita right now, I?d probably think it was literally unbelievable. And yet, here we are, and here?s Sir Eatsalot, and I?m pleased to say that if it?s doubling as the last Vita exclusive we ever see, it?s a pretty great send-off for Sony?s most misunderstood console.

To some extent, Sir Eatsalot is good for all the usual reasons a game is good. The characters, from the titular knight down to all the random enemies and allies he meets along the way, are as fun and relatively well-written. Along those same lines, Gluttington, the kingdom in which the story takes place, is richly imagined, with tasty-looking foodstuffs falling from every tree and colours that make the world pop off the screen. And, of course, the story is as compelling as it needs to be, with a plot that makes sense and keeps the action going for a couple of hours.

What?s surprising, though, is that another of the reasons Sir Eatsalot is good is that the controls make use of the Vita?s aforementioned bells and whistles in ways that, for the most part, seem entirely natural.

I call this a surprise because so often in early Vita games, the front and rear touchscreen felt more like annoying gimmicks than useful inputs. Here, by contrast, when you have to tap on a bush to shake the candy loose, or push the rear touchscreen to dislodge rocks, it doesn?t seem all that forced. It feels as though Sir Eatsalot?s developers thought about their design options with this game on this platform, and came to the carefully-considered conclusion that touch controls made sense. And you know what? I don?t disagree with them.

Just about the only thing I disagree with here is the lack of any kind of world map. The kingdom of Gluttington may not be the biggest world I?ve ever seen, but it?s big enough that you?re probably not going to beat the game in one go — which means that when you put it down and come back to it, it?s not always easy to pick up exactly where you left off, since you may need to wander around until you remember where you?re supposed to go.

Still, all things considered, that?s more a minor concern than a major issue, particularly considering all the things this game does well. The number of people who still care about Vita exclusives may be getting increasingly smaller every year, but for those of us who still care, it?s nice to know that games like Sir Eatsalot exist.

Deisling & Rider provided us with a Sir Eatsalot PS Vita code for review purposes.

Grade: A-