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  1. #1
    Mighty Strike-Out Slugger The Unlosing Ranger's Avatar
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    [IGN] Borderlands 2 on Vita: A Longer, More Detailed Look


    "We don't want to let anybody down."

    That's what Sony's Gio Corsi told me when he swung by IGN's office to show-off Borderlands 2 on PlayStation Vita. Corsi -- an industry veteran with experience at EA, Propaganda, LucasArts, and elsewhere -- has been tasked with bringing rogue third party games to PlayStation platforms. And though his first project was technically the excellent TowerFall: Ascension on PlayStation 4, Vita is his team's primary focus, and Borderlands 2 is their proof-of-concept that big, meaty third-party games can thrive on Sony's commercially-struggling handheld.

    "I don't want to disappoint myself, either," he later said, noting that bringing Borderlands 2 to Vita hasn't been an easy task, but that he, his team, and the guys and gals at porting studio Iron Galaxy are proud of what they've accomplished. When I played the game on the show floor of GDC some weeks back, I wasn't impressed, and representatives from Sony will be the first ones to admit that they had more refining to do. Needless to say, that refining is underway in earnest, and the new, close-to-final build of Borderlands 2 I played shows marked improvements over what I played at GDC in virtually every way.

    Borderlands 2 on Vita is a port of the PlayStation 3 iteration, and though PS3 isn't much more powerful than Vita, concessions had to be made to get Gearbox's eight and a half million-seller onto the handheld. When you play, you may notice that distant objects -- like far-off mountain ranges -- have been removed. More noticeable is the fact that defeated enemies no longer ragdoll and fall to the ground, instead exploding in a pool of blood (which frees up system resources). Enemy density has also been lessened in some areas with a huge amount of foes, but only slightly. The example given to me in this regard was that a location with 12 adversaries on PlayStation 3 might only have 10 on Vita.

    These concessions were made to make Borderlands 2 run better. Corsi noted that the game runs stably at 30 frames-per-second, though it can drop down to about 28 frames and go up to about 33. This build of the game definitely seemed to run better than the previous one I played, though there was still occasional frame stuttering, some control delay issues, and quite a bit of texture pop-in. Load times between sections of the map are excessive, though Corsi and the team at Iron Galaxy are trying to trim precious seconds off of it between now and release. But he wanted to be clear that this is a PlayStation 3 port, and not a port of the slickest version of them all: the PC release.

    PS Vita's Borderlands 2 is content complete when compared to the original release on PlayStation 3, and it even comes with six DLC packs for free. (Corsi and his team aren't opposed to bringing the rest of the DLC to the Vita version in the future, but are taking a wait-and-see approach.) Better yet, it will also speak directly to the PlayStation 3 version. The week Borderlands 2 launches on Vita, its cousin on PS3 will be patched. Thereafter, you can send your saves between Vita and PS3 (and back again) at will, and you won't have to use the PlayStation Plus cloud to do so. Borderlands 2 on Vita also has its own Trophy list, so you can earn Trophies again on Vita if you've already earned them on PS3 (and the ones you earned on one version should automatically pop on the other).

    Perhaps my biggest qualm from my time with the game at GDC was its control scheme. Vita lacks R2 and L2 buttons and clickable analog sticks, and so their respective functionality needs to be put somewhere else. The logical place to map extras, as always, is the touch screen and back touch pad. This solution isn't ideal -- especially when it comes to the back touch pad, which is finicky -- but there's nothing else that can really be done. Vita simply doesn't have the volume of buttons necessary to map things in a more traditional fashion.

    Thankfully, control-related issues can be mitigated by Borderlands 2's ability to completely remap the control scheme at will. Literally every button on the device -- including the left and right segments of both the touch screen and back touch pad -- can be made to do just about anything you want. Want to fire with a face button? Go for it. Want to throw a grenade with the back touch pad? You can do that. The granularity with which you can remap is awesome, especially because people hold their Vitas in different ways, and folks -- like me -- who tend to put their fingers all over the back of the device may have some issues.

    Then again, it's probably no coincidence that Borderlands 2 is launching in North America alongside the all-new PS Vita Slim model. That's because this new Vita cleverly truncates the real estate the back touch pad takes up, allowing you to hold it more comfortably without interfering with the game itself. The more I played Borderlands 2 on the original Vita, the more used to its control scheme (and the fashion in which you have to hold it) I became, but with PS Vita Slim, the game felt even more at home.

    Borderlands 2 launches on PlayStation Vita in North America on May 13th, though you can score it a week early if you purchase the PS Vita Slim/Borderlands 2 bundle, which is set for release on May 6th.
    Source: http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/04/...-detailed-look

    Check the source for a video. I haven't watched the video myself, but it sounds good and the screenshots don't look too bad. I've played enough Borderlands 2 that I don't care about the graphics and I just want to have it as a portable game, anyway.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Unlosing Ranger View Post

    Check the source for a video. I haven't watched the video myself, but it sounds good and the screenshots don't look too bad. I've played enough Borderlands 2 that I don't care about the graphics and I just want to have it as a portable game, anyway.
    So did you ever buy this game? I have been thinking about it but I haven't pulled the trigger just because I have so many other games I'm playing right now. If so, would you recommend it?

  3. #3
    Mighty Strike-Out Slugger The Unlosing Ranger's Avatar
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    I did buy it. It has some issues like less enemies at once in some areas, framerate issues and crashes (although they are rare for me). Loading times are rather long too. There's an upcoming patch meant to improve the game in a lot of ways.

    Other than that, it looks and plays just like Borderlands 2 on the Vita. It also includes a bunch of DLC, only 3 glaring omissions are the Digistruct Peak, Hammerlock and Tiny Tina DLCs. Everything else is there.

    I would recommend it if you want BL2 on the go and don't mind the issues too much. It's what I wanted and that is what I got.
    Last edited by The Unlosing Ranger; June 15th, 2014 at 10:41 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member jbeavis100's Avatar
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    It's interesting that they ported it but really they should have just funded a borderlands game for Vita. It's best not to adapt a console game for a handheld it usually does NOT work well..

  5. #5
    Senior Member Livvy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbeavis100 View Post
    It's interesting that they ported it but really they should have just funded a borderlands game for Vita. It's best not to adapt a console game for a handheld it usually does NOT work well..
    Agreed. They could have just made a game built from the ground up for the Vita, and it probably would have been less effort and trouble while getting more sales since it's something new.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Strykstar's Avatar
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    Do you guys think this is worth buying a Vita over?
    I'm a huge Borderlands fan, I've finished 1 and 2 on the PC, as well as all the DLC's.
    I'm wondering if it would be good enough for me to play on the way to work or if it's a shoddy port and it's still much better on PC.

  7. #7
    Mighty Strike-Out Slugger The Unlosing Ranger's Avatar
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    The port has some definite issues. Less enemies at a time than on the console/PC versions, framerate isn't that great (though still playable) and there's random crashes (though it has only crashed once for me). It would be worthwhile if you could find it cheap, it's not worth the full $40 price. I played the crap outta the game already on other systems and I've personally found the Vita version to be serviceable despite its flaws.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strykstar View Post
    Do you guys think this is worth buying a Vita over?
    I'm a huge Borderlands fan, I've finished 1 and 2 on the PC, as well as all the DLC's.
    I'm wondering if it would be good enough for me to play on the way to work or if it's a shoddy port and it's still much better on PC.
    I haven't played Borderlands 2 on Vita yet, but IMO I don't think any single game is worth buying a Vita over. Honestly if you don't like indie games or jrpg's then your probably going to regret buying a Vita at this point. The future of big western games for the Vita is looking a bit grim.

  9. #9
    Senior Member jbeavis100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strykstar View Post
    Do you guys think this is worth buying a Vita over?
    I'm a huge Borderlands fan, I've finished 1 and 2 on the PC, as well as all the DLC's.
    I'm wondering if it would be good enough for me to play on the way to work or if it's a shoddy port and it's still much better on PC.
    No, It's a crap port and it's not as good as any other version. If you want to play something on the way to work get a laptop. Vita version a shit.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Livvy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strykstar View Post
    Do you guys think this is worth buying a Vita over?
    I'm a huge Borderlands fan, I've finished 1 and 2 on the PC, as well as all the DLC's.
    I'm wondering if it would be good enough for me to play on the way to work or if it's a shoddy port and it's still much better on PC.
    No game is worth buying an entire console, nor a handheld over. Unless it's Mario Kart, or Pokemon. Then go nuts.

    Still though, if you've already played it, hell no. It's a horrible port, and you'll only be even more disappointed if you've already played the games on PC.

  11. #11
    Mighty Strike-Out Slugger The Unlosing Ranger's Avatar
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    Heh, guess I'm the only one that thinks that BL2 Vita is a serviceable port. It's flawed, sure, but it works fine for what it is... then again, really not worth buying a Vita over, unless you buy the bundle and want the Vita for indies and niche Japanese games.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Strykstar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Livvy View Post
    No game is worth buying an entire console, nor a handheld over. Unless it's Mario Kart, or Pokemon. Then go nuts.

    Still though, if you've already played it, hell no. It's a horrible port, and you'll only be even more disappointed if you've already played the games on PC.
    Guess I'll stay away from it then
    Totally agree with you on Pokemon though, that's what made get my 3DS XL

  13. #13
    Senior Member Livvy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strykstar View Post
    Guess I'll stay away from it then
    Totally agree with you on Pokemon though, that's what made get my 3DS XL
    If you want a Vita already and have lots of games you want, then go ahead. Just don't get one for this and this alone is all I'm saying.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Strykstar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Livvy View Post
    If you want a Vita already and have lots of games you want, then go ahead. Just don't get one for this and this alone is all I'm saying.
    There are a few that I want but it's hard to justify buying it since I already have a 3DS XL, this was just a good example of a kind of game that simply isn't available on the 3DS, so I was thinking that could tip the scales for me

  15. #15
    Senior Member Livvy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strykstar View Post
    There are a few that I want but it's hard to justify buying it since I already have a 3DS XL, this was just a good example of a kind of game that simply isn't available on the 3DS, so I was thinking that could tip the scales for me
    Well, what are the other games you already want? We might be able to help you decide :P

  16. #16
    Senior Member Strykstar's Avatar
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    Well I've read great things about OllieOllie, TearAway and Uncharted Golden Abyss, but like I said, I don't think they're something completely incredible that makes them console-sellers...

  17. #17
    Member Yosostupid's Avatar
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    I've bought it and played it, and it actually exceeded my expectations. The framerate isn't too bad, and there isn't any cut content as far as I can see. I like playing Borderlands 2 on the go, and I'm sure others like it too.

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    Finally. Maybe now I'll consider buying a Vita

    I've seen some gameplay vids and it looks awesome.

 

 

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