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Which Console Did You Buy/Receive Over The Holidays?

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Game Profile
Sony Computer Entertainment Japan
GENRE: Puzzle
May 01, 2008

God of War: Chains of Olympus
Silent Hill Origins
Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron
 Written by James Dauer  on July 18, 2007

Special: With so many games coming for it, you'd think the PSP would be getting fatter, not slimmer.

While fanboys everywhere were drooling over the big home console exclusives such as Halo 3, Killzone 2, and Mario Galaxy, the PSP got a little bit of love, and this top 5 list will quickly fill you in on just a few of this E3's PSP highlights.

Silent Hill Origins

While this prequel to the Silent Hill series was announced at E3 last year and managed to make my top 5 list then, the game has since seen a bit of a redesign. Whereas before the game was more action based, like Resident Evil 4, the developers have since retooled the gameplay to make it much more like the original Silent Hill. Players can now expect much more focus on melee combat which shouldn't surprise any of the series' fans. This time around, melee weapons can break, which will definitely keep players on the edge of their seats.

As mentioned before, I still question how a portable game will manage to scare the pants off of anyone playing it, but if any game can do it, Silent Hill certainly can.

Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron

The original Star Wars: Battlefront is one of the best selling games on the PSP, so there was no doubt a sequel would be in the works. The game is definitely suited for the handheld featuring better controls and a strong emphasis on the portable's wireless connection. The game will also feature online multiplayer allowing for 16 players over the global infrastructure connection, and 8 over a local ad-hoc connection. The game will be more of what fans of the original have come to expect. The force really is quite strong with this game. Sorry, it's an unwritten rule to make that comment at the end of every Star Wars game article.

Announced at the Sony press conference as a simultaneous release on the PS3 (as a download) and the PSP (as a UMD), Echochrome was labeled as the game with the ?least graphics, but most gameplay? of any of Sony's games this generation. The game demands your attention from the very first glance as it looks like a navigatable MC Escher painting. Players will have to navigate a complex looking black and white world filled with all sorts of depth perception gimmicks. Stages consist of staircases, pillars, jumps, and holes. In order to avoid traps players will need to rotate the level. It is very hard to describe on paper just how this works, but in motion the game looks simply mind boggling.

God of War: Chains of Olympus
While the God of War series is one of the best action games on the PS2, Ready at Dawn Studios, the folks behind Daxter, is planning to make it a major killer app for the PSP. The game looks remarkably like its PS2 brethren, but it comes as little surprise considering how great Daxter looked. It also controls much the same as the console games. Considering how similar it is to the originals, there is little doubt that this game will be just as good as the originals, but the real question is whether or not it will help sell the PSP.

PSP Redesign
Who could ignore the news around the new PSP redesign? Making the notoriously bulky system a little over 30% lighter and a little under 20% thinner are just a few of the improved features of this newer design. The new PSP will also support faster load times and a longer battery life. Could the faster load times be because Sony has finally stopped underclocking the CPU due to short batterly life? Who knows, and who cares? It's faster. Another great feature of the new PSP is the ability to have video output to a TV or projector. This might breathe new life into the UMDs. I know when I first got my hands on the PSP everyone in the immediate area wanted to know if I could play it over the overhead projector, so this video out feature is definitely a welcome addition. Will it be enough to win over more folks to Sony's portable revolution? Only time can tell.

Bottom Line
Well, those were just a few of the PSP related stories to come out of E3 this year, but that's not all that was seen. Everything from the new remake of Final Fantasy Tactics (featuring Final Fantasy XII characters and a new localization) to a game based off of the hit movie Napoleon Dynamite (Why? Because there aren't enough mini-game based games. Gosh!) can be expected to grace our amazingly sleek PSP screens later this year and into the next. It really is a good time to be a PSP owner.

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