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Your first look at Gravity Crash Ultra in action on PS Vita

Check out the new trailer for Just Add Water’s stunning handheld update

In late 2009, I nervously sent Just Add Water’s first PlayStation game, Gravity Crash, to Sony for submission on PS3. Back then, the indie resurgence had barely started, and the idea that our retro flashback was about to appear on a major console was scary. We had some decent innovations in there, from the easy-to-use level editor to the ability to share player-made levels via PSN.

The landscape for indie developers has changed massively since then, but the values of creativity and gameplay remain. This is what Gravity Crash stood for then, and it’s still as relevant today.

Yes, the team at JAW have been very busy with another game from a rather well-loved PlayStation franchise, Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty, but we found the time and talent to give Gravity Crash the update we really felt it deserved.

Nearly five years on, our work porting Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath to the PS Vita gave us all here a glimpse of just how amazing the hardware is and what Sony’s tools enable us to do with it. At the time, I thought: “this is where Gravity Crash belongs…” We pushed the PS Vita to its limits with the game and we wanted a name that screamed it: Gravity Crash Ultra.

What can you expect that’s new to the game? A quick glance will show that a lot has changed visually. We’ve got it running at the Vita’s native resolution at a smooth-as-butter 60 frames per second. The lighting and visual effects have been given a makeover, turning the particles up to eleven. Explosions, weapon effects, a refined graphics renderer, better lighting… the list goes on. And that’s just the visuals! Check out the trailer to see what we mean:

That’s not all, though. Much of the gameplay has been revisited. By adding a third player ship we managed to create three difficulty levels, including the anti-gravity ship for the easy difficulty. Reviewers of the original game commented on the difficulty; another throw-back to old school gaming we were keen to capture that might be too hardcore.

The interface has been tweaked to better make use of space and declutter various menus. We’ve improved the radar to make it more useful, and made the mission notification system much easier to keep track of. There’s the new logo to go with the new name, and the GUI has been redrawn to make it as crisp and touch friendly as it can be on the Vita’s beautiful OLED screen.

The excellent soundtrack created by legendary videogame music producer CoLD SToRAGE also gets a remix, giving the electronic “demo scene” sound a fresh new-car smell. You can even get the fully remixed soundtrack album along with the original. There’s also new voice-over sounds along with other audio improvements.

Of course, the mission editing and sharing features are still there, but you’ll also be able to share across to the PlayStation 3, giving you nearly five years’ worth of extra levels to play through!

You should expect to see Gravity Crash Ultra for PlayStation Vita on PlayStation Store in July. Follow JAW on Facebook or Twitter for the latest news about the game!

8 Comments
3 Author replies
smallgaffer 06 June, 2014 @ 14:44
1

Looks great.
Hoping to squeeze this onto my 8gb card!

Stewart Gilray 06 June, 2014 @ 15:33
1.1

Hey,
Thanks very much, for 90MB I’d imagine it will fit on your 8gb card ;)

It sure looks good and I’m glad to see a game like this with no slowdown (60 fps) (even sound shapes sometimes suffers from that).
Let’s see more and good work guys!

3

Bought this on PS3 – always loved these games. This is the kind of retro game I can happily get behind, because you’ve kept the same core gameplay, but have at least made an effort to do something new with the graphics. Similar kind of thing with Housemarque and Resogun.

The ‘pixel art’ style of many recent games puts me off completely.

The music to this game is stellar, though. I even bought the soundtrack from CoLD SToRAGE.

Stewart Gilray 06 June, 2014 @ 15:34
3.1

Well the music in GCU is actually the full OST version of the music, not the PS3 version.

We’ve tweaked the difficulty a lot for new players.

I bought the PS3 version in 2010, looking forward to the vita version

LieutenantFatman 06 June, 2014 @ 15:41
5

Looks like a lot of fun, definitely interested. Any chance it will have a platinum trophy to hunt down?

Stewart Gilray 06 June, 2014 @ 16:02
5.1

I’m afraid not, it’s what’s classed as a “Small Scope” title, as such it’s not eligible for a Platinum Trophy.

LieutenantFatman 06 June, 2014 @ 16:23
6

Fair enough, thought that might be the case. Thanks for the reply, will still have to give it a go anyway. Good game play mixed with a cool soundtrack is hard to say no to. :)

More vita games, I’ll take that. Cheers

LordBeloved 06 June, 2014 @ 23:23
8

Looks great! If the price is right, I’ll be getting this day one :)

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