Leave it to Media Molecule to mold worlds based on papercrafts and make a charming world out of it.
I spent a good ten to fifteen minutes playing through the entirety of the LittleBigPlanet developer’s upcoming Vita platformer at Sony’s 80+ Vita showcase at E3 2013, and I can’t begin to tell you how many times I cracked a smile.
Tearaway’s story displays a neat bit of fourth wall-breaking. A message from the paper world has attempted to make its way to the player after trying to crack through to our world (via the Vita’s camera), causing a rift between both. The message falls back into the paper world and is unraveled to be the main character, whose gender is decided by the player.
So after picking the male character, Iota, I set forth on a brief journey that not only felt inspiring but showed to me the cool potentials of the Vita.
The rift from the view of the paper world happens to be a large tear where the sun used to be, and so the messenger is tasked with reaching it so he or she can link up with you, the player. The Vita’s front-facing camera is utilized in every shot of the sun to put your own face into the game, an idea as kooky as it is brilliant.
Media Molecule spares no functions on the Vita, having the player use his or her fingers on the front touch screen to open gifts strewn about the world and cut out shapes to craft a custom-made crown for an NPC to wear. One is also tasked with moving his or her fingers about on the Vita’s rear touch panel to interact with thin sheets of paper that can serve as ways to attack enemies (by “poking holes” through the paper) or tapping on drums that launch Iota into the air.
One of my favorite moments came towards the end of the demo, where Iota’s victory over a maddened group of papery critters caused the level to turn into a sort of celebration, complete with the whimsical blaring of trumpets. This music can be remixed as you run towards the end of the stage by literally spinning vinyls made out of paper found in the environment using the touch screen.
Tearaway stands out amidst a library of Vita games that could still use a slew of fresh, new titles. I’m hoping the experience is kept fresh throughout. We’ll know for sure when it moseys its way to North American on Oct. 22, 2013.