PSP Reviews

Reviews of PlayStation Portable titles.

T3B

Title: The 3rd Birthday
Developer: Square Enix
Game Type: PSP
Download: 1.2 GB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download

EU Availability: Digital Download
PSTV Support: Yes

There are many franchises that didn’t seem to last very long, and got revived years later.  There aren’t a lot of franchises this has happened to, but there are some.  Doom, for example, went almost 10 years between games.  Final Doom in 1996 and Doom 3 in 2004.  That is a more well-known franchise that this happened to.  There are other franchises this happened to as well.  Some of them are even from the big company for Japanese RPGs, Square Enix.

Back in the days of the original PlayStation, Square Enix, then called Squaresoft, developed a cross between Survival Horror and RPGs called Parasite Eve.  These were essentially called “Resident Evil with a touch of Final Fantasy”, offering a horror game with RPG elements.  The series lasted two games and dropped off the face of the Earth, or so gamers thought.  10 years after the release of Parasite Eve 2, Square Enix released a sequel.

Every time one of these franchises gets revived, it’s a surprise.  After all, when 10 years goes by and there isn’t a sequel to a game, the series is considered halted.  However, every so often, companies pull some tricks out of their sleeves and continue old franchises, although most of these are reboots rather than sequels.  As we dive into one of these revivals, here is our official review of what is considered Parasite Eve 3, the PSP title, The 3rd Birthday!

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Lord Title

Title: Lord of Arcana
Developer: Access Games, Square Enix (Publisher)
Game Type: PlayStation Portable
Download: 656 MB
NA Availability: Digital Download | Direct Download
EU Availability: Digital Download | Direct Download

Hunting RPGs are a growing trend with handheld systems.  They have also gone by many names.  Raiding Games.  Hunting Games.  Or, just in the mix of Action RPGs.  There are many different types of these that even the Vita can play.  God Eater.  Soul Sacrifice.  Ragnarok Odyssey.  Monster Hunter.  There are many different franchises for this and they keep growing larger as the years go by.  Even the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation 4 are getting them.

Among all of the Hunting RPGs, though, there are some things that some RPG fans feel are missing.  Many of the Hunting RPGs don’t feel quite like standard RPGs.  Many RPG fans have wanted other things available to these games.  Like the ability to increase your stats by gaining experience rather than just by clearing chapters.  Leveling systems and the ability to use weapons as well as magic.

As we dive into another Hunting RPG franchise, we go back into the PSP library.  Among all of the franchises, only one has come from a game company known for RPGs.  Today we dive into a game done by none other than Square Enix, the company behind the Final Fantasy franchise.  While they are working on a new Hunting RPG in the Final Fantasy universe, today we are going into their first try at this genre.  Here is our official review of Lord of Arcana!

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AC Title

Title: Ace Combat: Joint Assault
Developer: Access Games, Namco Bandai (Publisher)
Game Type: PlayStation Portable
Download: 1.3 GB
NA Availability: Digital Download | Direct Download
EU Availability: Digital Download | Direct Download

Air Simulation games have been around for quite some time.  However, have you ever thought about how many of those have turned into ongoing franchises?  You could probably name a couple, but not many.  In recent days, there aren’t that many plane-based franchises that have lasted more than a couple games.  There has been Warhawk before, from Sony, but how many games has it really had?  Not that many.

Among all of the hit-and-miss aerial combat games that this reviewer has seen, there has only been a single series that has lasted a decent amount of time.  This series is actually still going, having seen more than a dozen game since the PlayStation era.  Having spanned the world of Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, and even the portable console world, the top dog of the air simulation and combat genre is none other than Ace Combat.

Ace Combat has been progressing and expanding since the first PlayStation console, and has had several games in the handheld scene, spanning the PlayStation Portable, Nintendo 3DS, and iOS alike.  Having gotten two games on the PSP, the Ace Combat series is playable on the PlayStation Vita.  Having originally released back in 2010, here is our official review of the PSP combat flight game, Ace Combat: Joint Assault!

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SW Title 2

 

Title: Star Wars Battlefront II
Developer: Lucas Arts
Game Type: PlayStation Portable
Download: 668 MB
NA Availability: Digital Download | PS3 Transfer Required
EU Availability: Digital Download | Direct Download

There are many different types of games that have yet to come to the current generation of handheld consoles.  If you look back on the history of gaming, there are lots of games that came out in the last generation.  Many of these game types or franchises haven’t come to this generation, as of yet.  There are many different types of games that fit this description.  However, one franchise that stands out to me that haven’t crossed over to this new generation is Star Wars.

Star Wars is a series that has been getting video games since the NES era.  It has games based off movies.  It has games based off the TV series.  It even has multiple of its own video game-specific series, like Knights of the Old Republic, Jedi Knight, Battlefront, and more.  However, many of these games haven’t been seen, as of late.  Particularly missing is the inclusion of a new Battlefront game in this generation.  Battlefront III is supposedly being worked on, but nothing new has come out on handhelds, as of late, other than a pinball game and a variation of Angry Birds.

If we want to play Star Wars games, we need to look to backwards-compatible titles.  As far as the Vita is concerned, the PSP had multiple Star Wars games.  However, only one of those games is able to be downloaded directly to the Vita, which is LEGO Star Wars III.  There are others, though, if you have a PS3 for the workaround method.  As we dive into the beef of the PSP Star Wars library, here is our official review of the PSP’s first games in the series, Star Wars Battlefront II!

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Title: Silent Hill: Shattered Memories
Developer: Konami
Game Type: PlayStation Portable
Download: 760 MB
NA Availability: Digital Download | PS3 Transfer Required
EU Availability: Currently Unavailable

The horror genre has been changing, over the years.  From back in the 1990s, there have been two major gaming franchises that people go to for horror: Resident Evil and Silent Hill.  These two franchises offered some very unique horror experiences for gamers, from the jump scares of a zombie bursting in the window in Resident Evil 2 to the creepy atmosphere or wandering through the foggy streets of Silent Hill.

As the years have gone by, both of these franchises have changed and evolved.  While they both started as very “Tank” type horror games, they’ve been experimenting with different genres.  Many of the recent Resident Evil games, for example, have played a lot like Third Person Shooters/Action games with horror elements thrown into the mix.  Silent Hill, however, has gone through a lot of changes in the past few years.

Back about five years ago, Konami announced that they were making a “re-imagining” of the first Silent Hill that would focus more on the psychological elements of the series than the combat elements.  What came out of that was a game that played very much different from all of the Silent Hill games before it.  Having released on the Wii, PS2, and PSP, here is our official review of the psychological horror game, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories!

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sega 1

 

Title: Sega Genesis Collection
Developer: Sega
Game Type: PlayStation Portable
Download: 724 MB
NA Availability: Digital Download | PS3 Transfer Required
EU Availability: Digital Download | Direct Download

Game Collections have been a very big trend in the past several years.  We have seen what are called “HD Remaster” collections and more for various series.  If you take a look back, there are collections for Silent Hill, Dragon Ball Z, Devil May Cry, Final Fantasy, God of War, and more.  There are even HD Collections happening for last-gen games for consoles like the PS4 and Xbox One.

Though if you look back, game collections had happened before.  Not in the same way, but they did happen.  Previous collections, say, in the PSP/PS2 era, were actually bigger than the ones that are coming out right now.  Some collections not only offered games, but offered a huge number of games.  They weren’t up to the level of PS2 games like today’s collections are, but they offered a lot of content.

Thinking back to the PSP generation, there are such collections that can be played on the PS Vita.  One game to offer hundreds of hours of content are available, if you have the right tools.  One such collection just wouldn’t make a PSP library complete without it.  Here is our official review of the PSP title, Sega Genesis Collection!

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Title: Silent Hill: Origins
Developer: Konami, Climax Studios
Game Type: PlayStation Portable
Download: 724 MB
NA Availability: Digital Download | PS3 Transfer Required
EU Availability: Currently Unavailable

Survival Horror is a genre of games that some think is a dying breed of games.  The horror genre has been around for a long time, though many of the horror franchises have strayed from the roots of the series.  Resident Evil is a good example of this.  Since Resident Evil 4, the series has strayed and has adopted more of a Third-Person Shooter style of gameplay, rather than primarily being a horror game filled with jumpy scares and limited saves and ammo.

From back in the days of the PS1 and PS2, there were two major franchises of horror games.  One was Resident Evil.  The other was Silent Hill, bringing a more psychological horror element into the games.  Silent Hill was known not only for jump scares, but creepy, dark environments that made your heart pound, worrying you about what may be lurking around the next corner, just waiting to freak you out.  Silent Hill has strayed as well, testing out some different genres with their newer games.

However, the PS Vita has access to one fairly recent Silent Hill game that kept true to the older games of the series, with the creepy atmospheres, and the scares that the series is well-known for.  While it may not be on the same level as games like Silent Hill 2, handheld gaming did get its own Silent Hill entry.  Connected to the original Silent Hill, here is our official review of the PSP game, Silent Hill: Origins.

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TR 4 Title

Title: Tomb Raider: Anniversary
Developer: Eidos Interactive
Game Type: PlayStation Portable
Download: 1.1 GB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download | PS3 Transfer Required

EU Availability: Digital Download | Direct Download

Tomb Raider has seen a lot of change, lately, in its series.  After the end of the trilogy of Anniversary, Legend, and Underworld, the developers wanted to try some different things with Tomb Raider.  The first thing they tried was to put Lara Croft in a series of her own.  Not a series by the name of Tomb Raider, by simple with Lara Croft’s name.  That resulted in Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light.  It was a different take on it, for sure, and then they completely rebooted Tomb Raider, incorporating more elements used in games like Uncharted to bring the series to be more modern.

However, handhelds have missed out on the new games.  Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light had an iOS version, but the new games have never reached out to handheld systems.  This has not always been the case, though.  Up until Tomb Raider: Underworld, there were handheld versions of Tomb Raider games.  Even back in the days of the Game Boy Color, there were Tomb Raider games, though those played very differently from the Tomb Raiders we have known and loved over the years.

In the last generation, Tomb Raider crossed platforms onto the PSP with Tomb Raider: Legend.  This “reboot” of sorts revamped what Tomb Raider was, greatly increasing the fun in the game with adding a lot of story elements as well as more user-friendly controls.  However, it didn’t run well on the PSP.  Later on, though, there was also a PSP version made of another game.  Being a remake of the original Tomb Raider, here is our official review of Tomb Raider: Anniversary!

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lego title

Title: LEGO Batman: The Videogame
Developer: Warner Bros. Interactive
Game Type: PlayStation Portable
Download: 555 MB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download | Direct Download

EU Availability: Digital Download | Direct Download

There are a great many LEGO games that are out there to be played on every game console around.  The PlayStation Vita has a bit of an increased library, as it can play games that not only have come to its own library, as well as playing games from the PlayStation Portable’s library.  In actuality, the PS Vita has access to more than 12 different games across both libraries, from the older games like LEGO Batman to newer games like The LEGO Movie Videogame.

We have reviewed many of these games on our site, and we have shown that there is a big difference between handheld LEGO games and their console counterparts.  The PS Vita and Nintendo 3DS games play quite differently from the home console versions, though this wasn’t always the case.  Back in the PSP era, these games started very much like their console versions, though this soon changed as more games came out on it.

One such game is available to the PS Vita in the PSP section of the PlayStation Network Store.  Taking us way back to when the series was new and growing, the PSP was able to explore the streets of Gotham City in style.  Here is our official review of the PSP title, LEGO Batman: The Videogame.

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ac title

Title: Assassin’s Creed: Bloodlines
Developer: Ubisoft, Griptonite
Game Type: PlayStation Portable
Download: 592 MB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download | Direct Download

EU Availability: Digital Download | Direct Download

Ever since the last generations of handhelds, developers have been making games that take big franchise names and throwing them into the handheld market.  Many of these games are also canon with their own stories, and some of them are spin-off games that don’t have anything to do with the canon storylines for their franchises.  Both the Nintendo DS and the Sony PlayStation Portable did this, and they are still doing this with games on the Nintendo 3DS and the PlayStation Vita.

Such franchises back in the last generation were both first party titles and third party titles.  Franchises like God of War, The Legend of Zelda, Gran Turismo, Final Fantasy, Silent Hill, and others.  Games like Silent Hill: Origins, The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, and God of War: Chains of Olympus brought console-quality franchises and gameplay to handheld games, allowing you to take the fun gameplay anywhere you wanted.

Many franchises jumped into this trend, from older franchises to newer ones.  Ubisoft had thought of this as well, bringing their Assassin’s Creed franchise portable.  While their first outings on the Nintendo DS and Mobile were very limited on gameplay, offering 2D gameplay instead of console-quality gameplay, they developed a game for the Sony PSP which gave players the opportunity to not only see the current star of the series in action, but also played like the console games.  Here is our official review of the PSP title, Assassin’s Creed: Bloodlines.

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