Before I bought the PS Vita, there was a time I had tried gaming on Android. My phone’s a decent one with a quad-core MT6582 processor at 1.7 GHz, Mali MP-450 GPU and 1 GB RAM and a 5″ IPS LED display. I love the set.
So… I tried it. I’ll list my thoughts one by one.
First up, I don’t like uh… what’s the name again… Temple Run or the likes. Same for Candy Crush, never bothered checking what it is. Simply not my cup of tea. So go away if you want me to lecture how great they are. They are simply not what I look for.
I tried a couple of racing games (one of my favourite genre) whose names I forgot (Asphalt 8 excluded). In one I had to shift the gear on time which was nice, and another was pure racing, just the type I like. But… it never clicked for me. I mean, it was fun playing it and all, but there was “something” missing that I can’t put into words. Bigger screen since I’m used to PC? Dunno. Too much management to do on a 5″ screen? No idea. As for the gear shifting one, while I love the concept, it got old fast.
Next up was another of my favourite genres: Visual Novels (or something like it. Android only has the half-mix of JRPG and VNs anyway). Most of them are region locked so I tried with Qooapp. It’s pretty awesome. Let’s see, quite a few of them. But I remember iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls, Mahouka Lost Zero, SAO something. And a few lesser known ones as Maiden Craft, Ange something (not Cross Ange) etc. But they all felt clunky.
I guess maybe these are the reasons I don’t like them:
1. Overheating and battery usage. First up, the battery of my phone is very good. Lasts 2 days even with moderate usage. And overheating does NOT happen usually. Unless I’m playing games, that is. But almost all of the above suffer from this problem a lot. My phone feels like a hot steel plate after a few minutes and it’s yucky. And… battery. I play on a 2G data connection and I go down the percentages very fast. I don’t know if it’s the hardware or the game devs throwing out things fast and forgetting about the biggest constraint of cellphones…
2. Clunky-feeling systems. Note that this is only my personal experience. But in racing games I had to keep touching some software button at the right to accelerate or something like that. Left side for brakes. For RPGs, swipe screen for sword attacks. Etc. But these felt so… clunky. It’s as if people were looking for some way to run it on a touchscreen-based hardware only. It feels so forced. And even a 5″ screen does not give enough experience. Also the sensors… I don’t like it. Tilt it in a hot moment by mistake and your car slides in a different direction. Game over.
3. Too many chefs spoil the broth. There are simply too many of them out there. Way too many. And there are gems, but they are hard to find. Most feel cheaply made by some people eager to get attention, money etc.
4. Again, this is my personal opinion, but I feel that Android, or any mobile OS, for that matter, is simply not designed for very hardcore gaming. Even with all the optimizations and all, I feel that the phone should do one thing it does well: making calls. Yeah, this is backwards thinking with IoT and all that, but I still feel cellphones should be limited to making calls, playing videos in MX Player, and some light games and chatting. That’s it. You don’t run NFS or some heavy RPG on it without expecting to have your battery drained.
That all being said, there’s one game that has survived everything I have thrown above. That’s the Love live School Idol Festival rhythm game. It’s a gem of things done right on a touchscreen hardware. Nine circles in an elliptical formation to tap on time to beats. That’s a really good design. And it doesn’t consume that much battery. I play both EN and JP versions, with JP being more. Also, Nico-nii is my waifu.
Since getting the PS Vita, I’ve been realizing this much more. It does everything right in regards to gaming. Everything. And it’s fking awesome.
Too bad we might not get any console like this thanks (no thanks) to the mobile market where things are much cheaper and less controlled. Sigh. Makes me sad to just think about it.