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  • Pete Davison 5:59 pm on June 18, 2012 Permalink |
    Tags: FuturLab, PlayStation minis, , PSP, , Vita   

    Velocity (PS3, PSP, Vita) — Review 

    Pete kicks it old-school with this great shmup from the PlayStation Minis catalogue.

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    • unmanneddrone 11:52 am on June 26, 2012 Permalink

      You were not joking about the glory that is Velocity, Pete. Good find. Hideously intuitive, which is a great aspect. That Vita analog stick makes for fantastic arcade-style controlling.

  • Pete Davison 9:50 pm on June 1, 2012 Permalink |
    Tags: , PlayStation Network, PlayStation Portable, PSP,   

    Corpse Party (PSP) — Review 

    Pete Davison spends some time with the ghosts and tries not to cack himself.

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    • asatiir 10:51 pm on June 1, 2012 Permalink

      The game was quite excellent, I wasn’t able to beat it without the use of a walkthrough. While I usually would just give up when games did that to me, the story did keep me going, and even with walkthrough, that did not take away any of the haunting horror that this game had.

      I really loved this game.

    • Pete Davison 11:12 pm on June 1, 2012 Permalink

      @asatiir I was very fond of the fact that the “bad endings” were mini-stories in their own right. Some of them went on for a very long time — and at least a couple of them lull you into a false sense of security, making you think that you’ve nailed it… only to dash your hopes against the rocks in a rather bloody manner.

      An excellent game. I really hope we see more.

    • asatiir 7:11 am on June 2, 2012 Permalink

      Yes but you would spend like 20-30 minutes into the game with the bad ending activated. I’m a fan of consequence in video games but to find out you were “wrong” in your decision far beyond retrying can be irritating at some points, especially in the later and longer chapters.

    • pepperized 4:11 pm on June 18, 2012 Permalink

      Hmm, somewhat reminds me of the When They Cry game, although I never played it. This has sparked my interest but I don’t own a vita yet.

  • RedSwirl 5:04 pm on May 3, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: Crush, , PSP   

    @unmanneddrone Yeah I tried a demo of that a while back, and it was a bit too deep for the little amount of time I had then. It definitely felt worth checking out though for someone who wants a different kind of arena combat game and has the time to divert to something that deep.

    On the subject of underrated PSP games, have I ever mentioned Crush here? A 3DS version also just came out.

  • unmanneddrone 4:37 am on May 3, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , PSP   

    Alright, the time is now. It’s Golden Week here, so public holidays abound. Here’s a quick rundown of a great little PSP game I’ve been loving over the last few weeks. Behold:


    Gladiator Begins

    Coming from the folks behind Tenchu and Way of the Samurai, GB is essentially an arena-based technical action RPG. Starting as a lowly slave in a respectable ludus, you’ve got to fight your way into the hearts of the crowds, the minds of nobility and the purses of patrons. The mob will come to know your combat style, expect an exciting showcase of violence and creativity – they will applaud your artistry or admonish your lack of imagination. You must carve through the regional arenas; putting blade to the dull and unskilled, impress the various lanistas and ladies, build a reputation of reliability and prowess. Soon, you will be performing in Rome, the very heart and height of civilisation will bay for the rending of flesh and the felling of giants. You will salvage, forge, refine and purchase weapons, helms and armour. You will accumulate skills and incept attacks the very likes of which will cause men to roar in delight and women to moan in ecstasy.

    Fellows, it might not seem like much to look at, but GB is a deep and deliciously rewarding game. It’s quite possibly – and I say this simply from inferring the Squad chatter – a Demon’s Souls-esque experience in that the combat, the meat and potatoes, is not particularly flashy, but remarkably complex. There are a huge number of weapons and weapon types, each with various statistics and attributes. Armour is also accounted for in great number and historical accuracy. Parrying plays a huge part in combat, a facet that is crucial to tackling the hideously powerful gladiators that start popping up when you gain a little notoriety.

    Mixing the combat up with selectable skills is excellent and really drives home how player-driven the combo system is. Chaining together a variety of normal and heavy attacks, then into a skill attack is tasty. And the crowd loves it. The crowd aspect is what nets you a lot of XP and gold at the end of a round, so if you offer up a miserably pedestrian spectacle, they’ll deem the fight “unmemorable” or “lacking in zest”. This outcome is the product of combat variety or lack thereof, good finishing moves, reaching the crowd expectation meter etc. etc.

    While a little more restrained than Capcom’s Shadow of Rome – lacking in the option for dismemberment – GB is effortlessly excellent. Especially when you’ve trying to deal with nobility. Getting the attention of the nobles, doing their bidding, perhaps even throwing fights etc., is only part of building up your notoriety and prestige. Once you’ve gained the patronage of a particular noble, it opens up a specific quest line of sorts. There are still normal fights you can participate in, and you still operate under the same ludus, but it’s more a series of sporadic yet specific games against other nobles’ gladiators.

    It’s rich, it controls very well and the combat is glorious.

    The downside? Well, it’s on PSP, although the predecessor, Colosseum: Road to Freedom, was on PS2 and included animal fights and whatnot. It really is just an arena fighting game when you get down to it, but it’s so detailed and nuanced that every battle is so different to the last. It looks good on the Vita, too.

    If you’ve the hardware for it, the game is on the US PSN for 9.99, and that’s a steal.

    Oh, and a tip for any pundit dipping in? Don’t do what every single goddamn reviewer did and not turn the auto-combo option off. If you want to feel complete combat control, make it manual. If you want an awkward adventure in mistiming and wonky stamina management – hands free – keep it on. Idiots.

  • RedSwirl 1:48 pm on September 22, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: PSP   

    @scribl Uhhh. Out of all those games I’ve actually only played a little bit of FF Tactics and maybe half of Peace Walker. I just heard that the other ones were good but honestly couldn’t tell you which one to pick.

    You can go ahead and get this superior version of FFT if you don’t wanna wait for the iOS version Square Enix announced. Peace Walker is honestly shaping up to be one of the best PSP games for me – the staff management and weapons development alone has been a drivnig force for the game.

  • unmanneddrone 6:01 am on September 22, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , PSP   

    @scribl My recommendation would be Metal Gear Acid 2. Nothing else comes close for uniqueness and mechanics. Everything else feels like a bit of a grind, including the classics, in comparison. My pick, at least.

    @RedSwirl Yeah, K&L2 – despite running on an engine that isn’t cutting edge – has some of the most beautiful filters over the top…my hope is that they take their time with a third, revel back with Hitman 5 (which will be damn awesome) and keep working on what they do best – mood and architecture. The way K&L2 ends certainly could lead to any number of wild situations in the third.

  • scribl 5:40 am on September 22, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: PSP   

    Hey Red, of all those PSP SRPGs you mentioned, which one would you recommend over all of them?

  • RedSwirl 10:37 pm on September 17, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: PSP   

    More PSP Games: Oh, well since you are into SPRGs, here’s the selection on PSP.
    Valkyria Chronicles II
    Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions (coming soon to iOS)
    Jeanne d’Arc
    Tactics Ogre Remake (based on the PS1 game, coming Soon)
    Disgaea 2
    Knights of the Nightmare (Coming in November, comes with free copy of Yggdra Union, even if you buy it digitally)

    Also, every Metal Gear game on the PSP includes heavy strategy elements. The Ac!d games are basically turn-based strategy games from what I’ve heard. Peace Walker’s micromanagement feels ripped straight from the clan management in FFTactics.

    Lastly, right now Maverick Hunter X (a PSP remake of the first Mega Man X) is on sale for $10 on the PlayStation Store.

  • scribl 9:07 pm on September 17, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: PSP   

    I’ve loved strategy RPGs since the day I rented Tactics Ogre (N64) on a whim years and years ago.

    I’m not really interested in Peace Walker, but my brother is, so I’ll end up playing it eventually. Any of you guys play MGS Acid? I heard you can just go straight to the second one.

    Other games I’m looking at:

    Mega Man Powered Up
    Half-Minute Hero
    Holy Invasion Of Privacy, Badman! What Did I Do To Deserve This?
    and maybe a Wipeout game

  • scribl 8:52 pm on September 17, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: PSP   

    Oh, I forgot to mention, the PSP doesn’t like my school network. It refuses to connect. I’ll probably have to download everything through my PS3 (assuming I can get that running on my school network — haven’t tried yet).

  • RedSwirl 7:49 pm on September 17, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: PSP   

    @Scril Just so you know, there’s eventually going to be an iOS version of Final Fantasy Tacics based on the PSP port.

    @Beige I’ll see if I can compile and upload the new thing tonight.

  • RedSwirl 6:11 pm on September 17, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: PSP   

    @Scribl Nah, other than memory sticks there really aren’t any essential PSP accessories. Any Memory Stick Pro Duo will work. I went for a 16 because I prioritize the PlayStation Store when getting new releases. I just don’t like to mess around with a bunch of discs for a portable system anymore.

    The PSP Management desktop program – Media Go, is Windows-only. I haven’t heard anything about it and Bootcamp but Media Go isn’t really necessary at all. I barely use it. It’s mostly just a desktop method with which to buy digital PSP content and sync it to your system. If you own a PS3 though that works just as well, and the PSP can directly access the PlayStation Store. Media Go’s only other real use for me has been backing up data, which you can technically do just as well by just exploring the memory stick when you have the PSP (or just the stick itself) hooked up through USB.

    MGS Peace Walker – Not for everyone but I’m enjoying it a lot.
    Crush – Most underrated current gen game if you ask me.
    Every Extend Extra – If you’re into a Mizoguchi Shmup.
    Gunpey – Unique puzzle game, also Mizoguchi.
    Lumines – Definitely.

    There’s also a pretty beefy selection of Strategy RPGs on the platform if you’re into that.

  • scribl 5:15 pm on September 17, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: PSP   

    So, I just got a PSP, and I’m sort of at a loss. Already, I can see I’m going to need to go buy a memory stick (thanks Sony). Basically, the only things in the box are the PSP and a charge cable. Anything else that’s missing from the base package?

    Memory sticks: Can I only use a Sony brand? Are 4 or 8 GBs enough if I’m going to be downloading games? Or should I spring for 16?

    I’ve already got a decent idea of games I want, but feel free to suggest some favorites. I’m not really interested in any ports or spin-offs from PS2/3 franchises.

    Oh, and am I going to have compatibility issues with my Macbook? I have Win7 on Boot Camp, so that wouldn’t be too annoying.

  • unmanneddrone 1:46 pm on July 11, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , , , PSP,   

    @tolkoto @beige Great work on the recent EBP, guys. Always an enjoyable listen to come home to. I gotta say, though…one of the PSP’s strongest genres is racing! From Ridge Racer to WipEout, decent to great portable versions of the Midnight Club games, a very ambitious and enjoyable Test Drive Unlimited version, the TOCA games, Bugbear doing a very competent SEGA Rally Revo on the machine…not to mention Motorstorm Arctic Edge and Gran Turismo! If anything, I’d say it’s one of the machines saving grace genres.

    By the by, Beige and Rampant, love the adventure genre. The little I could spend with BS this weekend, it was good to go back and soak up the goodness again. I’d forgotten just how good the dialogue is and how no-nonsense the puzzles are. George and Nico are such a gorgeous lead couple.

    I’m kicking off Still Life pretty soon. From the little I played of it before my craptop format/reset, it seemed like a nice counter to Heavy Rain in a lot of ways.

  • unmanneddrone 2:26 pm on June 18, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: PSP   

    @beige It’s true, but I was offsetting the cost of the Move setup by the machine. I’d like to have that extra moolah to splash around and keep the hardware in possession, but I had to make some trade decisions. Sorry to turn this into such a spiel! Just wanted to give my handheld a eulogy amongst folks who understand!

  • unmanneddrone 8:09 am on June 18, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , , , PSP   

    Aaaand I jinxed it. No Blur today.

    Just wanted to share a few thoughts. E3 was not only the point where I decided I’d adopt the Move controller as early as possible, but the moment where I would give up an old friend. The PSP is, in my mind, one of the great triumphs of this generation, but its lack of real support outside of a new marketing campaign and a few trailers here and there seems to be the signal where I give up a machine I’ve owned since launch. It’s certainly not a celebrated triumph, though. I’m one of the staunch defenders of the system – and cradle the sleek thing every time it gets slammed (lovingly) on the EBP. But, the time has come.

    If there ever was a company to jump into the handheld market and take on the plumber and co., it had to be Sony. A long history of solidly built portable tech, they certainly set the bar high with the PSP on a number of fronts. Great screen, a fine analog nub (lousy for some folk, granted), removable storage media, multimedia functionality, a well-rounded online multiplayer infrastructure (in many genres, too. The SOCOM squad-strategy title Tactical Strike is, to this day, the most intense and gripping multiplayer I’ve had – like Full Spectrum Warrior, but better), an internet store etc., etc.,

    The strategy of the machine was rather lumpy for a while, certainly in regards to marketing what it was. Strange NA commercials involving squirrels and carpet lint (?!) seemed to do more damage than good, especially when Chris Cunningham’s (unreleased?) commercial tapped into the trendy gamer vibe the machine should have been directed at strongly in the first place (see here: http://bit.ly/9shs8g ).

    In any case, the lack of a decent marketing campaign right out of the gate seemed to help promote the idea that the PSP was nothing but a port machine – and in part, that’s true, especially when it comes to a lot of Japanese RPGs and the more niche titles that find their way to Western localisation through the PSP. That doesn’t discount the slew of unique and interesting titles exclusive to the system.

    But it is time to hang up the hat and put the trade to good use. I’m not sad to see the thing go, but the memories will be cherished. Friday night Killzone Liberation matches with friends, the Ridge Racer rivalries, discovering the machine had its own Crimson Skies game (MACH) and could gameshare to eight players from one UMD, internet bouts of Tactical Strike/Warhammer 40K/Field Commander, the list goes on. I’ll be there with bells on for PSP2, but for the time being, it’s adios to the machine and hola to a curious glowing ball on a stick.

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