Spin Offs The Way Forward For PSP?

AssassinsCreedBloodLines

Having just watched the first proper trailer of Assassin’s Creed: Bloodlines for the PSP (which you can see HERE), I have to say I’m impressed.

Obviously it doesn’t look as nice as it’s PS3 cousin but it certainly packs a graphical punch. The game covers the period between Assassin’s Creed and the sequel (due out later this year).

It got me thinking that this type of spin off game really is perfect for the PSP platform.

With ports of PS3 games you’re bound to judge them against their more powerful counterparts, which is unfortunate as they will never match up to them.

But using a PSP game to fill in the blanks between PS3 titles is a brilliant idea because you can get further into the game’s universe and learn more about the characters. All while (hopefully) playing a great game as well.

It’s like a spin off TV show from a movie (Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles etc) except because of the format it’s a lot less limited in terms of what you can do.

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Resistance: Retribution is a really good example of this. It was a great looking title that delivered well on gameplay and story.

You had a new main character but a few old favourites turned up to make you feel at home and remind you this title is part of a bigger picture games-wise.

Some of the best PSP games have been spin offs: God Of War – Chains Of Olympus, GTA: Liberty City Stories etc but I’d love to see more of them.

Imagine game universes like those in Infamous, Prototype, Red Faction or Dead Space. Wouldn’t you like to know more about them?

Kessler - Infamous

It would be brilliant to maybe play through some of the events InFamous’ Kessler went through before the PS3 game is set.

Or maybe play through a new character’s experience of the marker from Dead Space.

The possibilities really are endless and as long as the games themselves are up to scratch I imagine they’d sell pretty well.

Another spin off announced at E3 was Resident Evil for the PSP. This could be really cool – I imagine it’ll be like the Ada Wong missions you got after finishing Resident Evil 4 (which clocked in almost as long as a proper game). Should be cool – now I’m just wondering who the game will follow? Sheva? Leon?

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I know I’d much rather play something like Resistance: Retribution or Assassin’s Creed: Bloodlines than ports like, say, The Simpsons or Tomb Raider.

Hopefully as the PSP grows in popularity we’ll see plenty more of these types of games, I for one would certainly love to explore more of the great game universes that have been created recently.

PSP Go!ing To Be Reborn?

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Well while the dust is settling on E3 I thought now would be a good time to do a piece on the PSP that I’ve meant to do for a few months.

My PSP gets plenty of use, I have a long journey into work (2hrs each way) so I have lots of time to play.

I would say 85% of my time has been spent on Football Manager. Firstly because it’s addictive as hell and secondly because there isn’t much else I’m bothered about playing on PSP.

Most of my friends with PSP’s barely use them nowadays and they sit unused and unloved in a corner somewhere.

Basically us PSP’ers get a handful of shoddy PS3 ports and loads of retro games (which I love but bloody hell could Midway squeeze any more of the same games on a slightly different compilation?! :mad:).

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The last decent game was God Of War: Chains Of Olympus which was short but immensely awesome 😎 That was released in 2008. 😦

Then all of a sudden a few months back a shedload of games were announced:

Assassin’s Creed Blood Line

LittleBigPlanet

Motorstorm: Arctic Rift

Indiana Jones: Staff Of Kings

Madden 10

RockBand

I honestly thought it was joke. At this late stage in it’s lifecycle (almost 4 years in!) we are being treating to a plethora of excellent games? 😐

There were even a few other games that didn’t interest me but some people would be excited about (Final Fantasy and the like).

I googled and checked my favourite game sites… It seemed to be a genuine announcement. As a last precaution I checked the date wasn’t April 1st.

Nope, it was true. Brilliant. 😎

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And then further down the line the rumour mill went into overdrive about a new PSP – ‘PSP Go!’ It doesn’t need UMD’s – it’s completely digital. I saw the mock up photo (which was pretty much what the final product looks like) and I liked it very much 🙂

Since then we’ve had E3 and the full PSP Go! announcement.

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My reaction had many stages:

1) Seeing it – Yay! Looks great 🙂

2) Closer inspection – Ah, it doesn’t have a second analogue stick 😦

3) Hope and digital confirmation – Still looks great and I’m used to one analogue stick now. Digital is cool, don’t care how I get my games and longer battery life is sweet. Think I’ll replace my old (original) PSP with one of these 😎

4) Epic fail – $250???!!!!!!! 😡 That’s £150 directly converted but I imagine it will retail at £200 here in the UK. For a new digital version of a device I already own? FAIL 😥

If you don’t already own a PSP and are cool with getting your games digitally this (possibly) isn’t so bad.

I certainly won’t be getting one until it drops dramatically in price (I’m talking dropping to £120 at least) and I should think even people who want a PSP and don’t have one may think twice about a handheld that costs more than an XBox 360!

PSP Go! looks like a lovely piece of kit but the price has killed it for me (for the time being). Maybe if I get my hands on one and it’s loads more comfortable etc I might reconsider.

But that wasn’t the only PSP news at E3, we also had the following announced:

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Gran Turismo

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Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker

Oh yes.

A new Metal Gear game 😎

I’m not a huge fan of Gran Turismo on PS3 – it’s ok and 5 looks sweet but I don’t have the commitment to stick with it. But PSP could be a different matter as I could (technically) play it everyday.

These games (and the inital list above – except Madden) aren’t ports, they are being specifically designed for PSP.

Jade Raymond confirmed in an interview that Assassin’s Creed on PSP will reveal the link between Ailtair and Enzo. This is exactly the kind of content and side story that is perfect for the PSP platform.

We’ve also had the (slightly) limited but very fun Resistance Retribution in the meantime – again not a port but a Resistance game in it’s own right.

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So to put it bluntly after nearly 4 years of moaning that there are no decent PSP games on the horizon I find myself excited to own a PSP going through the rest of this year and into 2010 – rumours of another God Of War game make me smile and I hope they are true but even if they aren’t there is enough coming up to keep me satisfied.

And Football Manager 2010 should be out towards the end of the year as well 😉