PSP Reviews

Reviews of PlayStation Portable titles.

Title

Title: Fate/Extra
Developer: Image Epoch, Type Moon
Game Type: PSP
Download: 1.1 GB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download

EU Availability: Digital Download
PSTV Support: Yes

Anime games are a part of the gaming world that is made for anime fans.  Lots of anime series have gotten video games based on their anime or visual novels.  Sword Art Online.  Naruto.  Dragon Ball Z.  Full Metal Alchemist.  Senran Kagura.  Many of these games, however, require some past knowledge of the series it is based on.  Games like Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment remains partially confusing if you haven’t watched the anime to know what part Hollow Fragment branches off from.

Among anime games, there are also other types of games.  Some games branch off from a storyline of the anime like Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment.  Some games do a re-telling of the anime’s story, like Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z.  There are other games that are complete spin-offs, not connected to the anime in any way other than characters and cameos that appear in the game that originated in the anime, in some form.  Today, we have a review of a game like that.

Taking a look at the PSP library, there are many anime titles that are shown.  However, these mostly consist of action and fighting games.  One genre that hasn’t gotten many anime-based games is the RPG genre.  As we take a dive into the past, here is our official review of a very unique anime-based RPG, Fate/Extra!

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Title: Hexyz Force
Developer: Sting, Atlus (Publisher)
Game Type: PSP
Download: 563 MB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download

EU Availability: Digital Download
PSTV Support: Yes

Turn-based RPGs are a brand of RPGs that is more often seen as nostalgic than the normal field of gaming.  When you think of turn-based RPGs that are not Strategy RPGs, you think of the old Final Fantasy games or games like Chrono Trigger and Legend of Dragoon.  A lot of the most memorable games are those that came out 10 or more years ago, rather than games that have come out more recently.

The trend with many RPG franchises lately, is going more towards Action RPGs.  Let’s take a look at some of the more recent Vita RPGs that have released lately.  Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment.  Freedom Wars.  Child of Light.  Natural Doctrine.  Only half of those are turn-based and if you take out Strategy RPGs, that’s only Child of Light.  With the years going by, more RPGs are going into the Action RPG genre than the classic turn-based genre.

If we want something to throw back to those older titles, we can go back to the PSP library.  Sting, one of the companies whom Atlus has been known to localize games for, made a turn-based RPG not that long ago.  This game took an older formula for RPGs and brought some nostalgic gameplay with 3D visuals to the handheld market.  Being a PSP exclusive, here is our official review of the Sting RPG, Hexyz Force!

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Mimana Title

Title: Mimana Iyar Chronicle
Developer: Premier Agency, Aksys Games (Publisher)
Game Type: PSP
Download: 443 MB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download

EU Availability: Digital Download
PSTV Support: Yes

Action RPGs have been an interesting breed of game since their origination way back in the early days of gaming.  From games like Tales of Phantasia, Star Ocean, and more, they’ve brought more action-oriented gameplay to the Role-Playing Game genre for many gamers to enjoy, both being those that like RPGs and those that are interested in action games.  There have been countless franchises in this, and even other genres sparking from within, like Hunting RPGs and more.

One thing that Action RPGs have shown in recent years are new games coming that are trying to mimic other games.  Hunting RPGs, for example.  Monster Hunter showcased a certain type of RPG that spawned in a similar manner to games like Phantasy Star Online, but added some unique twists and turns.  As a result of Monster Hunter, many other franchises tried to modify the formula and make their own experience, from Soul Sacrifice to Ragnarok Odyssey to God Eater.

Another such series that has tried to be mimicked is called Tales of.  This type of game has offered 2D and 3D games, and has had many different types of games try to mimic it’s unique battle system.  In the PSP generation, this was apparent with one game from Premium Agency, the same developer who created Skies of Arcadia.  As our newest blast-from-the-past writing, here is our official review of the PSP game, Mimana Iyar Chronicle!

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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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