PSP Moving from Strength to Strength

December 28th, 2007

psp star ocean ceramic

A few months back Itagaki-san (Techmo) shared his opinions as to why he believes the PSP has not been as successful as it probably should’ve been. Basically he said that Sony should have tried to attract GameBoy Advance owners from switching over to the DS.

I think that he proves a good point. The GBA was well known for its more ‘hardcore’ gamer games like Fire Emblem, Metroid, Advance Wars, Final Fantasy and Castlevania. This falls right in line with the PSP which is suited towards the gamers that like these games. The PSP’s software line up reflects this.

Unfortunately Sony dropped the ball and for no apparent reason slowed all advertising of the device in almost every region worldwide. And with this slump in marketing (as well as the mass market DS games that started trickling out) Sony allowed the PSP to be trampled on by the DS.

Despite this in the past year Sony has put its ‘clever pants’ back on and has made a few wise choices regarding the PSP. These choices teamed with some great software is helping the PSP start fresh and finally live up to its potential. So I want to reflect over the wise moves that Sony has made this year to help put the PSP back where it belongs.

PSP Slim/Price

Although they didn’t cut the almost useless multimedia features and opt for a more cheaper console. Sony did slim down the PSP not only in size but also I price. Currently the PSP is sitting comfortably between the $AUD250-$300 price range which is a very attractive price point when you consider that its only $50 more than a Nintendo DS.

But what I think makes the PSP even more attractive to any hardcore player is the price of the games. Great games like Ridge Racer 2, Lumines, WipeOut, Syphon Filter, Tekken are all down at the cheap $20-30 price range. It certainly makes DS games look like a rip off. I mean what would you rather LocoRoco, Tekken and Syphon Filter or Elite Beat Agents?

Sony have bought in a similar pricing model to hat it has with the PSP. Once a game doesn’t need to be full price, it isn’t. You can see this with PSP games across the board. There is a good balance between the $20-$70 where you hardly ever need to pay $70 for a game unless you are buying it within the first month of release.

Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions cutscene cel shaded

When you compare this to Nintendo’s dated pricing model then the PSP is more so at an advantage. Its rare to see anything beyond Petz Vetz and Brain training below the $35 price point. Yet if you compare the software out right the PSP’s games cost more money to make and take advantage of greater technology. Basically you are getting technically better software for a cheaper price.

Strong Software Line up

When people talk about buying a PSP they say that they don’t want to because it has a laughably weak software line up. This might have been true a few years ago but its certainly not true anymore. If you compare the software line up of games for the hardcore player of the PSP to the DS then the PSP comes out as a clear winner. In the past half a year Elite Beat Agents and Zelda: PH have been the only major software titles for this audience. Yet there has been a plethora of great games for the PSP, all released in the past few months:

PSP

And down the track theres God of War, FF: Crisis Core, Gran Turismo, FF:Dissidia, Star Ocean and more.

These games scream appeal to the GBA crowd or the hardcore gamer. I don’t know how any self respecting player can go pass Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions and Castlevania Dracula X Cronicles.

PSone Classics

Not only is there that strong line up of UMD games you can now download old PSone classics onto your PSP. Now admittedly the line up isn’t that strong yet but there are still a number of great titles that are worth snatching up. You can download them directly from your PC as well.

Conclusion

Its pretty obvious that I am hyped up about the PSP but I wouldn’t be if it wasn’t for a good reason. The console is moving from strength to strength and still somehow is overlooked. I just can’t understand how people can be overlooking such a good deal.

My Christmas Present to You:: Super Mario Land 2 Retro VIDEO Review

December 22nd, 2007

super mario land 2 6 golden coins retro review

With only a couple of sleeps left until Christmas I thought that It’d be a great time for me to share a surprise that I’ve been working on recently. Over the past few weeks I have been fiddling around with some video software so that I can start releasing video content for the website.

After much time wasting I finally figured out how to get everything to work. So over the past few days I’ve started and finished my first production with long time friend and retro gamer; Matty Jay. Basically I wrote the text and edited the video while he did the voice work. Now, this is our first ever attempt at video production and overall I am very happy with it. Although we definitely want to lift the standard for our next piece. Undoubtedly our biggest problem (much like an amateur video production people) was with our voice recording, we went through 3 microphones and should have planned our recording better. We did it all in one good take rather than 3 or 4 perfect segements which means that Matt made a few slight mistakes. Which I then tried to cover up when editing the audio but (perhaps) just made it worse. ><

But it doesn’t matter, we can fix these problems for next time. So here is our retro video review of Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins. You can watch the You Tube stream below:

YouTube Preview Image

Merry Christmas guys, I’ll continue to post content over the next few days. We’d love to hear any sort of constructive feedback from you readers.

Duke Nukem Teaser Trash

December 20th, 2007

duke nukem

If you haven’t heard there’s been a new trailer released for the long overdue Duke Nukem Forever game. You can watch it here.

Before I get started, I just want to freshen your memories of this game. Duke Nukem Forever is set to be the latest installment of the Duke Nukem franchise. This game is infamous for its long delays, you see back in 1997 this game was announced, at E3 2001 a trailer featuring in game footage was released and then a few year ago there were a few issues with switching to the Unreal engine. But now the game is hopefully on track for an actual release.

Now if you followed the link and watched the trailer, you might be thinking what I thought after I saw the trailer: “Damn, this looks kinda crap”. I just can’t get over how terrible the game looks. Now I’m no graphics whore but I do aprciate quality graphics and this game looks to have some serious issues. The whole teaser reaks of an earlier PSone FMV.

When watching the video you should keep in mind than even though its a teaser, the snippets of enemies are taken from within the game. We’ve also been told to disregard all of the other video released for Duke Nukem Forever which absolutely sucks as the E3 2001 trailer was fantastic and got me so pumped for this game. Such a pity. I guess we have the next gameplay trailer to look forward to. I seriously hope that this game lives up to its hype and can prove me wrong.

What do you guys think of the trailer? Bad ass or just pathetic?