Reviews & Articles

ReviewGungnir

March 20, 2013
A traditional SRPG with a few new techniques
by: Psychphan available on: PlayStation Portable
What is it about strategy role-playing games that political intrigue tends to be the main theme? Seriously, think about. How much of a difference would the genre be if this theme was not present? I honestly don’t think players would be as interested in the genre as they are today. So keep that in mind as I tell you about Gungnir for the PSP.

ReviewPrinny 2: Dawn of Operation Panties, Dood!

April 29, 2012
A prinny explodes, a prinny explodes. Get it? Very cosmopolitan!
by: Psychphan available on: PlayStation Portable

I really enjoyed the original Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero?. It surprised me. It was old school mixed in with some new-school sensibilities. And it didn’t hurt that it was hilarious. It is probably due to that game that I love prinnies. One of these days, I’m going to play a Disgaea game and create an army of them. Look out, Etna! Your days are numbered! However, my days are numbered with Prinny 2: Operation Dawn of Panties, Dood! for the PSP.

ReviewShank

December 28, 2011
Quentin Tarantino would be proud ...
by: Psychphan available on: PC, Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Portable

Revenge is one of the oldest reasons in the book to respond to anything. Don’t believe me? Watch a bunch of children and see how long it takes for them not to hit each other over some misdemeanor. It also makes for a great plot. Also, I am aware of the Kill Bill movie series. However, I never really got into the films whenever I saw them on TV as it was just too grisly for me. So why in the world do I enjoy Shank so much?

ReviewPersona 2: Innocent Sin

October 31, 2011
Naiveté can only go so far ...
by: Psychphan available on: PlayStation Portable

I confess, and it is probably no secret as well, that I am a huge fan of the Persona series. How can I not be one? The unique characters, the psychological plot and fun role-playing game mechanics all blended together to create an incredibly human mess that I have a fair amount of trouble pulling myself away from it all. It is with this in mind that I approached Persona 2: Innocent Sin for the PSP with a lot of excitement. So is this previously unreleased game worth the wait?

ReviewLittleBigPlanet

August 21, 2011
Better than the PS3 version
by: Psychphan available on: PlayStation Portable

It will be about two years this November that I will have owned my PlayStation 3. So what does any “poor” worker do with a new contraption? The answer was simple: Download all the demos that sound cool. One of them was the original LittleBigPlanet. And I hated it as it rubbed me the wrong way. I didn’t like the controls, the enforced multiplayer to collect everything (or so it appeared at the time), art style and, most importantly, it bragged about how good it is. It was that final part that did me in. So why in the world do I enjoy the PSP version so much?

ReviewKnights in the Nightmare

February 5, 2011
To turn away from the Night ...
by: Psychphan available on: PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS

I still remember when I originally learned about Knights in the Nightmare being ported to the PSP. It just didn’t seem like a good fit to me. How do you take a game that was so finely controlled with a stylus (or what could be considered a mouse) and translate it into a “traditional” gaming experience? It did not make sense to me to choose such a platform, but such a decision was made. Even though I saw Knights in action online several months ago, I did not believe it for myself until I saw it in motion. Amazingly, this is almost exactly the same game available for the DS and stands just as proud as its twin. It is an excellent thing considering how amazing the DS version is in general.

ReviewYs Seven

January 27, 2011
Great plot with structured storyline
by: Tommy_Gun available on: PlayStation Portable

At first, I thought Ys Seven was going to be one of those role-playing games with fixed battle phases and shortcomings in the story plot. That is not the case. If you have liked playing an RPG that has free roam during battles in the past, then this is the game you need to purchase. Ys Seven has a great plot at the beginning of the game and does well at creating a good structured storyline that brings the player into the game.

ReviewYs: The Oath in Felghana

January 10, 2011
An excellent remake of an old Genesis/SNES game
by: Psychphan available on: PlayStation Portable

I like knighthood. Yes, it is a statement I have written a thousand times in various articles. The reason this is written is due to the influence of Ys 3: Wanderers of Ys, which was released on the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis back in the early 1990s. I remember enjoying it, despite all of its flaws. It is also the one Ys game I keep going back to whenever I play a new installment in the series. As such, you might be able to imagine my excitement when I finally got to play its modern incarnation: Ys: The Oath in Felghana.

ReviewSega Genesis Collection

January 1, 2011
Solid, no matter how it is painted
by: Psychphan available on: PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 2

I was a multi-system owner back in the day. I still am, but it took me much longer without the aid of parents. As such, I don’t have much loyalty for systems. There are good and great games on all systems. One just has to have the patience to look for them. The advantage of living in 2010 is that certain game systems have collections their publishers believe to be their “greatest hits.” Those who want to have a strong idea of what Sega Genesis owners had at their fingertips can look no further than Sega Genesis Collection on the PSP.

ReviewYs Seven

November 4, 2010
A blast to play, no matter how little is available
by: Psychphan available on: PlayStation Portable
I am a sucker for a good game of heroics. I don’t know where it comes from. Perhaps it comes from idealism: I like helping people. Whenever I have the opportunity to play the villain, I cannot do it. I believe the problem is because such behavior is outside of my personality and is incongruent with my ideals. But there is one game I have the pleasure to play lately that perfectly jives with me: Ys Seven for the PSP.

ReviewDungeon Maker: Hunting Ground

September 10, 2010
I cannot find my way out of these hunting grounds
by: Psychphan available on: PlayStation Portable
I am a sucker for a creative game that does something few games do. Almost two years ago, I played a game that allowed me to create my own dungeon on the DS. I played it until my eyes hurt. I have now found the PSP equivalent of that game: Dungeon Maker: Hunting Ground. I enjoyed it immensely.

First LookKnights in the Nightmare

September 2, 2010
Will you survive the night?
by: Psychphan available on: PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS
When I first learned Knights in the Nightmare is coming to the PSP, I was immediately concerned. How could something that so highly required the touchscreen of the DS transfer to the PSP? I could easily imagine it being ported to the iPod Touch or iPhone. But ported to the PSP? I just could not imagine it. Atlus was kind enough to show us a working demo of the game.

ReviewArmored Core: Last Raven Portable

August 27, 2010
Robot insanity for your PSP
by: Tommy_Gun available on: PlayStation Store, PlayStation Portable
I can’t believe it’s been 10 years of Armored Core games. We all have crushed, shot and blown up many robots in past Armored Core games. Armored Core: Last Raven Portable speaks for itself as the same robot action with different levels, missions and upgrades throughout the game. There really hasn’t been much change in Armored Core for the most part, even though it’s a great game. Fans will get better upgrades in this game, but it is still the same old setup and items. I didn’t think this was the best battle robot game this year, but it was a nice game to play if you are up for a robotic challenge.

ReviewDisgaea Infinite

August 9, 2010
Humorous comic book minus a full bag of chips
by: Psychphan available on: PlayStation Portable
I have been dreading writing this review. Every single distraction I can think of has been initiated. And yet the writing still needs to be done. Everyone likes an exuberant review because it is easy to sense the excitement. Angry or disappointed reviews are loved even more for a simple fact: Who doesn’t like someone, or something, being cut down to size for a bit? As such, as much as I enjoy the Disgaea universe, I cannot help but feel disappointed with Disgaea Infinite for the PSP.

ReviewHexyz Force

August 4, 2010
Hexes and creation
by: Psychphan available on: PlayStation Portable
I hate weapon durability. Some might argue it provides more realism than the average role-playing game that lets you use a weapon indefinitely. I find it to be a bit tedious, because when your weapon dies, so do you. You are completely helpless, unable to inflict damage and can only receive it. But my thoughts on the matter might be changing due to the influence of Hexyz Force for PSP.

ReviewLunar: Silver Star Harmony

August 2, 2010
A remade classic gets classier
by: Psychphan available on: PlayStation Portable
Lunar ... The mere mention of such a title usually takes gamers back into their childhoods. Or, perhaps more accurately, it takes folks into a special place. Back in its heyday, the original Lunar did not look much. But darn it! The game had such strong presentation that its charm was undeniable. What was a cliched adventure was transformed into something much greater. And it was with nostalgia perfectly intact that I played Lunar: Silver Star Harmony for the PSP.

ReviewShin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable

July 25, 2010
An unexamined life ...
by: Psychphan available on: PlayStation Portable
I didn’t expect this to happen. I didn’t expect all of my free time to be absorbed and continuously sucked in. It has been almost two years since I placed my hands on Persona 3: FES, and now I have my hands on its portable sibling: Persona 3 Portable for the PSP. Have I missed playing the game that much?

PreviewValkyria Chronicles II

July 23, 2010
Tactical RPG comes to PSP
by: Psychphan @ E3 2010 available on: PlayStation Store, PlayStation Portable
I like strategy games. However, I am just not any good at them. I don’t know what it is. Perhaps I just build too many structures. Maybe I just do not know how to effectively use my units. Or maybe it is because I take too darn long completing a mission. But there is one strategy game I am rather excited about: Valkyria Chronicles II for the PSP.

First LookYs Seven

June 23, 2010
A traditional RPG gets some heavy-duty action
by: Psychphan @ E3 2010 available on: PlayStation Portable
For those “in the know,” Falcom is a very well-known publisher. It has created a series that is still popular in Japan. It is a company that could be considered to have “fathered” the Japanese role-playing genre. XSeed Games is excited to introduce the seventh installment in that series: Ys Seven for the PSP.

ReviewSilent Hill: Shattered Memories

June 10, 2010
A chilling look into Silent Hill history
by: brubinow available on: PlayStation 2, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation Portable
In more ways than one, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories is all about exploring the past. Not only does the majority of the game take place with the main character on a therapist’s couch talking about traumatic experiences, but the plot itself is a retelling of the very first Silent Hill game. With stellar presentation and plenty of unexpected surprises, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories tasks you with confronting the past and demands you either correct your mistakes or muster the courage to live up to the consequences.

ReviewStar Wars: The Force Unleashed

June 3, 2010
This reviewer’s favorite Star Wars game yet
by: TwilightSocks96 available on: Xbox 360, Nintendo DS, PC, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3
How do I say this without destroying my reputation? I have always been a fan of the Star Wars series, but I was never a die-hard fan. I always liked it, but it was never my life and blood like some fans. However, Lucas Arts has made me come very close, thanks to Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. I have played Star Wars games before, (thanks Rinjo for all those old Star Wars PC games growing up), but this is by far my favorite.

First LookHexyz Force

June 2, 2010
An interesting, sound RPG
by: Psychphan available on: PlayStation Portable
As I often proclaim to the world, I love a good role-playing game. There’s nothing like it. It’s comforting, intriguing and downright fun. There’s a fair amount of strategy involved as one needs to balance the overall party and the everyday battles. Atlus is hard at work for a game that might be an excellent game to play on the go, and they were kind enough to give us a taste of what is to come. That game is Hexyz Force for the PSP.

First LookShin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable

May 20, 2010
An awesome PS2 game goes portable
by: Psychphan available on: PlayStation Portable
More than two years ago, Atlus released a very particular game. It was a game that resonated with several gamers. That game was the original Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 for the PlayStation 2. Now Atlus is working on Persona 3 Portable for the PSP.

ReviewMetal Slug XX

April 27, 2010
Needs another X, because it brings out the worst and best in me
by: Psychphan available on: PlayStation Portable
Hardcore shooters are as old as gaming. It began in the arcades many moons ago. Large and frequent explosions with high challenge kept gamers coming back for more. Things have changed. We like a challenge, but we like it to be gradual. Health is high, and a character can withstand several shots. How about a massive amount of ammo or, ideally, unlimited ammo so you don’t have to worry? Well, welcome to the retro-modern chic villa of Metal Slug XX.

InterviewDean Martinetti and Mike McHale of Iron Man 2

April 22, 2010
Development director, producer talk about Iron Man 2
by: Rinjo available on: Nintendo Wii, PC, Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Recently I had the opportunity to sit in on a conference call with Iron Man 2’s Development Director Mike McHale and Producer Dean Martinetti. I noticed at the very beginning of the call that this wasn’t going to be your typical interview. Sure, Mike and Dean were full of excitement about the upcoming release of Sega and Marvel’s new comic-based game, Iron Man 2, but there was something deeper to their excitement. At first, I couldn’t put my finger on it. However, by the end of the call, not only did I know what was going on, but I also shared their enthusiasm.