Machinarium PlayStation Vita Review!
Machinarium has finally made it's journey over to the PlayStation Vita, so how well does it play on this portable device?...
Machinarium first made it's appearance on the PC back in 2009. Since then, it has made its way to several other devices. Just recently in 2012, Machinarium made its appearance on the PlayStation 3. When it was released on the PS3 they called it, "The best version of the game." Now the PS Vita version is even better though! I found that it is almost identical to the PS3 version in many ways, but they did add some new improvements. They improved the zoom features in this version, and they also added touch capabilities.
Machinarium isn't a brand new game, but I had never gotten the chance to play this before. So for those of you who have never played Machinarium, it basically is a point and click adventure game. Machinarium is full of all sorts of puzzles and challenges to accomplish. These puzzles are anything but easy!
You play the role of a robot, this robot has no name displayed throughout the game. This adventure seeking robot discovers a group of mischievous thugs, these thugs are known as the "Black Cap Brotherhood." This cruel brotherhood plans to blow up the city tower. So you set off on a journey to help the city out and stop the plan from following through. Along the way you will help out many of the town members, and this will help you move forward in the game.
Machinarium contains no dialogue whatsoever! Nothing is spoken or written out for you to read. This game communicates through thought bubbles mostly. It is very interesting to say the least, I thought it was very effective though.
Like I said at the beginning, the PS Vita version implemented touch features. Now I am all about implementing touch features in PS Vita titles, I love to use the touch screen any chance I get. Machinarium works very well with touch features, but one thing I wasn't fond of was the back touch screen input. I found myself at times accidentally moving the cursor via the back touch pad. The back touch pad isn't for all games, and I felt that Machinarium would do much better without it.
Machinarium is very fun, it had me sucked in for hours trying to figure out puzzles. You will find yourself stuck on some puzzles, so don't be surprised when you can't figure it out. Prepare to get frustrated at some of the puzzles, you can't do them all on your own. Of course Machinarium has a solution to that. Once per area, the player can get a small hint that is shown through a picture. Machinarium also comes with a walkthrough hint which is a little more helpful. It can be accessed at any time by playing through a small minigame. Instead of using the in-game hints and and walthrough, I found myself using an online walkthrough to get through the harder points. The in-game walkthrough is very helpful and I love the fact that it's there, but I found it easier to use the internet than playing through a minigame everytime I needed some help. I personally wish the puzzles were toned down in difficulty just a little bit. I feel like it would be a little more enjoyable if it was a little easier, but not too easy! I love a good challenge.
One thing you should take note of is that Machinarium is not a game that you will be replaying through over and over. It's more of a one time playthrough. You can definitely play back through the game if you feel like it, but puzzle games just aren't the same the second way through when you know all the puzzles. I'm sure I will jump back into the game at some point though.
The graphics are very crisp and look great on the PlayStation Vita's OLED screen. The look of everything really fits the theme of the game. The audio in Machinarium is also very enjoyable. I highly suggest playing Machinarium with a nice pair of headphones on. The music and sound effects are very intriguing, they couldn't have done much better in that aspect.
Now I did have a problem when playing through the game, I got to a point in the game where I couldn't progress any further. One of the puzzles that I was on got glitched, there was no way for me to complete the puzzle at that point. After restarting the game though, I was able to get pass the part with no problems. Hopefully nobody else has any issues, that was the only bug I came across.
Machinarium does a lot of things right, and it makes a great addition to the puzzle/adventure genre. The audio and visuals all fit so well together. Machinarium is a great title to play on the go with your PlayStation Vita, though the back touch input may be bothersome at times. You may also find some of the puzzles to be frustrating at times. Overall, if you enjoy adventure games with challenging puzzles, you will love Machinarium.
+ Everything fits the theme of the game
+ Great amount of puzzles to solve
+ Looks and plays great on the Vita
- Rear touch input can be annoying
- The difficulty of some puzzles can be frustrating
A big thanks to Amanita Design for providing us with a review code for this title.