Hungry Giraffe Review—Same As It Ever Was
In many ways, PlayStation Mobile is something of a successor to the PlayStation Minis program. If nothing else, in spirit, something of a bridge between mobile gaming and handheld. So it’s not too surprising that a number of PlayStation Mobile games were simply Minis ported to the Vita, taking advantage of the improved hardware. Laughing Jackal ported a handful of their better titles, including this, Hungry Giraffe.
You control said giraffe, or at least his neck, trying to guide his mouth towards edible objects on the screen. As he eats food, his neck is propelled further upwards and you must move his head along certain paths of food, to keep going higher and higher up the screen. It’s actually sort of similar to Coconut Dodge (as opposed to climbing games like Crazy Climber), as there are certain patterns to the game you have to follow, though these patterns seem to occur at random.
If you miss the food, you stop moving and start falling back to Earth. You can recover from this by eating more food, but it’s tricky because the controls are reversed and sometimes you simply can’t find enough food to get you moving upwards again. Fall far enough and it is game over. There are also bad things to eat: pills that make the screen psychedelic, paint that covers up part of the screen, dumbbells that slow the head down, and anvils that stop movement entirely and knock you down. There’s really only one power-up, a helmet, which lets you shoot upwards fast when you use it by pressing the X button.
The core gameplay isn’t exactly deep, but it’s one of those things that is just plain fun. This is bolstered by an achievement system of sorts, if you are into that sort of thing. Eat so much food, use so many hard hats. Not so much skill-based, but just playing the game a lot. If you rise so far in a stage, you unlock the next stage, which has different patterns and a different background graphic.
Even with the upgraded visuals, Hungry Giraffe is not exactly a game that will wow you with graphics, but they are clear and functional. I do absolutely adore the orchestrated music that goes with the gameplay perfectly.
PlayStation Mobile is still in something of a primitive state, and this was a launch title, so none of the advantages of the platform were taken advantage of except the improved graphics. It’s buttons only, and there don’t seem to be any online features. So it’s virtually identical to the Mini. If you have that, is it worth buying this?
Well, I don’t think the Mini works on the Vita, so there is that, especially as I think the game is more fun to play with the proper analog stick of the Vita as opposed to the PSP’s nub. Feels so much smoother. It’s a little disappointing that they didn’t add anything, especially as they have apparently added stuff to the iOS version, but at the same time, at least they didn’t break anything.