PSP & ME
Unlike a new home console, a new phone, or a new anything, the reason for my admirations of the PSP is not just the mere fact that I was one of the first people to have one. Home consoles you can only play at home, new phones you can only display when you practically need use a phone. But more than the others, the PSP made me a poster child for new technology. It played music, video, and games on a screen that was beautiful sized for a mobile device. Playing with it was fun, but playing with it the day after its release was …empowering. I’m serious. At that time few knew what it was or that it had been released, so people looked at you like you like you came back from the future to give them faster than light travel or something. It was awesome!
Even though the “Newness” has worn off, Sony has created a system that is forward thinking and can receive updates like a PC or the next-gen home consoles. Most of these updates have been lame attempts to stop hackers, but some of them have added some interesting new features to the PSP adding both functionality (like the web browser) and individualistic style to each system (like themes and wallpapers).
The games for the PSP haven’t been AS revolutionary as its dual-screened competition. But they definitely have been fun, with a wide variety of genres as well as adaptations of home console and arcade games. Here are some of the titles kept me playin…
Although it was a launch title, there has yet to be a racing game on the PSP that beats Ridge Racer’s “middle of the road” goodness. It made good use of the system’s best qualities, creating a driving system that was fun for both advanced and first time players, while at the same time combining all the best cars and tracks of previous Ridge Racers.
Now I am not really a big Tekken fan but I have to acknowledge how well the arcade translation worked on the PSP. Fighting games translated to the PSP usually have a problem with performance, but the controls perform smoothly and the graphics seem as if they were hardly “dumbed down” in the PSP adaptation. Tekken 5 is definitely the best of the best in the fighting genre.
With all the Sam Fishers and Solid Snakes of the world, one would think that there isn’t room for more. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The PSP installment, “Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror”, helped to revitalize this underrated franchise. Its easy to use “snap to” targeting system, graphics and engrossing story made this a must have for any PSP owner.
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories
Another great translation on the PSP. Both graphics control and gameplay are shrunk down PSP-size without losing any of what made the game so iconic and fun. My only complaint would be that unlike the home console version, you can’t swap the game music for your own. This would have been a nice touch.
The puzzle genre may be run by the Nintendo DS now, but at the launch of the PSP, Lumines wowed many gamers into siding with Sony. With its simple concept mixed with an elaborate presentation and its entrancing soundtrack, Lumines took the popularity of past puzzle games like Tetris and brought it into the new millennium.