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Gravity Rush (known as Gravity Daze in Japan) is a video game released for the PlayStation Vita in February 2012 in Japan (June 2012 everywhere else). It was developed by Project Siren and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. Under the codename "Gravite", it was originally going to be a PS3 title, but development eventually shifted to the PS Vita, after the developers decided the game would be better suited for the console.[1]

An enhanced port developed by Bluepoint Games was released for the PlayStation 4 in December 2015 in Japan (February 2016 everywhere else).

Plot

Kat, a girl with amnesia finds a magic cat that grants her the power to control gravity. With this power, she protects the floating city of Hekseville from a gravity storm and the monsters that spawn from it, known as the Nevi. As she helps the locals, she winds up getting lost in an adventure she never expected.

Why It Rocks

  1. Kat's powers allow her to float in the air along with other things, walk on walls, walk upside down and fly at incredible speeds.
  2. RPG elements allow Kat to upgrade her stats and abilities, such as increased health, quicker energy recovery, new and stronger attacks, slower energy consumption, etc.
    • Her ability cap can be increased further as she completes missions, challenges, and as she restores power to the city.
  3. The setting, Hekseville, is pretty vast with four districts with numerous NPCs and quests to partake in.
  4. Bringing power to the city allows for mini-games, which will help Kat obtain more gems for her upgrades.
  5. The combat system encourages the use of Gravity powers since most enemies are airborne. The good thing is that it is not Kat's only option; she can use stasis to throw debris at enemies, or engage them in melee for close encounters.
  6. The story is presented as a comic book which blends Japanese manga with French comics, giving it a unique look. The cel-shaded graphics make the game stand out from more gritty and realistic aesthetic found on both PS Vita and (later) PS4.
  7. The Nevi look very strange at first glance, but they have some great designs. Observant players will notice that some of them are inspired by sea creatures, like swordfish (called "Malloids" in-game).
  8. The Vita's gyroscope allows for tilted movement while sliding, and make micro-adjustments with the camera in the air.
  9. The story is simple, yet still manages to be entertaining. It is pretty much an origin story for Kat, but it does a great job of introducing the important characters without relying on exposition. Though voice acting is limited (spoken in French-influenced gibberish), text and character portraits convey emotions quite well.
  10. Features a sizeable cast with many likeable characters.
    • The main protagonist, Kat is a lovable character who is selfless, adorable, kind, and optimistic. She uses her powers to help the citizens of Hekseville instead of moping and trying to discover who she is, completely negating the "Amnesiac Hero(ine)" cliché.
    • Many characters like Raven and Syd get proper introductions through their actions in the story. Raven in particular is given plenty of depth, and her motives for her behavior become clear later on.
  11. The game as a whole is very light-hearted, partially due to Kat and Syd in particular being fun characters. There are still some dark moments at times, so it never becomes obnoxiously cheerful.
  12. On PS4, the game runs in 1080p resolution at a steady 60 frames per second. The loading times are also greatly reduced. Slide controls are mapped to buttons, and the pause menu more intuitive. The remaster also has an Art Gallery, which includes promotional images, early sketches and concept art.
  13. The soundtrack is absolutely amazing. Special mentions going to "Discovery of Gravitation" and "Bloody Claws".

Bad Qualities

  1. The loading times are quite lengthy on the Vita. (Though this is a problem with Vita games in general).
  2. The camera has a tendency to get caught on the geometry at times.
  3. Kat's abilities aren't fully realised in this game. Other than specials, her gravity-based powers only involve a single type of Gravity Kick and Stasis Field. As a result, combat can feel repetitive at times.
  4. Outside of including the DLC on the disc, the remaster doesn't add any new content. This may have contributed to the PS4 version having poor sales.
  5. At first glance, the Nevi appear to have no real reason for wreaking havoc. This is one of several plot threads that goes unresolved by the end of the game, another being where Kat originally came from.

Reception

Gravity Rush is considered one of the PlayStation Vita's best games, has a rating of 4.12 on GameFAQs, and has an 83/100 on Metacritic. It spawned a two episode OVA called Gravity Rush: The Animation - Overture, (found on the Playstation Youtube channel) which bridges the story between this game and its sequel.

Kat has also become a prominent figure for the Playstation Vita, starring in other games for the system. She makes an appearance as a guest fighter in Playstation All Stars: Battle Royale as DLC, a playable character in Ragnarok Odyssey, a golfer in the Vita version of Everybody's Golf/Hot Shots Golf: World Invitation, and along with Raven and Yunica, as a costume for Sackboy in the Vita version of LittleBigPlanet as part of the Gravity Rush pack.

Trivia

  • If one has completed Gravity Rush Remastered on PS4, Kat's DLC costumes (Maid, Spy, & Military) become available in Gravity Rush 2 upon starting the Jirga Para Lhao chapter.
  • Tapping the centre of the screen (PS Vita) or the DualShock 4 touch pad (PS4) causes Kat to react uncomfortably and feel uneasy.
  • The initial concept of the game according to Keiichrio Toyama was a image of people floating in space. And more concepts were added overtime.
  • The game's director, Keiichiro Toyama, was also the director of Silent Hill.
  • Gravity Rush's evolution-styled gameplay was influenced by Crackdown.[2]
  • Kat's voice actress, Sanae Kobayashi, has previously voiced Alexis Rhodes in Yu-Gi-Oh!, Chris Thorndyke in Sonic X, and many other characters in anime and films.
  • Toyama and his team watched the movie "Hancock" as a reference towards Kat's sluggish movement.
  • Raven's design as a child bares a strong resemblance to Alessa Gillespie, a character from Silent Hill.
  • The development team, Project Siren, was previously responsible for the Forbidden Siren games.
  • The music in this game (and its sequel) was composed by Kohei Tanaka, who has previously composed the soundtrack for numerous One Piece movies.

Videos

References

  1. https://gematsu.com/2012/04/interview-gravity-rushs-keiichiro-toyama
  2. https://blog.us.playstation.com/2012/03/14/the-surprising-origins-of-gravity-rush-for-ps-vita/