Specials: Dammit, they heard me and made Death Jr. 2 anyway!
It seems the Sony PSP can't get a break sometimes. A year ago, after Sony showed off PS3 and created a whole lot of buzz (both positive and negative), the PSP became an afterthought. It was probably a good thing in hindsight, as its showing was wholly underwhelming with hardly any really notable titles and had many questioning whether Sony was capable of making the platform work from a gaming standpoint. Sony's debut handheld ended up having a better year than E3 might have made you think thanks to a solid fall lineup, but for one week in May the system might as well been dead on arrival. This year, Sony showed off the PS3 and created a whole lot of buzz (both positive and negative), and the PSP again is an afterthought. Only this year, the system deserves your attention as there's some potentially awesome titles taking shape this year, but likely will be lost in the PlayStation 3 hoopla.
We knew Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories
was coming ? we're not dealing in rocket science here ? but now that it's official at E3 (but lost in the midst of the GTA4 announcement and the disaster that was its revealing), we can begin to have fun and speculate in the fashion we always do when a GTA game is announced. Vice City on PS2 was my favorite of the trilogy, for many reasons; the cool 1980's vibe, great characters, and that amazing collection of tunes. Thus the potential for VCS makes me giddy as hell. Which side character could end up the guy you play as...could it be Lance Vance? Colonel Cortez maybe? Kent Paul? The guy from VCPR? Mitch Baker? The possibilities are endless. And depending on the era, Rockstar could dig even deeper into that classic 1980's era for more memorable music. The promise the game could hold is tremendous. I just hope unlike Liberty City Stories, Rockstar doesn't kill another PSP exclusive by porting it to PS2.
Konami is also into giving PSP owners what they really want. Metal Gear Acid is a fine series and a nice diversion from the typical Metal Gear game, but you know what PSP owners really crave; a full Metal Gear Solid title. Well, thanks to Kojima Productions, you're getting it, though you might not know it since everyone is lost in that amazing Metal Gear Solid 4 trailer. Dubbed Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops
, this official entry in the series fills a pivotal story gap, as you'll control Big Boss in 1970 as the hero is forced to infiltrate his own former unit, FOX, under the guise of...drumroll...FOXHOUND. The plot promises to lead right into the very first Metal Gear game, making the series truly whole. Along with that you can expect some Wi-Fi options akin to the online setup from MGS3: Subsistence. While Metal Gear is on the brain, Konami is also releasing an interactive Metal Gear Solid novel based on the comic book series. It sounds kinda neat.
Konami is also doing sequels to PSP originals; you'll see Death Jr. 2 and Rengoku 2 at some point in time. I know, you're all thrilled that these mediocre games are getting sequels. Coded Arms 2 is on the way too, looking substantially better than the promising but ultimately pedestrian original. But this paragraph is really about something else...something more sinister and evil. Silent Hill. Hot off the movie and returning from a 2 year layoff, Silent Hill: Origins
isn't a sequel to the lukewarm Silent Hill 4, but instead a prequel to the original Silent Hill. It was once thought to be a remake but thankfully this isn't the case. Playing as a possibly mentally tortured truck driver, chances are you'll again deal with creepy enemies that represent more than you'd think, and of course the most disturbing tourist town known to man. Konami promises many returning characters, so begin the speculation as to whom will make their 'first' appearances in Silent Hill.
And this is just the beginning of what's been a strong PSP showing. Sony is bringing Ratchet & Clank in an original adventure and taking Killzone away from its 1st person roots, not to mention Loco Roco which potentially could be the next Katamari Damacy. Namco is pumping out Tekken: Dark Resurrection for portable brawling. Sega is bringing Sonic to the PSP with Sonic Rivals. Even Square-Enix, a publisher slowly reverting to its Nintendo days with massive DS and Wii support is finally getting into the mix. There wasn't much hope for Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth to release here, but Square has answered the cries and now many people will finally get a shot to play this cult classic without having to sell a kidney just for the cash to afford a copy. The Final Fantasy overlords also finally took the wraps off Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, the finale of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII... until of course Square gets the rocks to remake the original FFVII on PS3. Anyway, Crisis Core looks great, as a pure action RPG starring Zack, whose popularity amongst FFVII fans is the likely reason for his starring role. Of course, everyone's favorite evil bastard Sephiroth is back to his old tricks, or should we say new tricks since this is where all hell breaks loose.
These are just for starters ? there's dozens more games floating around. So while you're all going crazy looking up information on the Xbox 360, Wii, or PS3, take a little time to explore PSP and what's coming down the line. You might be surprised at what you'll see.