Game Review: Vertigo (PSP)

Rolling out onto your PSP is a downloadable PSN game called Vertigo. It’s your typical ‘guide a sphere through a maze’ game. But is it a ball or will it make you lose your marbles? Read on to find out.

In Vertigo, you must guide your ball, or “Xorb” through precarious obstacles and mazes atop buildings, rock canyons, and other dizzying locations. Make it through all the checkpoints and goal to finish a level. There are several modes of play in Vertigo. Arcade mode has branching pathways for each stage, and you must make it to the end of each one in a given time. In Career Mode, the timer goes up from zero, and you must earn medals in each stage by passing in a given time. There are also Practice and Time Attacks modes, too. Finally there is “Xorb Bowling” where you guide your ball down a lane to knock over pins. Unfortunately, bowling isn’t as fun as it sounds since it’s hard to see and locate the pins at the end of the different stages.

You can also edit the look of your ball, and earn points to upgrade its parameters such as acceleration, traction, etc. Play control is easy to learn, but sometimes guiding your ball through the more precise obstacles can be tough with the PSP’s analog nub. Air braking with the circle button will be your best friend.

One small problem I had was the menu texts were a little small, and it was hard to see level descriptions and things. Plus, sometimes it was a little hard to know where to go to find your next checkpoint or goal. Arrows would’ve been most welcome. Probably the most frustrating thing about Vertigo is when you do fall off a ledge; the game won’t stop until you hit the bottom of the level. Even if it means bouncing off a few building and rocks on the way down. That’s just annoying. The game knows you failed anyway, why not just set you back immediately after you roll off the ledge?

At only ten bucks, Vertigo is still a fairly decent 3-D downloadable game. Plus it won’t take up too much space on your memory stick. But as for me, I’ll probably just stick to Marble Blast Ultra, Super Monkey Ball, and Marble Madness.

Kid Factor:

Vertigo is rated E for Everyone with an ESRB descriptor of Mild Fantasy Violence. But really the only thing that happens when you lose is your ball falls down and explodes in colors of light. Not very violent at all. Reading skill isn’t necessary as things are pretty easy to figure out, but younger gamers might get frustrated at the game’s difficulty.

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