Publisher: Dakko Dakko
Developer: Dakko Dakko
You could be forgiven for confusing Floating Cloud God Saves The Pilgrims in HD! with The HD Adventures of Rotating Octopus Character. Both are from Dakko Dakko. Both have long, vaguely Asian names. Both are former PSP Minis getting the HD upgrade treatment. Both even arrived in the North American PlayStation Store on the same day. There might be two games with more similarities out there…though I'm trying to think of any, and I'm having trouble.
There is, however, one major difference. As good as Rotating Octopus Character was, there was nothing about it that demanded it get the HD treatment. I mean, yes, I'm glad it's on the Vita, but its controls were so basic they could easily have been transferred over to any other system out there, smartphones included. By contrast, even knowing that it got its start on the PSP, I'm having a hard time imagining Floating Cloud God working on any other system.
See, it's a shmup, and it's one that demands to be played with two thumbsticks and a shoulder button. You could try and play with buttons or screen-swiping replacing those things to some extent, I guess, but I can't imagine it would work anywhere near as well as it does on the Vita.
At the same time, however, it's not such a fully-featured game that the experience would translate well to a full-on console experience. Let's be honest here: if you've played one level of Floating Cloud God Saves The Pilgrims in HD!, you've basically played them all. It's not like there's any in-depth story to follow, and even if there are boss fights and different types of enemies, you really don't have to vary your tactics up that much. While I'm sure something similar could be said of some existing console games, I can't imagine Floating Cloud God would be improved in any way if you were to play it on a PS3 instead of a PS Vita.
No, this is a game that's perfect for the Vita. The controls align exactly with the its strengths as a handheld, while its content is tailor-made for quick sessions here and there. To make it even more appealing, the game looks beautiful, its bright colours and cute designs really popping on the Vita's OLED screen. Add it all up, and you've got yourself a nice little time-waster.