Media Molecule are a unique bunch of developers. Everything they’ve touched and made has been oozing charm and creativity since their conception. With the massive success of the LittleBigPlanet games, as well as showing off their ideas for the PlayStation Move on PlayStation 4, what can they do on the PlayStation Vita? Can the team create some more magic with Tearaway and have their ideas run thin?
See I used thin there because Tearaway is set in a papercraft world where everything from the environment to you is made out of paper. It may sound weird and may be might be limited in its scope and design but it’s safe to say that Media Molecule know exactly how to pack so much charm into anything they create.
Having the Vita and its tools at their disposal must have been both incredibly exciting and daunting as the handheld has so many little novelties and picking which features must have been hard to choose between. Well that’s what I thought until I actually played the game and realised that Media Molecule have decided to include pretty much every feature the hardware has. The most surprising thing though is that each features add so much to the experience when any other time with other developers it actually detracts from it.
The front camera is used to show you, possibly the main character of the game. You are simply referred to as a YOU and appear in the sun and the world has changed ever since you appeared in the sun. As a YOU, you have the power to enter the world using the rear touch pad. This is used to help complete puzzles as you help the messenger, called Iota, to traverse the adorable world. When you press on the rear touch pad, your finger comes through onto the screen. It may sound silly but when you are actually playing it, you can help but smile at the ideas Media Molecule have with any piece of hardware they are given.
This smile is never absent from your face for long as the game constantly brings you to new places, meet new characters, and overcome new tasks; all of which will you make smile throughout. Media Molecule managed to create a game that is very light on combat but keeps you truly invested for the length of the game.
But here comes the two negative points I have towards the game. The first one is the length. It will take most players around five hours to complete the game. However, these five hours are five hours of constant creative gameplay and more innovation than most games on the PlayStation Vita combined. It has more charm and magic than pretty much any PlayStation game to date, including their previous title, LittleBigPlanet.
The other shortcoming is actually something Media Molecule have struggle with nailing down and that’s the platforming. There isn’t a lot of precise platforming needed throughout the game but when it is needed, it truly shows the problems the aspect has. It’s not something to ruin your experience but it may make you groan just a bit but nothing serious.
One again Media Molecule have create a stunning game that is one of the only essential titles on PlayStation Vita. If you have the handheld, there is no doubt that this should be in your collection, even with the short length of the game. The British developers manage to do something that no other developers can do outside of Japan: Create Nintendo magic. It’s what’s kept Nintendo in the game for so long and it’s something no one else can seem to recreate but Media Molecule has managed to do that and I hope we may see more from this game again soon. Tearaway is a cut above the rest on the handheld.