A New Game Project?? Some Thoughts.

So May is almost over, and I just realized earlier in the month I promised a surprise. Lest you were hoping for some homemade cookies or a hug or a kitty to pet (and my apologies of you were), here it…is?


For the past couple years, I’ve worked on a couple, for lack of a better phrase, “game projects” that have involved games from the past that I overlooked for any number of inconsequential reasons. The two projects I have on record involved Pokemon LeafGreen and Chrono Trigger, and I immensely enjoyed both. Despite the fact that I ended Chrono Trigger not long ago, I’ve already been thinking about what I might what to tackle next, and I think I’ve come up with something. It involves a little more than simply choosing a few games and doing up a poll as I’ve done in the past. That’s is why I’m writing about this now rather than later on this summer, which is when I’d like for the project to start. Maybe. Not sure yet, honestly.

With a total lack of subterfuge, the filler title for the project is “PSP Pursuits.” Not that involves multiple games, but it sounds better plural than “A PSP Pursuit,” which just doesn’t flow as well. And as the title gives away, it’s going to be all about one game for the PlayStation Portable.

citroen_c_crosser_psp_03

In case you missed it, the PSP (2004-2014) was Sony’s entry into the handheld market that was supposed to be a serious competitor of the juggernaut that was (and still is) the Nintendo DS/3DS. From what I remember, it was actually quite popular for a good few years after its release. There were lots of TV commercials, and its games stood solidly right alongside all the other PlayStation titles in the game stores. A wide range of different types of games became available for it, and you could use it to watch movies that had been ported to its adorable UMD format. We bought a PSP, and maybe you did too. Despite its drawbacks, like the terrible analog controller and its high price tag ($250 compared to $150 for the DS), it wasn’t a bad little handheld. (And seriously, if you happen to remember the weird little PocketStation…to say the PSP was an improvement is an understatement.)

But enough history. I mentioned  that we bought a PSP. Well, we still have that PSP…um…somewhere. I think. I say that because a number of months ago I found a couple PSP games hiding in a long forgotten box, along with the original earbuds that came with the PSP. So that leads me to believe that the PSP is in our house — I just don’t where, and I’ve not had time to launch a search party. But finding those games made me wonder about actually playing games on the PSP if I ever found it. Would it be worth it? I was never much into the PSP, so I had no idea what kinds of games other than ports were available for it.

Eventually, my curiosity got the best of me, and in an effort to find out a bit more about this defunct system, I opted to download a PSP emulator onto my tablet and choose, site unseen, and game to play. One game that frequently popped up in the PSP’s “popular” category on download sites was the JRPG Brave Story: New Traveler. Without much more thought than “that sounds interesting,” I gave it a go. I’ve been playing the game on and off for a couple months now, and I’m really enjoying it. (It took me a number of tries to get the emulator’s settings right for my aging tablet, and they still aren’t perfect, but it works well enough. And I continue to tweak things as necessary.)

BSNT screen1
Brave Story: New Traveler — looks surprisingly good
BSNT screen 2
Brave Story: New Traveler – a typical turn-based match

So what-the-hell-ever?, the crowd sighs. Well, what-the-hell is this: “PSP Pursuits” is going to be about a single PSP game, and I’d like to ask for your help in choosing which one. The kicker here is that I’d like to play a PSP exclusive, not a port, but a game that was developed solely for the PSP. I know there are some, but which ones were great and which ones should be avoided at all costs? Sure, I could do my research, but I’d rather get some first hand accounts from you, the players. (Of course, if the audience here is like screw you lady and the PSP!, then I’ll be on my own, obviously.)

I think I’m going to leave things there for the moment. As I said, this is really just a first pass at articulating what I have in mind; future posts will become more involved, especially if I happen to find our PSP! For now, my question to you is this:

What were some of your favorite and/or least favorite PSP exclusives?

 

 

 

11 thoughts on “A New Game Project?? Some Thoughts.”

  1. I don’t remember much from my time with a PSP. I was a rambunctious teen that was way too sporadic for memories to be firmly planted in my brain. I do remember Legend of Heroes though, and that was a gem.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think Ys: The Oath in Felghana is an action RPG that a lot of PSP fans would hold up as a game that really defined the system. It was eventually released on PC, though. An excellent game if you like hack-and-slash RPGs with a heartfelt story.

    Half-Minute Hero is another PSP game that I really love. It’s a bit hard to describe because it has such an off-beat premise, but its about a series of RPG heroes who have to take on quests that last for a mere 30-seconds. Very fast-paced, creative, and also has a nice touch of humor. Think of it like Warioware meets Final Fantasy. It also eventually made its way to PC (and Xbox 360), but I feel the PSP version is the definitive one.

    Another recommendation I have is a game released by Sega called Crush. It’s a good perspective-based puzzle platformer where the conceit is shifting each level between a flat 2D plane and a 3D space. A great title if you like puzzle games. A version was eventually released for 3DS, although it stripped out the dark dream-like aesthetic of the PSP game for something more cartoonish.

    I’m afraid none of these are “true” PSP exclusives like you asked for, but all three were originally exclusive to the PSP, and I think they still play the best there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, even if I don’t choose one of these games, I’ll still try each of them out, so thank you for the suggestions!

      Depending on how things go, I may have to broaden my choice of games — frankly, I’ve not yet fully perused whatever emulations might be available. When I found Brave Story, many other RPGish games popped up in the “you might also like” category. But I’m not sure that either Ys: The Oath in Felghana or Half-Minute Hero showed up. More investigation is now required!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting idea! Unfortunately, despite owning a PSP I’ve barely used the thing… the UMD drive is broken so it will only play download games, and those unfortunately tend to be fairly expensive compared with the price of physical games. I did enjoy playing the original Parasite Eve on the PSP though – it’s a cool novelty to play PS1 games on a portable. There are two PSP games I’ve strongly considered downloading, namely Ultimate Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins and Pursuit Force: Extreme Justice. They’re both action games though which might not be what you’re after.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, I’ll take any game to task for this challenge, so I’ll take a look at both of those games — thanks! And why did I never play Parasite Eve? Hmm…maybe I need a PS1 emulator…

      I actually didn’t know you could download games to the PSP. Not that I would, but if I ever found our PSP, I’d be curious enough to at least take a look at that function.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha ha, I didn’t mean to throw you off course there with Parasite Eve… although it is a pretty good game! Very atmospheric and a weird storyline – the villain is none other than mitochondria. Yes I’m serious.

        As for downloads on PSP, they shut down access to the online shop from the PSP itself a few years back. From what I read you can buy/download PSP games from the PSN store on your PC or PS3 or whatever and then transfer it to the PSP via USB or the memory stick. It’s needlessly complicated (at least it was for me transferring PS1 games from the PS3) but there you have it.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. One of the weirder PSP games was ‘Metal Gear Ac!d’. Part stealth game, part deck building card game. If you can get past the lack of help with how to play it, then it was a pretty interesting title. The sequel even had Google cardboard esque 3D.

    Liked by 1 person

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