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.
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 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)
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)
The top-down view in the crime-sim raises obvious comparisons with the old GTA games, but for a £3.49 PSP Minis title it definitely has my attention. Continue reading Car Jack Streets (PSP Minis Review)
Hidden object games are a nice match for the PSP Minis range, with their relaxed nature passing the time on a commute or ad break with ease. Route 66 scored well with a 7 a few months ago, so let’s see what G5 Entertainment can come up with.
There’s an actual story here, as a young archaeologist (that absolutely does not look like Lara Croft) is searching for her father who went missing while searching for the Crystal Portal. It’s not exactly Fallout 3, but the effort is appreciated. Continue reading The Mystery of the Crystal Portal (PSP Minis Review)
The launch of Minis on the PSP has been the best thing to happen on the underused console for years. Even the cack games only set you back a few quid. Mahjongg Artifacts (their spelling) doesn’t have to worry about such things and is well worth the £3.99 asking price.
We get the feeling this version of the ancient game is a bit simpler than the original, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be hooked within minutes. All you have to do is match up pairs of identical blocks, that have pictures on them. Some fall into groups like Roman numerals, Egyptian eyes and so on. Some blocks from the same group can be paired despite being different, such as flowers, weather icons or theatre masks. Special glowing blocks can be paired with any of its kind or suit. Continue reading Mahjongg Artifacts (PSP Minis Review)
The setup is very similar to the classic Lumines games. Blocks come down from the top in three different colours, either in squares of four, a block of six or a line of three. Rotate them on their way down to line up five of the same vertically or horizontally. Try and get as many connected to the line as possible for a combo.
The last block of the five needs to be put in last as you can’t add to a highlighted group afterwards like you can in Lumines. After the timer at the side of the screen reaches zero, a line will sweep down from the top and clear away any linked squares. Sometimes it takes ages to arrive, 25 seconds can feel like a lifetime when your screen is filling up.
Deflector is a basically designed yet challenging puzzle game, similar to some mini-games you may have played in bigger titles before. The aim is to deflect a laser beam into a receiver on a complex grid with you looking at it from above.
This is done by placing mirrors on the grid and rotating them to bounce the laser off in a new direction. Before setting the mirror in place you must make sure -via a dotted line that indicates the resulting path of the laser- that it will not hit any environmental objects that will end the game. These objects include apartments, trees, bombs and explosive barrels. Take a quick look at this video for an example of the early levels. Continue reading Deflector (PSP Minis Review)
Forget all thoughts of motorbikes and possible cheap Road Rash thrills right now. This is a game that has more in common with the Where’s Waldo books that everyone had in the 1990s, albeit considerably less congested. It’s actually pretty damn good too.
Instead of looking for people, you use a cursor to find eight objects cleverly hidden onscreen in a scene picture from one of the many locations along the eponymous Route 66. You scroll around the picture with the analogue stick and move a cursor with the d-pad, selecting items with X. The items can range from broccoli to Buddha’s, hazelnuts to harmonicas and pinecones to peace signs. They’re very specific too, so don’t go thinking boot means shoe or anything like that. Continue reading Route 66 (PSP Minis Review)