LittleBigPlanet 2 was what caused me to get a PS3. I’ve enjoyed other games much more than it but the idea of customizing things to your liking (within reason) just always appealed to me. When I first heard Media Molecule was making a game for a system I had blown off for “a waste of time and money”. Now I own the system and game and again all thanks to Media Molecule. Many people have blown it off as “a gimmick filled game” with all the tapping, touching, motion, etc including myself. Was it able to convince me it had something to offer besides a cheap gimmick? Let’s find out.
Tearaway is a 3D action platformer game in which you control either Iota (the male) or Atoi (the female) with one simple goal. You may notice their head looks like an envelope. The goal is to deliver the message to The You. The You is well… you. You constantly appear up in the sky with the Vita’s front facing camera as well as your finger (not really yours just a generic finger of the skin tone you decide) whenever you push things with the touch pad (which I’ll go over later). Every time it appears you are close to finally delivering the message something happens causing you to have to find another way, until you finally beat all the chapters and get the message delivered.
The controls are easy to understand. The left analog stick moves you while the right rotates the camera. The X button Jumps, Square interacts with things, Circle turns you into a ball making for quicker, but harder travel and Triangle allows you to take pictures of the world or selfies of yourself. The L and R buttons also allow you to use a vacuum. Most of these features you will need to unlock by playing through the game (including jumping) but you can go back to any level at any point if you think you missed something. There are also a lot of controls using the touch screen, touch pad and motion. They are all clearly labeled with a shiny metallic finger print pattern on anything you can use the touch screen on. This generally consists of opening presents, curtains rolls of paper for a bridge, etc. The reach touch pad areas are marked like the touch pad itself. You mainly do two things with this which are beating drums to make you jump higher and poke your finger through to manipulate things in the game such as move blocks to help Iota get to new areas. Motion generally has a little picture of a Vita Tilting and they are kind of obvious as well. I found no major issues with the controls and everything responded fine for me.
The whole game looks like an arts and crafts project. Not to say it looks like random things thrown together but someone who knows what they are doing and neatly crafted everything. In fact during the game you find completely white objects. If you take a picture of it you unlock the ability to print off instructions to make paper folds of the objects using http://tearaway.me/ and your PSN account linked to the Vita. Everything looks like it does in game. Other than that the paper look really adds to the charm of the game with things such as water looking fairly nice.
The sound isn’t all that good too be honest. What little voice acting there is is top notch and the sound effects are all fairly decent but the music is where it falls. I honestly had to go back because I couldn’t remember any songs from my playthrough. Compared to LittleBigPlanet which I still sometimes catch myself humming. Tearaway has a decent selection of music but honestly not very many good tracks.
Tearaway was one of my favourite games of 2013. The gimmicks aren’t overdone everything looks great but the sound was disappointing. I’d strongly suggest playing it and if the sounds bother you just mute the Vita and listen to your own music. Overall the game is really nice however.