The biggest complaint I hear about the PSP, is the “lack of good games”. True, Nintendo DS seems to have the upper hand with releasing top selling game after top selling game, but that doesn’t mean Playstation’s games are without merit. Grand Theft Auto: Stories of Liberty City, is doing great in sales, and is getting massive recognition from gamers. But after reading up on some of the up and coming releases PSP has coming out, I caution many of you DS fans, you might be hearing a lot more about PSP titles.
Metal Gear Acid 2 is getting a fair share of hype, especially considering Metal Gear Acid 1 was almost a failure. Many people who have played the demos seem to love this take on the metal gear series. Instead of real time combat, the game is based around a turn system. But possibly the greatest twist is it’s a card game. That’s right, a card game, where your weapons, keys and techniques are based upon what cards you lay at the time. The strategy behind it all becomes very complex, since traps and unseen guards dramatically alter the outcome of your plan. But it will remain just as insane and quirky as the others in the series. I know most Collectible Card Game players will eat this up.
Probably my most anticipated PSP game coming out is Me & My Katamari. I picked up Katamari Damacy and We <3 Katamari this year, and I believe Damacy to be the best game I’ve played all year. While unfortunately your Katamari will be skipping the DS’s touch pad, Playstation has made sure they let people know how it will be used. Since the lack of two joysticks would make controlling the Katamari a bit more difficult, players will move the Katamari using the D pad and the function buttons. They’ve also added a new quick turn technique with the trigger buttons. There will be a few new songs added to the sound track of Katamari, but mostly you’ll hear the same beautiful songs from the last games. It sounds like it’s more of the same, except now you can actually compete wirelessly against up to 4 players, to build Katamaris which will be used to build tiny islands for animals.
Another game that has caught my eye is Tokobots. At first glace it seems to be a knock off of Pikmin, but diving deeper, you see a game screaming with potential. You are completing missions with the aid of a team of robots, who under your command can form bridges, helicopters, ropes, and many other helpful tools. Think Pikmin meets Mega man.
While there are many other PSP releases I could talk about, I don’t want to limp around talking about all the great titles coming out. So let’s talk about some of the PSP’s other benefits.
It is a revolutionary hand held device connecting a media function to a gaming function. You can play music, watch movies, share pictures, and play Tony Hawk’s Sk8 or Die. But probably the most interesting aspects of the PSP’s media, is the unexpected ones. Apparently the image viewer has found a new use, where you can download files on your PSP which make up anything from a virtual radio station, to a global newspaper. Companies are already releasing specific zines for the PSP, loaded with music, movie trailers, ads, and of course, information on anything from the president, to how to hack your PSP.
Speaking of hacking into your PSP, the ability to download a run virtually any application has been exploited into a way to make your PSP into an emulator. With the right downgrades here and there you can find a way to play PS1, NES, SNES, PC, Sega Genesis, and gameboy games not to mention multiple other applications.
So as far as game play goes, while Nintendo might be better on introducing innovation to the games, Playstation is doing a great job with converging games into an already growing field. Ipods and blackberries, laptops and telephone cameras, the PSP is just another addition to the day in the future when everyone has a toy that can basically do anything they could do at home. Especially with the wireless functions, I can’t really see the PSP being a failure to Sony, or to anyone who picks it up.