The PSP is not a console starved for role playing games. Sony's aging handheld has a huge library to choose from, mainly Japanese and mainly of very high quality. White Knight Chronicles: Origins is yet one more to add to the already crowded list. Timed to coincide with the release of its big brother, White Knight Chronicles 2 on the PS3, Origins brings the same cooperative multiplayer and real-time combat that the series is known for, but is it enough to distinguish the title amongst its peers or will it get lost in a sea of similar games?
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Jungle Party is a spin-off of the Buzz! series of pop quiz games but aimed at a younger audience with the quiz itself being replaced by a series of mini-games. It was originally released on the PS2 a few years ago and now it has been re-released on the PSP.
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Everyone's favourite scowling personification of anger is back! And he's got some more figures from Ancient Greek mythology to brutally kill!
Continue reading: God of War: Ghost of Sparta, Review Sony PSP
The portable version of Sony's pretender to Mario's crown, Modnation Racers PSP is a bold attempt to topple everyone's favourite plumber from his undisputed position as king of the kart racing games. Nobody has even come close to achieving this before, so what's Modnation Racers got that Mario hasn't? Well, in a similar vein to Little Big Planet and sharing its 'play, create, share' ethos, Modnation Racers brings an element of customizability to the table with the ability to edit your cars, drivers and even create and share tracks yourself over PlayStation Network. But is it enough to challenge Mario and co? Well let's see...
There is no doubt that the wealth of editing options is impressive. Everything down to the colour of your eyes, to the types of tires you drive to the steepness of a bank on a track can be tweaked to your liking. Much like Little Big Planet, most of the customizable content is locked away until you progress through the single player game. Where, by completing challenges, you can access more and more items and styles with which to paint your mark on the Modnation universe. However, unlike more serious racers, customization of your car is purely for cosmetic value and has no effect on how your car handles or its power. That said, it still fun to tinker with spoilers, exhausts and decals to achieve your desired style, for a little while at least. Unfortunately for a game that relies so much on customizability, the vast majority of selectable themes and tweaks fall into tired, well travelled styles collectively known to Americans as 'zany'. The same also goes for the games characters which only young children could really find engaging and cool, having as they do, the collective charm of a bucket of sick.
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Being unfamiliar with the Eye of Judgement franchise and judging it entirely from the name, I had no idea whether it was a puzzle game, an adventure game or an RPG. It turns out that it is somewhere in between. Owing a huge debt to the ever popular 'Magic: The Gathering' collectable card game, Eye of Judgement: Legends, is a card-based puzzler in much the same vein and containing a similar mix of creatures and spells. However, underneath its copy-cat appearance lies a solid core game with reams of backstory, a full cast of characters and enough varied tactical gameplay to keep most players happily drawing cards for many days.
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Oh no! Some evil Russian dudes have got a WMD or a Nuke or something and are threatening the world for non-specific reasons. Time to unleash the muscle-bound, clich‚-spouting all American hard-asses of Fireteam Bravo to murder thousands of non-US citizens in the name of world peace. With the exception of all new multiplayer modes, SOCOM: Fireteam Bravo 3's single player campaign combines a lazy Hollywood plot and well worn gameplay mechanics to create an experience which is definitely more about blasting mindlessly than it is stealth and tactics.
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A sequel to the successful 2008 puzzler Echochrome, Echoshift continues the cool-clean 'portal-esque' aesthetics of the original, combines it with the temporal based trickery of recent indie hit Braid and adds a welcome splash of colour. It's a quirky and intriguing game that will appeal to puzzle fans who don't mind relying a bit more on trial and error than on raw brain power.
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Motorstorm Arctic Edge - Sony PSP Screenshots
Read our Sony PSP Review of racing title Motorstorm Arctic Edge
Sony's Motorstorm franchise first wowed crowds as one of the PS3's launch titles and now, nearly 3 years on, developers BigBig Studios are bringing it to the PSP via the snowy wastes and ice caverns of the arctic tundra. Combining high-speed visceral racing with intricate multiple-routed tracks, Motorstorm Arctic Edge is a unique racer for those who don't take their driving too seriously.
The main premise is an icy racing tournament where all types of motorized machines, ranging in size from nippy dirt bikes all the way up to lumbering big rigs, fling themselves around twelve ice themed tracks. Although only twelve in number the tracks are easily the star of this game. Each is full to the brim with secret shortcuts and alternate routes which see your racer hurtling over chasms, through subterranean vaults, and across rocky snowy passes. These routes are a real pleasure to discover and really help make each track feel unique, especially considering that there are as many different types of vehicles for you to race with as there are routes, with lighter bikes and buggies zipping over the top of the trucks and snow cats which plow down the muddier central avenues. Each type of vehicle behaves differently and requires wildly different tactics. This ensures that the same track plays and feels very different depending on your weapon of choice. But one thing that can be said is that it is thrilling to play all of them. The jumpy handling of the bikes, the breakneck power slides of the rally cars and the unstoppable chug of the larger trucks are all immensely satisfying and it's hard to choose a favorite. Generally the handling is robust, but at higher speeds it can often feel too light and some suspicious physics and dodgy collision detection often ruin any sense of realism.
But this is not a game for racing accuracy, for a start each car is equipped with after-burner-like super boosts that can launch your vehicle ahead of the rest but at a risk of blowing up if you overheat them, (which the computer player is quite prone too). A nice touch is the ability to cool your boosts down by driving through deep snow or water, an important tactic as success in Motorstorm Arctic Edge is largely down to judicial boosting at the right places, as boosting at the wrong place can easily send your car flying off the edge of a precipice or straight into the wall of a cavern.
Motorstorm Arctic Edge holds up very well graphically, the cars look solid and the tracks are detailed. Atmospheric effects like snow, rain and splashes of mud are done really well and add finesse. Sound wise, the crunches of metal and scream of engines all fit well with the frantic action and the sound track, including The Prodigy and Chemical Brothers suits the pace and keeps the adrenalin pumping.
The single player career mode - festival - sees your chosen driver entering various races, earning points to increase your racing rank, thereby unlocking the harder races and challenges as well as customization options and new vehicles. The difficulty really does ramp up in the later portion of the career mode, early on it's a real challenge not to come first every race as your computer opponents blow themselves up all around you, but later you'll have to use every short cut and dirty trick in your disposal just to keep in sight of the top three. Other modes include, the obligatory time trial and a free play mode which lets you customize a race allowing you to explore the labyrinthine tracks without impunity in order to best plan out your alternative routes. There is also a solid multiplayer mode which will keep you occupied for a few hours racing online (if you can find any online PSP players) or with friends over WiFi. A joy that was sadly lacking from Motorstorm's first appearance on the PS3 but one that works well here.
Motorstorm Arctic Edge is a real success. Sublime exploratory racing and a solid handful of single player and multiplayer modes are only marred by slightly oversensitive controls and excessive load times. Easily the best racer currently available on the PSP and one which will hopefully breathe new life into Sony's flagging handheld.
8.5 out of 10
Game Preview of Rockstar Games Beaterator on Sony PSP (PlayStationPortable)
Rockstar Games, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO), is proud to announce a September 29 and October 2, 2009 release date in North America and Europe, respectively, for Beaterator, presented by Rockstar Games and Timbaland. Developed by Rockstar Leeds, the studio behind Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, Beaterator will be available for the PSP (PlayStationPortable) system and PlayStationNetwork. Continue reading: Rockstar Games Beaterator, Preview PSP (PlayStationPortable)
Continue reading: Rockstar Games Beaterator, Preview PSP (PlayStationPortable)