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Game of the Year 2012 - Handheld

Portable playtime.


Our Handheld Game of the Year 2012 is Gravity Rush by Sony’s Japan Studio. This action RPG was hotly anticipated during the PlayStation Vita’s early, slightly barren days. With a unique gameplay mechanic that played around with gravity itself, and a striking visual style, it was a breath of fresh air when it finally made its way west in June.

Gravity Rush made good use of the Vita’s peculiar control methods, with targeting possible via the tilt controls. It was directed by Keiichiro Toyama, who is best known for his work on the Silent Hill and Siren games but Gravity Rush had more of a kitsch comic-book sci-fi feel to it that matched that pseudo-cel-shaded visual style perfectly.

This category was one of our closest, with both Gravity Rush and second placed Uncharted: Golden Abyss receiving the same score of 12 in our weighted voting system. Gravity Rush won by virtue of receiving more first preference votes than Golden Abyss (3-2). MotorStorm RC, a game which cost a fraction of the price of most others in this category, was very close behind in third place.

Here’s the chart showing our top five in relation to each other.

And here’s the league table showing each game in this category which received at least one vote.

  1. Gravity Rush
  2. Uncharted: Golden Abyss
  3. MotorStorm RC
  4. LittleBigPlanet Vita
  5. PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale
  6. Velocity
  7. Rayman: Origins
  8. WipEout 2048
  9. Assassin’s Creed: Liberation
  10. MGS Snake Eater 3D
  11. Everybody’s Golf
  12. Pokemon Black & White 2
  13. When Vikings Attack!
  14. New Super Mario Bros 2
  15. NfS: Most Wanted
  1. Bambo_19
    Since: Dec 2011

    IV just started Gravity Rush and I absolutely love it!

    Comment posted on 22/12/2012 at 15:05.
  2. Erroneus
    Wanted "Trophy Hunter" but was too late.
    Since: May 2009

    Damn, now I feel really guilty for not finding the time to play my copy of Gravity Rush :|

    Comment posted on 22/12/2012 at 15:07.
    • Kennykazey
      Since: Mar 2010

      Tell me about it…. I have done a few hours though. And it’s great, but personally I think LBP edged it.

      Comment posted on 22/12/2012 at 15:26.
  3. Carl
    Since: Jan 2009

    Damn, that’s close. Well deserved by Gravity Rush, though

    Comment posted on 22/12/2012 at 15:21.
  4. butcherknife
    Since: May 2012

    Sound Shapes didn’t even make the list? That seems a bit odd.

    Comment posted on 22/12/2012 at 15:30.
  5. TSBonyman
    Since: Dec 2009

    Wow, i didn’t find Gravity Rush appealing in the slightest. Uncharted and LBP are awesome though!

    Comment posted on 22/12/2012 at 15:58.
    • avengerrr
      Since: Oct 2012

      I would be inclined to say LBP too but I myself was happy to have something unique in GR (the only project with original IP I believe on the list above). I’m still pining for a JRPG though.

      Comment posted on 22/12/2012 at 17:15.
    • Peter Chapman
      Team TSA: Editor
      Since: Forever

      yeah, I wasn’t really keen on it either. That’s the problem with putting it out to vote, though – it’d just be much better if I could decide for myself and call that Game of the Year ;)

      Comment posted on 22/12/2012 at 20:44.
      • TSBonyman
        Since: Dec 2009

        Yeah, it’s a shame a vote has to involve other people’s opinions.. :D

        Comment posted on 23/12/2012 at 11:12.
    • Origami Killer
      Since: May 2010

      I haven’t played enough of Gravity Rush yet to give a full verdict but I don’t really like it’s art style. I was also not very impressed with LBP as it has lost it’s originality for me. Uncharted was great but there was nothing to pull me back to play it again.

      Personally Rayman and MGS HD have been my favorite games on the Vita this year. I can’t talk for 3DS as I dont have one.

      Comment posted on 22/12/2012 at 21:52.
  6. avengerrr
    Since: Oct 2012

    It is a tight balance between Uncharted and Gravity Rush though. Both are excellent games in their own right, although possibly the fact that GR offered some DLC helped a bit. I’m still playing through it and it has surprising amount of variety, I hope what is to come is good, by my calculation there is a hell of a lot to get through so I hope that is the case.

    Comment posted on 22/12/2012 at 17:11.
  7. McProley
    Since: Aug 2011

    I absolutely adored Gravity Rush so its nice to see it getting some love. I can understand its not everyones cup teah though, but for some people tio call it rubbish is a bit unfair I think

    Comment posted on 22/12/2012 at 17:50.
  8. dave87fez
    Since: May 2011

    Got the platinum for Gravity Rush about a week ago, and though it’s not my usual cup of tea, I’d say this award is well deserved. I did love Uncharted and LBP too though; my head may have exploded if I’d had to choose between the three of them!

    Motorstorm RC seems something of an enigma to me. It seems half the people who mention it trash it, and then it nearly gets the TSA handheld game of the year award!

    Comment posted on 22/12/2012 at 18:21.
  9. colmshan1990
    Since: Apr 2009


    This is a tough category- I’d probably go for Little Big Planet myself, ahead of Wipeout, Metal Gear Solid 2, Uncharted, Gravity Rush and Soundshapes. Motorstorm, Lumines,
    UMvC3 and Rayman were also fantastic, it’s a really hard to call category!

    Oh, and who voted for Snake Eater 3D over the MGS HD Collection? :P

    Comment posted on 22/12/2012 at 19:10.
  10. The Lone Steven
    Never heard of him.
    Since: May 2010

    Playing with my penis didn’t win handheld of the year!? I am shocked and appalled. *gets booed by the entire internet for that rubbish joke* I’ll grab my coat. :P

    It seems that Sony has put out more quailty titles then Ninty which is surprising. That said, i can’t remeber the last time the staff spoke about a 3DS game that they think should be a GOTY contender. Have to admit that i’m a little bit surprised by the lack of any of the MGS HD games but considering that most Vita owners on the site also own a PS3 it’s no wonder it didn’t get nominated. Wonder if a Vita game winning handheld of the year will be the case on other sites that have handheld awards? I actually thought Gravity Rush was a space combat sim in the arcade style of the 90s. :O

    Comment posted on 22/12/2012 at 19:29.

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