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Medieval Defenders review for PS Vita


Platform: PS Vita
Publisher: 8Floor Ltd
Developer: 8Floor Ltd
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

As I said just a few months ago when writing about Fieldrunners 2, the list of good tower defense games on the Vita is disappointingly short. For every game that’s worthwhile (i.e. Plants vs Zombies, the aforementioned Fieldrunners 2), it seems like there are two or three that aren’t (see: Krinkle Krusher, Day D Tower Rush, Fort Defense, Fort Defense North, etc.). Considering the how well the genre has shown itself to work on mobile devices, you might have figured that the Vita would at least get a few strong ports out of that — but, obviously, you’d be wrong.

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Surprisingly, you’d also be wrong if you figured that Medieval Defenders would follow that trend. It’d be understandable to expect, of course. After all, developers 8Floor have been behind many of those mediocre tower defense games, so their track record isn’t exactly sterling in this regard. Impressively, though, they seem to have learned from their past mistakes, and figured out how to make a tower defense game for the Vita that doesn’t suck.

Admittedly, they did this by making one that’s about as standard as they come. If you were to picture a tower defense game in your head, you’d probably imagine something like this: a couple of different weapons, a couple of winding routes, and that’s about it. That, more or less, is what you get with Medieval Defenders — just add some vaguely ren faire-sounding music, and you’re done.

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So what sets this apart from 8Floor’s previous efforts? In a nutshell: the presentation. Where their previous games featured annoyingly small text and even more annoyingly small areas in which to place your towers, this time around they’ve wisely done away with most of the text, and made it so that the game is much more responsive to your finger taps.

In other words, it’s not something that’s going to blow you away or change how you look at tower defense games. Medieval Defenders is just a solidly-made game that does what it has to — no more, no less. But considering how lacklustre the genre has been so far on the Vita, sometimes solidly-made goes a very long way.

Grade: B