After fans have been fearing that the handheld port of the game might not be coming at all, following the launch of the game’s PS4 version, PS Vita’s version of Banner Saga is getting help from Sony. This comes as tremendous news for Vita fans, considering that the handheld has basically become a gaming console for Japanese game only, with first-party Western developers shying away from it.
The Banner Saga is a tactical turn-based RPG set in the viking age, with some fantasy-based elements added into the mix. It is a rather beautiful game due to its rotoscope aesthetic reminiscing of the old Lord Of The Rings and Hobbit cartoons. The game has a roguelike approach to the story, in a way similar to Oregon Trail, with the massive party moving across the land while the players have the task of maintaining supplies and army numbers along the way. Random events like battles and NPC encounters litter the journey, giving you specific options that alter the well-being of your war-party.
The studio behind the game, Stoic, is only made out of 4 full-time employees, making that task of creating a suitable port for the Vita extremely arduous/ This is due to the fact that the team contracted to port the game from PC to PS4, Xbox One and Vita, chose to focus extensively on the larger consoles, leaving the portable console behind. The Sony team that took up the mantle of porting the game was also responsible for the PS4 version of Street Fighter IV, so the fear that the Banner Saga port will be a disaster is no longer present.
While on the subject of indie game releases for the Vita, Mike Bithell’s Volume will be making its way to the console on January 5th. Players who have purchased the game on PS4 will be receiving a free copy of the game for the Vita as well.
Even if Volume has been facing some criticisms from various parties due to the disparity between the producer’s previous critically acclaimed Thomas Was Alone and this one, the game is still extremely fun and engaging. Gamespot even gave it an astounding 9 out of 10 score, titling it as one of the best stealth games in recent memory. The game itself is a turn-based stealth game, where you play a content creator that took up the mantle of a modern Robin Hood, stealing from major companies and giving to the people.
It is rather comforting to see Sony still giving some attention to their commonly considered dead handheld. But one must keep in mind that the Vita is not entirely dead, it still has some pretty fun games on it, even though their majority is comprised of various indies or Japanese games. If the Western market would give the Vita the attention it is receiving in Japan, the matter would be completely different, the portable gaming console even having the power of overthrowing the Nintendo DS.
Taking into account that PS Vita’s version of Banner Saga is getting help from Sony, maybe other indie games will benefit from the same attention. One of such ports could be the Binding Of Isaac Rebirth expansion, Afterbirth, which is currently facing the same problems that Banner Saga had. Our hopes, as always, remain in the hands of Sony.