Nintendo has a large stable of portable-friendly first-party games at its disposal, and it has been proactive in securing the rights to large third-party franchises like Monster Hunter. By comparison, Sony properties like Uncharted and God of War are better-suited for the big screen. The Vita certainly doesn't have anything on the scale of Pokemon, which will sell Nintendo platforms unto the ending of the earth.
As a Vita owner, I'll take what I can get, I suppose. In the short-term, there's the "sequel-reimagining" to the Wii's Little King's Story, which was released Tuesday. Ragnarok Odyssey is a solid action RPG, and both Dragon's Crown and Ys: Celceta no Juka (another remake actually – this time of Ys IV) are something to look forward to in 2013. Valhalla Knights 3 will likewise bring 7-on-7 battles and what look like some very nice graphics to the mix.
So help is on the way for the Vita's anemic RPG lineup, which is good. On the other hand, there doesn't appear to be any sort of platform-defining RPG on the horizon – a game like The World Ends With You that will always be inextricably linked to the system in question. With high-quality offerings like Bravely Default Flying Fairy, Shin Megami Tensei IV, and Monster Hunter 4 on the way for the 3DS, should Vita owners be worried? Yes and no.
"No" in that the Nintendo DS and PSP RPG library were similarly lacking up until 2007 – some two years after their respective releases. Both platforms now boast a very healthy selection of RPGs. These days, the PSP seems to have nothing but
"Yes" in that there's no reason that the Vita will turn things around anytime soon. At this point in time, the Nintendo 3DS is a more attractive option for Japanese RPG developers. There's just no way around it.
Thus far, my Vita has gotten a reasonable amount of play, but that's mainly because I've been working on finish Super Robot Taisen Z2
– a PSP game. I'm willing to be patient, especially with so many PSP RPGs still to finish, but with TGS relatively barren of new and interesting announcements this year, I'm starting to think that there won't be relief until 2014 at the earliest. In the meantime, my 3DS is looking more and more interesting.
So I wait, and I play Persona 4 Golden
, and I keep my fingers crossed. There may be hope, but thus far in terms of owning a Vita as a lover of RPGs, it feels as if I've spent $250 on a really fancy PSP.
Kat Bailey is a freelance writer based out of San Francisco, California. Her work has been featured on multiple outlets, including GamesRadar, Official Xbox Magazine, gamesTM, and GameSpot. You can follow her on Twitter at @the_katbot.