Review – The Walking Dead, Season 2 (PS Vita)
The good thing about the Playstation Vita version of The Walking Dead: Season 2 being released relatively quickly this time around, is that most people haven’t had a chance to play the entire game on other consoles before this one even became available. Last time around, I had a difficult time advocating picking up the Vita release over its console and PC siblings. If anything, it would give you a reason to pick up the Vita again, which had (if you’re anything like me) been delegated to the emergency boredom bag.
I absolutely love The Walking Dead. I’d consider it to be one of my favourite games of this, and the last, console generation. When it comes to the unique visual style, score and a game that puts story front and centre, you couldn’t beat The Walking Dead. To top it off, the game was an emotional powerhouse, leaving me chomping at the bit for the next episode.
The first two episodes of The Walking Dead’s second season (on all systems) have improved on almost everything that made people fall in love with the first season. While it’s not quite the emotional roller coaster ride that the first was, it’s a worthy successor nonetheless. Refined visuals give the game an overall “cleaner” look and feel and new control options that include the Vita’s touchscreen capabilities in combination with the system’s buttons give a pretty rigid framework much more flexibility.
Despite all of the things that make the game great by itself, when it comes to the Vita version, I’m left a little disappointed. It would be great to call this the definitive version of the game, but when it suffers from the same issues as the first season, it’s not. And when Telltale releases this after the other versions with theoretically enough time to iron these wrinkles out, it’s more than a little frustrating.
Why do these problems still exist after all of this time? I’d heard murmurings somewhere that it was because of the Telltale Tool, the software that’s used to create the game is getting on in years. No offense guys, but either fix the thing, or don’t release the game on a console that can’t support the game’s framework.
That might sound a bit harsh, but hear me out.
I knew I was in trouble when on my first load of the game, installed fully to the Vita’s memory card, the sound skipped and cut out on me while it was connecting to the network. I could have chalked that up to a first-time glitch, or even just checking for new content. And I would have even gone so far as to overlook it, if that were the only technical issue there was. However, after a few minutes of gameplay, my old friend Excessive Load Times showed up on my doorstep. He showed up with his bros Stuttering Visuals, Framerate Drops and Popping Audio, and they all decided to throw a party at my place.
Don’t get me wrong here – the game is still decent. All of the things that make the other versions of the game great are still here and to be honest, The Walking Dead is still one of the more enjoyable experiences for the Vita. Get deep enough into it and you could even look past these issues, but I couldn’t.
As it stands, I can’t fully recommend this version of the game over the console or better yet, PC versions. If you’ve already got one of those, save your cash at this point for either a sale, or until Telltale gets these technical issues sorted out.