Gravity Rush Remastered Review | The Game Grinder

Gravity Rush Remastered Review | The Game Grinder


Nearly a year ago, I decided to take a chance
on a game that I thought looked pretty neat. It was a considerably affordable remaster
so why not? I didn’t know a whole lot about it, but getting
a remaster I think often times is an indication of quality. Gravity Rush Remastered sat on my shelf waiting
to be played. As more information and hype built around
the game’s upcoming sequel, I decided to finally check it out, and am I sure glad I did. Church here, and welcome to The Game Grinder. Today we’ll be reviewing Gravity Rush Remastered. Gravity Rush Remastered was developed by SCE
Studio Japan and Project Siren. One thing particularly interesting about this
is Project Siren is lead by Keiichiro Toyama, who is the writer and director of the legendary
Silent Hill as well as the Siren series. Though Gravity Rush is not a horror entry,
learning of Toyama’s involvement piqued my interest regarding the game besides what I
had seen and heard about it. Gravity Rush was originally released on the
PS Vita in 2012, and the Remastered version made it to the Playstation 4 in February of
2016. When the game starts we’re introduced to a
woman who seems to have lost her memories. She’s greeted by a bizarre looking cat, who
she names Dusty. As she tries to find her way out of the alleyway
she woke in, a man pleads for her help. A “gravity storm” has opened up and his house
with his son trapped in it are in danger of being dragged in. Suddenly the Dusty looks at her, and her world
is turned sideways.. Literally. And so the adventure begins. Gravity Rush is a third-person action-adventure
game. We play as Kat, the amnesiac “shifter” as
labeled by a newly discovered friend Syd, and titled by the townsfolk of Hekseville. The unique aspect of this game as the title
so subtly puts it, is gravity, or the manipulation of it. Though we can travel on foot, the vast majority
of the game will involve us shifting gravity to move around. Depending on the direction we’re looking as
Kat, when we shift, for her, that direction becomes the focus of gravity, so looking straight
up and shifting will cause her to fall upward. Though this effect is centralized to her,
if there happens to be any objects or people within a foot or two of her, they might be
affected as well. Besides the shifting, Kat will manipulate
objects with her gravity field, will make use of a gravity slide to quicker ground movement,
and unless a powerful gravity kick to deal with enemies. The game also includes the option to make
use of the Dualshock 4’s motion controls. Tilting and rotating the control gives some
subtle movement to the camera, but I found it mostly annoying as anytime I adjusted as
I was playing the camera would shift around, so I ended up disabling it. So I bet watching this you might think, “how
do you keep track of what’s up and down? Looks confusing!” and you’d be right! Luckily our developers have our equilibrium
in mind! Flipping gravity on a whim, shifting directions
to avoid obstacles and enemies, all while having a limited use power, it’s important
to know where the ground actually is. Check out Kat’s scarf. No matter where we are, it’ll always hang
according to actually gravity, not Kat’s gravity. This will actually be really important as
we play through the game, and is actually a really clever way to help us keep our orientation. In fact, within the games many included tutorial
notes, this is pointed out. I appreciate the immersion. Though incredibly powerful, Kat’s gravity
powers are not unlimited. We’ll be provided with the usual staples of
power-based action-adventure games, and have a health bar, gravity meter, and eventually
a indicator for when she may unleash even stronger gravity attacks. It’s a pretty solid system, and while progressing
through the game we can easily collect precious gems, which we may spend them to upgrade her
abilities allowing for stronger attacks, as well as increasing health and the gravity
gauge. Besides the fancy gravity stuff, Kat has the
basics movements, and will use a kick for basic attacks. As she searches for clues of her whereabouts,
who she is, and what these powers are, from the get go we encounter the main antagonistic
threat to this world, the Nevi. These are strange animal like creatures that
come from the gravity storms and attack the people. Throughout the entire game we’ll be dealing
with this monsters at every turn, as their invading seems to becoming increasingly more
common. From the smallest Nevi, to gigantic beasts,
we’ll make use of all of our ability to stave off the threat, and help whomever we can. Another apparent threat seems to be another
shifter who we’ll encounter early on. From talking to townsfolk, we’ll learn Raven,
who coincidentally is accompanied by a raven just like our cat Dusty, is mysteriously working
behind the scenes on something. She believes Kat to be interfering with her
plans, and will attack her when there are run ins. Along with this, there seems to be other threats
to Hekseville and it’s surrounding floating towns. And you heard right, there’s more connecting
floating neighbors. This world is a fascinating one. There’s not a lot of answers about the gravity
events surrounding everything, from the titanic pillar at the center of the world climbing
higher than we can see, and disappears into the gravity well at the bottom to the world. Cities are are connected via train systems
for the everyday civilian, but after we progress to each new area, we can freely use our gravity
powers to fall back and forth with ease. Navigation is made easy with these powers,
but also the handy dandy in-game map. Not only an aesthetically pleasing to look
at map, it’s surely a useful one. As we progress through the game, between main
story events, and even during the “free roam” times between those events, the map contains
all the information we need to get to all key locations. Setting markers is pretty spiffy, since we
can explore the heights and under sections of each town as we make our way to the next
area of interest. Besides main events, there’s a lot of side-off
activities, from lore and world building optional conversations with the people of the towns
we visit, to the side missions and challenge events. These will take up a good amount of time between
the narrative moments during game-play. Side missions are exactly as they sound. Optional missions we can participate in, and
not only get to participate in some pretty unique activities, but also unlock alternate
outfits for Kat. Each side mission is basically a job, so the
proper attire is needed. These range from a temporary job a maid, to
training as a local hooligan, to enlisting with the local military. Of course this add more life and story of
the towns we travel through, and are often pretty fun. The challenge events are exactly as they sound. These are pretty abundant and will be an easy
way to quickly accumulate some precious gems, but they themselves aren’t easy. Each will have three possible rankings to
achieve, with a cumulative reward. These will put Kat’s gravity powers, and our
ability to make use of them to the test to earn these rewards. Also, as we unlock each new challenge, Kat
actually helps to improve the conditions of the town she’s in. We’ll spend a few gems to typically re-enable
some device that makes life better for everyone. Helping out the civilians as well as completing
the main story missions will increase Kat’s rating with the people, changing her title
as she’s more appreciated along the way. I don’t know what this actually affects, but
I thought it was a fun addition and kept me determined to keep doing what I could to help
the locals. Besides some engaging and unique game-play,
Gravity Rush does some pretty interesting things with it’s story as well. Much of the main story is presented in a comic
book fashion. Each frame pops into view, and we’ll slide
to the next at our leisure making for a very enjoyable way to handle the conversations
between Kat and the people she interacts with. With that, the game is also presented in an
episodic manner with chapter titles and all. These story scenes wouldn’t be as good as
they are without the wonderful art style of Yoshiaki Yamaguchi. His character designs really appealed to me,
and the variations are character expressions used help express some extra emotion, usually
humor, into an already light-hearted experience. Kat in particular has some pretty great attention
to her expressions and character driven aspects. This leads into the other aspect of the game
that I enjoyed so immensely. The creators of Gravity Rush did an absolutely
fantastic job of finding that perfect balance of seriousness and urgency, light-hearted
humor, and a sense mystery and wonder. Although no previous memories or intentions
exist, Kat makes it quickly apparent she has a big hard, and a knack for being selfless. Though not always what she “wants” to do,
even dragging her feet at times, she does what she believes is right, even if going
against what others might try to tell her to do. Kat is a seriously fun character to play as. Another neat inclusion, is after each main
mission, when referring to the menu, we can read over Kat�s synopsis and thoughts on
the most recent events. More things that just add that much more character
and story to this game. So onto some story discussion. I’m not going into any great detail here,
but of course have some thoughts I’d like to share. I’ll be talking about some spoiler-ish things,
so if you’d like to skip ahead, click on the annotation, to skip to the time listed. Let’s move on then. The main plot of Gravity Rush revolves around
Kat trying to figure out who she is, why this cosmic cat has granted her these amazing powers,
and what’s going on with these chaotic gravity storms. Besides helping the residents of the various
towns, Kat will eventually meet the “creators”. Powerful people who seem to have a greater
impact on the world than Kat is willing to believe. One of these creators Gade, encourages Kat
to embrace her destiny, and use her powers to further aid the world. He’ll open a gravity portal to send Kat to
save missing parts of each of the towns, which have been consumed by the gravity storms. Later on in the story Kat will eventually
make her way deep below the towns in search of a letter, and seems to cross over the gravity
storms by traveling through the great pillar at the center of the world, only to a lost
town within. Of course there’s a lot of other things going
on in the story. There’s a government and military presence
that is focused on dealing with the Nevi, but at the same time there seems to be some
mysterious circumstances with these leaders and the gravity storms. Also there’s all the encounters with Raven,
and her connection to the mysterious lost children within the gravity well. And let’s not forget about the Nevi either! So overall, the story is really enjoyable. The characters are interesting and there’s
some growth as we progress through the game. One thing about the story though that I think
could turn some people off, those who might need their stories wrapped up in a neat little
package by the end, is how many of the biggest questions we have here, will not be answered. Much of what’s going on, the gravity wells,
Kat’s amnesia, the pillar, and what happens with the lost children and the ark, are not
wrapped up at all. When the game ended, I was seriously in shock,
not for a cliffhanger, but how it left off. Where were all my answers? What’s going on? In many ways it felt like they stopped right
in the middle. Now what’s interesting about this, is though
I do like neat little packages, this story is steeped in mystery, and sometimes all the
answers are not known. It’s kind of interesting how this was done. So in regards to Kat, she wakes up with no
memories. Is there a resolution to that issue? What happens when memories don’t return. You move on with your life. That’s exactly what she did. What about the gravity storms, the nevi, the
pillar? At this point anyways, there are no answers,
or at least the path to those answers hasn’t been made clear. Perhaps these will be expanded on in a sequel? With that said, there could have been some
more done with the game’s ending itself giving more of a closure to this story as a stand
alone deal. I don’t know if this was written with the
clear intention of a sequel, but it’s a pretty damn risky thing to do. With the game being so obviously influenced
by a comic book style of presentation, I’m kind of used to these sorts of ends to a story. Though there are many story arcs going on
here, after one of the larger series is resolved, though abruptly, I guess was an okay place
to stop. I will say one thing, when it did end, I only
wanted more, so maybe that was their intention. Still, it was jarring, and most of the questions
raised here are not answered at this time. I’ve already talked about much of the game’s
art direction and presentation, but there’s a few others things I wanted to hit on before
closing out this review. So overall design. I’m sure you’ve noticed by now, but the characters
have make use of cell shading, which is an art style that I really enjoy. I think it holds up pretty well over time,
and works very well with this game. This also allows some pretty neat facial animations
for our main characters, and it’s pretty often when their expressions seems spot on. The towns have plenty of detail with the architecture
making each location we visit unique to one another. The cities we visit, and especially the areas
on the other side of gravity rifts are pretty surreal at times, and I think this is pretty
neat and unique making this game world it’s own thing. Speaking of unique, during my play-through
of the game, I could swear there was a very strong “french” aesthetic to not only the
art, but the music as well. Sure enough after some research this seems
to be the intention, taking a lot of influence from a specific style of french comics. What’s funny about this is Toyama was concerned
that Kat was “too japanese” when he intended the designs to be “more appealing to audiences
outside of Japan.” There’s some limited voice acting in the game. There’s none during the comic book scenes,
but sometimes during the events as we play through, characters will shout names or sometimes
other expressions. I thought this was a nice trade off that increases
the personality of the characters with them not being fully voice acted. The civilians are actually a lot more vocal
than our main leads. Again I suspected that there seemed to be
a blend of Japanese and French language used, but after looking into this, I found that
the languages actually used is made up. Again, this just helps breathe life into the
world the game presents to us, and adds that little extra bit of immersion. Lastly then of course is the game’s soundtrack. The music was composed by Kohei Tanaka, and
looking through his credentials are pretty impressive. He’s most prominent in anime, working on scores
from series like Gundam, One-Piece, Pokemon, and even some gems I enjoy like Dragon Half
and Bastard! What I thought was really cool was only games
he composed for besides an anime tie in game were the Alundra games, which themselves are
underrated. I really enjoyed Gravity Rush’s music. Just like it’s art direction, there’s a unique
blend of horns, strings, and orchestral elements, along with some electronic themes to create
something that feels French inspired, all while being pretty unique in it’s own right. Good stuff! When I originally picked up Gravity Rush Remastered
I had no idea about the game’s sequel. It sat on my shelf for some time, but learning
of the sequel and it’s approaching release, I felt it was time to finally check it out. God damn I’m sure glad I did. Gravity Rush isn’t one of the best games ever
made, it has some shortcomings, but was an absolutely fun, and legitimately enjoyable
experience I had playing through this. Kat is an incredibly easy character to like,
the game-play is a blast once getting the gravity shifting down, the story in whimsical
and mysterious besides leaving some answers to be desired, but this is a game I’ll definitely
recommend. I really hate to use the term hidden gem,
so we’ll just go with sorely underappreciated. I am so excited to fall back into this world
and see what happens next! Thanks for checking out my review of Gravity
Rush Remastered. What were your thoughts on the game? Let me know in the comments below. If you like what you’ve seen or heard, please
give the video a like, a share, and subscribe to see future videos. I’m on Facebook and Twitter as well, and post
a lot of other great game related content there, and links are in the description. Until next time on The Game Grinder!

9 thoughts on “Gravity Rush Remastered Review | The Game Grinder

  1. Church reviews Gravity Rush Remastered for PS4

    Game Site: https://www.playstation.com/en-us/games/gravity-rush-remastered-ps4/

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  2. "How do you keep track of what's up and down? Looks confusing!" You nailed it! That's exactly what I was thinking. 😉 That scarf mechanic is very clever. I'm really surprised how much of the storyline is left unanswered though. That seems kind of disappointing.

  3. i played this one the vita and finished it pretty recently. loved it quite alot from the gameplay, the graphics, story and exporation. really good review on this game. cant wait to get the 2nd game

  4. Another great in depth review Josh. This is a game that does appeal to my personal interests as gamer but since I'm not collecting for the vita as of yet and I have to be strict about what I but for my ps4 – it'll be a while before I can give this a proper try. Once I start plowing through some of my older games than I start actively collecting for more current gen stuff. I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed this game and I look forward to playing it when I get the chance.

  5. I didn't even know the Gravity Rush games existed until I seen it in one of your older pickups videos. After looking up more footage for it I see that it's definitely a game I'd like so I added it to my list of games to get if I ever get a PS4. Awesome review as always.

  6. Great review, makes me want to play it even more than I already did and also fills me with regret for not snagging a physical copy at a sane price haha

  7. Great review! I think the gravity mechanics look quite interesting. It could definitely make for some cool puzzles. The cliffhanger would have been a disappointment to me, but at least now, we know there is a sequel to the story. That's a cool note about the music being done by the same person as Alundra, very underrated.

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