After looking at the insane mashup that Sega, Namco and Capcom have put together for the upcoming Project X Zone on the 3DS, it got me thinking about other gaming brands I’d like to see pushed together. These could be games pitting legends against each other in a fight to the death or something involving them working together. Publishers and IP owners can be very protective over their brands, but here’s a selection I think would work well together given half a chance.
Don’t worry about the apocalypse, it’s right at the end of the year. But just in case it’s real, here are some healthy steps to enjoying gaming to its maximum potential.
This is another Augmented Reality camera game for the PSP. Fortunately, it’s aimed at a slightly older audience than the recent EyePet Adventures. Capturing and battling monsters is what’s on offer here, think Pokémon, but using the PSP’s camera attachment to hunt them down in the real world.
As an Invizimals hunter, you explore your real-life surroundings with your PSP, scanning surfaces to home in on one of the invisible creatures. When you detect one, lay down the card supplied with the game to reveal the little monster. Different coloured surfaces reveal different monsters in each of the globetrotting stages. Continue reading Invizimals: The Lost Tribes Review – Pocket monsters
With so few titles taking advantage of the PSP camera attachment, you’d be forgiven for forgetting it existed. That would be a shame, as it’s a taste of the upcoming PS Vita’s augmented reality features.
This EyePet game has evolved from a PlayStation Eye title to allow you to better interact with the environment as you move the device around your room. Using the camera and the supplied card, the augmented reality system displays the EyePet creature in the real world. Sure, it’s very child-orientated, but imagine you’d seen this when you were eight? It would have been mind-blowing. Continue reading EyePet Adventures Review – Augmented adventuring
Late movie tie-ins are bound to raise suspicion from any gamer, especially from a film that’s clearly one of Pixar’s poorer efforts. Unless the UMD fires out of the PSP and blinds me, this should be a better experience than the film. Maybe. The retail version isn’t yet available in the shops (next year apparently) but the PSN version is available now, albeit at an optimistic price.
After expecting a few standard races around the film’s locations, I was surprised to see that they’ve changed the racing format a little. Instead of having full steering control from a rear camera angle, you’re locked into lanes. You swap between them by flicking the analogue stick left and right. The camera sweeps around throughout the race, attempting to provide the best cinematic angles.
It’s been a while since we’ve had a look at some of the PSP’s Minis, mainly because of the PSN crisis and recently a lot of them looked like complete pump. There hasn’t exactly been a deluge of titles since PSN resumed normal service either. Two of the three games we’re looking at today come free with PlayStation Plus, which some gamers might still have as a part of their Welcome Back package.
As a part of a strange experiment you’re tasked with escaping each room using your Shift ability in this maze-treading, platforming puzzler. If you’re a fan of games like Echochrome, Exit or Crush, you’re going to love this. It’s even better.
To reach the exit door, you must activate a ‘Shift’ (L or R button) to invert the game world. You can move along the white background or change to travel the opposite black side. When a Shift is activated you sink into the ground and the world is flipped 180 degrees. Shifts can only be performed when your feet are planted on the ground. So when confronted with a spiked column, just change it around so it’s a hole to jump over. Still confused? Have a quick look at the video below. Continue reading Shift Extended (PSP Minis Review)
Thankfully Laughing Jackal listened to the fan feedback and have since re-released a new version on PSN. If you’ve already downloaded the game just delete it and download it from your PSN account again to get the new version at no extra cost. I’ll explain the improvements throughout the rest of this review. Continue reading Ace Armstrong Vs The Alien Scumbags (PSP Minis Review)
Guitar Hero and Rock Band have made the traditional button-controlled rhythm-action game obsolete thanks to their Fisher Price-style range of plastic instruments. However, those of you who’d like to see the return of games like PaRappa the Rapper and Frequency might want to take a look at Vibes.
Vibes is a PSP Mini released last year that passed most of us by with barely a whisper. However, I recently gave it a go and decided it was well worth a mention as it’s one of the finest Minis I’ve played in ages.
The take on this familiar tale is that of Samwise Gamgee retelling the story to his children from the fireside’s warmth back in the Shire, focussing solely on Aragorn’s adventures. Naturally he’s added a few extra details here and there to keep things interesting.
Which is actually a quite decent excuse for a few elements that are out of sync with the film, such as spiders in Moria, a Balrog chase scene, fights with Wildmen in Rohan or having to fight your way out of a goblin infested cave on the way to Weathertop. Continue reading The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest (PSP Review)
Looks like Ready at Dawn Studios have done it again. They’ve only gone and made the best action title on the PSP, again. God of War: Chains of Olympus provided a PSP prequel to the original PS2 game and now Ghost of Sparta looks to fill the gap between God of War 1 and 2.
The story follows Kratos as he searches for his younger brother, Deimos, who was taken from him when they were both young Spartan children. We finally get some answers about Kratos’ facial scar and his red tattoo. We also get to find out what really happened to the legendary city of Atlantis.
God of War: Chains of Olympus is a real slap in the face to other developers trying to wrangle a half-decent looking game out of the PSP. One look at these screens is enough to show that Ready at Dawn have an understanding of the PSP that nobody else is even close to obtaining. On top of that they’ve kept the God of War brand in great condition while Sony Santa Monica press on with God of War III.
This game is a prequel to the original PS2 title where Kratos is still on the Olympian’s payroll. The tale begins with Kratos taking on an invading Persian army before the true enemy, Morpheus is revealed. The gods believe Morpheus to be behind the recent disappearance of Helios, the Sun god. If Morpheus is not defeated soon, it may be the end of the gods.
To all PSP Minis developers: more simple games like this please. At £1.99 this is ideal for a quick blast. This shoot ‘em up title has you controlling an Apache helicopter for 99 levels of traditional side-scrolling shooting. It’s simple, fun, and it shares a similar art style to the Metal Slug games. What more could you ask for at £1.99?
The controls are responsive and the helicopter feels nippy but weighty as it tilts forwards and backwards with momentum allowing you to fire upwards or downwards sometimes without having to move up and down yourself, handy for staying in one piece under a torrent of missile fire. Enemies go down very easily and you can take quite a lot of damage as you have a health bar rather than having to cower under a one-hit-kill policy. It’s a balance we can all enjoy. Continue reading Apache Overkill (PSP Minis Review)
For months I’ve been feeding a slew of PSP Minis into my PSP in a vain quest for something with a little substance. Then September rolls up and throws a new Kingdom Hearts title, Valkyria Chronicles II and now Phantasy Star Portable 2, or PSP2, just to mess with the search engines.
Sega’s long-standing series is more sci-fi orientated than the usual RPG-fare, but there’s plenty of familiarity that is universal to the genre. Don’t be worried if this is your first look at the series, the story is relatively new and doesn’t punish newcomers. For those that did play the last game, it’s now three years later after the Seed were defeated, but guess what, peace never lasts. Good thing too seeing as you’re a freelance mercenary. Continue reading Phantasy Star Portable 2 (Review)
For those of you not familiar to the hidden object genre, you are presented with a cluttered screen filled with a ridiculously wide range of objects. The objects here all fit the setting of the late 1800s. Using a cursor you must find the items listed on your left. The graphics are well drawn and generally static apart from the odd bit of rain for example. The music sets a quietly sinister tone while the ambient noises add a decent touch of atmosphere to the game. Continue reading Actual Crimes: Jack the Ripper (PSP Minis Review)
Many fans, myself included, were worried that the transition to PSP from PS3 would be an awkward one for the well-loved original title. We needn’t have worried though as Sega have managed to get the PSP to really stand up to the challenge.
The story for this tactical JRPG once again takes places in Gallia a small country in fictional Europa, after the war that took place in the original. This time around the conflict isn’t based around an invasion, it’s a civil war. You don’t need to have finished or even played the first game to enjoy this one as the story is new and uses a different set of main characters. Fans of the original will enjoy some cameos and will most certainly settle into the combat much easier. Continue reading Valkyria Chronicles II (Review)
How annoying are flies? The dumb bastards come in from outside and spend the rest of your hangover bouncing off the window despite you closing the curtain and opening a window. Well next time you roll up a magazine, just beware, he might know Fly Fu.
This is a simple side-scrolling beat ‘em up. How simple? Well, all the backgrounds are basic grey pencil drawings on white paper and the cutscenes are basically doodles. But this only helps add to the game’s charm. The game has no pretensions as instead of saying ‘loading’ it will say ‘doodling.’ Continue reading Fly Fu (PSP Minis Review)
More Poundsaver Turok than Monster Hunter for this PSP Minis title. You roam across several islands hunting dinosaurs with modern weaponry. There’s no plot, just here’s a gun, kill as much as you can, then return to base. Rinse and repeat.
The landscapes are just so deserted. Without the radar you’re only going to come across small dinosaurs that aren’t on your specified hunting list. It’s like going to a safari park that’s mainly populated with the dino equivalents of dogs and squirrels. Continue reading Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter (PSP Minis Review)
Sony hasn’t given us any real indication that a second PSP is on the way anytime soon. But that doesn’t mean the net hasn’t stopped trying to unearth any details via rumours, scrupulous checking of tech trademark registrations or the CVs of every tech developer on LinkedIn every two minutes. But what would we actually want from a PSP2? Here’s a list compiled from my own thoughts and general grumbles from fellow gamers. Continue reading PSP2: Most Wanted Features
Combat is pleasingly simple and the lack of depth is hidden by the way you can attack enemies in different body parts for better effects. Numbers fly off enemies to indicate the damage done and when these numbers turn yellow, you know you’ve just discovered a weak spot. For example, the best way to deal with the tall trolls is to jump over them, turn around in mid-air and give them a crack to the back of the head. Continue reading Young Thor (PSP Minis Review)