After my recent Assassin’s Creed binge, my wife got me a Vita so that I could play Assassin’s Creed: Liberation before AssFour comes out this holiday season.

The store had two different packages available:  One box with the console by itself, for $249.95, and one box with a memory card and Call of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified, henceforth referred to as CODBLOPS, which was also $249.95.

Now, CODBLOPS got almost universally panned on release, but I figured that it had some value and, if nothing else, free memory card.

It also let me have a game that I could use to get used to the system before jumping into AssLib.

I took a couple of evenings to play through it because, well, it did take me a little while to get used to playing an FPS on the Vita’s thumbsticks rather than with a proper mouse and keyboard, but mostly because I’m pretty terrible and managed to fail some of the missions several times.

In my defense, several of the missions, which are really little more than 5-to-10 minute shooting galleries, feature multiple fail conditions outside of the normal way one fails an FPS – getting shot until you run out of health – and the majority of my failures were caused by, oh, hostages getting shot, running out of time to get to an objective, or – in one particularly offensive case – turning around and running back up some stairs I had just run down, at which point the game admonished me for not sticking to the mission and sent me straight to the “Retry mission?” dialog.


My lack of skills aside, I thought it was an OK way to get accustomed to the system and not a HORRIBLE pack-in game, certainly not worthy of ALL the hate I’d seen leveled at it online… and then I looked up what Activision was charging for the thing, even today, and… well, seeing a price tag of 50 bucks on a game that I probably could have gone through in 90 minutes or so if I was any good at all did sort of put the hate into perspective.

It was longer than Star Wars: Battlefront: Renegade Squadron, anyway 🙂

One mechanic that I particularly liked was the way the touch screen was worked into the game.  I’m a fan of grenades (and rocket launchers) in any FPS because they let me kill things that I’m not good at shooting, and this has a neat feature where you pick up the “grenade” icon by touching it with a fingertip and dragging it to the place on the screen where you’d like the grenade to land.

I didn’t try the multiplayer out because it wanted to download a 380MB patch.  I suppose it’s possible that I am missing all sorts of fun shooting mans online, but I think I’ll make do somehow.

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