Posts Tagged ‘psp’

Review – Manhunt 2 (PSP)

Wednesday, November 7th, 2007

Anticipation : 10
Expectation : 9
Initial Reaction : 8
Overall : 8
Genre : First Person

Back in 2003, Rockstar released called Manhunt.  The basis for the game is that a man on Death Row, James Earl Cash, is sent for execution, but is injected with a sedative instead.  Apparently, a director, Starkweather, bribed the doctors to not kill him.  The director is filming snuff films, and wants Cash for his latest movie.  Using his contacts with the corrupt police force and various gangs, he forces Cash into killing the various gang members to stay alive.

The controversy surrounding the game is the game mechanic itself.  The object is to sneak through the levels undetected and perform the most outrageous kills you can.  A variety of weaponry is available, ranging from plastic bags to knives and bats.  The player is “graded” on the style and number of kills.

 

Fast forward to 2007 and the sequel, Manhunt 2.  Manhunt 2 centers around a character named Daniel Lamb.  Lamb was part of an experiment, referred to as “The Project.”  During the experiment, something went wrong and Lamb was shipped off to an insane asylum.  Lamb escapes during a lightning storm and, working with a friend, Leo Kasper, he attempts to uncover the truth about what happened.

The gameplay is similar to that of the original Manhunt, but dispenses with the scoring screens.  The scoring screen was primarily removed to appease the ESRB, but Rockstar claims it distracted from the story as well.  The game was also altered slightly to obscure the kill scenes in accordance with ESRB requests.  Prior to these changes, the game was rated AO, the highest rating available for video games.  Unfortunately, AO rated games are not permitted to be release on any current console hardware.  As such, Rockstar worked with the ESRB to reduce the rating to M by making the aforementioned changes.

The game itself is pretty compelling, though it seems to be a little on the easy side.  The storyline seems to be pretty decent so far, though it can be hard to follow.  The story jumps occasionally from the present, back to events from the past.  Regardless, the game is quite fun to play.

There are a number of different kill styles, some of them pretty gruesome.  Rockstar also added a number of new kill styles and weapons.  For instance, there are environmental kills now, allowing the player to use objects in the environment to dispatch an enemy.  New weapons such as the circular saw and a number of new guns are available.

I have enjoyed my time playing so far.  Some of the levels are definitely a challenge, while others are incredibly easy.  To be fair, I’m not playing on the insane setting, yet.  I expect that the insane setting, however, merely increases the hardiness of the enemies, and possibly the number.

Overall, I’m pretty happy that I picked this game up.  I plan on picking up the Wii version of the game as well.  It’s definitely a controversial game, though well worth checking out.

 

Note : This is *NOT* a game for children.  Parents, please be responsible.

Broken UMD? Here’s your cure…

Monday, October 8th, 2007

When I first purchased my PSP, I picked up what I thought was a decent carrying case.  It was roughly the size of the PSP, but a tad thicker so it could hold 2-4 UMD games in addition to the PSP.  There was a cardboard divider to keep the UMDs away from the PSP screen, and straps to hold the PSP in.  All in all, it was a decent case.  Or, so I thought.

About a month or so after buying the case, I noticed that the clear plastic on one of my UMDs was cracked and pushing in towards the disc itself.  Over time, this got worse until the UMD wasn’t playable anymore.  I searched, in vain, for replacement cases.  The only suggestions I found were either to not break it in the first place, or to break open another UMD case you didn’t want, and super glue that case back together with the disc from the broken UMD in it.  Obviously, the first suggestion, complete with proclamations about the idiocy of such owners, was out of the question.  So, I tried the second suggestion.  I did get the case together, but the glue seeped out a little on the inside, creating a bump that the UMD would grate against.

Having failed to fix the UMD, I put it away, vowing to find a replacement case sometime in the future and to not break any other UMDs.  I went and purchased a new PSP Complete case from Slappa, as well as a few Score UMD storage cases.  There’s a nice comparison of the Score and Sony UMD cases on the official Playstation forum.  These two items kept both my PSP and my UMDs much safer, but over time, a few other UMDs started exhibiting signs of a cracked UMD shell.

Fast forward about two years and I come across this post on the PSP Fanboy site describing a new replacement UMD case.  This looked quite promising, so I went to the company’s site to check them out.  My first impression was that this was either a brand new company, or a scam site.  The website itself is pretty shoddy, mostly consisting of some poorly put together HTML and lots of Google ads.  However, they did have a video of the case itself and how it worked, so I trudged on.

Having seen the PayPal logo on the UMD ordering page, I decided to try them out.  I placed one UMD case into my on-line shopping cart and went to the checkout page.  The first thing I noticed on the checkout page was the lack of an option to use PayPal for payment.  I also noticed that the page was not encrypted with an SSL certificate.  I really had no desire to give this company my credit card information, especially with no SSL certificate in place, so I tried to proceed without entering it.  No dice.  I resorted to contacting the company via their online form explaining that while I did want a case, I couldn’t find the PayPal option.  Much to my surprise, they called me about 30 minutes later.

The gentlemen on the phone, whose name I forgot to write down, explained that the website was new and they knew there were some issues to work out.  He explained that the information entered on the checkout page was merely transmitted to PayPal for processing, but that I could use PayPal directly and just send them the money for the case, which they would then ship immediately.  I offered my concerns about the lack of an SSL certificate, which he promised to look into.  After we hung up, I headed over to PayPal to order.

The replacement cases are $3.99 each for US orders, and $4.99 for international orders.  This price includes shipping, so while it seems a little high, it’s actually not that bad.  I sent my $3.99 to the email address I obtained via my phone conversation and waited for the case to arrive.  Much to my surprise, I received my case in the mail a scant 4 days later.

The case was wrapped in a piece of light foam and placed inside of a standard white envelope.  Not the best packaging in the world, but MultiMedia Recovery (MMR) makes the claim that the cases are mostly indestructible.  True to their claim, the case was not cracked in any way and appeared to be in perfect shape.  I happily retrieved the UMD that was broken so many years ago and went to work placing it in the new case.

Honestly, the hardest part of the entire process is installing the frighteningly tiny screws into the new case.  I received three screws with my case, though only two are required.  I did have to go out and buy a jewelers screwdriver, though, but I should probably have one of those around the house anyway.  The screws secure the bottom portion of the UMD case, though I’m not sure they are really needed.  Even without them, the case fit together quite nicely and there was no danger of it coming apart later.  I suppose it’s possible that the case could be pulled apart when removing it from one of the UMD holders, but I don’t see that being a huge danger.  I installed the screws anyway and tried out the UMD.  It fit in the PSP with no problems, just like any of my other UMDs.  I fired up the PSP and the game loaded flawlessly.  Finally, I can finish playing Untold Legends.  Good thing I kept a backup of my save game…

 

All said and done, I think these replacement cases are a pretty good buy.  I would like to see discounts for bulk purchases, and perhaps better packaging, but overall, I am satisfied with my purchase and I will be purchasing more.  If you have UMDs that have broken in the past, I definitely recommend checking these out.  Hopefully MMR will address the problems with their website, but if not, the cases are available via david8950 on eBay.

Review – Puzzle Quest (PSP)

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

Anticipation : 8
Expectation : 8
Initial Reaction : 6
Overall : 4
Genre : Puzzle

Well, it’s been a while since I did a review. I held off on reviewing this particular title with hopes that the developer would release a patch to fix some of the problems with the game. Unfortunately, they have not. With that in mind, on to the review!

Puzzle Quest was designed by Infinite Interactive and ported to the PSP by Vicious Cycle. It was ultimately published by D3 Publisher, who, incidentally, purchased [pdf] Vicious Cycle on June 20, 2007. Puzzle Quest received the “Best Puzzle Game” award at IGN’s Best of E3 2007 awards for the XBox 360 Live Arcade version.

The game itself is quite fun to play. The player navigates a large world map, detailed with a number of destinations that open up as the story progresses. Each location has a variety of options such as retrieving quests, purchasing items, and listening to rumors in the tavern. Quests lead you on through the story, ultimately aiming to save the land of Etheria from the evil Lord Bane.

You can choose from four player classes, Druid, Warrior, Knight, and Wizard. As the game progresses, you gain levels and invest points into a variety of skills. There are four primary “mastery” skills, earth, air, fire, and water. In addition, you can choose to increase other skills such as cunning, morale, and battle.

The four primary skills determine how much of each mana type your player can collect, as well as various bonuses for collecting it. Battle skill increases the amount of damage you inflict when you match skulls. Cunning increases the effects wild cards have, amount of gold you gain for matching coins, and determines who goes first when battle starts. Finally, morale increases your life points as well as various bonuses for collecting the purple experience stars.

Your character also has a citadel that can be upgraded to gain access to additional spells, skills, and items. As you gain gold, you can build additional portions of your citadel. A dungeon allows you to capture enemies and even ride them as mounts. The mage tower grants you access to learn spells from captured enemies. The stable allows you to train your mount, allowing additional bonuses during battle and increasing the likelyhood of bypassing creatures on the map. Still other features unlock the ability to train your character, forge items, and capture other cities.

When a battle begins, you are shown an 8×8 grid of symbols. The red, blue, green, and yellow gems represent the fire, water, earth, and air mana. The skull icons are used to inflict damage. Matching coins increases the gold you character has, allowing you to purchase items and skills. Purple stars are matched to increase your experience, helping boost you to that next level.

The battle is played in a similar manner to the popular Bejeweled game. The player simply swaps the positions of two adjacent symbols. If the symbols cause a row of three or more symbols to match, the symbols are removed and the appropriate reward is obtained. Additional symbols fall in from above, often causing chain reactions which can result in additional bonuses. If the player matches five or more chains, they receive an experience and gold bonus. Matching four symbols in a row results in a free turn, while matching five results in a free turn and a wild card. Wild cards can be used to match any of the four mana types.

In order to win a battle, you must reduce your opponents hit points to zero. This can be accomplished by matching skulls, or casting spells. Skulls come in two flavors, a normal skull, and a +5 skull. The latter cause explosions, destroying any symbols around the skull and inflicting additional damage on the enemy. Spells are obtained through leveling your character, as well as capturing enemies. Spells come in a variety of forms. Some spells can heal damage inflicted on you, some inflict damage on the enemy. Other spells can change symbols on the board from one type to another, while other spells can steal or reduce your enemies mana.

As the game progresses, you can capture enemies and gain additional spells from them. Some captured enemies can also be used as mounts, allowing the player to move quicker through the map, gaining a chance to avoid some encounters. Capturing creatures occurs after you have battled a given creature at least three times. To capture a creature, the 8×8 game board is displayed and you are tasked with clearing the board of all symbols. In this version of the game, no symbols will fall from above. But don’t be fooled, some of these puzzles are quite difficult.

Once a creature has been captured, you can learn spells from it. Again, the battle board is shown and you match symbols to gain access to the spells. In this form of the game, you must match a specific number of symbols to progress. If you reach a point where no more matches are available, you fail to learn the spell and must start over.

Similarly, you can forge new items using runes found throughout the land of Etheria. This time, you must match the forge symbols on the board. As with learning spells, when no more matches are available, you fail to forge the item and must start over.

Overall the game is quite fun to play and can keep you occupied for hours on end. Additionally, you can choose to battle specific creatures through the battle menu, or play wirelessly against friends. Sorry, only ad-hoc multiplayer is available.

There are, however, a number of issues with the game. During the game, you have the opportunity to gain companions. Each companion adds bonuses and skills to your player that are used while battling. Unfortunately, a bug in the PSP version of the game prevents your player from actually gaining these bonuses. You still gain the companions, they just have no effect whatsoever on the gameplay.

Worse are the freeze bugs. I’m not entirely sure what causes these, but they have been reported by a number of users. There are a few different versions of this bug, all causing the game to freeze and the PSP to turn off. Some are avoidable while other can result in needing to completely restart the game. For me, I first encountered this while using the Druid character. After playing for some time, I noticed that browsing through my spellbook caused the game to freeze and lock up. I found no workaround for this and, as a result, was not able to use any spells above level 10. I have also seen the game freeze during various battles, though this seems to be a random event. I have seen additional reports of repeated battle lockups, causing the player to have to restart the game.

According to the Gamespy review, there is yet another bug that prevents settings from being saved. Personally, I haven’t noticed this particular problem, but I haven’t really played with the settings much.

I have emailed both Infinite Interactive and D3 regarding these bugs. Infinite Interactive directed me to D3 explaining that they did not write the PSP code and had no control over it. D3 responded with what seemed to be a canned response that they would “look into the issue.” That was six months ago. I have since emailed them twice. I have received no response from them, thus far.

This lack of customer service has me quite upset. What could have been an excellent game has been marred by bugs. The lack of response on the part of D3 has forced me to reconsider buying any additional D3 and Vicious Cycle titles. I highly recommend you check all reviews and forums regarding any D3 titles before you decide to purchase. While Puzzle Quest is still a great game and I do enjoy playing it, it is quite frustrating to reach a point where the game becomes unplayable due to a bug. I’m still holding out hope that D3 will address these bugs, but as time goes on, it seems less and less likely.

Review – EA Replay (PSP)

Wednesday, March 21st, 2007

Anticipation : 7
Expectation : 7
Initial Reaction : 3
Overall : 5
Genre : Various

 

EA Replay is a collection of old “classic” games.  Included in the collection are the following :

In addition to these classic games, EA decided to add some extra content such as multiplayer, collectible cards, and mid-game saving.

Unfortunately, this collection falls well short of being fun and entertaining.  My primary interest was the Wing Commander and Syndicate games.  I remember playing these on my PC and thoroughly enjoying them.  In fact, the Wing Commander series is still one of my all time favorites.

It’s not that the games don’t live up to present day expectations.  I’m realistic, I know that these aren’t next-gen multi-million dollar megahit games.  I realize we’re not talking about the latest in graphics and gameplay.  But I do expect them to play the way they did back when they were new games.

Wing Commander falls way short of this goal.  The WC games included are apparently the SNES versions.  The controls are just too quick!  It’s extremely hard to identify and target incoming ships and the controls are confusing.  Unfortunately, this killed the entire experience for me as I was very much looking forward to playing WC again.

Budokan and Syndicate are a little better.  For the most part, they’re what I remember from years past, although the Syndicate they included was the SNES version.  The gameplay seems to be identical to the originals and while not the best games in the collection, they’re not the worst.

The rest of the collection is actually pretty new to me.  I’ve heard of Road Rash, but never truly played it.  After taking a look, it reminds me of Pole Position, but with a bike.  The controls are responsive and the games seem to play pretty well.

B.O.B. is pretty fun to play.  I vaguely remember hearing about this game, but never played it.  B.O.B. is a side-scrolling platformer game.  It’s pretty neat, actually, and I had some fun playing it.  Worth checking out.

Jungle Strike and Desert Strike are pretty fair games.  I’m not a huge fan of games like this, so I don’t have much to say.  They’re worth playing if you’re fans of helicopter shooters, but if not, avoid them.

Mutant League Football is actually pretty fun.  Apparently this was a play on the Madden series of the day and they did a pretty good job with it.  Definitely worth a look.

Haunting Starring Polterguy is a very odd game.  The idea is to scare a family out of their home by screaming, making noise, and haunting items.  It’s a fun game to try out, but I don’t think it really stands the test of time.

Ultima is just plain horrible.  Again, this is not the original Ultima series from the PC, but a  port from the SNES version.  This game is simply horrible, just avoid it.

And finally, Virtual Pinball.  Not much to say here, it’s a pinball game.  Fun for a little bit, not much beyond that.

 

Overall I was extremely disappointed with the collection.  If I knew that most of these were ports from the SNES version, I would have passed off the collection altogether.  While I have had some fun playing Road Rash, B.O.B., and Mutant League Football, the game has mostly collected dust.

 

If you really need that classic-gaming fix, however, pick up the Sega Genesis Collection instead.  I’ll be reviewing that in the near future.  Definitely worth looking into.

Review – Metal Gear Solid : Portable Ops (PSP)

Monday, February 12th, 2007

Anticipation : 9
Expectation : 9
Initial Reaction : 10
Overall : 9
Genre : Third-Person Action/Adventure

I was first introduced to Metal Gear on the Playstation 2 console. The gameplay and story was incredibly engaging and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Based on that experience, I purchased Metal Gear Solid for the Gameboy. The graphics were horrible compared to the Playstation, but I expected that. The game itself was pretty good.

Fast forward to the PSP launch and Metal Gear Acid. While I was caught a little by surprise at the card based gameplay, I was pretty satisfied overall with the experience. In fact, I plan on getting Metal Gear Acid 2 at some point in the future.

I picked up a copy of Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops after reading up on all the hype. I was pretty excited about the game prior to it’s release and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. My enthusiasm was not in vain, MGS:PO is an incredible game.

The game opens with Snake being captured by his old unit, FoxHound. After rescuing another prisoner and escaping from the prison, Snake start on a mission to save the world. Again. Think Jack Bauer, but cooler.

General gameplay is similar to what previous MGS games provided. Sneaking around, attacking from hidden positions, sneaking up on unsuspecting enemies… It’s all there. It seems that Konami spared nothing when preparing this game for the PSP. The graphics are simply incredible, the controls are almost perfect, and the gameplay is amazing.

But wait, there’s more! You can recruit additional troops by capturing them. Each recruit comes with unique skills that assist you in accomplishing your goals. You can place each recruit into special units that give you additional abilities within the game. The spy unit gathers intelligence about locations you visit in the game. The tech unit manufactures new technology for combating the enemy. The medical unit heals your injured troops and sometimes produces useful items.

Multiplayer has a number of modes that you can take part in. Cyber Survival pits your team against other teams around the world. Cyber Survival is mostly hands off, outcomes being determined by a central server. However, loading up your troops with advanced gear can help to make your team a winner. During these missions, teams can encounter unique characters or capture prisoners of war which they bring back to your system.

There are also other multiplayer modes such as deathmatch, team deathmatch, and capture. These games can be played in either Real or Virtual mode. The difference between these modes is rather simple. In real mode, if your character is killed, he’s a permanent loss from your game. Virtual mode allows you to play to your hearts content without the chance of losing a character forever.

MGS:PO is the first game I’ve played that has Game Sharing. Game Sharing is a method by which the game can be played with other PSP owners that don’t have their own copy of the game. They download a client from your PSP and then join in the multiplayer fun.

Overall, MGS:PO is an incredible game. The gameplay, story, and controls are all top notch. Definitely check this one out, it’s worth it.

Review – Grand Theft Auto : Vice City Stories (PSP)

Friday, November 10th, 2006

Anticipation : 10
Expectation : 9
Initial Reaction : 10
Overall : 9
Genre : Third-Person Action/Adventure

Rockstar has released their second GTA themed PSP game. This time the action takes place 2 years prior to Vice City for the PS2. If you played GTA:VC, you’ll be familiar with the look and feel of GTA:VCS.

But there’s more. Rockstar has added a ton of additional content. From swimming to empire building, there’s something here for everyone. Empire building allows you to take control of 30 different sites, building businesses such as protection rackets, prostitution, and drug smuggling. Each evening, the day’s pay comes directly to you, infusing you with cash. As an added bonus, each business has a save spot, allowing you to quickly find a place to save when you’re in a pinch.

The mission structure is slightly different as well. Each mission tends to be a little longer than the previous games. Some missions have a single objective, while others have multiple ones. This makes the gameplay a little more interesting as there are longer periods of action. However, if you die, or fail the mission, you need to start from scratch. Unfortunately, that means you’ll need to travel to the mission start again, but if you’re also empire building at the same time, chances are there’s a save location nearby.

Rockstar also added some other small additions. For instance, you can show new items on the map such as your empire locations, as well as some of the “secret” items that you’ve discovered. These include the red balloons and insane stunts. As with previous games, you can zoom in and out and mark locations on the map. Also, you’ll see cops riding motorcycles. Unfortunately, the police cycle is rather slow, although it does have the siren and lights.

The game does have some bugs, however. For instance, I have been completely unsuccessful in getting the garage at the first safehouse to work. I can store cars there, but as soon as I load a game, the car disappears. This, of course, is incredibly annoying. I have seen this problem reported elsewhere, but it seems to be a hit and miss type of bug.

Other bugs include some clipping problems, detail popping, and some small AI flaws. For instance, a rival gang tried to attack my building, but kept getting stuck on the building in front of it. Not a huge issue, but distracting nonetheless.

Overall, I’m very pleased with the game. I love the GTA series in general and this game keeps that spirit alive. I would recommend it to any fan of the series.

Review: Star Wars Battlefront II (PSP)

Tuesday, June 20th, 2006

Anticipation : 7
Expectation : 7
Initial Reaction : 7
Overall : 7
Genre : Third-Person Shooter

Star Wars is a franchise near and dear to my heart, having grown up the the original three. (Let’s not delve into the recent three) Battlefront gives you the ability to immerse yourself in that universe and wage war using the weapons and vehicles seen in the movies.

 

The PSP version of this game is merely a port of the PS2 version with a few extras thrown in. Unfortunately, the controls seem to be a little lacking. They definitely tried to get creative, using the S/C/T/X buttons as camera controls. But, overall, the controls seem a little lacking. Or maybe I just haven’t played enough to find the right combination. Without fine camera control, hitting some of the enemies is a little tough, even with the auto-aim feature enabled.

 

The graphics are basically the same as the PS2 version, just on a smaller scale. The actions is intense and fast paced. Overall, it’s a great game and lots of fun to play. I recommend it to any Star Wars fan, or any fan of shooters in general.

 

Review: Daxter (PSP)

Tuesday, March 28th, 2006

Anticipation : 9
Expectation : 9
Initial Reaction : 10
Overall : 10
Genre : Third-Person Action/Adventure

 

To say I was expecting a lot from Daxter would be an understatement. I wasn’t aware of Daxter as a title initially, but I became aware of it when the Big Boss at Ready At Dawn spoke out against other PSP Devs. Bold words, so I had to check out the game..

 

The premise is pretty simple. Daxter is in town, not working with Jak at the moment. He boasts a bunch at a bar and an elderly exterminator hires him to kill bugs. Ok, it sounds kinda corny, but it’s actually a pretty decent game. I’m not too far into the story, but it’s pretty decent so far.

 

The gameplay is top notch. Your primary weapon, at least to start, is a glorified bug swatter, electrified of course. Then comes the canister of bug spray, and then.. well, you’ll see. So far most of the game is on foot, but there are some vehicle sequences. There are some dream sequences too, but I’ll leave those up to you to find. They are interesting though.. :P

 

You have the choice of using the D-Pad or the analog stick to move Daxter, and the left and right shoulder buttons to spin the camera. Very effective, and nothing new. I’ve seen it used in other games, so I don’t think there’s anything new there. It works though, and very effectively on the PSP.

 

The RaD boss was right. Just because it’s a handheld, or only has one analog stick, doesn’t mean it can’t have good games. Daxter is excellent and I highly recommend it.

Review : SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo (PSP)

Monday, February 6th, 2006

Anticipation : 7
Expectation : 6
Initial Reaction : 9
Overall : 9
Genre : First/Third-Person Tactical Shooter

 

About a year ago or so I tried out SOCOM for the PS2. The game was simply incredible. But, I never purchased it for PS2. Basically, I just don’t have time to play my consoles.. :( Flash forward to today! PSP.. Best thing ever. I get to play games now! :)

 

Anyways, back to the review. I wasn’t really looking to get this title. It was on my wish list, but only as an interest. Not really a “must have” title. I received it for Christmas and it’s been sitting around since then, waiting for me to open it. (Lots of GTA:LCS play lately) … Well, I took the plunge the other day and I must say, I’m quite impressed. First person shooters on consoles aren’t really my thing. I prefer a mouse and a keyboard. Quick reflexes, ability to spin quickly, etc. But, with a tactical shooter, it’s a little different. It’s definitely a slower pace, so the need to spin around isn’t as prevalent. I wish the reticle in sniper mode moved a little faster, but I can live with it the way it is..

 

Overall I’m pretty happy with the game. The graphics are excellent, the gameplay is smooth, and online play is actually a lot of fun.

 

Speaking of online play. THANK YOU ZIPPER! WPA support. *phew* I didn’t think WPA support was something that was that difficult, and it bothers me greatly that it’s not included in Madden ’06.

Look, I’m a programmer, and as a programmer, I tend to look at things a little differently. I understand the technical challenges that game developers have to overcome, and I understand why some features work the way they do. But, for the life of me, I cannot figure out why Madden does not support WPA. Let’s look at this from an API/framework view. I’m Sony, and I have an API for my PSP. My API has basic features, and an entire network featureset. I include some hooks to make it easier to deal with the network stuff. For instance, I may have a “startnetwork()” routine. I probably have a “senddata()” routine, and so on. In version 1.0, I have support for wireless, and just WEP at the moment. Of course, I’m all about future upgrades, so when 2.0 comes out and I support WPA, I build that into the existing commands, letting all the existing software take advantage of it. Right? Well, maybe. Unfortunately, I don’t have access to the PSP’s API, but it makes sense. So why doesn’t Madden support WPA? Good question.. :(

 

But, SOCOM does. So that’s at least one game I can play at home on my WPA protected network. Madden, no. (Not that it matters, EA has my copy of Madden at the moment. Hopefully they send me a “fixed” version soon)

 

Overall I think SOCOM is pretty decent and I’d definitely recommend it. I’m pretty impressed so far, and I’m definitely willing to continue playing it!

Review – Grand Theft Auto : Liberty City Stories (PSP)

Tuesday, January 10th, 2006

Anticipation : 10
Expectation : 8
Initial Reaction : 9
Overall : 9
Genre : Third-Person Action/Adventure

 

Grand Theft Auto. One of my favorite PS2 games… I’ve been looking forward to this game since it was announced! I initally harbored some reservations about the controls for the game, but it seems that Rockstar did their homework. The controls are excellent and you can *almost* forget that there’s no second analog stick.

 

My first impression of this game was extremely positive. The game loaded just like the PS2 versions do. Cut scenes are excellent. The voices are a little tinny, but not too bad. The graphics are amazing and easily match Grand Theft Auto III. From what I’ve played thus far, it looks like the entire city is virtually identical to Liberty City from GTA3. Rockstar did an incredible job on this game.

 

So, gameplay. So far I’m pretty impressed. There are a few glitches with the camera, but that’s almost to be expected with a “free” camera that follows the character. Camera issues aside, the game is smooth and fun. The first few missions are pretty simple, but engaging. Jacking cars, crashing them all over the place, etc. is as fun as ever. The game seems to flow naturally and keeps the player engaged.

 

Overall, I’m incredibly impressed with this game. And Rockstar has since announced another GTA title headed for the PSP. They claim it’s a new property, so perhaps we’re looking at a completely new city and storyline?

 

I highly recommend this game to all fans of the series.