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The PSP: I Just Can't Quit You


Yes, I bought one -- again. For all my moaning about sub-par titles, poorly conceived features, and physical media that emits an awful grinding noise, I find myself once again prostrate upon the altar of Sony, recanting my past transgressions, and begging forgiveness --tethered with an invisible rope fashioned by God himself to the bane of my handheld gaming life: The PSP.

Why return to the system I've griped about like a jaded ex to all my friends, especially when the 3DS is right around the corner? First, there's the cost issue. Those of us in the, shall we say, "limited income" camp find ourselves attracted to the wallet-friendly $129.99 price tag -- you can find it in the sub-$100 range if, like me, you're willing to settled for a used PSP -- far below the cost of Nintendo's next-gen, magical box of 3d wonder. Secondly, there's the long-term value. For all the mediocre titles on the PSP, there are a handful of true gems. Monster Hunter, MGS: Portable Ops 1 and 2, Final Fantasy Dissidia, and the like, many of which now find themselves in the bargain bin -- not to mention downloadable PS1 goodness. After the massive (and rather costly) lapse in judgment that compelled me to purchase a PSP Go, I found myself in the possession of a fairly hearty stockpile of such titles. Moreover, the NGP isn't slated for release for several more months, thus giving Sony's fledgling portable a good deal of life before being sent off to the glue factory.

I've long been a fiend for handheld gaming, though I'm all too aware of the drawbacks. It's a smaller market, so portable systems seem to find themselves (much to my annoyance) somewhat deprioritized in the face of their console counterparts. Still, for someone like me with a 45 minute bus ride to and from my job -- it bears noting that i work in Minneapolis, and thus spend most of my waking hours looking for any way to avoid the thousand-strong Meth Army that is Downtown -- a handheld is a must. The additional features of the PSP may be rather lackluster, but for the time being I'm happy enough just to have the games. All quarrels with the system aside, it's a decent buy, here in the twilight of our proud ebony titan's existence, especially for cost-conscious shoppers. Nintendo may have the latest and greatest -- I was quite eager to defect, given the chance -- but in the end, frugality won out.

One day, hopefully sooner rather than later, I'll step bravely into the future and buy one of these newfangled 3DS contraptions. In the meantime, i'm quite content to simply hunker down and enjoy an evening of gaming the way the Good Lord intended: Donning my favorite smoking jacket, surrounded by my many cats, and wishing i had a second analog nub. Fortunately, between Gods Eater Burst (which I am thoroughly enjoying) and the upcoming Dissidia 012 -- the former being preposterously long, and the latter having virtually unlimited replay value -- I estimate that I will be set until about 2014.
Welcome back, old friend. I've longed for your cold, mechanical embrace -- to revisit the old memories and stare into your pristine screen until the late hours of the night once again. Now please stop hurting me.


wohdin said:

Dissidia and DJ MAX are the only things that really make me feel like a PSP is necessary. And amazingly enough, that's turned out to be all I really need from it.

Super Swede said:

I'm terribly excited for the new Dissidia. Thankfully i also have a digital copy of Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, so i'm sure i'll find myself busy for quite a while.

Haters be damned, I still love my PSP. I actually own two. One I bought on release day, and a PSP2000 I bought back in 2008.

Yeah, the PSP gets a bad rep (I know a certain writer on this site *who will remain anonymous* that likes to take witty jabs from time to time), but I think it's got more games that I actually want to play on it than any other hand held. I've picked up the limited editions of Ys 1 & 2, Ys: The Oath in Felghana, Ys 7, AND Lunar in the past couple of weeks from Fry's and I can't put my PSP down for the life of me!

Add that on top of the games I've downloaded from the PSN (FF7,FF9, and the Japanese imports of Megaman 2 and 3) and my pallet is stacked for quite a while. All with a smile on my face...

See the software just isn't there for me. There's no decent Castlevania, there's no Shin Megami Tensei (except Persona 3 Portable, which I do have and love), there3's no Mario (which at that point really can't be held against the PSP, but still...)

The PSP is alright for being as slow and noisy as it is, but I don't think it stacks up strongly at all to the DS, which has everything from charming little titles like Cave Story (dsi-ware), Big Bang Mini, and Cooking Mama, all the way up to your big names like Zelda, Shin Megami Tensei (Devil Survivor and Strange Journey), and Castlevania.

AJ said:

I love the access to all the great PS1 Ports to the PSP (either through actual software as is the case with titles such as FFT: War of the Lions and Valkyrie Profile Lenneth), and download-able. That alone made me grab it. For me, the titles are much more attractive than the DS, whose games I find to put the storytelling on the backburner, and make them predictable and 1 dimensional.

Uh, Dr. Randle, you do realize that you said that there is no "decent Castlevania" on the PSP when Symphony of The Night, the one that started it all and without it's existence there would be no DS Castlevaina titles, is on the PSP. In fact, it's included on The Dracula X Chronicles, which has the amazing Rondo of Blood PC-Engine import and an 3-D updated version.

It's hard to tell if your statement was pure fanboyism, or just plain ignorance...

Keith said:

I love the PSP as a system - I think the user interface and media capabilities are great (though some of the hardware design choices have been questionable). But in my opinion, the quantity of high-quality games released for the PSP just doesn't stack up to the same level as that released on the DS. That's not to say that the PSP doesn't have good games - it certainly does. The DS just has more, and more of the type that I'm interested in playing. So I find that my collection of DS games is rather large, while my collection of PSP games is very small. And whereas I play my DS on a daily basis, it's been weeks since I last played anything on my PSP. I am looking forward to seeing how the PSP games Square Enix has coming (Dissidia, Third Birthday, FFIV Collection, etc.) turn out.

Regarding the PSP Castlevania thing touched on here by other commenters, Symphony of the Night is not an original PSP game, and hasn't aged as gracefully as some people's nostalgia will allow them to realize. Furthermore, the Rondo of Blood original and 3D versions REALLY haven't held up well at all, gameplay-wise. I own Dracula X Chronicles and progressed most of the way through the game before throwing it aside in frustration at the cheap deaths, overpowered enemies, and horrible, stiff controls. Frankly, compared to the GBA and DS Castlevania games, Dracula X Chronicles is garbage.

It's all a matter of opinion Keith. You obviously favor the DS, where as I favor the PSP. Each gamer is different and makes the world go 'round.

Your view of The Dracula X Chronicles is a bit harsh and quite negative. I can understand that if you didn't grow up with the original Castlevania games on the NES how strange the game play in Rondo of Blood may seem to you. The first three games on the NES all had stiff controls and cheap deaths. You progressed and got better as you learned from your mistakes. Rondo of Blood was, and still is an amazing game. It took the series into new territory with it's story line, cinematic scenes, and the incredible soundtrack.

The PSP version currently has an 80 out of 100 on metacritic, and positive/good reviews on pretty much every site, so your obviously in the minority here. It's too bad you can't get past your inability to adapt to it's throwback style and see how great the game really is...

beessyweirm said:

good selection)

And girls who like girls who like rumble packs!

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beessyweirm on The PSP: I Just Can't Quit You: good selection)...

Kid Amnesiac 1979 on The PSP: I Just Can't Quit You: It's all a matter of opinion Keith. You obviously favor the DS, where as I favor the PSP. Each gamer...

Keith on The PSP: I Just Can't Quit You: I love the PSP as a system - I think the user interface and media capabilities are great (though some...

Kid Amnesiac 79 on The PSP: I Just Can't Quit You: Uh, Dr. Randle, you do realize that you said that there is no "decent Castlevania" on the PSP when Symphony...

AJ on The PSP: I Just Can't Quit You: I love the access to all the great PS1 Ports to the PSP (either through actual software as is the...

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