Saturday, June 25, 2011

What Sony should do to make PSP Vita a Successful device?

During the recent E3 showing, Sony was finally able divert public attention from their security glitches. Once the initial hysteria over the new Sony’s gadget, the Playstation Vita and the relatively low $250 price is over, people will still finally realize, it is just another Sony’s handheld and look and feel much like the previous devices. The reveal of Vita in the E3 captures the interest of many, especially among handheld gamers around the world. It is tme for the gaming society to digest this important information. Can Sony make sure that the device will live up all the hype?
These are a few things Sony should do to make Vita a successful device instead another mediocre iteration:

  • A good selection of titles, both legacy and original. The announcement that another Sly Copper title is to be released, is definitely welcome news, however if Sony really wants to make Vita shines, they should lure the game developers to create fresh and innovative titles to make the gaming society interested.
  • Solve the issues in game availability. There are some glitches that annoy PSP gamers, for example for the owner PSP Go (A PSP model that has no UMD drive and can only download games), they found that certain popular games tend to skip the download process and urge users instead to purchase the physical discs. Games like Kingdoms Hearts were a good example of this annoying oversight. Because the Vita can support high-speed 3G network, Sony should make all games easily downloadable.
  • Define the role of Vita. When you see the Vita specs, you may think that Sony has gone a little too far. Sony should learn from the Nokia NGage. Vita has a dual-camera configuration, just like in mobile phones, one rear and one front; an integrated gyroscope, a touch screen and it has even another touch screen at the rear, which could be a move to differentiate Vita from typical smartphones. If Sony’s goal is to make the PSP Vita as the premiere handheld gaming console, it should be equipped with components that allow for much more exhilarating gaming instead of copying the features of smartphones. A real gamer would be more satisfied with faster CPU and GPU and perhaps better quality screen than cameras and a rear screen. On the other hand, a gyroscope is a potentially good addition, as it can improve the gameplay significantly using physical motions.

Can smartphone replace PSP?

Android phones and the iPhone family is a growing contender in the mobile gaming industry. However, for those who enjoy playing mobile gaming, it will be rather difficult to treat smartphones as real gaming devices, they may tend to see them merely as tools for gaming diversion. Tablets powered by high-end CPU and GPU can provide better gaming experience, however, the lack of physical buttons put a limit on the usefulness of these devices. Blasting away henchmen and aliens feels much more satisfactory with physical button than tapping on virtual buttons on a solid screen. Many people who love mobile gaming tend to see Wi-Fi, versatile OS and other features as unessential, they just want good screen, speedy hardware and of course, plain old keypad.
It’s like drums, bass and guitar, those musicians want to touch the strings and pick them. The announcement of PS Vita, has lowered the PSP 3000 price to $130, and it may come down even further when the device ships. On the other hand, smartphone may provide wider option on legacy gaming; for example, Android devices can easily many legacy gaming formats. In fact, smartphones can now play numerous Sony’s PSX games and perhaps, PSP games soon.

Firmware 6.40 for PSP is about to be released

Some players discovered that the Japanese version of Gundam Memories Tatakai no Kioku, contains a new firmware, the 6.40. A screenshot was circulated around the Internet that seemed to confirm the existence of this firmware. Some observers believe that, Sony is performing an initial field test to ensure the stability of the new firmware. It is also quite possible, that pretty soon we will see the update from Sony across a wider area. It is still unknown what features that are offered by the firmware, but it is certain that it will introduce some security fixes. Only time will tell.

Monday, May 30, 2011

What should you expect from PSP Remaster?

Everyone needs to be ready for the cloud these day, including PSP gamers. Previously, Sony announced the HGP and its related cloud storage service and now the company announces a new brand called the "PSP Remaster". It is definitely analogous to the PS2 HD collection, which was remastered in high definition visuals to the PS3. These are a few games that can be played on the big screen in your home.

Metal Gear Solid
Square Enix games
Monster Hunter
God of War
Valkyria Chronicles

These are just a few PSP gems that will be remastered by Sony. It would be wonderful if DJ Max and Patapon are included too, but as these games carve out niche gamers from the general PSP users, it is a little uncertain. Overall, this could be a way to bring the whole PSP gaming to the next level.

The 3rd Birthday - PSP Game Review


If you're familiar with the original Parasite Eve, you'll be glad to meet Aya and her sister, Eve.But unfortunately, this isn't a Role Playing Game. Of course, you can still gain level, but the focus is more on the guns. As you accumulate points, you can upgrade them to get better precision and more ammo capacity. This game is actually easy to understand and straightforward, and there is one more element to the game, that is collecting DNA strands. You can piece them together on multiple boards which can enhance your capabilities, such as gun reloading speed, health regeneration rate and near invincibility ability.

3rd Birthday is a challenging game, but if you can get past all the difficulty swings, it's a surprisingly wonderful experience. The game has a pretty graphic and the storyline is conveyed in such a way that can be followed by all gamers, despite the fact it's a Square Enix game. As a sequel to the Parasite Eve series, it's acceptable but there is something that's missing in this compared to the other 2 games. Some of the PE fans could be disappointed with the fact that it's a shooter.

LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game - PSP Game Review


This game is making a strong appearance in most consoles. In general, the PSP version plays very similarly to the DS and 3DS versions. While the gaming experience is not exactly unique, it's still captivating and can keep you occupied in a plane or bus.
The LEGo Pirates is just a standard fare compared to other games in the LEG series. If you are familiar with one LEGO game before, you can play others. You'll quickly run through the advanture storyline that is shown in the four movies, while collecting glass bottle ships. red bricks, doubloons and studs. Of course, you'll get some puzzles too. Each characters come with his/her own abilities and you can seamlessly switch to different party member at any time. The gameplay design is what made the rest of LEGO games so mesmerizing and it countinues to be exciting right to this very moment.
Although you can call this game as a LEGO antic, it is still quite exciting to play, even if you've played all LEGO games before. Unfortunately, the 3DS version is more superior because it has a few extra gameplay elements to offer.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection - PSP Game Review

The Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection is a package of three Final Fantasy games (the original FF IV, FF IV: Interlude and FF IV: The After Years), with some extra contents in a great presentation. Undoubtedly, the characters are among the most memorable in the RPG world, intertwined in a great storyline. Unfortunately, FF IV is an old game, and you can't turn a once slick 1960's Mustang into a Bugatti Veyron. Be prepared for a dated graphic, which reminds you with SNES. Of course, there is nothing wrong with playing a game with an old graphic, if it can revive plenty of priceless memories. Final Fantasy series is famous for its iconic soundtrack, and in this case the FF IV still can put soundtracks for other RPG games to shame. If you want to start play a Final Fantasy IV, you should start at Friday afternoon and make sure you don't have anything to do at weekend. Be prepared to get lost and immersed in a wonderful world for days. Let's just hope that you can get back to the planet Earth by Monday morning.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky - PSP Game Review

Just like many JRPGs, The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky is information heavy and quite extensive. Fortunately, the interface is also highly polished. The graphics might be great for 4 or 5 years ago, but for 2011 it can be considered as modest. While playing the game, you'll get light-hearted, catchy music, which is fun to listen to, in fact it may be a little too fun sometimes.
Overall, the fascinating narrative, amusing writing and dynamic combat mechanics, will keep PSP gamers hooked up until the very end. For average players, the game can last for about 40 hours and as two more sequels are coming shortly, this title is a wonderful opening for a long and enjoyable adventure.

Patapon 3 - PSP Game Review


Patapon is a wonderful franchise, however it's an exclusively PSP game, so if you never play a Playstation, it's likely that you'll never heard of Patapon. The game has a good presentation and understanding its nitty gritty would take some time and effort. However, there are ways to make the game simpler and more accessible than previous installments.
The graphic remain wonderful, with some creatures from the previous titles now show up as bosses. Even so you'll find many new assts. Things are colorful and everything pops up like cartoon.
The songs are still old hat but catchy as ever. Some background music and tunes prove to be a wonderful change of pace. Although, Patapon 3 has a solid gameplay, a few level grinding might wear your down eventually. But in general, the combat is exciting and you'll be continuously motivated to level up your tribe with armors and weapons. Of course, the online gameplay is awesome. The game has a solid lasting appeal, it's simply ridiculous. There are just so many things to unlock and discover.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Dissidia 012: Duodecim Final Fantasy - PSP Game Review

This game is an excellent hybrid between fighting and RPG. It has an epic amount of contents taken from the earlier Dissidia Final Fantasy, which incredibly fun to play. Just like other FF spin-offs, the game isn’t without its faults. You need to overcome a steeper learning curve, however if you are patient, the reward is simply incredible. Playing the game for the first time is like grasping a new, foreign language, which is rather difficult and intimidating initially. But in the end, it would really worth it. Completing the game takes patience and a good deal of experimenting. With the original Dissidia you may spend 100 hours to complete, so you should expect similar amount of time to complete Duodecim.