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ScourgeBringer review for PS Vita, PS4, Xbox One, Switch


Platform: PS Vita
Also on: Xbox One, Switch, PC, PS4
Publisher: Plug In Digital
Developer: Dear Villagers
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: T

As the clock ticks down on the Vita’s remaining releases (thanks to Sony cutting off developers from releasing new games for the system on July 20th), I’ve been trying to avoid playing and reviewing them for as long as possible. Even though the Switch has surpassed it as my go-to primary gaming platform, I’ve played a lot of games on the Vita over the past nine years, and a not-insignificant part of me is sad to see it ride off into the sunset.

That said, it’s kind of remarkable that a platform that’s been as derided and ignored as the Vita is still getting new games in 2021, nearly a decade after it was first released. What’s more, thanks to ScourgeBringer, we can say that it’s getting good games this late in its lifespan (as opposed to, say, its swan song being one of the worst games ever made).

Because seriously: ScourgeBringer is an exceptionally good game, made even better by the fact it’s on the Vita. And I’m not just saying that because of my love for the handheld, either — the game is one of the few to ever make use of the system’s rear touchpad, and it does so in a way that makes sense, as you use it to fire bullets at your enemies. Even if I’ve rarely liked the rear touchpad, it makes sense here given the sheer number of enemies onscreen at any given time.

Beyond that, though, ScourgeBringer makes sense on the Vita (and probably on the Switch, for that matter) because of the nature of its gameplay. It’s a roguelike Metroidvania where you’re constantly battling through room after room of never-ending monsters. It’s the sort of game where, immediately after dying, you’ll want to go back and do it again, just to see what it throws at you next. Being able to take the game with you only adds into that feeling.

And you will die a lot, by the way. Every room features wave after wave of monsters, and you don’t have a whole lot of HP to sustain you. All you can do is continuously attack everything that moves, and hope you can kill all the monsters before they can kill you. (You won’t, of course, but it’s a mark of how fun the combat is that you’ll still keep trying.)

It’s also worth noting that ScourgeBringer looks amazing. There’s nothing specific to the Vita about that, though — I’m just saying that the developers seemed to use every colour at their disposal when they designed these worlds, and the results can’t help but stand out.

But, really, everything about ScourgeBringer stands out. It’s a phenomenal game that’s made it onto one of my favourite platforms of all time, and if you’re one of the few people still playing games on the Vita in 2021 — or if you’re playing it anywhere else, really — it’s unquestionably a great addition to your library.

Plug In Digital provided us with a ScourgeBringer PS Vita code for review purposes.

Grade: A-