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Heady daze for Vita: why you’ll be buying Gravity Rush

Johnny Cullen goes hands-on with PlayStation Vita's Gravity Rush and comes away fascinated with the handheld's Studio Japan launch title.

Ever since it was first seen in a B-roll movie last year at Vita's unveil in Tokyo, Gravity Rush (or Gravity Daze, as it's known in Japan) has been high on my interest list for games on the system, with Uncharted being the only other game in front of it. But you wouldn't think that this, an action effort, would come from the creator of Silent Hill and Forbidden Siren, Keiichiro Toyama.

What initially makes Rush so interesting isn't the name behind the game, but its looks. The comical, cel-shaded presentation in the demo, which is currently available on the Japanese and Hong Kong PlayStation Store, was the main hook. You can watch it on YouTube, but it doesn't do it justice. It's a vibrant mix of orange and red.

The demo starts with you playing as Kat. You don't have a clue who you are, or where you are. After finding a gravity-shifting cat in a main square, for reasons likely to be explained in the full release, you get powers that allow you to move within zero gravity. With me? Good.

To enable gravity, you need to press the R trigger, before aiming towards your destination, either using the right stick or Vita's Sixaxis controls, and pressing R. To have gravity pull you back down to earth, you press L.

We see a woman flying through the air using the same skills given to Kat by the cat. After various rushes of gravity, we see a cut-scene, in which we're introduced to this person, a black- and red-haired woman with what appears to be a crow on her shoulder. She takes off before we rescue a cop being ganged. He explains his story in a comic book reel, which can be manipulated through the Sixaxis controls and flicked through using the touch-screen.

We're interrupted by some red creaures that start invading the game-world, introducing us to Gravity Rush's combat system. On the ground, your typical kick is a mere square push, but when using gravity, combined with the Sixaxis aiming, it's a unique take on the usual fighting. It shows part of Vita's potential.

After taking out of some of those enemies, we encounter a small boss battle, an octopus-like variant of the enemies we've already encountered. Once we take out his weak points, we touch the screen when prompted and see Kat and the gravity-shifting cat combine in a cut-scene that destroys the monster for good. After that, the demo ends.

From the taster, Gravity Rush incredible art design and a vibrant world with some of the unique aspects of the Vita hardware, with the motion support a stand-out.

It's one of Vita's most anticipated launch titles, but it could also be one of this year's freshest games on any platform.

Gravity Rush launches for PlayStation Vita on February 22 in Europe and the US. It releases in Japan as Gravity Daze on February 9.

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