Gravity Crash Ultra Review

Was you one of those that played Gravity Crash when it released on the PS3? You know, those days before Indies were mainstream. If so then you’ll hopefully remember a game that was rather challenging, yet awfully satisfying, maybe you even got the PSP port of the game. 

Well now Gravity Crash has been re-imagined, given a lick of paint and has been released for the Vita as Gravity Crash Ultra. There are a host of updates, but it essentially sticks to the same formula as the original, but just what is Gravity Crash?

Well, if you’ve played PixelJunk Shooter, you’ll get an idea of how this plays, but with a few differences that make it a worthwhile option compared to Shooter. You control a space craft and the idea is to fly around a level completing various tasks, such as saving humans, killing certain enemies, collecting a required number of gems, etc.

What Gravity Crash Ultra does really well, is instead of just focusing on the tasks in each level, it encourages you to better your score or time it has taken to beat said level. Even the very first level you play, you’ll find that once finished you are nowhere near the suggested par time. So back you go to try and do it faster, this time skipping elements such as killing the no threatening enemies that are spread across the level.

Instead you focus on collecting the gems and getting a fast time, however, your score is much lower, so you go back again, this time trying to get the highest score possible, looking for any hidden opportunities to get those few extra points. This is what Gravity Crash Ultra does exceptionally well.

You find that you will play the same level over and over as you attempt to get better and reach a ceiling of your own abilities, but still, those leaderboards are also there to tell you that it is possible to go better once more. But you’ve exhausted all possibilities right?

Well not quite, as there are options you can consider before entering a level, such as the type of ship you are using and how it controls, as well as the various special weapon types, that each have their own strengths and weaknesses. Other things that you need to be aware of are things such as an ever depleting fuel supply, which measn you can’t simply go through a level like a bull in a china shop, instead you need to be aware that if you run out of fuel, you have a dead ship on your hands and no way to progress through that particular level.

It’s not all doom and gloom with this though, as there are various objects that can be shot, which will release fuel for you to stock up, but also, how you control your ship will also determine how much fuel you use. Always on the thrusters? Then your fuel will disappear very quickly, use them sparingly and the fuel will last longer.

However, as with everything in the game, there are pros and cons to either method. Using the thrusters a lot will see the fuel deplete quicker, but you’ll get things done quicker and maybe get a faster time, be gentle on them and you’ll save fuel, but be a lot slower through the level. Again though on the flip to that, you will find you are more accurate with shooting enemies and the like.

Although the general idea of each level is very similar, where you have to reach a target objective, the variation is such that it rarely becomes boring, or a chore that you would rather not bother with. Instead it is a game that wants you to get better with each new level you play and wants you to get the most out of it. To this end the development team have done a fantastic job.

But the visuals…Oh the visuals. The retro neon look works fantastically well on the Vita’s OLED and after popping on the PSP to have a look at the original (of sorts) we was mightily impressed by just how much sharper the game looked. Not only that, it felt more alive and less static than the original did also. Playing with some headphones on meant the world outside just slowly evaporated as the game sucked us in.

Gravity Crash Ultra is just another example of a game that has found a home on the Vita and it quite simply perfectly suited to Sony’s handheld. At just less than £6 on release this is also some fantastic value for money. Buy it instantly.